Sunday, March 6, 2011


I wanted to lay a few things out. Most of it you can put together in the posts.


5:40 pm Text from Julie: 'I need you home! I have no time to get ready!' i.e life is very normal at this point. Julie was going out to dinner with her girlfriends to celebrate her 31st birthday March 2.
6:30 The girls are at Cedars of Lebanon sitting down and ordering appetizers. I am at the greatest Mexican resturaunt in the world Barbacoa with Dan Kormylo and the twins warding off looks that people are giving us as they think we are the token gay couple...just kidding.
6:45 Julie Peterson is giving a killer belly dance performance for the Girls at dinner as they receive their appetizers
7:30 Dan comes over to hang out and catch up. "How are you holding up bro?" I tell him that I am fine and we are sort of used to the way of life we are in. The transplant list is in the back of my mind.
7:44 Missed call from Julie
7:45 Missed call from Julie
7:45 at Home Julie calls. "Dave! I got the call. They have lungs for me." "Shut up" I say. "Im serious" "Okay, well get home. What do you want me to do? Julie....Do you want me to pack? What do you want me to pack? JULIE?" "What? Sorry um I dunno just some clothes I guess."
8:30 Arrival and admittion
9:30 On our way up to 5202 to get prepped
9:45 Anesthesiologist and Resident come in to prep us and access her
10:00 Julie does her last Albuterol with CF lungs and we ask for Pulmocort and Servent (never ended up doing them)
10:20 Nurse comes in and says to us Julie needs to take a shower and be in the OR in 10 minutes
10:28 Julies Dad and I give her a priesthood blessing
10:40 Julie starts to really calm down and submit to what is going on. Still nervous but collected and calm
11:15 Dr. Craig Selzman comes in to see Julie and talk to her about her surgery. He is very confident and is warmed up. He had done a Heart transplant earlier that evening.
11:25 Julies last CF cough that sounds like she has a jar full of grape jelly in her lungs
11:35 Versed to the rescue. Julie starts talking off subject about 40 seconds after they administer and she is wheeled into the OR


Between 12:00 and 1:00 am They do a broncoscope and suction Julies lungs and evaluate how well the opposite lung will exchange gasses on its own for the whole body. Julie's left lung is keeping her CO2 levels at a good level so it looks like they will not have to do bypass
1:14 am First incision is made
Between 1:30 and 2:30 they are getting ready to extract the right lung and CO2 levels rise 2 different times. On the second time they rise it is clear to Dr. Selzman and the team that bypass is going to be the safer route for Julie. High CO2 levels can cause brain damage, and it can stop your respiratory drive.
Around 2:48 Julie is put on bypass
Around 3:15 Julie's Right Lung is removed
Around 3:43 Julie's Left Lung is removed as I am talking with the CCRN on the phone
One of the lungs is a little harder to remove than the other. Because of all the infection they are very sticky. The upside is they came out whole and didn't rupture.
Around 4:45 Julie's left lung (I think) is transplanted
Around 5:15 they are sewing up the bronc sp? to the tracea
Around 6:00 Julie's right lung is transplanted
Around 7:20 they are attaching the chest drainage lines (4)
8:00 to 9:00 they are sewing Julie up
9:30 Julie is on her way to SICU for the "Hour of love" where they are drawing labs and monitoring just about everything you could think of to help stabilize her.
10:30 We see our Sweet Julie for the first time. I notice that her nails and lips are more pink than I have ever seen them. She doesn't have the dark pink/purple look I am so used to.
Julie responds very slightly but quickly to my request to squeeze my hand.

Every hour after that she has gotten more and more strong. She is definitely coming back to a typical cystic patient speaking or in this case scribbling her mind. Those of you who have cared for her over the years know exactly what I mean. When I came back from my nap she was actually writing more. They want her to rest tonight and we are hopefully going to be strong enough to take her of the breathing tube tomorrow. When I whispered in her ear when I got back here she turned away with a bit of a scowl. I asked her if my whisper blew her eardrum; she nodded. I laughed because this is so typical of Julie. Her ears are sensitive to sound because of one of her antibiotics she has taken over the years. She had a hell of a time later around 5:30 trying to tell us to turn off the light. She kept pointing up, so I would give her the pencil to write with. She pointed to her eye very slowly despite her hands being loosely tied to the bed. I took the pencil and she made a writing motion with her hand and quickly snatched the pencil out of my hand...she's back. Once we realized it was the lights I couldn't believe I didn't think of it. She always wants the lights dim, even at home. It's kinda hard to sleep despite having sedation when you have a search light on your face! I went to get a snack and then to eat dinner during shift change from 7:00 to 8:30. When I came back her new nurse told me she wrote that she was too loud and she needed a swab in her mouth. I love that she is taking charge of her care and she is 90% knocked out; it is classic Julie to take the bull by the horns. Her nurse from the day told me that those who are a little more spunky like her tend to recover better because they have so much fight in them; even if its with the staff!

Lastly, tonight when the RT came in to do some nebs for Julie, she had to change the pressure support. I don't know the in's and out's but it required more effort on Julie's part to breathe. She was trying to write to me that it was hard to breathe and the RT informed her she was starting a TOBI neb. She is allergic to inhaled TOBI and she started to wave her hand no with
a very stern concerned look on her face. I remembered her allergy and we looked at the chart. Dr. Cahill had made a direct order. These were not her lungs and therefore were not allergic. As the RT was gone to confirm the order, I think Julie thought she was receiving the neb and was feeling the strain to breathe because of the change on the vent. She started to cry out of fear and kept writing that she couldn't breathe. I yelled into the hall, "Can you get the RT?!" The secretary asked me what was wrong. "Just get the RT or an RN!" Someone came right in and explained what was going on with the vent. I assured Julie of all the details of her vitals; O2 was at 100, HR was at 70 and RR was at 20. She was still breathing on her own, it just felt different. We explained this to her as the RN calmed her with some sedation and she really relaxed. Once she was calm we were able to explain to her the change in allergic reaction due to the new organs. It was tough to see her in fear. However, she was safe. I asked her if she trusted me and she nodded. I told her she was safe. She probably won't remember it at all unless this post sparks some deep memory. She is fighting, she is spunky, Our Julie is back! Goodnight.


  1. I've been following you for a while now and I'm so happy and excited to read this wonderful news!!! Heavenly Father answered your prayers!
    Good luck with the recovery!

  2. Thank you for keeping all the family updated.
    I am so happy things are going so well, We will continue praying for you guys :)

    (Don Nicoll's oldest daughter)

  3. I am so happy for you. What a blessing it is that others are willing to give such gifts. My daughters heart donor and family are always in our minds. We are so glad that things are going well. Hang in there!