May 8, 2002 - Erin Ocampo's chart has been approved. He will be admitted on June 28, 2002. He is going to Deborah Heart and Lung Center, NOT Montefiore.
Visa letters will be written and sent in the next few days.
June 4 - They will fly June 24.
June 7 - The medical certificate from Deborah Heart and Lung Center is on its way.
June 18 - Visas were issued by the US Embassy. Erin and mom Nimfa will be on board NWA on June 24. Erin's sponsor club is Wayne Rotary Club and they will be hosted by Mike and Hilary Kurzer.
June 22 - Erin and mom Nimfa will be on board NWA flight no. 72 on June 24, 7:00 AM (Phil. time). They are expected to arrive at the Newark International Airport on June 24, Monday, at 3:18 PM (New Jersey time).
June 24 - Postponed flight. Erin and mom Nimfa were not allowed to travel by the airport doctor early this morning. Phone call and fax letter from Erin's physician that Erin is fit to fly were not honored by the airport clinic. He and his mom Nimfa who were supposed to travel at 7AM today, were not allowed to fly by NWA because the NAIA doctor did not give them a clearance and insisted that they have a policy that a certification from the attending physician that Erin is fit to fly should be furnished. The airport clinic did not honor the explanation and request of Dr. Emmy Collado, Erin's doctor, who called them on the phone. No one knows about this new requirement because all of our children who travelled in the past were not required to submit the certification. All sick passengers should have been informed beforehand. Nimfa, so exhausted because of lack of sleep, has to go to the Phil. Heart Center, to have Dr. Collado sign the form that NWA has given her.
NWA has rebooked them for tomorrow's flight at 7AM. They are expected to arrive at the Newark Intl Airport on June 25, Tuesday, at 3PM, via flight no. 072.
Until today we have learned that in the Philippines, it's much easier for a businessman to get a
Visa and carry through the flight to the US than for A CHILD with Congenital Heart Disease.
June 25 - Nimfa, Erin's mother wrote: "Finally NWA accepted us to board their plane. The flight has been long and tiring and the prescribed medicine that put him to sleep helped a lot. There were times during the flight that he had difficulty breathing when he was awake and it made me really nervous. After 20 hours or so, we finally arrived at Newark Airport and met by a group of people from Rotary with a 'Gift of Life' sign and our host, Mike Kurzer. Erin and I went home with him and met the rest of his family, his wife Hilary and sons Joshua 3 yrs old and Benjamin 18 mos. They were very good to us. Erin enjoyed so much because they have so many toys in the house."
June 26 - By Mike Kurzer from Erin's hosting family in New Jersey, U.S.
"After a 24 hour delay, Erin and his mom Nimfa finally arrived safely in Newark, NJ yesterday afternoon. This morining we brought Erin and Nimfa down to Deborah Hospital for some preliminary tests."
"Unfortunately, Erin was exhausted and not very cooperative so the doctors thought it best to let him relax for a day and try again tomorrow. Once they complete the tests, they will schedule his surgery. The surgery will probably be either Friday of this week or early next week. Erin and his mom will be staying in the hospital until after he recovers from his surgery." /Mike
June 26 - By Erin's mother:
"Mike told us that Erin will be admitted in the hospital today instead of on the 28th. So I repacked all my things again because they may keep Erin in the hospital until after the surgery. When we were in the hospital they made a few tests on him and Erin really cried a lot. The nurses were so good to him, thanks to Linda, Sarah and Debrah. There's a playroom in the hospital and Erin loved to stay there so much."
June 27 - Erin's mother Nimfa Ocampo continues:
"Starting 4am, Erin was not allowed to eat anything because he will unedrgo a series of tests today in preparation for the surgery. Around 6am he woke up asking for his milk. Since I could not give him anything, he cried a lot then I brought him in the playroom, it made him busy and forgot about food."
"I talked to his surgeon Dr Lynn McGrath and discussed the procedures with his anesthesiologist. He was sedated in order for them to do the 2D Echo. They were hoping that he
will still be groggy for the other tests to be done but Erin was fighting the medicine off and cried a lot. They were doing kidney ultrasound and his oxygen level really dropped so they had to wait for him to be stable before continuing with the test. He also underwent chest x-ray and Chris (another nurse) brought an oxygen tank with him in the x-ray room just to be sure in case Erin would have spells again. Fortunately, he did well even with the crying. After that, Erin was allowed to eat again and was given fries and banana which he ate voraciously. He went to sleep due to exhaustion."
June 28 - Surgery day. "He was not allowed to eat anything since 7am this morning. He woke up and asked for food so I had to keep him distracted. We played all morning and clean him up before the operation. They made him sleep around 11am and took him to the OR around 12nn. Surgery will be for 3 hours."
June 28, 2002, 23:20:01 (Eastern Standard Time). Host Mike Kurzer wrote:
"Erin had his surgery today. Nimfa is able to access a computer from the hospital so I'll let her e-mail you the news but I will tell you it's good news."
"Erin's Aunt was there and she had borrowed a digital camera and took some pictures which she will try to get over to you next week when she returns home."
June 28 - Erin's mom Nimfa continues: "Here's another update. I want to keep myself busy rather than worry :( Around 4pm the surgery was done but we're not allowed to go down in the ICU
yet. Around 6:30pm, Mike (my host family), my aunt and I saw Erin and as
expected from what Jenny told us he's got lots of tubes connected. The pictures of Dajed helped a lot. They told us that Erin was a very sick boy
but the surgery was done successfully."
"Thanks to Dr. McGrath. I felt very light at that moment. I felt that a heavy burden was lifted. After that
the nurses insisted on my getting some rest because once he was out of ICU
I'll need all the strength I can get."
June 29 - "I visited Erin again this morning around 7am and the nurses in the ICU told
us that they were kept busy by Erin the whole night because his blood
pressure was going up and down. I felt so down again and have to call my
husband just to hear his voice and encouragement. I really need that."
"I went down again around 11am and so far his condition was stable for 4
hours. Please keep on praying for Erin. I don't have internet access here so I'm
not sure what's on the site right now." /Nimfa
June 29, Saturday 2002 21:44:59 (Eastern Standard Time)
"Around 6pm Dr. Giddins came up to my room and told me that they have to open
Erin's chest because the pressure is building up. It is not another surgery
but they will literally open his chest to be done in the pediatric ICU and
not in the OR. I was really depressed. The other patient's parents here
(we more or less know each other here in the unit) told me that they are
going to pray for Erin."
"By 8 pm they called me to go see Erin in the ICU and they told me that Erin
was responding well. His blood pressure is great and he is warm unlike
earlier when his hands and feet are cold. His chest is covered with a gold
material to avoid infection."
Members of supporting Wayne/Pompton Lakes Rotary Gift of Life, regularly visit Deborah Hospital to give strength to Erin Ocampo's mother Nimfa.
June 30 - Erin's mom Nimfa continues: "I lost track of time here so I don't really know at what hours i visited Erin, but the first time i saw him today his temperature was high so he has lots of ice in his head to lower his temperature. After that it went to normal again. After some time when I came back this time there was a warmer beside him because he is cold. I am really getting worried because of all this developments. The nurse also told me that he is not urinating as much as he is expected to. Right now they are still talking to kidney specialist on what to do about it. They are still deciding on whether to put a catheter or not. The last time I visited him everything was normal though his chest is still open."
Efforts for Lifesaving, in International Cooperation, by BOES.ORG Children's Rights Across the World (based in Scandinavia), and Rotary International District 7490, Gift of Life, U.S.
Deborah Heart & Lung Center, NJ
Surgery sponsoring Rotary Club:
Wayne/Pompton Lakes Rotary Gift of Life