Mikey is in the hospital on life-support [page 1]

We're at the hospital with him now. We have found temporary access to a phone line here that is allowing us to begin to update this site. When you come here, be sure to "reload" or "refresh" your browser, as we will try to update Mikey's condition often.

Mikey entered the hospital Sunday, Feb 20th and underwent extensive open-heart surgeries on Monday. Mikey's heart surgeon is Dr. Ranne. Dr. Ranne performed a "Rastelli" procedure on Michael (among other procedures). Mikey has transposition of the great vessels, atrial septal

defect, ventricle septal defect and pulmonary stenosis. Dr. Ranne installed a synthetic baffle to shunt the blood from one side of the heart to the other. Mikey also received an implant.. a human organ donation called a "homograft" that is acting to bypass the obstruction in Mikey's

pulmonary artery. The atrial defect (one of the holes in Mikey's heart) was closed. One of the plastic shunts that was previously installed in Mikey's chest was removed. The central nerve in Mikey's heart may have been damaged or become blocked during the surgery, as his heart will not beat on it's own now and he is wearing a pacemaker. One of the big risks of this surgery was that Mikey's heart might not re-start after being stopped for up to an hour and a half. Well... Mikey's heart was stopped for an incredible 3 hours and 43 minutes before they could re-start it. The entire surgery took around 7 hours. A few days ago, Mikey was taken off life-support, but he has now taken a turn for the worse. Last night (Wednesday night), the heart surgeon was called back in and Mikey was placed back on life support. He is getting pneumonia and his lungs are filling with fluid. Mikey said that he came here so the doctors could help God heal his heart, and that's what we're EXPECTING. Mikey is our "Miracle Child". His story has already been a great witness for Christ.. thousands have visited Mikey's web sites.. and the greatest miracle of all is happening this week.. we're sure of it. The last thing Mikey quipped before being admitted for his surgery.... "Hey Dad, when the doctors help God heal my heart, tell 'em not to forget to put it back in!" What a Mikey!

This is where we stand now.. at 7pm central time, Thursday evening, Feb 24th.

Friday Feb 25th 6:30am
Mikey slept well. He is still on life-support. PICU staff says Mikey's heart still tries to beat on it's own sometimes.

Friday Feb 25th 5:20pm
Mikey is still on life-support. He is using a temporary pacemaker. Dr. Ranne says if Mikey's heart doesn't show improvement by Monday, he will go back into surgery and implant a permanent pacemaker in Mikey's chest then. I sat by his bedside for hours today, lightly rubbing his leg with the back of my hand, and he opened his eyes momentarily this afternoon and nodded his head slightly when I spoke into his ear and told him that I loved him.

Friday Feb 25th 10:20pm
I just left Mikey and he's still on life-support this evening, but they are turning the ventilator down to try and start weaning him from the machines. He is taking some breaths on his own again. His heart is trying to beat on it's own, but it's not beating in sync and the top part of the heart is not communicating with the bottom part of the heart. Mikey is now scheduled for surgery Monday to implant another pacemaker (a permanent one) in his chest and attach it to his heart.. another 1-2 hour surgery. Let's all pray that Mikey will be able to come off of life-support and that his heart will miraculously begin to beat in sync again between now and Monday. They told us this evening that Mikey's heart has 3rd degree blockage.. which is the most severe degree of blockage.

Saturday Feb 26th 11:45am
We have been in Mikey's room all morning. They turned off his ventilator at around 8:30 am and he seems to be doing alright without it. He opens his eyes now. He knows we're there and he can respond to our questions by nodding. His heart surgeon was there and said that he thought Mikey is slowly recovering now, but they're still suctioning out a lot of fluid and Mikey is still scheduled for the pacemaker surgery for Monday afternoon.

Saturday Feb 26th 6:30pm
Folks.. Mikey is gravely ill this evening. I was sitting by his bedside, gently rubbing his leg around 4pm.. Suddenly his back arched, his eyes rolled backwards into his head and he just flat-lined. His chest stopped heaving, the machines stopped registering and he laid motionless as I called his name. It was as sudden as if someone had just shut off a switch. The nurse called for help, and as help arrived, someone else called for his heart surgeon. After a few minutes, they were able to resuscitate him and his chest stuttered and finally began to rise and fall again. He is back on total life-support again. Dr. Ranne arrived and explained that Mikey was just too weak to survive without the machines right now and that he may need even further heart surgery.. something to do with repairing the diaphragm. Words have not been invented that could describe what it was like to have stood helplessly beside Mikey's bed and see his lifeless little body before he was resuscitated. Dee Dee and I are exhausted.. and just standing beside his bed is almost more than we can do now.

WE ALL need your prayers.

Sunday Feb 27th 11:15am
Mikey opened his eyes briefly at about 10:45 this morning when I took this picture. It's been 7 days now, since I was able to catch him with his eyes open. He is still on life-support. The surgeon is coming back at noon to do a "glow test".. some kind of fluorescent xray to see if his diaphragm needs repair.. If so, he may repair it at the same time he does the pacemaker surgery tomorrow afternoon. When he's conscious and alert enough, Mikey still nods his head one time when I tell him in his ear that I love him. Just one quick nod up and back down once. He knows that he can't speak and he's just trying to say that he loves me too, because he always did that.

Sunday Feb 27th 5:50pm
Dr. Ranne was in and did the "glow" test on Mikey this afternoon. He let me watch and explained everything to me. As he expected, Mikey's diaphragm was collapsed on one side and not working. It's no wonder Mikey could not survive off of the ventilator.. he's only been breathing with ONE lung since Monday! Dr. Ranne is going to repair Mikey's diaphragm tomorrow, at the same time he implants the permanent pacemaker and runs the leads to his heart. Dr. Ranne expects much improvement in Mikey after tomorrow's surgery and is planning to take him off the ventilator again Tuesday. We're all expecting Mikey to do much better after coming off the vent Tuesday.. One nurse even said she wouldn't be surprised if he was able to go home next week. We just gotta get him through these surgeries tomorrow afternoon and see how he does coming off the machines Tuesday.

Monday Feb 28th 10:00am
Mikey had another bad incident last night. His mom was at his side this time around midnight, when he stiffened and his eyes rolled back and he was unresponsive. They rushed in to work on him and told his mom to "call him back" and "call his name". He revived.. Dr. Ranne was called and some settings we're changed on his external pacemaker. He's still on the ventilator and did alright the rest of the night. We're going in shifts now, so one of us is ALWAYS there holding his hand. If we loosen our grip, he knows and starts reaching for us. I spoke with Mikey's cardiologist, Dr. Cooper, this morning and he said that the surgeries Mikey is having today would not normally be high risk, but they are necessary and they are aware of Mikey's weakened condition and taking extra care. I know it seems like this is dragging on forever, but if everyone can just hold on with us till Mikey's gets through these surgeries today, we STILL BELIEVE that Mikey can make a rapid recovery after coming off the ventilator tomorrow. Dr. Ranne has one other case before he operates on Mikey today, so Mikey will likely be in surgery somewhere around noon or early afternoon. I'll update later today, after the surgery.

Monday Feb 28th 9:20pm
Good news this time! Mikey's surgeries today seem to have been a success. The surgeon was very pleased with the outcome. The paralyzed diaphragm was repaired and the new pacemaker and leads were installed. Mikey's fingers and toes were blue for a while after the surgery, but they gave him some medication and the pacemaker specialist upped the speed, increasing Mikey's circulation.... and he's waking up and doing well and his color is good again. They will slowly wean him from the ventilator tonight and hopefully he will come off the vent tomorrow and be able to sustain on his own this time. We're all optimistic that this roller-coaster ride is about over and Mikey will be getting back to his old self soon. His eyes were closed when I asked him if he could smile for a picture....
Lo and behold if the little ape didn't open his eyes and smile for the camera!! That's pretty hard to do when you're still on the ventilator with tubes down your nose and an even bigger tube down your throat!

Ain't that a beautiful smile!!!!!!

Tuesday 2-29 1:00pm Here's a pic of Mikey waving at y'all. Mikey came off the ventilator about 9:30 this morning and is doing well on his own now. He doesn't have his voice back, but he can talk in whispers when we put our ear up to his mouth. The first thing he asked for? A popsicle. Big Bubba gave him an ice chip and he whispered, "I need another. This one melted" Every 30 seconds now... "Need more ice Bubba... these just keep meltin!" God is good... These are the miracles, folks!

Tuesday 2-29 9:30pm
Mikey is still doing fine on his own without the ventilator. He can't eat or drink anything yet.. just ice chips and popsicles. He's real restless.. just can't hold still. And what's worse, he can't scratch where it itches! He just has too many tubes, wires and bandages to get to the itchy spots.. poor kid. The only thing we're really concerned with now, is getting his voice back. He can still only talk in a whisper, But.. we're gonna pray about THAT now.

Wednesday 3-1 8:50am
Mikey is still doing well, although he had a VERY restless night.. tossing and turning and kicking his feet. We spent most of the night re-attaching cords, tubes and wires as he pulled 'em back apart! They're doing a heart ultrasound on him right now. Still no voice; still praying.

Wednesday 3-1 5:25pm Mikey is back on continuous breathing treatments with the big mask over his face. He hates that mask, but they're having a problem with him being so congested still, that they're afraid he'll get pneumonia. If they're not successful with the breathing treatments, Mikey would have to go back on the ventilator AGAIN. I don't know how he could take that anymore. We're still waiting on that little voice to return.

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