First and foremost we want to thank everyone for their encouragement and prayers. It is so nice to know we are not in this alone!
It sure didn't take us long to experience the rollercoaster of life in the NICU. Wednesday we were feeling great about how Kambry was doing. The doctors were also pleased. Life was good. Then her blood pressure got low so they gave her medicine for that, which then got her heart rate higher than it should be. None of it was super alarming, just normal things they deal with on CDH babies. But once we came back from dinner, there was a lot more commotion in her room. We were told her oxygen levels were lower than they like them to be and they'd had several failed attempts to get them up. Several meds were being pumped into her but nothing seemed to help. Finally they determined their only option left was to put her on ECMO.
ECMO is a very complex machine that essentially is a heart and lung machine. Two cannulas were inserted in the main artery in her neck. One takes the blood from her heart and puts it into this machine where it is oxygenated and the carbon dioxide is removed.. The other pumps the blood back into her body. ECMO is basically allowing Kambry's heart and lungs to relax/recover a little bit. The Drs thought the surgery to insert the cannulas went really well and her body reacted exactly how they had hoped it would. The dangers in using ECMO is the threat of blood clots and the threat of excessive bleeding especially in the brain. Colorado Children's has an expert ECMO team so we feel very confident in the care Kambry is receiving.
We were extremely deflated about the fact that Kambry needed ECMO as it is used on very sick babies and obviously because of the risks involved. Dr Kinsalla is one of the best neonatologists in Denver and he explained to us that we shouldn't feel this is a giant step back. This is just a step needed as part of her overall care plan. He is encouraged by the fact that she was functioning well on her own for 4-6 hours. Her little body just got tired and the ECMO is letting her rest. We were told to not expect much in the next couple days as she will just be resting. The nice part is they were able to cut back or completely take her off several medications. It sounds like the early part of next week they will cut the machine's efforts way back to see how she supports herself. Once she can, she will be taken off ECMO and talks will start about the surgery to repair.
My parents got here yesterday and Lon was finally able to see Asher. We even brought Asher up to meet his new sister. :) So hopefully today is quiet like yesterday. Praying that Kambry's right lung grows stronger!
Love to you all,
Heidi & Lon