by Dennis Dalman
The Tracy and Timm Smith family of St. Joseph have endured constant worries, setbacks and anxieties during the past two months, but despite all of that, they are counting their Christmas blessings.
Their biggest blessing is that their little daughter, Tristalyn is home for Christmas after being very ill for three weeks at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.
The Smiths are the owners of the Daisy A Day floral shop in St. Joseph.
Tracy Smith described her daughter’s long battle with pain and all the setbacks associated with her illness. Three months ago, Tristalyn began feeling excruciating pains that kept getting worse and worse. In the seven weeks before being admitted to the hospital, she was in the emergency room three times. Her body had started to shut down physically and emotionally.
The pain seemed to be coming from her intestine on the right side. She had to undergo procedures that included an endoscopy and a colonoscopy. She also underwent diagnostic tests that included MRIs, an MRA and an EEG scan of her brain. This was followed by ultrasounds, CT scans, and blood having to be drawn every six hours since doctors were monitoring her kidneys, which were in decline.
As if all of that suffering were not enough, she now has pediatric chronic pain syndrome. Children’s Hospital, thankfully, does have an outpatient program for those suffering from the syndrome. If Tristalyn’s condition at home does not improve enough for the outpatient treatments, her parents will probably have to have her admitted to a hospital outside the state as there are no services for that condition in Minnesota for someone as young as Tristalyn. She would likely be in that hospital for four weeks at least.
“We are doing everything we can to get her healthy enough to start that treatment,” Tracy said, adding that the thought of her not getting better is almost unbearable because there are three young boys in the family, busy days at Daisy A Day and a grandmother who is ill and needs help from Tracy.
“We are hoping and praying Tristalyn makes big strides in the next couple of weeks,” she said.
There is a GoFundMe page for the Smiths that was posted by well-wisher Melissa Legatt of Rice. On that page, Tracy wrote this: Thank you all for praying, thinking of our family, making meals for the boys, helping us in the flower shop, sending cards, texts and gifts for Tristalyn and supporting us through such difficult times. I cannot even begin to tell you all how blessed we are to have you in our lives. I’ve been talking to Tristalyn and sharing all the love you have for her. She has big plans for spring to give back to our community, just wait and see!!”
It’s been a very rough, nerve-wracking journey for the entire Smith family. Tracy has had to close her business on many days in order to be with her daughter at Children’s Hospital. The father, Timm, is a teacher in Foley and has been taking care of the three boys and traveling back and forth to the hospital to see his daughter and his wife.
Legatt, the GoFundMe page organizer, described the Smiths as “some of the most generous people when it comes to supporting others and that Daisy A Day often donates and supports events in the community.
“It’s our turn to help them (the Smiths) while they care for Tristalyn and bring her back to her charismatic, energetic self.”
Legatt noted, Tristalyn’s horrible pains were caused by a blockage in the upper intestine. The ordeal has exhausted Tristalyn and drained her of energy. But bravely, she battles on.
In the meantime, Tristalyn is doing the best she can while back home for Christmas, even though she has to rely on a feeding tube and is unable to sit up or move around. She cannot eat or drink and hardly talks at all. She will start home health care and physical/occupational therapy at home.
“We know this will take time,” Tracy said. “We are waiting for some results from Mayo (clinic).”
“This is absolutely heartbreaking.” But Tracy, her husband and sons, and Tristalyn are determined to defeat the worries and heartbreak, with so much help from those who know and love them.
The GoFundMe page for the Smiths can be found here: