ST. GEORGE – Kycie Terry, a 5-year-old girl who captured hearts throughout Utah as well-wishers followed her story of survival as she battled the after-effects of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes, was transported to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City via Life Flight helicopter Tuesday night.
Kycie arrived at Primary Children’s shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, Kycie’s father, Josh Terry, said, after testing positive in St. George for both rhinovirus, a common viral infection, and adenovirus, a more serious virus affecting the respiratory system.
Kycie had been sick for about 10 days, Josh Terry said, but seemed to get worse Sunday. St. George doctors intubated Kycie, placing of plastic tube into her trachea to maintain an open airway, and getting her stabilized to be transported to Salt Lake City.
Doctors diagnosed Kycie with pneumonia and pneumothorax, her father said, which is basically a partially collapsed lung.
“The pneumothorax has improved,” Josh Terry said Wednesday afternoon, “so the lung is doing better as far as the air or the collapsed lung isn’t quite as collapsed anymore. So right now, it’s just kind of a waiting game to see how she does over the next couple of days and how she responds – how her body responds to all of the fluid in her lungs and the infection.”
“It could get a lot worse or she could pull out of it, so we’re not sure,” he said, adding that it could be another two days of high-risk symptoms.
Kycie’s neck is puffy from the pneumothorax and she looks pale, Josh Terry said, but she is sedated heavily and on a paralytic.
While doctors have given her an antibiotic to keep her from any secondary infection, her father said, her body has to fight the virus on its own.
Josh and Jamie Terry, of St. George, thought their daughter Kycie had the flu when they took her to the hospital in February, but her diagnosis was much more serious.
Kycie spent months in Primary Children’s Hospital, battling the after-effects of a condition called diabetic ketoacidosis, which resulted from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.
In late January, doctors told Kycie’s parents that their daughter had suffered extensive brain damage and to prepare themselves for the worst. Kycie pulled through, however, and was able to come home to St. George in May to continue her difficult recovery process.
Kycie was continuing to undergo therapy from her home, relearning everything she once knew and was capable of doing before the illness struck.
“It could get a lot worse, or she could pull out of it,” Josh Terry said. “We just have to wait and see.”
The community continues rallying around the Terry family, offering both emotional and financial support. Organizers of the “Kisses for Kycie” Facebook page continue hosting fundraisers for the Terry family. The Terry’s GoFundMe page is still active, and while they have hit their official goal, this new setback will mean new bills and more time away from work for the Terry family.
St. George News Reporter Nataly Burdick contributed to this report.
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