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...