When Parker was born on Nov. 14, 2015, he immediately began experiencing breathing problems. His mother was constantly worried about him, but doctors assured her that everything was fine and that his pectus, an indention in the middle of his chest, was causing his breathing problems. In addition to Parker’s breathing issues, he slept all the time, to the point that he would not eat. Having two other children, his mother knew something was not right. After a couple checkups with a pediatrician, she was told that he just needed to gain weight.
What alarmed his mother the most was that, in addition to the breathing problems, Parker started grunting. Early on the morning of Dec. 4, 2015, Parker was grunting and breathing very fast and his top lip was blue. His mother took him to the ER at Skyridge Medical where the nurse took one look at him and called back to alert doctors and nurses that there was a newborn that was retracting all the way to the back bone.
Parker was rushed back to the ER where he was put on oxygen, x-rayed, and put on CPAP. With no idea as to what was going on, doctors had him air lifted to Children’s Hospital at Erlanger. Parker was then transferred to pediatric intensive care (PICU) where doctors intubated him and gave him a chest tube to drain fluid from of his lung. When doctors saw the fluid, they diagnosed Parker with a rare condition called congenital chylothorax—a hole in Parker’s thoracic duct caused fats from his diet to flood his lungs.
In order to get rid of the fluid, doctors tried several different techniques. First, they tried a special formula via feeding tube. This caused fluid output to pick back up, so they stopped this and switched to total parenteral nutrition (TPN), a type of intravenous feeding. TPN required Parker to acquire his nutrition through his veins with an empty gut. While on TPN, Parker was weaned off the ventilator until he started retracting again. An x-ray was taken to see what caused the retraction and it was revealed that Parker needed surgery to put a new chest tube on his left side and to replace his right tube.
After this surgery, things began looking much brighter for Parker. Prayers were answered, the outputs stopped, and Parker took breast milk for the first time in months! After 59 days in PICU, Parker left and is now a “sweet, healthy miracle baby that is full of life.”