Monday, September 24, 2007

September 11th, 2007


Update on the twin’s progress in Detroit…

It’s been a very long month. We arrived in Detroit Tuesday, August 14th. The babies eyes were examined visually the following day. The visual exam showed that all 4 eyes would require surgery. The extent of the surgery would not be known until a more extensive exam was performed under anesthesia. The more extensive exam and Surgery was performed on Friday, August 17th. During the exam, it was determined that the retina was starting to detach from all 4 eyes. The right eye appeared to be less damaged (both babies). So, they corrected the right eye for both babies Friday, August 17th. They do surgery on the best eye first. The surgery is very hard on the babies in their condition. They are put back on the ventilator for surgery and have to work to get their bodies back to the performance they were at prior to surgery. Future surgeries can not be performed until the baby is deemed stable enough to undergo another surgery. It may take a while for the babies to recovery from surgery allowing the eye disease to continue to worsen in the eye that has not been corrected. So, correcting the better eye makes the most sense. Carver handled the first surgery without any set backs. Surgery on his left eye was performed on Wednesday, August 22nd. Kinnick suffered some set backs, so surgery for her left eye was performed on Friday, August 24th. Due to the time lost, her retina completely detached in her left eye. The surgery was a little more extensive including removal of the lens and part of the Iris (an oversized colored contact lens will eventually take the place of the missing lens and iris). I am told that if all is successful, she still has a chance of receiving 20/60 vision in her left eye. If all goes well for the other 3 eyes, they have a chance of receiving 20/40 vision in those eyes. Kinnick handled the second surgery with no set backs. The Retinologists come to see the babies once a week (Tuesdays). This is to determine whether the eyes are healing properly. Unfortunately, the only eye that is healing properly is Carver’s left eye. Carver’s right eye has quite a bit of blood pooling in front of the retina. This prevents him from being able to see out of this eye. If the blood does not dissolve within 6-8 weeks, it will cause add’l scar tissue resulting in poor vision or lost vision. The Retinologist does not believe the blood will resolve in the next couple of weeks. Therefore, Carver will have surgery on his right eye Wednesday, September 12th to wash the blood from the eye (basically repeating the previous surgery). Kinnick has blood pooling in both eyes (more in her left eye). The Retinologists believe that it is still possible for the blood to dissolve on its own (doesn’t appear to be as thick as Carver’s). They are watching her eyes over the next 2 weeks. So, just a lot of waiting and praying. The babies are in the hands of the best Retinologists in the world, so we are confident that our outcome is the best possible. People come here from all over the world to have these doctors operate on their preemie babies.

Outside of the eyes, the babies continue to grow. Carver is now 9 lb 9 oz. Kinnick is now 10 lb 10 oz. We’re still working on getting both babies to bottle feed all of their feeds. Carver does pretty good with his feeds, but tires out quickly. Kinnick is still taking the majority of her feeds via the NG tube in her nose – mostly because of the amount of oxygen that she is receiving. Carver looks and acts so much like a newborn baby. He will quickly be released to go home once we are transported back to the Wichita hospital. Kinnick still requires quite a bit of oxygen, so until she gets a little bigger and has more lung tissue growth, she’ll have to remain in the hospital. However, I wouldn’t expect that to take much longer – she’s getting pretty big.

Our family is doing well. We have had a lot of help from family and friends – many of you. It’s hard being apart, but we all agree it’s for a good cause. I’m torn between being in Detroit with the babies and being in Wichita with the rest of my family. However, I’m comforted knowing that my children are at home with their father and Kinnick and Carver have their mother. Everyone has someone. In addition, I have made many new NICU friends who have been very supportive.

I know that Gwen sent a Thank You on my behalf for all of the wonderful cards, money, and the phone card. I just want you to know that we appreciate everything that all of you have done for us – you’ve done so much. Thank you.

Please continue to pray with us. I will send an update as soon as I know more.

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