Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Off the ventilator!

Baby Elijah is continuing to do remarkably well. He is completely off the ventilator now. He will have another echocardiogram done on Thursday to see how his lungs and heart are holding up with him breathing on his own now. The MRI yesterday showed some expected damaged tissue from brain bleeds, but doctors are hopeful that the brain will heal itself or other parts of the brain may take over the jobs of the damaged parts. So, they remain hopeful that there may be no long-term effects from the brain bleeds. He is still spitting up a good bit of the formula he is given, but they are hopeful that this may clear up now that he doesn't have the irritation of the ventilator.

Michael and Teresa are enjoying getting to finally hold their precious baby boy -- even getting to bathe him! Michael is also enjoying some very valuable "daddy time" with his other two children that he has been longing for, but always too busy with work and other "daddy" issues.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rejoice in the Lord always

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! --- Philippians 4:4

Through all that baby Elijah has been through (not to mention themselves), Michael and Teresa have been able to find, daily, things to be praising God and rejoicing for. Today, that opportunity was magnified many times over when they got to hold their little boy for the first time, one day before he turns a month old. Oh, how that must have felt! He is doing very well. He has been deemed stable enough now to have the MRI done on the brain and will undergo this procedure sometime tomorrow. Please join us in praying that God will continue his merciful, miraculous, healing power and allow there to be no brain damage suffered from all he's been through.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Down to 30% oxygen!

Elijah is continuing to improve. He is sitting at 30% oxygen and will stay there until they can put him on the nose tube. He's overtaking the respirator now which means he is taking more breaths on his own than the respirator is taking for him. He is completely off of all sedatives and is handling his formula very well.

While Elijah is doing well, Teresa has come down with some sort of rash from head to toe. She is hoping that it is stress related and will go ahead quickly. However, it is causing more stress (emotionally) because she has not been able to visit Elijah now for two days.

Monday, February 16, 2009

More improvement!

Michael and Teresa now have their other two children, Selah and Benjamin, with them and are enjoying being together once again. They are wasting no time in getting them on a routine, which is much needed after being away from parents for three weeks and in a new environment at that.

Elijah is doing remarkably well. He's at 38% oxygen, and the respirator has been turned down to 30 breaths/minute. He is on nitrate (I believe for the kidneys) which has been decreased from 10 % to 9 %. He came off the morphine completely over the weekend! This is the sedative he was having withdrawals from. He is still on the other sedative, but very little of it. I believe this is to keep him from pulling out lines. They have also started him on formula today (intravenously). He seems to be handling this well. The formula will give his liver a purpose to work, which will help with his jaundice. In fact he is now having bowel movements on his own. He is awake more now and becoming very alert to what's going on around him. He is scheduled for another brain scan (ultrasound) and echocardiogram today.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More good news!

Elijah is at 50% oxygen as of early this afternoon. Just 29 more points to go to be where you and I are. They have turned down the respirator to 35 breaths per minute (normal breathing on one's own is 20 breaths/min.). He is completely off the blood pressure medicine. They are continuing to decrease one of the sedatives - with no side effects. They have pulled the catheter out and he is now in diapers. Kidney problems? No way! Also, they weighed him today at 15 lbs 14 oz. We praise the Lord, he is doing so well. Thank you all for your prayers.

Teresa and Michael are planning to travel home on Friday to gather a few things, including their other two children :) and will be returning to Arkansas on Saturday. They look forward to being reunited as a family.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Good news!

Praise the Lord for good news! For starters, the "seizures" Elijah was having are now thought to be withdrawal symptoms from the morphine. He is only having the shakes after each decrease in the morphine and also they (the shakes) will stop when a hand is laid gently on him and then begin again when the hand is moved off. Today was all good reports! They are decreasing two of the medicines right now without any negative side effects. His oxygen intake is now at 72%. And to top it all off -- the brain bleeds are shrinking! This means the veins that "sprung a leak" are closing up and healing and the body is absorbing the blood back into its system. Isn't our God GREAT?! There is mighty power in prayer. God says, "Whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." -- Matthew 21:22

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Elijah suffered a seizure Thursday night. Doctors are not exactly sure what caused it. Therefore, we don't know if this is a one-time occurrence or if we should expect more. Teresa would like to think that it was a withdrawal from morphine since this is one of the meds he is being weaned off of right now. Please pray for wisdom from the doctors to know how to "diagnose" this issue.

As for Michael & Teresa, they have been taking Romans 8:28 and finding the good in this bad situation. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God . . ." They have been able to see God teaching them in several different ways and have also been able to be a support to other families there at the hospital.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Elijah's picture

Here's a picture of Elijah!

Bleeding stopped?

Baby Elijah is holding up well. He had three scans done yesterday: heart, brain and liver. All results came back about the same as before. Improvement would have been nice, but at least nothing is getting worse. The brain bleeds have not grown any since the last scan. Hopefully, and assumedly, that means the bleeding has stopped. By the way, the last brain scan, as well as this one, was an ultrasound, not an MRI. He still is not stable enough to handle an extensive MRI. As of late yesterday afternoon, his oxygen intake was down to 75%. They are trying to wean him off 1% per hour. At one point, they had decreased it by 4%, but then he struggled and they had to increase it again by 5%. (Two steps forward, three steps back. It's rather frustrating.) They had to give it a rest for a little while before being able to continue.

It is somewhat urgent to have him off of the oxygen so that they can start bottle feeding him. The medication that is supplying nutrients to his body, in combination with the fact that he is not taking in any sustenance for which the liver needs to function, is causing jaundice.

The weaning process is a slow one. Because he is on so many different meds, and they can only wean him off one at a time, the Ryans are looking at being there in Arkansas for at least two months.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Good news and bad news

Baby Elijah came off the ECMO with good numbers. His heart seems to be working fine, even through the stress test they did this morning. His kidneys and other major organs are all functioning well. However, the MRI they did on the brain showed a second brain bleed spot. There is not much they can do for this until the blood thinner medication is out of his system, which will take a couple of days. They are planning to do another MRI on Thursday to see what brain damage he may have. Until then, they will be weaning him slowly off the respirator and other medications.

A correction: This is Teresa, Elijah's mom. Thank you everyone for your prayers. God is answering them in His way and in His time. The only correction to the update is that there is not MRI's being done on him, he is not stable enough for that yet, rather brain ultrasounds. An MRI will be done later. Whatever damage has been done cannot be reversed and it would be too traumatic to him to do an MRI now if not necessary.

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Thanks for supporting Elijah and his family with your posts and your prayers!

Urgent prayer needed

The Ryan family is in need of a lot of prayer power right now. The ECMO machine that little Elijah has been on requires a blood thinner. This somehow has caused the brain to bleed. They reduced the blood thinner medication as much as they possibly could, but the bleeding has gotten worse. In an effort to hopefully prevent brain damage, the doctors are pulling him off the ECMO today as quickly as possible (within just a couple of hours). This is normally a two-day process. They feel that the heart is ready for this; the rest of the organs are functioning properly at this time. Please pray that the heart will be able to work properly on its own after coming off the machine. Pray also that God will intervene further and allow there to be no brain damage. They will be doing an MRI as soon as they can get him stablized once he is off the ECMO. Please pray also for Michael and Teresa. This is a very critical point and a very emotionally draining day for them. Pray that God will continue to sustain them and give them the peace that passes all understanding throughout this time.