The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Close call gives way to ‘extra special’ celebration
BY KATIE THISDELL
Jakey Carey is skipping school Wednesday. Instead, he’s playing at an indoor water park in Williamsburg with his five older siblings and their parents.
He’s got a pretty good excuse: Wednesday, on 12/12/12, Jakey turns 12.
“This will be an extra special one,” Jakey said earlier this week, a big smile plastered across his face at the mention of Great Wolf Lodge.
He heard about the water park from friends, and decided it would be an acceptable second choice after his mom, Bev Carey, vetoed his first suggestion of a trip to Paradise Island in the Bahamas. (He’d seen that on commercials; Mom said they needed to stay in state.)
But for the Carey family, who have lived in the Seven Lakes subdivision in Stafford County for 11 years, the birthday is special in another way.
There was a time when they weren’t sure their youngest child would live, as he had a severe febrile seizure.
In February 2002, when Jakey was 13 months old, the family was reading books before bed, Bev Carey said.
One child noticed that Jakey didn’t look good—he’d had a fever but now his eyes were rolling back and he was foaming at the mouth.
The family had just moved into their house and the phone didn’t work, so a 911 call didn’t go through.
Bev and her husband, Joe, threw all the kids into the car, without shoes or coats, and rushed to Stafford Urgent Care on State Route 610.
The urgent care office didn’t have any anti-seizure medicine on hand, and emergency crews that arrived said the infant needed to be medevaced immediately.
He had no heartbeat on the helicopter ride to Inova Fairfax Hospital. A blood-gas test showed he had very little oxygen in his body.
But the hospital didn’t have room to take him in, so he was immediately moved to Shady Grove Adventist Hospital in Rockville, Md.
He had three seizures that night and his temperature peaked at 105 degrees.
“They prepared us for the worst,” Bev Carey said.
Fortunately, Jakey pulled through.
“It was horrific. He just fought and fought, like a soldier, so that is quite a blessing,” his mother said.
Febrile seizures are most common for children under the age of 6, and may be genetic. Jakey never had any other problems.
Now the fifth-grader at Margaret Brent Elementary School is as healthy as can be.
He likes basketball, which his four sisters play, but took a break this year to try out swimming for the Sharks, a Stafford/Quantico team.
“He’s just a fish in the water,” said his mom. “He could swim from just the time he was an infant.”
Jakey said he likes social studies best in school. His class is now learning about Native Americans.
The 4-foot-9 blond-haired boy also likes nature photography, and is excited to use his new iPhone, an early birthday present.
The family normally keeps its birthday celebrations (which happen to fall every other month) low-key, by going out to Kobe Japanese Steakhouse.
“We’re busting loose—we’re breaking bad,” said Bev, a longtime IT sales rep.
She and Joe, who works for the Federal Aviation Administration, took off work, and their five other kids between the ages of 14 and 21 also took off work and school.
A few minutes after noon today, they’ll also pose for their annual Christmas picture, wearing RGIII jerseys, and Jakey will hold a sign for his birthday.
Katie Thisdell: 540/735-1975