1/26/15 - 11/15/15
After a very complicated pregnancy, our Alena had to make her big entrance 12 weeks early weighing 1lb 7oz and 11 1/4 inches long. She endured several medical conditions but the Central-Line Associated Bloodstream Infection she contracted was far too serious for her to overcome. In addition to being a micro-preemie, Alena was IUGR/SGA and was diagnosed with Severe Pulmonary Hypertension, Pulmonary Vein Stenosis, Chronic lung disease/Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia, ASDs, VSDs, a Bi-Cuspid Aortic Valve, Severe Pulmonary Vascular Disease, Bilateral Grade 5 Hydronephrosis, Bilateral Vesicoureteral Reflux (VUR), Gastrostomy Jejunal Dependent, Bilateral femoral vein thrombosis, Severe to Profound hearing loss, Transient Hypogammaglobulinemia of Infancy (immune issues) and other heart, lung & kidney issues.
After 253 days in the hospital and a mere 40 days at home (in 6 increments) with her family, our sweet baby girl made her way to Heaven at 9 months old. She was at three different hospitals, underwent a few surgeries and countless procedures. We couldn't be more proud of the amazing fight she fought her whole life and the fact that she did so with a smile on her face was simply unbelievable. She inspired us all so much with her incredible strength. Alena touched more lives in her short 9 months than most of us do in our full lifetimes. She had such a big personality for such a small person.
Alena was known for her precious smile, her fashionable headbands, and her fighting spirit. She enjoyed special moments spent with her parents and remarkable nurses. Alena loved watching Spongebob, kicking her dancing feet and smiling on cue for mommy’s photo shoots. So little, so loved.
"There is no foot too small that it cannot leave an imprint on this world."
Since the pregnancy, Anthony had several complications and was diagnosed with several medical issues that led us to Texas Children's Hospital. At 20 weeks of gestation during the pregnancy we discovered he was diagnosed with esophageal atresia. It's where the upper esophagus ends and does not connect with the lower esophagus and his stomach. As well as the tracheoesophageal fistula (TEF), an abnormal connection in one or more places between the esophagus and the trachea. Two weeks later he was also diagnosed with coarctation of the aorta which is a narrowing of the aorta. At about approximately 30 weeks of gestation he was diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome which was not confirmed until after Anthony passed away. On October 16, 2014, Anthony Jaxon Llanas was born at 34 weeks and weighed 4 lbs 7 oz. At the time of his birth he had been diagnosed with choanal atresia which prevented him from breathing through his nose. Then when he was about a week and a half he was diagnosed with severe immune system deficiency...his T-cells were lower than most normal babies at birth. Immediately after the first week of age, Anthony had his first surgery for the esophageal atresia and two days afterwards he had surgery for the choanal atresia. Without having the appropriate time to recuperate Anthony had his third surgery. He had bypass open heart surgery to repair the coarctation of the aorta which eventually caused his heart rate to increase and be off rhythm and was later placed on an ECHMO machine. This led to his left lung collapsing... we were not sure if it was due to the fact that his chest was left opened for nearly a week or if it was just another birth defect. The day after his bypass he was taken off the machine, but since his heart could not tolerate being off the ECHMO machine and he could not recover on his own, they had him placed on the ECHMO machine for a second time. He was then placed on a ventilator to help his lung, but his heart and lung were not cooperating. On Wednesday November 12, 2014 we got called in from the doctors telling us that his heart rate was steadily dropping and that his body was not recovering from the multiple surgeries, instead he was getting sicker and they felt there was nothing more that could be done. After hanging on for so long and after everything that was done to him he passed that day in my arms in a room full of the people that loved him. He was by far the strongest and the most beautiful baby boy I've ever met. As all parents who've dealt with a loss of a child, I wished I could of done things differently to prevent his death, but with the support of Zoey's Angels they've helped me understand that I did as much as a parent could do and that his memory is not erased if anything it has just begun.
We are saddened to hear of yet another life taken too soon, but thanks to all of our Zoey's Angels supporters, we have been able to provide a family with our first financial contribution. Though we know the financial struggles are just but a small portion of what lies ahead, our hope is to give them some relief on their journey to peace and healing. Please keep Elijah and his family in your continued thoughts and prayers.
Gracias mi pequeño Angelito, gracias por habernos elegido como tus padres, es un honor haber hospedado en nuestro hogar a un Angel de Dios, te extrañamos mucho pero entendemos que tu fuiste como una estrellita fugaz e iluminaste todo nuestro mundo y sabes mi amor esas estrellitas son tan dificiles de ver y nosotros nos sentimos afortunados porque tuvimos la dicha de verte y sentirte que aunque fue muy corto el tiempo siempre estaras en NUESTROS CORAZONES mi Amor Te amamos MI CAMPEON..."ANGEL DE JESUS IBARRA
-written by Angel's Mommy
We ask that you keep these angels and their families in your prayers.
Ava had Omphalocele and a Diaphragmatic Hernia. She spent the first 25 days of her life on ECMO (lung/heart bypass machine). After 27 days of fighting, faced multiple organ failure and was called home to be with God. For more on Ava's story, please visit: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/avasfight.