Sunday, March 29, 2009

Update on Catherine

Just wanted to update everyone on Catherine's progress. We were hoping she'd be off the respirator today, but it looks like it will be tomorrow.

The more we spoke to doctors and nurses involved with the airlift and surgery, the more we realized what a miracle it is she is alive. The bean had gone down the wrong pipe and onto her vocal chords, obstructing the air. During the surgery, they had to be very careful not to drop or break the bean--which would cause it to fall into the lungs. She is so small, the task of bringing the bean up was very delicate and took them a long time.

The team who took care of her on the helicopter had to get oxygen past the bean to keep her alive. About five minutes before landing, the obstruction shifted and totally blocked the air--then it shifted around again and she got a little air. Since time was so critical--it was a miracle that the doctor they needed just happened to be close to the hospital--out on the sidewalk--so they pulled him in immediately for surgery.

I had hoped to ride horses with the other kids yesterday, but it began to rain like crazy--and then snow. It is finally clearing up a little around here, but they spent the day with one of their other sets of grandparents--everyone's pitching in to help. In a few minutes, they'll be back with us, and our neighbors brought over a pan of lasagna and muffins to help out so we don't have to cook.

Everyone has been really helpful and kind--and we're very thankful for all the good wishes!


  1. What a miracle!! And how helpful the neighbors are, too. It's amazing how many really good people there are all around us.

  2. Oh, and I forgot to say how precious she looks in the pictures.
    What a little angel!!!

  3. Oh wow, she surely is a miracle, and such a cutie! I hope she recovers from it well :)

  4. She is just precious! What an amazing story, how so many small factors came together for her. She must be a strong soul to deal with all this at her young age. Hope the respirator comes out with even more good news!

  5. It's so hard when they are so small. My granddaughter had to do a helicopter ride to a larger hospital on the day she was born. She spent a week in the NICU. But she is fine now. It's like it never happened. Except we appreciate her all the more knowing how tenuous everything can be.

  6. Wonderful news that Catherine is doing better! Such a simple thing turning into a life threatening situation! Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

  7. I feel for you all. I remember the terror I felt when baby William got a penny stuck in his throat for a few seconds. I'm so glad she got the help she needed so quick and is doing better.
    She is so cute!

  8. Linda, I feel so bad for you. If there is anything at all that I can do to relieve your stress level, please call me. I don't live very far away remember. You are all in our prayers. Was great to meet your mother.

  9. I'm reading your update here on Monday. I hope by now little Catherine is off the respirator and things are going as planned. I wish I lived close and could help out. Keeping you all in my prayers.

  10. Thank you all so much. She still isn't off the respirator--maybe today!

    I was wrong about where the bean fell. It fell way past the vocal chords and onto the carina--the area where the two tubes split to go into the lungs. One goes straight down, the other veers off at an angle. So, usually, when something gets down there it goes down the straight tube and then the vessels get smaller and smaller until the ubstruction is irretrievable and blocks everything off. So, they had to pull it up through the vocal chords.

    When she was stable, it was on the vocal chords, but then, as organic material does, it began to get mois and it slipped down onto the carina.

  11. Wow Linda, how terrifying. How wonderful that everything turned out the way it did.

    Are her vocal chords going to be okay?


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