Feb 15, 2004

Dear All,

I'm happy to tell you that Ivy has has a mostly good week...and that she is resting peacefully at the moment.  Her oxygen saturation is at 100% and has been that way most of the last few days (the respirator is set on 100% oxygen).  She remains on the dialysis machine to maintain her Ph and to help her lungs.  Ivy is being kept sedated so that she can maintain her oxygen saturation.  When she is awake and becomes agitated it really effects her oxygen levels and puts her under undue stress.

At this time, the doctors have agreed that neither the surgery or the bilateral breathing tube are in Ivy's best interest at this time.  Her condition is too unstable to safely attempt either procedure at this time.  MY understanding is that they will leave Ivy at rest, allowing time for her lungs to heal, if they will.  It is hoped that small improvements will be seen as the lungs start to mend and that eventually, she will not need surgery at all.  In either case, the rest will help Ivy's chances should the surgery need to happen.  It was very terrifying to be told that her chances of survival were less than 50/50 if the surgery were performed today

On Monday, Ivy's oxygen saturation levels were drifting up and down all day long.  She would drop to 93, then climb back up to 100 after an hour or two.  This continued throughout the day until early evening when her sats dropped very low and would not climb back up.  An x-ray was taken and the surgeon called in to evaluate her situation.  Ivy received her 16th chest tube Monday night, which cleared up a small pneumo on her right side, but her sats never fully recovered

Unfortunately, about four in the morning we were called to the hospital and told that Ivy's levels had dropped into the 80's.  we rushed to the hospital to be with Ivy and were told that the doctor on call had said there was nothing to be done for her that would not be more risky or damaging than the low sats were.  We were of course terrified.  When the lead pulmonary doctor arrived at the hospital, he reviewed the x-rays and determined that Ivy's lungs were filled with fluid because she was so saturated with fluids that they had "spilled over" into her lungs

They began removing the excess fluids through the dialysis machine that morning.  It took the entire day to remove enough of the fluid for Ivy to regain her sats, and by 11:00 PM Tuesday night she had returned to 100% (on 100% oxygen).  We saw her sats beginning to do the same thing Wednesday evening, but it was caught in time to prevent a reoccurrence when additional fluids were pulled.  Since this, they are keeping Ivy "dry" and she has remained relatively stable.  We have had a few peaceful days and Ivy has been getting the healing time she needs so much.  

Some things I'd like to share with everyone.  For Valentines day Ivy received a very special bear form the Despair Faction.  I have attached a couple of pictures of the bear, with it's pierced ears, DF tee shirt and shades, it's something I know she will treasure forever...We also received a very special assortment of chocolates for the whole family (I'll freeze some for Ivy) to enjoy...thank you all so much (very special thanks to Marianne, Ira and the rest

Also, on a personal note, I want to send a special thanks to a friend of mine.  Mike was injured in a motorcycle accident and his father brought him a bible to offer him some comfort.  I know that this helped Mike to become the very special person he is today.  He sent this bible to Ivy, so that she might find some healing through it as well.  A very kind and thoughtful have my deepest thanks my friend.  Mike has also been kind enough to post my e-mails on his site, so that he can share Ivy's progress with the members of his church and with anyone else who should care to visit.  the website is: 

And, finally, an added note for April, Janet, Mike and Robert...some of Ivy's stats...

ABG's PO2 103, PCO2 71, Ph 7.3
HR 141, ART 110/70 (82), SpO2 100 (on 100%)
Liver & Kidney levels are normal

Thank you all so very much for your continued support of Ivy in her time of need...God Bless you all

My Best Wishes Always,