Friday, December 28, 2007


Kaidence looks great! She has been pretty awake today. She had another echo this morning and that looked great as well. GREAT! GREAT! GREAT! The doctor came and looked at Kaidence's vocal chords. The left side is moving but the right side is not. They are hoping that it will not be paralyzed forever. I guess that this means that Kaidence will have a big heart and be soft spoken. Probably the biggest problem is that the left lung still has her heart sitting on part of it. We don't want the lung to close off because it could cause pneumonia. We are praying that her lung will eventually get strong enough to handle it without the help of the cpap machine. If not then we may have to do a trach tube. We are also hoping that her vocal chords will work enough to protect her airway if she were to throw up. That way she would eventually be able to get rid of the feeding tube and eat on her own.

Kaidence is off some meds for heart rate & blood pressure. Sedation is weening off as well as her milrinone ( heart function medication). Numbers and labs look good and she has pink cheeks and warm feet. I can also cover her with a blanket without her getting it soaking wet. Over all everyone is very pleased with Kaidence's progress. She is growing like a weed and looks so CUTE!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Well, Kaidence just got extubated and placed on a cpap machine to help stint open her lungs. The left side of her lung is a little smashed from her big new heart. Things seem to look well and we are hoping that she can stay extubated. They are scoping out her vocal box tomorrow and we are hoping that she has some sensation with her vocal chords. I can't get over how pink she is. I no longer have a pale gray baby girl. YEAH!!!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Kaidence has had 2 of the 3 test. What they thought was a blood clot is just stitches and what a big relief that was for everybody. She went and had her diaphragm test and all of that is normal. None of the nerves have been damaged she just has a big, strong healthy heart. I don't think I have ever said that before. We are taking her to the OR around 4:00 to have them open up her voice box and check all of the vocal chords. I hope that goes well. Kaidence woke up and was looking all around. I walked to her bedside to talk to her and she started kicking her legs. She then starting pushing her little bottom up. That is her sign that she wants you to pick her up and of course I can't with the breathing tube in her. Needless to say that made her mad and her blood pressure showed it so they had to paralyze her again. I think that once she can get extubated things will be easier on her and they won't have to keep her as drugged.


Kaidence has a very busy day ahead of her today. She had an xray and echo this morning and they think that she may have a blood clot in the left atrium septum....not so good. She is also scheduled to go downstairs and have her swallow study done as well as a test on her diaphragm. They said that sometimes the nerves to the diagram can get cut or damaged and so they are checking out all of that. I am most nervous about the clot because once again the next stop for it would be her brain. Other than that she is doing well. They pulled 2 chest tubes today and so that is a good thing. We knew that we would have more ups and downs along the way and that is ok. We can't have everything at once and sometimes we just can't have everything.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Merry Christmas everyone! I hope that all of you have had a day full of love and peace. Kaidence is doing well. They tried extubating her last night but they had to put the tube back in. That's ok, she will get it done. Tomorrow they may do another test on her vocal cords, because they worry that one of them may be paralyzed. Other than that all of her labs continue to look great. She is on all of her immunosuppresives and other steroids that make her a little to wild so they have had to paralyze her. If she moves too much she gets a higher blood pressure and they don't want to pop any stitches.

I keep think about the little family that has given our family this gift. My heart is full beyond any words and they will ALWAYS be in my prayers.

I am posting our family letter again because it wasn't up long before Kaidence got her heart and I know that there are many of you that I don't even know that check her blog. I want everyone to have it. Merry Christmas.

Dearest friends and family, December 2007

During this time of year we often reflect upon the many blessings that we have been given. As many of you know our family has much to be thankful for. We have been given a trial to overcome but through it we have learned so much about life and are living many of the important lessons that life lends us. We know without a doubt that this trial has been a blessing to our family as well as many others. It is our hope that we can all learn from life’s trials, because if good can come from them they will in turn bless our own lives as well as the lives of others. Trials are blessings not punishments, you just sometimes have to look a little deeper and wait a little longer to see the blessings arise.
One thing that we have learned is that despite all of the bad that we see in the world, there are many good people. People are good and most want to do good. It is not very often that we hear about all the good that people do. When we look at the world as a good place we feel that we will be more likely to radiate that good ourselves. We have been blessed by so many. We are so grateful to the many that have reached out to our family and for the many ongoing hours of service that have been so graciously given in our behalf. We have been served in so many ways and through it have taken the opportunity to continue teaching McCaden and Camden as well as ourselves about the importance of service and serving others. As this is the season of giving gifts, we thank you for the gifts of service that we have received. Our hearts have been touched by the kindness and love of others. We will forever carry with us the gift of service that you have imprinted upon our hearts.
Miracles do happen. We have witnessed this many times during our journey. Kaidence is still with us. Kaidence is our little miracle. Never before have we been in a situation where we have seen the Lord’s hand in everything that is done, until now. The spirit has guided our family and the doctors, to know what is best for Kaidence and he has provided a way to make it happen. We thank everyone for all of your many prayers that have been given. We have a bitter sweet miracle waiting to take place as we wait for a new heart for Kaidence and we give thanks to whomever it comes from for giving kaidence a new chance at life for a new year. We will hold this gift precious forever in our hearts and we will never forget. As we love and nurture Kaidence through the years we will also love and nurture the spirit of the heart that has been given in hopes that we can in a small sense give back.
Take peace in knowing that families ARE forever! Take the time to hold your loved ones a little longer. Spend more meaningful time together and remember that our Savior Jesus Christ loves and knows each one of us. Do what you can always and then he will do the rest.
We wish you the Love and Peace of the season and hope that it will be carried with you always in your hearts.
With Hope and Love,
The Stephenson’s

Mike, Shauntelle, McCaden, Camden and little Kaidence

Monday, December 24, 2007


Just a quick update. Kaidence did wonderful last night and all of her labs continue to look great. They are wanting to keep Kaidence mellow and quiet for the next few days however, Kaidence wants different. They are weening her off of her breathing tube because she is doing so well and think that she will be extubated later today. We are so happy.

My heart feels very full today. The PICU is unfortunately very busy today and I know that this is not the place that people want to be, but the hospital I know will do their best to make it special. Merry Christmas to all and we love you!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Well, Kaidence looks great. They have to keep sedating her because she tries to kick and play. She looks great and all of her vitals and labs look awesome. They seem very surprised at how great all of the numbers look. They keep saying "Did someone forget to tell her that she just had a big surgery and heart transplant?" We are so grateful that we can now look to the future. Thanks for all of your love and support.


Kaidence is all done with the surgery. The surgeon just came out and said that things went very well and that he thinks that Kaidence will do very well. They did an echo on the new heart and guess what, she had great function. I can't believe it. We get to go and see her in about 10 minutes. We can't wait. Thanks for all of your prayers. Please remember to pray for the family that gave us this gift.

We know that we have a rough road ahead, but we are one step closer to home. We will keep things posted.


Kaidence is off bypass. Still some bleeding and they still aren't sure if they will close her chest. But she is doing great they say.


Kaidence now officially has her new heart and it is beating. Part of this little child that has passed is still living on as this little heart beats. What an amazing thing to feel. Knowing that our little girl is alive because of somebody's unselfishness. I know the spirit of this other little child will live on in Kaidence. We feel such gratitude for this gift.

Kaidence is still on bypass and they still need to sew up the holes where the cannula's used to be. They said that things are going great.

To Jack's family and Ian's family. Chris and Caroline say hi!


The new heart just got here and her old heart has been taken out. We are anxiously waiting.


Kaidence is now on heart bypass and doing fine. The driver to the Berlin Heart is turned off and they are unstiching the cannula's from her heart. The new heart should be here and minute.


The first incision has been made.


Chris just came out and updated us. Nothing has really happened yet besides lines and prep. They don't think that the heart will even be here until 6:30am so we still have a long ways to go.


Well, they just took Kaidence in the OR and she seems very happy. One of the surgeons is leaving to go and pick up the heart. They will take a Lear Jet to pick it up. Thanks everyone for hanging with us during the night. The heart won't be here for a couple of hours.


It's about 2:30 am and they came and got us from our sleep room (where I really didn't sleep much). OK so I think I am officially very scared. Maybe it is because I am so tired or maybe because I knew before that it was still a ways away - maybe both. They came to get us so we could have a few with kaidence before all of the Dr's. came in. We think things are still on for 3:00am.