Kayleigh’s story

January 2nd, 2009 by Lisa and Brian Dingess

Our daughter Kayleigh Dawn was born at 23 weeks on Sept 4, 2008. Kayleigh lived for 43 days in the NICU. She was a beauitful baby girl with a fighting spirit. My husband was so amazed how much she looked like her big sister.

She was doing well. Her head scan results were negative for IVH grades 3 & 4. She had a grade 2 on 1 side of her brain that was absorbing. We were getting more hopeful for her survivial. I believe starting Kayleigh on formula was the start to her problems. I also wish some would have suggested using a milk bank prior to her feeding. I was unable to breast feed. Anyway the what ifs will not bring her back! She did not tolerate her feedings and they were discontinued. By Sept. 30 she had a visible abdomen mass and her belly was starting to get swollen. On that day she was also tranferred to an isolation nursery because she came down with MRSA. My husband & I were devastated by this news. In the meantime her belly was getting bigger.

While small talking to one of her nurses, she said not to be worried the staph infection is your least worries and will soon be cleared up. She went on to say that if she came down with an infection that went into her blood (septic) that is something to worry about. My how things change it only seemed a short time later that this is exactly what happened. Our doctors told us that she now had an infection that had entered the blood, however they could not pinpoint the source of the infection.

In the meantime her condition seemed to deteroiate somewhat. At this point my wife and I tried to be there every miniute we could. It all seemed to start spiraling out of control for our beautiful small but perfect little Kayleigh early on Fri. Sept. 10-08 at around 2am a young attending doctor made a decesion to call her head doctor, and from there a wonderful doctor and his team from Rainbow Babies and Childrens hospital were called in to perform emergency surgery and determine why she was now swollen. I was told as soon as they opened her abdomen up, there it was staring them right in the face, nec had perforated her small intestine wall and therefore she had about a 3 inch section removed. My wife called me around 7am to tell me the news. I immediately went to the hospital with my mom to see her. I was at this point losing it very quickly. However I was relieved that the source of the infection was now found and the surgery was over. When I arrived and saw her I could not belive my eyes she was so swollen I thought she was going to explode, and seeing the extent of the incision was all I could handle, why did my beautiful little gift from the heavens have to look like this?

I was able to talk with the doctor who performed the surgery. He told me how amazed he was at how her little body seemed to be doing everything it could to hide and fight this. Now we were being overwhelmed with nurses and doctors telling us how sorry they were to here this news. If I rember right I said don’t be sorry she has had the surgery and now she can start down the road to recovery. I think at that point the staff knew her chances were grim. Our attending doctor said that the next 72 hours for her would be crucial. If she could just get through the next 3 days that is a major step for babies who receive this surgery procedure. On Sat the 11th she seemed to stay stable vith her main vital signs. I told my wife that we should stay home tonight and try and get ourselves refocused and some much needed sleep. However she said that she just wanted to go up and say goodnight to Kayleigh and she would come right home in about an hour.

I received a call at about 4am Sun Oct 12 from my wife that Our angel was at this point very critical and had not urinated in since the surgery, she was now dealing with renial failure. The three different medications that were given had no effect. I went right to the hospital and after the doctors told us of the sittiuation at hand that there was nothing more medically the could do. They told us that they wanted to call a meeting with my wife and I on Monday morning with our attending doctor to discuss the next course of action. We told the staff that we wanted our beautiful Kayleigh’s ventilator removed, and all of the 7 plus lines she had hooked to her. They told us she would not be in any pain and she had not been in much the past 3 days from being extremely sedated for her own comfort. We put a call into our church and told them the news they were able to track down our reverand on his way to mass and reroute him to us. Our reverand, my wife, and I talked to our beloved Kayleigh and said some prayers for her. Then my wife and I told our beautiful angel that it was ok for her to go to Heaven and be with her new father and savior and all of the other little angels that have gone on before her. They put my wife and I in a private room and brought us our little Kayleigh to hold her while she passed on in my wife’s arms.

We stayed there holding her for hours listening to the sounds of the ocean from a cd we had obtained for her also, seeing how tried and true it has become with our 5 year old gift from the heavens Kayleigh’s big sister Marissa Grace. I am going to come to a close here now, Kayleigh I will never forget the 43 days of such love you brought your Mother and I. I look forward to the day when I will see you again and I am able to take you on a hike in the beautiful mountains of heaven on a warm fall day when the leaves are ablaze with all of the color of our fathers kingdom!


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