This page will keep you updated of my surgical procedures, as well
as information about my recovery.
Please BOOKMARK for future entries.
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 :-)
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".
Sunday, 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.
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
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.
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.
Wednesday, 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.
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 all dressed up
like a pretty fairy.
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?
Here is my Wacky Hair Day photo.
I had a lot of barrettes in my hair!
Dec 16, 2001
Having my picture taken with Santa, in Divide, Colorado.
Mushroom Hunting with
my family in Iowa. Stopping
for a quick break....
Chocolate Extravaganza Cake Entry
Summer Vacation 2004
Grandma & Grandpa's
(Grandpa lets me drive the boat!)
Lauren and Alexander Zinn
Just having a fun time!
October 2004 Check out my
Thanksgiving 2004 - Look who's cooking!
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.
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.
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.
She is doing well in surgery. She will be here overnight...more updates later today.
Lauren is now recovering, healing and resting in her room.
She will be here overnight and home tomorrow.
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.
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?
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!
What a lovely spring we have had in Denver.