Jude Chapman Grimes
This page is set up to provide a means for our family and friends to honor the doctors, nurses, and staff of Children's Pediatric Heart Center who saved Jude's life many times over his first year of life!
Jude was born on March 30, 2018 with a congenital heart defect known as Double Outlet Right Ventricle with mitral atresia. This condition rendered the left side of Jude's heart too small to function (hypoplastic left heart syndrome). Open heart surgery at 5 days old was required to provide enough oxygenated blood to his body. Despite making it through that surgery beautifully, Jude's heart went out of rhythm an hour later while still in the OR. Jude was placed on ECMO to allow his heart to rest while he recovered. The ECMO machine performed the functions of his heart, lungs, and kidneys while he remained sedated. Jude struggled to come off ECMO support. After 5 days, he was taken off and went into septic shock. He was receiving the most support possible. Even returning to life support wasn't a great option at that point. God saved Jude's life through the careful attention of the staff in the CVICU. Recovery after ECMO was slow and included months of dialysis, ventilators, intubations, infections, and a couple cath lab visits.
In June of 2018 we made the decision to have a feeding tube placed. Jude did not have the strength to eat long enough to get the nutrition he needed. Weight gain was essential to being prepared for his 2nd heart surgery that would be required around 4-6 months of age. This surgery that should have gotten us home together by the end of the week changed Jude's life once again. Jude's body didn't handle the pain of that surgery well. Because of his heart's design, when Jude would get mad and hold his breath his body would quickly shut down. After doing that several times over the night after his surgery, Jude went into cardiac arrest the next day. What we thought was a terrible and difficult beginning to Jude's life was quickly overshadowed by the devastation of enduring 2 hours of CPR in an attempt to save Jude's life. Jude's veins on his left side were too small after being on ECMO in his first month to be placed on it again in the same spot. Rarely are surgeons able to place babies on ECMO on the right side of their neck, but God graciously gave favor over his surgeon that night. We were told Jude wouldn't survive, and by all accounts he shouldn't have. The CVICU staff were so caring towards our family during this time. Everyone went above and beyond to make sure we were comforted and needed nothing. Their focus and attention to detail helped Jude slowly begin to recover once again. Jude fought through a significant brain injury, seizures, a tracheotomy, a second heart surgery, another round of sepsis, and much more before finally coming home (and staying!) at 7 months. While we fully believe Jude is here because God has orchestrated his life from before he was born, we will be forever grateful for Children's Pediatric Heart Center who has played such a pivotal role in saving Jude’s life in his first year. Without their care, our family would be incomplete.
We would love to celebrate Jude’s first year of life by honoring the Children's Pediatric Heart Center and providing the ability for them to help other children and families. Thank you for loving our family well this year and covering us in prayer from all over. God continues to answer them daily as we see evidence in Jude’s progress and growth.
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