Caolán (kay-len) Andrew Carmichael was born on Friday, January 31st, 2020 at 3:56pm, tipping the scales at 3160g (6 lbs 15.5oz) and 51cm (20.1 inches) long.
As some of you already know, Caolán was diagnosed early in pregnancy with an omphalocele. This is a condition where the abdominal wall does not close completely and organs such as the liver, intestines and stomach can be outside the body in a sack (https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/omphalocele
). Immediately after birth he was evaluated by the neonatology team at Prentice Women's Hospital and transferred to Lurie Children's Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). By the end of his first day of life he was exceeding all expectations and plans were made for his first surgery.
On Sunday, February 2nd, Caolán underwent his first surgery to repair his abdominal wall (way ahead of schedule). The surgery involved opening the sack and allowing the liver, stomach and small amount of intestine to fall back into the belly. A patch made of gore-tex was then sewn over the opening. He is blessed to have a fantastic pediatric surgery team lead by Dr. Shaaban (https://www.luriechildrens.org/en/doctors/shaaban-aimen-3735/
) and they reported the surgery went very well.
On Wednesday, February 5th, Caolán had his breathing tube removed but still needed some extra oxygen through a nasal cannula.
Friday, February 7th, was a very big day. Caolán had the nasal cannula removed and has been breathing on his own every since. He also had his Anderson tube (a tube in his stomach to keep it empty) removed and he had his first taste of breast milk. He is now getting fed slowly through a nasogastric tube (tube that goes from his nose into his stomach).
Going forward, Caolán will need additional surgeries to slowly close the opening in his abdominal wall. This will be done by cutting out a small part of the gore-tex patch each time and cinching it closed. This will allow the skin and the fascia (strong tissue layer under the skin) to slowly stretch and eventually come together completely. Sometimes this can be done in just a few surgeries and sometimes it takes many.
We will continue to post updates as Caolán hits big milestones and whenever we have dates for upcoming surgeries. We cannot express how much we appreciate all the love, support and prayers from everyone during this time of new life and healing.