Grafton Child Airlifted from NHH to Sick Kid’s with Serious Strep Infection

In Editor Choice, Local

While their daughter is in serious condition in Sick Kids Hospital a Grafton family is going public to bring awareness of how fast a fever can escalate.

Eight-year-old Cali Jones will be sedated for weeks after being airlifted from Northumberland Hills Hospital on Friday with a serious strep infection. Her parents, Trevor and Caitlin are by her bedside.

“Everything is minute to minute,” Cali’s father Trevor said to Today’s Northumberland on Sunday, March 10, 2024.

“I will say at this time we are not out of the woods at all…but she is stable.”

The couple has six children with Cali being the youngest who is in grade three at Grafton Public School.

Trevor has opened up his Facebook account to share what is happening with their daughter who was supposed to be celebrating her ninth birthday this weekend (even though her birthday is actually March 13).

“Cali has been marking off the days that she was having her birthday and her party. She was so excited to be nine “

The turn of events started on Friday when Trevor said his daughter wanted soup for breakfast.

Ironically, his nickname for Cali is “Soup.”

“She wasn’t looking good,” said Trevor.

On Friday morning before going to the hospital, Cali vomited three times.

The last time was red,, brown, then red again.

“Her lips were turning blue.”

Caitlin made her get dressed, even though Cali said she is fine and walking around.

They parked at the emergency parking and Cali and her mother walked into the hospital straight to triage .

Trevor said the triage nurse was trying to get vitals and they were not coming up on the finger sensor.

Hospital staff quickly got her a room after being assessed in triage.

“They tried to get iv in her and they couldn’t get veins. All they said is that she is very very sick.”

They finally got a vein and did the bloodwork.

“All Cali would say is that she wanted to go home.”

The team at NHH told Cali she had to be “put to sleep” so they could take care of her.

Cali’s only response was “when am I going to wake up?”

So his wife to Cali to Northumberland Hills Hospital.

At the time, he was out at his Aunts.

“When I got a message that they were going to sedate her, that’s when my panic kicked in.”

When Trevor arrived at the hospital he said there were upwards of 15 people in the room with his daughter.

“Emotions were running wild. I’ve never seen all this before with all the machines beeping and people hurrying with no explanation.”

The couple did receive news, but Trevor described them as “answers, but not answers.”

“She had an infection in her body.”

But they weren’t sure whether it was viral or bacterial. So they started treating her for both and called Ornge (air ambulance).

Their daughter’s heart was beating at 170 beats-per-minute. Her kidneys were failing and her blood pressure was extremely low.

As parents, all they could do was watch and listen.

Trevor said two doctors were flown in with the air ambulance.

With a number of people helping their daughter – things suddenly got worse in the hallway where the parents were waiting for news.

A naked person was running around the halls screaming and chasing doctors and nurses.

The person tried to rip off the monitors that are bolted to the nurses station. He succeeded in smashing one of the monitors on the ground. Throwing Popsicles all around.

“The doctor’s in the room asked for us to come in and close the non-locking doors.”

“I stood at the doors as they put a hospital bed between me, the doors and everyone working on Cali.”

Trevor said the adrenaline was pumping as he was waiting for the person to come into their room.

Police finally came and things calmed down as his daughter was prepared to be air-lifted for the trip to Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto.

The couple were told, they were concerned because they couldn’t get Cali stabilized and were concerned she may go into cardiac arrest in flight.

“This may not be a good outcome,” wrote Trevor.

“But neither is staying in Cobourg. Off she goes.”

Trevor and Cailtin headed home to Grafton preparing for the trip to Sick Kids when the phone rang.

Cali made it to Sick Kids, “but still not doing well.”

“We get here and Cali seems so peaceful. Nothing like what we just watched.”

Cali’s blood pressure is up, but still not high enough. Her heart rate is better – in the 140’s.

“But still no answers.. its a infection in her body.”

At 1:15 a.m. on Saturday morning the couple were told Cali has what is believed to be a bacterial infection.

It’s believed it is Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

“They have it somewhat under control.”

The fluid around Cali’s lungs had to be drained.

If that didn’t work, they would be inserting a camera to see if there are “chunks” in her lungs. Last case scenario would be to hook up Cali to a blood oxyinizer machine called a ECMO.

The machine controls the blood and oxygen levels so that the organs and brain receive both blood and oxygen so that there is no brain damage or organ failure.

“They only thing, there is risks with that.”

Bleeding in the brain and/or intestines.

“It’s a hefty decision on what to do,” wrote Trevor.

“They can’t give statistics on the outcome of this machine, because every person and situation is different.”

Their little girl who was to celebrate her ninth birthday has overcome so much in such a short time.

“In the last 12 hours she has fought hard.”

“Keep (up the) fight Cali – Mom and Dad love u”

At 2:25 a..m. on Saturday morning Trevor wrote that Cali could be on the machine for up to two weeks.

“(Cali is) not even close outta the woods yet.. they put a tube in and drained.”

“All I can say is she is in good hands. Her little lungs have to heal so she can breath properly.”

The lung issue is because she aspirated when the first breathing tube went in.

Shortly after 5 a.m. Trevor wrote the machine was hooked up.

“Everything went ok.”

With the help of the machine, Cali’s oxygen was back in the normal range.

By 8 a.m., the oxygen levels were “a lot better.”

Trevor said the machine takes the blood from the heart, mixes with oxygen and pumps it back into the body.

With Cali being somewhat stabilized, the couple got two hours of much needed sleep.

But by 12 p.m. on Saturday, the hospital still hadn’t figured out what was caused Cali’s condition.

Doctors asked to couple questions about pets and animals.

Cali was hooked up to numerous machines.

At one point Trevor said he found out when a machine was hooked up Cali’s heart stopped for two minutes.

“She went into cardiac arrest. But they were able to bring her back and straighten out the levels.”

“As far as we know there are multiple infections that she is fighting.”

By Saturday night, things were improving.

Trevor said it was “baby steps,” but in the right direction.

“Looked at the screens and see that blood pressure is looking better with less meds.”

Trevor believes doctors are trying to remove medications slowly to see how her body will react.

“We keep hoping and praying – and she keeps fighting.”

By Sunday afternoon Sick Kids confirmed, the infection is a invasive group – strep.

“Now that we know what is going on with the infection, the “unknown” is not a worry.”

Although Cali is stable as of Sunday evening, Cali is not out of the woods yet.

“There can be a switch at any moment.”

The ECMO machine can cause brain bleeding, “and then the very unfortunate can happen.”

Until then, Cali will be sedated for at least two weeks.

“Cali’s little lungs have to heal before they will try to let the oxygen back into her and breath on her own.”

The family did run into the crew of Ornge at Sick Kids on Sunday.

“I tell ya they are a great team.”

With all the commotion going on in Northumberland Hills Hospital. With dealing with Cali getting her stable. And only having a brief conversation with one of the team in Cobourg. Then down in the atrium (at Sick Kids) there they are.. and there he is.. looked at us and started with the, “how is Cali?”

“The whole team here at Sick Kids, the Ornge team, the NHH team.” “Everyone has been totally amazing.”

The family wanted to bring awareness to what is happening to his family and how fast a fever can escalate.

“The signs that Cali had something were a rash, fever and pains in the body…so don’t put it off.” .If anyone would like to donate with a e-transfer just to help with expenses Caitlin’s e-mail is


Trevor posted a patch that was given to him from a Ornge (air ambulance) crew member.
This is for Cali… even though she won’t remember it, she went for a helicopter ride she was loaded into Ornge, the one crew member, came running back to give me this to give to Cali. This ride is not one that we wanna remember either. Been one hell of a stressful day.. and more stress to come in the next few hours.. she is being worked on by a amazing team. Once again it go’s to show you never know what is going to happen . Love you Cali

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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