Friday, August 6, 2010

Sounds of Alarm

Like I said in this morning's post, I was too nervous to really acknowledge how good things have been going for Olivia.  Take a breath as she is still fine but this has certainly been one of the worst days that I have ever witnessed throughout the two hospital stays that we have weathered with her.  This morning started with the revelation that she has pneumothoraxes (extra air in her chest cavity putting pressure on her lungs) on both sides of her chest; a very common and treatable side effect from surgery.  Nevertheless, it was a setback and further delayed our ability to finally give her some food.  Her nurse was able to give her some Tylenol and Brian and I were comfortable enough to leave her and grab some breakfast. 

When we came back from breakfast to the PICU all hell had broken loose.  One of the little guys that had his heart surgery at virtually the same time as Olivia had coded.  Worse still I had just stopped by his room this morning to talk with his mom and relish in the fact that both of our little ones seemed to be on the right road to recovery.  Brian and I quickly hid out in Olivia's room to check on her and silently prayed for the best down the hall.  It was not to be so, a little while later we could hear his mother screaming for her baby as the medical team did their best to save him.  In a last ditch effort Dr. Ilbawi and his staff put him on ECMO but currently things look grim.  Within the next few hours four more cardiac babies/kids would code.  Some on the floor of the PICU, one in the cath lab, and another in the actual clinic for Norwood babies. 

You can feel the anxiousness of everyone's emotions when you walk onto the floor right now.  I find myself trying to avoid eye contact with any of the family members although they have been sweet to continuously ask about Olivia and offer up their prayers.  I don't know where the road will take any of these little ones that has battled so fiercely today, but I do know that I will be haunted for the near future and never forget the sounds of that mother screaming as she feared for the life of her child.  For all of you who can look at your healthy children at home - no matter the age - please take the opportunity to tell them how much you love them as you never know what the future may hold. 

I will leave you with a little bit of optimism.  Olivia's pneumos have started to go away on their own and we were able to give her 4oz of Pedialyte which she sucked down like she's been in the Sahara.  Her color is looking good and we're going to be able to feed her the next time she wakes up. At this point we'll take stable as a huge moral victory given the situation on the floor. 


  1. Oh my gosh. How awful. As I read about that other mother my heart dropped into my stomach and my eyes instantly watered. I can't even imagine. Praying for her son tonight and all the other little ones who are struggling.
    I'm so happy to hear that Olivia is doing well and stable.
    Heart hugs,

  2. I can't even imagine how you felt with all that was happening around you. We have been very lucky and have not seen anyone code while Hope has been in the hospital...amazing as we were there for 6 weeks.

    I am glad Olivia is doing so well. We went through pnemos with Hope and they cleared up pretty quickly. Praying she does well with the rest of her recovery and is on her way home soon.