Family Clings to Hope After Daughter, 8, Suffers Devastating Brain Aneurysm: 'She Just Needs a Break'
In just one week, the bottom has dropped out of a Texas family's world.
Last Monday, 8-year-old Holly was a happy, healthy girl playing in the living room of her grandmother's home, roughhousing with her 6-year-old sister and a few of their friends.
Out of nowhere, Holly began to scream. "She came running to my mom and she was screaming that her head hurt and she was squeezing the side of her head," the child's mother, Carla Resendiz, told InsideEdition.com on Tuesday.
Holly's grandmother was panic-stricken. She dialed 911. When the paramedics arrived, Holly had collapsed in a seizure. On the way to the hospital, she stopped breathing.
Eight days later, things have only worsened as Holly fights for her young life and her family fights a daily barrage of heartbreaking news.
"She's had a very rough time," Resendiz said. The pain in Holly's head, doctors discovered, was caused by a brain aneurysm.
Since then, her mom says "every day seems to be one thing after another," adding, "One of her lungs collapsed. She had fluid accumulating in her brain. Her blood pressure and temperature are fluctuating."
She is on a ventilator, but has developed an infection in her lungs. Doctors have placed her in an induced coma to keep her calm. She has endured a series of mini-strokes and her heart is weak.
"She can't catch a break," her mother said in a small voice. "She just needs a break."
There was a moment, on the day after her aneurysm, when Holly's vivacious spirit made a brief appearance.
And Resendiz managed to capture it on video, which has been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
"OK, Holly, how about some chocolate pudding for breakfast?" her mother asks. Holly nods her head while lying in a sea of twisting tubes. "Should we get chocolate ice cream for lunch?" her mom suggests. Holly nods again.
Broccoli is mentioned. That gets a vigorous "no" shake of Holly's blonde head.
Resendiz takes her daughter's hand and asks if she loves her mama. Holly grabs hard onto her mother's fingers.
"You keep fighting for mama," Resendiz said. "You're doing wonderful."
That marked the best day of Resendiz's life, she said.
"I'm just numb at this point. We're just waiting on them to tell us what to do next."
Holly's dad, Adam Schaub, and her little sister, Camilla, keep constant watch over the child, who was fine only days before.
"She was perfectly healthy until now," her mother said. "There was nothing. Nothing. We just had her sister's birthday party... Everything was absolutely fine. And then this just happened."
A CAT scan showed some abnormal blood vessels at the bottom of Holly's brain and doctors speculated she could have been born with them, and they may have put pressure on other vessels in her head.
But they're not sure, Resendiz said. They also don't know whether Holly has suffered brain or motor damage.
"We won't know until she wakes up ... until she's out of sedation. Her pupils constrict when they beam a light into her eyes, and that's a good sign," her mom said.
Her youngest daughter is bewildered by all that is going on.
"She's taking it hard," their mother said. "Last night, she was crying that she wanted her sister back."
Resendiz tries to maintain some semblance of normal. She put up a Christmas tree Monday night, but dissolved into tears. "It's really something when your youngest daughter tells you not to cry," she said with a sigh.
Meanwhile, her eldest daughter remains motionless in a Dallas hospital bed.
"There's nothing I can do — I'm absolutely helpless," Resendiz said. "I'm just watching. There's nothing nobody can say. There's nothing nobody can do.
"I just keep talking to her," her mother added. "I just hope she hears me."
A GoFundMe page has been established to help the family with Holly's medical expenses.