Tuesday, 21 August 2012

MRI Gone Wrong

I'm not sure if it's a mother's love or intuition that makes you
nervous before you hand over your child. I was very nervous as I
handed Hope to the anesthesiologist this morning and began to cry when
she was out of the room. Liz, Shawn and I prayed for her when they
took her away and then went out to busy ourselves until she was
finished. I find it easier to stay busy and not think about what's
happening when Hope is in the OR or under heavy sedation.

Around 11:30 we were called back into the recovery room to see Hope as
she was waking up from the sleeping drugs. Shawn managed to wash his
hands before me and was holding her when I finished. I tried to be
patient, but didn't last long before I stole her back for myself! She
was waking up slowly, making little noises and seemed to be doing
well. She sounded a bit funny from the breathing tube, but that was
to be expected. We weren't thrilled with the idea of intubation, but
knew that trusting the anesthesiologist was the best idea - she seemed
like a really great doctor and very caring.

They wondered if some fluid had been caught in her lungs from the
fluids she was given during the MRI. I was texting my mom and some
information was mixed up between texting and the update. They did not
see any fluid on her lungs in the MRI, only in her abdomen. They
merely assumed she must have had some in there from the low
saturations of oxygen. An Xray was ordered to look into this, but no
one was very alarmed at this point, just being cautious. No fluid was
found on her lungs in the Xray.

Hope's oxygen sats were still low after the Xray and the doctors
decided they wanted to watch us for another 30 minutes before we would
be allowed to leave. They also called up to cardiology to see if they
wanted to come and see her. They had discussed admitting her if she
had fluid on her lungs, but didn't appear to. Around 1:30, Hope
started to get really fussy and was crying quite agressively. Her
face began to turn beet red and something in me felt very nervous. I
told the nurse that her colour was very red.  She told me that it was
normal when a child screamed that loudly. I had a moment of pure
strength and let her know that I had never seen Hope that colour, she
turns purple when she's angry, not red, and I wanted the cardiologist
to come see her immediately.

In what seemed like a whirlwind, the cardiologist came down and agreed
that no child should be fire engine red, even while screaming. She
was crying like she was in pain, would not settle, had horrible colour
and her sats were still very low and not in her normal range. We knew
we would be admitted and were not going anywhere tonight. I felt
terribly uneasy and knew this was all wrong and not normal, not even
for Hope. The intensivist from the ICU was called and it was decided
that Hope needed to be taken to the ICU immediately, she was simply
not stable and struggling to breath.

An echo was ordered of Hope's heart.  Sadly, her function is not as
great as it was. Throughout the MRI, Hope's heart function still
looked to be doing well, as it has been all along. This is no longer
the case, whatever is happening has damaged her heart function on the
right side, the only side she has. They are hoping it is temporary,
but aren't sure, and will take another look tomorrow. We  PRAISE
GOD that Hope's SVC has NO clots in it at this point. She was 25%
clotted previously, but is 100% open now! Her left side is still
fully clotted off and never expected to re-open, but the right side is
draining the upper body beautifully and the SVC is clear.  This is
SUPER important for the next surgery.

They are now thinking that Hope has had a severely rare and very
serious reaction to either the contrast dye from the MRI or the
anesthetic that was used. She will never be able to have a contrast
MRI again, a sad thing for a heart baby. She has been given high
doses of Benadryl, but showed continued reaction and has now been
given steroid treatment to keep her stable. Hope will remain in the
ICU overnight for continued steroid treatment and observation. If she
is stable in the morning and seems to be recovered, we'll be moved up
to the ward again. Not sure how long we'll be here this time, but I
really am starting to memorize the cafeteria menu!

It's been a tough day emotionally, a simple reminder of how the 'easy'
steps in Hope's care can go all wrong. They have never seen a
reaction to the MRI contrast dye at the hospital here. There are
documented cases in the world, but very few and almost none as severe
as Hope's. She truly likes to make an impression on health care
workers! I'm so glad Shawn has been here with me today, it has been a
great strength. We strongly feared being sent back to Edmonton and
are thankful to be in Calgary at least.

I'm emotionally dry as a desert and could use a long bath and a nap.
My heart rate has been racing all day and I'm starting to crash now
that Hope is more stable. I sometimes wonder if I'll die young after
all this craziness. Please pray for us as we continue to walk through
this mess with our beautiful girl. Please also pray for Sadie, she
gets passed around a lot when these things happen and it can be really
hard on her. Thank you for continuing to stand with us, we know we're


  1. So sorry to hear about all of this stuff, and Hope's reaction to the MRI dye or aneseatic?? Wow...yes we never know what a day brings, what God is doing, or what HE is teaching us!
    Wow...I am sure that you are so tired, and exhausted. It is so hard to watch your child/baby be so ill, and see everyone around the little body that you love and care for.
    I pray that God will "fix" what ever it is that happened, and that she will be ok, that God will protect her from any further problem. She is in good hands with the Lord.
    You are too! May God's peace be near you as tonight comes, and goes...may you get some rest, and be refreshed unbelievably!
    God Bless you all, and little Sadie!

  2. Praying for you all! Grateful for His hand of protection in the details today. Asking for lasting strength and joy in the moments.

  3. I have been following your blog through friends of yours posting to FB. I am so sad for you all. What a struggle you have been through. I love that through all of this that you can praise God for the small blessings that he bestows. As a parent of two children, my heart breaks for you. I can not even imagine what kind of strength that you must have. I am thankful to God that for this gift that he gives you and other parents that struggle to find answers. We will continue to pray for all of you and little Hope as you work with the Dr's to find answers. We pray that God will touch Hope with His healing hand and surround you all with love. We pray that He continues to bring knowledge and understanding of this condition to your healthcare professionals. May He keep you calm in the storm, help you rest and peace. Many blessings to you all.

  4. May the goodness of the Lord pass by you today. May He lift up your countenance and give you peace.

  5. We are friends of Kristen McKamy and I just want you to know that we have been given the Power and the Authority to Heal, by HIS stripes we are healed. I am pretty sure you know that and the Whitt family in Colorado stands with you as you, may the LORD continue to give you the Endurance to pray through it all and never waiver in Faith as hard as it may be at times. God Bless you!