Zaza in PICU

Zaza in PICU: Day 1

This was the worst day of my life.

Looking back on this entire ordeal, I have pinpointed three times that were the scariest. That if she didn’t get the right intervention, she would have died. This day, this post, covers the first one.

As scary as it was to go up to the PICU, to hear and understand that they needed to intubate her, and — the worst — to be in the waiting room with Jesse while they intubated her — when it was done, my most overwhelming feeling was gratefulness. I remember coming back into her room, seeing her little chest finally filling up with air, and just saying through my tears, “Thank you… thank you… thank you… thank you for knowing what to do”… over and over.

This was the day where I didn’t stop crying.


Thank you so much to everyone who has reached out to us. Jesse and I are lucky to have you all. I can’t promise a daily update, because I don’t know what’s coming, but we will do our best to keep you in the loop.

First a catch up: 48 hours ago, Zaza was coming down with something. Still in good spirits, she started coughing. They were big, hard coughs that caused her to vomit, but she slept well that night. The next day (yesterday) she was definitely sick. I thought classic flu symptoms. But mid-day, her breathing started to be concerning, so 24 hours ago we walked into the ER. I was expecting a flu diagnosis, or a nebulizer treatment and to be released. Instead, the doctor and nurse were concerned with what they heard in their stethoscopes and saw on the chest x-ray. They told us we’d be spending the night.

Last night Zaza and I had a rough night in Pediatrics. She had an IV with fluids and oxygen in her nose, which she couldn’t stand. It was a battle all night to keep it in her nose and it was tough to keep her O2 levels at an acceptable level. Her breathing never got easier. They tried one more treatment this morning, VapoTherm, and that didn’t work either.

Remember that coughing from the other night? We are guessing this is the cause of pneumothorax– a hole in her lung that leaks air into her chest cavity. They saw that a little bit in that initial ER chest x-ray. They saw much more in the second chest xray we took this morning. All of the oxygen treatments we’d been doing couldn’t be used to full capacity because of the concern of the hole. Not only that, the oxygen treatments were making the pockets of air noticeably bigger. But most concerning- her labored breathing never improved. The second chest xray was full of concerning areas in her lungs.

Zaza in PICU: Day 1
735190_10153834917516419_3986941487406903313_nBy the time we got to the PICU this morning, she was rough. Really hard time breathing, very lethargic. They sedated her and intubated her. She’s had a CT, blood work and a culture sample from her lungs. After the CT, they put a chest tube into an area near her heart where a large pocket of air had accumulated, There is still a large pocket of air in her back that they can’t get to. Most importantly, her lab results came back and she has two kinds of viruses in her lungs: RSV and human metapneumovirus. Her lungs are in bad shape.

At this point we are watching all of her vitals and trying to keep her comfortable. The goal is to give her lungs time to heal– the hole leaking air, but more so, various areas in her lungs that are damaged from the viruses. We’re giving her body a break so it can fight this and start to heal. They think it will take a week or more to let her body do this.

Please keep prayers coming for her and for our whole family. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for a bit.


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