A Father’s Day gut check

Well, Zion coded (again) today.

I was doing his daily trach tie change with the nurse and simply didn’t obey my gut. After cleaning and getting his new ties on, I tightened them (it took a few tries as always). THEN I realized I forgot to put the new Mepilex pad around his trach before we closed his ties. The nurse suggested trying to shimmy them on with the ties tightened, but I just wasn’t comfortable with that idea. However, I moved forward with that plan and attempted, but it was simply too difficult with those ties so tight. I loosened the ties and then Zion started coughing. I saw a bunch of liquid in his trach (not sure if it was coming up from his lungs or flowing down into his trach). The nurse couldn’t help suction him since she was holding his trach secure in his neck. With no other choice, she allowed me to start suctioning him. Then Zion did what’s referred to as “clamping down”, he started turning purple, and she pushed the code blue button. I started PRAYING while laying hands on him.

I’ve never witnessed my son clamping down before, despite him doing this many times (according to nurses) in his short lifetime. Babies do this when they get highly distressed for various reasons and they basically hold their breath and won’t breathe. Zion turned blue and his arms and legs went rigid. I’m so grateful for the response team that came in within seconds. It took a few minutes of giving him breaths with the bag, but thanks be to God, they were able to revive him. Hearing someone say, “Okay, he’s opening his eyes now” was the best thing I heard on this Father’s Day.

Father’s Day! Of all days!!

After everyone left, the nurse and I replayed what happened so that we could learn from the situation. I came to find out that she was a newbie (only 6 months in) and Zion was her very first code blue. During the time we talked, I was amazed how fast Zion recovered, despite what happened. His coloring got back to normal within about 10 minutes and he was opening his eyes and starting to wiggle around a bit. The Lord was so merciful to my son today. And I learned that I simply must speak up if I feel in my gut that something might not be the best course of action for my son – it’s okay to say “NO” sometimes. I need to do a better job of not forgetting the steps to the tie change, because the fact that this one lasted longer certainly caused him to become distressed. And lastly it was a sobering reminder that it’s good practice to also have an RT present during Zion’s trach tie changes. A third person likely could have prevented this from happening. Lessons learned. That’s what life is about.

Please be praying that Zion has much more peaceful days with no events, leading up to his surgery on Wednesday. I request a special covering for him during his trach tie changes and also when he’s going poo (recall his code last week was because he was going poo). Thank you for your faithfulness!

Below are a few photos. One was immediately after the team revived him. The second was about 20 minutes later showing him peaceful with his coloring returning. And then I figured I would share a cute video of him from a couple days ago, because I want to end this blog on a good and happy note after what happened today.

God is faithful to Zion.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil;

For You are with me;

Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;

You anoint my head with oil;

My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me

All the days of my life;

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord


Psalm 23:4-6

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