Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Brianna Fights for her Life in Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Our dear sweet daughter is back in the pediatric ICU fighting to breathe. It is so hard to see her in such critical condition. Please send your prayers and thoughts of healing.

Yesterday morning it was apparent Brianna was not getting better. Her breathing was worse, and she was so weak, she could barely sit up. The doctors said she needed to go to the ICU, have the bronchoscopy to determine what is attacking her lung and be intubated. I knew that it had to be done, because the medicines they were giving her weren't working.

Before all this happened, we had planned for my mom to come and spend the day with us at the hospital. I thank God she was there for me and that John soon followed from work. Brianna sat up on the edge of her bed and leaned sideways on me, then my mom sat down and she leaned on her. It was difficult for her to talk with all the pressure of oxygen being blown into her mouth and nose, but she told us that when she's well she wants to go to a spa and get a massage and have her nails done. She also asked if I had been crying and I said yes, that it was so hard to see her like this. That was true, but I was actually very afraid of what might happen.

I kept positive thoughts in my mind and said prayers all night, but she still wasn't better. I knew that the ICU was the next step. She was moved from the 2North transplant floor to the ICU yesterday afternoon and they decided to intubate her immediately. she was having a very tough time with the oxygen supply they provided on the short trip between units. We waited anxiously, and while we waited, we had to pack up our stuff again and move it out of the room and into my car. When we got back the doctors came out and told us she was stable and not feeling any pain associated with having the tube down her throat and into her lungs.

About 5:30 pm, she had the bronchoscopy. They put a tiny camera, or scope, down into her left lung and the doctor immediately saw that the fluid in her lung was actually blood. She is bleeding inside her lungs. So he said he cleaned it up and when into the right lung to the area with the fungal infection. He said that as he went into one of her bronchial tubes you can see that it's collapsed and breaks up easily, that there is most likely some dead tissue there. This is not surprising to us because of the aspergillus. He was able to get lots of samples and took the directly to the lab. It will take 24 to 48 hours before we know what is attacking her lungs. In the meantime, Brianna has to continue fighting in order to stay with us.

We got a hotel and after seeing her in the ICU, I just fell apart. I thought I could handle it because we had been in the ICU before, but you never get used to seeing your child so critical. We went to the hotel to get some much needed rest. My mom stayed the night so John could go home and get clothes for the next few days. It may be weeks, we realize, but we're praying that it's only a few days that she'll be so critical.

Last night I didn't get any phone calls, so I assumed Brianna was stable. So when I got to her room the next morning, I saw that she's on a different kind of ventilator. Her chest was being pumped super fast by an oscillating ventilator that pushes air into her lungs and extracts it so fast, it's like 600 breaths a minute. It is used to better oxygenate the body. Even though she was getting 100 percent oxygen, her body was showing that it was only absorbing 60 percent. That began to drop around midnight, so they switched her to this new ventilator. And in order to do that, she has to have an IV drip of a drug that paralyzes her. Every so often the nurse has to check her to ensure that she is totally paralyzed in order for her lungs to accept this the ventilation cycles.

Today's nurse said I assume they called you to tell you of this change, and of course I got no call. I had made sure they had my cell phone number and wrote it down on a card and taped it to her chart, and yet I still got no call. This I would deal with in our Patient Care Meeting scheduled for 11 am today.

So I asked about pain management and the nurse said that she is on her usual pain medicine and the only way to tell if she's beginning to feel pain is to watch her vitals. If her blood pressure begins to increase, and her heart rate begins to increase, then she's starting to "wake up" and feel pain. Then she's given more pain medicine.

I have no words to express how I feel, how sad we are that she is in this position and that the pulmonologist just stopped by to say the odds are not with her, but that it's up to the individual to determine who survives. This is the hardest thing we've ever done, mentally and physically. You start second guessing yourself and saying if only we had done this sooner, or gone to this hospital instead or pushed the doctors to do this or that quicker.

We are desperate to have our daughter back and on the road to recovery. I dream of the days when Brianna and I shopping together, when the family is together enjoying a fire in the backyard and laughing. And I dream of the days when we will be shopping in Paris on her Make-A-Wish trip. Sometimes I think this isn't real and just a nightmare. Then I wake up and realize this is all real.

Please pray for Brianna's health, meditate on it, and keep her in your thoughts. As I said, we are desperate to have her back.


Kingfisher Farm said...

Iva I am praying that God lift you, carry you, and keep Brianna comfortable. I pray that he is merciful and kind. I pray that he heals Brianna. I pray that he hears us all. Please dear God hear our prayers. Please cure Brianna! Lord I know you have granted many miracles, please give Brianna a miracle, she wants to live, to dance to grow, to see your world! Pam

Christy said...

We love you Brianna! Beat this thing!!! I know you can do it! No doubts now....You've got shopping to do in Paris...so use that as your visual thought to pull yourself through....Big, Big loves, Crusty

Disgusted Cats said...

So many prayers are being offered up on your behalf! Please know how much we are all badgering God, and pulling for you dearhearts!!!!
We send you all our love, always!'Joanne

Sam I Am said...

Brianna .. You can do this!!!! FIGHT and make us all happy by doing some shopping in Paris!!
We're sending you strength..love and TONS of prayers your way...

colleen said...

We are storming heaven Brianna. We are willing Him to heal you. We love you both and will see your smiling faces very soon.

Kitty Forseth said...

I am here Iva.. praying.. sending you all the love and strength that I can muster. The angels are holding Brianna, giving her the power to keep fighting. She is so strong, she will not give up. We have to believe that.

I look forward to giving Brianna a very special gift for her trip to Paris!

I love you both.. just holding you so you can cry..



Judith Weber said...

Iva, I am praying with all my heart for Brianna. So is Tom. And, so are your other friends in Florida. We are praying for you, John, Trevor, for your whole family. I just want her to get well and for the two of you to go to that spa together.
Love, Judy

CoffeyHouse Collection said...

I have asked everyone I know to pray for you and your family Brianna! You are loved by so many people that don't even know you personally!

Anonymous said...

Iva I don't know you, but my heart goes out to your daughter and her fight for her life. She sounds like a strong individual. My prayers are with her and your family. May God bless her with strength and comfort as well as the family. I pray he will bless her with time and a long healthy life.

Anonymous said...

Brianna and Iva!!! I am sending all the love I have your way!! Please feel it.... and get stronger!!! Love jo

Dixie Redmond said...

Offering prayers for Brianna and for you, too, Iva.


Kitty Forseth said...

You are all in our thoughts and prayers.. every minute. Everyone I know is praying for you..

Strengthening and healing thoughts are being sent across the bay...

All of our love,

Kitty, Doug
Madison & Ray

Kitty Forseth said...

from: madame.b.wishful


Please let Brianna's family know prayers are being sent out.


the magpie said...

Dear Brianna,
you are in my prayers, sweetie...in fact, you are THE prayer!! Bless your heart, sweet girl...I have faith you'll see Paris yet!

Iva~~may "peace that passeth understanding" just sweep over your entire family...know that Brianna is the subject of many, many, prayers!

Retro-Rudolphs said...

Keep fighting Brianna!!
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Big Hugs!! Lori

Sylvia Anderson said...

Iva~ Brianna, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. We're all pulling for a speedy recovery!


Ingrid weber said...

Iva and family, We are praying for you and thinking only posititve thoughts. Keep fighting Brianna. There are a lot of people who want to meet you when you come home.

Johanna Parker said...

I'm visualizing images of strength, healing, smiles and laughter for Brianna..... May she soon be climbing out of this valley and headed for the highest peaks! Sending warmth and love to you all.....

Carolee said...

Iva, I'm offering up prayers and sending out prayer requests to many others, that Brianna's health be restored! May God bless her and bless all of you with strength and comfort.....

~ Carolee

joanna bolton said...

Iva,I am praying for Brianna, you and your family. Joanna

CraBBy GaBBy said...

I happen upon this blog by Chance, and I am so impressed by your composure. I am praying for Brianna, your family and the drs and nurses that treat her.

I pray that what ever is attacking her lungs must flee in the Name of Jesus! This disease has no place in Brianna's Body. By HIS stripes WE ARE HEALED (Isaiah 53:5)
I pray for total and complete recovery. A peace which surpasses all understanding(Philippians 4:7)
to be with you and your family. I thank God for the Angels that Minister to us(Hebrews 1:13-14) , and for the Holy spirit who comforts us. (John 14:16)
Thank you God for your Word that WILL NOT RETURN VOID!(Isaiah 55:11)AND NO weapon formed against us can prosper! and I claim this disease as a weapon..and it can not prosper any longer in Briannas body(Isaiah 54:17)

Jesus, You came that we may have life and have it more abundantly..it is on the Devil who comes to steal kill and destroy! (John 10:10)

I thank you for the healing ...(Mark 11:23)

TamboinMO said...

I was told about Brianna through an on-line crafting group that I am in. I am offering up my prayers to God to give Brianna her chance to go to Paris and prayers for your family as well.
God Bless,

TamboinMO said...

I was told about Brianna through an on-line crafting group that I am in. I am offering up my prayers to God to give Brianna her chance to go to Paris and prayers for your family as well.
God Bless,

Tricky Stitches Primitives said...

Iva- My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I pray for Brianna's strength so that she may beat this. Godd bless-Noelle

Diane Duda said...

I came via Christy and Sandy's blogs to offer up my prayers for your precious daughter. My thoughts and good wishes are with you. I don't know you but I know "being a mother"and my heart is full for you right now.
Keep hope in your heart!

Joanie Krisan said...

Iva, we are all praying for Brianna to pull through. We love your son Trevor and want nothing more than your family to be together again. God bless Brianna with stength to keep fighting.

Pamela said...

Iva, I think of you and Brianna almost daily and send you all of my love and prayers. Even my daughter asks about Brianna often. You are such a loving and strong mom Iva...this is where Brianna gets it from. I look forward to the day where you report wonderful news to us all and pray that she is comfortable and pain-free during these difficult days. Many hugs to you both, Pam L.

Nancy said...

Iva - your friend Kitty asked me to pray and I am asking our sweet Father to heal Brianna's. That you would feel His presence and lean on Him. That He would be miracles.

Stacy said...

God, help Brianna be the miracle she told the doctors she would be. We all are praying for you and your family.
God Bless you all,

little.ol.me said...

Oh Iva, I am praying with all of my heart that Brianna will beat this!!!! Please know that both Brianna, you and the rest of your family will be close in my thoughts and prayers .. May the Lords angels surround Brianna, keep her safe, and give her the strength she needs to be able to fight and beat this!!!! We are all so proud of you Brianna .. you are doing such a fantastic job, keep on fighting hon, you can do it!!!!

Sending you lots of big hugs, love, and tons of prayers

Debbie said...


Our hands are reaching out with much warmth, touching you with slight pressure only to give you the awareness that we are there supporting you and assisting you with your healing, providing stength and more strength. WE LOVE YOU SO... Stay strong.


A mother's love is so special and I know Brianna is appreciative of your care for her now. Hold on and feel each others love now because it is even more special.

hugs and kisses and much more...

Debbie and Tom

Carol Maglio said...

I am sending loving thoughts and prayers for Brianna and to you and your family today. Please know that there are so many people praying for all of you. Stay strong and keep the faith... God is always with you even in the darkest times. Carol

chelseatroper said...

I want you to know that everyday I am thinking of you guys. There is so much love for her from all of her friends.

Disgusted Cats said...

Sister on PFATT, sister in Christ, you and Brianna are incredible women! We are all praying for your continued strength and well-being. God love you!
Hugs, Joanne

Lisa said...

There are many people out here praying for Brianna and your family. I can't imagine what you all are going through. Let's pray the pain will end soon and Brianna will be back at home where she belongs. God Bless all of you.

Blondie said...

Briana, Iva and family,
I continue to pray for healing, strength, amazing grace and for the dr's I pray for wisdom and vision.
Standing firm and standing with you
Psalms 91

jacqui said...

Hi Honey, You don't me, I just followed a link from a fewllow artist's website because her story about your daughter just breaks my heart, then I read your story and after praying for all of you I'm sitting here with one of my cats cuddled up nect to me and crying. I am just so so sorry. I try so hard to believe that everything happens for a reason, that some good can come from even the most painful heartbreaking things. I so hope this will be the case in your case. You strike me as someone who loves her daughter very much and I just can't imagine why she wouldn't beat this and get well. My ex-husband who I still love very much was just in the ICU on meds to keep him paralyzed, on a ventilator, in a medical coma, with punctured lungs, broken ribs, a brain bleed, bruised heart, fractured bones in his back and neck and a very open compound fracture of his leg. We sat by his side for days. First they told us to prepare for losing him, then they told us they might have to take his leg. Now, he's back at work, completely healed with the exception of having to use a cane, for now. I recently threw up blood on a cruise to Mexico, had to be taken off ship by ambulance and was hospitalized in Cabo for several days, and am about to have some further tests this coming week. I have a friend who is on her third go round with cancer and right now, after a year's worth of chemo she is completing her PHD thesis and going on a trip to New Orleans. I guess my wee point here is that terribly painful things happen to us, nothing can be worse than seeing your child in pain and in danger, but usually, hopefully, with a lot of prayer and positive thoughts, things work out for the best. I am praying with all my heart that it won't be long before you will all be on the other side of this puzzling out why it all happened in the first place. Lots of love from a new pal, Jacqui. PS: Here's a link to my blog; http://jacqui.livejournal.com

Rabbit Hill Creations said...

Hi Iva, I came upon your blog through Sandy's & Christy's blog. I'm so sorry that Brianna, you and your family are going through this. Please know that Brianna is in my prayers, continue to be strong for her and have strong faith. Much love, Toni