Monday, February 7, 2011

An Angel Among Us

My cousin and friend, Tiffany, found out last Spring that she was expecting their first child. She was very sick during her pregnancy, unfortunately, but she tried to stay positive despite it all as
she and her husband, Jeff, were very excited about having a child. As her pregnancy progressed, she found out that she would be having a sweet baby girl, but she was measuring smaller than expected, so the due date was pushed back. This happened again and again until the doctors looked further into the situation to figure out why this was and that something was definitely wrong.

After many ultrasounds and testing, the doctors discovered that one of the major arteries in the baby's umbilical cord had either not developed correctly, or had clotted over. Thus leaving sweet Lily to only receive nourishment from two arteries vs. the three that should have been there. Although she continued to develop, this left Lily exceptionally small.

Doctors hoped Lily would stay in the womb as long as possible so that her organs could develop, even if this meant she would be small. They figured once she was born, then she would catch up quickly with her growth outside of the womb with the help of modern medicine.

On Nov 20th 2010, at 36 weeks, Tiffany went into labor and Lily was brought into this world via C-section as distress during contractions prevented her from arriving naturally. She was 3lbs 6oz and 15 inches long, but arrived breathing on her own and looked healthy and happy. The doctors were very pleased.

This little angel stayed in the NICU for 3 1/2 weeks while she continued to develop, grow and learn to eat and breathe on her own without the aid of oxygen and was able to be taken home by her loving parents just before Christmas. Greg and I were able to go visit and meet her in the NICU prior to her coming home. I couldn't believe how tiny she was!

Lily has been gaining weight and doing well while staying in her new home. The doctors continued to track her progress and growth after leaving the NICU and Lily had many appointments to attend so that the doctors were able to do this. With the doctors tracking Lily's weight they noticed Lily wasn't growing as quickly as she should.

On January 17th Tiffany and Jeff took Lily to Primary Children's Medical Center to meet with a specialist. The specialist was concerned about her growth and, even though she had continually gained weight, said she should have been growing more. The doctor wanted to perform a CT scan with contrast of Lily's gastrointestinal system to make sure everything was functioning properly. Shortly after Lily drank the barium contrast and the testing was complete, Tiffany and Jeff were informed that the barium was going places it shouldn't have and the doctors wanted to take Lily in to surgery immediately to repair the problem with her intestines.

Tiffany and Jeff trustingly handed their little miracle over to the doctors so that the surgery could be performed. After many long hours of waiting and not knowing, Jeff and Tiffany were approached by the surgeon who reported that the surgery was successful and they would be able to see their little girl in about 20 more min. Apparently a pic-line IV needed to be placed and then she would be transferred over to a recovery room.

Those 20 min turned into 40 min. Then an hour. Then, over an hour and a half someone finally came out to inform Tiffany and Jeff that there were some unexpected complications and Lily
went into cardiac arrest. She had received chest compressions for over 20 min. They were able to revive her and stabilize her, but because of her being without oxygen for so long, they suspected brain damage, but to what extent was not yet known.

Lily's devastated parents were ushered to her room back in Intensive Care where their little girl was being sustained by means of a ventilator and so swollen that it appeared her earlobes rested on her shoulders.
This little one has been a fighter through all of this and after many difficult weeks of battling in the ICU, Lily was able to return home with her parents on Feb 1st 2011.

Shortly before taking Lily to Primary Children's to meet with the specialist, Tiffany and Jeff received the hospital bill for Lily's birth and NICU stay. They have been overwhelmed and stressed about this debt and after this unexpected surgery and the complications resulting from it, they have many more medical expenses.

In an effort to help them out, Greg's business, Tungsten Rings For Men, will be donating all proceeds made, up until Valentine's Day, to Tiffany and Jeff. Please join in this cause by spreading the word to others who may be looking for a men's Tungsten ring, Demascus steel ring, or Rockwell watches, or by making a purchase through Greg will be offering a 15% discount that you are able to use by entering the promotional code "LILY" at checkout.

Your help and support is gratefully appreciated.

With love,
Greg and Britney


Nikki and Bryan said...

Oh my gosh that is so sad :( She was the cutest little girl when we saw her! I hope that everything turns out ok! Are they going to look into early intervention? Usually through the school districts you can get therapy services for kids who are premature or have other developmental setbacks. It would be a good thing if they can. I will keep them in my prayers.

Karilyn Carreon said...

I hope that things turn around for their little baby! We just went through a lot of the same thing with our son being in the NICU for 1 months and 3 weeks! It was the hardest thing. He came home and is still on oxygen and a monitor but finally doing a lot better! I will keep their family in our prayers!

Jaeme + Randy said...

My sister is a NICU nurse and she is always telling me how expensive stuff they do is. Not that it isn't worth it and it is amazing they can even do those things, but what a hard situation to be in. I hope that everything works out well for them and I'm so happy they got to take her home :).

Kara said...

Wow! what a crazy story. They are lucky to still have her!