Elias' Story - Surgery within five days of life
A letter from Nicole - Elias' mom
Five days after the birth of my second son Elias, I took him to his scheduled well-health check up with his pediatrician. As soon as we arrived in the doctor's office, my son began to throw up yellow bile, and immediately his pediatrician knew there was a problem. She sent us to Phoenix Children's Emergency Room (ER) with worries he may have bacteria in his stomach - but that was not the case. It was worse than that. Little did I know the day was going to end with my 5-day old son needing surgery for a rare disorder.
While at Phoenix Children's, I was also amazed with how quickly my baby was attended to. I didn't even need to stop in the ER - I was brought straight back and he was given immediate attention.
Within three to four hours, the doctor notified me that Elias had a malrotation in his small intestine - a serious condition where the intestine becomes twisted causing blockage. I was blown away with the news as I thought maybe he only had a little infection and would just need antibiotics. But Elias needed emergency surgery. Within the hour, he was taken by a nurse to be prepped for surgery.
With the possibility of serious complications on our newborn, my husband and I could barely hold ourselves together. I must say I have never felt such heartache in my life. As we sat in the surgery waiting room, I don't think a moment passed that we weren't praying.
After about two hours, his surgeon Dr. Jae-O Bae, came out to relieve us of some of our worries. My son was still with us and the problem had been resolved. It was the greatest news I have heard in all my days.
But the struggle wasn't over yet. Even though the surgery was over, it was difficult to watch our newborn on pain meds. He was recovering in the ICU, which is a very serious and sad place to be.
As we entered the room, my husband and I could see Elias hooked up to almost everything in the room. It's not easy to see your helpless child in such a condition. He still had a few days to really come out of it and be in the clear, and those were a painful couple of days. With a breathing tube down his throat and another tube down his nose, IV's in both hands and his legs even connected to some type of monitoring machine, my poor little guy didn't have much room to move. But within a few days, he was finally able to be held and fed. Elias recovered and we took him home.
I look now at Phoenix Children's and my heart speeds up a little. I owe my life and all my gratitude to the staff and surgeons who saved our son's life. Without Elias, I don't know how my husband and I would of survived. Because of the Hospital's great love and dedication to children, my family and I cannot express how thankful we are to them for saving Elias.
Thank you Phoenix Children's Hospital. I will never forget how you changed our lives forever.
Love, Nicole (Elias' mother)