We're raising money to pay for medical bills and funeral cost.
Katherine was diagnosed with a severe type of congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome in utero at 20 weeks. Katherine was born on July 10, 2013, and had her first open-heart surgery 9 days after birth. In addition, Katherine was born with an abdominal cyst, which was pushing against her bile ducts. This was obstructing bile from flowing normally, thus not allowing her bilirubin levels to drop. Therefore, Katherine's gastrointestinal doctor scheduled a cyst-removal surgery on August 18, 2013, which turned out to be a success. Katherine's bilirubin levels declined substantially 24 hrs post surgery. However, there were more challenges ahead; Katherine's incision got infected. As a result, doctors had to perform a wound debridement surgery to allow her incision to heal properly. After being on antibiotics for almost 1 month, Katherine finally got discharged from Children's Hospital Los Angeles on August 30, 2013. Being home was an amazing feeling because Katherine was able to step out of the hospital for the first time in her life. However, over the course of a few weeks, Katherine started displaying signs of heart failure (profuse sweating, frequent vomiting, skin color changes, and shortness of breath). Hence, Katherine got re-admitted at Kaiser of Los Angeles where we were given the terrifying news that Katherine was in heart failure. About a week after being observed in the pediatric unit at Kaiser, Katherine got transferred to Children's Hospital Los Angeles, which was ordered by her cardiac surgeon. Katherine underwent a heart catheterization at Children's Hospital to evaluate her current cardiac function. During the procedure, doctors were able to switch out her longer g-tube for a more practical g-tube called mic-key button. After being observed for 2 weeks, Katherine gets discharged again from Children's Hospital (October 30, 2013). Unfortunately, Katherine started displaying more signs of distress after 2 weeks of discharge. At this time, Katherine was a candidate of the second stage open-heart surgery (Glenn), which is designed to eliminate about 50 percent workload to the heart by re-directing blood flow from the superior vena cava to the lungs via the pulmonary vein. However, Katherine's lungs did not accept the new direction of blood, and her cardiac surgeon was forced to do an emergency surgery less than 48 hrs post surgery in order to reverse the Glenn procedure. Katherine went into cardiac arrest 48 hrs after the reversal was performed, and the team had to perform chest compressions to resuscitate her. It took about 6 minutes to resuscitate her. It has been more than 5 weeks since Katherine got admitted at CHLA, and her cardiac function has not improved. She's on support medication to help restore her heart function; however, her echocardiogram screenings have demonstrated little to no progress. If Katherine's heart does not improve in the next few weeks, she will have to get evaluated for heart transplantation.
Katherines heart could not get repaired. She went with The Lord 1/29/14.
We miss katherine deeply.
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- Kelly Russell
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