We will always remember Ellie for her love for others, her creativity, sensitivity, and delight in life! Ellie's light has spread far and wide... may it continue to shine in our hearts.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Quick Medical Update

Things have been really hectic and changing so rapidly. Sarah has asked me (Loretta) to give a quick update until she can get on the computer tomorrow, hopefully.

Ellie is in the Pediatric ICU since last night around 8 PM. Yesterday, the procedures to remove her Broviac and the placement of a new Central Line were completed successfully. Following that, as she was coming out of the anesthesia, she went into Septic Shock and ultimately went into cardiac arrest.

The pulling of the Broviac 'released' or somehow caused the bacterial infectious condition to explode (septic shock). She was moving in the direction of sepsis since Monday night when the fevers began. The placement of the new line caused the additional complication of internal bleeding in the pleural cavity. This fluid in the cavity pressed on her lungs causing inability to breathe and eventually contributed to the shifting of her esophagus and heart in the chest cavity. This all culminated in cardiac arrest and extreme difficulty intubating her(placing a tube in her airway). They worked on her for approximately 4 hours before they could transport her to ICU. During that time her heart stopped for 3 minutes, but resuscitation was eventually achieved. She is on "significantly excessive" amounts of blood pressure medication. She was placed in a drug induced coma and put on a ventilator (breathing machine). They are keeping her body temperature around 94-95F to prevent cardiac arrest, decrease metabolic demands, and studies have shown this improves neurological outcomes. John stayed the night with Ellie in ICU and he reported the medical team worked all night to try to keep her stable - her tissues are full of fluid, her blood pressure was difficult to stabilize. She appeared swollen all over especially her head, neck, chest, and hands. The fluid in the pleural cavity is not draining from the chest tube well and the lungs now show fluid build-up. The doctor told John the swelling will get worse before better, and the kidney and liver function will get worse before they get better. If Ellie does not adequately deal with all of this fluid they will have to put her on dialysis to assist. They reported being mostly pleased with her urine output and bladder function. The doctor concluded, "she is not out of the woods yet, but is doing okay".

Mid-morning, the doctors suspected a clot in the right side of the chest cavity which seemed to be impeding the draining of the fluid from her chest. They initially planned to have the surgeons come in around noon and try to flush the drain and remove the clot or administer drugs to bust the clot up. They were also planning a CT Scan of the head around 2 PM and another x-ray of her chest. By mid-day, the decision by the medical staff was to cancel all tests and procedures and let Ellie rest. They stated somewhere during the early morning hours to the present she had begun to show signs of stabilizing and they did not want this jeopardized by any procedures that could aggravate the sepsis further or cause cardiac arrest again. They felt the fluid drainage from the chest cavity was adequate enough to allow delay of the investigation of the clot until tomorrow. A chest x-ray was done, but no CT Scan of her head.

Around 5 PM Ellie began to show signs of consciousness as they had stopped the paralytic drugs in preparation for helping her to start breathing on her own. The swelling in her face and neck appeared to be lessening. John was able to communicate with her!!! He asked her if she could squeeze his finger - she squeezed with both hands! John reported that Ellie was beginning to have "little sessions of movement" when someone would come in to do something to her -- clean her mouth, mess with one of the 9 tubes coming or going in her body, etc. She definitely doesn't like any of that! We still have the clot in her chest to deal with tomorrow, however they are more comfortable with her brain functioning in light of these new responses from her.

As the day has passed Ellie appears to be progresing. So much so that tonight and through the morning hours they will begin to wean her off some of the blood pressure meds and the ventilator as well. Her Aunt Melanie will be with her tonight so that John and Sarah can get some much needed rest - they will be only two minutes away.

Sarah wants you to know that while she has really wanted to get on and "blog" she has been unable for one reason or another. She asked that this medical update be given with the hope that she will be able to get on tomorrow and share her heart with you all. She says she appreciates and feels the prayer and love of everyone and is strengthened by you all. She asked me to read the comments to her tonight over the phone before she went to sleep.


At 6:50 AM, Blogger mcovington1 said...

Sarah: It was so good to get the phone call and update from Carla (and the blog) and will continue lifting Ellie, your family, the medical teams before "our God who sees". Truly he is close to the brokenhearted - Ps 34:18 has been in my prayers for you all during this crisis. Many are praying! Mollie Covington, Doylestown PA

At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear John and Sarah,

Our prayers are with all of you. Ellie is ever present in our thoughts. We have asked many, many, people to pray all around the country.

We look forward to your updates and how we can pray more specifically.

In Christ,
Jeff, Gina, Sheena, Brittney, and Tayler Mosher

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
*Philippians 4:6-7

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.
*2 Thesalonians 3:16

At 7:34 AM, Anonymous Suzanne said...

Dear Sarah and John,
We continue to lift Ellie and you all up in prayer to the Lord. We pray for His grace and wisdom to be upon you. We will keep praying!
Suzanne Clune, Ambler, PA

At 7:43 AM, Blogger Walter & Hanne Deleu said...

We are praying more than ever for Ellie and your dear family! We pray that the God of all comfort would strengthen and sustain you during this time...and that the God of ALL power would heal Ellie's body! We have followed your story from the beginning...and have been moved to tears many times with your family's testimony and amazing love for the Lord. We are praying..HE is able! Walter & Hanne Deleu, Belgium

At 7:58 AM, Anonymous Corley family said...

I love you! Alexandria wants to send a card. Is that possible? We miss you all.

At 9:02 AM, Anonymous the mclauchlins said...

John and Sarah,
Our prayers are with all of you!!
Thank you for the updates Kim and La!!
In His love,
Angela McLauchlin

At 9:18 AM, Blogger Grant and Tracey said...

John, Sarah, and family,

We are praying for all of you! Sending a big hug across the miles but ultimately I pray that you would feel wrapped in the arms of the Father with a peace that comes only from Him. Glad to hear of Ellie's improvements.

Tracey Whidden

At 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah, I've sent a prayer request to many. Never underestimate the power of prayer. My heart goes out to all of you. Thank you for today's update. May the Lord continue to give you the strength, endurance and peace that only He can provide. Isaiah 41:10

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Skees family,
I just want to let you know you are in my prays.. I pray for ellie to over come this and for you all to have the mental strength to go on everyday. I We here at the clinic are thinking of you all.

God Bless

At 10:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear John and Sarah,
We continue to think of and pray for you. We cannot fathom what you are going through right now but pray that the Lord will continue to give you the strength and wisdom that you need and that he will continue to be with Ellie. You are going through such a difficult time physically, emotionally and mentally but it does not sound like you are waivering spirtually which is awesome. Keep the faith!!

Dave, Dana, David and Gracie

At 10:42 AM, Blogger ~T said...

I've been praying around the clock for all of you and especially Ellie's strength. I am thankful you have such an awesome support team!

Still praying~
Terri, Tricia's friend in Texas

At 10:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our hearts and prayers are with you. Teddy prays with us, struggling to understand.
Lots of Love,
Walt, Jeanie, and Teddy Barbier

At 10:54 AM, Blogger BreezieGirl said...

Keep fighting Ellie Girl! You're doing amazing and God is working miracles! Many more prayers heading to you and your family in New York (and for Mr. Ethan at home).

At 12:28 PM, Blogger Jeff Roberts said...

Praying often in KY.

At 1:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah and John,

You have been on my mind and constantly in my prayers. Wish I could be there to help in someway! God will supply the necessary wisdom and strength for you both.
love, heather gentile

At 1:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarah -

I was so blessed to be with you yesterday, and to see Ellie with my own two eyes! She is beautiful!! I continue to carry you all in my heart - praying many times a day! You know that we will be there again in a second when you need us! I look forward to it!

YOU are doing an amazing job caring for her! You are an awesome mom and John is an incredible father! You are such an example to those around you and your testimony there is unmistakable! I'm proud of you!!

So glad to have seen you face to face - one day, like I've told you before, we will sit together over coffee and marvel at all God did through all of this! I can't wait!!

Lots of love - Carla

At 1:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so relieved. Thank you so much for the updates. Dawn Tuggle

At 7:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Things sound so very serious, but God is more than capable. Praying that you will sense His presence and that you will find rest in Him this evening...


At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear John and Sarah,
Praying for His peace that passes understanding, His wisdom that guides you, His love and comfort that reassures you, His power that heals and His strength that sustains you.

Janet DeCoste

At 7:53 PM, Anonymous Rob and Zachary said...

We are praying for Ellie. Zachary just left the PICU and we were very pleased with the excellent nurses and doctors there. Ellie is in good hands.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Jessi said...

I have been moved by the strength of your family in reading the previous blogs by Sarah. What a beautiful daughter you have. May God cover you with His wings and give you a chance to rest.

Jessi Clarkson
Charlotte, NC

At 9:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a note to let you know that we continue to pray for all of you. We are so thankful that you can all be there together during these hard days. Our children are so faithful to pray for Ellie in their classes. Our whole school and church is praying for Ellie and your family. We know there is not much we can do for you, so we are so thankful that we can pray to God on your behalf. We love you!
Bill, Karyn, Steven, Emily and Jonathan Kurz

At 10:06 PM, Blogger HopiQ said...

We are praying for you and know that many, many, many more are lifting you up to our Heavenly Father.

At 4:43 AM, Blogger Robyn said...

I'm so glad Ellie is responding, she's a tough little girl. I can't imagine how incredibly difficult this must be for John and Sarah but He can, and I'm praying hard that He will carry you all through this and Ellie will have a wonderful story to tell her grandchildren :)Thank you so much for the update. Ellie (and her family) have been on my heart ever since I read yesterdays' entry and I've been checking in all day. I hope they can get some rest.


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