Family asks for prayers as local 11-year-old battles organ failure, serious infection

Published 11:56 am Monday, July 11, 2022

What started out as a welcomed trip back home for a local family from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee turned into a nightmare as Bella Resweber went into cardiac arrest four times and battled through organ failure throughout the weekend.

Nichole Resweber said her 11-year-old daughter continues to battle at Texas Children’s Hospital and desperately needs as many prayers as possible.

“Bella has zero immune system as of right now,” Nichole said. “Chemo has caused all of her immune system to be zero. Obviously, we need her to fight off this infection. That is the No. 1 reason she is so sick. We really need to see her immune system start to go up so it is not just the antibiotics that are fighting this off. We need to keep her blood pressure as stable as we possibly can in order to keep any more damage off her heart and kidneys.”

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Bella Resweber had a tumor removed from her brain in November.

It was the latest in a series of challenges the Nederland girl was facing in 2021 as constant headaches and vomiting led to the discovery of stage 4 pinealoblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer.

Working in the C.O. Middle School student’s favor is a loving family, a will to persevere and a talented treatment team that includes experts from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee.

Successful rounds of chemotherapy this year led Nichole and Bella to plan a quick visit back home last weekend.

They left Tennessee on Friday evening and arrived in Nederland by 3 a.m. Saturday.

It did not take much time for things to spiral.

Tough and go

Mother and daughter woke up at 8 a.m. Saturday with Bella in a lot of pain.

She had a feeding tube in her stomach and kept saying it was hurting. It was starting to get red, which is a sign of infection. The family started to pack to return to St. Jude.

“As we were about to head out the door, Bella became unresponsive and went into cardiac arrest,” Nichole said.

CPR was successfully performed at the house before EMS took her to the Medical Center of Southeast Texas, where she was airlifted to Texas Children’s Hospital.

“We barely made it here before she coded again,” Nichole said. “They were able to bring her back. She was still alert. That was amazing. Before they put her under, I was able to be there for her, talk to her, tell her I love her and tell her she was going to go to sleep and get better.

“Her one thing that she asked was ‘don’t leave me, mommy.’ I said, ‘I’m right here, baby. I’m not leaving.’”

Bella was put under sometime after noon Saturday and given a rocket booster of medicine to help her heart rate and blood pressure.

She went into cardiac arrest a third time Saturday, and medical officials told Nichole that Bella would most likely not survive the night and family should be notified.

“They literally said, they never had a kid be as sick as she has been and be on the medicines that she is on and be able to recover from that,” Nichole remembers. “Usually, the hearts don’t recover. She is defying all the odds.”

Bella went into severe septic shock.

Medical officials removed the port where the infection was so she could heal.

That surgery was made all the more risky because Bella has no immune system and no platelets.

She went go into cardiac arrest a fourth time and come through a fourth time.

“It was a minute-by-minute day and night for us,” Nichole said. “Multiple doctors and nurses were in here 24/7 and never left her side, trying to figure how they can help her.”

As of Monday morning, Bella remains in complete organ failure but has not stopped fighting.

Community love

Now, Nichole is just asking for prayers.

She said it has been truly amazing to receive support from everybody in the community who comes together to pray for her daughter.

“It really means the world to us to have that,” she said. “I really believe the power of prayer goes a long way. The miracle we really need for Bella is being delivered to her. We are just continuing with the prayers and support and reaching out to anybody and everybody we can to help.

“She is the sweetest little girl you have ever met. She is a fighter, man. She is a fighter. She is the strongest little person I have ever met. Everybody can see that. She has defied so many odds right now. She already is a miracle child.”