The phone rang this morning and Char answered it to find one of the mothers from the Mothers of Twins Club. She was calling to tell us that another member had just lost one of their 2-year-old boys. Here’s the story, as told by their mother, Michelle:
Who could ever imagine how much your life could change in just 48 hours. Our beautiful little boy got his angel wings and gave life to another. We want to thank each and every one of you for your continued support in our time of need.
A little background on the last few days. The boys celebrated their 2nd Birthday on Tuesday, December 28, by passing their well baby checkup with flying colors, and having a fun lunch out and cupcakes for dessert. Around midnight, Zach woke up throwing up. He was sick about every fifteen minutes. By the morning he was pretty tired and starting to get dehydrated as he couldn’t keep fluids down. Although he was not running a fever or having any diarrhea, the doc advised that we take him to the Ped’s ER to rule out shunt malfunction. Will took Zach to the ER about 2pm. and my mom and I arrived soon after. They did a CAT scan and an X-Ray, both of which came back normal (no shunt problems). At about 5pm. they started Zach on IV fluids to rehydrate him. At approx. 7:15 pm. Zach started having difficulty breathing and they had to bag him and eventually intubated him and put him on a respirator. From there he was admitted to the Children’s’ Hospital at St. V’s.
The Peds ICU doc talked to us, they had no clue what was going on, it could be meningitis, encephalitis, a stroke, blood clot….who knew? At midnight they had to replace his breathing tube, at 3:45am they came and got me (I stayed the night), Zach was overproducing fluids and could not maintain his body temperature. At 6:30am (Thursday) another CAT scan was done. Zach’s pupils were non-reactive, he could not breathe on his own and he had no brain function. After multiple tests Zach was declared “brain dead” early Thursday afternoon. I was able to give him a bath and dress him and we were all able to hold him to say our goodbyes. He was kept on a vent until this morning as we decided to do organ donation and his organs needed to be kept alive.
The whole staff and transplant team were WONDERFUL to us. Will, Jake and I came in very early this morning before surgery to say good-bye. The transplant team was able to recover his liver for a VERY sick 23 month old little girl in Cincinnati and his kidneys were waiting to be placed. Although his heart looked wonderful, they were only able to use the heart valves because he was on too much blood pressure medicine while he was there. They also were able to use his corneas. The transplant team bathed Zach and dressed him yellow pajamas and swaddled him in a beautiful donated hand knit blanket and we were able to hold him without all of the tubes and give him lots of hugs and kisses. We hope to truly know what happened to him in the next few weeks.
To those who knew him, Zach was such a special little boy who will forever hold a place in all of our hearts. Once again, thanks to all of you who have helped to get us through this incredibly difficult time in our life. We love you all!
Michelle, Will, Jake AND Zach
Zach’s funeral will be this Wednesday here in Indianapolis. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that anyone interested make a contribution an Zach’s name to IOPO – Indiana Organ Procurement Organization. Says Michelle: “This is the organ donation foundation that we worked with and they are FABULOUS people.”
Even if you don’t want to make a monetary contribution, please take a moment to say a prayer for Zach and his family. And then take a moment to count your blessings. On a personal note, I find that I cry every time I think about this and I can’t stop hugging the kids.