When she arrived at Children's Hospital they placed her in a cooling blanket to prevent more damage to her brain injury. I have not looked into studies where this has been used but this was going to give Shanna a chance at recovery. Her first night was rough, Shaun was with her though. Shanna was put on an EEG monitor to view her brain functions. The neurologists discovered that Shanna was having seizures and no brain activity. Shanna underwent an MRI to determine the severity of the brain damage. The results were devastating. The dark matter in her brain was severely damaged as well as the back part of the brain that controls primitive brain functions like beating the heart, breathing, swallowing, and moving.
Shanna was hooked up to many tubes, probes, monitors, wires, and hoses. I have never see so many things attached to a person in my life. I was so scared for Shanna, I didn't know if she was going to make it. We stayed by her side as she stayed in a non-responsive state for three days. After cooling period was over they let us hold her as she was warming back up. Shanna had more seizures that were finally stopped after the 6th round of seizure medication. Shanna's heart beat normalized and her kidneys we beginning to function properly, but she was still on a ventilator for life support.
After another MRI, after Shanna was brought back to normal temperature, the same prognosis was delivered to us in addition to her having more damage to the developmental/learning part of her brain. Shanna began to defy the odds by having some spontaneous movements of her feet, hands, arm, and eyes which the doctors said she would never be able to do! We shared her with family and friends all week. We decided to have Shanna baptized into our Christian faith that week.
We spent the next few days and nights by her side. We were able to hold her, play dress up, and bathe her. She even opened her eyes for the first time!!
Shanna's quality of life was grim despite the small achievements she was exhibiting. I wanted very much to hold onto each achievement and say that Shanna was going to completely heal and be ok, the reality was, she would not recover from her condition. We decided to remove life support on Thursday, Nov 7th 2013. This was one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make. We didn't know what was going to happen, but we did know that Shanna was not breathing on her own yet, she was dependent on the ventilator to receive oxygen. We brought the nursing staff, doctors, and Chaplin to the roof top gardens. Shanna was placed in my arms with Shaun sitting next to me. Shanna was extubated while we prayed to her, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my sole to keep, If I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my sole to take, Amen". We also sang "You Are My Sunshine" while the sun was shining down on her beautiful little face.
Something miraculous happened, after holding her, praying and singing, Shanna was still breathing! Breathing on her own with a strong and normal heart beat! The doctor came over to check on her and said we could go inside with her because she seemed like she wasn't going to stop. Shanna was a little fighter! We took her back inside to her room shortly after. There was a parade of doctors and nurses outside her door when we returned, I can only imagine what they were saying about my daughter!
We were elated that Shanna had come so far! She was beginning to move more and she was eating breast milk through a feeding tube.
I was hopeful that things just might turn around, but I had that looming reminder of the MRI results stating that she was limited in brain activity. It didn't matter, I was going to take care of her no matter what mental state she was in. We love her too incredibly much not to give her the best care and try our best at a quality of life for Shanna.
Shanna was removed from all of her tubes and monitors except a feeding tube because she still couldn't swallow. We spent the night with her in her room, getting up every three hours feeding her, changing her, rocking her, and talking/singing to her. Just giving her as much love as any mother and father should. We even got to sleep in the same room with her as if she was at home with us. The doctors were going to let Shanna go home in a few days!
Shanna was with us for six more days until her movements decreased, she wasn't eating as much as she was days before, and the color of her skin became pale and dusky. It was then we knew something was wrong. The nurse checked her oxygen saturation and it was only at 40%, which means she was only getting 40% out of 100% to her blood. I brought Shanna over to the bed were Shaun and I were laying. I put her between the two of us and we held her, sang to her and prayed, "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my sole to keep, If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my sole to take, Amen". Soon after we said this prayer Shanna took her final breaths and passed away in our arms.
Shanna Enzie Gottlieb passed away at 6:21 AM on November 12th, 2013. Shanna lived for a glorious 14 days and 12 hours. Shanna only knew the purest of love, we are so blessed to have had the the opportunity to give her all the love that we possess. We are asking for donations to help offset the medical cost accrued over the last two weeks. Any amount is accepted and appreciated. Sending you love and thanks from the bottom of our hearts!
Shaun and Maria Gottlieb
*A Special THANK YOU to all of those who have privately donated funds towards her medical costs. We deeply appreciate your donation as well as everything else you have done for us and continue to do for us. We have received an overwhelming number of condolence cards, prayers, and well wishes that it has completely humbled us! We continue to receive prayers and appreciate every one of them. God bless you.
*Thank you to the good Lord too, for looking after our baby Shanna until we can hold her again when we come home.
*** 100% of excess funds will be used to benefit patients in the NICU of St. Louis Children's Hospital and other NICU's in St. Louis, MO. in the form of donated handmade baby hats, booties, blankets, and other handmade baby items as part of the non-for-profit organization "Stitches From The Heart" *** Like them on Facebook!
Photo by The Jeremy Project non-for-profit organization. Like them on Facebook!
If you know anyone who would like to donate yarn/needles or crochet/knit/quilted baby items Please email Maria!
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