Thursday, March 20, 2014

Manuel's Viewing (Picture Gallery)

Below are some pictures that were at Manuel's viewing. Thank you all for the prayers, condolences, and comforting words as we grieve Manuel's passing.

We Pray God's Peace will come to all that miss Manuel. We are comforted in knowing that he knew Jesus before he departed this world. We love him and miss him dearly. We know that God sent his only Son to die for our sins so that we can live with Him after this life. This is the promise that Manuel now knows.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Recovering from Surgery

Saturday March 15, 2014

Marcello Cristian
Marcello was placed on the conventional vent after his surgery. However, his blood gases were not looking good so he was moved to the Oscillator to make him more comfortable.  His chest x-Ray showed that his lungs were over inflated. It is thought that his tube was not in the right spot and after it was moved his blood gases began to look better. He really did not like his eye surgery. He is now getting two different drops in his eyes, an antibiotic and a steroid, which he also did not enjoy. His eyes are still swollen but he has been making attempts to open his eyes. His weight on Saturday he broke 4 lbs. but this is also due to him being a little swollen.

Sunday March 16, 2014

Last night, Marcello got an additional chest x-Ray that showed his lungs were much better. This morning, he continues to be on the Oscillator and they were able to get him down to room air. His hematocrit levels were low today so he was given a blood transfusion. His CRP this morning was 2.1 much better than 6.2 that he had been. This is good because it means his body is responding to the antibiotics. This afternoon Marcello's heart rate began to fluctuate low between 70 - 90 but his oxygen saturation remained good. We think this may be because he remains on the Oscillator vent. His weight was down 10 grams but still at 4 lb. 0 oz.

We pray that The Lord allows Marcello to recover and that any additional surgeries be kept to a minimum. We believe that The Lord has a plan for Marcello. We continue to pray for healing for Marcello and to us as we continue to miss Manuel.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Marcello's Eye Surgery

Thank you for all the condolences, prayers, and notes to our family with Manuel's passing. We have several pictures of Manuel that we would like to share with you and several status updates that had not made it to the blog that we will be posting shortly. We want to make sure that we have it all documented and validated before posting.

We have also received lots of inquiries about Marcello. To make the long story short, several weeks ago he tested positive for CMV( cytomegalovirus) and tested positive for MRSA(staph infection). The blood work he keeps getting continues to show that he has an infection. The Neonatalogist have run numerous tests, but cannot confirm the source.

On Tuesday the Neo's decided to get a spinal tap.  Unfortunately, they were unable to get it and decided to try again on Wednesday. They were able to get the spinal tap on Wednesday and on Thursday the results all came back negative. Praise God! On Thursday he had is usual eye exam for retinopathy for prematurity. The exam showed that he had ROP  stage 3 and would need surgery on Friday to correct this.

Today (Friday March 14, 2014), Marcello had the laser eye surgery. Pastor Currao was able to arrive prior to the surgery and we were able to pray over him before he was taken downstairs for surgery.  The surgery lasted about an hour and he was brought back into the NICU room. Dr Roberts came and talked to us after the surgery and said that he will be returning early next week to check on his eyes. We are here in the NICU with Marcello after his surgery and so far everything looks positive from the surgery. He is still intubated and are just waiting on him to tell us when to extubate.

This week has been so trying on our family with Manuel's passing and Marcello's continued medical condition. It is said that The Lord will never give you any trials that you cannot withstand. This week we feel as though we have walked the same path that Job had walked. As his father, I found myself questioning all that has happened, but I am comforted in knowing that he knew Jesus before his passing. The Lord has really been our strength this week.

We continue to lift Marcello up in prayer that The Lord will give the doctors an answer to what is troubling Marcello and that his eye surgery provides the correction needed to him so that he keeps his vision. Our hope is in The Lord.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Manuel Gabriel Mendez's Visitation and Funeral Details

Manuel Gabriel Mendez

Visitation for Manuel will be held at the following location:

Voss Funeral Home
316 N Chestnut St, Seymour, IN 47274

Tuesday March 11 from 3 to 8 PM.

Funeral Service will be on Wednesday March 12 at the following location:

Redeemer Lutheran Church
504 N Walnut St, Seymour, IN 47274

Early visitation will begin at 9:30 AM and the Funeral Service beginning at 10:30 AM.  All are welcome to attend.

Thank you for all your prayers.

Salatiel and Jodi Mendez

We would like to note that Pastor Lepley wrote some wonderful words about Manuel's Journey that we would like to share with you. These words can be found on:

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Manuel's Last Journey

Saturday March 8, 2014


Manuel Gabriel Mendez
Early this morning we received a phone call from the Neonatalogist that Manuel was having some respiratory problems. He was placed back on vapotherm to see if this would stabilize his condition. Unfortunately, this did not help. We received an additional call from the hospital at 5 AM as they had found that he had developed NEC. Therefore, the hospital did a Chest and Abdominal X-Ray that confirmed the NEC as well as showed several areas of free air in his abdomen.  The pediatric surgeon, Dr Kokoska, was called to evaluate his condition.

We were told to arrive to the hospital as soon as we can make it. Upon arrival Manuel was already prepped for surgery. Dr Kokoska came and spoke to us before the surgery and said that he would see what he could fix but was not sure of what he would encounter. He returned about 20 minutes later and informed us that he did everything he could but that it was too extensive for him to fix. Dr Wareham said that this was all that could be done and that it was time for us to call in family for his last rights.

Big brothers Mateo, Macario, and Marquez arrived and got to hold and kiss Manuel for one last time. Both sets of grandparents arrived and also said their goodbyes. It was an exceptionally difficult day for all of us. Both Pastor Currao and Pastor Lepley came and said prayers over him. As we gathered to hear Pastor Currao give Manuel his last rights, Manuel would open his eyes wide every time Pastor said the Name Jesus. It was his sign to us that he knew where he was going and that he knew Jesus.

Manuel Gabriel Mendez was removed from the ventilator at 6:30 PM and remained in Mommy's arms. He took his last two breaths at 6:37 PM. Heaven got a new Angel at 6:37 PM on Saturday March 8, 2014. We are thankful and honored that God allowed us to be blessed with Manuel's presence for 74 days.

We thank everyone for your prayers and ask that you continue to keep Marcello in your prayers. At least we are comforted in knowing that Marcello has an Angel named Manuel watching over him now.

We are in process of making funeral arrangements and will post these to the blog as soon as they are finalized.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Manuel's Surgery

Friday January 24, 2014
Manuel After Surgery
We awoke to a call at 4 o'clock this morning from Dr. DeSanto informing us that a small bowl perforation had been found for Manuel and that Surgery would likely be needed to correct it. This was discovered because an x-ray was done because his belly was distended (meaning that his belly was larger than normal). The x-ray showed free air trapped between his organs.  
Dr. West (Pediatric Surgeon) had been called and she was on her way to the NICU to assess Manuel's condition. After having gone through this earlier with Marcello, this was the last call that we ever wanted to get for Manuel.
Daddy Feeding Marcello
Mommy and Daddy quickly awoke, dressed and rushed to the hospital.  Daddy called Pastor Currao and Pastor Lepley to let them know of the situation. We arrived to the hospital just before Dr. West and she explained that she was going to do a small incision on his right lower quad of his abdomen. A tube would be inserted to aid in the release of the trapped air.  
After discussing Manuel's condition, Mommy and Daddy consented to the surgery. The surgery was quick (about 20 minutes) and Dr. West came by to talk with us after she was complete. She explained that when she made the incision and opened the cavity to view the intestines that what was visible to her was pink and healthy. She said that the hole was small and anticipated that it may close on its own once the drain was removed.
They would continue to monitor the drain output for the next 10 days and an additional x-ray be performed to monitor the obstructed air. Pastor Currao and Pastor Lepley prayed over Manuel after his surgery was completed.
We are fortunate that Marcello remained stable today and allowed for Manuel to receive the medical attention he needed. Daddy was able to hold Marcello's feeding tube today. This was exciting for Daddy to do given all the circumstances with both Marcello and Manuel.
We give thanks to God for His guidance He provided the surgical team. We know that without Faith and Prayer that we would not have gotten this far with both Marcello and Manuel. We continue to pray for a positive outcome. And Give all the praise to God for our time we have with them.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Mommy!!!

Thursday January 23, 2014

Mommy was treated to a surprise when she arrived to the NICU, as Marcello and Manuel had decorated for Mommy’s Birthday. A chest x-ray revealed that his lungs had appeared normal, meaning that his right lung no longer appeared hyper-inflated. Therefore, as an additional gift to Mommy, Manuel was extubated and placed on Vapotherm since he had remained stable long enough that. A slight whimper was heard from him when the tubing was removed. It was as if he was giving a sigh of relieve that his tubing had finally been removed.
Mommy holding Manuel

Manuel giving Mommy kisses
Marcello continues amaze us and remain stable since his extubation yesterday. He seems to be thoroughly enjoying being on Vapotherm and is a bit more vibrant than he has been the last few days. He continues to do well with his feedings and his stool output still appears good.

Manuel and Marcello gave Mommy an extra special surprise tonight, as she was able to hold each of them for about half an hour. Manuel was so cute because it appeared as if he was giving Mommy little kisses while Mommy was holding him. Marcello really loved being held by Mommy as his stats all stabilized within a few minutes of Mommy holding him.
Mommy holding Marcello

Mommy had lots of visitors today for her birthday, but they had to meet downstairs by the fireplace as they were not allowed into the NICU. She was visited by a few of her college friends and current coworkers. Daddy took Mommy out for her birthday and even managed to sneak in a surprise birthday card for her.

Marcello Cristian
We give thanks to God that Manuel and Marcello had such a stable day on Mommy's special day. We are so grateful that they have even made it this far to be able to spend time with Mommy on her birthday. Every day that we have with them is indeed a gift from God.


Mommy Holding Manuel
Mommy Holding Marcello

Friday, February 7, 2014

Yeah!! 27 Weeks Old.

Wednesday January 22, 2014
Marcello before Extubation
Today, Manuel was visited by Courtney (his Respiratory Therapists) and fitted for the CPAP nasal tubing. However, they were still too large for his nose causing his nostrils to blanch. When the nasal cannula's for the CPAP were compared to those of Vapotherm, we noticed that the cannula for the Vapotherm were half the diameter of those of the CPAP. Courtney will discuss with Manuel's neonatologists to consider if Vapotherm would be an acceptable treatment in the next 24 hours.
Marcello after Extubation

Marcello has remained stable and therefore was extubated today. It was so cute when the tubing was removed from him, as he immediately raised his hands into the air. It was so cute to see this because he looked like he was saying Praise the Lord the tube is out. Marcello was started on Vapotherm and he has remarkably remained stable during the transition.

It has been an amazing day for Mommy and Daddy today for us to be able to hear Marcello's whimper once he was extubated. What a miracle it is to actually hear his voice clearly for the first time.

We continue to give thanks to God for the blessings He has provided for Marcello and Manuel. God is Great and we know that He is hearing prayers from everyone that is lifting them up to Him.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Making Progress

Tuesday January 21, 2014

Today, Manuel received an x-ray this morning to see how things were going around his belly. Small air pockets could be seen around his bowels but nothing too concerning was discovered since he had passed a large stool last night.  The neonatologists made the decision that they would continue to monitor the air and see if further action would be needed. Manuel was weaned from his antibiotics today and his vitals remained stable even after he was fully weened from the antibiotics.

Marcello received a visit from Dr Kokoska and Nancy (His Octomy Nurse). They were amazed at how his incision was healing. There were three visible areas of full skin connection that had not been present last time they had stopped. Overall, they felt that Marcello has been doing well with his healing and feel that if he continues to do good that he would be able to be extubated and be a candidate for Vapotherm.

Praise goers out to God for keeping Marcello and Manuel safe and in continued good health. We know that without placing our faith in him and relying only on man that we would not have the healing the twins are receiving from God.  We continue to pray for God to place His Hands of healing over them.

A Brother's Touch

Monday January 20, 2014
Macario and Mateo with Marcello
Mateo touching Marcello's Foot
Today we received word that the hospital was implementing flu precautions meaning that no outside visitors besides parents would be allowed in the NICU. The precautions would begin on Wednesday January 22. Therefore, we took the opportunity to bring Mateo and Macario for a visit with Marcello and Manuel. The boys were excited to be able to see their brothers as we had informed them that this would likely be the last time that they would be able to see them until after the hospital removes the restriction.

When the boy's arrived to the hospital, they washed, scrubbed, and put on their gowns. Mateo and Macario could not hold their excitement. They couldn't get in to the NICU fast enough.
Macario holding Marcello's Foot
Upon entering the NICU, they were allowed to visit with Marcello. During their visit, they were invited by Marcello's nurse to touch their brother for the first time. The boys (and Mommy and Daddy) were excited that they would be allowed this experience.

Mommy and Daddy had Mateo and Macario re-sanitize their hands before placing their hands into the incubator. The boys were nervous but excited, they were allowed to reach into the incubator and touch Marcello's foot.

Marcello laid there and allowed the boys to touch him. He kicked his foot every once in a while, but the boys, just loved it when Marcello kicked their hand.

Manuel holding Mateo's Finger

The boys then went to visit with Manuel. Since Manuel was a bit more stable than Marcello, Mateo and Macario were allowed to reach in and have Manuel hold onto their finger. Once Manuel got a hold of their finger, he gave Mateo and Marcello a gentle friendly grip.

Manuel holding Macario's Finger
It was surreal just to watch Mateo and Macario connect with Marcello and Manuel. Mateo and Macario were surprised at how soft their brothers skin was. We know that the boys will cherish this experience as it will be difficult for them not to be able to come to the NICU to visit with their brothers.

We give thanks to God for allowing the boys to connect. We are so thankful for our two little miracles and know that each day that we have with them is special. We are just so thankful that we as parents were able to share the moment with Mateo and Macario. We pray that God will continue to bless Marcello and Manuel with health. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Held in Their Mother's Arms

Saturday January 18 and Sunday January 19, 2014

Mommy Holding Marcello

Saturday January 18, 2014

On Saturday, both Marcello and Manuel remained stable. The neonatal teams were pleased with their progression and with how Marcello's incision has been healing. Mommy and Daddy are thankful for the quiet times that we get with the twins. These boys have been through so much already that we are cherishing the quiet time that we have with them.

Sunday January 19, 2014

On Sunday, Mommy was in for a surprise.  The NICU staff have been monitoring the twins for the past 48 hours and they informed mommy that because the twins had remained stable, Mommy would be able to hold them outside of the incubator and in her arms.

Mommy Holding Manuel
The nurses helped Mommy get seated and once she was ready, they brought over Marcello for her to hold.  Marcello whimpered when he was brought over to Mommy but soon settled in for some snuggle time with Mommy.  Mommy was able to hold Marcello for about 30 minutes and then Marcello had to be placed back in his incubator.

Mommy was then moved to Manuel's incubator and then Manuel was brought over for Mommy to hold. Manuel also let out a whimper when he was moved from his incubator to Mommy, much like his brother Marcello. Manuel settled into Mommy's arms and remained calm during snuggle time.

What a wonderful moment this was to capture and see how both Marcello and Manuel responded to their mother. It was as they both knew that this was the person that had been caring and nourishing them before their arrival.

We give thanks to God for this moment. Although we have a long way's to go before we can even think of them coming home, it is moments like today that we give thanks to God in allowing our boys to remain here with us. We pray for continued health for both Marcello and Manuel.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Prayer Request for Marcello and Manuel

Sunday January 26, 2014

We received a call this morning that Marcello was not his feisty self and they had to re-intubate him. The Dr's looked him over and are thinking he has NEC. Please pray that the antibiotics work and that he won't need another surgery. Please continue prayers for Manuel that his small intestinal hole will heal without surgery.

Friday, January 24, 2014


UPDATE: Friday January 24, 2014 9:00 PM

Manuel received his surgery earlier this morning and had a drain placed into his abdomen to resolve the floating air in his abdomen. He is currently stable and continues to be monitored. Right now we are playing the waiting game to see if the drain that was placed will resolve the floating air from his abdomen. We will update the blog this weekend with last weeks events.  Thank you for your continued prayers and we ask to pray for healing and that the small hole will heal on it's own.

Friday January 24, 2014 5:00 AM

Please Pray for Manuel as we received a call at 4 this morning and he will have to have surgery done. A small hole was found in his intestines. Please pray for healing and a quick recovery.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Three Weeks Old

Friday January 17, 2014

Marcello Waiving Hello
Dr. Wareham stopped by this morning and talked with us about Marcello and Manuel’s progression. So far the entire medical staff is pleased with how they are developing and adjusting to their environment. He asked us what we thought their survival rate was now that they are three weeks of age.  Daddy thought that they had about 30% survival and Mommy thought that they had more like a 60% chance. Dr. Wareham explained that with them now having survived to three weeks today that their chances of survival are actually now at 85% to 90%. Mommy and Daddy were surprised at this survival percentage.
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! God is Good! We just cannot believe how far God has brought them along since their 6% survival rate at birth. God truly has worked miracles in them!

Marcello Tucked in for the Night
This in now way means that everything is all uphill from here because they are still considered to be Micro Preemie’s and the worry of contracting Necrotizing Enterocolitis (or NEC) and Bacterial Infection remains high. They will continue to remain hospitalized and will remain in the NICU until at least April 23 (their due date).

As for their updates, Manuel was given a blood transfusion today as his hematocrit level was a little lower than the doctors liked. All his other stats were within normal limits.

Marcello’s heart continues to fluctuate, but his respiratory settings have remained stable. He has been stable with his respiratory long enough that he was removed from the Oscillator Ventilator.  He now remains only on the conventional ventilator (like his brother Manuel) and has had a very positive response to the change.

Manuel Tucked in for the Night
We have recieved and witnessed so much good news today that Mommy and Daddy had to pinch ourselves to make sure it was not a dream. We give thanks to God for all that we have witnessed with them and ask all to continue to keep them in your prayers. We pray for continued healing and growth for both Marcello and Manuel.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tummy Time

Thursday January 16, 2014

Marcello Cristian
There were fluctuations in Marcello’s heart rate today and this could be due to the medications that he is currently on. A slight murmur was also heard in his heart by Dr. Wareham, but this was not too concerning to him at the moment. The process of weaning him from fentanyl also began today and they will continue to monitor him over night to ensure that he does not require additional pain medication.

Nancy (his Ostomy Nurse) stopped by this afternoon to change his dressing and ostomy bag. While she was here, Dr. Kokoska stopped by to inspect this incision. Dr. Kokoska was pleased with how the incision was looking, although it has opened a little it is not infected and appears to now have some muscle growth.

This evening Marcello did seem a bit agitated so Mommy was only allowed to do his temperature. The nurses took care of his weighing (of which he was 1 lb 8 oz) and his linen change. Later in the evening he was given a dose of morphine as he still appeared agitated to the nursing staff and this did help to steady his heart fluctuations and calm him down.

Manuel's Tummy Time
Manuel was removed from Jet ventilation this morning and placed on conventional ventilation. He will continue to be monitored to ensure that his lungs do not over-inflate because of the negative air pressure provided by the use of the conventional. However, after a few adjustments to the conventional settings, Manuel settled down this afternoon and is doing remarkably well on the conventional ventilator. Manuel's x-ray readings also came back this afternoon and they showed that everything was still looking good with him.
This evening when we returned to the NICU we were surprised to see Manuel on his tummy. We were told that because he is now on the conventional ventilator and he has not had to have any surgery, then he could now be placed on his tummy to give the back of his little head a break from being laid on.

We continue to give thanks to God for having placed his healing hands on Marcello and Manuel. There is still a long road ahead of us, but we know that with God, anything is possible. We will continue to place our faith in God and pray that he continues to give health to Marcello and Manuel.

26 Weeks and Not Out of the Woods Yet

Wednesday January 15, 2014

Today was a stressful day for Mommy and Daddy as Marcello started to drop in his heart rate,desat in his oxygen intake,his white count was elevated, and was not acting like his feisty self this morning. Dr. Wareham (his Neonatologist), Dr. Kokoska (his Pediatric Surgeon), Dr. Belcher (his Infectious Disease doctor) and Amy (his Nurse Practitioner) along with their assistants came by to do a medical analysis of Marcello’s status.  They all decided to check a septic workup on him to check for infection.  

The decision was made to place him back on an Oscillator Ventilator to assist his with his breathing. Mommy and Daddy were a little concerned seeing all the medical teams around him and seeing the look of worry on their faces. They were all worried because there was no reason that he should be digressing as he had. We are praying that his body will heal of whatever is ailing him and that he gets better to the point that he can come back off the Oscillator.

Marcello was also ordered back on antibiotics and was given a blood transfusion because his blood reading did not come back with acceptable readings. Marcello seems a bit calmer this evening after having received the antibiotics and blood transfusion but still remains on the oscillator and will likely remain on it for a few days, or at least until his blood gasses come back and remain at acceptable readings.

Manuel was re-evaluated today and orders were placed to begin the process to remove him from the Jet Ventilator onto CPAP (only if the nose piece would fit). When he was fitted for the CPAP nose piece, it was discovered to be much too large for his little nostrils to handle. They decided to place orders to have him on the conventional ventilator until he has grown enough to fit the CPAP nose piece.

Pastor Lepley came by this evening to pray for the twins. We pray that God will reach down and help Marcello get past his ailment. We also pray that this is not bacterial as this could be bad for him. We continue to pray that God will allow them to one day come home.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

One Eye Open

Tuesday January 14, 2014

Manuel's first feeding
Manuel’s x-ray results came back and his right lung is looking stable. They did find that he has developed a small hernia and will add that to the items they are currently monitoring for him. They have started to wean Manuel’s ventilator settings and are considering taking him off the Jet Ventilator in the next couple of days.

GOOD NEWS! Manuel received his follow-up echocardiogram this afternoon and it showed that his PDA appeared to be smaller. We will see if it closes on its own. So this means that he might not require the Ligation Surgery – Alleluia! Praise the Lord!

He is doing so well that at 8PM today Mommy was able to assist with his first feeding. Manuel actually is feeding on the colostrum that was saved from Mommy soon after they were born. This will help him get the nourishment that his little body needs and should help him to also start to gain some weight. It was an emotional and exciting moment for Mommy to be able to hold the syringe and tube for his feeding.

Marcello’s respiratory status looked good that the Neonatologists and Nurse Practitioner are considering taking him off ventilation.  Dr. Kokoska came by today because Marcello had leaked a little of his ostomy bag and was a little worried about the stool infecting the incision.

Marcello with his left eye open
He will continue to monitor Marcello to ensure the incision does not get infected and that the stool remains in the bag. He has remained stable in all of his other stats that the Doctors have allowed him to be taken off his antibiotics late this evening

Marcello surprised Mommy before she left and opened his left eye! Mommy was surprised that he actually had it opened and was checking out his surroundings.

On the way home, Mommy heard a song on Klove written by Hillsong United entitled Oceans (Where my feet may fail) that just spoke to her heart. She shared this with Daddy and when Daddy listened to it, he felt that the song had so fittingly put in lyric the feelings that we have had along this journey with Marcello and Manuel.

We continue to thank God for all the Miracles that we are allowed to witness through Manuel and Marcello.  Each day we have with them is a gift from God and we cherish our time with them.

Waiting on Surgery

Monday January 13, 2014

Today Manuel has remained relatively stable. Dr. Belcher, the Infection doctor, is going to continue to monitor him an additional day before he will be comfortable clearing Manuel for surgery. He is scheduled to receive an additional echocardiogram of his heart in the morning to check the current state of his PDA. The results from the chest x-ray he had yesterday also came back today and it showed that his right lung looked a bit better.

Marcello received a visit from Nancy (his ostomy nurse) this morning. She cleaned him up a bit and changed his dressing and ostomy bag. Dr. Kokoska also stopped by in the afternoon to look over the his incision. Dr. Kokoska was pleased with how the incision was looking.

Pastor Daniel Lepley came by today to visit the twins. Pastor informed us that he had written another letter about the inspiration that he has received from Marcello and Manuel and provided us with a copy of the letter. A link to the letter can be found by clicking here or copying and pasting the following link into an Internet browser

We are touched that Marcello and Manuel have impacted so many lives and helped many with their relationship with God. We lift God in praise for the healing and comfort that He has provided to not only Marcello and Manuel but to us as his parents. We pray that Marcello and Manuel continue to improve so that one day they can come home.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Good Weekend for the Twins

Saturday January 11, 2014 and Sunday January 12, 2014


Macario and Mateo with Manuel
On Saturday, Manuel had a follow-up chest x-ray and his right lung continues to improve. Infectious disease came by and still did not feel comfortable enough to clear Manuel for surgery because his white blood cell count remains elevated. Ideally they want his white blood cell count to come down and remain down for at least 48 hours before they will clear him. If they were to go into surgery with a high white blood cell count, he could run a high risk of infection around the site of the surgery and understandably this is what we want to avoid especially around the heart.

Macario with Marcello

Mateo with Marcello
Manuel received a blood transfusion today and continues to remain stable with his vitals that are being monitored and has improved with his weight, weighing 1 lb 4 oz today. We thank the Lord that his right lung has continued to improve and pray that his white blood cell count comes down so that he can have the PDA Ligation that he desperately needs. 

Marcello remains stable and appears to be doing good in color after his PDA Ligation. He was given a blood transfusion today because his hematocrit was a little low. His incision is healing remarkably  and we could see some meconium poop in his ostomy bag. Yea his stoma is working! 

The twins got a special visit today by their big brothers. Mateo and Macario were excited to gown up and visit them.  They first stopped by Marcello and visited for a while. Marcello lifted his little hand as if he was waiving hello to his brothers. Manuel was sleeping and would wiggle his toes every so often at his brothers.  Mateo and Macario enjoyed their time that they have with their brothers.


A Few Get Well Wishes for the Twins
On Sunday, the boys remained stable and had the quietest day so far. We are thankful that God blessed them with a quiet weekend and allowed that their little bodies can heal. All the prayers that are being lifted up to God for our little Marcello and Manuel are being heard.

A Few Get Well Wishes for the Twins
We are thankful to all that continue to keep them in prayer and especially to God for allowing us time with our sons. We pray for healing and strength for marcello and Manuel.  We also send a special prayer up for Mateo, Macario, and Marquez that God continues to provide for thier needs.

We pray that God will allow Marcello and Manuel to grow into men so that they can continue their witness of how God has touched thier lives and worked miricles in them.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Two Weeks Old and In God's Hands

Friday January 10, 2014
Manuel Gabriel
Manuel Gabriel

When we arrived to the NICU, Dr. Akinola (the Neonatologist), the Nurse Practitioner and the Nurse were at Manuel’s bedside. They had done a chest x-ray last night and found that his right lung was extremely hyper-inflated and that it was entering into his left lung’s cavity and putting additional pressure on his heart. They also saw what appeared to be air cysts in his right lung. They told us that there was nothing medically that could be done to his lung if indeed the air pockets were cysts. They moved him to his right side and took an additional x-ray before we had arrived and found that this did help bring down the lung a little but that it was still hyper-inflated and still a concern to them.   

They started Manuel on another blood transfusion and started him on dopamine again. This seemed to help his heart and his kidneys. This afternoon, the nurses were having a difficult time getting blood for his lab test as he was poked several times. We said a little prayer with Pastor Lepley and left the NICU so that they can work on Manuel. 

When we returned to the NICU we were greeted by Dr. Akinola and she was singing praises of Hallelujah. Manuel’s lung had remarkably come down in size and had actually moved back into the right lung cavity alleviating pressure from his heart and his left lung.  Dr. Akinola took mommy and daddy back into the Physician's Lounge and showed us the chest xray of before and after. It was amazing to see the visible change that has occurred over the past few hours.

Marcello holding Mommy's Finger's
The nurses continue to monitor Marcello's stoma for improvement. The wound ostomy nurse came by today and cleaned his incision and placed a new ostomy bag on him.  Dr. Kokoska also stopped by and was pleased at how well Marcello has been healing. He also validated that his stoma has been functioning as he has seen what appears to be meconium poop in the ostomy bag. Marcello continues to remain stable and his body has accepted the PDA ligation and improvement of blood flow remarkably well.

Today we witnessed the miracle of God’s touch on Manuel and God continues to heal Marcello from his surgeries. Marcello and Manuel are a living testament that God does indeed hear our prayers and even watches over the littlest ones. We praise God that he has allowed both Marcello and Manuel to remain with us and pray for many more day's with them.