It was breaktakingly fast.
In 2013, Abby arrived at the University of Michigan Hospital with almost no blood pressure. Her veins had collapsed and just the weight of the food in her stomach was enough to crush her lungs and heart.
Abby’s mom, Tammy Fountaine, said it only took hours for her then 5-year-old to go from playing to life support.
“It was devastating. You can’t even explain what you go through,” Fountaine said.
The culprit? A Wilms’ tumor. It had suddenly taken the Hartland girl to the brink, but her toughness was evident.
“As they were putting the ventilator in her, she screamed and said, ‘No.’ In fact, all of the ICU doctors at that point stood back and chuckled because any normal person would not have had the energy or that stamina to do that at the point she was at,” Fountaine said. “That’s our Abby. She’s a full fighter.”
She had to be.
Beating the Wilms’ tumor meant surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and her stint on life support.
“I vividly remember standing there crying with my husband there in the room, saying that we wanted to hear our baby girl’s voice,” Fountaine said. “You just want to see her eyes because you don’t know if you ever will and that’s devastating.”
A year after living dangerously, Abby is winning the fight. She’s in remission.
As her daughter fought her way through the ups and down, a different view on life became apparent for Fountaine.
“You look back and think of dumb thing you might have snapped at the kids for, you know, get out of the fridge, and that point you miss hearing them run to the fridge and opening the door and shutting it a hundred times a day and getting into the cupboards and, yeah, your whole life perspective changes,” Fountaine said.
Anny’s latest scan came back clean. She’s also gaining strength, weight and the energy a growing girl needs. To be sure, the vigilance hasn’t stopped.
“Everything was gone. They don’t even see spots on the lungs. So, we’re feeling great,” Fountaine said. “But the end of August is her next scan and you don’t know what’s going to happen.”
Not too long ago, Make-A-Wish sent Abby and her family to Disney.
“Everything you could possibly think of. It was a wonderful experience,” Fountaine said.
Abby is a bit shy, but did tell Local 4 about one of her favorite rides.
“I know one, Splash Mountain … it like goes up and then straight down,” she said.
Abby said she also loved the pool and her time at Sea World, where she got to feed dolphins and pet sting rays.
For now, Abby is back at home, just being a kid.
“Just playing, riding her bike, and I’m thankful every day for it,” Fountaine said. “Because, like I said, not even a year ago, I would have thought we would be where we are today.”