On June 30, 2010 the McKinneys lost their middle daughter, Anya, after a tragic accident. Now, their youngest daughter, Annalise, has lost her valiant battle against Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (IPAH).
Annalise was a vibrant young lady full of life. She loved singing, dancing and playing sports. But in July 2017, her world turned upside down. She was diagnosed with IPAH, a severe and progressive disease that causes irreversible damage to the lungs. Without a double lung transplant, the disease usually culminates in heart failure and death.
In January, Annalise's health began to deteriorate, and on January 29th, she was airlifted from San Angelo, TX to Children's Hospital Colorado in Denver for specialized treatment.
On February 13th, Annalise's heart began to fail, a natural progression of IPAH. Doctors performed emergency surgery and placed Annalise on a heart/lung machine (ECMO for short). Ironically, while the ECMO is designed to keep her alive by oxygenating her blood, it can only be a stop-gap measure as her condition is deteriorating rapidly being hooked up to it.
Annalise was originally scheduled to depart Children’s Hospital Colorado on February 13th via medevac flight to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston for a potential lung transplant. However, Texas Children’s Hospital will not accept transfer patients on the ECMO; but St. Louis Children’s Hospital will, so on February 16th, St. Louis Children’s Hospital placed Annalise at the top of their lung transplant list and scheduled her for a February 19th medevac flight.
On February 17th, St. Louis Children’s Hospital
requested a CT scan to evaluate Annalise's condition. The CT revealed Annalise had localized swelling and fluid on her brain (hydrocephalus), which places pressure on the brain. Unfortunately, St. Louis will not accept her until her hydrocephalus is resolved.
The doctors inserted a drainage tube into Annalise's brain hoping this would drain the fluid and allow the swelling to subside. The fluid was draining well, but around midnight on February 18th, Analise's brain began hemorrhaging at the site of the procedure and the tube became clogged.
The doctor's attempted to externally reposition the tube, but were not successful. They reduced her anticoagulation medications to try and stop the bleed, but fluid and pressure continued to build, so the doctors conducted a second procedure to reposition the tube. Unfortunately, Annalise's brain activity has decreased.
The anti-coagulation medications Annalise's heart and lungs need to continue functioning have caused her brain to hemorrhage. Reducing those medications will strain her heart and lungs. Not reducing the medications will continue to cause her to hemorrhage. At this point, Annalise needs a miracle!
In the midst of this, the McKinneys face an uphill battle with their insurance company, which informed them the first week of February it would not cover the hospital stay at Children's Hospital Colorado. The McKinneys have retained legal counsel in the hopes of compelling the insurance company to pay benefits, but the outcome of the legal process is uncertain.
Sadly, God's plan did not include a miracle healing and double lung transplant for Annalise. Nevertheless, the McKinneys continue to stand firm in their faith in God. Please continue to pray for His comfort and strength for the family in this unimaginably difficult time. Stand with them. Cry with them. Love on them.
The McKinneys have incurred substantial medical costs through this trial. Though God has choosen to bring Annalise home, He is still our provider on earth. Thank you again for your prayerful consideration of being a part of God's provision for the McKinneys.
In addition to helping the McKinneys, we also would ask that you consider donating to the Children's Heart Foundation or other pediatric cardiology charity focused on early detection and treatment of congenital heart defects or reducing the incidents of congenital heart defects.