Baby Jack

My cousin and his wife welcomed the newest member into our family April 30th. However, there are MAJOR complications. This is from my cousin’s wife’s sister’s blog:

Saturday, May 2, 2009
Jacob Price “Jack” D. [name abbreviated for privacy]

Thursday April 30, 2009 1:51 PM 7lbs. 2oz.

On Thursday, my sister’s baby had to be delivered via c-section. We knew she was going to need a c-section, and it was originally scheduled for May 5th. But problems with the baby led to it being moved up.

A few years ago, Shannon needed an emergency blood transfusion. The blood she received was not an exact match with her own and so her body developed antibodies against certain proteins in the donor blood. This can become a problem when she’s pregnant because her own body will attack her baby’s blood if any of these proteins are present. I hope that was a decent enough explanation.

Throughout her pregnancy, the baby was monitored to make sure he did not become anemic (a sign that his blood was being destroyed by antibodies in Shannon’s body). He did great all along, but last week Shannon noticed he was moving less and scheduled an ultrasound with her doctor. The doctor felt that the baby was becoming anemic and had to be delivered early to receive a transfusion. We all – including the doctors – thought he would be delivered, receive a blood transfusion and then be a normal, healthy baby.

Unfortunately, Jack’s body had trouble accepting the transfused blood. Each time the doctors would give him a transfusion (3 total, I believe), his own blood would break down the donor blood. This caused him to become more severely anemic as the oxygen level in his blood dropped lower and lower. Because he did not have enough oxygen circulating in his body, his organs began to fail. His liver became a main concern and he was transferred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. When he arrived at CHOP on Friday night, he was in such bad shape that they did not expect him to survive the night. As soon as we heard about his condition, Jamie and I headed right up to New Jersey to be with him and my family.

Thankfully he made it through the night, and continues to fight. His liver and kidneys were a main concern because he did not appear to be passing urine. This caused him to become very swollen as the fluids they were pumping into him were not being passed through his system. Thankfully, a check of his catheter showed it had become dislodged and when it was replaced, he passed a large amount of urine. A baby peeing has never been such good news before!! It means that his liver and kidneys are functioning at least to some extent and already the swelling has begun to subside.

The long-term effects on his system are not yet known. Currently he is in stable but serious condition – an upgrade from last night, but he’s still no where near out of the woods. He may continue to surprise us by regaining more and more organ function, but as of right now, we just don’t know. If he makes it, we’re not sure what organs will be effected and what problems this may cause long-term. A brain scan was performed earlier today and hopefully we’ll know the results sometime tonight.

Please keep little Jack in your thoughts and prayers, as well as his family – especially Shannon as she tries to be there for her little boy and recover from her c-section. She was discharged barely more than 24 hours after the procedure to accompany Jack to CHOP. Right now, every time we’ve prayed for a miracle, our prayers have been answered. Pray this continues!! My whole family appreciates the prayers and support from everyone!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009
Jack Update
Tonight around 10:00 we got a message from Shannon saying Jack’s numbers were dropping and to please pray. Mom quickly spread the word to start praying and we all hurried over to CHOP to be with him.

Once again, God was listening and Jack rallied. Apparently too many adjustments had been made to the different medications and machines that are supporting him. The combination of all these changes at once had caused him stress and his oxygen numbers had started to drop from the high 90’s to the low 80’s (100 is perfect). But by the time we had reached the hospital, he was beginning to stabilize.

It’s just past midnight as I write this and Jack, his parents, and his little sisters are all getting some much needed sleep. In a few minutes, we’ll be heading home also to get some rest ourselves!

Continue to pray for stability and improvement throughout the night. You all have no idea how much the prayers of our friends and family have meant to Jack and his family!!

Monday, May 4, 2009

More News on Jack
Doctors say today that Jack is stll “treading water” – he has not progressed at all but does not seem to be regressing either. The major concern and prayer request is for is kidney function. Right now they are only functioning nominally on their own. His inability to expel fluids causes swelling in his body which means his lungs and other organs don’t have room to grow and function properly. Doctors say that it is reasonable to expect his other organs to greatly improve if his kidney function improves. Please pray that this will happen soon! It needs to happen in the next few days if he is going to survive.

Another pressing concern is Jack’s heart valve. In utero, babies have a hole that allows blood to pass between the heart chambers. This normally closes on its own, but because Jack was premature and under so much physical stress, it has not. Doctors say they can give him medication to close the hole, but they hesitate to do so because he is already so medicated. It needs to be closed in order for oxygen to circulate through his heart and to the rest of his body.

We do not know much about his brain function or how severely his brain may have been damaged from his other health problems. Unfortunately, his movements seem to be lessening and this most likely means his brain is sustaining damage.

Please pray for his kidneys to start funtioning and his heart valve to close properly!!

Please please please keep Baby Jack and the rest of the family in your prayers!

Even though Baby Jack is named Jacob, he is called Baby Jack in honor of my grandfather who passed away in March.

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