WISH LIST FOR ALEX CHRISTIAN CAVAOn April 8, 1994, twenty-four weeks into our pregnancy, we were devastated to learn that our son was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. We chose to continue his life, loving him while his movements nurtured our pain. We prayed for a miracle sadly believing that none had been bestowed upon us. Now we realize that God has given us our miracle . . .
Alex will be born.
It is our wish that for his birth, and during his short life, Alex be surrounded by a loving and caring environment.
We ask not to be judged and that each member of the medical profession provide us with excellent medical care and the compassion to allow us, as much as you are capable, privacy to celebrate Alex's life with close family and friends. It is our belief that precious time with Alex is the only thing that will soothe the pain of those that love him.
Each of you can assist during this difficult time by understanding and respecting the wishes we have outlined below:
1. To be delivered by a scheduled Caesarean section on July 12, 1994. Any drugs used should have minimal side effects and present the least risk to Fran and Alex while still providing pain relief; giving it in the smallest dose that will be effective; Fran wants to, and needs to be, alert during and after delivery. Please respect our right to make all decisions regarding the birth should anything unforeseen occur.
2. If Alex experiences any distress in his birth we wish to be informed of the situation; we wish for Michael, and Fran if possible, to be present for anything done to make him comfortable; we do not want any extra-ordinary means to be taken to prolong his life other than any routine care that would be provided to any normal newborn (i.e. suctioning for respiration).
3. To have a nurse or social worker periodically give updates to the family waiting. Permission for grandparents, at the request of Fran and/or Michael, to visit Alex soon after delivery.
4. Cutting of the umbilical cord to be done by Michael. Fan wishes to breastfeed immediately after birth if possible.
5. As soon as Fran is stabilized, please give us the privacy we deserve without abandoning us. Encourage us to do whatever feels right. Let us keep Alex with us for as long as we would like. Help us to take pictures. Please give us as many mementos as you can (footprints and handprints, bassinet card, hats, I.D.'s, ankle bracelet).
6. That our priest be present shortly after delivery to formally baptize and confirm Alex Christian.
7. Michael is to be present f or any tests performed on Alex, including the echocardiogram. Please be sure that Alex's pediatric cardiologists be contacted for the echocardiogram, Drs. R B and/or F Z at North Shore University Hospital, (phone number). Both will exercise their privileges at Winthrop.
8. Michael to have the option of spending the night(s) with Fran in her room. We beg you to allow Alex to remain with us.
9. Alex will be breastfeed. If he cannot suck, we wish to feed him with an eye dropper of extracted breast milk or formula before resorting to intravenous.
10. When Alex's medical condition begins to deteriorate, we wish to continue to care for him. If Alex's weakened state prevents him from coping with normal newborn gas and other infant discomforts, we ask that he be given mild sedatives to alleviate his pain.
11. If we are forced to place Alex in Neonatal ICU, we request that we be provided a room in which we may care for him in private.
12. We wish to be with him and to hold him at the time of his death.
We appreciate any compassion shown to us during this difficult time.
Thank you for helping us celebrate our son's short life.
Michael and Francine Cava
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