So if you haven’t heard here is the update. At 10:20 last night Elijah’s heart stopped beating. Even though he was struggling to stabilize, this was still a complete shock to everyone involved. About 20 minutes before this event Elijah had  a Eco cardiogram which indicated good heart function, so no one could understand where the stopping of his heart came from. We had a team of about 15 doctors and nurses at bedside already so the staff started chest compressions immediately so the ECMO team could get here and get him hooked up. 

  This is where we sit this morning we are waiting on information on Elijah’s head ultrasound, anytime a baby has to have chest compressions there is risk involved. Next we are starting Dialysis to get the extra toxic fluid off Elijah. Lastly we let Elijah rest and not put his little body under any stress.

Elijah is moving all his limbs he is opening his eyes a lot and makes eye contact. He loves when I kiss his head and sing to him he even smiled a little after I sang one of his favorite songs “The Redeemer” by Sanctus Real. The staff is cautiously optimistic about all his movement today.I know my job today is to be Elijah’s momma and try to comfort him, tell him how amazing he is and how much he is loved not only by me but by everyone who is following him, praying, and loving. I know your heart is breaking for all of us and we appreciate this more than words. I would love everyone to go back and read the brave little soul blog again.

One day maybe I can write in greater detail about what last night was like for all of us but know every single person here said it was an awful night. For Ron and myself it was truly the worst day of our entire lives. If you know Ron know well you will know he already lost one newborn at a few hours old, but at least Madison went relatively peaceful. We have told Eli that if he is too tired we understand and I have changed my prayers to God to make sure he knows I trust in him and his plan for all of our lives. I may not understand why, but trust God to lead us all and teach us in this part of our lives. I know I never thought I could be so strong and can only attribute this to God working in me, and I know he is still working in Ron and Elijah also.Image



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26 responses to “ECMO

  1. Sherrie Nunheimer

    I am praying!! Can’t get your little guy and your whole family out of my mind. We had a moms group here at church this morning so I had them pray for him too. Showed them his photo so they have a face with the prayer, of course they think he is beautiful. I know Gods plan is sometimes difficult, even impossible to understand, but I know he loves you all and wants the best. Love you and will continue to pray. Sherrie Nunheimer
    Thanks for taking the time to post updates!

    • Sherrie the post are helpful for me as well. Reading comments and feeling the love from everyone is just truly amazing. My little boy has brought people together and love and prayer and maybe this alone was Gods plan

      • Sherrie Nunheimer

        Just keep praying and hang on to God’s promises. Elijah is part of a bigger plan than any of us can understand. However long any of us is on this earth is not up to us. But for our soul to be with God we all have to be born and to die. We all want to be on this earth for as long as possible and I want for Elijah to be here for years to come. But Tera whatever happens Elijah is with God now and will be forever. Gods promises are real!!! Love you sweetie. Sherrie N.

      • Elis sister Lex

        Tera when are you going to post the next blog?

  2. Sam and Amy Celentino

    Thank you so much for the update. We are all with you in spirit and prayer!

  3. Michelle Hamlin

    We are praying for little Elijah, and our family and friends are as well. Your posts show strength that is truly inspiring. Bless you all.

    Michelle & Alyssa Hamlin

  4. My heart breaks for you Tera and for your family! I have asked people even in S.korea to please pray for your son! You are doing such a great job in this difficult time! My thoughts and prayers are with you always!

  5. Jenny V.

    Tera – Since we heard we have been non stop praying for you. I can’t even begin to understand how tough this is for you and Ron. I am so glad you are clinging to the Lord as he is the Hope for all of us. We are bring fervent prays to the Lord for your guy Elijah. Praying for complete healing and peace and rest for all of you!
    – Jenny (and Mark)

    • To the Vandlen Families Thank You so much!!!! If anyone knows what we are going through it is you. It meant a lot to see the post from Jill and Jenny. Again Thank You!

  6. Tara, thank you for having the strength and taking the time to share. My heart is heavy for you and your family. I thank God that he is holding you and your family tight, helping you stand and surrounding you. I will continue to pray~ Karin

  7. You are handling this amazingly, you are very strong, please know that we are thinking and praying for all of you, all the time. He is a beautiful baby boy, he like his mommy, is very strong. Thoughts and prayers!

  8. Cami Crawford Cook

    Prayers coming for you, your family and baby boy.

  9. Sarah

    Thank you for the update Tera. You are such a great mama to Elijah.. he is one lucky boy!

    I wanted to let you know that a college friend of mine saw your blog on my Facebook page. She now lives in Arizona. She called me last night to tell me she saw your blog, read it, and called her mom (in Michigan), and they said a prayer together over the phone for Elijah.

    You’re in everyone’s thoughts and prayers!

  10. Bev and Keith Schroeder

    Tera we are praying for you, Elijah, and your family. Our family members are praying for you too. Your strength is a model for all of us.

  11. Jill Vandlen

    Jenny called me at work today to let me know that Elijah had to go on ECMO. I remember when Drew went on ECMO. We are praying without ceasing for all of you and for wisdom for the doctors. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11.

  12. Jen Sheaffer

    I don’t know you personally but I feel your strength and I know you anguish. I am a mother of two children. One is here with us and the other is with our heavenly father. Both of these precious babies were born prematurely. Our son Brennan at 21 weeks and our daughter Evelyn at 32 weeks. They were born almost a year apart. It was with a broken heart that I let Brennan go to heaven. I’ve read your posts and remember the emotions yku describe very well. You are not alone! And whatever will be, you will be ok. I know it doesn’t seem possible or even real but I pray that peace, whether from Eli’s recover or God’s timing, will be brought to you and those you love. I’m praying with a mothers heart that you and Eli are feeling comfort and love from our heavenly father. Our daughter Evelyn knows of her brother Brennan and thinks of him often even though he came before her. She is now a strong 6 year old angel and my greatest blessing. It was with faith and trust in Gods plan that she came to be and it was a test of my ability to

  13. Tera, though I am far away in Tennessee, my heart feels close to you in Ann Arbor. It was four years ago this summer that I was in the very hospital you are and my son was undergoing open heart surgery by Dr. Bove. Reading your posts bring me back to those days. I’ve been praying for Elijah. My Mom lives in Grand Rapids and a prayer group that she attends has a facebook page that asked for prayer for your sweet Elijah. I prayed yesterday as I saw that he was having open heart surgery. It wasn’t until today that I read your blog and found out that Dr. Bove was performing Elijah’s procedure. My eyes immediately welled up with tears upon seeing Elijah’s absolutely gorgeous photograph. I called my son into the room. I told him Elijah’s story and showed him his picture. We talked about Dr. Bove and how God uses him to heal hearts. We held hands and placed them over his heart and began praying together for a miracle. Please know we will continue to pray. Your posts are inspiring and bring me back to that place. My faith grew during that time at UofM. I pray that you feel comfort and love from those around you and I join you in believing that Elijah will one day play with his siblings, bring great joy to your family, and have a miraculous story to share throughout his healthy life.

  14. Elis sister Lex

    I really miss Eli and hope I will get to see him and thet he will be ok

  15. Stephanie vega

    I don’t know you personally, I saw your blog on a friends Facebook page. I am praying for your son. I pray that the strength you show in your posts will remain as long as need be. I am praying for God to ease all pain!

  16. Julie Anderson

    Sending endless prayers and comfort. Julie Anderson

  17. Cherie Gibbs

    Tera we have never met but I am praying for Eli and for you and ron everyday non stop and will continue to pray as long as it takes I found out about your miracle son from a post Holly Corr had on fb she is married to my cousin Joey. I have not been able to stop praying and can’t even fathom what you are going through but know that my heart goes out to you and your family God Bless you all!!!!
    Team Eli!!!

    Cherie Gibbs

  18. Kim

    Praying for you all each and every day! Your strength and faith are inspiring!
    Sending much love and hugs your way….

  19. Terrie Benge

    Know my prayer’s are with you. God truly does have a plan for all of us, even if we struggle to understand it at the time. Thank you for giving all of us your strength and courage to learn from.

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