At 8:30am today (Friday, July 22nd, 2016), Gemma was carried down the hallway of the Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. After a four month wait, this beautiful 9 month old girl finally gets a new liver!
During the next 10 hours, we’ll be waiting for news as the three specialized teams work hard to give Gemma the long, healthy life she deserves. During the last few weeks, Gemma had taken a turn for the worst and had spent significant time in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, intubated, with a liver that was almost completely dysfunctional. Due to a rare disease called Biliary Atresia, this little girl has been in constant peril. We can’t wait to see her recovery!
The family- loving mother and father Melissa and Shawn, and baby Gemma- will be reunited this weekend, and will hopefully be able to go home to Hawaii in 3 months.
We love you, Gemma!
If you haven’t had a chance, please help support Gemma’s long recovery, here. Please help spread the word by sharing this via your Social Media!
Dedicated to a baby at a crossroads, with my love and gratitude.
I sat rocking her in the crook of my arm as the sun set outside the big hospital window, patting her back and singing whatever lullabies I could think of, making up words and tunes. Singing the old cowboy songs dad sung to me, my throat tightened with fear for this little child and her trials ahead. Her mother was taking a much needed rest after sleeping only a handful of hours that week, and it was all I could do to try and bring them both a little comfort and sleep.
At only 6 months, Gemma was small with bright yellow skin and eyes and a painfully distended belly. She labored to breath, and would barely sleep. Even so, she was strong, smiley and unbearably lovely. I couldn’t control the tears in my eyes as they threatened to spill over. I nuzzled her close and stood up, taking great care not to trip or pull on the utilitarian lines that snaked from the tall chirping machine (her constant robotic companion) across the cold, sterile floor into her fragile little body. The injustice of it was shocking.
Gemma would need all the nutrients and tenderness she could get to survive the next few months of waiting. Continue reading Coming Home: A baby’s journey for a new liver