Jul
26
    
Posted (Tina) in All Posts on July-26-2007


Ella went on ECMO this afternoon.
 
When a child has a severe condition that has not responded to the normal therapy of a respirator, medicines, and extra oxygen, they could die but ECMO can be used to help save their life. ECMO stands for Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation. The ECMO machine is very similar to a heart-lung bypass machine that they use for open heart surgery. When a child is placed on ECMO, the blood receives oxygen from an artificial lung in the ECMO circuit. The artificial lung in the ECMO circuit provides the child’s blood with oxygen needed to live until her lungs are able to function on their own.
 
In Ella’s case, the surgical procedure to connect her to the ECMO machine requires tying off her carotid artery. If you think about it, this is surgery in and of itself! Dr. Kays reported that Ella did well during the procedure.Although ECMO has its own risks, we are hoping that this machine helps to stabilize her over the next few days. As you will see in the photos, this is a MASSIVE machine that requires a specially certified technician to monitor the machine at all times.
 
For the first few days, Ella had a nurse 24/7 at her bedside monitoring her stats. In addition, she will now have a respiratory specialist that is certified to operate ECMO equipment at her bedside to monitor the machine and make sure that the levels in the machine are proper (all the blood gases in the machine, platelet count, etc.) and try to minimize any failure of the machine, since that can have devastating consequences.
 
Her first hour on ECMO was very promising. All of her stats looked the best that they had been since she was born (good heart rate, blood pressure, blood gases in line, etc.). This is the result of the ECMO machine. Since the ECMO machine is doing the work of the lungs, it will give Ella a chance to rest. Her body has been taxed the past few days; it has tried very hard to work…and yet unsuccessfully. The ECMO machine should bring all her vital signs of stability more in line where they should be while giving her body a little break.
 
Please continue to pray for her…we want to see her get stable enough so that she can have surgery to move the extra contents in her chest back down to her abdomen…which will give her lungs the room they need to grow! The next few days are very important!



 
Jul
26
    
Posted (Tina) in All Posts on July-26-2007

Today, we connected with Tracy, the mom of Baby Jonathan. As we mentioned earlier, it has been 12 weeks since Jonathan was born and he was admitted to the NICU. He spent the first 30 days of his life on ECMO and went back on ECMO for a second round at the end of June till now.

Each day, he has continued to become more and more ill. His stats have not been improving. Tracy has been at his bedside each day. Jonathan is very alert and responsive to his mother. They hold hands and spend lots of time together. When he is sleeping and hears his mom’s voice, he wakes up from sleep and responds. They have a special bond with each other.

Since Jonathan has been on 2 rounds of ECMO and his stats are not improving, Dr. Kays is recommending that they remove Jonathan from ECMO tomorrow morning, July 27, 2007 and just wait and see how he does. Dr. Kays is not relaying positive vibes that his condition will improve – – if anything, he has prepared Tracy for the worst.

Tonight, Jonathan’s father Keith is arriving. Tomorrow is a big day for the Mitchell family since they are unsure how Jonathan will respond when he is removed from ECMO. Josh and I will be getting together this evening with Tracy to pray for Jonathan…to pray for the Lord’s will in his life. God can choose to take Jonathan tomorrow to be with Him, which is not what we want. But in the end, we all really want the Lord’s will, since we know that is best.

Please say a prayer for Jonathan…



 
Jul
26
    
Posted (Josh) in All Posts on July-26-2007


Our baby girl is not doing as well as we hoped. We knew putting her on ECMO was a high probablity, but now it’s happening for sure. Dr. Kays tried all other methods to stabilize her, but her stats have continued to be unstable. As I write this they are preparing her area for surgery. She’ll be placed on ECMO today. Please pray for a smooth surgery and a overall successful outcome. We continue to trust God through this time and thank you for all your prayers.