Our baby boy Asher Gangadharan Krop was born on August 28th, 2015 beautiful and healthy. As we settled in for the night I remember being so happy and looking forward to the girls meeting their brother the next day. As Asher grew up, our love for him grew too. Elliot and I felt a special connection with Asher and he made our family feel complete. Adia, our oldest, was a second mom to him, holding him and watching him when I needed to go to another room. Ayla, the middle sister, was his playmate and competitor for attention. She loved hugging and manhandling him.
On December 10, 2016, when Asher was 15 months old, he had a fever. I was out of town and the kids were home with Elliot. We thought it was a cold and he would be better in a few days. The next morning, Asher still had a fever and when speaking to Elliot over the phone I could hear Asher’s breathing. I asked Elliot to count his breaths and his breaths were 80 per minute, which was way too high. Elliot rushed Asher to the children’s hospital, and soon after arrival the doctors made the decision to intubate as Asher’s oxygen saturation was too low. Upon hearing this, I booked the first flight back to Atlanta the next day as I was out of town visiting my father in the hospital. Asher was diagnosed with pneumonia due to human metapneumovirus (HMPV). HMPV can cause upper and lower respiratory disease in people of all ages, and is in the same virus family as the more widely known RSV (respiratory syncytial virus.)
Over the course of the next few days in the hospital, Asher’s health went up and down all the while I was reassured that Asher would be okay since he was a healthy boy with no known pre-existing conditions. I accepted the reality that Asher was very sick but that in some time this would all be over and he would come home.
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