HOUSTON (KTRK) --A Houston family has something extra to be thankful for this year. Back in October, their son became extremely ill. What seemed like a treatable virus at first, wound up attacking vital organs. What the hospital staff did after diagnosis was life-saving.
Right before his birthday, 4-year-old Taym woke up feeling a pain in his neck and throat.
"He was having some vomiting and a high fever" his mother," Mourin Awag told us.
Based on a recommendation, she brought him to the ER where he was diagnosed with strep.
"They gave him antibiotic and we got discharged," Mourin explained.
But two days later, his condition did not improve at all.
"We came back to the emergency because he was so sick," Mourin said.
Further tests were performed and he was placed in the pediatric ICU that evening. Moruin says his blood pressure dropped, and there was fluid in his lungs. The following morning, the doctors had told her that he needed to go on ECMO, a procedure that uses a machine to take over the work for the lungs and heart, which allows them to rest.
Dr. James Thomas said, "He had contracted a very severe infection that rendered his heart almost incapable of beating and pumping blood to the rest of the body."
And according to Dr. Christian Niedzwecki, there were other obstacles to overcome.
"We had to dialyze him because his kidneys stopped working. And that caused an awful lot of prolonged stay in a hospital bed and immobility," Dr. Niedzwecki said. "He's received physical therapy to assist with his walking. Occupational therapy to help with his activities of daily living. Speech therapy -- not just speech therapy for swallowing which is a lot of what we think of -- but also how do you think about a problem and how do you put that together."
Over time Taym's condition improved. After nearly 50 days in the hospital, they finally got the news they've been anxiously waiting for.
"We couldn't even imagine to arrive right before Thanksgiving and get to go home," Mourin said.
Discharged the day before Thanksgiving, it's something the whole family is truly thankful for this year.