Kya: Update From ICU

Many of you have been praying for Kay, and somehow I just know those prayers are pulling her through.  I breathe a sigh of relief each time a new update from Tracy hits my inbox.

Update From Tracy/Kya’s Mom:

Hello to all.  Let me start this email off by giving thanks to God for all He has done in the life of Kya.  Even though this process of getting Kya better has turned into quite the reality TV show nobody wants to produce, God has done so much for us and is still doing more.  Last night had to be one of the longest nights I have ever had ranking only second to the night I spent in the hospital after our son CJ died.  Much like that night, it seemed like morning would never come.  And just like that night, my husband was peacefully sleeping/snoring while I stayed awake during the night.  Some things really do never change J

The nurses and Doctors who were on team Kya all during the night were still going strong through the morning.  So far, Kya has had to have 9 units of blood to replace what she has lost through her episode of uncontrolled bleeding.  She is hooked up to the mother of all medicine trees of which I will include a picture.  Her little room is made much smaller by all the machines she is hooked up to and I have to literally scoot around the corner of the machines to get out of the room.  The bleeding is finally starting to slow and I got to watch as a Doctor sucked out a blood clot from her heart tube which looked much like an earth worm.  The other Doctor explained to me how the ECMO machine works and I also learned why Kya is so calm, she is on a med which basically paralyzes her.  She is as limp as a bone fish completely unaware of what is taking place and to be honest, I hope she stays that way for a spell.  Kya is not what you would call a good patient and this surgery is no joke.

Right now, her little chest is still open and a small covering lays between her visible beating heart, sawed through breast bone and the world of germs and infections.  The ECMO tubes enter at the top and bottom of her opening taking blood from her body, putting oxygen in it, removing CO2 from it and then pushing it back into her heart.  Her heart drainage tube is located at the bottom of the opening and is covered in blood from the bleeding she had last night.  She has a monitor on her brain to make sure she is getting good O2 levels to the brain and monitors on her kidneys to make sure they are functioning.  She has an IV line going directly to her heart and two more IV lines on her extremities.  She has a breathing tube in her nose, eyes with goo on them to keep them moist, tape on the top of her botox lips to hold the breathing tube in place and hair that is growing again thanks to the vitamins in her IV line.  She is still on a catheter and is just hanging around in her diaper and socks.  The temp in her room is freezing to prevent any bacteria from wanting to take place in the warmth of her opening.  Mommy is freezing but Kya is oblivious.

This morning, daddy left and headed back to Whidbey Island.  Carlton got to experience one night in the ICU and now knows why I was hoping to get a room elsewhere.  Just to give you an idea of the enormity of Kya’s case let me give you a view of the ICU ward.  As you walk down the long hallway with rooms off to one side, you can see through the glass doors and usually see an infant snuggled up all quiet in blankets and hooked up to a few things.  Lights in the room are usually dim and the overall noise level is very quiet as the nurses want the babies to rest as much as possible.  People whisper as they go by and you can barely tell there is a baby in the bed as they are snuggled up so small.

Well, two doors down from the end of the hallway is quite a different story.  The glass door is wide open, there are 3-4 nurses in here at all times.  Kya herself is laying spread eagle on the bed in just her skivvies.  Her room is so full of monitors and sounds that the nurses have to speak loudly and nobody is whispering.  There are noises from monitors sounding all the time.  The lights are on the brightest setting so the nurses can navigate their way around all the machines and monitor and change meds as needed.  The overall atmosphere is anything but restful.

Shortly after Carlton left this morning, I headed down to the showers and you will be proud of me as I remembered to ask for a towel this time and did not have to dry myself off with the hair dryer.  I am so a pro at the ICU living thing.  I headed back to the room and waited for my friend Deanna who came down to spend the day with us.  We had fun eating at the exotic cafeteria, running down to Safeway for some snacks, chatting about anything and everything, and Deanna stayed by Kya’s side long enough for me to close my eyes for a spell and rest.

During one of the many different visits with the Doctors coming in and out of the room, I noticed a woman who came in to the side of the room with a ladder.  She did not say anything and nobody really paid any attention to her, but she caught my eye.  Sure enough, she climbed up the ladder, took out the air filter in the roof and replaced it with a new one.  Climbed back down the ladder and headed off to the next room.  She was a filter tech, just like my mom.

I have received so many encouraging emails from so many of you and I am thankful to all who are praying for our little Kung Pow chicken.  I save all my updates so Kya can one day read them and know just how many people prayed for her during this very difficult time in her life.

Of course I have to leave you with a funny.  Since my dad had yet another Doctor apt today with his cancer docs, I decided to wear my new stupid cancer shirt.  As I came back after dinner, the ICU front desk lady recognized me as Kya’s mom but my shirt threw her off and she asked if I was on the right floor since the cancer ward is floor 7 and 8.  I told her that I was wearing my stupid cancer shirt in honor of my dad.  Then I told her that I will try to find a shirt that says stupid heart next time so as to not throw her off when I enter the heart ICU.  She busted out laughing and let me pass.  It’s the little things that get my funny bone.

Love to all,


Here are Tracy’s pics…with her chosen captions. 🙂





medicine tree

      Medicine Tree

It's a jungle out there

It’s A Jungle Out There

Thank you Lord Jesus for taking care of these little ones, for you’ve been their Father…long before we ever held them. And we trust you still.

One thought on “Kya: Update From ICU

  1. Hello,
    My name is Christine. I have known the Keen family for about 2 1/2 years. I have been privileged to meet Kya Bear twice…and she stole my heart. We started a blog actually to keep others updated on Kya’s progress. It made me smile to find your blog with posts about Kya. Here’s the link:
    BTW your little Elyana is ADORABLE!:)

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