Saturday, February 23, 2013

birthday ECMO!

Happy Birthday James! We put up a banner, and covered James' room in birthday swag. (Thank you, Pamela, Carman, and Danica). James awoke with the best smile in the world. He was aglow with hope and optimism. We started the day with good spirits all around.

Unfortunately, it was another day of rapid changes. James' carbon dioxide levels were at a dangerous level. These levels were not declining with the help of ventilation, or with an attempt to clear the mucus from his lungs with a birthday bronchoscopy. Instead, James' levels rose further. An immediate decision was made: James would be in the next available Operating Room to be placed on ECMO. This extracorporeal artificial lung system would help bridge the gap for transplant, and support James' breathing process.

It was all very fast. We held each other close between tears and shared affections. James and I held hands with the strength of deep fears. James' mother, Kathy, and I watched James being rolled away into surgery with streaming tears and a nauseous ache. The risks of complications are rare, but serious. It wouldn't be long for tears of a different nature. The surgery was successful. James was safe. James is safe. We have many reasons to celebrate!

We are warmed by all the love encircling our family during this difficult time. We opened more than twenty-five cards with messages of hope and support (and I know there will be more next week). We will forever be grateful for your love. I wish I could hug you all. It means a lot to know that we are in your thoughts and prayers.


  1. James you look wonderful, and that cake looks delicious.After all you went through yesterday I hope it ended on a good note. I see you got my card.Love and prayers to you both. Stay strong xoxoDonna

  2. Happy Birthday James ♥ Wonderful to see your lovely smile. We are setting up a blog to follow Carl's progress and are linked to yours and Jessica's. Looking forward to meeting everyone. We find out this week if we will be coming to Toronto sooner than April.

  3. Hey James, looking very handsome for the birthday - or is that special handsome-ness for Mr. ECMO? Either way, well done! You and Adena look so lovely for your birthday, we were glad to do our part to see that the day was special, and look forward to seeing pictures of you celebrating in more fun locations for years to come!
    All the best,
    C, D & P

  4. You guys are breaking my heart....Come on we need Lungs here FAST!!!!!!!
    I'm praying all day really,really hard for James:)

    You both are amazing xo