Down to the wire!!

We are down to the final days of fundraising for our March for Babies this Saturday!  I was surprised to see a donation come in from a total stranger, so that leaves those of you who know and love us with no excuses 😉 .  We are so grateful to those of you who have already made donations!

I probably should have kicked off our fundraising by introducing you to the reasons we are walking, but since I didn’t I’ll take the chance to do it over the next few days.  If you have been on the fence about donating, maybe our stories will pull on your heart strings enough to get a few more donations in to help us reach our goal–we are SO close!!

Ryan

Ryan was born on July 12, 2004 weighing in at 4 lbs. 15 oz.  He surprised us by arriving 6 weeks early.  While we don’t know for sure why he was premature, the best guess our doctors have is that it was due to an infection–he could have contracted it before, during, or after his birth, and if it was while he was still in-utero it could have caused my preterm labor. 

Along with having premature lungs, his body was working so hard to fight the infection that he was unable to breath on his own.  He received multiple doses of Surfactant (a drug made possible by research from the March of Dimes) to help keep his lungs from collasping while he tried to breath and he was put on a ventilator to give his body the rest it needed to become strong enough to function on its own.  Antibiotics were given to fight the infection, and after many, many blood draws to run labs to determine the cause of the infection, it was finally ruled as sepsis.  X-rays also showed patches of pneumonia in his lungs.

Ryan’s heart also had a common condtion for preemies called Patent Ductus Arteriosus, or PDA.  When full-term babies are born, a vessel in their heart closes, allowing for proper circulation of the blood through the heart.  In many preemies, this vessel doesn’t close.  In some cases, time is the best healer, but medication or surgery is sometimes needed to correct the problem.  Because of this condition, paired with the terrible infection and pneumonia, the doctors decided that Ryan required more specialized care and needed be to transferred to a hospital with a higher level NICU.  The day after his birth, he was loaded into an ambulance and transported to a hospital an hour away.While we felt sure that Ryan’s life was not in jeopardy in spite of his rough start, it was still very difficult to see him so sick and helpless.  We had full confidence in the abilities of the doctors and nurses that were caring for him and spent hours by his bedside praying for a short NICU stay.  At 3 days old, he was finally strong enough to come off the ventilator, and at 5 days old he was stable enough that we were able to hold him for the first time.  What a wonderful moment that was!  He continued to improve with each passing day, and after 4 weeks in the NICU, he was finally ready to come home.  He’s been a handful ever since!To look at Ryan today, you’d never know that he was a preemie.  He was a tiny little guy for a long time, and is still on the small side for his age group, but he’s as active and healthy as any 3 1/2 year old should be.  We are so grateful for the medical advances that are here today that helped to bring him home to us after such a rocky start.  Without the March of Dimes, his story might be a much different one, so on Saturday, we march for Ryan.

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One Response to “Down to the wire!!”

  1. Marissa Rasmussen Says:

    Those stories made me tear up. Your family is so amazing and I am so blessed to call you a friend. Thanks for your faith and example to me.

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