Christmas Time

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Update - Sunday

Hi everyone, Ross still here. Sorry it's been a few days since the last post - quite a bit has been going on. Friday, Ramey started doing poorly. She was breathing really quickly (note my previous posts) and her oxygen saturation dropped from 100% down to 60%. The doctor put her on 100% oxygen to see if that would bring it back up, and it didn't, so they called in a transport to UMC hospital here in Tucson. UMC's NICU is designed to handle the sicker babies, and so I packed up my things and followed Ramey to the new hospital. Friday night, in the NICU at UMC, she still wasn't doing well. They had her on a new medication, Nitric Oxide, which is supposed to stimulate the blood vessels in Ramey's lungs to receive oxygen and convert it into her blood better. Let me say that the NICU consisted of a small room with 8 beds for babies, and about 30 doctors, nurses, etc scurrying about. They all knew what they were doing, but for me, it was total chaos and I was completely over-stimulated. All I seemed to be doing was moving out of the path of whichever healthcare professional that was making a bee-line to whichever baby who needed their care. So, after a little while the doctor taking care of Ramey told me that she wasn't doing well and she recommended putting Ramey onto ECMO (a heart-lung bypass that takes out the baby's blood, takes out impurities, oxygenates it, and puts it back into the body. This effectively gives the lungs a break in order to heal). For those of you who don't know us all that well, our 6 year-old, Henry, was in the same situation at birth, but the Nitric Oxide that Ramey's now on aided in turning Henry around and God used it to heal him before they put him on ECMO. Up in the NICU, her doctor told me that Ramey had about a 10% chance of survival Friday night on the current path they were taking, and she felt that Ramey would have a 50% chance of survival on ECMO. I agreed, and they moved Ramey down to the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care) because they don't administer ECMO up in the NICU. So they got all of Ramey's machinery (four free-standing, rolling towers that are all attached to her in some form or fashion), her bed, and all her doctors, nurses, etc and made the slow trek to the elevator to take us down to the PICU floor. Walking behind all this, it looked like the circus was coming to town. In all the chaos and uncertainty, I was able to muster a smile imagining a circus train (like on Dumbo) transporting my sick baby to another department. So we arrived to the PICU, and Ramey was given a private room and the surgeons prepped both Ramey and her room for the surgery to implant tubes into her main artery and vein in her neck in order to take the blood from her little body, clean it, and return it to her. She was draped for the surgery and it was go-time when someone had the notion to check her blood gases to see how she was doing. They got the results, had a discussion, and the doctor came over to me and told me that all of Ramey's stats were back to normal and that they were going to hold off putting her on ECMO to see what's going on. Several blood gas tests later, there was a celebration, and they sent the ECMO team home because the results were better each time they tested them. So that was Friday night. God spared my little girl from having to do the heart-lung bypass. Instead of ECMO, she's on a ventilator and nitric oxide to hopefully heal her lungs and get her better. Yesterday and today, she's maintaining the proper levels of oxygen saturation and all the other things they're looking for. I've noticed that the doctors here are part mad scientists - if a reading is off in one direction or another, they'll tinker with drugs, pressures, etc to re-attain the desired level. So they're doing a tremendous job of keeping her stable and in the optimal state for healing her lungs. So I praise the Lord for bringing her here and bringing her all the way from a 10% chance of survival to where she is now. She's not out of the woods yet, but I'd like to think she's seeing sunlight between the branches on her way to the forest’s edge. Since Thursday, I'd slept about 6 hours total, and last night, I was able to sleep a bit more, so I'm feeling better today. (The reason why I hadn't blogged since Thursday night)

Which brings us to the topic of my beautiful bride. Friday, when Ramey was doing poorly at the previous hospital (Where Mandy still resides), they discharged Mandy from the ICU so that she could say Hi and Bye to Ramey. Keep in mind that she held Ramey for a few seconds in the operating room and had no further contact until this point. Being that she was in a wheelchair, she was somewhat limited in her contact with Ramey, but she was able to say "Bye" in person as they transported her to UMC. The doctors are thinking now that this premature exit from the ICU perhaps caused some complications in Mandy because after this point, Mandy had excruciating pain for the next two days. Yesterday, they performed a CT on Mandy and determined that she has blood clots in her bladder. In a marathon 4-hour procedure, they irrigated the clots out of her bladder (Saturday night), and so far today (Sunday), Mandy told me the clots are back and they're going to have to irrigate again. So please be praying for Mandy because this is very painful for her. It's even more painful that she's across town from her baby and we don't know when she'll be well enough to leave the hospital. So there you have it. In the past three days, both Mandy and Ramey have faced death and God has spared them both. I praise Him for that! Again, let me reiterate that both of them are still in bad shape and anything could happen, but right now, both are healing and I'm thankful for that. I'm going to try not to worry about tomorrow, but instead I'll choose to enjoy today.

I am truly amazed by the two miracles I have witnessed in person in both Mandy and Ramey. Mandy's amazing OB told us that she's never seen anything like what she experienced in the operating room, and that she's never given as much blood as she gave to Mandy to any of her other patients before. Besides all that, she (her OB) told us that from what she saw inside Mandy, she realized that if Mandy had gone into labor at home, both she and Ramey would have died. When they were about to transport Ramey, I turned to Mandy and said, "I just wish that God would show up." Mandy corrected me - in middle of all her pain, and said, "God's been here the whole time." I didn't even realize all of the things He had done up to that point to keep Mandy and Ramey alive. Now as I look back, I see God in all the events that have occurred and am a bit ashamed that I even questioned His presence. Anyway, I just want to encourage all of you to stop and look around when you feel like God's on vacation. This has been quite a roller-coaster ride, and I just wanted to bring you all along with us on this ride, because it's not over yet. Please pray for us, our doctors, nurses, etc. Please also pray for all the people who are helping us with meals, babysitting, visiting us, transporting things for us, etc. We are truly thankful for everything.

That's it for now!

Take care,


The Hill Family said...

last time i checked your blog was wednesday - just had a lot of catching up to do...will be praying for you and your sweet family...

Aust Family said...

We will be praying for all of the Newman clan at the Aust house. Hugs and kisses coming your way too!

Laurie said...

I am just weeping all over this keyboard! I know God is with you guys in a big way, and I am just trusting that with each breath both your girls will be brought to complete healing. We are on our knees for you and love you so much. Ross, Happy Father's Day! I knoe you have been loving, caring, serving, sitting, waiting, praying, and being still in the shadows of death these last few days, and I just wanted to take a moment to honor your devotion!
You are an amazing husband and father and It truly is a blessing to know you. Keep your chin up, love hard, and be still. We will be in touch soon.

Love you, love you, love you!

Laurie and Chad

the georges said...

congrats on another beautiful baby girl! just stopped by to see if you had baby yet and saw you have been going through so much more than just a delivery. am keeping you all in my prayers!

Jackie said...

We are praying for Mandy and baby Ramey to have a full recovery and that you all get to go home soon. God has really touched your girls with his healing hand. Love, the Tofels

One Hale of a Story... said...

Oh Ross, that is just horrifying! I'm sitting here with Pierson in my arms with tears in my eyes! You two are @ the top of our prayer list! Know you're covered!!!