MORTON - The Morton High School boys’ basketball team and Coach Matt Franks are hosting the 7th annual Gameball Run event to raise money and awareness for Children’s Hospital of Illinois. Each school in District 709 has selected a Miracle Family to represent the services provided by Children’s Hospital and the impact it has on Morton families. To financially support Gameball Run, donate online at www.MortonGameballRun.org. Each school is hosting events, with all proceeds going to Children’s Hospital of Illinois.
The Miracle Family representing Morton High School is Kyle Davis and his family – Kyle, Trevor, Becki, Katie, and Tim Davis. This is their story.
Kyle Davis was 8 months old when his parents, Becki and Tim, noticed one of his eyes was not tracking properly. This prompted the parents to schedule a visit with a pediatric ophthalmologist who promptly noticed that his optic nerve was swollen and referred them to a neurologist. The CT scan ordered by the neurologist showed an arachnoid cyst and it was causing the pressure within his brain that in turn affected his eye. An arachnoid cyst is a fluid filled cyst in the brain that is benign. The doctor wanted to schedule surgery for the following day to relieve this pressure. “As a Mom I remember vividly feeling like I could pass out thinking about my baby boy having brain surgery,” said Mrs. Becki Davis. “It was all a whirlwind and very scary to us.”
To relieve the pressure, the neurosurgeon inserted a shunt behind his right ear. The tubing of the shunt would drain the fluid from his brain down his neck into his abdomen. “Kyle came through surgery just fine and was jumping up and down on my lap just hours later,” said Becki. Kyle was able to go home the following day and his eye returned to normal function with no further issues. The doctor felt that eventually he would no longer need the shunt though it would remain in place for his lifetime. “I remember asking the doctor if he would have any restrictions going forward. He responded with “I wouldn’t want him to get hit in the head with a baseball bat, but I wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone.” Everything in our lives went back to normal and we really didn’t think about the shunt much on the day to day basis.”
Fast forward to December of 2015, when Kyle was in the 8th grade on the basketball team. “I vividly remember the Saturday that Kyle started to feel ill,” said Becki Davis. “He wasn’t able to make it to his game that day and continued having migraines. We tried every remedy and he could not find relief. His pediatrician performed a CT and his shunt appeared to be in place.” The family took Kyle to see the ophthalmologist and she noticed no concerns and yet, the headaches persisted. “I remember dosing Kyle around the clock with ibuprofen during that time trying to help him. As a parent it is such a source of heartache seeing your child suffering and not being able to resolve it.” Kyle is a dedicated student and did not miss any days of school due to his headaches. He took ibuprofen before he went to take his Geometry final at the high school. “I have no idea how he pushed through the pain he was experiencing then and still managed to score an A. As the headaches persisted around the clock Kyle was unable to sleep. After two weeks, we needed answers.”
Unable to find the cause of the headaches, the doctors decided to have Kyle admitted to the Children’s Hospital of Illinois. “I remember praying with Kyle and telling him that he would not leave the hospital with a headache.” The following day, the medical staff performed a photo image of his eyes and again discovered the papilledema, the swelling of his optic nerve in his right eye. His shunt was no longer functioning. A shunt revision was scheduled for the following day. “Kyle’s doctor and nurse were excellent at helping him understand what was happening and what the surgery would involve,” said Becki.
Unfortunately after the shunt revision, Kyle’s headache began to return. His doctor recommended a second surgery which would need to be performed on Christmas Eve. “This was obviously very devastating to all of us,” said Becki. “We asked his amazing nurse, Julie, if she could talk to Kyle about his need for the second surgery. She did such a great job of explaining exactly what he could expect. Christmas Eve morning Kyle had his second surgery. It was successful and we were hopeful that he could be home for Christmas the following day.”
On Christmas Day, a volunteer brought in therapy dogs for the patients which was a highlight for Kyle during his stay. Additionally, many volunteers would stop through with gifts for Kyle, which made his stay more bearable. “Thankfully Christmas Day, Kyle was released and we received the best gift of all, our son was home and free from pain,” said Becki. “We are so blessed to have such a wonderful facility nearby. I can’t say enough good things about the care that Kyle received at CHOI.”
Today, Kyle is a junior and an active runner participating in both cross country and track. He is also involved in the National Honor Society, Math team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Scholastic Bowl, Student Council and WYSE team. “After Kyle’s second hospital stay he became very interested in how the brain works and has decided to pursue a career in medicine, possibly neurology one day,” said Becki.
“This past summer he attended a three week residential program for talented youth at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. There were a total of 20 juniors and seniors in his class, Medicine 101.”
“Without the Children’s Hospital, none of these accomplishments would be possible. CHOI was not only instrumental in restoring Kyle’s health, but also helped to shape his future and for that we will be forever grateful.”