4 years ago today we sent our 2 week old baby girl into her second open heart surgery. It was several hours long and when she came back to the room her chest was open and we could see her heart beating inside. One of the hardest things I've ever seen. This night, we almost lost her. The doctors told us "this is very bad". Ella's heart rate was way too high and they couldn't even get her external pace maker to help. They brought in a bypass machine (ECMO) that essentially takes over for your heart so it can rest. Although this is an incredible machine it can do severe damage to your other organs and is used as only a last resort for those who will die without it. Once on ECMO it is hard and risky to ever come off. While we were waiting for the surgeon to arrive and put her on ECMO the doctors gave Ella several doses of a medicine they call poison. It is very bad for you but can save your life in desperate times. They had given her several doses back to back until they maxed out the 24 hour dosage. They called a specialist and asked if they should give her another dose. The specialist told them not to give her anymore or she could die. They told her if we don't she will probably die, they told her that she was going to be put on ECMO as soon as the surgeon could get there if they couldn't get her heart rate to slow down. The specialist said ECMO, as risky as it is would be better then giving her another dose of this medicine. The surgeon said giving on more dose of medicine would be better then ECMO. We were at a crossroads. Our baby lay dying, doctors and nurses packed in the room doing everything they could. We only had two options, one more dose of poison that could very likely kill her, or the ECMO machine that again could likely kill her. The doctors decided to take the risk on the medicine, it was available where as getting her on ECMO would take more time (it is a surgical procedure) we were running out of time. They gave her that last dose of medicine and we all just watched helplessly. The Dr. Came over to us, and told us the situation. He had seen us praying and asked to pray with us because that's is all he could do. The three of us prayed together and when we said amen Ella's numbers began to slowly become more stable, the doctors and nurses were shocked and excited. She was far from out of the woods, but she had avoided ECMO and she was still fighting. We are so very thankful.
* This post was written on Aug. 23rd
Post a Comment
Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.