Saturday, June 21, 2014

Helicopter Ride

A few months ago, my husband took a picture of himself on his first helicopter ride. I then realized that Lauren and I had ridden a helicopter years before he had gotten the opportunity.

As with any good "years ago" story, I'll have to share a bit of the background story. When Lauren was toddler aged, her heart failure team at CHoP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) wanted to do yearly heart catheterizations to keep a close watch on her pulmonary hypertension and cardiac function. She had one scheduled for October 2008, but she ended up being hospitalized while we were on vacation and not making it back to Philadelphia for the cath. It was rescheduled for mid-December.

In early December, a nasty stomach virus hit our house, and Lauren was admitted to our local PICU. Lauren started feeling better and even started tolerating some pedialyte through her g-tube, but it didn't look like she was going to make a full recovery in time for the cath.

The cardiologists were nervous about postponing the heart cath again, especially since Lauren kept getting sick and spending time in our local PICU. They were starting to wonder how all of these illnesses were affecting her heart and how much longer she'd be able to bounce back from them. They wanted to proceed with the cath as scheduled, but the PICU doctor felt that Lauren wasn't recovered enough from the stomach virus to be discharged. She would need to be transferred from one hospital to the other.

A few years earlier Lauren had been transferred by ambulance from Walter Reed to CHoP, but this time they couldn't spare an ambulance crew for a whole day. (The drive between the two hospitals takes nearly 3 hours depending on the traffic.) This time she'd get to go by helicopter.

Thankfully, the crew was able to get clearance for me to travel on the helicopter with Lauren. (The security rules/restrictions were a bit stricter in Washington DC than in some other places.)

Later that week she had her heart cath and her primary cardiologist told us that it was time to start down the transplant road.

We headed home to celebrate Christmas first, though.

Ben and MeI'm sharing a "years ago" story corresponding to each letter of the alphabet for the Blogging through the Alphabet challenge hosted by Marcy at Ben and Me. I often tell my children stories of things that have happened in our past, and now I'm taking the time to write down those stories.

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