McCrea family blown away by community support after son rushed to hospital

“Can I have a glass of water?”

Joe McCrea has never been so happy to hear those seven words as he was Friday.

Those were the first seven works his son, Joel, spoke after a week spent intubated in the hospital after a sudden event.

Joel lives with his mother, Angela McCrea, in Debden. About a week ago, Joel came to his mother complaining about a headache.

“He went to lay down. I picked him up and he started throwing up. After he threw up, he went unconscious.”

Angela watched her son for a bit. She knew something was wrong.

“I’m a registered nurse,” Angela said. “I looked into his eyes and they were presenting like a stroke.”

She called her sister to take her other kids, and then hopped into the van with her brother in law and her son and rushed to the Victoria hospital.

Joel went in for a CT scan. They found a bleed on his brain.

“They thought he was coning,” Angela said. “They thought his brain was under so much pressure … the spinal cord was going to pull out of his brain and his eye were going to start bulging. It wasn’t that severe at that point – thank goodness.”

The specialists came in. Joel was intubated, sedated and transferred, with the paediatric intensive care team, to the paediatric ICU in Saskatoon.

“The amazing, amazing neurosurgeons took care of him,” Angela said. “They put two drains to relieve the pressure in his skill, and spent a week just keeping his vital signs stable.”

Joel was diagnosed with a condition called arteriovenous malformation.

‘The arteries and veins, they’re pumping under so much pressure,” Angela said.

“It doesn’t always rupture at this young of an age, but his did.”

Joel, thankfully, is doing well.

The support from medical staff, and from the community, has blown Joel’s parents away.

Angela’s brother-in-law, Kevin, set up a gofundme page (an online, crowdsourced fundraiser) to help support the family. That campaign raised more than $1,900 in its first 18 hours. The fundraiser can be found at www.gofundme.com/little-joels-recovery.

For more on this story, please see the April 8 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald

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