As many of you know, Breckin has recently gone to be with the Lord. There are no words to describe the joy she brought to everyone who had the honor of knowing her. I believe many people will live until old age and never make the impact Breckin made in four and a half years.
Countless people have asked me what they can do to help Breckin’s parents, Brooke and Josh, through this sorrowful time. Honestly, I cannot think of a single thing that anyone can say or do to alleviate this amount of devastation and grief. However, I know they appreciate every single prayer sent their way and I was hoping to raise some money for them to help cover the cost of the medical bills that were accrued and possibly some funeral expenses.
Thank you all so much for your love, prayers and support!
All my love to Brooke, Josh and family!
This may be a long post because so much has happened since our sweet baby girl came into this world. I guess I should start at the beginning. Breckin Elizabeth Helms was born on December 3rd at 3:14 pm with an uncomplicated and quick delivery. When she first came out, her whole body was blue. She was rushed over to the corner of the hospital room where all the NICU people were waiting for her. Her oxygen was very low and her heart rate was low as well. They immediately attempted to intubate her, but were having trouble. It was minutes before she pinked up, but they were the longest few minutes in my life. The thing that kept going through my mind was that we were going to lose her. She made it through the pregnancy, but this was going to be it. Thankfully, she survived and she is still with us.
I got to hold her for about two minutes and then they sent her to the NICU at Methodist Germantown Hospital. A couple hours later, Josh and I got to go up there and see her. To me, she looked like a normal healthy baby. She had good color and she wasn't on any oxygen. She was hooked up to all kinds of monitors though. After about 30 minutes, the transport team from LeBonheur came to get her and sent her off to the CVICU at Lebonheur. Josh went down there immediately afterwards, and I was discharged a couple hours later to come down. I left the hospital 5 hours after giving birth and it was by the grace of God that I was feeling ok enough to do that.
When I got to the CVICU, Dr. Johnson, a cardiologist, was there to update us on Breckin. She had just gotten an ECHO done of her heart and he was about to go over everything. He said she does not technically have hypoplastic left heart, but more like just hypoplastic left ventricle. The right ventricle is working overtime to pump blood out to the lungs and body. She also has what's called double outlet right ventricle where the aorta connects to the right ventricle instead of the left ventricle. Also, both the pulmonary artery and aorta are on the right side carrying blood to the lungs. The good thing is that this is a little less severe than HLHS, but will still require two open heart surgeries, along with her first surgery that will not be a full open heart surgery, but a less complicated procedure.
So along with anticipating some type of heart surgery relatively soon, Breckin also has several other congenital problems. She has what's called a Dandy-Walker malformation, which we knew in utero, but she also a cleft palate and poorly developed structures of her eyes.
The Dandy-Walker which was confirmed on MRI, is considered a moderate one. For now it is not causing any problems, but if it were to grow, it could cause seizures. It will likely cause Breckin to have cognitive, motor, and speech delays. As of right now there are no interventions being done, but she will start therapy early on to help with these issues. She will be followed by a neurologist and will probably undergo another MRI once the brain has grown to assess it and see if it has worsened.
The cleft palate will be able to be surgically repaired when she is 9 months-1 year of age. The ENT who saw her says it is one of the less severe ones he's seen. This has caused some problems with her latching when trying to feed with the bottle, but she has taken some milk by bottle. The main reason that she has been having trouble eating however is because of her heart. Because she is working harder to pump blood through her body, she tires very easily. The cardiologist said that trying to eat for Breckin is like me trying to climb up flights of stairs.
The issue with her eyes is one that we are not certain of. The ophthalmologists who came by to initially assess her have not been by since we received the MRI results. The neonatologist just said that by the looks of things, there is a poor prognosis that she will have some type of vision.
Since we have been here, Breckin has been seen by neonatologists, cardiologists, ENT doctors, neurologists, ophthalmologists, and geneticists. This whole visit has been so overwhelming, stressful, frustrating, anxiety-ridden, and scary. We do not know what all this will mean for our little girl. We do not know what type of life she will lead, but I do know this: Jeremiah 29:11 states,"For I know the plans I have for you...plans to prosper you, not to harm you; plans to give you a hope and a future." I just keep reciting this over and over in my head and praying this verse over my sweet Breckin.
I am devastated that my daughter was born with all these problems and my heart breaks for her that she will have to overcome so many struggles. My prayer is that the worst-case scenarios that these doctors are giving us do not come true. However, I feel that I need to be fully prepared for Breckin not to be able to see, walk, talk, etc. I do not know why God picked me to be her mother; why he thought that I could handle all this. I do know that He will give me the strength I need to be her mother and to get through each day with her. This week has probably been the hardest week of my life, and I'm not really anticipating it to get easier anytime soon.
Please continue to pray for us and our sweet baby girl. As I write this, Breckin is recovering from her first heart surgery. I plan on writing a separate post on that soon.
- Mark Poff
- Melissa Chambers
- Kathryn Smith
- Ageless Men’s Health
- Debi Holley
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