Baby Nikolai was born to Rachel Raskauskas and Lance Fehr on Feb 02 after a long and difficult labor became a last minute C-section. He was born at the QEII hospital in Grande Prairie, where doctors struggled for hours to decipher the cause of his life threatening condition.
Baby Nikolai's blood was not being oxygenated and the doctors tried desperately to determine if it was his lungs or heart that was at fault. Shortly after stabilizing him, he was whisked away by medevac, and before his parents could give him a name, he was at the U of A on support machines in the Stollery NICU. While Dad (Lance) fought to gain a ride alongside his newborn child, Mom(Rachel) was left behind at the QEII to recover from the surgery that she had just undergone.
Once at the U of A hospital, the doctors managed to determine through imaging tests that Baby Nikolai has a faulty valve in the right side of his heart. The leaking valve does not allow blood to be pumped into his lungs to be oxygenated. A combination of drugs and nitric oxide was determined to successfully create enough differential pressure between the heart chambers to temporarily facilitate the circulation of blood into Nikolai's lungs.
The last few days have been spent capturing 3D images of Baby Nikolai's heart, and evaluating the options for his treatment. Baby Nikolai will require heart surgery to repair or replace the faulty valve.
Today, Feb 5th, it has been determined by the heart surgeons at the U of A hospital, that Baby Nikolai is too small and his heart tissue too fragile to undergo surgery at this time. They will wait 6-7 months to allow Baby Nikolai to grow stronger, and increase his ability to recover from open heart surgery.
The plan moving forward, is to slowly and carefully back off the medications and nitric oxide. Without the need for NO, the breathing tube could be removed and Baby Nikolai could eat for the first time. Also this could mean the possibility of returning to the QEII hospital in their hometown, making things logistically easier for Rachel and Lance while they await the inevitable surgery.
There are many, many expenses involved in this ordeal, including but not limited to, travel, accommodations, food, prescription medication, and lost wages. These expenses are ongoing, and would be expected to continue until Baby Nikolai receives the surgery he requires. We would very much like to help Baby Nikolai in any way possible, including financially.
Here is my formal request for anyone reading,
"Please help us all support the ones we love as Lance and Rachel navigate this difficult road. Any contribution is a big one, and every little bit counts."
Thank you all in advance for your love, your compassion, and your generosity, proving that love is still the most powerful force in the universe. :)
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