Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Best Decision We Ever Made

I got Annalise on the school bus at 8 AM on Tuesday. My mom and brother had come over late on Monday night after hearing the news and they would watch Nathaniel while I went back to the hospital. I gathered some stuff for Julianne since she hadn't been home since Monday morning.

All the doctors in the Pediatric ICU were having a meeting on Tuesday morning to discuss how Isabella should be treated and I wanted to be there for it. When I got to the hospital at 9:30, Isabella was knocked out since she was up and agitated until 6:30. Julianne told me about one of the best neurosurgeons in the country at Yale, but he apparently wasn't available until later in the week. She also received another call from one of her colleagues of a Dr. Jeff Wisoff at New York University who is also one of the best pediatric neurosurgeons in the country. We felt more and more that we had to take Isabella to Yale or NYU, and not just for the neurosurgeon, but because those places had additional dedicated, specialized staff. For example, while Bridgeport has a general anesthesiologist, Yale and NYU would have pediatric anesthesiologists.

We finally met with Dr. Lipow at around 11:00 AM. He agreed that it would be best to transfer Isabella and suggested NYU where he knew Dr. Wisoff. This was quite a relief as we weren't quite sure how to approach the Bridgeport staff to say that we wanted to transfer. We also thought it was fate since she received the call about Dr. Wisoff just minutes before we met with Dr. Lipow. The Bridgeport nurses contacted NYU and Dr. Wisoff and they agreed to accept Isabella that day. They arranged for a transport team and an ambulance to come from New York to bring Isabella to NYU.

Throughout all this, Isabella remained fast asleep. We suspected it was due to being up all night. However, just before the EMT's arrived to bring Isabella down, she began to vomit. We didn't know it at the time, but Isabella was rapidly growing worse. We also didn't know it at the time, but our decision to send Isabella down to NYU saved her life.

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