For over 4 days, Garrett was fairly stable, with no adverse events. Then the carbon dioxide level in his blood reached a critical level and something needed to be done. Since the doctors had not done a bronchoscopy to suction fluid out of his lungs since Thursday, they did a quick in-and-out at the bedside and were successful in removing a lot of junk. However, to do that, they must take him off the ventilator, and he did not tolerate the loss of pressure well. He was in crisis mode again, with medication to keep his blood pressure up and a temp of 103.5.
The doctors approached my brother and his wife about what they wanted done if Garrett should go into cardiac arrest. That is never a good sign. Basically, they said they are out of options; nothing more to offer at that point.
After talking about it, my brother and his wife and son decided the doctors could give whatever medications necessary, but they didn't want chest compressions or cardiac shocks. If his heart stopped, God could take him home, and though that's not what they wanted, they were at peace with it. Local family and friends gathered 'round to wait and pray, and the word was put out that we needed massive prayers. Again.
Late last evening the doctors decided to switch Garrett off the "pediatric" oscillating vent that keeps a continuous pressure and gives him 3 breaths/second and place him back on the original, traditional ventilator. He never does well with changes, and I don't think they expected him to survive it, but it was a last ditch effort.
Not only did Garrett survive the switch, he tolerated it without any setbacks, and this morning his carbon dioxide level, while still a little high, is no longer critical. His oxygen levels are still low, but his heart rate has slowed from the 140s to the 130s, and his fever dropped to 102.5. He is hanging onto the cliff by his fingernails, but he is still with us.
Prayer is a powerful thing.