Please help us raise money for Oliwia's life saving- heart surgery that is only possible in the USA.
From Oliwias mother:
"If Oliwka does not leave, she will die, and nobody is hiding it anymore. Her heart is on the edge of endurance now. Mothers enter the children's rooms to look if they are sleeping, I enter the room with tears in my eyes to check if my child is still alive... With a heart defect like this, only two people in the world can save my child’s life. Professor Adriano Carotti from Rome and Professor Frank L. Hanley from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Stanford, USA.
These two doctors are visited by children who cannot be helped anymore. They often return as healthy as Emil and Julka who were operated on in the United States by Professor Hanley. However, Oliwka was not so lucky. Two years ago, I begged you to give my daughter that chance in Rome. At that time, Oliwka’s heart was a mystery that Professor Carotti's team undertook to repair. My daughter's life was saved but because of pulmonary hypertension her heart could not be repaired in Rome. So much hope and so many tears, and still the great unknown...
I remember hugging Oliwka before the surgery, I was afraid ofsqueezing her too hard but I couldn't do otherwise. I could never have seen her again, it was the worst moment in my life. I want her to be with me, with the sick heart, as she is, but let her live, let her be with me! From that moment I have one blurred photograph in which I hug Oliwka. Soon she disappeared from my eyes behind the big white door. Nobody talked about chances - they ordered us to wait... I couldn't wait, my thoughts were miles away, nothing reached me...
Finally, I saw the light, after a 12-hour trance, the open door of the operating room, Professor's calm face and the sentence - the spell - "I did everything I planned, the next few days will be critical". There was no force then that could stop my happiness, but the moment came that destroyed it just as quickly. I was sitting by the bed, only looking at her, with the strange feeling that blinking my eyelids was a waste of time. I prayed for her and for her little, patched heart, on which everything depended. I don't know where my prayers went, but not where they were needed, a week after the surgery she was put in the ICU, there was a sudden deterioration, and a decision to catheterize the heart. Are you asking in your thoughts how many times can a mother look at her own child dying? A mother can stand everything, if at the end of the day a child comes back to her, if a child manages to survive, then there will be no force letting to doubt it.
Nobody hid from me that this tiny heart could not cope. "We are taking a step backwards, we have to spoil what we have repaired to save her. During the week, the same place for the second time, without saying goodbye, because there is no time, faces of the doctors who do not know what they will see on the operating table. Silence when a bed with Oliwka disappears behind the door.
A large, hospital bed for adults and my little, whole world on it...
For the second time in a 24-hour period, I handed her over to the people who saved her. Such young children only trust their mothers. I will never forget the fear in her eyes. If I could give my heart to her, I would do it without hesitation...
I held her little hand again - victory in the shadow of disaster - together again but she was with a hole in her heart, a special hole that allowed her to live. It is rare that children returning from Rome after the surgery have an open hole in their hearts - unfortunately, Oliwka is one of those children...
A few days after the second surgery, an attempt was made to wake her up - ineffective, because she did not react... I wasn't ready for the worst, I wasn’t so strong. Oliwka didn’t lead her eyes behind the light, didn’t move her hands, didn’t move her feet, didn’t react to the voice. There was the worst thing that could have happened -a stroke and hypoxia! Is this the end?
Nobody could tell me what would happen, whether she would survive, whether she would see, hear, say... I don't know if I lost hope then, or if I came to the first wall in my life. Two unimaginably severe heart surgeries and, ultimately, a damaged brain? Too much...
The EEG of the head, resonance imaging and results - it is not so bad – a blessing in disguise, because the stroke covered the whole brain, not its part. If the blood is absorbed, Oliwka will return to me. The question comes up again: how many times can a child be lost and saved?
We were in Rome for 2 months, one of which was at the ICU. We returned home together, unfortunately not with a fully corrected defect and with the awareness that Oliwka must have another surgery which might not be needed if she had managed to deal with the repaired heart after the first surgery. Perhaps we lost the greatest chance, Oliwia had a surgery the burden of which she did not bear, as well as this stroke. Children return healthy from Rome and parents return happy - I thanked that we were returning together at all...
After two months of fighting for life and dealing with the effects of hypoxia and stroke, we had to start developing Oliwka’s swallowing reflex again. We can say that we have learned to eat and drink anew. It had to be done very carefully, step by step, because after all that Oliwka had gone through, choking could have been tragic. Oliwka has no time for another reason. Six months after the surgery, it was known that Oliwka had pulmonary hypertension.
For the first time, she returned from the operating table to the ward connected to the ventilator. During catheterization there was bleeding from the respiratory tracts and a decrease in saturation to 40%. Abnormal right-to-left shunt has occurred because of the opening between the ventricles, resulting in a weakening of the right ventricle - the right ventricle is currently working for two which increases its muscular layer and reduces its circumference, and this is slowly leading to cardiac failure. When I listened to what the doctor said, I cried, I couldn't believe it. How is it possible that every time we bounce back from the bottom and go higher and higher, life prepares us for the fall?
I asked Professor Carotti what to do next, afraid of what I would hear...Until today I have his words in my ears. I'm sorry, but I don't have a plan for further treatment of your daughter... It got dark, cold and very quiet. Her heart is dying, my heart is cracking in half. Blue fingers, blue lips, fatigue and pale complexion. She weakens because she is driven by the heart which is already a wreck, paradoxically I must have more strength for her to have a chance. With a broken heart, the mother loves just as much...
You know, as I do, that there is yet another place where there is another chance. Professor Hanley from the USA can help us win this battle. He is a man who is irreplaceable at this moment. He specializes in saving hearts such as Oliwka’s heart, those very sick and complicated in their structure. He gave us hope for reconstruction of pulmonary arteries and closure of the ventricular shunt. To put it bluntly, he was the only one in the world that gave my child a chance to live!
The problem is the surgery’s price because it is difficult to count all zeroes. Time is even more of a problem. I cannot collect money for more than 3 months because permanent pulmonary hypertension means death. We cannot wait. Low saturation, constant fear and a life existing by a prayer. We are without surgery - I think about it from morning to evening.
In Europe, Oliwka’s heart hasn’t been fully restored. Now it’s like an engine that isn't working properly and can be stopped at any time. I beg you as the mother of a dying child for a miracle because for me this trip will be a miracle. I am counting down the minutes, putting them together in hours, ticking the following days in the calendar... I do not plan, I cannot plan anything as long as my child is under a death sentence. I do not know if we will manage but I do know that there are a few children who have succeeded. I don't know if Oliwka will stand it, but as long as I have a goal, I can hope...Please don’t let her heart stop...
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