Isabelle "Izzy" Hodges is already the firecracker of her family and isn't even two years old yet. She loves coloring and being with her older siblings, Drew and Grace, but isn't going far from home. About a month ago, her parents, Mike and Laurel, noticed she was sick and it's been a rollercoaster since then, and lots of uncertainty for the whole family.
"She had a fever for a number of days," Mike recalled. "She was not eating much, drinking a lot. And then doctors told us that it could be viral or maybe bacterial. So they gave us some antibiotics. Nothing changed. So they did some more blood draws, some more tests. And then that next day, which was a Wednesday, was when they told us that morning they'd be flying us in the helicopter to Kalispell. It's something you'd never want a kid to go through."
Now the Hodges are adjusting to a life of weekly trips to the hospital. Blood draws and uncertainty. Doctors feared she had a type of leukemia, but there's been no diagnosis because all the tests done so far have been inconclusive.
"It just felt different from the other illnesses my kids have had," Laurell said. "You know, usually if you give them Tylenol, they'll get up and get a little perkier. She just wasn't feeling perkier at all, but now she's better. Her blood counts are actually rising on their own which is rare. She's kind of weird. They call her kind of a medical conundrum."
Even with the uncertainty, the Hodges are sticking together with one another and their community, who have shown a lot of support this last month. Both Mike and Laurell's jobs have found ways to help the family and they continue to see support for their little girl.
"Our families have stepped up and taken care of our kids while we've been gone," Laurel said. "The Mercy Flight alone is expensive, not to mention two or three weeks in the hospital. And then the whole community, you know, with the GoFundMe, has been very supportive. We've been amazed and my home community of Valier as well has helped."
"I guess it's kind of overwhelming a little bit, you know. Just the immediate incredible outpouring of support," Mike said. For now, the Hodges' will continue to monitor Izzy with weekly blood draws. They said there isn't much of a timeline for an official diagnosis, but as they continue to wait and monitor their baby, they and everyone else knows they got a fighter in Izzy.
"She's a trooper. She made a reputation for herself pretty fast at the hospital," Mike joked, "but our family is doing about as well as we can be Everyone's been so supportive."
If you would like to donate to help the family, click here to visit the GoFundMe page.
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