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 mbk blog

Update: July 16, 2020 (Day 7)

Updated: Jul 20, 2020

It’s been a couple days since we last provided an update which is actually a good thing! There really isn’t too much new news besides Milo is impressing his team at Lurie’s as well as us with his steady positive progress. As we approach the 1 week mark since he joined us, we are continuously blown away at Milo’s strength and ability to keep fighting.

I was discharged from Prentice Women’s Hospital on Tuesday evening and have settled back at Kevin’s dad’s house in Lincoln Park. Wesley had an absolute BLAST at Camp Elm Grove with Nana and Grandpa O and returned to Chicago Wednesday! We are all doing good.

Each morning, we go to the NICU for the daily morning meeting with our team of specialists, nurses, and surgeons to hear how the previous day and night went with Milo. A few notes on his progress:

-Milo’s right lung has started opening up and has been developing at a great pace. We are still waiting for his left lung to open up but we know that will take the longest amount of time. Each morning, Milo gets a new chest X-ray to compare to the previous day’s image.

-Overall, Milo is utilizing his ventilator more than relying on the support provided by ECMO which is amazing! Each day is a day closer to potentially coming off ECMO.

-Milo has been moving around more each day: raising his arms, lifting his legs, and squeezing our fingers. He even seems to react to hearing things in his room, whether it’s us reading him books or just a little bit of laughter.

-Today, Milo started feedings of breast milk (!) through a new NG tube that they put in through his nose. They took the Anderson tube out of his mouth and as long as his stomach responds well to the feedings (just 1 cc of breast milk every 3 hours), then he will continue to get more and more each day to help him grow!

Below you can see Milo's new NG tube in his nose, plus the site of the incision on his belly from his surgery on Sunday. The white "patch" is what's referred to as his "silo" - and this basically allows his incision to remain open while his body adjusts to the new organ placement. Once Milo is off ECMO, they will begin to gradually shrink the silo and close the incision with a staged approach.

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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


Joann Kunkel
Joann Kunkel
Jul 17, 2020

Sweet baby Milo, what a champ! So blessed to have such amazing parents❤️


Jul 17, 2020

What a fighter sweet Milo is -- with the most amazing parents and family with him every step of the way! Kevin and Sarah -- thank you for sharing these updates with us. You are doing an incredible job explaining everything. Know that the prayers and positive energy continue. God bless all of you - but especially precious Milo Bradner Kunkel - the warrior!


Milo the warrior! He is winning battles right and left and is a true hero. You have a wonderful army of support in the hospital, family and friends who are all praying for Milo and all of you daily. 🙏🙌


what a little sweetie!! Keep up the good work Milo!

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