Saturday, September 15, 2012

Their Little Soldier

~Rest In Peace, Little Guy. The World Misses You.~

Colton Micheal Palmer
May 13, 2012 - January 27, 2013

He fought a long, hard battle with a smile on his face everyday. He will never be forgotten.

The Beautiful Family! Daddy, Colton, and Mommy

Their little soldier is this cute guy in the middle! Colton Michael. He was born six weeks early and weighed in at just five pounds on May 13, 2012. Greatest Mother's Day Gift Ever! And as happy as any parent would be with a new child, it hasn't always been easy. Colton was born with a disorder called Biliary Atresia (Bill-E-ary Uh-TREE-sha). Biliary Atresia is a condition in which the bile ducts in the liver do not work correctly, causing the bile to stop flowing correctly, which causes a backup of bile. Bile is necessary for the digestion of foods, and to keep the pH level ideal for the small intestines. In his four months, he has gone through more things in his life than anyone I can think has gone through in years. He has had multiple surgeries, IV's and antibiotics, and lots of time spent in hospitals. With lots of family and friends hoping and praying for him, he has more support than his little heart will ever know.

Colton's condition was noticed in just the first few days of his life. He was extremely jaundice, so his doctor did a liver biopsy. This is what helped to diagnose him.  At three weeks old, Colton underwent the Kasai procedure. The Kasai procedure is a surgery in which the small intestines are attached to the liver directly to help with the flow of bile. Colton's bilirubin levels were multiple times higher than they were supposed to be. Normal bilirubin levels are between 0 to 0.3 and 1.9mg/dL. Colton's levels were at 6.4mg/dL. The first month of his life, he stayed at a hospital on antibiotics through IV's in his arm. They eventually moved the IV to his head, because his arm was getting really red.
The Kasai operation

All Smiles!
His first month of life was spent at the hospital. During this time, he had the two surgeries: Biopsy and Kasai procedure. He was home until last month, when he was readmitted because of a rise in his bilirubin levels. He needed his antibiotics again. Two weeks later, he was sent home with the antibiotics. About two weeks ago, he went back because of a fever, and to see why his levels went back up. He had another surgery on September 13, to double check the procedure and make sure scar tissue was not blocking anything. If there was nothing blocking it, Colton would need a liver transplant. After the surgery, this family was told that there was, in fact, scar tissue blockage, and after it was removed, there was bile flow.
This is GREAT news, because that means that four-month-old Colton Michael does not need a liver transplant!

The most amazing thing through all of this (Besides the countless amounts of family and friends supporting this family) is that Colton never lost that beautiful smile of his. Even from the very beginning, he was always smiling, and he always puts a smile on everyone's face around him. He's a strong fighter, and he has more supporters and fans than he'll ever know what to do with. :)

I think I'm his biggest fan! (Next to his parents, of course!)

*All photos of Colton and his family are courtesy of Chris and Stephanie Palmer*

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