Evie Hermunslie

First post: Jul 22, 2022 Latest post: Jul 24, 2023

Our dear sweet Evie woke up on Monday morning with a fever.  We had planned to leave with the four oldest girls for a vacation first thing in the morning, but we delayed leaving and prayed for healing and wisdom.  Her fever responded to medicine and she felt good enough that we left.  We stayed in Madison, WI on Monday night and she woke up Tuesday with a higher fever, but we gave her medicine and decided continuing was the best plan.  Wednesday her fever was lower but she felt like she couldn't take a deep breath and had a little nausea.  She wasn't really seeming very sick and had we been at home, we likely wouldn't have even taken her to the doctor yet.  However, we wanted to get her feeling better quickly, so we took her in.  They found pneumonia in her lungs and saw some other numbers they didn't really like, so sent us to Cincinnati Children's Hospital, the number 2 pulmonary Children's Hospital in the country.  We were first seen in the ER and they thought some fluid and oral antibiotics may be all she needed.  Her health rapidly deteriorated and she was moved from ER to the PICU.  She did ok overnight on a CPAP, but her limbs were not getting circulation because her body was shutting down. She rapidly progressed through higher levels of assistance until she had to go on a heart-lung bypass machine (ECMO).  In the process of that surgery, her heart stopped and they started resuscitation efforts.  The doctors came and got us from the waiting room.  Laura and I and the chaplain sat outside her room and begged God to bring her back to life. And He did! Her heart began beating again and they were able to finish the surgery.  ECMO has tons of risks but it's the only option to give her body a break and hope to start healing.  

Laura and I unexpectedly we're able to get a room in the Ronald MacDonald house across the street from the hospital with only about two hours notice.  There is nothing we can do and the doctors were working on her all night, so we actually got some rest and thankfully did not receive a phone call overnight.

We got a good update this morning. No improvement or anything, but she is stable. Today's goal is to get a sample from her lungs late morning and test the fluid for everything imaginable. They said that they only see escalation like this once every two years or so. And they see tons of kids at this hospital. They mentioned that it's not uncommon in her situation to be on ECMO for 1-2 weeks. Every procedure and time spent on ECMO has risks, so we pray against clots, infections, bleeding, damage, etc. We pray that she will be healed and fully restored to the Evie we know, without brain damage, organ damage, etc. Psalm 41:3.  They still don't know what caused this, so finding the cause is their primary goal so that they can treat her correctly. For now, she is on broad range medicines addressing many possibilities. But they do not know why she escalated so quickly.  She tested positive for mono, but I believe that is basically a sidenote at this point and not relevant to her treatment or outcome.

Yesterday was a complete whirlwind, with God's hand and the Holy Spirit calmly guiding everything. I'm not saying we were always calm, but He is (thank you Pastor Jeff and the chaplain at the hospital for separately reminding us of that same truth - Christ is in the boat with us and His power calms the wind and waves).  Laura spent hours praying over Evie at the head of her bed yesterday while the doctors worked.  I can't believe how many people can work on one child at one time.  The expertise and care she is receiving is humbling and overwhelming.  Our trust is not in humans, but in the Almighty Creator of the universe, who gives us each breath and numbers our days. But we feel that He is using this team and their experience at this point to fight for Evie's life.  In the meantime, we pray, worship our Savior, cry, and pray and worship more.

We firmly believe God led the timing and location of our vacation and her illness to bring us here.  These were not coincidences - they were God's plan. Of course, we had hoped that he would miraculously heal her even at the beginning of her illness, but His plan is best.  Our trust and hope is in Him.  He already brought her back to life once and we are holding to the promise that he will restore her to full health.  May Evie's story cause you to not only pray for our precious girl, but cause you to run to our Savior, who is our only hope. The free gift of salvation through His death that cannot be earned is there for all who receive Him.  Only He can save Evie and only He can save us.  We will keep you updated as much as possible. Please pray for full healing. We want her back.

Ryan (and Laura)

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