Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Family Apart

William and I left Delaware today to come back to Michigan for work and school.  Sarah will stay with Kaela and Wesley at du Pont for the next four to five weeks while Kaela is in halo traction.  It is really hard leaving them behind knowing that Sarah will have to take care of our infant son while working 20 hours per week and taking care of Kaela.  We do have some help coming however so maybe that will take some of the pressure off of Sarah while she is out there.  We have many wonderful family and friends who have taken time to be out there for short periods to help with the baby. 

Luckily we live in an age where technology is advanced enough that we can communicate cheaply and actually see each other.  We have Skype as well as face-time on the iPhone so that we can at least see each other while we are apart. William and I will return to Delaware in May for a week for Kaela’s second surgery where she will have rods implanted on her spine.  Hopefully about a week or so after that procedure, Kaela will be able to come home. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kaela Gets Out and About

Kaela is moving along very well with her care here at du Pont. Yesterday she was able to get into her wheel chair for a couple hours and visit the child life room here at the hospital. She played with Play-Doh and just enjoyed spending time out of the room for a little while. They have also added more weight to the chair. She is up to 14 pounds pulling on her from behind. Kaela only weighs about 29 pounds so that’s about half her body weight.

The nurses were also able to detach Kaela from all of her IV’s. Kaela hates having IV’s in her hand and the ones attached to her torso were also removed. It makes it a lot easier to get her in an out of bed without cords all over the place. While she is in bed she is usually watching cartoons. The hospital has a pretty nice TV system with built in movies, internet and television. Not sure what we would do without that.

Kaela has also started receiving cards from friends through the Nemours eCard system supported by the hospital. It’s very easy for people to go online and make a card for Kaela to receive. She loves getting these cards so if you have the time please make one for her. Its fast, easy and free!

To make an eCard:
  • Visit
  • Click “send a smile” eCard button
  • Choose from one of 80 different designs
  • Type your message (be sure to include your name at the end of the message so we can tell Kaela who the card is from)
  • Type the first name of the patient (Kaela)
  • Type the last name of the patient (Laurin)
  • Type the patient’s room number (3407)
  • Review your card before sending and that’s it!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Go Kaela!

Kaela is progressing exceptionally well after just having major surgery on Monday. She felt well enough that she is able to move to a wheel chair. The transformation that has happened already is amazing. Her back is so straight! She looks much longer than she did before. Currently she is keeping food and liquids down. The doctors decided to keep her in the ICU for one more night because there were not any general rooms available today. Tomorrow she should be able to move to another room off of the intensive care unit where she will be for the remainder of her stay here at the Alfred I du Pont Hospital for children in Wilmington, Delaware. Go Kaela!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kaela Is Out of Surgery

Kaela is officially out of her first surgery and it appears to have been very successful. During this procedure Kaela got a central line implanted in her chest. It is basically a tube that will allow for pain and other medication to be administered quickly. She was also outfitted with a halo that she will have to wear for the next 6 to 8 weeks while her spine straightens out. The surgeons cut some ligaments near her vertebrae to allow the spine to unfurl more easily. As you can see from the pictures below, the change was very dramatic. Dr. Mackenzie said it was the most dramatic change in curvature he has ever seen from a procedure like this.

Kaela is now resting in her bed in the intensive care unit of the hospital. She has weight applied to her halo so that her spine will continue to straighten. She will likely have to stay in bed for the next few days at which time she will be able to move to a wheel chair and then eventually a walker outfitted with a pulley system and weights.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pre-Op Appointments

Kaela spent the last three days visiting lots of different doctors in preparation for her first surgery on the 9th of April. She has been evaluated by pediatrics, anesthesia, pulmonary, cardiology, and folks in physical therapy. She has also had some x-rays, a CT scan and MRI performed. Everything seems to be going smoothly. We met briefly with Dr. Mackenzie on Friday and he went over details of the initial surgery.

These will be the last days that Kaela will have outside of the hospital for about 8 weeks or more. We spent the day playing at the Ronald McDonald house and then went to a local park called Can-Do Park. We played there with the kids for a couple hours before grabbing some McDonalds and coming back to our temporary home.

Check back soon for more updates!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kaela Says Goodbye To Her Pre-School Class

Kaela is truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in her life making her upcoming trip to Delaware for surgery a little easier to bare. Kaela’s last day of pre-school was last week and she got to say goodbye to all of her classmates. Her teachers had said that they were planning a surprise for her but we had no idea that there would be such a large out-pouring of support. Kaela received a stuffed teddy bear from her teachers along with a scrap book with pictures of all her classmates. The parents of kids in the class also sent lots of goodies in for Kaela on her last day. She will now have tons of stuff to keep her mind preoccupied on the trip to Delaware and during her long stay there. Sarah and I are so grateful for the generosity that people have shown.