Tag Archives | ECMO

A good day: Off the ECMO

Teri arrived at Gabis’ room just as they were cleaning up. There was substantially more room since THE ECMO MACHINE ISN’T IN THERE!!!

Gabi’s heart is beating on it’s own and everything is looking pretty good. Teri just called me with quick update, and I wanted to get the word out as soon as possible. I will update this post with more details as I get them.

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Toes flinched

I talked with my mom who has been sitting with her all day. She actually got to see her toes flinch when the nurse tickled them.  The nurses were playing her lullabies in the background as the paralyzation wears off. I can’t wait to see her.

Everything else is holding strong.

My husband is the best, isn’t he?

Thank you all for your continued support. I finally got to read most of the comments from the past week and I promise to respiond to each one of you. We are truly blessed.

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Quick Update

I just talked with one of Gabi’s nurses. She is holding steady still. They took her off the paralyzing medicine and she actually opened her eyes. The medication was supposed to take 24 hours to wear off, but she opened her eyes within 10 hours. I knew she was fiesty when she ripped out her O2 tubes several times, so I know she is fighting this.  The nurse said she has some bleeding in her head (a side effect from the ECMO). They grade the bleeding on a scale from 1 to 4, 4 being the worst. She is holding steady at just 1, which is still good, they are just monitoring that like crazy. There are many neurologic tests they will do on her once that paralyzation starts to wear off. They look for muscles twitching, dilation of the pupils and I forgot the many others.

They tried turning the ECMO maching down to 400 (she has been at 500 since the surgery) and her heart did show some signs of ejecting the blood through her arteries and veins, which is a great sign. Tomorrow in the morning they are going to open her back up and turn the ECMO machine way down to 200, watch her heart actually start beating and possible turn the machines off if her heart responds well. That’s what we are obviously hoping for and if she doesn’t respond well, then that will be a different conversation.

I am heading up to Milwaukee probably tomorrow morning to be there after the surgical exporation is finished. This back and forth is going to be a rough go for the next few months. But we will all hang in there and survive this. Nice to catch up with some of you today.

Thanks for all the continued support. They are certainly carrying us all through this uncertain time. Our faith is strong and I love my husband more today than I ever have, so I know we will all be OK, whatever does happen.


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Holding Steady

Well we are home and I am just loving my kids right now. We picked them up from G & G Danstrom’s and they all gently tackled me.  It was awesome. G. Colleen looked pretty warn out. She kept them busy while we were gone. And she and G. Ruth got our carpets cleaned while we were out of the house for a few days. Shelly was here,  moved the furniture back in its place and did the rest of our laundry, and a neighbor brought us a dinner. Talk about wonderful friends and family!

I talked to one of Gabi’s nurses and she said there is not much going on. She is holding steady, they gave her more lasix to help her pee off some of the swelling from surgery. Her chest is still open until the swelling goes down. It is bandaged up with clear tape so you can actually see her heart through the opening that is about the size of a small apple. They do a head ultrasound every few hours to ensure there is no bleeding or seizures or strokes. She is still fully sedated and chemically paralyzed so hopefully she doesn’t know we are not physically there with her right now. But I know her guardian angel is watching over her and that everyone’s prayers are carrying her through this.

I am so blown away by all of the comments and voicemails and emails I have received in the past few days. Thank you all for your continued support. I promise to get back to each one of you soon. We are truly blessed to have friends and family to support us like this.

We have already met some truly wonderful friends through this rollercoaster. A young couple was just going home with their son after an almost 3 month hospital stay. Another family next door to us in the hospital has a daughter that was born in May that has been on and off ECMO and had another surgery today. Both of their children have HLHS. I am certain we will keep in touch with them. Life here as we know it is so fragile and we have already learned so much this past week and I know Gabi has more lessons for us in the near future.

We have more pictures although they are a bit graphic. Ethan will post them tomorrow.


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Tuesday update

She is still on ECMO. We just talked to the doctors and they are just letting her rest today and probably tomorrow. The machines she is attached to are just unbelievably overwhelming. She has 2 nurses that constantly at her side checking and rechecking and even putting chap stick on her little lips. As she lays there and appears lifeless, we know she is still fighting.

The doc checked the elecrticity and flow of her heart and all looks good, it is just the muscle that needs to rest. They are hoping that Gabi will give them a sign when to take her off the ECMO. They watch the arterial lines monitor for any signs of more pressure in the arteries, which means her heart could be ready to take over on its own. If they don’t see that sign soon, they will try and turn the ECMO down to see if her heart will kick in on its own. This will happen in the next 2-3 days.  If her heart does not take over, they will continue to let her rest for a few more days. The complications of being on ECMO could be quite serious so if nothing happens within about 5 -7 days, then we will look at our options.  The doc didn’t want to discuss those options as of yet…he didn’t want us to get ahead of ourselves. So we continue to pray that Gabi will give them a sign she is done with her rest and her little heart will take over.

We are heading home for a day or so and I cannot tell you how excited I am to see Ethan Thomas and Marissa. I know it may sound silly but I am so excited to be able to come home and take have Big Ethan take Little Ethan for his first tee-ball practice tonight.  I am so thankful my mom is going to come and sit with Gabi so she doesn’t have to be by herself.



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Quick wrapup

She is on ecmo (life support) which happens 14% of the time. Dr. Tweddle said he was surprised at needing support because she was doing well and the follow up echo showed pretty good circulation.

This was really what we were hoping would not happen, but everybody is hopeful things can turn around with some rest for Gabrielle’s heart.

Thanks to all of you for your prayers. We are still hopeful for a good outcome, just more rolling hills than expected.

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Her heart wasn’t quite strong enough. They are putting her on ecmo for a couple of days to let her heart heal and rest.

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