The past seven days have been quite the roller coaster. Starting with the dry run, a trip to the ER, seeing how quickly Tricia deteriorated, and now seeing how much better she feels on the vent all in the past week.
As I mentioned last night, Tricia was intubated and placed on the ventilator yesterday morning. She was observed for a few hours to make sure she accepted the vent well, and then given a tracheostomy. She was fully awake two hours later and breathing so much easier. Everything went perfectly, and she literally looked and felt like night and day between yesterday morning and last night.
If you were with us five years ago, you'll remember that she was on a vent for about 3 months from Gwyneth's birth until a few days after her transplant. Again, she is unable to speak because she has no air flow through her nose/mouth and through her vocal cords. My lip-reading skills are returning to me quickly.
You might also remember that Duke had very little experience transplanting a ventilated patient five years ago. And, you might remember that Tricia was one of the very first patients at Duke to be placed on a brand new vent setting. It's a setting called Proportional Assist...they told us that they literally wrote the book at Duke using Tricia as a guinea pig. (You can read more about the vent setting HERE.) What we didn't really understand until yesterday is that they now use this vent setting for many of their patients and after Tricia's transplant have had many successful surgeries off the vent and are much more comfortable doing so.
So, when I was guessing that she would be taken off the list, it was a wonderfully ignorant guess. Tricia is now on the top of the list, and we are very confident that she will receive a call for good lungs very soon. She will remain in the ICU at least through the weekend, and we're still praying that she can be moved to our very familiar step-down unit as soon as possible. The staff in this ICU are amazing, but sleep is difficult and visitation is restricted. The two things beyond great medical care that help Tricia the most are sleep and spending time with family and close friends.
Modern medicine and prayer are a powerful combination. Thank you all for your continued prayers. Tricia is still very sick, but we are full of hope, at least for today.