Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We are asking for your help.

Hello Everyone,

It's never easy to have to ask for help...especially financial help. However, you all know about our baby's congenital heart defect. Although Roger and I are extremely blessed with a nice home, good jobs, and great insurance, there are numerous expenses we are looking at with the birth of Travis. The first, and most pressing, is the banking of Travis' cord blood (please see post below). Secondly, we are unsure how long I will have to be off work and this, combined with the fees of traveling and lodging during Travis' hospital stays are a huge financial burden for us.

Any donations will be very helpful. We know times are tough but if you wish donate to Travis' medical expenses and be part of this special little man's life, you can click on the donate button on the top right of our website or go to any Chase Bank with the information in the post below. All donations will be used for medical bills and expenses directly related to Travis health. Your donation will be kept private and no one will ever hear about it except Travis, Roger and I. Your generosity and help are greatly appreciated. Do not feel obligated to give, we love you no matter what.


Nicole and Roger DiCarlo

Another Way to Help

Our family opened an account to make it easier for people to donate. If you prefer not to donate online, you can go to any Chase Bank and make a donation with the following information.

Make Checks Payable to : Roger or Nicole DiCarlo
In the Memo Field: Travis DiCarlo
Acct. #: 928-264-5014

Cord Blood Registry

Dear Family and Friends,

As most of you know, we are nervously awaiting the arrival of our little one, Travis. Travis has a complex congenital heart defect that will require several palliative open heart surgeries. We have decided to bank Travis' cord blood in the event that advancements in research lead to the possibility to further correct his heart defect in the future and prolong his life. If you would like to donate to the start up fees for his banking, we would greatly appreciate it!

Cardiologist Updates

These are the doctor's diagram from our EKG last week. Dr. Levy is our Pediatric Cardiologist and thinks that Travis has another Heart Defect that is similar to HLHS, but with some variations. The Heart Defect that Dr. Levy thinks Travis' has makes the Aorta the bigger main vessel. The Pulmonary Artery is not as big and not functional. If the Aorta is the bigger main vessel the first surgery is a simpler procedure than the HLHS first surgery. Travis will still need 3 Open Heart Surgeries, but his first could be a lot less complex. He will still be a single ventricle baby and will have to live with that his whole life.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Appointments, Appointments, and more Appointments

Nicole and I had our first appointment with our perinatologist Dr. Piacquadio who will be helping us the rest of the way. We had the meeting last Thursday and she gave us the news that we will be seeing a lot more of her and doctors offices. Nicole has to get a twice weekly Non-Stress Test to check the babies heartbeat and the water level inside the womb. We also will meet with Dr. Paq at least once a week until the baby is born. It is a lot of meetings about the baby leading up to his birth.

Today we met with Dr. Paq again and she has been very helpful answering all of the questions that we have. We found out the baby is measuring at 5 lbs 11 ounces and is growing like normal. We also had the opportunity today to go on the hospital tour at Kaiser Zion in San Diego. This is where we have decided to deliver baby Travis because of the amazing compassion they have shown us through this process. Travis will be then transferred to Children's Hospital of San Diego when he is stable and ready for his first surgery.

Tomorrow we have an appointment with two other surgeons from CHSD who will possibly perform the surgeries on Travis. We really want to feel comfortable with the doctor who will be performing this complex surgery on our precious boy.

We will try to keep people up to date with all of the new information as it becomes available. All of the information is very overwhelming.

Travis will be born at Kaiser Zion on the approximate Due Date of 11/2/09.

He has gained 12 ounces in the past week. He is now 5 lbs. 11 ounces.

There is a possibility that the First Surgery may not be as complex as the originally diagnosed. He still will need to have major heart surgery early in his life.

The San Diego Cardiologist Dr. Levy has told us that it is possible that Travis does not have HLHS, but another form of Heart Defect that is associated with a Single Ventricle Defect. He is saying that one of the 2 major arteries is bigger than the other. If the Aorta is the one that is bigger and more mature then Travis does not have HLHS and the surgery will be a little different in its approach.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Letter From Dr. Lamberti (Our Surgeon) to Dr. Levy (Cardiologist)

This is the letter from our Potential Surgeon Dr. Lamberti to our Potential Cardiologist Dr. Levy. He spent the time to write this letter to inform Dr. Levy of our situation.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Update on Baby Travis

Nicole and I are trying to figure out the best course of action for our Baby Travis. We decided to research San Diego Children's Hospital because of several reasons. One is the proximity to all of our family. Our support system will be very important through this whole journey. Second, we like that Travis will be staying at San Diego Children's Hospital the entire time of his stay. He will not be transferred back to Kaiser after two weeks, he will be kept at Childrens until he is ready to go home. This seems to me the best course of action, because Childrens specializes in babies with special needs. We also just get a better feel for the people at Children's San Diego and their willingness to help us through the process.

The first step in possibly making the transition to San Diego was our meeting with the Director of Cardiac Surgery Dr. Lamberti. We went down to meet with him this past Monday and he is an incredible surgeon who actually performed heart surgery on my brother Ryan 25 years ago. Nicole and I liked what he had to say and his willingness to answer all of our questions. After meeting with him, we were convinced that he would be the surgeon that would perform the first part of Travis' surgery. Unfortunately, he might not be around when we need him to perform the surgery. He works at the Children's Hospital in Hawaii for some of the months of the year and this could be a problem. This throws a little monkey wrench into our plans. We just have not figured out what we want to do.

We have several appointments coming up in San Diego the next 2 weeks. We have another EKG on Thursday with Dr. Levy of Kaiser San Diego. We also have an appointment with a Perinatalogist next Tuesday to discuss birth plans and other stuff. On that day we will also meet with Heart Surgeon Peter Pastuszko of Children's Hospital of San Diego who is Dr. Lamberti's associate. Hopefully by next week we will have a vision of both options for baby Travis.

Nicole and I our really having a difficult time deciding between Children's Hospital in Los Angeles or San Diego.

How do you make such a tough decision with so many unknowns?