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Cameron’s Story

Cameron Edward Ulrich was born on June 15th, 2006 with a complex congenital heart defect. 
He is a brave boy who endured so much but always managed a smile.

Cameron was born with a condition called "situs invertus" or “heterotaxy” where the abdominal organs in the body were reversed (organs from the right on the left and left on the right). This condition is not in and of itself detrimental; however, only 2 of the 4 chambers of the heart had inverted (atrial-ventricular discordance). Also, Cameron had both arteries leading out of the heart on the right chamber instead of one out of each chamber (double outlet right ventricle). This would lead to no way for the heart blood to flow out of the left side of the hear texcept for the hole “vsd” that was between the 2 lower chambers of the heart.These physical defects appeared to be what lead to a 2:1 heartblock where half the heart was beating at 130 and half at 65 beats per minute and was what the doctors originally discovered that helped us discover his condition. Cameron had a pacemaker and pulmonary banding surgery at 12 days old to give him sometime to grow before he was supposed to have another surgery (double switch) to correct the physical structure of the heart. He was able to go home after 3 ½ weeks in the hospital.

On January 4, 2007 Cameronhad a heart catheterization to take measurements and help doctors plan his next surgery. As of March 2007 the results of his cath showed that he would probably not need surgery (double switch) until he was 8-10 years old.  He lived a pretty normal life attending pre-school/school and playing with his sister, Sydney.  On June 29, 2011 Cameron had his pacemaker generator replaced.  This was to last at least 10 years.

On April 17, 2012 Cameron had a CT angiogram done for planning for surgery.  Unfortunately, a week later he was hospitalized for decreased heart function making corrective surgery impossible.  We sought some opinions and decided to work with Boston Children’s Hospital.

On August 7, 2012 Cameron had a bi-ventricular pacemaker placed (in Boston) for CRT therapy (basically a way to help the heart remodel itself in hopes of gaining better function).  It was discovered that his old leads from the old pacemaker were pinching off parts of his coronary artery thus causing ventricular dysfunction.  While surgery went well, recovery did not probably due to the low function of his heart.  On August, 8 (our 14th wedding anniversary) Cameron suddenly coded and required CPR for 2-3 minutes.  It took three weeks to recover before he returned home at the end of August 2012. He attended first grade for about a month when his health declined and he was hospitalized again.   On October16, 2012 he was transferred to Saint Marys Hospital at the Mayo and was listed for a heart transplant status 1A on October 22, 2012. 

On October 29, 2012 Cameron fell while returning to bed which started a series of four different codes.  He ended up being placed on ECMO (life support).  As a result of the CPR he suffered a mild/moderate stroke which affected his left side.  He rallied back and was able to be extubated while still on ECMO (Mayo record).  He waited for 7 long months on ECMO (199 days which is well beyond the world record of 117 days).  While on ECMO he did his best to stay strong with daily therapy including walking!

On May 15, 2013 in the nickof time he received his donor heart. Again he rallied and worked hard to get better.  His health had significantly declined duringthis ordeal and he had many issues including an aortic tear that had to be repaired. He was in kidney failure as well as having many other issues.  On July 31, 2013 he stopped breathing in his sleep and was unable to be resuscitated due to the extensive damage the ECMO had done to his body.  He is our brave warrior angel and will be missed until we meet in heaven again.


Latest Journal Update

New Journey

The Ulrich's are embarking on a new journey.  In a few short months we will be moving to Bern, Switzerland for 2 years for a new job opportunity through Rob's employer, 3M.  We are excited to start a new chapter but sad that Cameron can't be here to share this excitement with us.  We are also very busy but would like to extend an invitation to everyone to come say farewell.  The link to the event is http://www.evite.com/event/03A3KODV4GB4OADJOEPE3R67B37TPI .  Everyone is welcome and please share the link with anyone we may have missed.  We have so many friends, it's hard to keep up!  The party is just a week after Cameron's 2nd heart transplant anniversary and 3 weeks before his 9th birthday. We hope to celebrate Cameron at the party as well since you all shared in his life one way or another.  We love you all and are glad to continue to share our lives with you.
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8 Comentarios

Cheryl Olofson
By Pete and Cheryl
Kari, as I have told you before Pete and I are very happy for you that you get a chance to flip a page and start that new chapter, whatever it is and where ever it may lead. The one constant here is, God is with you today, tomorrow and always. Have no fear little flock.

I am so sad, first of all, for not having had the chance to celebrate Cams life at his funeral (we were in Canada) and now we will once again miss a second chance to celebrate his 9th birthday. Our hearts and thoughts will indeed be with you that day. We love your family and wish nothing but the best. God bless and keep you always and if it be His plan, return you to us, your family at Oak Hill.
kathy van heel
By kathy van heel
oh my goodness, what a big move that will be for all of you. We wish you all the best in your travels. we think about your family often and keep you in our prayers always. congratulations on the new job Rob. take care and keep in touch.
Mary Myers
By Mary Divine — last edited
What amazing news! Congrats on the new adventure. I often think of Cameron. Know he is not forgotten. All the best, Mary Divine
Leeanne Grether
By Leeanne Grether
I, too, am excited for you to be on this new venture in Switzerland. I will keep praying for you. As a member of the Valley Creek Woodbury Lutheran Church, I know that wherever you go you will be missed, loved and prayed for. I believe as Nancy Thaemert expressed that God does have his hand in this!! God Bless and care for you!!!
Nancy Thaemert
By Nancy Thaemert
We are so excited for your family with this new venture. You will be missed at Oakhill, but you will have us all praying for you. God has a hand in this, no doubt! Please stay in touch while away in Switzerland!
Carol Esterley-Ruff
By Carol Esterley-Ruff
You will be taking all of us with you as we Pray you on your way. Good luck and Godspeed.
Donna Craig
By Donna Craig
Good luck on your new journey. Will continue praying for you.
1 person hearted this
Judi Strobel
By Judi Strobel
Good Luck in your new adventure. God Bless you all.
1 person hearted this