-- Woman Was Struck By Mystery Illness. It Took Ten Years To Discover What It Was

 Kathi Wilson was a loving wife and mother raising her family in Indiana. At one point, she fell ill with what she thought was the flu or a cold. Yet, her illness didn’t get any better over time and no treatment seemed to help. For the most part, she was bedridden until she learned the source of her illness. It took an astonishing ten years, but thanks to a few home contractors, Kathi learned the truth. She decided to share her story because it could save someone else’s life — even yours. 

She Was Just A Regular Mom

Kathi Wilson, 41, was a native resident of the town of Shelbyville, Indiana, just outside of Indianapolis. She led a quiet life as a mother and wife and had a job working at the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

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YouTube/ WTHR

She was a hard-working and positive woman who didn’t let the small things get her down. Kathi, however, was unaware that her life would soon be affected in ways she never would have imagined. 

She Did Her Best To Stay Healthy

Healthy Lifestyle
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Although Kathi wasn’t obsessed with being healthy, she did her best to take care of herself. She made sure that she and her family members ate healthily and exercised, and she was rarely sick. 

That’s one of the reasons why her illness over 10 years ago was so bizarre. Being ill for so long was very unusual, because even when she did get sick she would recover quickly. 

She Thought It Was Just A Common Cold

A Common Cold
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Much like with a common cold, Kathi woke up one day feeling generally under the weather. She was exhausted, weak, and her whole body sensed that something is wrong. Although this was unusual for Kathi, she didn’t dwell on it too much. 

She just assumed that she had come down with a common cold, or maybe a flu at the worst. She even suspected a particular culprit for making her sick.

Was It Stress From Her Job?

Work
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Kathi enjoyed her job at the DMV, however, just before getting sick, she had been working especially hard. She assumed that the stress of her job had finally got to her, causing her to come down with a cold. 

However, her illness soon began to affect both her family and work life. People who knew her began to think that maybe Kathi’s sickness wasn’t just some passing cold after all. The stress of being sick didn’t help her feel better, either. 

Her Condition Was Getting Worse

Worse And Worse
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As Kathi’s health continued to deteriorate, her family became increasingly worried about her. It wasn’t like her to be so sick for so long, and it was clear she was dealing with a more serious illness than just a cold. Still, Kathi held out hope that she’d start feeling better any day. 

The opposite happened. Every day, she woke up feeling weaker than the day before which began seriously affecting her. When she couldn’t go to work or help with the family anymore, she was devastated.

The Symptoms Weren’t That Strange

No Stranger
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One thing that was particularly odd was that Kathi’s symptoms were all things she had felt before. They were very similar to the flu, but the illness wasn’t showing any sign of slowing down. Usually, Kathi was back on her feet just a few days after getting sick. Not this time. 

Her whole body ached, she lost her voice due to coughing, and she was coming to the realization that this might be something more serious. Frustrated that nobody knew how to help her, she took matters into her own hands. 

Taking Action

Taking Action
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Assuming that this mystery illness could be beaten, Kathi mustered up the energy to go to the drug store. There, she got a variety of over-the-counter medications to ease her symptoms. She also got vitamins and other nutrients to help boost her immune system. 

Normally, regular over-the-counter medications would be enough to help her feel better from a cold, but that wasn’t happening. By this point, she decided to see a doctor.

Nothing Seemed To Work

Nothing Worked
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The more that Kathi tried to heal herself, the worse her symptoms became. Her next step was to seek the advice of a medical professional. It was her last hope and she was desperate for answers at that point. 

She was also getting a little scared. Figuring that a doctor would be able to tell her what’s exactly wrong, she was ultimately let down. The doctor couldn’t find what was wrong with her either. 

Her Test Results Were Surprising

Following Doctor's Orders
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The doctor decided to run some tests to see if they could come up with anything at all. The results were shocking. According to the check-up and tests, Kathi was perfectly healthy. Kathi was in disbelief since she felt so awful all the time. How could she be in good health? 

The doctor told her that there wasn’t anything physically wrong with her, although they did manage to rule out some specific illnesses. The doctor told her to stay home from work, which she did. 

She Followed The Doctor’s Orders

Test Results
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Kathi made sure to follow her doctor’s advice and took time off work to give her body a chance to rest and heal itself. By this point, she had been sick for many weeks and was desperate to feel better. 

Oddly, the more time Kathi spent at home, the worse her symptoms became. Being at home appeared to be having a negative effect on her health. Now, she knew it was time to return to the doctor. 

Even More Tests

More Tests
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The doctor thought they should run some more tests. It was time to figure out what was wrong with her. They did blood tests, heart tests, an EKG, an MRI, a CT scan, and more to get to the bottom of Kathi’s ailment. 

It sure seemed that she would finally get the answers she has been patiently waiting so long for. Unfortunately, for Kathi and her family, that wasn’t the case. 

Frustration Mounted And Still No Answer

Still No Answer
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Kathi was understandably disappointed when she learned the doctors still didn’t find anything. No answer turned up, regardless of the number of tests that Kathi was subjected to. She had been resting at home for weeks and her frustration was mounting.

Now, she was growing increasingly more worried that the doctors would never be able to give her answers. The doctors that worked with Kathi were equally baffled by her condition. 

She Needed Help, And Fast

Needed Help, Fast
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Unsurprisingly, Kathi was becoming more and more emotional each day, as the mystery illness continued to take its toll on her mind and body. “The more I stayed home, the more I slept, the more I got sick,” she recalled.

The more she rested at home, the worse her condition became. It even got to the point that she couldn’t move around the house unassisted. 

It Was Taking A Toll

Regular Mom
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After all of the tests and discussions with doctors, Kathi remained undiagnosed. Her condition continued to worsen every day. She was completely distraught that nobody could give her answers, and she struggled with not only her physical health but increasingly with her mental health as well. 

She had been suffering for so long that she began to give up hope entirely and was beginning to accept the fact that she might never feel better.

She Suffered For Over 10 Years

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The weeks turned into months and the months turned into the years, with Kathi still being affected by her condition. She finally decided to live the best she could even though she was constantly suffering. 

Kathi lived with her mystery illness for about a decade. Oddly, her husband and daughter contracted chronic bronchitis as well as repeated bouts of pneumonia during this time. Despite these health challenges, the family decided to undergo a home remodel. 

They Remodeled Their Bathroom

Remodel
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In order to keep their home up-to-date, the family decided that it was time to renovate their bathroom. There was a consensus that the bathroom remodel was exactly what the house was missing. 

They hired local construction workers to handle the job. When contractors Doug Trucker and brothers Evans and Luze Duran first entered the house, they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. 

They Found What The Doctors Couldn’t

Mystery Solved
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As it turned out, there was something very wrong with the house, which could likely be connected to Kathi and her family’s ailments. 

After learning that Kathi had been sick for over 10 years, the contractors came to the conclusion that the house might be causing her sickness. During all those years of suffering and medical tests, nobody thought to take a look at the house they lived in to make sure it wasn’t the source of Kathi’s illness. 

Mystery Solved

The Found What The Doctors Couldn't
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In order to remodel the bathroom, they needed to disconnect the water heater, and that’s where the workers saw it. The pipes connecting to the water heater to the furnace hadn’t been fitted properly, causing a leak into the entire house. 

For more than ten years, deadly carbon monoxide had been leaking into the Wilsons’ house, undetected. The construction workers had quickly discovered what was causing Kathi and her family to become ill.

Construction Workers To The Rescue

To The Rescue
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After discovering the problem, the contractors were quick to notify Kathi and her family about their finding. Understanding the danger of carbon monoxide, she knew that the leak must be the cause of her illness, and staying inside had only made it worse. 

Contractor Luze Duran described the leak as “the worst I’ve ever seen.” The workers fixed the leak immediately and Kathi was beside herself with excitement. She couldn’t believe she was finally going to get her life back. 

On The Road To Recovery

Road To Recovery
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After the construction workers fixed the leak, Kathi was able to start getting her life back on track. It would take some time, but people were positive that she would get back to her old self eventually. 

As exhausted as she was from the whole ordeal, she was just happy that it was over. At first, she still had a hoarse voice, but she was the happiest that she’d been in ten years. Her life had truly changed. 

Kathi’s Eternally Grateful

Eternally Grateful
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In the end, Kathi made a miraculous recovery from her illness, thanks to everyone who helped her throughout the years. She’s even grateful for all the doctors and medical staff who were unable to help. She doesn’t have any hard feelings. 

Of course, the people she’s the most thankful for are the contractors who literally saved her life. Who knows what would have happened if they weren’t there to discover the leak. “They were my angels. They brought me back to life,” she says.

Protecting Others

Protecting Others
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After Kathi’s incredibly close call, she wanted to make sure that the same thing didn’t happen to anyone else. She wanted to educate people on what to do in a situation when there’s carbon monoxide leaking. 

She instructs others about the importance of maintaining your house and double-checking devices that could harm you or your family. She believes that learning the warning signs is crucial too, because it would have saved her a decade of suffering. 

Being Prepared

Staying Prepared
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Today, modern homes are required to have carbon monoxide alarms in the United States and many other countries. While the Wilsons had an alarm, they didn’t have it installed in the proper location, which prevented it from being triggered. 

They learned their lesson and paid for it. They were using a ceiling unit which doesn’t always work, because carbon monoxide is heavier than air. Detectors need to be placed low to the ground, usually into electrical outlets. 

The Silent Killer

pipe
YouTube/ WTHR

Unfortunately, the only way to detect carbon monoxide is with a carbon monoxide detector. There’s no smell, taste, or color which makes it particularly dangerous. This is why it’s important to get an effective monitor and place it in a proper area. 

It’s even more important to be wary during the winter months, when it’s more likely to leak from furnaces, fireplaces, and generators. 

Meet Alhanna And Ricky

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Alhanna and her fiance Ricky had an instant connection when they met. They knew they wanted to spend their lives together and start a family, so they decided to try for a baby right away.

At times it seemed like Alhanna would never conceive, but then one day, she received the greatest news of all: she was pregnant!

Keola Was Just As Excited That Her Mom Was Pregnant

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

It didn’t take long for Alhanna and Ricky’s dog Keola, an American Akita, to realize that Mom was pregnant. While Keola had always been a sweet pup ready to cuddle at any moment, it was clear that seeing her Mom like this made her feel even more tender.

Keola was constantly by Alhanna’s side as her belly grew bigger by the day. Instead of going out on the town, most evenings were spent relaxing on the couch with Keola’s head resting on Mom’s belly.

Keola Started Acting Strange

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

By the time Alhanna was around four months pregnant, Keola started acting strangely. The usually peaceful and snuggly pup suddenly seemed to be completely different. Instead of watching over Mom with a gentle touch, Keola started whimpering and pawing at Alhanna’s belly for what seemed like hours.

At one point, Keola tried to bury her nose in Alhanna’s belly like she was trying to get something out. At first, Alhanna and Ricky didn’t think twice about their dog’s behavior.

Alhanna’s Pregnancy Seemed to Be Going off Without a Hitch

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Alhanna truly enjoyed being pregnant. At the beginning of her pregnancy, she was lucky enough to avoid experiencing any of the less-than-ideal symptoms some moms-to-be have to deal with. She and Ricky were eager to meet their little one. They couldn’t wait to become parents and start growing their family and by the looks of it, the rest of Alhanna’s pregnancy was going to be a breeze.

Keola continued to act weird around Alhanna, poking and prodding at her belly, but the couple concluded it was just a phase.

Alhanna Started Feeling Sharp Pains

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Alhanna’s pregnancy was going great until she hit 16 weeks and the unthinkable happened. It was then that she suddenly started experiencing sharp pains in her lower back. The pain was so severe that she could hardly walk or talk. 

Doubled over in pain, her mind went to the worst-case scenario. Was her baby alright? Would she and Ricky get to live out their dream of becoming parents? Ricky rushed his fiance to the hospital and prayed for the best.

Alhanna Was Rushed to the Hospital

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Doubled over with pain, Ricky rushed Alhanna to the hospital where a doctor saw her right away. The couple was anticipating scary news, but to their surprise, the doctor said Alhanna and the baby were fine.

The medical staff told Alhanna and Ricky that the pregnancy was taking its toll on her body and that she simply needed to take it easy and get as much rest as possible until the baby was born. Relieved, Alhanna and Ricky went home.

The Couple Was Relieved to Be Home (and Exhausted!)

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Alhanna and Ricky left the hospital and headed home. The two were so relieved that their baby was healthy. All they wanted to do was get home and relax while cuddling with their pup Keola.

Alhanna was still experiencing sharp pain in her lower back, but all she could do now was trust in her doctor. She returned home, got comfortable in bed, and tried to sleep off the lingering pain that she was feeling.

Venting On Facebook

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

The next day, Alhanna shared an update on her Facebook so her friends and family would know what was going on. She detailed her scary symptoms and how her doctor told her she and her baby were fine. Alhanna also added how Keola had been acting strangely the last few weeks.

Friends and family were quick to offer their support for the couple, but many weren’t shy about commenting on Keola’s behavior. Soon enough, Alhanna had multiple people urging her to trust Keola’s instinct, saying that she should go back to the doctor.

Was Keola Trying to Tell Her Something?

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

At this point, Alhanna didn’t know what to do. The last few days had been completely exhausting for the mom-to-be and she didn’t want to step on her doctor’s toes by insisting that something might be wrong.

But after her pain didn’t let up, Alhanna was starting to believe that Keola might be right. After all, Keola’s behavior had been extremely unusual for some time now. Was it possible that Keola was trying to tell her something?

Alhanna’s Mom Steps In

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

By now, Alhanna was hearing from friends and family from all over that she should go back to the doctor. She didn’t feel her best but still, she was unsure what to do. It wasn’t until one person, in particular, urged her to get a second medical opinion that she changed her mind: her mom.

Alhanna’s mom was certain that Keola’s behavior wasn’t a coincidence. The next day, Alhanna decided to go to work and deal with the pain, but something very bad was about to happen.

Keola Blocked the Door So Alhanna Couldn’t Go to Work

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

The next morning, Alhanna woke up, still in pain. She decided, however, that she would try and tough it out at work. She got ready and was about to head out the door when Keola wouldn’t let her leave. She was jumping up and down and whining while barricading the door.

Alhanna had no idea what had gotten into Keola. Then, Alhanna collapsed. Ricky heard the commotion and quickly rushed Alhanna to the emergency room.

Alhanna and Her Family Look for Answers

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Now in the emergency room, Alhanna was stabilized and explained her ongoing symptoms, although she didn’t insist she was partially returning because of Keola. The doctor gave Alhanna a thorough exam and ran a series of tests to determine if there was anything serious causing Alhanna’s pain and collapse or if it was simply the stress of her pregnancy as the other doctor had suggested.

Alhanna, Ricky, and her mom patiently waited for the results.

She Had a Double Kidney Infection

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

After her exam and series of tests, Alhanna’s doctor returned with bad news. Alhanna didn’t just have a kidney infection, she had a double kidney infection. More than that, her vitals were so bad that if she had waited any longer, Alhanna and her baby could have died.

On one hand, Alhanna was relieved the pain wasn’t all in her head, but now she feared for her life and her unborn baby’s life.

Undergoing Treatment

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Alhanna’s doctor knew that time was of the essence. She was at serious risk of losing her pregnancy, or worse, both she and the baby’s lives. Her doctor placed her on a serious regimen of antibiotics and provided the necessary care and treatment to stop any further damage to her kidneys.

Alhanna felt like she was now in good hands, but she was completely distraught over the prospect of losing her child.

The Treatment Worked

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

After a few scary and stressful weeks, Alhanna completed her antibiotic regimen and got plenty of rest. Along the way her doctor carefully monitored Alhanna and the baby. Thankfully, the care and treatment worked. Alhanna’s kidney infections cleared up and she and her baby were happy and healthy.

All that was left for Alhanna and Ricky to do now was to wait for the arrival of their newest family member!

Alhanna and Ricky Welcomed a Healthy Baby Boy

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Finally, after what seemed like a lifetime, Alhanna gave birth in November of 2015. She and Ricky welcomed a precious baby boy whom they named Lincoln.

The couple was instantly smitten. They couldn’t believe that after all this time, they were finally parents. And although Alhanna had dealt with a serious health scare, Lincoln was here and he was healthy! The couple couldn’t have asked for more. Above all, they were so grateful for Keola.

Bringing Lincoln Home

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

After Lincoln was born, Alhanna and Ricky spent a few days with him in the hospital. The couple was excited to finally get to bring their little man home, mostly so they could introduce Lincoln to Keola.

While reflecting on her pregnancy, Alhanna couldn’t stop thinking about Keola and how she was trying to tell Alhanna something was wrong for weeks. Alhanna felt an immense love for Keola and didn’t know how she would ever repay her precious pup.

Keola Was Smitten With Lincoln

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Alhanna and Ricky returned home with their newest addition in tow. Keola was immediately ecstatic when she realized that Mom and Dad had a new baby brother with them. Just as Alhanna and Ricky thought, Keola was instantly smitten with Lincoln.

Right off the bat, Keola was extremely interested in Lincoln and would not leave her little brother’s side. It was like Keola had known Lincoln all along.

Keola Was Always at Lincoln’s Side

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Alhanna and Ricky now realized that Keola had been trying to tell them something was wrong the entire time. So naturally, they weren’t surprised when Keola had a very strong bond with their son.

From the moment they brought Lincoln home, Keola was always by his side. Whether Lincoln was napping, feeding on the couch, or playing with toys in his room, Keola was there. Lincoln had a built-in best friend!

Gentle at Heart

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Keola is a big dog compared to a tiny baby, so naturally, Alhanna, Ricky, and their friends and family were worried about her accidentally harming Lincoln. But after seeing the two interact, it was apparant that Keola realized their size difference. Keola was always sure to be extra gentle around Lincoln whenever the two were cuddling or playing.

It really did seem like Keola had that “sixth sense” some animals seem to possess!

Growing Up Together

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Before Alhanna and Ricky knew it, Lincoln was turning one year old. He was truly growing up right in front of their own eyes – and fast! Throughout the first year of his life, Keola was always there was Lincoln’s side. The two spent hours playing together, going on walks with Mom and Dad, and cuddling.

It was clear that the two had a very unique and special bond that you don’t see every day!

Ready for a Walk!

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

One of the family’s favorite things to do together is going on long walks around their neighborhood and at the park. While Alhanna and Ricky push Lincoln in his stroller, Keola is always trotting alongside his little brother and best friend.

What’s even more adorable is that Alhanna says Keola knows when it’s time for their daily walk. When she gets Lincoln dressed, Keola knows it’s almost time and starts jumping up and down.

Nap Time Is a Whole Lot Cuter These Days

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Of course, going on a long walk can be tiring, so nap time is a must. Never to leave her best friend behind, Keola insists on taking naps with Lincoln. It doesn’t get much cuter than this does it?

It’s clear that Keola and Lincoln share a special bond. Alhanna and Ricky knew the two’s bond was special, but they never anticipated others would think their dog and son’s close relationship was special too.

Honoring Keola

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Alhanna truly felt like Keola had saved her life and Lincoln’s lives. She believed Keola a was hero and apparently, everyone else did too! Keola’s story went viral and soon enough, she was nominated for an Animal Hero Award by the RSPCA.

As part of being nominated, Keola got to attend the award ceremony with Alhanna and Ricky where she received an award and, of course, lots of dog treats for being a true animal hero.

That Smile Says It All

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Lincoln may still be just a baby, but it’s apparent that he understands the special bond between him and Keola and we’re sure their bond will only strengthen with time.

It’s tough to imagine how things would have turned out for Alhanna and Lincoln had Keola not been there to tell everyone something was wrong. Thanks to Keola, both Mom and baby are doing great. Just look at that smile! We think it says it all.

Lincoln Is Happy and Healthy

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Facebook / Alhanna Butler

Now that Lincoln is a toddler, Alhanna and Ricky often find themselves reflecting on her pregnancy and the serious double kidney infection that almost took she and Lincoln’s lives.

The parents are so grateful for Keola’s warning and feel immensely lucky that Lincoln is happy and healthy today. Not only do Alhanna and Ricky get to watch their son thrive, but they get to watch him do so alongside Keola.

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