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We will be sharing Christina's story and adding guiding information that may help you in your search for information on TSS or Toxic Shock Syndrome, Hypoxia, advocacy in the medical arena, or trying to find answers to other questions you may have.
Christina Lee Ann Atkins, age 14, of Milton, DE, passed away suddenly on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at AI DuPont Hospital for Children. She was born in Lewes, DE on Friday, July 19, 1996, daughter of Christopher "Eddie" and Bonnie Jean (Austin) Atkins of Milton.
A straight A student all of her life, Christina was a member of the National Honor Society, she was the captain of her middle school cheerleading squad, and she was an accomplished dancer. She always welcomed the opportunity to make new friends and to include everyone in her activities. Her friends often referred to her as the "Peacemaker".
In addition to her parents, she is survived by her maternal grandparents, Linda DiStefano and her husband Louis of Pomona, CA and Arthur A. Austin Jr. and his wife Kate of Dover, DE; paternal grandparents, Cora Lee Atkins and the late Blaine Atkins; maternal great-grandmother, Madeline "Pat" Blanton of Millsboro, DE; two brothers: Bryan Austin and Michael Morris, both of Milton; two sisters: Amanda Morrisand Alana Atkins, both of Milton; a sister-in-law, Brittany Brown; three nieces: Audrey Rose Austin, Autumn Rochelle Austin, and Janell Atkins; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins. The family extends a special acknowledgement to her boyfriend Zackary Betyeman and her best friend Amanda Bunting.
Friends may visit with the family on Friday, June 3, 2011 from 5-8 PM at Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Atkins-Lodge Chapel, 16961 Kings Highway, Lewes. After the viewing, please join the family at the Lewes Fire Hall, Nassau Station (Under the Nassau Bridge) to celebrate Christina's life.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Christina Lee Ann Atkins Memorial Fund, Wilmington Trust Company, all locations will accept contributions.
One of many of the remembrances we have and create and have had created for us for Christina.
Christina was born at 7:47 AM on Friday, July 19, 1996. Through 14 years of dance, gymnastics, cheer, straight A student, and various activities, she kept her friends, made numerous new ones, and adapted to her surroundings all of the time. She was known as the "Peacemaker", not liking conflict between friends, family, or people she didn't know yet. When new kids came to school, she welcomed them. When new teachers started or were substituting, she welcomed them. She loved food, friends, family, and fun. The memories pour from us like an unending waterfall flooding our emotions between sorrow and pain and happiness. She is forever with us as we feel her all of the time. Her spirit lives on and we see her signs everywhere everyday.
In May 2011, Christina wasn't feeling well. She loved school. She loved her friends. She started missing time at school and this was not like her. After a couple of trips to her physician, she was being treated for a urinary tract infection. She would feel better as she laid in the sun, listening to music while on her trampoline. She stated she felt better and wanted to go to school to finish State Testing. She went in after feeling itchy and rashy and being up half of the night. At 9:08am the school nurse called my wife telling her that Christina wasn't feeling well, very sluggish, slurring speech, confused/confusing, etc. Some of the symptoms she has had but not nearly as bad. My wife rushed over to pick her up and took her straight to the local ER. The triage nurse asked her for a urine sample and sent her to the ER restroom. My wife having her "mom sense" felt uneasy after a couple of minutes and walked to the restroom. As she approached, she could hear that Christina was struggling inside to breath, and, being a nurse herself, knew that she was hearing respiratory distress. My wife screamed for help and access to the restroom. As the nurse rushed to her, my wife felt scolded and belittled about how she was reacting. But as the minutes ticked, no one had a key, no access to this restroom, as we later found out that the doors and locks were changed within 6 months ago from this time and no one ever got a key. They were trying pens, pins, objects of all sorts to access the restroom to no avail. Doctors, nurses, techs, maintenance... no one could get in. A doctor tried to climb through the ceiling tiles to get into the room from the other side. After about 10 minutes, a security guard was contacted 3 floors away to open the door. It was opened to find Christina slumped on the cold, restroom floor. My wife being held back and away, they got Christina back to the room and tried desperately to reassure her that Christina was fine, alert, eyes open. My wife called me while this was going on and I rushed to the hospital. When I arrived, I found Christina in bed with no oxygen mask or canula. I noticed the way she was holding her posture, her arms, etc. They wanted to perform a CT scan. I went with her. She started to vomit inside the test and I had to roll her on her side so as not to aspirate. The staff did nothing. We made our way back to the room, I asked for oxygen to be placed on her. After more tests and a spinal tap and being told that they think she had a seizure in the restroom, AI DuPont Hospital for Children was called to fly her there. She was flown out and we followed her in our car. When we arrived at AI, she was settled in with breathing machine and numerous tubes and we felt relief that she was there. As the night wore on, we were told that in the morning of May 27, 2011 she would be pulled from the machine to see where her level was. As the machine was turned off, her vitals dropped. She died that morning. They had to perform brain scans and see for sure which took until the next day (her official passing) but we as parents knew already. We held onto hope. We still do. Hoping it didn't happen. Hoping we will awaken from this. Born July 19,1996 - May 28, 2011.