WACO, Texas (KWTX) Pierce Robinson, the 23-month old grandson of Baylor Scott & White Hillcrest Medical Center CEO Glenn Robinson, walked out of Texas Children's Hospital in Houston with the help of his elated parents Wednesday, bringing a sometimes scary and uncertain hospital stay to an end and beginning a new journey to recovery for the child and his family.
Pierce Robinson leaving the hospital with his parents. (Courtesy photo)
It's a day of freedom doctors at one point weren't sure would ever come as the toddler battled a rare form of bacterial meningitis.
Pierce initially had a fever, but on Feb. 4, the young boy woke up having seizures, a common symptom of the potentially life-threatening condition, family members said.
Doctors at an urgent care clinic near Katy, where Pierce’s parents live, tested the toddler for flu and RSV and when the tests came back negative, they concluded the child was suffering from a virus and needed to rest.
But when his condition didn’t improve, Pierce was rushed by ambulance to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston where he was immediately put in the pediatric intensive care unit.
Doctors put him into a medically-induced coma to stop the seizures, but weren't sure what would happen when they started to wake the toddler up or how extensive the brain damage would be.
“They were very careful to not give us false hope,” Pierce’s grandmother, Rhonda Robinson, told KWTX earlier.
But against all odds, Pierce's family never stopped believing the toddler would not only survive but also fully recover.
His release from the hospital Wednesday was a huge step in that direction.
"Our hearts are overflowing with thankfulness and gratitude," Pierce's parents Melissa and Jacob Robinson posted on social media.
And it's a feeling his grandparents Glenn and Rhonda echoed to KWTX, saying without the support of Central Texas, through prayers, phone calls and the distribution of "Praying for Pierce" signs all over town, they don't think they could have survived what they describe as life's darkest days.
"This has been the hardest of journeys we have ever walked," Glenn and Rhonda said.
"We would not have made it without the love, support and prayers of so many people. Waco has been a rock for all of us. No matter how dark the days or nights we always knew people were bringing Pierce's name to our Father in Heaven. This is the day we have prayed for, hoped for and cried for since Feb. 4.
Glenn and Rhonda say Pierce's continued recovery is a miracle and say many of his nurses and former doctors have been moved to tears by the unexpected medical progress he's made.
Pierce will still undergo at least four days of weekly therapy at home as the toddler continues to relearn how to walk, talk and eat.
His parents say they are thankful for all the prayers and ask that they continue as they adjust to a new normal in life.
"We ask that you pray for his continued strength and focus as well as his eating and speech. We also ask that you pray for Melissa and I as we adjust to the new "normal" of therapies daily and adjusting to a new life."