Friday, January 25, 2008

Family New Years Card

I finally finished our family Christmas Letter, turned it into a New Year's Letter , and am sending them out to some friends and family. We hope you've all had a great start to this new year and here is a copy of our card and letter so you can learn a little about Mason's family.

Happy New Year
from the…

(Summary of 2007)

S Skiing and sledding are definitely Kaitlin (9), Preston (6 ½), & Braiden (4 ½) ‘s favorite winter activities. They ski with friends and cousins and Alta and have a blast.
T The annual July trip to the So. California beaches is still our families’ favorite vacation. Ammon (2 ½) even enjoyed it this year. He thought sandy Doritos was a great snack!
R Running after Ammon 18 hours a day along with trying to meet everyone else’s needs was the only marathon Summer ran in this year. (Boston was postponed. No official marathoning while pregnant and puking permitted!!!)
I In the “locked up” house. Summer hired a locksmith to save her sanity from Ammon’s busy curiosity and escaping skills. Now every door and pantry are bolted shut . (Mark says we live in Fort Knox.)
C Completed the Oceanside ½ Ironman in March 2007…That would be Mark. He did great. Way to go Dad!
K Kicking soccer goals was what Preston and Braiden did best this fall. They both had a great time playing soccer this year.
L Living by wonderful neighbors and near loving and helpful grandparents, aunts and uncles is one thing for which our family is very grateful.
A Ammon’s progression has been amazing this year. He finally walked at 26 mo. & at 27 months he was running and earned himself the nick name of “Hot Wheels”. (He never stops!)
N Nursing Degree…Mark and Summer took a six week crash course in Cardiac Nursing at Primary Children’s PICU. ( Explanation will follow.)
D Dance competition, gymnastics, softball, tennis, & seeing Hannah Montana in concert were some of Kaitlin’s highlights this year.
S Santa brought us an early Christmas gift this year… A wonderful gift of love and joy. Mason Andrew Strickland was born on November 30, 2007.

Our Christmas letter (which I had written before Mason was born) was put on hold this year when little Mason was 3 days old. On Dec. 3 , the morning after we brought him home, my mother’s intuition took over and I knew something was really wrong with our baby. He had struggled through the night to breathe, stay warm, and eat. We took him to our pediatrician whom immediatley called an ambulance to take Mason and I back to the American Fork Hospital ( Mark followed us). At this point he was 88 degrees and the Dr. could not find a pulse!
We were at the hospital for about 30 minutes when our little Mason “crashed”. The nurses paged Code Blue through the hospital and numerous doctors and nurses ( it seemed like 100 people) came running to revive him. This is a moment Mark and I never wish to relive! At this time… our lives changed. After about 20 minutes( the longest 20 minutes of my life!) they were able to stabilize Mason. Then he was sent by Life Flight to Primary Children’s Hospital in SLC.
Soon after arriving they diagnosed Mason with a very serious heart defect. He has a variation of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, which requires 3 open heart surgeries. But, he was so sick upon arriving there the cardiothoracic team was worried he wouldn’t make it through his first surgery. And this is why we now call him Miracle Mason, because he recovered remarkedly well from his “crash” surprising all the doc’s!
On Dec. 10, at 10 days old, he had open heart surgery. The recovery had its ups and downs, but 1 month after surgery ( when he was 6 weeks old) we finally brought our Miracle Mason home. He will need his next surgery at about 4 or 5 months old and his 3rd at about 2 years old.
At this time we are so grateful for life, supportive family, wonderful neighbors and friends, incredible doctors and nurses, and all the prayers said on Mason’s behalf. Those prayers have all been heard and we have been showered with blessings!
We wish all of you a very Happy New Year!!
We love you, The Stricklands

(If you would like to be added to my Mason update e-mail list please e-mail me at

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Miracle Mason Made It Home!

Dear friends and family,

We brought our little miracle Mason home on Thursday afternoon. Things have been quite crazy at our house since, so this is why I'm just now announcing his homecoming!! It is so nice to have him home. Although, I do feel like a nurse from the PICU now ( and Mark says he's the attending Dr.!!), giving him different meds throughout the day, giving shots, feeding him every 3 hours( even at night) first by bottle for about 15 minutes then putting the rest on the feeding pump going into his NG feeding tube, which is still quite a bit....he tires easily, cleaning out the feeding pump, pumping my breast milk, and then starting the whole process over. Oh yeah and I have 4 other kids to take care of too!! He is doing quite well and our kids are so happy to have him and us home now! Now we just need to keep him very healthy and plump him up for his next surgery.

We are so humbled by and grateful for all the amazing service that has been shown to us since Mason's birth. Thankyou everyone! We love you!

(p.s Mason is 6 weeks old now! ) *This picture above was long awaited for......Mason in front of
the Christmas tree at home, just a few weeks late!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Hello friends and family,

Mason is back up to the recovery floor and out of the PICU again. We are going for round 2 in our attempt to take him home soon. The Dr.s feel like they have found a good balance of his blood pressure medicine and his arythmia medicine to keep his arythmias and racing heart rates under control. As for the little clot, he his getting lovanox (sp.?) shots, which is a blood thinner. He will have to get these at home for the next 2-3 months. And no new infections cultured when we back to the PICU!!! Thank goodness. I am so glad we had these set backs here rather than at home.

They plan to do another echocardiagram on monday to check on his clot and heart function and if all looks good maybe next week will be the charmer and we will get to take him home! Although, now i am even more nervous to bring him home, if you can imagine..

Thanks for all your sweet thoughts and prayers.
*Mason w/ Mom and Dad in his presidential suite on the 3rd floor at PCMC!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Not Going Home... Yet

Family and Friends

Thank you for your continual thoughts and prayers. We went to the hospital this morning excited to bring home Mason. Unfortunately, He had a few arrhythmia's through the night, so they decided to keep him another day. As the day went on they did an echocardio on him and discovered a blood clot in his super Venacava(SVC) right near the pulmonary artery. He also has a high lactic acid in his blood which is not good. That means the body is under stress. They immediately put him back in the ICU and started several medications and close monitoring. Needless to say. Its been a very long day, It sounds like we might be there for a little bit while they figure out what is causing all the problems.

Thank you all for your love and support
Mark & Summer

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year- Going Home Soon

Happy New Year!!!

Mason is doing well and we are suppose to bring him home tommorow!! The Dr.s were going to send him home last Saturday but that morning the skin around his incision was really red so they started him on an antibiotic and wanted to watch it for 72 hours It now looks fine and his blood work looks good. So if all goes well we will bring him home tomorrow. He will be coming home with an NG tube {feeding tube} becuse he gets worn out before he's done with each feeding. But each day he gets a little better at eating. And he will be on 4 oral medications as well. Our kids are so excoted to have him come home. Now we just have to keep him super healthy and germ free so his body can get stronger and be ready for his next open heart surgery {in about 3-4 months}. We are so greatful for the blessing of having him in our family and for all your prayers.