Sunday, October 18, 2015

October 18 - Dear Nicholas Sparks (Guest Bloggers Stacey & Chris Garner)

Dear Mr. Sparks,

Hi! My name is Stacey and I have a son named Christopher Michael Garner, II who was born with a right-sided CDH. I had a normal pregnancy and two ultrasounds and we didn't have a clue anything was wrong until he was born blue and unable to breath. As soon as he was placed in my arms, he was snatched back out again and put on his little bed in front of my husband and I while he was being bagged. I watched a nurse shake his head and I could've died. I was told later he died there and while being transported to Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta, Ga. And while going through the doors at Egleston. At first, they said he wouldn't be transported to Egleston because he was so sick, he wasn't expected to make it anyway. Then, thank God and Dr. Ahmed and all the other staff there that day at Eastside Hospital in Snellville, Ga., he was excepted and the Angel ll team was sent to transport him about 5 hours after he was born. Right after, I was released too and on my way to Egleston. When we got there he was already placed on ECMO where he would stay for a miserable 10 days. Then he started to have seizures, fluid on the brain and heart and had to be taken off ECMO. He stayed on ventilator and two weeks after he was born, he had his surgery to repair his CDH, by in my eyes one of the greatest people in the world, Dr. Parker, who also did the ECMO. Right before surgery we found out he had a good bit of brain damage and was told he'd probably never walk, talk, eat by himself or do anything for himself. I put him in God's hands and just prayed. It was a rollercoaster ride and there was several other problems. It seemed like it was something else everyday. About a week after surgery, he finally came off the ventilator and a few days after that he was moved out of NICU on oxygen and a feeding tube. About a week after that he came home on very little oxygen and no feeding tube. About a month after that he came off oxygen. He stayed in the hospital a total of 47 days. The main problems were, the CDH, respiratory distress, persistent pulmonary hypertension, infarct of the brain, and withdrawal syndrome to the pain medications. He was sent home taking medicine for reflux, seizures, and he takes breathing treatments. I am happy to say that he is doing great today at 2 ½ yrs. old. He now takes low doses of tegretol for seizures, which he hasn't had since he was in the hospital, and vanceril and albuteral breathing treatments. The first winter was kinda tough, he went though a lot of prelone, but every year he seems to get a little better. Hopefully, he's growing out of it. I was told he might have a speech problem, I don't believe he will though, and if he does, it's a far cry from being retarded and in a wheelchair for the rest of his life and that is what we all expected when he came home, and I would've taken him that way, as I'm sure any mom would. Oh yeah, he walked at 10 mos. old. His doctors call him a miracle child, but as one lady said, they're all miracles of God. Thanks for letting me share my story.

Michael's parents, Stacey & Chris Garner (Georgia)

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