Bringing Home Jack Miltenberger

Jack has lived in 3 hospitals and 1 rehab facility in three states, but has NEVER been home.

Jack was born 16 weeks early in Sioux City, Iowa. He was 1 pound 8 ounces and 12 inches long. He was a fighter from the start. His first NICU was unable to successfully extubate Jack, and suggested we transfer to a hospital that would be able to perform a tracheostomy.

We decided to transfer to a children’s hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. About two weeks after arriving in Sioux Falls, this new NICU was able to extubate Jack, and he was on CPAP for about a week. While on CPAP, Jack continued to work hard to breathe, and doctors convinced us to go ahead with the tracheostomy.

After Jack’s tracheostomy, he started having blue spells where his trachea would collapse and make it difficult for Jack to breathe. There were a few events where we nearly lost Jack, but we still had hope that we would be heading home within a few short months. Are hope came crashing down as doctors informed us that Jack had large cysts that were over inflated. They told us that eventually these cysts would burst and kill Jack instantly.

A CT scan showed that there were no cysts, but Jack was still incredibly sick. His doctors were out of ideas on how to help Jack and the vents were maxed out on support. One of his NICU doctors recalled another patient that had transferred to Nationwide Children’s and we begged them to call ASAP.  Dr. Shepard’s (Neonatologist at Nationwide)advice saved Jack’s life within an hour. Within a week we were wheels up and headed for Columbus.

Jack spent 22 months in the BPD unit at Nationwide. Jack challenged the staff mentally as they dealt with a condition they had never seen in an infant. Jack’s right lung had over expanded and shifted across his chest. There were moments that even the best doctors in the country weren’t sure what to try next, but after 22 months they were finally able to safely send us back to a rehab facility, for children, in our home state.

Jack is very close to weaning off his ventilator, and he is meeting developmental milestones left and right. He is most recently working on walking.
Jack would not be here without the dedicated staff in the BPD unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

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Jack has lived in 3 hospitals and 1 rehab facility in three states, but has NEVER been home.

Jack was born 16 weeks early in Sioux City, Iowa. He was 1 pound 8 ounces and 12 inches long. He was a fighter from the start. His first NICU was unable to successfully extubate Jack, and suggested we transfer to a hospital that would be able to perform a tracheostomy.

We decided to transfer to a children’s hospital in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. About two weeks after arriving in Sioux Falls, this new NICU was able to extubate Jack, and he was on CPAP for about a week. While on CPAP, Jack continued to work hard to breathe, and doctors convinced us to go ahead with the tracheostomy.

After Jack’s tracheostomy, he started having blue spells where his trachea would collapse and make it difficult for Jack to breathe. There were a few events where we nearly lost Jack, but we still had hope that we would be heading home within a few short months. Are hope came crashing down as doctors informed us that Jack had large cysts that were over inflated. They told us that eventually these cysts would burst and kill Jack instantly.

A CT scan showed that there were no cysts, but Jack was still incredibly sick. His doctors were out of ideas on how to help Jack and the vents were maxed out on support. One of his NICU doctors recalled another patient that had transferred to Nationwide Children’s and we begged them to call ASAP.  Dr. Shepard’s (Neonatologist at Nationwide)advice saved Jack’s life within an hour. Within a week we were wheels up and headed for Columbus.

Jack spent 22 months in the BPD unit at Nationwide. Jack challenged the staff mentally as they dealt with a condition they had never seen in an infant. Jack’s right lung had over expanded and shifted across his chest. There were moments that even the best doctors in the country weren’t sure what to try next, but after 22 months they were finally able to safely send us back to a rehab facility, for children, in our home state.

Jack is very close to weaning off his ventilator, and he is meeting developmental milestones left and right. He is most recently working on walking.
Jack would not be here without the dedicated staff in the BPD unit at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

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