Wednesday, August 25, 2010

After midnight...

...we gonna let it all hang down
-Eric Clapton, "After Midnight"

In yet another attempt to prove that folks here at CHOP are running a round-the-clock operation, they decided to take Jay off the ventilator. Tonight. They'd been discussing it all day and kept finding reasons to wait (possible central line infection, placement of a PICC line, get steroids in him first, nurse needed to go potty first ... okay I made that last one up.) But the waiting is over, they did it, and the lil' man is breathing on his own!!! Like coming off ECMO, this is a giant, huge, scary step. But so far, he's doing great with 02 sats still in the mid-90's and blood pressure close to the goal. Hooray!

I had gone back to RMH (and yes, I stamped a couple of cards!), but when they decided for sure they were going to do it, I decided to come back to the hospital. It was a little deja-vu-ish to be coming back here in the middle of the night and walking in to find a crowd of people clustered around Jay's bedside. The night of his arrest will haunt me forever, and a number of the same people who saved his life then were here tonight while he came off the vent. And actually, that was somehow comforting. The folks who were doing chest compressions two weeks ago were watching over and cheering him on tonight. The same doc who intubated him on that awful, horrific night was the one who removed the breathing tube. And she was wearing his hammer silly band alongside the very rare blue hippo that her son (also named Jay) gave her. She's got a very special place in our hearts.

Derek was able to be right beside him, holding his hand, while they extubated. I was curled up in the corner, praying with everything I had. For the first time in more than 2 weeks, we've been able to hold him. He's currently snuggled comfortably in his daddy's lap. It's a beautiful sight.


We are NOT CLOSE to being out of the woods. As with any big change, the first few hours and days hold the biggest risk. So keep praying that he is able to keep breathing on his own, and that his heart is able to handle this additional challenge. But for now, we're very happy to be up in the middle of the night.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful picture this is - nothing substitutes for being able to hold and touch. Awesome. Praying that good things continue to happen. Dora Wallace, Cary NC

TOJ said...

I sit here with tears of joy streaming down my face. Jay is a such a little fighter and has come so far. I know that he will continue to improve and the loving embrace of his parents will do wonders for his healing. I only wish I could be there in person to rub that beautful blond hair without Mary Catherine reminding me not to. Truly my heart is filled with praise for answered prayers this morning and prayers for continued healing without any bumps in the road.

Beth said...

Indeed, a picture worth (more than) a thousand words...

A corner turned, others ahead, I know, but what a beautiful reminder of miracles and God's healing grace.

Gabby

Anonymous said...

That picture is so beautiful that my eyes are full of tears. Jay looks really good, even after all he has been through. You are in our hearts constantly, and we are praying that Jay's heart gets stronger and that he will continue to breathe on his own.

Lynn Marshbanks

blair said...

Once I could clear the tears, I could write to say we will continue to pray. First though, I will be praising God for that awesome sight! Sending love...Blair

Cara said...

Okay, so everyone in my office is trying to figure out what's going on with me...the tears of joy are really confusing them.
As awesome as it was for you to be able to hold him...I'm sure that it was even better for him.
Sharing praise for this step in the journey and looking forward to the ones to come.
--Cara Lynn

Anonymous said...

Wow....what a gift! We're still praying and rejoicing in each small step forward.

Kimberly Taylor

Anonymous said...

Tears, smiles and glad for the answered prayers so far! This picture shows why Jay has been fighting so hard, so many prayers said for your family and breathes being held. Hold him, snuggle him and touch him, it will only help everyone heal faster!
Crystal

Archie Gupton said...

Jen&Derrick, Thanks for the wonderful update on Jay Tool Boy! Put that vent to use elsewhere, right Jay? The photo is priceless. You have more folks praying, for your family, medical team and Jay the Tool Boy than you would believe. thanks for the update. You are all in GREAT CARE. a&u

Ann Lawrance said...

Absolutely beautiful picture. Can't even begin to say how happy I am for you all.
Love you,
Annie

Libby Barnes said...

That pictures says it all. Thanks so much for sending it along with your update. Another milestone in the healing process...we're all thrilled! Keep on keeping on......

Anonymous said...

Wow! The tears were flowing before the picture and then that opened the flood walls. I can only imagine the emotion you and Derek felt. I know you have wanted to hold him for over 2 weeks. What a gift. I hope that each day he continues to get stronger. Let me know when he's ready for a phone call from T. We are still praying for you all.

Lisa

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best pictures I've seen. What a great moment on a terrible journey. Thank God for modern medicine and for Jay's entire medical entourage!
Eddie

Mindy Marshall said...

Okay, I'm a big baby . . . I have tears streaming down my face. So happy to read this latest update and see Jay snuggled in his daddy's arms. I hope you got your turn as well. I love you all and am praying for continued healing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. I am so happy today that I can't really describe the level of joy. The picture is amazing and we are so over happy, joyful... everything to see Jay take this next important step towards recovery. We are praying with everything we have that he continues down this healthy road.

Sean and Cindy Toomey

Anna Norris said...

What a wonderful picture! We are continuing to pray for Jay and your family.

noel said...

Okay, it's unanimous! This update makes everyone cry for joy... these are tears I'm happy to explain to anyone who's asking. I've shared your experience with my coworkers, and everyone cheered when I jumped up and told them Jay's off the ventilator.
What a great peice of news to share at church tonight!
Continued hugs and prayers for you all,
Noel Morris

ANAPatterson said...

It just gave me chills this morning to read this and see the picture of Jay and I know that he is loving the cuddling in your arms. He is a fighter and knows he has been given so many "tools" to get better. Go JAy! Praying for you all in all of the many steps.

Gayle Hines said...

Jen, such good news. Last week the Heart of Carolina Emmaus community received a prayer request for little Jay and all of you thru your aunt. Small world, isn't it. Thanks for taking the time to keep us informed. Helps to know how to pray specifically.

C said...

Lots of happy tears seeing the picture of Derek and Jay. We love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Pass the tissues. What a beautiful picture! Thanking God for another prayer answered and praying for more until Jay is healthy and home with his family.
Debbie Gilland

Anonymous said...

Hooray!! I feel so teary reading this and cannot FATHOM what life must feel like for you all right now! God is SO GOOD!!!! Love and hugs and joy from all of us in Raleigh!!! Mallory :)

Anonymous said...

PRICELESS! I can't even put into words how thrilled I am that you guys got to have this moment. Life is truely about the little things and taking NOTHING for granted.
Stephanie and Team at BH/NCSU

Anonymous said...

What wonderful, wonderful news, and what a very special time this must be for all three of you to get to hold each other.

My love and prayers continue.

May you sense God cradling you as you cradle Jay.

Lynn and Scott

Anonymous said...

This is so sweet! I am so overjoyed. We are keeping Jay in our prayers still.
LYTB,
Aunt Ali

Anonymous said...

That is the best photo I have seen in a long time. Holding Jay right now has to be the best feeling. You had to wait so long for it, but man it must be great. We will keep praying for you and more wonderful news.

Dee & Bob Derr

Joye said...

AHH... more tears! First, the picture on Facebook of his adorable tube-free face, and now him safe in his Daddy's arms.

Jen - time does heal wounds, and although you'll never forget the awful night of his arrest, memories like this will begin to take the forefront.

Praising God with you today & sending our love...

Sarah Schroeder said...

Jen, the picture of Derek holding Jay is the sweetest thing in the world. That absolutely touches my heart. I am so glad to hear this good news. I know that yall are just thrilled to finally be able to hold that sweet boy and give him snuggle-hugs.

Anonymous said...

there are no words that can even come close.....just many, many happy tears! :-)
amy

amy o. said...

Still praying- so happy to see Derek and Jay together. The tears of joy are streaming and you are all in my prayers and my heart.

Anonymous said...

We have all been praying for you all and will continue until you bring Little Man Jay home. God bless,
Shelly Heath

Sush said...

So I didn't get to my daily check in until now and what a beautiful sight! Like I am sure everyone reading this posting I am sitting here trying to clear my vision from tears to type this note. How wonderful for all of you. Each moment is a treasure when your child is in your arms. More love and prayers and songs of gratitude for all of you!
Loves,
Susie

Rebecca said...

Crying in the public library between 2 kids playing games on the internet, but I don't care at all!!! What wonderful news and what a sweet picture. I can feel the happiness. What a huge praise...I'm so very thankful!! Love and hugs to all of you.
Rebecca S.

Anonymous said...

On our way home from Louisville, I cried when Barb called to read the latest post and tell me about the picture, and oh yeah, here I sit crying again as I open the blog to see for myself!! What a beautiful sight....and the prayers keep on going!!! LYTB, AJ

Archie Gupton said...

I'm so happy that Jay can finally feel the touch and comfort of his great parents! Urbanna and Archie

Laura Huneycutt said...

Yay! So glad for the latest steps of improvement. Best wishes for many more....
Laura & Les

Carroll H said...

What a wonderful, calming picture! I, like everyone else, burst into tears upon hearing the news and seeing the pictures -- HAPPY TEARS!

:)
love, carroll

P's mom said...

What a beautiful moment you were able to capture! How precious!! I hope these are the moments that will stand out when you think back on the past two weeks. I'm so glad "Dr. Hammer" got to do the honors! We think about you and pray for you often! Sweet dreams!

Anonymous said...

Praise God and what a beautiful picture- continuing to pray for continued healing.
Love,Chris

Becky said...

Beautiful.

Amy said...

I'm so glad to know that I was not the only one around who was in tears at work this morning. It's the most beautiful picture I've ever seen. Praise God! I'm still praying for that sweet little one... and for you.

Amy said...

Jen, My heart, thoughts and prayers are wrapping your family in a blanket of love and comfort. Today was my first time getting on your blog, as the link I had previously took me somewhere else. While we don't know each other really well yet, know that you have another "prayer warrior" on your team. Jay is one special little man that has a lot of friends out here! May God bless and comfort you all as Jay gets stronger.
Amy Kunkle

Tracy said...

Wonderful news, Jen!!! Jay is in our thoughts and in our hearts..

Love, Tracy and Chris

Tracy said...

...as are both of you :)

Love, Tracy and Chris