No rest for the weary in the Intensive Care Unit. After a busy week coming off ECMO and removal of the breathing tube, just one day passed and Judah began having breathing problems again, and quickly had to be placed back on breathing tube support. He has been having a lot of buildup in his chest and lungs, and it is this fluid and mucus that is giving him so many problems breathing. Ideally, a child should never be on a breathing tube, but in some circumstances it becomes necessary. when it is necessary, the doctors prefer only to be on the breathing tube for a few days, or hopefully less than a week. Since our return to the CICU and his heart cath procedure 2 weeks ago, Judah has been on the breathing tube for all but 2 days, and he even had the tube removed and put back in again during that time. Putting in and taking out the tube causes a lot of irritation to the throat, and just having the tube in causes additional irritation. All of this in and out and having the tube in has caused some problems for Judah, including irritation and scarring. Because the breathing tube is only a temporary solution to help him be more comfortable, the doctors have been discussing a longer term plan to help him breathe, while allowing him to get off sedation medication and back to feeding so he can grow stronger and gain weight again.
The plan the doctors have come up with, is that they will need to perform another surgery early next week. This will be a Tracheostomy, which will open a hole in his trachea and put a tube into it that goes directly into his lungs. This will allow us and the doctors to be able to monitor his breathing more closely, and watch for fluid and mucus buildup in his lungs and throat, and be able to suction it ourselves so that he does not choke and have another cardiac or respiratory arrest. While the trach tube may not be ideal, it is a temporary solution that will last only as long as Judah needs it, whether that be anywhere from 6 months to two years, or more. It all depends on how he strengthens up, but having the trach will allow him to get up and move around again, not be sedated all the time as required on the breathing tube, and give us all a better chance at overcoming all of his breathing issues and hopefully getting to bring him home in the next few weeks.
Judah has remained very strong and bright, despite being on such heavy medicines. He has been and remains a trooper through all the procedures and tests. He is still receiving daily EKGs, EEGs, Echocardiograms, and this week he will also have an MRI to take a closer and better picture of his brain and chest. Tests results for everything remain clear and our hopes and spirits remain positive. Again, our thanks to all of you for providing love and support, and being with us through these tough times even if just in heart and spirit. Judah, and mommy and daddy, truly have the best families, friends, and doctors and nurses anyone could ever ask for.