Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Infant Heart Transplant

If you would to help the Kirkhams, a fund has been set up at Morton Community Bank (218 N Main St Morton, IL 61550) in Judah Kirkham's name. It will be used for transportation, medication and the heart transplant.

2/26/10 Judah is struggling. He has had his pumps for his Berlin Heart replaced several times already. Please keep the Kirkham's in your prayers! Jen

NEW:Baby Judah is getting his second set of new pumps for his Berlin tomorrow. I am so bummed he has to keep going through this. I got a call last week from someone wanting to donate to the family. They were worried it was a scam. It is not a scam. There is a legitimate fund set up for Judah at Morton Community Bank. Here's the latest:

Judah has been cranky today. But when his sissies showed up then he was much happier. The surgeon has decided to change out the right side pump tomorrow. So back to the OR for a quick change. He is doing well though. Hopefully it will be a very quick procedure. He misses normal life. I can tell when he sees his sissies it reminds him of what we should be doing. So I hope a heart comes soon for our littleman. Then he can come home!

UPDATE FROM JUDAH'S DAD: Judah is out of surgery(for Berlin Heart). Dr. Gandhi said that it went as well as they expected it to. We are waiting to go see him now. They are keeping a very close eye on him, sometimes little guys can bleed alot afterwards and they have to stay on top of it. Thanks for all the prayers!

Judah got the external bypass heart today called the Berlin heart. He is one of only a handful of babies to get it. It is not FDA approved yet.

A one year old boy from Washington, IL is in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit at St. Louis Children's Hospital waiting for a new heart. A co-worker of the little boy's mother emailed me about their situation. Judah Kirkham's mom was willing to help, but obviously overwhelmed with the situation. Still, she said she was just taking one day at a time and doing the best she could. I finally caught up with the family the night before they left to take Judah to St.Louis for good. They are such a neat family and I feel blessed to have met them! I will keep all of you updated on Judah's condition. He is now scheduled to get the Berlin Heart (which is like a mechanical heart on the outside of his body) this week. The heart he was born with just can't wait any longer.

Here's the verbatim:

More than 2000 people are given the precious gift of a new heart each year, but getting to that point isn't easy. A little boy from Washington, IL has spent the last few weeks at St. Louis Children's Hospital waiting for his chance at life. Jen Christensen met up with the family the day before they left. She shows us Judah's Journey.

This "little man" as his two sisters call him is certainly full of life. Jen Kirkham: "He's very happy. He's learning to crawl. He's really not different." But one year old Judah Kirkham's energy is fading. He was born with Dilated Cardio Myopathy. His tiny heart is enlarged and can't pump blood properly.

Jen Kirkham: "When he was 9 days old he stopped eating. and then he was a real dusky color. He wasn't very responsive and so we took him to the hospital. He had a temperature of 94 degrees-which is quite cold. So we took him because there was obviously something wrong with him."

Judah has been fighting to stay alive ever since. Jen Kirkham: "A lot to do. A lot of doctor's appointments, a lot of medicine." He takes six oral medications and one I.V. medication. He is fed through a tube.

Jen Kirkham: "The most Judah ever ate was 4 ounces at a time. Now he will take an ounce or two at a time. So pretty much we have to feed him through his feeding tube."

Judah, his feeding tube and his I.V share a room with his two sisters.
Jen Kirkham: "Stressful. it's very stressful because we have other little monkeys here. we have other children so it's really stressful."

While Jen and her husband Bryan can't imagine life without their children, they had a hard time deciding whether to put Judah on the heart transplant list.

Jen Kirkham: "We obviously okayed the decision to get a heart transplant, but it's very hard for us to reconcile the fact that somebody else's little baby has to go for our baby to live."

Judah's heart got so weak in January, his dad had to quit his job and move to St. Louis with Judah they spend their days in the Cardiac Intensive Care unit waiting.

Jen Kirkham: "The doctors want him closer to St. Louis So they can get to him quickly incase he has any type of problems." If his heart gets any weaker Judah will be put on an external bypass device to keep him alive until this little man can get his big boy heart.

If you would to help the Kirkhams, a fund has been set up at Morton Community Bank (218 N Main St Morton, IL 61550) in Judah Kirkham's name. It will be used for transportation, medication and the heart transplant.

Judah's caring bridge website: Judah

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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