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  • Writer's pictureApple HMS

Koa - Apple Pick of the Month

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

Meet Koa John, a little boy who has defeated so many odds and lives up to his name. Koa means "Fighter" in the Hawaiian language and that is exactly what he is. Koa was born on August 26, 2021 at 26 weeks and 6 days via emergency c-section due to the health of his momma, and weighed in at only 1lb 8oz, 12 inches long. From there Koa has been fighting every day!

Due to being 13 weeks premature, Koa's body and many functions were underdeveloped. Koa has Brochopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) which is a form of chronic lung disease that is very common in premature infants that typically require oxygen use. Due to his severely underdeveloped lungs, Koa requires the use of not only oxygen but a ventilator as well. His little body was not strong enough to breathe on its own while maintaining the functions he needs such as blowing off CO2 levels. In addition to this he was also born with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension (PPHN), a dangerous condition that causes increased pressure in his lungs which makes it extremely hard for him to breathe and oxygenate normally, even with the use of oxygen and a ventilator. Due to these harsh diagnoses Koa's life has been altered around his medications and medical equipment all while trying to just be a baby.

Koa was on day 140 in the NICU before it was decided that the safest and fastest way to finally go home would be to place a tracheostomy, which is a breathing tube that is surgically placed directly in the neck area to his trachea. This was decided not only due to the already diagnosed conditions, but it was also found that Koa has Tracheomalacia, Bronchomalacia, and Esophagealmalacia. Basically, this means his airway was "floppy" and caused obstructions which also played part in his trouble breathing and the retaining of CO2. This small tube being placed is the reason Koa is alive today and thriving.

Since Koa is on a ventilator and the risk of aspiration is so high, he also had to have a g-tube, which is a tiny tube that is also surgically placed directly into his belly for his feeding. Finally, after a total of 179 days in the NICU between two different hospitals in two different cities, Koa was able to come home. Today Koa is almost 8 months old and is trying to learn how to roll over. He loves to smile, watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and watch his big brother be silly. Without Apple Homecare's supplies we would not be able to be thriving from the comfort of home so huge thank you!

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