Eowyn was born in the evening of November 6, 2018 and diagnosed with stage 2 HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephelopathy). She was transported via ambulance to the Stollery NICU at the Royal Alex Hospital where she underwent cooling therapy for 72 hours. Following the completion of this therapy, she had an MRI and EEG, both with normal results, and she was soon transferred to the NICU in the Red Deer Regional Hospital (RDRH) before being discharged home on November 26.
On December 5, she was readmitted to the RDRH for failure to thrive and feeding intolerance. While being set up with an IV for fluids, Eowyn's health quickly took a drastic turn. The doctor believed she was septic, so she was once again transferred to the Stollery NICU at the Royal Alex. Once there, she had numerous tests completed to rule out bacterial infections and doctors believed she had Fifths Disease ("slapped cheek" syndrome). She was rehydrated, and had an NG tube reinserted; we quickly saw improvements in her condition and there was talk of her being discharged again the next week.
However, when we went back to see her the morning of December 9, she had taken a very unexpected turn for the worst. She had been moved to isolation, her heart showed signs of failure, her blood pressure was incredibly high, she needed to be ventilated, and her body chemistry was imbalanced. Medical staff worked to stabilize her as best they could, and then she was transferred to the Mazankowski at the University of Alberta Hospital because of her heart failure. While there, they determined that her heart failure was a secondary problem, and she was sent to the Stollery NICU at the University Hospital.
She was soon moved out of isolation, but required a blood transfusion to bump up her hemoglobin levels. Her heart was working hard again, her lactate was up higher than it was when we first got to the U of A, and she needed increased airflow. However, doctors were able to stabilize her and all her stats and chemical levels came down to normal levels. She had a myriad of tests, including multiple head ultrasounds, EEGs, genetic and chromosomal tests, a CT angio, and an MRI. A head ultrasound had concerning results, and an MRI showed a large ischemic stroke, causing a complete blockage of her left anterior and middle cererbral arteries. She also began having seizures, but doctors were able to control those with medication.
Doctors continued to work hard to determine the cause of everything, but because Eowyn's body was still in a hypercoagulative state upon discharge, they were not able to complete all the tests they wanted to; she's expected to have more testing completed around 6 months of age once her clotting is a bit more controlled.
At this point, Eowyn has been diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, and she is on medication for high blood pressure, seizures, and a blood thinner. She goes for regular blood work to check her medication levels, physiotherapy to help with muscle tone, and she will have her vision and hearing reassesed shortly to determine if they were affected by the stroke. We don't know how great the affects of the stroke will be, but we are beyond thankful to have Eowyn home with us.
Eowyn could have had a very different outcome if we did not have access to the Stollery Children's Hospitals in Edmonton. The support of all the staff at both locations and their knowledge have helped to ensure we were able to bring Eowyn home and that we will get to watch her grow up.
Thank you is never going to be enough for the gift that we were given, but helping to raise money so that the Stollery can continue to support children and their families in need is a start.