Posted (jooosh) in All Posts on August-27-2007

Tina and I arrived at the hospital this afternoon around 3:30pm and to our surprise, Ella was already back in the NICU, procedure complete. I was anxious to hear any details about what had occurred. When I approached the nurse on staff, she indicated she was not able to give me any information. However, I knew she was there during the entire procedure. So, I was looking for something; anything to let me know how Ella did.
The nurse stated, again, firmly that she was unable to give me any information. Couldn’t she at least tell me something? I was looking for her to diffuse my anxiety and instead I got a by the book attitude of “I can’t say anything”. With that response I got very frustrated very quickly and, in a nutshell, I ended up apologizing to her later. So, needless to say, this afternoon was not a “shiny happy people” moment for me at first, but things did get better.
Once we were able to get information, initially from Dr. Saxonhouse and then from Dr. Kays, we learned that Ella’s contrast x-ray did show that her superior vena cava had collapsed. There was no clot, but it was like Dr. Kays had thought: Due to the irritation by the cannula, the vein had become inflamed and weakened. This is not something they normally see. He’s only treated two other cases, out of about 200, where this had occurred. This is also confirms the cause for the swelling in her head.
To help open the vein back up, they were able to insert a small balloon and expand it a little. They had to be very careful while doing this, due to the risk of irreversible damage to her vein. Thankfully, the procedure was performed without issue and for now it looks like it has done the trick. Also, Ella is receiving heparin to thin her blood and help with the flow. We were told that they may have to repeat this procedure again because there is a chance of a reoccurring collapse. If they do go in again, they’ll be able to utilize some scar tissue that would have built up around the vein and stretch it out a little more.
Yes, there was a little drama with her oxygen on the initial transport, but her stats never reached a critical point during that time and she recovered very quickly. Either way, not a fun thing for Tina and Grandma to see. The speed in Ella’s recovery time after this incident was a good sign as well. She was also very stable throughout the entire procedure. Her stats didn’t drop at all and she tolerated all the work doctors performed on her. Thank God.
A bit of unexpected good news: Dr. Kays is going to give Ella some of Tina’s milk tomorrow! He wants to get her intestines working, so they’ll be feeding her via a stomach tube. This is really exciting for us because it’s the first time that all of Tina’s work will pay off.
At this moment Ella’s stats look good and she’s resting well. Thanks to all of you for the prayers. I know they’ve made an incredible difference in our baby girl’s health.
Continuing to praise God for the gift of being Ella’s parents. Thank you Lord…thank you.

Williamsburg on August 27th, 2007 at 4:25 pm #

Not having to endure the tough stuff that you guys do first hand, it is SO fun for us to see those precious eyes open and looking around – what a treat. So sorry that they weren’t more forthcoming with you Josh, I can well imagine how hard it is to maintain composure in the midst of that kind of frustration and anxiety. Thank goodness for His grace thru it all. We’re thrilled that Ella came thru the procedure well, that she’s going to get some of that yummy Mom’s milk that Mom has been working so hard to produce and preserve and that we can praise God for another day of Ella-bration. Love and hugs to you all.

Lesli on August 27th, 2007 at 4:34 pm #

Praise God! We have been watching and waiting all day here, holding our breath, knowing that Ella was in the best of hands, but worried with you as well. I know that mommy milk will speed her healing! Good for you Tina, to do all of that even with the infection. Many would have given up just with that! I’m so proud of both of you. You are great parents…of course, we always knew you would be. Love, Lesli

Cathie Firestone on August 27th, 2007 at 4:44 pm #

PRAISE GOD!!!! What awesome news! What an awesome God we have! Go Ella Go!! We are praising Him with you all tonight and continue to pray for rest and healing for your precious little one! We will also pray for her first feeding tomorrow…that is EXCITING!!

Joel Snyder on August 27th, 2007 at 4:46 pm #

Ella, I am so glad to hear that things went well today. I hope you rest well and hope to see steady progress now that you will recieve some of Mom’s milk. Tina,Josh,and Grandma what a courageous trio. Hope all three of you get some rest.I will be praying tonight for all of you. Love, Grandpa

Lisa T on August 27th, 2007 at 6:20 pm #

Ella, you’re doing so well! Stay strong little girl!

Joan and Steve Odell on August 27th, 2007 at 6:46 pm #

Thank you our glorious, loving and supporting Father – indeed she has a very special mission in life – in addition to the mission she has already performed for Him. We are so very happy for all of you – How is Grandma holding up??? I would imagine pretty well because of that precious little bundle. Prayers for contingued healing, restful and uneventful night for all of you. Prayers continue , Lord Bless and our love, Steve and Joan

Angie on August 27th, 2007 at 6:53 pm #

I’m so glad everything went well today and they found the problem. Praying for small baby steps in the right direction. That’s so exciting that they’re are going to start giving her some of Tina’s milk tomorrow. I hope she tolerates it well. I hope Tina is starting to feel better also, plenty of fluids and rest :). You guys will be in my thoughts & prayers. Hugs & Kisses to baby Ella ~Nurse Angie

Melissa Morris on August 27th, 2007 at 7:23 pm #

That is such awesome news. Wow!! You have a little fighter on your hands. That’s great! I am so glad that she stayed strong and pulled through. Thank you GOD – You are awesome!
I am continuing to pray for all of you. I am so glad that your mom is able to be with you, Tina and then you are there for your baby girl. She is so lucky to have a mother like you.
I am praying for lots of sleep, peace and recovery tonight. What a tense day. I know I was on pins and needles waiting to hear and I can’t imagine how you felt. Then to top things off the nurse was so tight lipped about it. Ahhh!!
Tomorrow will be another big day for Ella. Getting mommy’s milk. There is nothing like it. Good for you, Tina for keeping with it. I believe it will help in her recovery. Each day is another step closer. May each step be in the right direction.
Keep fighting Ella! It is all so worth it. Josh, Tina and grandma… what warriors you all are. May your strength be renewed each day.
Sweet dreams and lots of rest for all of you.
Love, Melissa

The Brittain Family on August 27th, 2007 at 7:46 pm #

It’s great to be in Ella’s time zone again. We’re thankful for her surgery last week and even through the ups and downs we can see God’s faithful provision for her. We’re relieved with you that they did find the collapse since that explains the swelling and even more thankful that they knew how to correct it! Keep hanging in there, fighting, and hoping for her. Prayers for a speedy recovery and good progress the rest of this week! Hope Mom’s feeling better, too!

Katy Nilsson on August 27th, 2007 at 7:56 pm #

So happy to hear that Ella will be able to take Tina’s milk, that is such good news on top of the fact that she pulled through surgery today. I pray for both of you and Ella every day. Know you are in my thoughts and it warms my heart to see Ella and read about her progress. You are strong and have created a strong little miracle.

JoAnna King and Kids on August 27th, 2007 at 8:08 pm #

Tina–You had me balling earlier. We’ve been praying for Ella all day. What a blessing she is. Each and every life is special. Thank you for giving your story, Ella’s story, to us. I know it can’t be easy to update us with perilous news, again, thank you. By the way, Noah made the cutest little noise when he saw Ella’s openeyed picture. I think his heart is melting. We love you all and will continue to pray all day long.

Eusey Family on August 27th, 2007 at 8:27 pm #

Go Ella. Go God!
So relieved with the news today. Prayers for a good night and sweet dreams.

Kelli Billman on August 27th, 2007 at 8:31 pm #

Continued prayer and praise for a successful day! Thank you Lord for coming beside the doctors, nurses and caregivers to heal baby Ella. I have been anxious all day, checking every hour or so for an update. Going to rest well tonight as I hope Ella and the 3 of you are doing as well. Sleep tight West family.

Laura Blackwell on August 27th, 2007 at 8:39 pm #

Tonight my baby girl (born 8.16.07)had a hard time going to sleep. I think her teeth hurt. She wanted to be held a lot longer than normal. So I held her and rocked her there in cool dark of her room. And I prayed for you and Ella. That the wonderful experience of holding and rocking your beautiful baby may be yours even sooner than you think. Praying for a speedy recovery and that the feeding goes well tomorrow.

Dana Chambers on August 27th, 2007 at 9:47 pm #

She looks like she is resting wonderfully after that procedure today. So many pokes! She is amazingly tough, beautiful and peaceful to watch. Thanks for the video last night – you couldn’t chose a more perfect song for each one!

Of course, you are in our constant thoughts and prayers. You have helped grow my faith!


monika on August 27th, 2007 at 9:47 pm #


kristin on August 27th, 2007 at 10:17 pm #

What a day of news. Josh, bright and shiny moments are not always possible during scary times (or during happy times)so please be kind to yourself.

Tina, it is great to know you are feeling better.

Keep healing West Family. God is here and so are we.

I love you. Kristin

Char Snyder Jordan on August 27th, 2007 at 10:49 pm #

It always seems darkest just before dawn. Thank God for the progress today. We will continue our prayers and are greatful that things continue to improve. All our love, Aunt Char and Jim

Teresa & Family on August 27th, 2007 at 10:54 pm #

Hello-Im so happy to hear that she is making progress and will be able to have Tina’s milk…wonderful! I think of you all everyday and your beautiful Ella is so strong! I miss you guys and my family send’s their love and prayers!!

Kevin and Dana on August 28th, 2007 at 12:28 am #

Go Ella, Go Ella!!

William Abboud on August 28th, 2007 at 4:22 am #

We love you Ella, and We thank the lord for you… you are his precious daughter… and he will use you and he will use your precious faithfull parents to glorify his holy name…
Our Heavenly father, we put Ella, Josh, and Tina in your hands… you take care of them… Amen!

Sarah on August 28th, 2007 at 5:13 am #

I just got an email from Adrienne and I just wanted to say that I am praying for your baby girl. Once I read that email my heart tightened and God did say to come here. I feel that if all pray great things can happen with the Lord Jesus Christ. She is a beautiful baby and God has blessed your family. Please know I am praying for you and Ella.

tamara tessmer on August 28th, 2007 at 8:25 am #

Praise God for His hand of protection upon Ella. I fell asleep early last night and didnt get a chance to check up on you guys. What wonderful news to wake up to. There is no doubt that God has BIG plans for all three of you. I am excitied that Ella will get some milk today. I will pray for her continued healing and for strength, and peace for the both of you. You are doing great things for the kingdom.

The Brainstorming Team on August 28th, 2007 at 8:42 am #

Hi Tina… we were just checking in with Ani to see if you’d be coming to Brainstorming this year; and she told us that you’ve been very busy and sent us here. Just want you to know that we’re getting busy with the prayers for you, Josh, and beautiful Ella, and sending lots of hugs your way! Much love from Tami, Barbie, Joann, Mo, and Jen

Lesli Richards on August 28th, 2007 at 8:46 am #

What? Almost noon here on the east coast and no Ella fix yet? All of our kids are so in love with her they ask to check on her first thing! I’ll just have to let them watch that cute video AGAIN! 🙂

Love, Lesli

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