Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Baby Peter Doing Well

Baby Peter is off the ventilator now. That's good news from Catherine Herridge, via Gretawire:

As you know, we continue to follow the progress of our colleague Catherine Herridge's son Peter, who now has part of her liver in him. Since it is better to get it straight from the source, here is what Catherine wrote me yesterday: \n\t\n\t\t

E-mail No. 1

Hello from Pittsburgh!

We are spending all our time in the ICU with Peter. The nurses have nicknamed him "happy" because he is smiling so much now. Recovery is not a straight line, so we have some days when Peter makes terrific progress and others where he slips back. Peter has now been "extubated" (that means the breathing tube has been taken out of his lungs). This is a major step forward. He still has some breathing support from a thin tube that lies under his nose. Of course, Peter being Peter, he expends a lot of baby effort trying to pull it off!

I have a lot of respect for the ICU doctors. The day Peter started breathing on his own, he had severe withdrawal from the pain and sedation medication he had been on. So severe, that his heart rated dropped in half. The doctors, especially Dr. Shakar, stayed calm and helped Peter get through this. It seemed like the longest hour of my life. They didn\'t give up on him and they didn\'t do the easy thing either, which would have been to put his breathing tube back in. We are so grateful for their grace under pressure.

To deal with the withdrawal, Peter is now on methadone. Apparently, this is pretty common with transplant kids. My husband and I try to make light of it, by telling Peter we will help him "kick his habit" when he's better!

I don't know how these doctors come in every day. The kids in an ICU are so very sick and many of them won't make it. But these teams give it their best shot every day, for families they have never met before, it's an amazing thing.

As for his liver, this is a critical time, when some form of rejection can take place. I know Peter's doctors are monitoring this closely. Every day you look at his blood work wondering if it shows rejection or just an infection. This is an anxious time.

Please thank everyone who is pulling for "happy." We can't thank you enough. Will give him a big kiss for you.




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