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Friday, July 29, 2011

Quick Oakes Update

Friends and family, considering the tone of the update this morning, we thought we owed everyone another update this evening.  They moved Oakes from the regular ventilator to an oscillating ventilator which pumps 80 quick breaths into his lungs per minute.  The hope was that this would improve his breathing.  It wasn’t so much the breathing in part that he was struggling with, but more the breathing out, or the discarding of carbon dioxide (CO2), just as important as getting oxygen to the lungs.  Well, the oscillating vent helped bring his numbers back into relative normalcy.  True normalcy is a CO2 level of about 35-40.  At one point this morning, Oakes was over 100.  By mid-day, they had gotten it back under control in the 60s/70s.  So we are all praying that they are able to keep him stable for a while.


While he is stable, they can try to aggressively treat the rejection.  The lung biopsy results came back today and it confirmed that it is rejection at the antibody level.  So treating this type of rejection is twofold – a drug used in chemotherapy, which research has shown may help fighting rejection, and continued plasmapheresis, which was started today and will continue, again, for another five days.  As long as he is stable, they should be able to treat the rejection, the big question is, obviously, can he rally past this rejection.


The rejection itself is not uncommon, but of course Oakes’ severity of rejection is very high, very serious.  I just have a confident feeling that he is ready to rally one more time; he has one more good fight left in him…..which is crazy to think considering he’s been through more, in four months, than most families go through in a generation.


I hate to inundate people’s Inboxes with frequent updates, so if you’d rather capture updates from our blog, just shoot me a quick note and I’ll take you off the email list.  I seriously mean that.  I’m always torn about how long I should wait to send another update, so please let me know.  Suffice to say, the blog gets much more frequent updates.


To give you an idea of how strong our Mighty Oakes is, I felt compelled to take a video of his CICU room today, so a link is below or you can find on YouTube.  The amount of machinery, medicine and monitors was unbelievable and left me just shaking my head over and over.  I’ll try to post the video to the blog in the next day or two.  Forgot to mention, but during Oakes’ bronchial exam yesterday, the staff accidentally gave Oakes a dose of epinephrine (heart medicine) that was 40x, yes, FORTY TIMES, the intended dosage.  This sent Oakes’ blood pressure skyrocketing, his temperature plummeting.  He stabilized from that of course (piece of cake compared to his trek here).  But they were worried that the high blood pressure may cause seizures, so they had to do an EEG on him.  This entailed “sticking” about 25 small monitors to his poor head with a million wires going back to a computer which would identify seizures if there were any.  They wouldn’t be able to tell without the monitor since he is under a paralytic, so wouldn’t move if he did have a seizure.  The good news is as of this evening, there were no seizures detected, so Oakes beat that overdose as well.


That’s all I have tonight.  Love you all.  More later.




Greg, Becky, Isla P. and Mighty Oakes

The Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation





  1. So many prayers headed your way from California!!!! What an amazing little Oakes!!!!!!!

  2. Sending you guys lots of positive thoughts and are many others. Xo

  3. Please keep the updates coming!!! We are praying like crazy in Oklahoma!! The Laakman girls are checking the blog every 5 minutes. You are amazing little Oakes!!

  4. You are amazing litle Oakes!!! Continued positive healing thoughts and prayers to you!!!

  5. We have never met but became aware of your son this morning. Know your sweet family is in my thoughts and prayers. Praying for strength, health and healing for your baby. Also, prayers for your strength and health as you care for him and your daughter.
    Take it hour by hour and try just to be in the present. God bless you and know there are many praying for you. With prayer in numbers I believe miracles can happen!!
    OKlahoma city

  6. The Pourchot girls are like the Laakman girls....we are praying like crazy for the Mighty Oakes. We hope he has a peaceful night tonight and a calm, healing day tomorrow. The Mighty Oakes is an inspiration in courage, strenth, and perserverance to everyone. xoxo, Emily and Jennie

  7. I do know how to spell STRENGTH!!!! SORRY! :) XOXO

  8. Melissa PickeringJuly 29, 2011 at 11:44 PM

    Yet another church family here in Oklahoma praying for you and your family. Hang in there, Oakes, you can do it!!!

    The Pickerings
    Fort Sill, Ok

  9. The updates are never too much!! They let us all know when to pray extra hard and when to breath a sigh of relief for you all!! You're doing great Ortyl Family!! Stay strong today Mighty Oakes!!! Lots of love from The West Family!

  10. I came across your blog thru a link Sarah posted on her FB page. My daughter AJ goes to school with Gray. She was born 12 weeks early & weighed 1 pound 11 ounces at birth. Although she was never as sick as little Oakes, I do know what its like to hold those bedside vigils feeling completely helpless and terrified. Please know that there are many mommas you've never met out there praying & wishing for a good outcome for your MIGHTY Oakes. I hope these days are soon a distant memory & that Isla can soon be able to boss her little brother around as it should be. It will never cease to amaze me how strong and resilient these little babies can be!
    Hugs from Tulsa
    Adry Auerbach

  11. You can never post too many updates. So happy to see Oakes continuing to fight. Love from MI.