Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Big Step Forward

Virginia was extubated this morning! This means that they removed the endotrachial tube and ventilator that was providing her respiratory support. She is now on a lower level of respiratory support called NIP, where she must initiate each breath that she takes and is only supported with additional oxygen and pressure. Her previous support also took breaths for her at a set rate. While this support appears physically more cumbersome (as you can see in the photo below), it is much better for her respiratory development.

I was elated to finally get to see Virginias little lips, tongue, chin and cheeks. I left those out of the photo below so that Heath can see them for the first time in person when he sees her tomorrow.

We are very hopeful that Virginia can continue to make positive progress in her respiratory development (There are 2 other step down therapies before she would be completely off of oxygen support). The next few days are critical and they have warned us that she may have to reintubated and be back on the vent if her oxygen levels drop or she has prolonged apnea episodes. We could use some prayers in the next few days that she continues to do well on NIP.

As we enter the holiday season, blood banks are often in need of donations. Virginia has received several rounds of blood transfusions and we are very grateful to those people who donated the blood that has gone on to help Virginia fight. We encourage those of you who can to donate blood this holiday season. It is the most valuable gift you can give.

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