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Welcome To Lauren's "Update" page!
"Click here" for today's update.

This page will keep you updated of my surgical procedures, as well as information about my recovery.
Please BOOKMARK for future entries.


UPDATE:

Lauren, the little angel
July 22, 1997
Lauren's surgery started at 8:00 am....lasting 11 hours.
July 23, 1997
Lauren is recovering very well. She is in Pediatric ICU. No visitors are allowed to see her yet. She has a long recovery. She is still on and off the pacemaker, as her body and heart and organs need to heal from the strenuous 11 hour surgery. Lauren will be resting now for up to 48 hours, as her body needs to regain strength. She has the best care. The nurses and Doctors are tending to her by the moment. She looks healthy and strong. Her color is nice and pink...not blue, anymore :-)

The ECMO MachineJuly 24, 1997
Wow...what a day....Dr Geddes woke us up at 5:15 a.m. with an alarming change in her status. Her blood pressure was not good....but better now............. Lauren's blood pressure was in the 60's so, they needed to go back into her heart and connect a heart/lung machine "ECMO". Then, they also did a catheter diagnostic to check for any surgical complication (ie: kinks in the homograft) to see if that is where the "slow circulation" was occurring. That was not a problem. (Yeah.....no more surgery now) So, the next step is to apply Nitric Oxide (sp) to her ventilator and observe her for the next 48 hours. Now we wait to let her body heal. She is also connected to the pacemaker and the ECMO machine.

Friday, July 25, 1997
Lauren's progress is slowly climbing forward. Today her "ECMO" stats are improving. Her ratio is up 7%. By that, I mean that the heart/lung machine is working at 63%, and Lauren is working at 37% capacity. Up from 70/30% yesterday. We visited her this morning at 6:00 am.....I could not sleep and so Perry and I went down to see her early today.

Lauren's ECMO stats are 50/50 now....meaning that she is pumping 50% on her own, and the ECMO machine is working the other 50%. The pacemaker has also been disconnected today. Her oxygen stats are at 99%...100% being perfect (not bad, huh?)The dialysis has been added to her recovery to help her kidneys. Alot of fluid builds up, and she needs some time to help her healing process. We are again, very confident with the magnificent staff that cares for Lauren 24 hours a day.

Lauren at Aunt Steph's weddingSaturday, July 26, 1997:

Lauren is stable. The dialysis meds have been cut back a little. The most exciting event today was that we saw her open her eyes for a couple times. It was so nice to see her move around a bit, kick and respond to us. :-)


Lauren at Christmas 1996
Sunday, July 27, 1997:

Lauren remains stable. Her kidneys are starting to "pick up speed". The Doctors and Nurses are beginning to wean her off of the meds and fluids. Now she is beginning to look like my girl :-) It is so nice to see the puffiness eliminated from her eyes...now they almost look sunken! She looks so nice. She had the pacemaker on for about 5 hours today. But, she is doing so well without it, now.




Lauren after Nakaidoh Procedure 7/97Monday, July 28, 1997:
Well today was a setback. We went to the hospital anticipating removal
of the ECMO...only to find that the ECMO is turned up to "full blast"
meaning that she is now only working at 10% and the ECMO at 90%. An
infection has been suspected. Cultures will be ready to reveal results
tomorrow. As far as recovery goes, we are starting over again. The risk
factors have increased again. Hope to hear some positive news tomorrow.



Tuesday, July 29, 1997:
What a great day...and positive change from yesterday.
We are grateful, and thank you all for your prayers
Lauren's blood pressure is back in line 80's and 90's
and her circulation is the best it has ever been in a week
Her hands and feet are warm for the first time! YEAH.....Still
on ECMO but her vitals have improved ....no word on the cultures
Oh, well,,we are very happy with the stability.


Wednesday, July 30, 1997:
Today we are so happy to see a wonderful progress. Lauren had a small surgical procedure, that actually provided great leaps to her recovery. A new set of wires were installed for her temporary pacemaker...which in turn eliminated the ECMO!!!!!!YEAH!!!! They wrapped her homeograft with gortex to protect it from leakage or tearing. Also, an exploratoratory examination of the surgery and all is well, healing just fine.
The dialysis has also been removed and her urine output is doing
very well. Her blood pressure is great, as well as her oxygen stats...etc...

Thursday, July 30, 1997:
All is well at Presbyterian St Luke Hospital
1719 E 19th St, Denver, CO 80218
Lauren remains stable. She is still on the temporary pacemaker.
Dr Geddes has plans to install a permanent pacemaker on Saturday
or Monday. Her lungs have a little fluid,nothing to worry about.
She does have a slight fever...101...no sweat. Her kidneys are
actively functioning so well that the "Kidney Dr", may check out
tomorrow......another one off the list! Yeah!

Friday, August 1, 1997:
What a great way to begin the month of August! Lauren had her permanent
pacemaker installed today. The surgery went very well. All vital signs remain stable...YEAH!!!! She has a Medtronics # 7960iB "pacemaker model" installed. See the picture here. It has been permanently installed in her left abdomen. Lauren will be recovering.


My new cowboy hat from Toys-R-Us - Photo taken 7/21/97
Saturday, August 2, 1997:

All is well in Lauren's room. She remains stable. One of the monitor
"leads" have been removed, the nitric oxide has been reduced by 1/2
the original dosage, the "foley" has been removed................
It's a "healing day".



Me and Mickey Mouse at Disneyland - May 1997Sunday, August 3, 1997:
We met Dr. Geddes (The Heart Surgeon) at the hospital this morning. He was just beginning to pull out the "drainage" tubes from her chest...YEAH!!! The two chest tubes that were draining fluid from the pericardium are gone. If you've never seen then, they are about as thick as a ball point pen and there were two of them sticking out just below the rib cage. Another milestone to recovery...and the Nitric Oxide has been turned off, since last nite. The Epi (short for some long drug) has also been removed today. Two "lead" wires detecting her progress for the monitors have also been removed. All of the above, are signs that she will be ready for the removal of her ventilator, very soon, too. This will be soon......maybe tomorrow. Every time we go visit her, and she is awake (eyes open), she appears to be struggling and in pain, kicking her legs, throwing her hands in the air. It is so sad, yet in the same breath, it is reasurring to know that she is a fighter, and struggling to "Get-me-outta-here"!!!!

Monday, August 4, 1997:
Lauren has not been able to get rid of some fluid, still hanging in her lungs. Today a "drain line" was installed on her right side near her right lung to remove the excessive fluid. We hope to see it gone in 24-36 hours. Then the ventilator can be removed shortly thereafter. Still healing, and stable.




Tuesday, August 5, 1997:

Better late than never....another milestone in the healing process, we (mommy & daddy)got to hold Lauren today. We could see the joy in her eyes. It was so nice to have her in my arms again. The patch over the stitches were removed, and it looks great, healing well, too.




Wednesday, August 6, 1997:
Ok...how about the old saying...no news is good news....we are in a "holding-healing" pattern today...waiting...holding a positive thought that the ventilator comes off tomorrow and... healing that wonderful heart that we know and love of Lauren's.




Can you find me in my stuffed animal collection?Friday, August 8, 1997:
TGIF! Another "somewhat restful day"...if you call resting flailing and kicking and just about all Lauren can do to pull out the remaining tubes hangin off her "trunk"! The "feeding tube" was removed gfrom her nose today, also. Another wonderful step to recovery. Lauren's color is great, nurse Julianne washed her hair for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks...Her hair smells so nice :-) Lauren also drank a little juice and milk today. And...watch for tomorrow's update..you may be able to come visit me cuz, I may be moving to pediatrics...I'll keep ya posted!

Saturday/Sunday, August 9th and 10th, 1997:
What a wonderful week-end. Lauren has been moved to Pediatrics. YEAH!! ...Big Milestone! She also has said a word about 3-4 times in the last 24 hours - "Mommy" - so her voice is beginning to come back. She also smiled for Perry and I once. That brought tears to our eyes. First smile we have seen in about 3 weeks. We had a "bumpy" nite here at the hospital. I have moved in, to stay with her, until she goes home......and she hardly slept at all, last nite. Those "darn DT's" are working on her.....slowly .....we climb.....outta here!

Monday, August 11th, 1997: Wow...we are getting better day by day. Lauren said her favorite word today, "no". We have started on our therapies today - Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy (What job?!)and Physical Therapy. Lauren is not sitting up, or walking yet....2 weeks flat on your back, as well as 2 weeks of morphine, a MAJOR heart surgery, 6 1/2 days of ECMO, and 2 weeks of respirator...it takes a lot outta ya! Lauren is really not sleeping well either. She sleeps in 1 1/2 hour segments thru the day and nite. All medications, except a small drip of methadone are gone. Daddy spent the nite on Sunday nite.....not alot of sleep....he was not impressed with the overnite outing. Grandma Schwarm is sleeping over tonite.

Tuesday, August 12th, 1997:
IT'S A GREAT DAY!!! LAUREN IS HOME!!! YEAH!!!
Lauren progressed so well......that she came home today! Finally! We are so grateful to have her home again. The care she received at Presbyterian/St. Luke Hospital was just the best. We are so happy the staff has taken such good care of her.

Wednesday/Thursday, August 12-13th, 1997:
Ooops....maybe we better go back. Lauren was re-admitted to the "same old room" #812, on Wednesday afternoon. After our appointment with her heart surgeon, Dr. Geddes, who was not present at the time of Lauren's dismissal.....he decided that Lauren was not ready to go home yet. We are confident with this decision and ....here we are! Lauren has a canula with oxygen, back on...bummer!! Lauren had an ECHO from Dr Toewes, at 6:00 pm, Tuesday evening, and he gave her a mild sedative for the procedure....which allowed her to sleep for nearly 12 hours straight.!! I think that may be the longest she has EVER slept in one long stretch! And what healing power that is. Today, Thursday, they have installed an IV to feed her fluids, since she is not wanting to eat or drink much on her own, and also, to give her some lasix to remove the excess fluids hanging around her left lung.

Friday, August 14, 1997:
All I can say is T.G.I.F.....we are on the long trail of healing.
Lauren is sluggish in her eating patterns. Saying another word today "Baby-Bop" and starting to color with crayons. Still working on walking....taking steps but not happily. lauren just wants to "cling" to me. I probably would too, if I had been "poked" around as much as she has!

Saturday, August 15, 1997:
yeah...Lauren is off oxygen!!! Her stats are running 91-93. And the pulse-ox
has also been removed!! Slowly but surely....we started walking today. Baby steps
is all she takes, mostly clinging to me, and afraid of everyone. Can ya blame her?
Dr Geddes says we will anticipate a Monday dismissal. Cool....

Monday, August 18, 1997:
Ooops.....took the week-end off! But we have been working hard. Lauren is taking lots of steps...literally...walking is a bit of a challenge..but we are getting there. Also alot more words spoken today, and small sentences, too. Grandma and Grandpa returned home (to Iowa) today. We will miss their support. Check back tomorrow for the full details of coming home!

Tuesday, August 19, 1997:
Nope. not today. Lauren is still having some fluid hang around her right lung. An Echo has been scheduled this afternoon to check her out. Still on hold. She is talking more. Her throat is still sore from the respirator, so it is dificult for her. And her walking is not at the "speed" we would like to see it.....but it all takes time........ugh........


Friday, August 22, 1997:
One month to the day. Yep that's long enough to spend at the hospital!! We are finally all home.....YEAH!!! Lauren is home and happy playing in her own backyard, and with her own toys. What a wonderful day it is!!!

Thursday, August 28, 1997:
We are so happy to be home. Little by little...step by step...we see improvements every day. Lauren is on oxygen. We hope not for long...what a hassle..we have this 50 foot cord sprawling through the house. So...not much to update except for "the healing continues"....and we are moving forward to excellent health!

Tuesday, September 2, 1997:
She had a '97' THIS WEEK from '87' last week after her visit with the cardiologist. We are delighted to make the announcement that: "The oxygen has left the building!!" YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Her pacemaker has been turned down a notch as well. Still needing it...don't know how long...maybe forever (?) and....down to lasix only twice a day!

Monday, September 15, 1997:
All is well..we continue to watch Lauren heal and talk and walk..and eat and
sleep like never before. She now sleeps all nite....never did prior to her visit
to the hospital. She is really getting back to her "old-self"...it is so wonderful!
She went to the babysitter's for the 2nd time today. Her babysitter, Terri, says
"I think she talks more than ever, now!" That is great!

Thursday, Oct 2, 1997:
Would you believe we made a trip to the Emergency room last nite? Not for
her heart this time!......But a tumble off the kitchen chair. So today, Lauren
had a cast put on her right arm, as her diagnosis is: She has a "buckle" fracture
of the right radius/ulna. She is doing just fine.

My new cowboy hat from Toys-R-Us - Photo taken 7/21/97 Tuesday, December 16, 1997:
Wow, Christmas is HERE!! Yeah, we are enjoying the holiday season. We have been shopping, mailing Christmas cards, Christmas packages are wrapped and off to our relatives across the nation. We have been to the "Toy Story on Ice" this year. what fun it was, also. We are traveling to Phoenix for Christmas this year, to warm up a bit! Merry Christmas to you and yours.



Friday, May 23, 1998:
Well! I am not doing real good with updates anymore...ya know it really is like this heart surgery never took place. We are so blessed to have the wonderful health care providers and technology available to us today. We have also been blessed with wonderful prayer chains all over America and the world. Lauren is in the Lord's hands. We are so thankful for Lauren's "glowing health". She is doing great!
Lauren is taking dance lessons, and will be in her first recital on June 13 & 14th. She is also just enjoying playing with her friends at "school" three days a week.

Today marks the anniversary of Lauren's open heart surgeryWednesday, JULY 22 1998
Wow...One year later...we are thankful that Lauren's life is so full. Today marks the anniversary of her open heart surgery. One year ago, today, we were "living" at Presbyterian/St. Luke Hospital. Now, it almost seems like it never happened. Her quarterly check-ups with Dr Miller, her cardiologist are always positive. She is swimming with her friends at the pool today, enjoying her daily swim classes. Lauren's health is excellent.








Friday, April 30, 1999
- Wow - how time flies when I have not looked at this page in awhile. Lauren's health continues to be excellent! She is loving life.







Lauren's Bradley School 
Pre-K photo

October 1999
- This is my first school picture from Bradley Elementary School. I go to a Pre-K program, every afternoon from 1-3:30. I am learning soooo much! I am learning to write my name, play on the computer, do lost of creative things and draw really cool pictures.





Lauren in her fairy costume - Fall 1999 October 1999
Lauren all dressed up
like a pretty fairy.
How pretty!







Tuesday, June 27, 2000
Another year of our wonderful life with Lauren. Here is Lauren's recent Dance Recital photo. Lauren also graduated from her 2 pre-schools: Bradley Elementary and University Hills Lutheran. She is loving school and meeting lost of new friends. We visited the hospital - PSL a couple weeks ago. It was very nice to see everyone there.







Sunday, Dec. 9, 2001
Another year of our wonderful life with Lauren. This is Lauren's recent 1st Grade School picture. Lauren is attending University Hills Lutheran School. She is learning and growing so much. We are very proud of her. She had her annual Pacemaker check up with Dr Miller last week. She continues to do well. Thanks for checking in with us.

May 24, 2001

Dressed up pretty for a church
program today. How do you like
my pink dress?







Wild hair daySept 2001
Here is my Wacky Hair Day photo.
I had a lot of barrettes in my hair!

Lauren with Santa Claus 2001 Dec 16, 2001
Having my picture
taken with Santa, in Divide, Colorado.


May 2002


Mushroom Hunting with
my family in Iowa.
Stopping
for a quick break....




February 2004
Chocolate Extravaganza Cake Entry
What Fun!



Lauren Drives Grandpa's boat Summer Vacation 2004
Grandma & Grandpa's
(Grandpa lets me drive the boat!)
Burlington, Iowa





fishing with Gma & Gpa Lauren and Alisoun Lamb Lauren and Grandma

Lauren and cousins in Bettendorf, IA Lauren and Grandpa in the boat


Fall 2004
Lauren and Alexander Zinn
Just having a fun time!



October 2004
Check out my
new Glasses!











Thanksgiving 2004 - Look who's cooking! Lauren the chef
Mom, Lauren and Grandpa at Swift Ponds

Christmas - December 2004

We took a family vacation
in the Mini-Cooper, to Minneapolis, Minnesota!
What Fun! More pictures from Christmas.....





Christmas - December 2005


5th Grade Ski Trip - March 6, 2006


Hair today....gone tomorrow!
March 12, 2006

Lauren donated 10 inches -to "Locks of Love"

Summer Vacation - June 2006 - Grand Canyon



Christmas Vacation - 2006 -


My New Kitty: Tabby

New Dance-Dance Revolution Game -- Me & Mei:




Summer Day Camp - Camp Odayin:
Lauren enjoyed her first year at Camp Odayin. Camp Odayin's is for children with heart disease between 8 and 17 years of age, who would benefit from connecting with other young people who may share similar health, emotional, and social concerns. Camp Odayin is located at Camp Knutson in Crosslake, MN on a peninsula of 30 acres of beautiful forest with a mile of private shoreline on Trout and Lower Whitefish Lakes. Camp Knutson is just a 3 hour drive north of the Minneapolis/ St.Paul area.


Summer 2008
Wow - another year has gone by. Lauren has reached the wonderful teen-age years - at 13 years old. She is blessed to be going to a wonderful school that recognizes her strengths and encourages her challenges to succeed. She really enjoys playing guitar with her friends. This picture (on the right) was taken at Denver Academy, during "Exploratory" week.

Summer Camp 2008 included a Theater Camp at Denver University - Rocky Mountain Conservatory Theatre and a return to Camp Odayin:
Check out the 2 video clips on youtube.com here:

6/28/08 -Friday 7 pm - w/audio
6/27/08 - Thursday 11:30 - NO Audio



December 30, 2009
7:00 am
Lauren checked into Children's Hospital this morning at 6 am. She is now in surgery for 3 hours to replace and re-locate her pacemaker. It will be placed behind her right breast. They will remove the pacemaker located below her left rib.

9:00 am
She is doing well in surgery. She will be here overnight...more updates later today.




11:00 am
Lauren is now recovering, healing and resting in her room.
She will be here overnight and home tomorrow.

3:00 pm
We just took a short walk around the hallway.
Still a bit quesy. So we are just relaxing,
watching movies, playing cards and XBox 360 games.

4:30 pm
Lauren just had a visitor - See her pictured here with a nominee for
Miss Georgia: Whitney Cothran. Wow - you just never know who may stop by to visit huh?

5:00 pm
Check out the awesome view from the 9th floor "suite" here at Children's Hospital.


December 31, 2009
Well...what a new year it will be! We are home now. Time to rest, relax and heal. Blessings to all of our friends and family. Thank you all for your prayers. Lauren is healing and happy to be home....playing with her new games for PS2 and XBox!


April 2010
What a lovely spring we have had in Denver.



October 2010
Lauren was in an HBO Special!
Watch the trailer for the original HBO Documentary Film:
I Can't Do This But I CAN Do That
Trailer

Jan 1, 2011
It's a beautiful new day... in a new year in Denver.
Happy New Year! We had a great time celebrating
the new year with friends right here at home.
Thank you for checking in.









October 2012 - Oh My Beautiful Lauren - Senior pics!



ok...let's fast forward to now...
Lauren is a senior this year.
She is getting ready to graduate.
Look at her beautiful senior portraits!

2014 Highlights....
Lauren and Grandma Lola May 2014

Lauren with Uncle Dave and Aunt Karen Hogwarts 2014

2020 Highlights....
We have not updated this site for many years. I guess no news is good news.

May 14, 2020
open heart drawing
Today Lauren was scheduled to have her pulmonary valve replaced. This is the second time for her. The first one was installed when she was a baby. The first replacement was done when she was in 5th grade, at 10 years old.

Today her surgery was extensive. It was a full replacement, in a 12 hour surgery. She endured the 12 hour surgery and had a few bumps along the way. Open heart surgery is never swift or easy, especially when you have a pacemaker.



Surgery-Team-5-14-20

She has a wonderful staff of doctors and nurses that care for her every waking moment. I have attached a picture of her surgery medical team, from the operating room on Thursday. We are grateful and blessed that she has such a wonderful staff caring for her.

We are also grateful for friends and family praying for her recovery. At this moment she is getting better. Tomorrow and the following month will be a healing experience.











                    


Thank you for visiting Lauren's site. This web site continues to be her place to share with all of our friends and relatives around the world.

Send me some e-mail:



Here are some links that are related to this subject and better explains some of the terminology of cardiac heart diseases.



Abbott / St. Jude Pacemakers

Congenital Heart Defect Support Group

The American Heart Association





 

 

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