Sweet Baby Owen!

For: Siobhan and Pete Wheelan
Organizer: Kim Butts
$3,080
of $0 goal
0% Complete
This fundraiser is closed. Thank you for your support!

The Story

Shortly after their wedding last fall, Siobhan and Pete Wheelan were thrilled to discover that they would be welcoming their first baby in August of this year.  This news was complicated by the discovery at their 20 week ultrasound that their baby has a severe right-sided congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).  The link below is an excellent resource for information about this rare structural defect.  

http://fetus.ucsfmedicalcenter.org/cdh/

The main problem Baby Wheelan is facing is that his/her liver is in the chest cavity, inhibiting lung development.  Siobhan and Pete have been connected to a world-renowned team at USCF that specializes in treatment for babies with CDH.  Their doctors there have recommended a series of two fetal surgeries before Baby Wheelan is born in hopes of improving his/her lung size before birth.  After birth, Baby Wheelan will undergo yet another surgery to place the liver back in the abdomen and repair the diaphragm so the lungs can work on developing further.  Following the success of that surgery, the Wheelans will most likely face 3-4 months in the NICU.

With one fetal surgery successfully completed as of May 16 (YAY!), Siobhan is now on modified bedrest for the rest of the pregnancy and the Wheelans still have a long, uncertain road ahead of them.  Siobhan and Pete are two of the most selfless, positive, and generous people many of us know, and their biggest wish from all of us is to send Baby Wheelan positive thoughts and love to add fuel to his/her fight in the months ahead.  As friends and family surrounding the Wheelans, we also have an opportunity to combine our resources to help ease some of their financial worries.  They will have countless out-of-pocket expenses coming up, including transportation costs, hotel fees, insurance co-pays, future medical costs, etc. One small example is that for Siobhan and Pete to visit Baby Wheelan while he/she is in the NICU at UCSF, their discounted parking rate will be $17 per day. So every little bit will truly help and 100% of each donation goes directly to them!!

Thank you in advance for your support, love, and positive thoughts for this young family!

**Little Owen Wheelan was born June 17 and went home with mom and dad on August 26.  Please see updates for further information!!

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on September 30, 2013 by Kim Butts
Owen Wheelan finally made his big trip from UCSF to his home in Napa on August 26. During his two and a half months in the hospital, he proved over and over how strong his little body and will to survive are.  He became known as the miricle baby amongst his medical team and while there has been a lot of bumps in the road since he's been home, his resilliant spirit is shining right on!

Siobhan and Pete are working around the clock to keep up with Owen's feeding and medication schedule.  Because Owen's lungs are so compromised, his growth and conserving energy for feeding is a main focus of his day.  Between breast feeds, tube feeds, and bottles, Siobhan rarely sleeps more than an hour at a time when Pete is at work!  When Pete is home to help, there is plenty of time spent between the two parents on the phone with insurance, trying to get the appropriate medical equipment and supportive therapies to help Owen now that he is home. He will need a variety of specialists over the next few years to aid him and his parents in achieving his developmental, feeding, and medical goals.  The Wheelans are still waiting for some necsesary equipment and much needed home nursing help that were ordered weeks ago by his doctor.  The lengthy delays in care outside the hospital setting have been frustrating for the young family, but they are constantly focused on the many blessings they have been given and the vast support they have been shown.   

Thank you all again for the love and financial support you have given the Wheelans!

Posted on June 24, 2013 by Kim Butts

As many of you already know, Owen Brian Wheelan made his entrance to this world last Monday, June 17.  Siobhan went into premature labor the night before and the fetal surgery team decided to attempt the second surgery on June 17, to take the tracheal balloon out and keep Siobhan pregnant.  They were unable to complete the fetal surgery and had to deliver Owen at 6:30 pm.  As far as the result of the initial fetal surgery, Owen's lung development before he was born far exceeded the doctors' expectations of how much improvement we could hope for.  Yay!


Despite that good news, the past 7 days have been very touch and go for Siobhan, Pete and Owen.  He had been very unstable during his first few days of life and his medical team decided to do his hernia repair surgery on June 20, despite his instability. The hope was that the surgery may help improve his oxygen to carbon dioxide ratio, which had been way out of balance for unknown reasons.  The diaphragm repair surgery was a success, his liver has been placed in his abdomen, and the team found a tear in Owen's bronchial stem, which was the culprit to not being able to get his carbon dioxide level down to normal.  The doctors tried to fix the tear but were unable to, so Owen was placed on a high-oscillating ventilator to try to keep his lungs still enough to allow his body to heal the tear on its own.  Since finding the problem and this new type of ventilator, Owen has been responding so well to his treatment and the staff has been slowly weaning down the amount of support he is getting from the machines.  He is becoming more alert and active every day (especially when Siobhan and Pete are talking to him!), and his doctors say they are blown away by how well he is doing.


Siobhan has been discharged from the hospital and due to some help from some amazing people, the Wheelans were accepted into a wonderful facility close to UCSF called The Family House, where they will be able to stay until Owen is discharged from the hospital.  Siobhan is still recovering from her own surgery so this young family will face some new hurdles as Pete must return to work this week, but they are beyond grateful for the love and support that family, friends, and even strangers have been showering them with.  Siobhan and Pete say that they hear multiple times a day how strong of a fighter Owen is, and they believe he is benefiting from every bit of love and prayer that has been directed their way. 

Thank you a hundred times over for the abundance of financial and spiritual support you have been giving Siobhan, Pete, and sweet Owen!!


Posted on June 10, 2013 by Kim Butts
Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who has been rooting for the Wheelans! The amount of support and generosity you all have been showing is so heartwarming.  The weekly check-ups at UCSF since the first surgery have been going well for Baby Wheelan and the doctors are saying that there has been definite lung growth since May 16.  They won't know exactly how much until a fetal MRI on June 21.  Siobhan will start having weekly non stress tests, in addition to her weekly ultrasounds and general checks.  The second surgery is scheduled for June 25.  

Siobhan and Pete are in great spirits and are feeling encouraged by the developments of the past few weeks.  Their main daily challenge has been keeping Siobhan's busy mind occupied while on her modified bedrest!

Please keep the positive thoughts coming!  Siobhan and Pete strongly believe that they are helping their little one!

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