Chaz's Page

Last updated 29.11.2004

Picture of our baby

My little Angel

Chaz before the accident


 

This page is dedicated to my 3 sons and to all parents and their families that are in the same heart-wrenching predicament.

Introduction

Chaz's Status

We need Help!

Medical Links that may Assist

Please help these little children!

To Add to This Page

Send a Comment about this page chaz@icon.co.za


Introduction

Hi - my name is Wally Da Cruz chaz@icon.co.za from Johannesburg South Africa.

 

This is our story

 

11 years ago (a lifetime to us), we were your average family ( 3 healthy sons - Chaz aged 2 - Kayle aged 7 and Judd aged 9 ) - financially independent with the normal problems every family has.

 

Then on Sunday the 6th of June 1993 our lives irrevocably changed forever.

 

We had just arrived back from watching our eldest sons football match and I had finished dishing up lunch (Chaz was sitting under the dinning room table drinking his bottle), when I decided to go to the lounge to see what sport was on the TV - Colleen my wife, came into the lounge about 3 minutes later, and asked "Where is Chaz ? " I replied "Under the dinning room table", so we went to the dining room to get him but could not find him.

 

There was no problem as all the doors leading out of the house were always closed because we had a pool on the property, and therefore we thought he may be in one of his brother's rooms playing.(he had only recently started walking!)

 

We started calling for him - Judd and Kayle answered back saying that Chaz was not in their rooms!

 

At that instant a gut wrenching panic hit me and I ran to the front door (the pool was in the back yard) and as I was half way down the stairs, I heard Judd scream, " Chaz is in the pool! "

 

I changed direction racing to the back of the house and saw this tiny little shape floating on top of the water, but with the head in the water motionless.

 

There can be nothing worse in this world than a parent seeing their child like this!

 

I dived into the freezing water from the far side of the oblong pool and lifted his water logged little body out of the water into the waiting arms of his mother. (I will never forget how angelic he looked)

We did CPR for 7 minutes before we got a heart beat, he was casavacked by helicopter to the largest hospital in Johannesburg.

 

Chaz had to be defibrillated during the flight as his pulse stopped again, and was rushed into the emergency unit where 3 doctors and 2 interns started working on him.

 

There was not enough space in the helicopter to take his mom an I, so we frantically jumped into the car and sped to the hospital.

 

Before this tragic day I had not really been the type of person that would go to church every Sunday, but because of my up bringing, I had always believed in God and prayed privately to him and Christ regularly, (it was tragically funny in that - just that morning I was said to Colleen that we should be thankful for what we have 3 healthy, handsome boys.)

 

The drive to the hospital is just a blur, all I remember was praying to God and asking him to keep our baby alive.

 

We got to the hospital and I immediately rushed into the emergency room to find Chaz stripped of his clothing and wrapped in a silver shinny heat blanket with heaters on both sides of his bed, with an oxygen mask on his grey / blue little face.

 

He had a very shallow pulse and all the doctors could say was that it was touch and go if he was going to make it.

 

Something told me that if I don't take him to a private hospital he would not make it.

 

Thank God the hospital did not have a bed for him in the ICU and they transferred him by ambulance to a private hospital.

 

On arrival a emergency trauma specialist ( I am sure God summoned him ) came from his house to handle Chaz.

 

We fought for his life from 04.00 pm to 02.00 am the following morning trying to stabilize his blood pressure and try to gradually increase his body temperature from 33.2 degrees Celsius to 35.1 degrees Celsius.

 

He was in a coma for 7 months - I had left my job so that I could be at his side 24 hr. a day.

 

On 4 occasions doctors tried to persuade us to give it up and in fact stop treating him (passive euthanasia)

 

I said under no circumstances and almost physically hit the doctor, for even mentioning the idea.

 

The doctors wanted to perform a tracheotomy, so that they would stop tube feeding him via the nose and because of the chest infections - again I said "NO.".

 

They wanted to cut his tendons in the back of his legs because he had drop foot and that he would never walk again - I said "NO."

 

Today Chaz has no specialists, only our wonderful house doctor ( Dr Danie Botha ) that has been sent us by God .

 

Judd, Kayle and myself been looking after him at home, the marriage has ended up in divorce 3 years ago, when his mother left.


Chaz's Status

He is conscious and is able to recognize us and is starting to be very verbal. ( we think he is saying no )

 

He will pull away from anything he does not like e.g. when we tube feed him , give him his nebuliser or anything associated with pain.

 

We have been told that he may be blind but we don't really know.

 

If he does not like a person he will visibly protest and in the early days would be able to get himself into such a rage that he could spike a temperature of 40 degrees plus in 20 minutes.

 

He would suffer from lots of chest / lung infections - mainly from KLEBSELLA (although he is getting stronger)

 

The problem is that we are still tube feeding him and must stimulate him to cough when we try to get him to swallow orally -he fights us all the way and will try to spit it out.

 

Physically he looks very good with the exception for the his calf muscles that have just about disappeared due to his very bad case of drop foot - he does move his feet, but they are in permanent extension.

 

Chaz with his brothers

 

Chaz and boys in the early days

 


Medical Links that may assist (some may be out of date)

Here is a list if sites (Mostly Medically orientated) that may be of some assistance. If you have access to any other information that may help others, please send it to us here at either

This is a page showing kids from the mailing list Our Kids.

 

http://www.driveninc.com/~jlyon/tbi.html

 

BRAIN INJURY PAGE http://www.tbilaw.com/

 

Homeopathy page

Hospital Web

Neuroscience brain head injury trauma stroke cognitive rehabilitation

MEDICAL MATRIX- GUIDE TO INTERNET MEDICAL RESOURCES

Journal of Cognitive Rehabilitation brain injury head injury stroke

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Med Web: Biomedical Internet Resources

Head injury

NH Head Injury Association

OKQC - Services - Rehabilitation Services

Traumatic Brain Injury: Proving a Lifetime Disability

Pharmaceutical Information Associates Home Page

Drug Database - by Trade Name (A)

The Brain Injury Association of Connecticut - Information

The Whole Brain Atlas

Disability Resources from Evan Kemp Associates

Disability Resources

The Option Institute: The Son-Rise Program(

Parenting Resources

PEDINFO Condition- or Disease-specific Info

Medline Information


After 11 years of searching for information in libraries, Universities, Medical establishments and the INTERNET, I have not found a site that can give us practical answers in laymen's terms for our situation.

So I have decided to set up this web page, as a tribute to God and the fact that Chaz is a little fighter, but also to try and get an informative site that we and other families who will be going through the same ordeal are not in the same isolated ignorance that we were forced to and still have to contend with every day.

I would like parents, positive thinking members of the Medical Community, anyone who can offer help, support or guidance on of the below mentioned subjects:

 

         Coma. - It's affects - Drugs & treatment of.

o        The effect - the care and treatment of Trauma.

o        New drugs that may be available or in testing and by who.

o        The dangers of prolonged use of certain drugs currently prescribed.

o        More information in layman's terms about Emg's - MRI's - Cat Scans - Lung infections - Nutritional requirements for bedridden patients

o        Family support systems

o        How to handle trauma in the family and with the patient.

o        Practical solutions on home nursing - physiotherapy - psychiatric advise.

o        Sourcing of medical equipment.

o        Acupuncture / Acupressure - Natural Medicine.

o        Computer software for mental stimulation or education.

o        Sources of Literature or Medical papers / research.

o        Home Rehabilitation.

o        Reflexology.

o        Holistic Healing.

The goal is that everyone can contribute and participate in building a practical Web Page for the use of all.

To use, learn and benefit from this type of calamity that could strike you or your family tomorrow.

We are far from getting our baby back to normal, but we will never stop doing everything in our power to get him there.

 

I would like to thank all those many people who have sent us emails and messages of encouragement and prays.

 

May God Bless you and all those other near drowning little souls.


To Add to this Page

If you feel you can contribute or offer other links, idea's , information or add anything, then email this to us at chaz@icon.co.za and we will update the page.