Maxwell was born on July 7, 2012. He was born to appear to be a healthy 6lb. 14oz little bundle of joy. During the nine months of my pregnancy there was never an indication that Maxwell would be born anything but healthy and so when our precious little boy was born with PPHN we were caught blind-sided. When Maxwell arrived in this world he was screaming just as any baby would do. However, one of the delivery nurses noticed that Maxwell was “grunting.” The NICU nurse came in and took Maxwell into the NICU nursery just minutes after he was born to observe his oxygen levels and make sure that everything was okay. The nurse told us that he was probably transitioning from being inside the womb to entering the world and he would do fine. Well, that nurse was very wrong. As the hours passed by Maxwell’s condition deteriorated more and more. His oxygen levels dropped steadily and while the nurses tried many different ways to give him oxygen, nothing was working. This is when we were told that the best choice was to intubate him and hopefully this would help him relax and his oxygen levels would improve. Maxwell was intubated and we were informed that they no longer had the level of care at the hospital to provide for Maxwell so he would be transferred to the NICU at University of Illinois Chicago Hospital. So a little over nine hours after Maxwell was born, he was intubated and taken by a team of a doctor and two nurses to UIC for continued care. Still we were told that he would be okay and that he would be in the hospital for about a week or so. This was not the case at all. Maxwell arrived at the NICU and the initial prognosis was good. He was making progress and appeared that a quick recovery would take place. However, this again is not how things turned out. Maxwell took a turn for the worst on Sunday night, just two days after he arrived at UIC. He quickly became the sickest baby in the NICU, needing to be placed on Nitric Oxide accompanied with an oscillating ventilator; these are two of the highest forms of support available. Maxwell became very sensitive to both light and sound and was placed in a drug induced coma. It was that evening that we were informed by the doctors that Maxwell was diagnosed with PPHN- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns. Basically, following Maxwell’s delivery his circulatory system never switched over from working through the placenta while in the womb to working on its own. As a result, Maxwell was struggling to breathe on his own and all the oxygenated blood was shunting away from him lungs and therefore was not being pushed throughout his body. This caused problems with Maxwell’s lungs as well as the pressure in his heart chambers. Maxwell was placed on many many medications and had a team of doctors attending to him 24-7 at UIC. After three weeks Maxwell was able to be weaned off of all of his medications and then they began weaning him off of his oxygen. After he was removed from everything, he had two days of recovering and stabilization in the hospital and then came the day that all new parents get to experience much sooner than we did. We got to bring our Maxwell home! This was such an exciting day!! Since this day, Maxwell has had multiple follow-up appointments since coming home from the hospital including CT scans, MRI’s and physical and developmental therapy. We have continued these services in our home through Early Intervention where he continues to see a developmental and physical therapist every six months. We will never know what caused our precious little boy to get so sick. The nurses and doctor team at UIC called Maxwell the Miracle Baby, they all stated that they had never seen a baby get as sick as he did and turn around and recover so quickly. Maxwell is our little miracle and always will be. At this point we are unsure of what the future health considerations will be for Maxwell but as for right now, our miracle baby is developing very healthy. He is growing into a strong little boy every day.
Local Benefit Details
Members of the Billips, Michels and Weigand families will be holding a benefit on September 14, 2013, at Fox Valley Kickers on 1015 Harvey Road in Oswego IL from 2 pm until 9 pm. Food, cash bar, games for both kids and adults, live music, raffles and a silent auction will be featured at our benefit. Our donation tickets are $10 per person at the door and children under 10 are FREE. We are looking forward to seeing everyone.
The money raised will strictly be used to help pay off the medical bills incurred during Maxwell’s unexpected stay in the NICU, current developmental and physical therapy services, follow up doctors’ visits and potential future medical needs as a result of PPHN. Today, we are asking you to help us make this a success. Please contact us if you are interested in helping by donating a product or service or an item or items that can be entered in our silent auction. All donations, no matter the size, are greatly appreciated, as we would be honored for you to help us reach our goal.