Friday, April 16, 2010

April 13th: The longest day of our lives

Wow, that was one of the longest days of our lives!

It started at about 2am when Charlottes heart rate dropped really low. Our nurse ran in to check her vitals, she was not responding and we could not wake up. "Code Blue" was called and our room swarmed with about a million people, I think half the hospital staff were there. It was awesome how fast their team responded, some of the nurses and doctors were short of breath from running. Our surgeon was called in, things swung into motion. Honestly it was all a blur. The entire operating team was paged and waiting for the call should they have to start at 3am. We all headed down to ICU where things could happen quickly.

Charlotte responded wonderfully to the combinations of drugs and techniques they used to stabilize her. A strong saline was given to draw some pressure away from her brain. Some steroids, something for pain... Im not even sure what else. They put in a breathing tube to help too. Our neurosurgeon, Dr Hader, really wanted to give her the chance to stabilize so that the team did not have to come in at 3:00. She responded well and he gave the Ok for everyone to get some sleep. If they would have had to start at 3am he would not have had is usual team of anaesthesiologist and nurses, his team has been working together for 7 years. So we really prayed that Charlotte would settle.

Around 6:30 or so they started getting everything ready. She was mostly prepped already during the course of the night. Around 7:30 we gave her a last few kisses and she was whisked away to the operating room. Initially we had been told the the operation could take 2-4 hours, once her MRI came back and they got a really good picture of the beast we were warned that it could take up to 7 hours! Thankfully a good portion of it was right at the surface (maybe about the size of... um... something bigger than a toonie, an oreo cookie maybe) that made access to it really easy. We were so blessed to be surrounded by family during the whole wait. The nurse came around to give us an update, things had started well. That definitely helped calm our nerves.

We were able give her kisses again shortly after noon. Amazing to think of what was done in those few hours. She spent just over 3 hours actually in the surgery. They were able to get out everything they could see. Thank you all so much for all your prayers for this. The tumour itself does not have the characteristics of the really benign tumours that Dr Hayder had first speculated about. Unfortunately he said it does look to be a little more on the aggressive side. We will not know for sure until results come back from foothills, hopefully Friday or Monday. Please continue to pray that this is a non-aggressive tumour.

We have seen the pre and post MRI scans side by side, amazing. This tumour was 8cm by 6cm on the top surface. It was huge. Already it looks like her brain has regained some symmetry. There should be two cavities with fluid that run parallel down either side of the center, but the tumour had pinched her left one closed. This has opened up already and is looking more symmetrical. We have been told that it will never "bounce" back to fill that cavity but it should move back a little.

I do have more to say but they should be removing her breathing tubes soon and I would like to be there........signing off for now.

Thank you all for standing beside us on this long hard day.



  1. Anonymous9:46 AM

    Dear Rob and Allison,
    We are humbled and amazed at the strength and courage that you are showing at this hard hard time in your lives.
    Thank you so much for the posts on your blog..and the pictures....
    I am but one of many many hearts who are praying for your precious little Charlotte... and all of you who love her so..
    Prayer chains from many churches here in Cranbrook are on their knees.. and lifting each of you and each of Charlotte's care givers up to Him...
    May God bless you today with good news from the surgical team...
    In His love,
    Carole Haberman (Ken's Mom)

  2. You guys are amazing. I just wanted to encourage you and let you know that all of my prayers are with you guys.