Topic: For Confessed Coot. 24 years ago, my son was born and less
Replies: 38   Last Post: Jan 15, 2015 10:14 AM by: 1portroyalty
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For Confessed Coot. 24 years ago, my son was born and less

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 8:25 PM

than 30 minutes later he was put on a ventillator, then a jet ventillator, then rushed from Greenville to Richland Memorial in Columbia to be put on an invasive proceedure called ECMO. The surgeon called me( I stayed in Greenville with my wife who had just had a C-Section, in the event my son did not make it. He had to have at least an 80% mortality rate before they would even try the proceedure) and told me that my son's heart had stopped beating for 14 seconds on the way to Columbia ( it also stopped again during the proceedure,ECMO, to put him on basically heart lung by pass at 30 hours of age) and that his chance of survival was less than 1 in 1,000. She added that if he did survive, he could have poor motor skills, poor mental capacity, and loss of hearing. Many churches prayed for him and my wife and myself. Many, many people came to Columbia from Powdersvill to pray with us. And I mean many people.

Well, just before Christmas, he graduated from Clemson in Mechanical Engineering ( some of you may have seen his senior project on the evening news in Greenville or perhaps the front page of the Greenville News). And, this past weekend my wife and I went with him to Florence to help him move in an apartment as he started his first job at RBC Bearings in Hartsville. He is a modern day miracle and the answer to untold numbers of prayers lifted up in his behalf. Miracles do happen!

If some of you are in the area, I hope you will welcome him to the neighborhood.


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God bless him and hope he

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 8:29 PM

continues to have a long successful life.

That's fantastic, Spud. Congrats!***

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 8:41 PM

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"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard."
- H. L. Mencken

Thank you Spud and Praise the Lord!!

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 8:43 PM

Something got in my eye reading that. I bet you have a special appreciation for every little moment with him. That is awesome!

I have no idea what The Lord has for Parks or his family through this but hearing these stories does wonders for all of us pulling so hard for him.

God Bless,

South Carolina baseball since 1975: 31 NCAA Tournament appearances including a streak of 14 straight / 12 Super Regional appearances/ 11 College World Series berths / 5 National Championship game appearances / National Champions in 2010 and 2011. The Gamecocks hold 3 NCAA records for postseason success: The most consecutive NCAA tournament wins (22) / The most consecutive wins in the College World Series (12) / The most consecutive home NCAA tournament wins (29).
Since 1992 The Gamecocks have competed in the SEC and have 4 SEC titles / 1 SEC tournament title / 7 SECE titles.

Re: For Confessed Coot. 24 years ago, my son was born and less

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 8:51 PM

Wonderful story, Spud. Makes you wonder if God has a specific purpose in life for Spud jr.


Another father here....

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 8:52 PM

....whose son is still alive today, 19 years later, thanks to ECMO. Those wonderful doctors and nurses at Richland Memorial saved his life.

He, also, was given little chance to survive and a probability of many lifelong issues if he did.

Our family also had the support of literally hundreds of people praying for him constantly.

Miracles happen & prayer works. My son was completely healed and became a great student, athlete, and person with no lasting effects from his complications at childbirth (other than some asthma, which he outgrew around age 10).

He is also a freshman at Clemson this year, of which I am probably most proud.

Yep. I was scared to death he may not ever walk. They

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:35 PM

painted a pretty grimm picture. Said he may have poor math skills, poor motor skills,etc. He learned to ride a unicycle in the third grade in three days. Ole Spud would still be trying!

I am very thankful for Dr. Pai who got him on the machine. At the time, there had only been 3,000 such proceedures done in the US. had he been born about two years earlier, he would not have survived. ECMO had not been created as yet.

He's a good boy. Well, young man. Just finished his first hump day as a full time employee!!

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Re: Yep. I was scared to death he may not ever walk. They

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:53 PM

Wow I'm 29 and a family doc, and I had no idea ecmo was around that long ago. Definitely an amazing technology that has saved many lives. Great story

Clemson University Class of 2007
UNC-CH SOM Class of 2011
Life's Journey is not to arrive at the Grave Safely in a Well Preserved Body. But Rather to Launch Airborne, Land Hard, Slide in Sideways, Totally Worn Out and Thrashed, Screaming "Holy Shit What a Ride!!!"

Fantastic success story..and you Spud are 1 BiG TaLL Tater!

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:56 PM

LOL...and GoTiGERS Everywhere!

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To All CLEMSON TiGERS..Sending you Bright Light from the Carolina Coast and hoping you get to witness a huge Orange sunset tonight. Go Tigers!

When your 12 hour old son is on a jet ventilator, pumped so

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 10:25 PM

full of morphine that he cannot move and fight the machine, receiving 400, yep 400 breaths per minute, and they tell you it will have to get worse to try a new proceedure called ECMO, it is hard for a young father to take. When they tell you, your son has burst a hole in his lungs, and they are having to hand bag him at over 5 times the normal pressure in his lungs just to keep him breathing, it is tough. When you have to answer the phone, because you stayed in Greenville to comfort your wife if you got bad news, it is almost unbearable to pick it up and say hello. I hope none of you ever have to experience that!

I remember praying and saying, Lord , I will be glad when we are 20 years down the road!

..............................Time flies!

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Dr. Bartlett cannulated the first ECMO pt successfully in

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 5:58 AM

1976 in MIchigan. It was a Meconium Aspiration Syndrome pt, which is the patient population with the least mortality. I was taught that if that had went bad, it may had set back the program for years, but since it had a good outcome, that they continued cannulating and researching to refine it.

So ECMO has been around for some time, but it was not in these parts for years and years later, and if Spud is saying 26 years ago, that would put it at 1988 that it was in this area. I could definitely see that. I worked at Wake Forest, and our ECMO program was about that old, starting in the mid-late 80's.

Now, some 38 years later, some centers are doing ED ECMO for cardiac arrest patients, hypothermic patients, lots of adult ECMO in ARDS patients, etc...


Yep. 24 years ago. They could not or would not do it on

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 8:08 AM

adults back then because they said it was too stressful I believe. There is nothing like watching a heart monitor, and an Oxygen Sat monitor back and forth for 9 days.There is nothing like watching them do a brain scan EVERY day to see if his brain is hemorraging, and if so, he has to come off the ECMO machine at once....and hope he can make it.

But, partner, when they start cranking that machine down and the Oxygen Sats stay at 95% or better...........It IS SOME kind of Wonderful.

Fellas, thanks for all the responses. I have enjoyed telling all of you about this. It was a hard time, and I remember thinking that every day I had with my son would be gravy. Well, 24 years worth of gravy so far. It has been great.

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Re: Yep. 24 years ago. They could not or would not do it on

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 8:28 AM

Adult ECMO has just became more accepted in the last few years. When H1N1 was going around a couple of years ago, it was not uncommon to have 4 pumps going, which is all we have + and emergency one that has to stay available for obvious contingency plans for a pump failure.

I am glad that it all worked out for you guys. It is a great story!


When my son went on the machine, there was only one in South

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 8:38 AM

Carolina. Well, actually two, both at Richland, but it took so many people to staff it around the clock that they could not afford it. And, he had to wait for another patient to come off the machine first. Unbelievably, the other patient was the grand daughter of a Mr. Curt Watson, a gentleman from Powdersville, who I bought 65 acres from and developed the subdivision I live in now, Watson Grove.

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Re: When my son went on the machine, there was only one in South

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 8:45 AM

It still is a huge effort. Two surgeons to cannulate and a doc around the clock to manage, and then a nurse to take care of the patient, and then a nurse, perfusionist, or RT to manage the pump itself.

The technology is better, pumps are better, centrifugal vs servo, oxygenators are much smaller and more effecient, the risks of microclotting, albeit still existent, a much lessor risk. It's come a long way for sure, but 20+ years later, it is still the sickest of the sick that go on it.


$250.00 worth of Hepernin every morning.......I wonder

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 8:56 AM

what it costs now....not that it would matter...

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Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:01 PM

Thanks for sharing....I know you are enormously thankful. God is good and gracious beyond description.

Re: For Confessed Coot. 24 years ago, my son was born and less

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:22 PM

Such a great testimony! Love to hear stories like these!

Spud and Spud Jr. (pic)***

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:35 PM

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OK, here's the pic

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:45 PM

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Glad to hear that. Had a child on ecmo for almost a week

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:48 PM

and it didnt end that way. Still was worth a shot. Crazy machine. Never heard of such a thing before and cant believe it was around 24 years ago. It was only 11 years ago for us.

I am sorry to hear that. It was the hardest 9 days of my

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 10:00 PM

life. When he came back to Greenville he was in ICU or I guess PICU for 45 days. He had a vegitaion on his lungs that required 40 days of IV antibotics. He went through every vein he had with percucaths( I think). Kept blowing his veins with the antibiotics.

I am convinced the Good Lord was with us. I am also convinced, that every doctor, nurse, lab tech,etc. did everything in their power to save him and I will be eternally grateful for all the years they spent studying to practice their craft.

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Re: Glad to hear that. Had a child on ecmo for almost a week

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 2:17 AM

Very sorry to hear that. Thank you for sharing. For every celebration of someone beating the odds, there are many more who did not. May the grace and mercy of the Lord be with you.


Re: For Confessed Coot. 24 years ago, my son was born and less

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 9:58 PM

Spud, You just made this old tiger's day. Congratulations to you and your son.
Go Tigers.

Awesome story.***

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 10:37 PM

Awesome story Spud! We are expecting our first grandson in

Posted: Jan 14, 2015 11:52 PM

two months ( about dang time ) and we pray for a healthy child, but none of us know God's plan. We just have to accept that He knows best. He obviously had something in mind for your son! I know he has something in mind for Parks, and for our sake we pray that it is many more years of good health. For Parks sake, we know he will be in good hands!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!***

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 12:51 AM


This was the first post I read on TNet today, and what an

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 5:07 AM

uplifting story!

Thanks for sharing and best wishes to your son as he begins a new chapter in his life.

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I like these kinds of stories

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 5:44 AM

I have worked neonatal transport teams for years, I have sat for 12 hours for days and days watching blood go around an ECMO circuit, and I now fly with a program in NC and work with all patient populations, from cradle to grave. I (we) often see the bleak side of things and only see the patient at their worse, and once the child gets off pump, or leaves the NICU, or the adult trauma patient leaves the ER/ICU, we no longer know what happens to them. The only outcomes that we see, are the bad ones, and there are a lot of them. It is easy to get discouraged, jaded, burned out because often times you wonder if you really are making a difference, so hearing a story like this, truly is a blessing for me personally. It lets me know that sometimes we actually do make a difference. So thank you for posting this.


My niece is a trauma Nurse, and she also gets

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 7:10 AM

depressed at times, seeing so much suffering, and sometimes the worst outcomes. God Bless you and her, and all those like you who have the intestinal fortitude to continue to do this. Families of those you care for always appreciate your efforts, even if they are too caught up in their own situation to always tell you so. It takes a special sort of person to be able to do what you do, and I Salute You.

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Re: My niece is a trauma Nurse, and she also gets

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 8:38 AM

Thank you for the kind words. It is a huuuge team effort, and we do fight like heck for everyone. I think we all take it personal at some level.


I could not do your job. I sincerely believe it is a

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 7:56 AM

"Calling" to work in this field. Went my son burst that hole in his lungs in Greenville, they transported him to Columbia in an ambulance at 95 miles an hour. Dr. Filado(sp) one of the neonatologists rode with them. My sons heart stopped beating for 14 seconds and Dr. Filado revived him.( His heart stopped again in surgery). I am certain that if he had not made that trip with my son, he would not have survived. At the time, 1990, Dr. Pai told me that Paul Bryan,my son, was the sickest baby they had had in the NICU that year. That was October 31st,1990. WHen he underwent the ECMO proceedure, she told me over the phone that she thought he had less than a 1 in 1,000 chance of surviving. She said she would call me in an hour or so. When that phone rang in my wifes room back at Greenville Memorial, picking it up to answer it was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But, I did, and when I said,"Hello", Dr. Pai blurted out," he's Pink!!!!". Those were the two best words I have ever heard, rating right up there when my wife of 32 years said,"I do!"

I just want to tell you and your cohorts...WHAT YOU DO MATTERS GREATLY! Even if the outcome is not like mine was. At least the people who are hurting can have the comfort of knowing everything that could be done was done. And, I for one am grateful.

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Re: I could not do your job. I sincerely believe it is a

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 8:35 AM

I did not expect emotion from reading T-net this morning. It makes my eyes water to hear it. Thank you! I think you block out the bad stuff until you hear something good, and then the emotion pours out. Your story is an inspiration to me, so thanks again.


Spud...that is a wonderful story. My story doesn't end well

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 7:45 AM

It could be long but one Sat. my wife and I were talking and she went to the bathroom and came out with a look on her face. We decided to go to the hospital we were using and two days later, she had emergency surgery. Our daughter died twice after surgery and she was rushed to CMC in Charlotte. She stayed there for 18 days and we were given a choice. If we took her off life support, we would lose her. If we left her on, we would still lose her. We just didn't know when. She lasted about 45 minutes and my dream of a loving family ended. God blessed us with a wonderful son 18 months later. He fills a huge void in our life but it is still empty in so many ways. We will pass by cementary's and he would say "there's sissy".

Anyway, I love hearing stories involving little kids where the outcome is so much better. Brings a tear to my eye.


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I fully understand. Many hours were spent thinking what life

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 8:45 AM

would have been like if he had not survived. He is named Paul Bryan Black II, after my father. It would have been tough. And you just never know what is going to happen. When he survived, they said he was the sickest baby they had had in the Richland NICU that year,and that babies that were not nearly as sick as he was had not survived.I told my father at the time, I thought PB had survied for something special; and my father said, "Yep, and it may be as simple as being a good father himself". I hope I have been a good one for him.

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Re: I fully understand. Many hours were spent thinking what life

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 9:09 AM

I can relate to your story. My son although not as sick as yours spent 11 days in picu. He was premature and had severe acid reflux. He just turned 8 in August and has outgrown everything but the asthma. It's not as bad as it was. So yes God is Good and prayers do work. Go Tigers.

Spud - you took me back. Wow we have similar stories....

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 9:10 AM

1992 my son was delivered by emergency c-section with group b strep. Spent 2 weeks in Lexington Medical center under the care of Sandra Pi. We thought he was out of the woods....

In November he's making funny noises breathing. We take him to ENT who uses a fiber optic score to look at his airway. Dr. comes out in shock. "I have only read about this, never seen it. His windpipe is almost closed due to a birth defect, I could do it, but it is really out of my league. Without immediate surgery, he won't survive". He sent us to Children's in Cincinnati (Dr. Robin Cotton)where he had a ringed trachea (round cartilage on his windpipe, it is supposed to be C shaped) and something called a "pig bronchus" (airway started branching early, then stopped)repaired. He was the main attraction of all the medical students and his case was included in a textbook about airway disorders. We had family and friends who flew and drove to Cincinnati to support and pray for us. We even had friends of friends in Cincinnati help us out. We were there through thanksgiving and came home the week before Christmas.

We went back every year until he was 18.

When he was 18, the surgeon asked permission to meet him, as he had always been under anesthesia when he was there. I said of course. He then informed my son that he was the longest living survivor of what was at the time, experimental surgery, and the Dr. wanted to meet a survivor. They had an amazing conversation, where my he was going to college, etc.

Fast forward to May 2014 - my son graduated from Clemson with a Bachelors in Corporate finance. When he had graduated, he had already accepted a position with Deloitte in Risk Management.

He is proof of the power of prayer, love and family and that indeed miracles happen.

Spud, congratulations on the success of your son and you guys as parents. Thanks for you story and for putting up with mine.

Dr. Pi was a special lady. Richland was a great hospital. My

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 9:19 AM

mother and mother in law, in their fifties at the time( my age now) took off from Greenville in the middle of the night to be with PB in Richland. When they arrived at the hospital, a gentleman met them at the front door and asked, " Are you the Black child's grandparents?", and then ,"Follow me, I will take you to him". Dr. Pi cut a lock of my son's hair and gave it to his grandmother....She did not think he would survive. Amazingly, one forgets all of this stuff, but writing about it last night and this morning, little tid bits come back to life.

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Re: Dr. Pi was a special lady. Richland was a great hospital. My

Posted: Jan 15, 2015 10:14 AM

She was indeed, I will never forget her kindness and compassion.

Awesome story, I can't tell you how much I appreciate your sharing it and indulging in the telling of mine.

God bless you and your family.

Go Tigers!

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