Omar and Ginger McCall of Oregon had finally welcomed a baby girl into their lives. They were elated over the new life joining their family, and were ready to dote on little Evianna Rose and watch her grow.
Instead of a lifetime of growth, trials, love, and family, they got seven weeks.
When Evi started making a horrible mewing noise, Ginger and her mother-in-law took the baby to the Salem Health ER. Ginger had told doctors she’d had Group B Strep while pregnant, but they didn’t seem too concerned.
Instead, the nurses ran some tests and put Evi on a saline drip, then sent her home. Ginger recalls a nurse reassuring her that “This is just her immune system getting stronger.”
“They told us they thought it was a virus but couldn’t say which one it was because babies get lots of viruses,” McCall told KGW.
“A baby at 7 weeks being discharged from the emergency room with still a temperature and still listlessness,” the mother continued. “I mean, that should not have happened.”
Once they got home, Evianna did not improve. In addition to the wrenching cry, she also started vomiting, so back to the ER they went, more insistent this time.
“It was like torture watching them jab her over and over again,” McCall said. “Then they had to do a spinal tap, which was also like torture. And then everything happened really fast, and she was crashing and intubated and then they called Portland to see if they could get her transferred up there.”
Throughout the ordeal, McCall felt sidelined. She didn’t feel like the staff was taking her concerns seriously or making sure to keep her updated. Eventually, she got the awful news: Evi had sepsis and meningitis.
“I understand they were in crisis mode but they didn’t clearly communicate to myself or my mother-in-law, who was with me, what was going on,” she said. “We were sort of pushed aside and left in the dark and before I knew it she was intubated and unconscious.”
Sunday morning, just a little after 5 in the morning, Ginger and Omar said goodbye to the baby they’d only just gotten to know.
“I woke up at about 5 [a.m.] and I could hear alarms going off and I said to my husband I think we need to let her go,” McCall said. “And so they unplugged her and they took us out into the courtyard and they handed her to us and I was holding her when she died.”
“It was just so sudden and it seems like it should have been preventable,” McCall said. “That noise she was making, I wish they had paid more attention.”
Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, has reached out to Salem Health for comment. Salem Health responded with what they have told the other media outlets.
“This is a heartbreaking loss, and Salem Health offers its deepest condolences,” Kyla Postrel, Internal Communications Lead, wrote to Liftable. “Due to HIPAA and the patient’s protected health information, Salem Health cannot comment on this individual case.”
Now, through her loss, McCall still wants to encourage other parents to be their child’s strongest advocate, and to really push for answers when something is wrong.
“I can’t bring her back, but what I hope is just that this won’t happen to someone else.”
“Don’t assume they know or they’ve noticed the same thing you’ve noticed,” she urged. “And I mean, it’s your child. Trust your instincts. Advocate for yourself.”
“We only had seven weeks with her. But she was so loved. I will never stop missing her and I will never stop being sad that I didn’t get to know the girl, the young woman and woman she would have been. I mean, I think she would have been incredible.”
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