Safe & Sound: A Parent’s Nightmare

Liz Rappaport:

‘Liz, you have to come to the hospital now,” my husband, David, said in the office voicemail message that late April morning. “We’re in an ambulance. … Something happened to Georgia. She had some kind of seizure. I don’t know. Just come.”
My 3-year-old daughter — who just days earlier was hosting a tea party for me and her dolls — was in trouble. That’s how this mystery begins.
I rushed from the office and grabbed a taxi to our local hospital in Brooklyn. “She’s unresponsive to pain, to everything,” David told me when I called him from the taxi.
Georgia’s breathing had slowed to nearly a full stop, he said. The EMTs had jabbed her heel with a needle to gauge her responsiveness, he said. Nothing. They had then given her a shot of seizure medication. Still nothing.
I arrived through the swinging emergency-room doors to see my daughter’s tiny feet on a gurney through a gap in the white curtains. At least a dozen doctors and nurses huddled around her, working to push a tube down her throat and get her started on a mechanical ventilator.