Today was an eventful day. Trish and I drove down from Santa Barbara with Grandpa Dick and Grandma Jo and swung by the hospital for a quick visit before seeing them off at LAX. They enjoyed a chance to hold Rudy and say goodbye.
Our little warrior keeps making progress on his breathing. Today’s plan was for three 3-hour sprints. He made it through the first one effortlessly, but was a bit riled up on the second so we had to cut that one off halfway through. Perhaps our presence can make him a little bit agitated and it can take some intervention to get him calmed down. As I write this he’s got about 45 minutes left on his 3rd sprint so Trish and I are sitting here calmly and he’s cruising on through it without much fuss. The plan is to give him one more day of exercise tomorrow with three-hour sprints and then pull the tube on Monday. So, please pray for continued strength for Rudy leading up to that so he can successfully transition off the ventilator.
The team is continuing to take blood samples for bacterial cultures each day. One set from two days ago started to show a little growth so Dr. Robert has changed up some of the antibiotics to stay on top of that. Infections come with the territory with extended ICU situations so we’re not overly concerned at this point as Rudy is not showing extreme symptoms, but please pray that the steps the team is taking would hold things at bay.
All this brings me to the major highlight of the day (if not the week). We were visited today by Alan and Vickie Manning. Followers of Rudy’s Beat are likely aware of their journey (click here for their blog). As we have drawn such comfort from reading their blog and exchanging e-mails, it was very emotional to meet them. There was much to talk about and probably even more that didn’t need to be said. Alan and Vickie are heroes to us as they’ve come face-to-face with the same monster and know the lay of the battlefield. They’ve been pushed to a place of having to make the most difficult decisions parents need to make and know that even the most excellent medical care can’t fix everything.
The five hours together flew by so quickly. Faced with a condition that strikes only 3 out of every 10,000 kids, it was a comfort to be together with people who spoke our language. We laughed over our parallel experiences in ICUs at opposite sides of the country. It might only be a small minority of people who have spent enough time in such places to find the humor therein—the rest of the population is often rightfully terrified. Thank you, Alan and Vickie, for your courage and perspective; we are grateful for your friendship and encouragement. When speaking of Katie’s passing, one thinks instantly of your loss—but I also come away grieving what Katie lost in only having you as parents for such a short time.