The personality of Miracle Kid Reid Jones, 4, is best described by his mom, Ricci.
"Reid is a typical four-year-old boy," she says. "He's mischievous, dirty, rambunctious, and a great little brother. He's a little country boy— he loves dirt, his toys and being outside."
After Reid was born, the Jones family began their life as a family of five. Everyone was healthy and doing well until Reid became unexplainably ill three weeks before his second birthday.
"We were at a rodeo in Abilene the weekend before he got sick," Ricci recalls. "It rained all weekend and it was muddy. People were tracking through the mud, and consequently horse and cow manure, from the parking lot to the stands and back. Reid always had his John Deere tractors with him and he loved playing in the dirt. He was also a thumb sucker."
Five days after the Jones family returned home to Brady, Reid became sick.
"He was sick and we thought it was viral," Steve, Reid's dad, says. "He was fussy, had a low-grade fever, and didn't want to be put down."
Reid's condition worsened over the next day.
"I gave him a shower and he couldn't keep anything down," Ricci says. "He hadn't eaten in 24 hours. I called Dr. Wagnon's office, took my two older kids, Rance and Sydni, to school, and we headed to San Angelo. We pulled over seven times between Brady and San Angelo because Reid kept dry heaving and choking. He was so weak, he was like a limp noodle."
When they arrived at the Shannon Pediatrics Clinic, Reid was immediately sent back for lab work. Dr. Wagnon met with Ricci in his office to inform her of the results.
"Dr. Wagnon has been our pediatrician since Sydni was born," she recalls. "He was upset when he walked in the room and I knew then the news wasn't good. He asked where Steve was and I said he was in Kerrville and we couldn't wait on him, I just needed him to tell me what was going on. That's when he told me Reid had leukemia and they were waiting on us over at the Pediatrics Unit to get him started on fluids and a blood transfusion."
Ricci had to call Steve and inform him of the news.
"It's the worst feeling you've ever had, hearing the words 'cancer' and 'leukemia,'" Steve says. "I made preparations to get home as quickly as I could."
When Ricci pulled up to the Women's and Children's Hospital, nurses were outside flagging her down. Then, they told her they had some good news—further analysis of Reid's lab results revealed he had hemolytic-uretic syndrome (HUS) and not leukemia.
"The preliminary bloodwork came back as possible leukemia and we had to act quickly," Dr. Wagnon explains. "Further analysis of his blood revealed HUS, a condition that mimics leukemia. It is caused by the abnormal destruction of red blood cells. We still had a very sick kid on our hands that needed immediate medical attention."
HUS causes the damaged blood cells to clog the filtering system in the kidneys which can lead to acute renal failure. With HUS, there is also a risk of anemia, bleeds, stroke and severe dehydration. The disease can be fatal. Pieces of the puzzle began to fall into place and it was determined Reid contracted HUS while at the rodeo in Abilene. His toys were covered in the mud and he ingested particles when he sucked on his thumb.
"It had been over 48 hours since he had a wet diaper so we knew his kidneys had shut down," Ricci recalls. "They had to place an IV in each arm with the goal of flushing Reid's kidneys with fluid. Dr. Wagnon told us we needed to 'pray for pee' and that became our motto. This would mean Reid regained functionality in his kidneys and they were filtering fluid again."
"They blasted his kidneys with fluid to get them working again and they actually did," Steve adds. "This in itself is a miracle and is one reason he is still here today."
Reid spent two nights on the Pediatrics Unit at Shannon and was then transferred to Cook Children's Hospital in Fort Worth to the Pediatric ICU.
"He responded well to the fluids from his IV, but his blood counts continued to drop and he was showing signs of renal failure," Dr. Wagnon says. "We determined he needed pediatric ICU care and after a discussion with his parents, the decision was made to transfer him."
"We feel like if it wasn't for Dr. Wagnon and the nurses at Shannon, we know we might not be where we are today," Ricci says. "It made it easier and faster that they correspond with hospitals like Cook's. We also believe in the power of prayer and The Great Physician."
Reid spent the next eight days in the pediatric ICU receiving platelets to reestablish his red blood cells. He was on the verge of needing dialysis, but thankfully never had to receive any treatment. He did develop hypertension and was placed on blood pressure medication.
"The pediatric nephrologist at Cook's told us we needed to pray Reid's kidneys didn't have permanent damage," Steve says. "When test results showed there was actually no damage to his kidneys, he told us that was a miracle. He would have never thought there wouldn't be any damage."
The family's goal was for Reid to celebrate his second birthday at home. He was discharged two days before. He was able to stop his blood pressure medication after six months and follows up with his specialists twice a year.
"Now he's back to being a normal, healthy four-year-old kid who enjoys playing t-ball," Dr. Wagnon says. "We do follow him closely to keep up with his renal function. He's a miracle kid because he came out of a very serious condition without any complications- no stroke, heart failure, renal failure or hypertension."
The Jones family would like to thank everyone involved in providing care for their son during this scary time in their lives.
"We are blessed," Ricci says. "Having a sick child, and seeing other children who are battling various diseases and may not get to return home, makes you appreciate your children that much more. Now, you would never know how sick Reid was at that time. It's hard to recall those memories, but we are so thankful. Children's Miracle Network helps kids and families and that's why we like being a part of this organization. We have our own little miracle we are thankful for and if our story can help in any way, that's worth it to us."