Today, our beautiful baby girl was diagnosed with NEC. This afternoon she had surgery to see how far along it was. Tonight, she is dying.
Dr. Gallucci (the surgeon) came for us less than an hour and a half after he started the surgery, which we knew was way too quick and we knew it was a bad sign. What he found was not good. Her entire bowel system is dead, a victim of this sudden and terrible digestive disease. A person cannot live without a bowel.
They outlined everything for us and basically said that she will most likely not make it through the weekend. Even surviving the night would be a bit of a surprise.
The best case scenario would be that she makes it another 48 hours, stabilizes, has another surgery to remove all the dead bowel before it manages to spread to the rest of her organs, survives for a year on iv feedings, finds a bowel donor, and has successful organ transplant surgery. The odds of that happening are effectively zero. She's too far gone and too small for her body to survive all of this.
Thus, Annaleigh is dying.
Now, we are waiting for her heart to give out. She's already shown signs that it is weakening and so it is just a matter of time before it stops. We know it is coming. We just don't know if it will happen in the next few hours or not until tomorrow. But it is going to happen.
We've been with her for the last several hours, holding her and loving her. Our parents all came up to say goodbye. My brother John is currently driving back from Connecticut with his girlfriend to see her. All the nurses have been with us, even the ones who are not our nurses. Marissa, Annaleigh's primary night nurse, is off today but she's coming in to see her and take care of her. There were 89 comments on the "Annaleigh is having surgery" post that I made late in the afternoon, despite the fact that people usually check this site only before bed or in the morning.
Annaleigh is loved. By a lot of people. Some of those people are perfect strangers and so I felt that we owed it to all of you to post right now, to keep you all informed about what is happening. Thank you all for the thoughts and prayers tonight and every day for the past two months.
Annaleigh has brought us such joy and happiness in her short time. We love her more than we can express.
We will post again when it is all over.