Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The scariest moments.
This is Adam, Grace's father. Miranda has been at home with the older boys the last few nights, so I will be doing the update. On Monday evening a large clot of blood that had been building up in the lines of Grace's ECMO (Heart Lung Bypass) machine dislodged itself and began to travel through the machine. It stopped in the artificial lung and immediately shut down the machine and caused Grace to be off of support. I was in the room visiting when this happened. The room turned into a frenzy so fast that it is a blur to me now. They immediately called for her to be placed on an oscillating ventilator and soon thereafter they started using chest compressions to keep her alive. A new artificial lung was brought in to replace the clotted one, but it also clotted, almost immediately, and they required a third one. A third lung was not ready however so Grace had to be kept off of her heart lung bypass for roughly 20 minutes. The doctors allowed me to stay in the room, but due to the large number of people at her bedside, I could not even see how she looked. Eventually the third lung was installed and Grace began to slowly start to receive ECMO support again. She did however prohibit flow slightly so they looked at her heart with an ECHO and discovered that the cannulas (tubes that go into her neck from the ECMO machine, into her heart to deliver blood flow), had shifted and was now impeded by a portion of her heart. So Grace underwent a third surgical procedure to move the cannula, and restitch it into place. The surgeon had to reopen her neck incision to do the cannula manipulation. After the cannula was repaired Grace was back on full ECMO and was able to stabilize eventually. Yesterdays adventure rocked the foundations of my soul. I have never before in my life, experienced emotions like the ones I felt yesterday when I though that I was going to lose my sweet baby Grace, right there in front of my eyes. I thank God, and am eternally grateful to Him, for bringing her through this. In the midst of all this chaos though, Graces right lung, her good one, was able to inflate slightly from the pressure of the ventilator. So in my weakest and darkest moment, God performed a miracle, and gave me hope to guide me through. Yesterday was a day like I have never known. Grace has now recovered and looks great! Her lung volumes are improving, and she opened her eyes and stared at mom and dad yesterday while we held her sweet little hand. As a result of the confusion of Monday night, the surgeons decided to change out her ECMO machine with a fresh one, and try to prevent a reoccurence. After the changeout it was decided that she should go on a type of dialysis to try and help her kidney's and prevent any damage to those. There was also a good deal of clotting in the bag that is containing her intestines while her body makes room for them. So the surgeon had to remove the bag and clean out the clotting. Miranda and I were both able to stay for this procedure, as it was done bedside. During the procedure I witnessed my sweet little girls stomach contents, laying on a surgical cloth, with a pesons hands inside of her stomach. A quite peculiar situation for a person like my self, who is not very exposed to the medical world. I am heading up to see her now, but more will follow.