First if you cannot or don't want to donate, please do the following things:
1: please share and repost, the farther this goes the better chance it has and will be most appreciated.
2: give blood if possible, between Kristen and Gabriel some 20 different blood products have been used to keep them alive.
3: pray for Gabriel and Kristen to get well and have a healthy future.
4: lastly, please make sure to kiss, hug, and/or tell your family how much you love them. I nearly lost mine in a matter of minutes and there are no words to describe the feeling you get when it hits you that you may lose everything important in your world.
When you find out your going to be a parent, the most common question you get asked is if you want a boy or a girl. As clique as it sounds the honest answer is that you just want your child to be healthy, who ever they are you will love with all your heart. And for Kristen and myself this could not have been more true as we knew that with her own past, pregnancy was going to be difficult.
Kristen was born on December 5th, 1985 at 1lb 9oz, 3 months before her due date, she was given a 2% chance of survival. It's one thing to believe in miracles and a completely different thing to meet a living one and to be blessed to call her your wife. So when we found out we were going to have a child of our own, we knew he was meant to be and we counted down to 28 weeks, to get past moms own gestation time. We went to a high risk obgyn and other than Kristen needing to go on blood thinners due to her clotting disorder everything was going fine. That's why When December 4th, 2013 came neither of us had any idea that our son was going to be born, 3 and 1/2 months early.
Kristen went to work that day while I slept, having just worked a 55 hour work week. This was Kristen's part time job as a year prior she had lost her full time one and had not been able to find a full time job yet, but things were looking up at her job and the opportunity for more hours. When she came home we cuddled and watched some avengers on Netflix till dinner time. I am ashamed to say neither of us felt like cooking so she went to go get McDonalds. When she came back our dogs saw a French fry drop and in the chaos that ensued they had knocked over my drink. As Kristen and myself went to clean it she stopped, took a deep breath, and stated that something didn't feel right. She went to the bathroom and upon finding blood coming out of her, I advised her to get to the local hospital about a mile a way while I cleaned and put the dogs away. The human imagination is an amazing and terrible thing as that mile walk everything from just normal spotting to the worst outcome ran through my head. When I got there they had already gotten a room for Kristen and briefed me and her on what they had thought. Her blood pressure was 205/119 and the bleeding due to her taking blood thinners was only getting worse. They still could find Gabriel's heart rate at about 149 so he was stable. They prepped her to go to New Hanover hospital who could handle her condition, preeclampsia. For two hours I made calls, prayed and waited, while Kristen has told me the only thought she had was hold on Gabriel don't come yet.
When the transport did come they got her prepped and away we were to wilmington. As the ambulance reached wilmington the EMT was having trouble getting Kristen's blood pressure under control. As well it was becoming harder to find Gabriel's heart rate and for the rest of my life I will not understand why they did not hit the lights and rush her faster to the hospital. By the time we got here the last heart rate they got on Gabriel was 20 and Kristen's bleeding was out of control. The EMT got Kristen to her room as she told me how scared she was with everything that was going on. The doctor told me they could no longer find Gabriel's heart rate and they needed to go in now or he would not make it. At that point I did the only thing I thought could help, I lied to my wife. I went over took her hand, asked her to look at me and told her that everything was ok. The doctors told me Gabriel was ok, that they needed to get him out but that everything was going to be ok. I wanted to calm her to the best of my ability before they wheeled the two most important people in my world off to be operated on. I remember the nurse holding me and praying with me to watch over my family. I asked god to take me, to have my soul if he would let them live. I remember thinking how hard this must be for Kristen's parents as 28 years ago almost to the day they had gone through this.
Three doctors came into her room, which scared me because I thought they were there for support on what they were going to tell me. They advised me Kristen had lost a lot of blood and that due to her medicine and a DIC she was no longer able to clot. Gabriel had been delivered but needed chest compressions to get his heart rate going but that he was going to the NICU, and I needed to go down there immediately. I have since found out that my son did not flat line in the operating room but at the time hearing chest compressions made me worry about how much oxygen he had lost. They got him to the room and weighed him, the only thing I could think was please be 1lb 9oz, I know Kristen made it and by god so would he. The doctors had to weigh him twice because they could not believe he was 2lb 3oz, 26 week old preemies normally do not weigh this much. The doctor told me that up until that day he was perfectly healthy and his weight would help him. I started asking what felt like a thousand questions about things we could have done differently to avoid this. He simply told me this was unavoidable and that had we arrived 5 minutes later both my son and my wife would have died. He did explain that her blood pressure had ripped the placenta off her uterus wall and because of this there was a undetermined amount of time that Gabriel got no oxygen from mom. This meant that for Gabriel brain damage was and is a very real possibility and for Kristen she had a internal wound that would not stop bleeding.
For the sake of time I'm going to fast forward to a week later and explain what has happened to each. For Kristen she spent the next three days in the ICU and lost more than 7 pints of blood. To supplement this they gave her 7 pints of blood, 3 bags of platelets, a lot of plasma and required and additional surgery to close up her internal wounds. She is still in the hospital at this point and her eye sight, which became distorted from the blood pressure, as well as her blood pressure itself has still not corrected. She has been able to go see Gabriel and through the wonder that is face time I was able to get her to see him many times prior while she was still bed ridden. The doctors are expecting weeks if not months of recovery and she may never have normal blood pressure or eye sight again.
For our little Gabriel it has been a greater struggle with the ups and downs of a preemie. He has shown no visible signs of brain damage which is a godsend, but still is fighting a uphill battle. He has yet to be able to breath on his own and has required assistance from a ventilator the entire time. They have had to give him medicine to get his heart rate up, but he has been able to come off of that as of the 10th. He has a large patent ductus arteriosus that while treating with medicine, may require surgery a mere two weeks after everything that has happened.
The road ahead
Kristen will need several weeks of care and there is no time table when she will be leaving the hospital. The blood thinner and DIC made her unable to clot, then the added blood and platelets have pushed her back into a chance of blood clots. So getting her stable is the first step. After that it's rest and recovery as well as seeing Gabriel as part of his treatment is kangaroo care, where he feels moms heart beat. It will be months before she will be able to move normally and start to drive to even start working again. She is also going to need transportation to and from the hospital when she does get out which will add up.
For Gabriel it's a longer journey, as he will be in the NICU till at least march if not later. He needs constant supervision as well as right now there is the possibility of heart surgery. Kristen due to the amount of blood and fluids lost has not been able to pump, thus he will need very special formula. Then of course is getting our home ready for a child who will need special needs, such as air filtration to avoid possible sickness. After all of that he is going to be monitored closely due to his time without oxygen it will be years before we fully know what that did to him.
I have never asked for help or assistance in my life but we need it now and it will be the difference between making it through this hardship or sinking. I do not pretend to believe that ours is the first, or the toughest battle that people have had to face, but for us this has been earth shattering. Any bit that can be given is most appreciated, and I can assure you every cent given will go to taking care of my family. Any questions please feel free to ask, and I will do my best to answer when I can. The money raised will be used for the following
Any bills from the time in the hospital for Kristen and Gabriel
Medicines and other things such as food to help them get better
Gas for the car to get Kristen to see Gabriel as much as possibly as it will be good for both of them
Bills while I'm away from work and have been away taking care of them
And anything else that may be needed for my son and wife
The goal number is arbitrary, anything we get will help, and anymore than this will go towards a bright future for my son. He is a fighter and will do so for years to come
Thank You for your time and supporting my family even by just reading our struggles right now and sharing
The Randle Family
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