Hey guys, my blog this week is going to be a little different. Instead of telling you things that are current in my life, I’m going to tell you a little bit about my past. About some complications I had at birth and how I was saved by the power of prayer and a wonderful medical staff.
I was born in Charleston, South Carolina on September 16th, 1988 in the Naval hospital. I appeared to be full term, but my lungs were under developed and failing. I was transferred to MUSC where they had much more advanced technology to offer. Since my lungs hadn’t developed, they had to put me on an ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine, that does my lung’s work for me so they could rest and heal.
To initiate ECMO, cannulae are placed in large blood vessels to provide access to the patient’s blood. Anticoagulant drugs, usually heparin, are given to prevent blood clotting. The ECMO machine continuously pumps blood from the patient through a membrane oxygenator that imitates the gas exchange process of the lungs, i.e. it removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen. Oxygenated blood is then returned to the patient. Management of the ECMO circuit is done by a team of ECMO specialists that includes intensive care unit (ICU) physicians,physician assistants, perfusionists, Registered Nurses,respiratory therapists, and Medical Laboratory Technologists that have received training in this specialty. (wikipedia.org)
Basically, two tubes were inserted into my neck, one into my carotid artery and one into my internal jugular vein to remove and return blood to my body. From my neck the tubes run my blood continuously to a membrane oxygenator, that removes the carbon dioxide from my blood and adds oxygen, then the blood is warmed and sent back to me. It literally does my lung’s work so they don’t have to and they can finish developing.
Before me, no one in the state of South Carolina had survived this procedure and at one point I was given a 20% chance of survival.. Needless to say my family was in a constant state of prayer. All of my family except for us at that time lived around the Charlotte, NC area. But everyone was driving back and forth all the time just to sit and pray for me. My Nana found a verse and dedicated it to me. It’s Job 33:4 which says, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” That to me is pretty powerful to think about, and it’s exactly what happened. And to this day, that’s my favorite bible verse.
I was on the machine for 10 days before they decided I was healthy enough to breathe on my own. I was blessed with a brilliant medical staff at MUSC. The staff God knew I would be in good hands with.
I was left with a scar on the right side of my neck as a reminder of what God did for me that day. He wanted me to live and He saw that it happened. Prayers were answered, Glory to God.
So that’s a little of my history, I thought it might be interesting for you guys to know something about me that a lot of people don’t. Here’s some links if you’d like to read more about it:
http://www.musc.edu/catalyst/archive/1997/co10-17where.htm (scroll down to “October 1988”)