Friends, Thank you so much for your prayers for Olive. Feel free to leave a note here for Lynette & Rusty, a prayer, or a few words of encouragement. I would be happy to pass them along. We all know how words of encouragement can be just the light we need in the darkness.
Update from Lynette:
Dear friends and family,
We had a very intense day today and are feeling pretty drained. This morning Olive had an ultrasound of her brain to assess if there was any further bleeding, or an increase in fluid around the brain. The results showed that there has been no additional bleeding. However, the area with the bleeding has not absorbed back into the circulation of the brain causing an obstruction in the cerebral spinal fluid. This increase in fluid around the brain (hydrocephalus) is causing some pressure on the brain, as well as an increase in her head circumference. After the ultrasound this morning the brain surgeon decided to send Olive for a CT Scan of the brain to see more clearly what is going on. The CT scan confirmed what they had seen in the ultrasound.
The doctor told us that the treatment will be to place a temporary shunt/drain into her head to remove some of this fluid. He says there is a small chance that it could resolve on its own if her body would absorb the blood from the hemorrhage, but he suggested getting arrangements in place for surgery in case that becomes the only option. The good news is that because her head is so soft, and her fontanels haven't yet closed it will allow her head circumference to increase and make room for this fluid...and the brain surgeon said it is not an emergency surgery, but suggested within the next week or so we would take action.
Currently Olive has an infection in her blood, though she received antibiotics for it. We will wait to see the results of her CBC (Complete Blood Count) tomorrow to see if her WBC (white blood cell) count has gone down at all, which would show a decrease in infection in her body. Worries from the doctor about giving her this shunt are that she has such weak immune system, she is only 1.295 kg, and fears of using anesthesia for a pre-term 28 week old baby. There is of course an increase in the risk of infection with any surgery.
Good news for the day...her bilirubin levels have dropped and she is no longer under photo-therapy. She continues to do well on the colostrum and day by day they have been increasing her intake. Today she was only receiving 21-25% oxygen. Her heart rate and blood oxygen level remained stable all day. They have also changed the ventilator settings to make her use her little lungs more and she is adjusting well and making good progress.
Tomorrow we will be writing up reports of all of her treatments, diagnosis, and test results and making phone calls to doctors here in Thailand, as well as neonatologists and brain surgeons we have been recommended to contact by our friends and families in the States. We will then be trying to figure out where the best place for her treatment will be, and finding a neurosurgeon who has had experience placing shunts in pre-term babies...as well as finding anesthesiologists who have experience with pre-term babies. Pray for wisdom as we make these decisions.
We have also been trying to sort out lots of details with our insurance, so please pray for this as well.
We are so thankful to have my mom and dad here during this time and for all of the love and support they are giving us. Our dear friend Ghan also stayed with us all day helping us with translating during our meetings with the neonatologist and brain surgeon. Bethany and Libby have been so helpful in so many ways too. Sherry Palsrok is also here as a support which has meant a lot to us. I could keep going and mentioning those in this community who have been so thoughtful during this time but my list would get too long for tonight.
We want to thank so many of you who spent time in prayer for Olive this morning. We continue to ask Jesus to touch her little body...to fight against infection, and to protect her brain despite these complications. We also have been thankful for the good signs we are seeing with her respiratory system and digestive system. We continue to have hope for this little one...