Friday, February 18, 2011


Travis has taken a bad turn. He was doing so well this morning. They decided that he was ready for extubation because he was breathing over his ventilator. He was also getting irritated and thrashing about a bit. Around 2:30 they asked us to leave so they could pull out his ventilator (standard procedure). We were out for a bit and when we called to come back they said to give them more time. When we finally came back the nurse met us outside in the hallway and told us he was calm now but he was "fragile". He turned blue and stopped breathing for a bit after the tube came out. We went in but did not talk to him or anything to try and keep him calm. Then, he started to jerk and thrash so the nurse told me to try to hold him and calm him down. It didn't work, he went limp and turned blue. They quickly had me lay him down and rushed us out. So many things happened: doctors rushing in, yelling for things, commotion. Then we heard "Dicarlo's coding". We didn't know what to do or think. I was paralyzed. The social worker came and had us wait in the conference room. For the next three hours we sat in there unsure of what was going on with our baby boy two doors down. We cried and cried and pleaded with God! The social worker would occasionally come in with an update of whatever she could gather from listening in the hallway. We knew they were doing chest compressions, his surgeon had been paged, the ECMO (heart/lung bypass) machine was coming, the surgeon was in there, the unit was locked down, ECMO was on, the surgeon left the room. Our parents arrived and we cried with them and prayed! Finally, the nurse came in crying and just told us that they did CPR for 2 hours until they were able to get ECMO started. She said that there were two positives #1 he had decent p waves during the CPR and #2 his blood gases looked good throughout CPR. Hopefully, these two things mean that he received sufficient oxygen during the ordeal to his organs and brain. With CPR for that long there is a risk of organ/brain damage and seizures. Next, the doctors came in....they looked disheveled and that was unnerving. They said all we can do is wait and see. They were (and still are) unsure why this happened. Finally, the room was cleaned up and we were allowed to see our boy. He looked puffy and had the tell-tale cannulas in his neck of ECMO. ECMO is essentially a circuit that pumps oxygenated blood to the body (through a cannula in his neck) and then returns the blood to the machine via a second cannula.....this circuit works for his heart and lungs giving his heart a rest.

Once he was stabilized and ECMO was successfully started we decided to get some air and go across the street to the McDonald house and hug Addison. We prayed with our family and took quick showers. We were numb and terrified but anxious to get back and see what was going on.

When we returned we were happy to hear that his heart had began to eject (pump) on its own! Praise God! That gave us a lot of HOPE. They are setting up EEGs to monitor his brain function. He has opened his eyes a bit and moved his hand. They will keep him on ECMO for several days just to let his heart rest. Then, they will wean him from the ECMO and we will pray his heart can handle it all on his own. I assume it would be then that they would do an MRI and CT scan to check his brain. Little man still has a huge fight ahead of him but we have some HOPE. Please continue to pray for him! Pray that his heart will recover and that his organs were unaffected. Also pray that his brain will not have any seizures. This has to be the most difficult thing anyone could ever go through.......


  1. Nicole & Roger, thank you so much for this detailed update. It is so helpful to know exactly what is going on so that we can know what specifically to pray for. I can only imagine how terrible today was for you. I am so sorry you guys are going through this. Much love and prayers coming from up in LA to you guys.

    - Amy & Bodie

  2. I can't imagine the emotions you have been through in the last 24 hours. My heart is hurting for the joy and pain you experienced in such a short amount of time. The roller coaster took you on a scary ride and now you get some calm for a while.

    You all remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. We are sending prayers from Massachusetts! We are so sorry travis is going through this as well as his parents! I can't even imagine. We are praying very hard that you all make it through this and Travis can recover with no other problems! You can do it travis, hang in there!!!
    heart hugs,
    Chrissy and Jack

  4. Roger and Nicole,

    You are raising a boy that loves you dearly. That is so evident when you see his bright eyes and happy smile looking up. We know he is looking at one or both of you when you snap all those photos. May today be a day of good news and progress and continued prayer by all....

    Merciful Lord, Please wrap Travis in Your divine grace and send him back to his parents and family and friends in full health. Roger and Nicole are a fine example of Your loving ways. All who know this family and so many that do not are praying to You, Dear Lord, to be there for Travis and give him the miracle only You can provide. We ask this, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.