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Update: July 10, 2020 (Day 1)

A timeline to provide a glimpse into Milo’s eventful Day 1...

8:13 AM - Milo is born and he is quickly taken to the infant stabilization room, intubated, and temporarily stabilized. The team tells us his heart rate is great and everything went as smoothly as it could've gone.

9 AM - Sarah goes to a recovery room while Kevin goes with Milo to the NICU.

9:30 AM - Milo is placed on a ventilator and is stabilized in the sense that he is getting sufficient oxygen, but the doctors still need to normalize the oxygen pressure in his lungs and balance the CO2 and pH levels in his bloodstream. There is a downright impressive number of people helping and gathering info while everyone keeps reassuring us that Milo is doing very good all things considered.

9:40 AM - Our lead surgeon tells us he's very impressed with Milo (showing good color, air movement, etc.). He reaffirms that the diaphragmatic hernia is severe as we had prepared for, but nothing is going worse than expected. CO2 levels are still high so they will continue to try to optimize his ventilator and monitor him.

10:30 AM - CO2 volumes have lowered a tad but are still high and not optimal - so the team will adjust ventilator settings and re-evaluate again.

12:30 PM - We're told that based on an x-ray of Milo's chest, the doctors can see that some air is trapped surrounding his right lung (which is his bigger, "better" lung). This indicates a potential tear of some sort in the lung allowing air to escape and the pressure from the trapped air is squishing the lung a bit. The surgical team is brought in to place a chest tube through his rib cage to evacuate the trapped air. This tube will remain in place for a while to allow the lung to heal itself. Concern level sounds low and we're told this is fairly straightforward in these situations. Nonetheless, one of the first (of what will be many, I'm sure) speed bumps on Milo's road to recovery!

1 PM - The tube is placed successfully and all goes smoothly. They were able to evacuate the air which is helping to inflate the lung. Team will continue to monitor/make adjustments accordingly to try to get him to a good place on the ventilator.

2 PM - Milo is put on a different type of ventilator to see if it will give better results for him.

5:30 PM - Unfortunately Milo's levels are still not where they need to be, but he's doing good (numbers are trending in the right direction, just very minimally) so the doctors are not quite ready to escalate treatment to utilize ECMO. They will give Milo a different kind of medication and try new settings on the ventilator, then re-visit his numbers.

7:30 PM - It is time to face the tough reality that Milo needs to be put on ECMO for breathing support, which is only used if absolutely needed. The last check showed his CO2 levels had risen (gotten worse) although he is still physically stable. The team organizes the setup of all the ECMO equipment in Milo's NICU room and begins the process of hooking our little guy up. ECMO-specific post to follow!

9 PM - Sarah is able to get out of her recovery bed and walk to the bathroom! She is now cleared to visit Milo in the NICU (via wheelchair) with Kevin once Milo is stable on ECMO and ready for visitors again.

An eventful first day so far! Please keep Milo in your thoughts and prayers as he continues to defy the odds and shows us how unbelievably strong he is.

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From Mom

For the past week, I have been trying to write down words that I wanted to share but every time I started, I just couldn’t finish or even complete my first thought. It seems like everyone is at a loss

From Dad

Dear Milo, I wish you could grow up to see for yourself how many people love you. I wish they could tell you in person how you’ve impacted them. I wish you could’ve had the chance to spend time with W


Milo has a warriors name and won the first battle as he courageously fought his way onto earth from the comfort of his mother’s womb and won his first battle. With God and all of those that love him at his side praying for him - this little warrior has his army ready!🙏🙌


Joann Kunkel
Joann Kunkel
Jul 11, 2020

Kevin & Sarah, know that Team Milo is sending tons of prayers and love your way!!

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