We didn't get much sleep the night before as we had to be up at 2:30 am to leave at 3:15 so we could get to Omaha around 4:45. So we ended up lounging around the hotel for the day and ordering subs for supper. We also called Owens mommy, Michelle, who started a website about her son , which is how we found out about going to Duke and getting Matthew his stem cell infusion. Without her hard work with this website, we wouldv'e never found out about it. Owen received the first stem cell infusion for hydrocephalus in September 2006. Matthew is the 9th baby who has received stem cells specifically for hydrocephalus. I visited with Michelle and made plans to meet her family tomorrow at some point. Owen is currently in the hospital at Duke because he had a shunt infection and had his shunt replaced on Wednesday.
This morning we headed over to the hospital around 7:30 to have breakfast before our 9 am appointment. After breakfast, we had some time, so we went up to see Owen, and his mom and dad. We got some pictures of the boys together.
We had our 9 am appointment with the nurse practioner and then headed back to Owens room to hang out until our infusion appointment at 1 pm. It was fun to meet Michelle and Chris and Owen. They are such a nice family and we had a great time! We were even privledged to get to eat lunch with Michelle while her husband Chris stayed at Owen's bedside.
Dr. Kurtzberg came to give his cells around 2:30. After his IV was in, which Dr. Kurtzberg started herself, it was only like 15 minutes and his cells were infused. We stayed around for 4 hours afterwards so he could get IV fluids. They add a additive to his blood called DMSO that had to be flushed out of his system. My understanding is that DMSO was added to the blood before freezing to keep the blood cells from crystallizing. The additive makes the recipients breath smell exactly like creamed corn. No lie, creamed corn. And let me tell you, it is just EXACTLY like creamed corn! Bizarre. He will smell like that for around 24-48 hours.
Here's a couple pics with Dr. Kurtzberg, June(Dr. Kurtzberg's nurse and right hand woman) and Matthew
Matthew was very feisty and DID NOT like to have his arm held down during the infusion. A pacifier dipped in sugar water did the trick though to settle him down. We'll never know the extent this procedure has helped Matthew, but we will always know that we have done everything in our power to help him have a life with as few disabilities as possible.
We got back to the hotel around 8 pm and we were tired and hungry. We ordered pizza and settled in for the evening. Tomorrow we may do some sightseeing, or just lay around or a little of both.