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