"Our Little Trooper"

"Our Little Trooper"
"Let me live, that I may praise you!" Psalm 119:175

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Miracle #10: Rowan goes to Heaven!

On this New Year's Eve, as we move from one year to the next...here is the story of Rowan moving from this world to the next.  Again, this post is a little late, and obviously out of order...and as
difficult as it is to relive (as I have in my head a hundred times or more), it still deserves to be told. 

Rowan's last 24 hours on Earth...

After his sudden cardiac arrest and then Rowan being successfully placed on ECMO (heart-lung bypass) in that emergency surgery on the evening of December 13th, it felt like the world was standing still.  All of my memories in those next moments are more like snapshots...isolated images that I was able to comprehend...one at a time, not all together.  Here are some of those memories:

I remember walking back in to his ICU room as the surgeons left.  To just look at his body, you would have thought he was already gone.  The ECMO machine was forcing blood through his body, doing the work of the heart and oxygenating the blood, doing the work of the lungs.  But see, your chest doesn't rise and fall the same when the machine is doing all that work for you via ECMO.  There is no way to prepare yourself for that.  I had to just hold his hand, kiss his lips, look at the monitors every once in a while, and trust that he was indeed still alive.

The next thing I remember was watching as the nurses got down on their hands and knees to clean up all the blood from the floor.  All I could think of was how selfless they were.  They had work to catch up on, charting to do, they hadn't had a break in hours...but they didn't want me to have to look down and see all the blood on the floor.  They did this for me.  I cried as I watched them.

The next 12 hours or so, I either held his hand while crying and praying next to his bed, or climbed into his bed and cried and prayed over his tired body.  A dear friend from high school back in Ohio, who now lives in the Seattle area, left work to come up to the hospital to be with me, so I wouldn't be alone.  Thank you Dave.  It must have been awful, standing in that room, watching Rowan and I.  I'm not sure we spoke more than a dozen words the entire 8 hours or so that you stayed with me.  You simply hugged me, handed me my tea whenever I needed a drink, rubbed my back when I cried, and just stood silently nearby when you didn't know what else to do.  I can't thank you enough for your presence.  Truly.  I cannot think of a worse situation, but you handled it with such dignity and compassion.

Throughout the day, it became evident that Rowan was not going to pull through.  These details and the photos explaining how and why we knew...I am not ready to share.  At least not yet.  But once the doctors told me, I asked them to please keep Rowan going until Brian, Zoe and Ian arrived, which would be sometime after midnight.  They graciously and respectfully did so.

After that meeting, I told the nurse to please notify both floors of the Cancer Care Unit as well as the rest of the ICU nurses and staff, and let everyone know that the family would be arriving after midnight, but until then, they were all welcome to come say goodbye to Rowan in his room.  It was like a beautiful funeral procession or visitation service.  For hours on end, one by one, or 2 by 2, nurses and doctors from all the floors Rowan had stayed in the previous 5 1/2 months, came in to say goodbye to Rowan, tell me how much he meant to them, hug me, pray with me, play music for him, share their favorite memory of Rowan, laugh with me a little, and cry with me a lot.  It was surreal, but so special.  Again and again, I heard them say that they had never been so touched or so changed by one patient.  They said that the entire hospital was different because of him, and you could literally feel that.  These nurses and doctors had been Rowan and I's family for nearly 6 months straight...they treated him like their own son...not just while caring for him... but also while losing him.

While we waited for the Brian and the kids to arrive, some very special nurses helped me clean Rowan up.  We played worship music on Rowan's IPad.  They bathed him.  I put lotion on him, new socks, his favorite pink Calvin Klein underwear, gave him his favorite green frog wubby, his angel friend's stuffed animals, and covered him with new blankets.  These photos remind me of the woman washing Jesus feet, or Jesus washing the disciples feet.  I will never forget the way they cared for him.  It was so sacred, so tender.  It meant the world to me.  It always will.  Thank you Raina, Kate and Larry. 

*Raina, I hope and pray you and Camy specifically, know the difference you made on our journey.  We did way more laughing than crying with you two while Rowan was in ICU.  You may have bathed him in your tears here, but I will also never forget the moments of hilarity we all shared together.  You two became true friends.  Not just to Rowan, but to me.  I miss those nights, and will cherish those memories always.*

One of them was not even on duty.  He came up on his night off when he heard Rowan wasn't going to pull through.  He stayed with me for the next 8 hours or more, until after the family arrived and he could be there to hug Brian and the kids and pray with us all.  'Above and beyond the call of duty' does not begin to describe his selfless act.  His presence in that room, saved my sanity.  His prayers...saved our entire family's.  Thank you Larry. 

*Larry, Thank you, not only for being a great nurse, but more so for what you bring to the families going through these unbelievably tough circumstances.  Your bravery and honesty did more for our family's souls than any modern medicine could ever do for Rowan's body.  We are better for having met you, even if it had to be under these circumstances.*

The next 2 hours was just our family saying goodbye.  Each of us spent time whispering in Rowan's ear.  We held each other up when one of us was about to fall.  We cried, oh how we cried.  I have never experienced such a heavy sadness in my life, and I don't think I ever will again.  But when I look at these photos, I also see more love than can be described in words.

The nurses helped us create the final keepsakes.  Child Life, had done a few earlier in the day.  The tender, loving care with which this staff operates under such unbelievably tough circumstances, is to be commended.  They were honorable, respectful, thoughtful, and reverant about it all.  The difference that makes, is hard to describe, but so appreciated.  In the darkest of moments, we have some sweet memories, because of this staff.


When the time came, the doctors reentered the room and started removing Rowan from all life saving equipment.  We climbed in to bed with him.  Within seconds, he was gone.  2:11 am, December 15th, 2016.  Words cannot describe those final moments, so I will not try.  I only leave you with this photo...

...and the promise, that we all knew without a shadow of a doubt, Rowan was instantly at peace.  He trusted God with all his heart.  He was never scared.  He ran willingly into Jesus' arms.  He was healed.  He was whole. Yes he was gone (from us)...but he was finally home (with Jesus).

We know that this was Rowan's Miracle #10.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Obituary for Rowan Jameson Windham

July 21, 2006 - December 15, 2016

Rowan Jameson Windham went to Heaven at 2:11 am on December 15, 2016, surrounded by his loving mother, father, sister and brother. He fought serious health issues his entire 10 years of life in Texas, but had most recently spent the past 6 months hospitalized in Seattle, Washington as he underwent two consecutive stem cell transplants. At the time of his death he was on life support in the ICU at Seattle Children’s Hospital following multiple transplant related complications. We want to take a moment to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at both Seattle Children's Hospital and Methodist Children's Hospital, for their courageous efforts to save our son.

Rowan is preceded in death by his Maternal Grandmother, Debra Henderson, and several young angel friends, including Jalene Salinas and Chrissie Patterson. He is survived by his Mother and Father, Carrie and Brian Windham (New Braunfels, Texas); his older brother, Ian Windham; his older sister, Zoe Windham (Austin, Texas); his Maternal Grandfather, Jerry Mansfield (Springfield, Ohio); his Paternal Grandparents, Judy and Caleb Windham (Pipe Creek, Texas); his aunts, Amy Mansfield, Jennifer Price and Jennifer Windham; uncles Bruce Windham, Shannon Windham, Zalen Windham and Toby Price; and cousins, Meghan, Olivia, Veronica, Cameron, Aidan, Avery, Alec, Aris, and Preston; his best friends Christa, Charlotte, David, and Sam; as well as many other friends who have fought their own health battles. Rowan dedicated each day of his recent hospitalization to one of these friends, fighting in their honor or memory.

Rowan was in and out of the hospital constantly, and never went to school outside of the home. He had nearly 100 surgeries and was in the hospital over 1500 days of his life. However, not a day went by that he didn’t tell someone, “I love my Life!” And he meant it. He loved God, trusting him no matter what, reassuring us often, “I’ll be fine…either way”.

Rowan was an avid artist, soccer player, thespian, video gamer, Lego builder, chef, Bigfoot fan and philanthropist. He was an honorary Sheriff, Fireman, Lil Guardian with the Guardian's of the Children, member of the Defense and Veteran's Affairs Committee, and member of the Texas Army National Guard and Washington State Army National Guard. More than anything though, we pray Rowan will be remembered for his faith and positive outlook. His life, though short and medically challenging, was filled with wonder and amazement. His life verse was “Let me live that I may praise you.” Psalm 119:175 and he praised God for every one of his 3,797 days. May his message of faith, hope and love live on throughout all who loved him.

In lieu of flowers, we request that memorial donations be made to either Marrow Match, or Be the Match in Rowan’s name. Rowan did not have a match on the national bone marrow registry, and his life goal was to find 1 million bone marrow matches for others like himself. He worked with these two charities in the months before he left for Seattle. Nothing would make him prouder than if we help reach that goal.

Memorial Service to be held Friday, January 6th at 11:00 am at Live the Life Church in San Antonio, 5595 US Highway 87 E, 78222. Visitation to follow immediately afterwards, from 12:00 to 1:30 pm, followed by the procession to Hill Country Memorial Gardens in New Braunfels for 3:00 pm burial service, 11700 State Highway 46 West, 78132. A celebration of life, climb and bubble blowing event will be held Saturday, January 7th at 8:30 am at Enchanted Rock in Fredericksburg, 16710 Ranch Road 965, 78624. Park opens at 8:00 am.

Rowan’s life verse was “Let me live that I may praise you.” Psalm 119:175 and he praised God for every one of his 3,797 days. May his message of faith, hope and love live on throughout all who knew and loved him.

***Floral deliveries may be made on Thursday, January 5, 2017 from 9am-3pm to Olinger-Saenz Mortuary at 6614 S. Flores St., San Antonio, Texas 78214***
Funeral Service Friday, January 06, 2017
11:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Live the Life Church
5595 US Hwy 87 E.
San Antonio, Texas 78222
Graveside Service Friday, January 06, 2017
3:00 PM

Hill Country Memorial Gardens
11700 TX-46
New Braunfels, Texas 78132

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Miracle #9: Rowan wipes my tears after his heart attack.

This post obviously comes out of order, but you must realize why.  Those last few days were a blur.  I never left Rowan's room, actually, I barely left his bed.  Then, moving back home, making funeral arrangements, and grief itself has consumed me.  I wasn't sure when I would be able to blog again, other than details of his upcoming services.  My heart just felt too empty...no words were there...only sadness.

Tonight, I felt Rowan whispering to me, telling me to keep going though, to keep telling his story.  We were watching "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Imporium" (at my sisters urging) and the message was so clear.  There is a part near the end of the movie where Mr. Magorium is telling the girl that it is natural to be sad that he dies, but the important part is all the living that came before that.  He says, "relate my life in all it's wonder and end it with a simple, he dies". Thank you Jennifer for reminding me to watch this movie. I saw it in an entirely new light this time. Thank you Rowan for speaking to me this way.  I promise to continue to share your story. I promise to "relate your life in all it's wonder". I promise to continue this blog, and I plan to one day write a book about your amazing life. One of the last things Mr. Magorium says in the movie is, "Life is an occasion, rise to it."  So, rise, I will try, Rowan.


So, here is Miracle #9 blog post...just a little late...but the story deserves to still be told.

On Tuesday, December 13th, around 9:15 pm, in his ICU room, Rowan was in pain and motioned to us for some pain medicine.  The nurse gave him a dose and he suddenly his blood pressure started dropping.  They put him back on pressors immediately but they just didn't seem to help.  Within minutes his heart stopped beating.  His 2 nurses that evening stripped everything from his bed and started chest compressions in an instant.  A code blue was called.  The room filled with emergency staff.  Seconds ticked by like hours.  I fell on my knees, crying, praying, calling Brian to tell him what was happening.  After just 2-3 minutes of compressions the nurse called out, "He's fighting me. Carrie, get over here!" Rowan's heart started beating again.  It was a weak rhythm, but it was beating.  I ran to his side, crying, thanking Jesus.  Rowan, and I am not even kidding you...minutes after coding, reached up and wiped my tears.  He wiped MY tears.  Everyone in the room either sighed or cried.  Things were far from over, but we had indeed witnessed another miracle.  Rowan had just had a heart attack, I almost lost him in those moments, but he came to and was worried about me, not himself.  So like Rowan.

They called in an echo technician to do an echo of Rowan's heart.  The technician approached Rowan's bedside, wearing blue gloves.  Rowan is allergic to the nitrile in the blue gloves.  Intubated, unable to speak, he swatted her hands away from his chest gently, wagged his finger at her and mouthed "no blue gloves".  We all laughed out loud.  Minutes after a heart attack, he seemed so with it.  We just couldn't believe it.  It gave me hope.  Hope that he would fully recover.  The news was not good though.  He would not survive in his current state.  The only chance we had left was to place him on ECMO life support...if he could be approved.  A lot goes in to that decision making.  They do not take that step lightly.  Surgeons and ECMO specialists were brought in from home urgently as it was the middle of the night.  Two dozen or more doctors and nurses convened in and around Rowan's room.  His entire room: the bed, and all of the beams and equipment were shifted around to turn his ICU room into an Operating Room.  I held Rowan's hand the whole time they were prepping, I kept telling him "open your eyes Rowan", "stay with me Rowan".  Then I told him how hard they were trying to save him, how much I loved him, how much Daddy and Zoe and Ian loved him, how God and Jesus with there with him the entire time.  He mouthed to me, over his breathing tube, "I love you too".  The next two hours, I sat in the doorway of Rowan's room and watched as these people tried to place two gigantic cannulas into Rowan's neck and hook him up to the heart lung bypass machine.  It was grueling. 

But they did it...

This machine was running through his body, pumping blood through his heart and oxygenating it for his lungs.

We are calling this Miracle #9.

to be continued...

Arrangements for Rowan Jameson Windham

Please join us in honoring the life of Rowan Jameson Windham
July 21, 2006 - December 15, 2016

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Memorial service at 11:00 am at Live the Life Church in San Antonio
5595 US Highway 87 E, San Antonio, TX 78222
with visitation to follow immediately afterwards, from 12:00 Noon to 1:30 pm
1:30 pm procession to Hill Country Memorial Gardens in New Braunfels for 3:00 pm burial service
11700 State Highway 46 West, New Braunfels, Texas 78132

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

Celebration of Life, rock climb, and bubble blowing at 8:30 am at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area in Fredericksburg.
Park opens at 8:00 am.  Guests are encouraged to arrive at 8:00 am to insure entry to the park as it will close to the public when maximum vehicle capacity is reached*.
16710 Ranch Road 965, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
(*It is extremely important that people carpool to Enchanted Rock if at all possible.  The park will still be open to the public, and once the parking lot is full (250 vehicle maximum), they will not allow any more cars in.  We are trying to see if we can arrange a shuttle from a nearby location, and will post those details if we are able to do so.)

Please wear your "Hope", "Love our life!", or "Rally for Rowan" shirts to both events.

We hope that you will all be able to join us, as we honor Rowan's short but amazing life.  He was an avid artist, soccer player, thespian, video gamer, Lego builder, chef, bigfoot fan and philanthropist.  He was an honorary Sheriff, Fireman, Lil Guardian with the Guardian's of the Children, honorary member of the Defense and Veteran's Affairs Committee, and honorary member of the Texas Army National Guard and Washington State Army National Guard.  More than anything though, we pray he will be remembered for his faith and positive outlook on life, despite the most difficult circumstances.  His life, though short and medically challenging, was filled with wonder and amazement as well...and he loved every single minute of it.  Not a day went by that he didn't say: "I love my life!"  And he truly meant it.

"Let me live, that I may praise you."
Psalm 119:175

Rowan lived these words, praising God every day, good or bad.  He never gave up hope, he embodied it.  Despite our heartbreak and grief, we are desperately trying to do the same, in his honor and image.  Please join us in that endeavor. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

"God gave you your life for a reason..." Rowan

This picture, which I took in the last hour Rowan had blood flowing through his body, came out blurry.  That is what our life feels like right now anyway though, so maybe it was meant to be that way. Everything I look at is blurry...through constant tears. It's hard to breathe, difficult to move, and nearly impossible to function. The silence in this house is deafening. It doesn't mean we have lost our faith, it is just how we are desperately attempting to heal our broken hearts. 

I apologize if I do not get back to messages right away, and ask for your understanding if we are not readily available right now. This will take time. We do want to take a moment to thank everyone for your prayers and support though.  From everyone at Seattle Children's, Hotel Deca, National Guard, family, friends and even complete strangers.  Your prayers, messages, phone calls, texts, and financial donations have been unbelievable.  I hope to eventually thank each and every person individually, but wanted to offer this initial thank you to you all for now.  The costs associated with getting Rowan back home to Texas, plus the pod of our belongings and our car, on top of the medical, funeral, and burial expenses are astronomical, but you all have helped take a lot of that burden off of our shoulders. We cannot thank you enough! To my dear friend Lorraine, who has helped me by making so many of those difficult phone calls and set up all the unpleasant appointments for me...there are no words. I know you have walked this path yourself, and I couldn't do it without you.

We know that Rowan is at peace in Jesus arms.  We do not feel bad for him.  He was ready to go.  He was never afraid.  It is those of us left here on Earth that are having the hard time.  We are all trying to channel our inner Rowan, and remember his words of wisdom, though.  He wouldn't want us to be sad that he died.  He would want us to rejoice that he lived.  He would say, "Love your life, God gave it to you for a reason!"  You used your life well Rowan.  We will try our best to do the same.  We ask you to do so too, to honor Rowan's life and his message.

This weekend, I will post the full details for his memorial service and celebration of life. But you can mark your calendars for now: 

Memorial Service in San Antonio on Friday, January 6th at 11 am
Burial in New Braunfels on Friday, January 6th at 3 pm
Celebration of Life at Enchanted Rock on Saturday, January 7th at 8 am

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rowan Jameson Windham 6/21/06-12/15/16

This is Lorraine Patterson, Carrie's friend.  Carrie asked if I would post an update here as she is currently not available to do so. 

It is with great sadness that I share the passing of Rowan Jameson Windham, who was welcomed into the arms of Jesus at 2:11AM December 15, 2016 following complications from his two bone marrow transplants at Seattle Children's Hospital. 
Here is Carrie's announcement from the Rally for Rowan Facebook site:
Some may say the world got darker at 2:11 am this morning when Rowan's heart stopped beating. but our family is choosing to see that the world was brighter because Rowan was ever in it. We were blessed with the 10 best years of our lives. He is playing tag in heaven with all his angel friends now. He is healthy and whole and new. Thank you For all your prayers and support. Brian and the kids arrived 2 hours before he passed away.

From Lorraine:
The Windham Family is so very grateful for your abundant prayers, love, and support.  At this time, the best way to offer support to their family is to financially donate toward the funeral expenses, moving expenses (from Washington back to Texas), and outstanding medical expenses.
Immediate estimated expenses are $25,000.  Our goal is to get Rowan's GoFundMe site to $55,000 (the prior donations on the site do not include the current fundraising goal, as those funds have already been applied to prior medical expenses).  I am not starting a new GoFundMe account to reflect this need because the current GoFundMe is already linked to Carrie's bank account.
Approved ways to donate directly to Rowan’s family:
1. PayPal to cawindham@gvtc.com (This goes directly to Rowan's mom's PayPal account, which will be transferred to their family bank account. Be sure to select "send money to family/friends" as this will eliminate any PayPal fees/withholding, which means the Windhams will receive 100% of your PayPal donation) This is the preferred method of donation because no fees will be withheld from the Windham family and they will have instant access to those funds.
2. Mail a check made out to Carrie Windham, c/o Lorraine Patterson, PO Box 1708, Kyle, TX 78640.
3. gofundme.com/LetRowanLive (A small portion of each donation is reserved for GoFundMe fees.)

We are launching 2 different designs of t-shirts (that Zoe designed this time), in memory of Rowan. They come in multiple colors and shirt styles this time. They will only be available for order/purchase for 7 days, in the hopes that everyone will receive their printed shirt in time for the funeral services in early January, once we get Rowan home and plan everything. Hope to see lots of these shirts at the service and celebration of life. Thank you all for everything. (There is a "style" button on the right side, so you can choose v neck, child, long sleeve, sweatshirt, etc)


From Lorraine:
Rowan was truly the brightest light to our world for the past ten years. I have no doubt his light from heaven will continue to shine as brightly as it did on earth. Rowan was truly an incredible boy who changed the lives of countless people with his unwavering faith, wisdom, wit, humor, maturity, inspiration, joy, hope, love, selflessness, bright smile, courage, strength, bravery, determination, and heroism. Rowan ALWAYS found the good in ALL situations. Rowan and his powerful legacy will always be remembered and honored by those around the world who so dearly loved him. Please continue to pray for Rowan's family--Carrie (Rowan's mom), Brian (Rowan's dad), Zoƫ (Rowan's sister) and Ian (Rowan's brother), as well as his extended family and countless friends around the world.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

"I'm sorry Mommy, I'm sorry Mommy, you're right... I can't breathe..."

As one of the nurses and I were just discussing, in the hospital, and especially in the ICU, things can change so quickly...for the better but unfortunately, also for the worse.  This past Thursday, Rowan had a pretty okay day.  They were able to pull off  a lot of fluid via dialysis, he did not require any blood or platelet transfusions, and we were able to stop his insulin drip.  Friday, things started to change.  He went back on iv pressors to keep his BP up, back on insulin, was pale and lethargic, had a high respiratory rate, high heart rate, and was requiring blood sugar checks (finger or toe pokes) every 30 minutes all day, as well as blood pressure checks (arm cuff squeezes) every 5 minutes all day...you heard me right ... every 5 minutes.  He was getting sicker, but he was also getting more and more miserable...and tired.  By Saturday morning, he was on 2 pressors (one, at a higher level than he has been this entire stay), a much higher drip of insulin.  He received 2 red blood cell transfusions, 2 rapid fluid boluses, stress dosing steroids, and had an ART line placed, but he seemed to be holding his own.  He was only on 1-2 L of nasal cannula oxygen for comfort during the day, and was switched to High Flow nasal cannula overnight. 

Sunday, the switch was flipped.  He was switched over to BiPAP, received 4 platelet infusions, 3 red blood cell infusions and 2 albumin infusions in 24 hours. 

Early Sunday morning as respiratory therapy was attempting to fit him for a smaller BiPAP mask Rowan was fighting me.  He kept telling me, "I don't need this, I don't need this, let me prove it to you right now.  I can breathe on my own."  I explained to him that we were doing it for his own good, because it was taking too much for him to breathe on his own now and keep his sats up.  He continued to argue with me as they switched the mask over.  During that transition, Rowan started to desat...significantly.  He stared at me, wide eyed at first, and started panicking.  He said, through very labored breathing, ""I'm sorry Mommy, I'm sorry Mommy, you're right... I can't breathe.  I can't breathe.  I can't..." And with that he started to close his eyes.  There were 6-7 of us in the room at the time.  I stepped back to let respiratory therapy and the nurses take charge of the situation.  Then, I heard one of the statements you never want to hear while in the ICU with your child.  A nurse grabbed Rowan by the face, looked him in the eyes and said "Stay with me Rowan.  Stay with me, okay?", as the RT worked fervently to refit his BiPAP and stabilize his breathing.  He quickly recovered and I came back closer to the bed, to be by his side.  Rowan looked over at me with tears in his eyes, and said "Ok, Ok, Ok, I'm sorry.  Ok Mommy".  The scare made him realize how much he needed help.  He now knew that he needed to be on the BiPAP, and he was scared enough to do so willingly the rest of the day.  The crazy part, was that he kept apologizing for it.  He felt bad for fighting us.  He was more concerned with having offended us, than he was himself.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Throughout the day, his respiratory requirements continued to increase.  He needed more and more fi02 settings, and had lower and lower sats.  It was such a trying day.  By the late afternoon, the doctors were rounding by his room every 30 minutes to an hour, and warned me that he may be close to needing to intubated. At first I did not want them to do that.  Neither did Rowan.  It is a difficult decision to make when he was still able to talk to me and still knew what was going on, etc.  But his vitals and his blood gas labs started to prove that he really needed the break.  Sometime around 1:00 am he could no longer keep his sats above 80s, his respiratory rate was in the 60s, and he was very uncomfortable, working extremely hard to breathe.  I looked at the doctor with tears in my eyes and said "Okay, yes, I see that he needs it." 

Rowan's ICU room quickly started to fill and change shape.  They had such a well oiled machine working though.  I wanted to stay because it is torture being outside, wondering how things are going the whole time they are working on him.  They allowed me to be in the room, and I chose a corner to stand in.  I wanted to be near, but did not want a front row seat.  I will not describe every detail, because it is an undesirable and unimaginable experience, and honestly, I may not be words to adequately paint the picture. 

What I will say, is that Rowan is intubated and remains on the vent right now.  We were up until 5 am in the morning to make sure he settled in to the vent settings and stabilized.  And as always, I was truly impressed with this child's ability to remain calm, grateful and agreeable during such a difficult scenario.  He signed "thank you" to the doctors and nurses as he drifted off to sleep, under the sedation.

But now, I wanted to share his last words before intubation.  Rowan of course warned the doctor, "Remember, I need more propofol than the normal person."  I didn't want to be his last words before intubation, so I prompted him, saying "Every Day...?" and he answered me, "I will get stronger." I said, "I love you Rowan." and he mouthed, "I love you too."  I thought that would be it...but then Rowan sweetly called out to the room, "Okay, I hope nobody is wearing blue gloves in here."  We all chuckled.  Then they got to work.  Rowan did desat, and he did have to be manually bagged a few times while getting him attached to the correct mask.  The person placing the tube stood at the head of Rowan's bed and warned her attending, "This isn't gong to be easy.  He's so swollen.  I don't have a good view." The attending concurred.  The next moments, felt like hours, while they sedated, prepped, attempted, paused to bag, and then performed the intubation.  No mother should ever have to witness such a traumatic event.  And hearing the attending tell the fellow, "You have 60 seconds"...so intense.

In the end, Rowan was successfully intubated, and was placed on the ventilator with some pretty high settings.  The goal and the hope is that his lungs and breathing will heal and recover with this respiratory break.  He has remained stable during the day today.  He arouses, and he is in pain, but his work of breathing is much improved on the vent.  I thank God for the amazing team of nurses and doctors that he has aligned for us.  I learn more and more each day, not just about medicine, but about true compassion and dedication.  These people have saved my son...again.  We are forever in your debt.