September 24th, 2007 – October 21st, 2007
Not all Congenital Heart Defects are detected, and not all CHD babies survive. Ezekiel’s story is a sorrowful testament to this. He lived for only 27 days, of which the last 7 were the worst of his parent’s lives. An experience they would not wish on any other parent and an experience with which they will struggle for the rest of their lives. Thank you Tabea for writing Ezekiel’s story so that more awareness is raised about the life-changing effects of Congenital Heart Defects.
“God Shall Strengthen”
On September 24th, 2007, God blessed us with a beautiful baby boy, Ezekiel Timothy Bruce. Weighing in at 9 pounds, measuring 22 inches long, and acing his Apgar tests it seemed we had a very healthy little boy. He fed well, gained weight rapidly, and was overall a very well tempered little baby. We were able to enjoy 3 full weeks with Ezekiel before we had to unexpectedly rush him to the Emergency Room on the morning of Monday the 15th of October.
I had called my doctor’s office early in the morning as Ezekiel was having difficulty feeding throughout the night, to the point that by the early morning he didn’t want to drink at all. I had noticed that he had also seemed more sweaty than usual, though he didn’t have an increased temperature. I thought perhaps these symptoms might be a reaction to his HEP B vaccine given to him only 2 days earlier at his Well Child Check. Those with whom I spoke didn’t seem alarmed by the symptoms and said they would give me a call if they were able to schedule me for an office visit to have him checked out. An hour passed and they still hadn’t called me back, so I called again and spoke with a nurse about his symptoms. She also didn’t seem alarmed and said since they weren’t able to schedule him and that I should just go ahead and take him to Overlake hospital instead.
By this time I knew SOMETHING had to be wrong with my little boy because he was getting pale and his cry wasn’t as loud and strong as usual. As soon as my mother arrived home about 10 minutes later with a vehicle we packed him up and my sister drove as quickly as the traffic would allow to the Overlake Emergency Room.
It was during the 25 minute ride to the hospital that Ezekiel’s body just crashed — he started having difficulty breathing and became very pale, and by the time we arrived he had already stopped breathing and was slipping in and out of consciousness.
After 35 minutes the emergency team and specialists from all over the hospital, at least 30 or more of them, managed to resuscitate him and after a few hours managed to get him in a stable enough condition to transport him via ambulance to Seattle Children’s Hospital.
At this point no one knew why such a thriving 10 pound strong baby of such a healthy mother who had a fantastic pregnancy, two absolutely normal ultrasounds, an uncomplicated birth, and normal Well Child Checks, suddenly took such a turn for the worse – to the point that he would have in fact died had we arrived just a few minutes later.
At Seattle Children’s Hospital Ezekiel was admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit where they promptly did a variety of tests to figure out what in fact was wrong with our little boy.
The results finally came back that what just seemed as difficulty feeding was in fact his little heart failing due to two Congenital Heart Defects — a Coarctation of the Aorta and a Ventricular Septal Defect.
Throughout the next week they worked day and night to help Ezekiel recover from the heart failure… but it had been too much for him.
On Sunday, October 21st, our beautiful baby boy took his last breath held closely in my husband and my arms and surrounded by his loving aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
When Tim and I watched him take his first breath in my arms only a few moments after he was born we never thought that it would only be 27 days later that he would be taking his last.
We miss our sweet boy very much and pray for strength daily to get through this trial. We thank our Heavenly Father daily for the amazing month we had with Ezekiel and for the wonderful family we have in Christ to help us during this time. We believe God had a plan with Ezekiel and the time he gave us with him. We pray daily that we may be purified as gold and be a strength to others as a result of this trial in our lives. May we never take for granted each moment we are given with those whom we love.
Written and given permission to use by Tabea Bruce
If you would like to send Tabea a comment, please leave one using the contact us form and we will forward on any comments to her.
A precious Family Photo