Little 2-year-old Katie Barkley, the daughter of Ryan and Katelynn Barkley, is on life support in T.C. Thompson Children’s hospital. She was in an auto accident in February with her mother and suffered a damaged spinal cord, broken cervical 1-4, and a broken collar bone and arm.
The toddler had emergency surgery to remove a large blood clot on her brain and a recent MRI indicates the left brain is dead. This means she will not be able to move her right side even if her spinal cord recovers. She is on a breathing machine and feeding tube, facing possible paralysis and may even have to depend on a feeding tube the rest of her life.
The accident happened in McDonald during one of the winter storms which hit the area. Katelynn was on her way to the day care. She said there wasn’t much snow on the road, so she was doing the speed limit when she hit black ice. She felt the tires slide, then the car went down a hill and ran into a tree. Katie was strapped in her car seat in the back seat of the car and Barkley said all she heard was silence. She said she thought her little girl was dead. Mother and daughter were taken by ambulance to the hospital. Barkley suffered a shattered heel, but for Katie, it was worse. Barkley said if she had have known the roads were so bad, she would have stayed home.
Makesha Parker happened to stop at the scene of the accident and seeing little Katie caused her to take an interest in this family.
“I was very concerned for Katie’s life,” Parker said. “I had my friends on Facebook keep an eye out for any status concerning an accident in McDonald involving a little girl.”
Finally one of Parker’s friends found Katie’s page and Parker made contact with the mother. She has since met her in person, at the Ronald McDonald House, where Barkley is staying while Katie is at T.C. Thompson. The Barkleys have a 5-year-old son, also.
But a place will have to be found for Katie when she leaves T.C. Thompson. She was denied rehab to Scottish Rite in Atlanta and also denied by Shriners Hospitals for Children.
An update on Facebook brought hope: A rehabilitation facility in New Jersey is willing to accept her as long as her mom’s insurance goes through. And Barkley said she should know something about that within a few days. “If they do accept her,” she said, “they’d need Ryan to come up every weekend, whether by car or plane so that’s something needing to be figured out.” Whether the rehab denies her due to insurance or not, they need a house soon because when Katie gets to come home, their apartment will not be suitable for her needs.
“When I came in today, Katie was sitting in a wheelchair rather than in a bed — a huge improvement. She sat in it 20 minutes before being put back in bed.” An eye specialist as well as a specialist who works on testing her swallowing ability will see Katie soon so they can know how much she really is seeing and when she’ll be able to eat food without a tube.
In addition to the medical expenses, the family has other financial needs as well. Although they pray for a miracle, the bills are a reality. Currently there is a Facebook page devoted to Katie’s recovery with more than 1,800 likes.
The Facebook page is titled “Pray for 2 year old Katie Barkley.” Visit this page to learn more about Katie’s story. Any financial contributions are greatly appreciated.
Update a week ago:
“Katie made several spontaneous movements today. Course the nurses are trying to make it seem not as amazing as it is. I’d be just sitting talking to her and she’d move her leg up or move her toes. (The) majority of rehab [facilities, according to] the case manager, say ‘no’ because of Katie’s being on a vent or because Katie doesn’t respond to commands. I had given her some more (places) that were given to me this morning and she called me about 10 minutes ago saying they all said ‘no’ for the same reason. She’s waiting to hear back from three of them. She is saying if these decline her as well that she won’t be trying anymore because if the bigger, well known places all say ‘no,’ then the not so well known places will probably say the same. She said in that case if she hears from these last few and they all say ‘no,’ we will be trained on Katie’s machinery, and after fully trained that they may be able to live with Katie in the hospital for a short time to watch us and make sure that we are doing what we learned correctly and if so they will send Katie home. Our home is still not suitable by any means for her condition or her machines. So please pray we find a rehab or a home that is suitable for her to go to soon.”
Update on Tuesday:
“Should hear something hopefully today about the rehab in Baltimore. ... Hope it’s good news. I pray this one or New Jersey will take her. Please Lord please.”