Monday, January 30, 2012

Prayers for Baby Eli

{baby eli}

Please join me in praying for this precious baby who has Pertussis (whooping cough) and has been in the hospital since Friday the 20th.  Baby Eli is the grandson of one of my dad's best friends who lives out of town.  He is in the NICU with a feeding tube, oxygen and an IV.  He has mucus in his lungs and has developed pneumonia in one of his lungs and is now on antibiotics.  The immediate prayer request is for the pneumonia to go away and for him not to develop any serious blood infections.  We are also continuously praying for complete healing.  There is no cure for Pertussis so it will take Divine intervention to heal this precious little boy.  You can follow the updates for Baby Eli on my facebook page.  Here is a letter from Eli's mom that she wrote two days ago:

Dear Friends,

Our six week old son, Eli, developed what seemed like a typical winter cough on January 11. The cough began to worsen and a week later the coughing episodes became so severe that Eli's lips were turning blue and he was eating very little. The pediatrician immediately admitted Eli to the hospital for monitoring and testing on January 20. The lab results
...indicate that Eli has Pertussis (whooping cough), which can be life threatening for babies under 6 months. Babies are not vaccinated for this illness until 2 months of age and we believe he contracted the illness from me, his mom, who also has whooping cough. In adults, it is not as serious, but it does result in a very brutal and long lasting cough...often lasting for 8 weeks or more and can be passed on to others until the germ is killed by antibiotics. So, I have been trying to care for myself as well as Eli, which has been difficult, however my cough is now continuing to improve slowly.

My husband stayed with Eli in the hospital, as I was too sick to stay. Eli seemed to be improving, but 4 days later on January 24 he began to decline.
The doctors then decided that Pediatric Intensive Care would provide our baby with more hands on care and a more controlled environment. We are told that there is no cure, no medicine that can fix Pertussis and the only thing the doctors can do is provide support as Eli struggles through this illness.
Eli has been put on oxygen, IV, and a feeding tube in order to introduce calories and nutrients, as he cannot eat. Right now his body is working very hard and they are watching his coughing spells. When he has them, he struggles with keeping his oxygen up and sometimes his heart rate.

This situation is very moment to moment, waiting, watching and praying.
Neither we nor the doctors are sure how Eli will do or how long this could take. Sometimes he looks good and sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes his coughs are bad, sometimes they are not. I've gotten to hold him only once, and since then they are afraid to let me hold him because it can cause difficult coughing episodes. So all I can do is rub his head and talk to him. We visit Eli several times a day, but they encourage us to go home at night in order to get much needed rest.

I also want to take this opportunity to educate you on Pertussis. It is more than a cough. It is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection which produces a violent cough and a lot of mucous secretions, which for adults is very difficult, but for babies is very dangerous. There has been an increase in Pertussis in recent years and adults are being encouraged to be vaccinated. This is something our children are vaccinated for beginning at two months, but for most adults, the last one we received was in our younger years. So the vaccination does wear off, which is something that I was unaware of. The vaccination is called DTaP and includes Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis. If you have not been vaccinated in the past 10 years, I want to encourage you, especially if you are pregnant or have a baby that has not been vaccinated for this yet, to please speak with your doctor as to when would be a safe time for you to be vaccinated. Even if your children are grown, I would encourage you also to receive a booster. I would not want anyone to experience the cough that I have experienced and you can easily pass it on to others before you even know you have it. Even if your doctor does not take it seriously or gives the impression that this is not really a current problem, please consider the vaccine. It would've only taken one shot to prevent my baby from having this horrible illness.

This is truly a difficult time for our family, but our Lord God has been very gracious in sustaining us when we feel like we can't take another step forward. I want to ask that you please pray for us and please pray for Eli.
I've attached pictures of him so you can see who you are praying for. God makes no mistakes, we are not out of His hand. We pray for healing, mercy, and His nearness.

Lamentations 3:22-24
22 The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
23 they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."


{baby eli with mom at 6 weeks}

{7 weeks}

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