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CMN Month of Miracles: Blake Collie’s story

Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 8:41 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -

When you have kids, you know you have to expect the unexpected. One moment everything can be fine, the next you can be dealing with an emergency.

One Washington family experienced that crisis and is thankful they had James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital in Greenville to turn to.

It was the day before heading back to school last September, so Caroline and Mark Collie decided to take their kids to the pool. That carefree day turned to life and death in an instant.

Caroline says, “All of the kids were playing. We were having a good time at the pool and Blake came over and said he had a headache. He was holding his head saying I’m gonna die.”

Caroline and Mark grabbed their 8-year-old son, jumped in the car, and rushed him to the ER at Vidant Beaufort.

Caroline and Mark Collie
Caroline and Mark Collie((WITN))

Mark says, “As I was backing up, I looked in the rearview mirror and saw his eyes roll into the back of his head. I just thought what is going on. This is far more serious than we know.”

Doctors quickly diagnosed Blake with a brain aneurysm. He had a significant amount of bleeding on his brain and was flown to Maynard Children’s Hospital and the beginning of a 48-day journey.

Blake had drains inserted in his skull to remove the excess blood, and surgery to stop the bleeding. Doctors placed him in a medical coma where he suffered a stroke. His diagnosis at that moment was bleak.

His mom remembers thinking, “Is this the last time you’re going to see him alive.”

But Blake was a fighter and his parents found strength where they could.

An unlikely moment of hope came when they saw the Captain America blanket nurses had placed over him. Unknown to the nurses, it was Blake’s favorite superhero and one he would even pretend to be. His brother drew comics with Blake as Captain America. And now he was ready to show some of that real-life superhero strength.

After 22-days in pediatric intensive care, Blake was well enough to head to rehab where he learned to walk and talk again.

Today there’s no stopping Blake. He loves to play with his brother and sisters. Blake says they, “Jump, swing, run around.”

Caroline says, “The fact that he was airlifted so quickly, and seen in Greenville so quickly, that the right specialist was there who could do the things that needed to be done so quickly. It saved his life.”

In addition to the care at the hospital, the community rallied around Blake. A quilt with more than 100 squares on it represents different individuals offering their prayers and support. But that support extended beyond eastern Carolina.”

Pointing to a map full of stick on stars, Caroline says, “We started putting stars on the map of each place around the world where there were different people praying for Blake.”

And now Blake is a shining star, even more than a superhero.

Mark says, “If you see our kids running around this yard and you don’t know and we say seven months ago one of those children had a brain aneurysm, I bet you would struggle to point out which one.”

Caroline agrees. “Blake is amazing. I absolutely 100 percent feel like Blake is a miracle.”

And you can continue to help make miracles happen by making a donation at 877-719-5437. We’ve also got a Month of Miracles special coming up on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. on WITN.

Copyright 2020 WITN. All rights reserved.

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