Brooklynn's Hope

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Brooklynn's Neonatal Woe's

  • Born at 5 lbs 8 oz. she was less than 4%tile in weight
  • At birth she went into respiratory distress and was immediately taken to the Neonatal ICU and put under an oxygen tent for approx. 18 hours
  • At day 2 of life she had shown difficulty feeding due to uncoordinated suck and swallow and required a combination of NG tube and oral feeds.
  • She had hypoglycemia and jaundice which was mild enough to not require any treatment.
  • Day 2 of life she had an Echocardiogram performed on her heart. It demonstrated a small PDA and a PFO with mild pulmonary stenosis and a bi-directional shunt. There was a domed pulmonic valve and an increased right ventricular pressure. She had a single episode of bradycardia.
  • A swallow study was performed during her NICU stay which showed aspiration into her lungs and began feeding with the help of a Speech Pathologist 2 times a day with the rest of her feeds through an NG tube.
  • She was discharged from the hospital at 18 days old on a heart and apnea monitor with an NG tube for her feeds.

Brooklynn's Medical Woe's

  • After seeing an Emory Orthopaedist and an Emory GI Specialist, we were sent to Egleston Childrens Hospital for a few outpatient labs; an ultrasound on her hip to make sure it was in place due to her contracture in her left leg, an Upper GI to show possible GERD (reflux), and a swallow study to see if she was still aspirating. The ultrasound on her hip demonstrated that her hip was in place and all was well. The upper GI had shown that she did infact have reflux disease and also had shown unexpected Malrotation in her small intestines. We never made it to the swallow study as she was admitted through the ER for immediate emergency surgery to correct her Malrotation.
  • On March 2, 2010, Brooklynn was admitted to Egleston Childrens Hospital and taken to the operating room for open surgery. She underwent a LADD procedure This included a duodenostomy repair of duodenal atresia and annular pancreas, placement of gastrostomy tube (G-tube) and an appendectomy. During her stay, she was seen by an Emory genetics doctor and was clinically diagnosed with Rubinstein-Taybi Syndrome at 6 weeks old. She was discharged 15 days later on March 17, 2010.
  • Home for 40 days, Brooklynn had many choking spells due to Aspiration. Scheduled for surgery sometime late June or early July, Brooklynn had a choking spell in which she turned blue on April 22, 2010 and was immediately re-admitted to Egleston Childrens Hospital once again.
  • April 26, 2010 Brooklynn was taken to the operating room for a Nissen Fundoplication to prevent reflux and hopefully cure her aspiration issues. This thankfully was completed laproscopically. Brooklynn was discharged 2.5 weeks later.
  • During her inpatient stay at Egleston, A spinal ultrasound with a follow up MRI was completed per our request which showed an abnormally low lying spinal cord. A inpatient consult was completed with the Neurosurgeon and was decided, although aruguable, due to her syndrome, tethered spinal cord surgery would be later performed to increase her chances of normal development.
  • After her discharge, Brooklynn was taken to Chattanooga, TN to meet RTS specialist and genetics doctor, Dr. Cathy Stevens. During her assessment, part of Dr. Stevens finding showed either a dislocated or missing left knee cap. An appointment was made immediately after to meet with the Emory Orthopedist once again.
  • After meeting with the Orthopedist, an Ultrasound was completed at Egleston on her left knee. We've just received the results. Her left knee cap is smaller than the right one and dislocated. This will require knee reconstruction surgery scheduled on September 22, 2010.
  • Surgery was completed on November 3, 2010 at Egleston Childrens Hospital on her tethered cord and her dislocated left patella. The neurosurgeon completed the laminectomy to release her tethered cord first. Everything went smooth. The orthopaedic surgeon went next to repair her dislocated left patella. After going in, he realized her left leg was a little more difficult than expected and her incision was rather large. Post surgery she was in a full leg cast for 6 weeks and now continues to be in a KAFO for approx. 20 hours per day. He completed the surgery, but there is no guaruntee that her patella will remain in place due to her low muscle tone and a higher probability to dislocate again. So far everything has been fine and she is healing well, although slow. She continues physical therapy 2 days per week to learn how to use her legs and walk. Her therapist is also using E-Stim therapy on her left knee to help wake up those muscles that have been sleeping since surgery and get her leg moving again. Lastly, her general surgeon went in the OR to repair the granulation tissue surrounding her feeding tube site. After repeated efforts of trying to rid the granulation tissue, this WORKED! Yay! No more mess! All in all, her day spent in the OR was a huge success. I loved that all 3 surgeons were able to work together to keep her from having to repeat going under anesthesia more than she has to. All together she spent about 7 hours in the operating room that day and spent a total of 3 days inpatient..which was a shock! She had not left the hospital in less than 17 days prior to this surgery so we were ecstatic to be able to come home so soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Wow what a long day. And boy am I ready for it to be over! Up at 4:30am, we headed to the hospital around 5:20 and got here a little after 6am. Brooklynn was the first case in the OR this morning. They always try to take the little babies first. And because we had to coordinate with multiple surgeons (3), they don't want to change her time because then it would screw everyone up. So surgery was scheduled to start at 7:30am, and at exactly 7:30am, off she went. That is most definitely the hardest part of the day. I absolutely hate it! There is no worse feeling than having to kiss your child and tell her how much you love her, and then hand her over to the nurses. For those few grueling hours, she is out of my hands and I honestly honestly cannot stand it! They called about an hour in, and she was doing great. The nuerosurgeon's part took right at 2 hours, the orthopaedic surgeon a little longer. All together, they started at 7:30am, and we didn't see her until approximately 6 hours later, right around 1:30. We got quite a few updates through out her time in the OR. There is nothing better, yet nothing scarier than when that phone rings in the waiting room and "West" is called to answer it. Good news or bad news? You have this kind of awful numb, sick to your stomach feeling...until you hear those 3 sweet words, "she's doing fine." Then I can breathe again. Ahhhh. Another couple hours and the phone rings again. Luckily today, all our phone calls contained those 3 sweet words. The neurosurgeon's part went great. She did great, and the surgery was easy breezy. But for those who know Brooklynn, you know how much she loves to surprise us all. The orthopaedic surgeon got the surprise today. Her leg was much worse than he anticipated. For the sake of your sanity, I will leave out the details. But like a jigsaw puzzle, she has been beautifully put back together. The general surgeon went in last. His was a quick 5 minutes spent in the OR. Doesn't get better than that right? We are now all back in the room, the guests have left for the day, and Tim and I are finally able to sit on the couch next to her bed, and with a sigh of relief, we are all still breathing. (((And waiting on Chinese to get here!))) Brooklynn is getting plenty of pain meds (morphine and tylenol with codeine along with motrin), and is sleeping, although not as peacefully as we'd like. Her Sat's occasionally drop and she is being given a little oxygen until the doctor gets here. (He's been called because of her sat's). But this is not uncommon for her oxygen levels to drop right after a surgery. And THIS was a surgery! A painful one. But she continues to AMAZE us everyday! And today, she has proven to be the most beautiful, strong and amazing baby I have ever known. Thank you everyone so much for all your thoughts and prayers! There is no greater power than the power of prayer. She woke up for a little while earlier and we were lucky enough to spend about 2 hours with her. We talked and sang songs and when she wakes up again, we'll be right here by her side. Sleep tight.


  1. Glad to hear everything went well, hope she has a smooth and fast recovery! :)

  2. How wonderful that everything went smoothly! Praise God! We're praying for a quick recovery.

  3. Oh sweet Brooklyn, I am so happy to hear this surgery is all done and behind you! You are such a fighter little one!

    Rest and recover peacefully! Hugs to you and your Mommy!

  4. So happy to hear that all went well and she is doing fine. Here's to a quick recovery.