Your gentle touch, your tender care. A smile as bright as sunshine; a heart of no compare.
A spirit that will glow forever, in the memories that we share.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quentin, One Week

Today, already, unbelievably, Quentin is a week old.  Yikes!  Time flies when you're so totally adored!

video

Don't mind my voiceover... I'm mumbling about the mistake I made last night in eating meatballs that I later found out had onions in them... long night, many diapers.  Just before I shot this video, Q was making some punishing faces at me, and I assumed it was for that.  He behaved himself for the camera, however, so now no one will believe me when I tell them that he's got a vendetta...

Happy One Week, Quentin!
Love, Mom

Parent Heart Watch on The Today Show (2/10/11)

I mentioned this organization in one of yesterday's posts.  They're funding Aidan's genetic test (see Fingers Crossed...)

PHW on The Today Show 2/10/11

EKGs in Early Detection of Heart Defects

I don't understand why EKG/ECGs are not routine at every child's well-check visit.  They're quick and inexpensive, and the rate of false positives is well below that of many other tests administered to mothers during pregnancy.  I've been told it all comes down to money (of course)...

Fact Sheet: EKGs and Early Detection

More from Stanford: Skin Cells and Heart Research

Interesting:  Stanford Med. Uses Skin Cells to Research Heart Impulse Conductivity

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Quentin's Photo Shoot

(From Christy) Okay, we can't end the day on a somber note...

We got a high techie camera this Fall, and I'm trying to learn how to use it... Quentin's going to be subject to much of my learning curve...



Chubba Bubba


Pissed


Did I Leave the Iron On?


It's All Relative

 
Quentin, Day 6, is doing GREAT.  He's totally taken our hearts.  Total lover.  Thank you, thank you, thank you, sweet divine universal power, for bringing us this gift.

Peace,
Christy




 

Fingers Crossed: Aidan's Genetic Test

(From Christy) My apologies for vacillating between Steve's beautiful, light-hearted snippets of our happiest moments as we've welcomed Quentin, and serious nature of the updates regarding where we are with learning about what happened to Aidan, but it's where we are, and I'm writing because we need your prayers--

Just received confirmation this afternoon that Aidan's sample was received by the genetic testing lab in New Haven for participation in the new postmortem DNA panel test for three of the more common types of arrhythmias.  Normally, the test has about a 30% chance of yielding a result, which are the best odds we've seen yet, and this is the only test we've been offered for Aidan.  DNA testing is usually done in living persons.  The cost and the length of the process for the four of us surviving Silvas, however, is nearly 10 times that of this test.

However, while progress in genetics and DNA research has moved along swiftly in the last 5 or so years, collection and preservation methods among coroners and medical examiners have not; in fact, it turns out that there is no national standard yet set for these techniques in autopsy procedures.  Though we're grateful that we have two samples of Aidan's blood, they were each mixed with a preservative that makes the extraction of DNA difficult, if not impossible, for this exam.  The testing company has said that they've experienced some success using blood in this preservative, however, and so we're crossing our fingers that Aidan's sample is among these. 

And so we wait, and we hope.  Please pray for us as we do so.

And please go to the website for the Parent Heart Watch organization (www.ParentHeartWatch.org), which not only is working to update and standardize collection methods among medical examiners, and to compile a national database of children ages 1-18 who have died from an unidentified sudden cardiac death (none currently exists, and therefore, research is virtually impossible), but has also supported our family by providing funding (nearly $3,000) for us to have this test done.  We are incredibly, incredibly grateful.  We're hoping to support PHW in our upcoming 5K for Aidan J. event in June (details to come soon) by asking for your participation...

Parent Heart Watch link

I'll post an update when our contact from the genetic testing company lets me know if the extraction process was successful.  If it is, we can expect test results in two months.

Peace,
Christy

Stanford Molecular DNA Test for Arrhythmia

Another promise for families in the future:

Stanford DNA Studies (Stanford School of Medicine, February 7th, 2011)
(Newspaper Article)

In NY, Free Heart Screenings

In Rochester, NY, a step forward in detecting hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in children and adolescents:

Free Heart Screenings to Check for Life-Threatening Defects in Area High School Athletes - Rochester, News, Weather, Sports, and Events - 13WHAM.com

Though hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was ruled out as the cause of death in Aidan's situation, a simple EKG may have been able to detect an inherent arrhythmia problem before it presented itself with its common first symptom: sudden cardiac arrest.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Quentin Comes Home!

From Newswire Services.....
Downingtown, PA - Traffic in Chester County was snarled today as police escorts, the high school marching band and a tutu-clad bear on a unicycle heralded the long-awaited homecoming of Quentin Joseph Silva today.  The mayor of Downingtown issued a proclamation and offered Quentin a key to the borough.  The local coffee shop gave away free coffee and donuts to keep the onlookers happy as they camped out overnight for a peek at the child.  When asked if they were out to watch the big game last night, one camper, clearly puzzled, asked, "What game?"  In delirious jubilation, the local beer distributor offered Quentin's proud father a free case a week for an entire year. 

That's exactly how it happened.  Honest. 

So Quentin came home today.  And big brother Devin had a few tricks up his sleeve to make the occasion special.  First, he made a sign all by himself, including the spacing of the letters.  Notice his artistic eye...


But he wasn't finished.  He had another surprise around the corner....


The local paparazzi, pushy as ever, asked for anything they could put out, so our publicist issued this:


Needing his beauty rest, Quentin demanded a chai latte, a cinnamon scone, today's New York Times, and a nap.  He got one of the four, but Devin promised to teach him how to negotiate with Mom and Dad.  It's good to have everyone home.  More later.  Love to all.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Quentin: Day 2

After a bit of searching, someone found a random camera laying around so we decided what the heck.  Nothing else going on.  How about a few pictures?

Quentin and Mommy spent their first night together.  Now I can't be certain, but I think she's in love....


Devin had a busy day, going to a birthday party with friends, then going out to lunch.  Little brother or not, there is a social schedule to keep and we musn't disappoint our public, right?  But he squeezed in a visit (he actually couldn't wait to get there....) and spent some quality time with his little brother.


And Quentin loves when his older brother holds him.  One of the only times he opens his eyes is when Devin holds him.  Like here.....(you'll have to trust me).


But then we discovered that Mommy's room has a t.v. and a bed that moves up and down.  And, let's face it, Quentin can only do so much and a five-year old can hold still for so long, and, I mean, come on, it's SpongeBob!


A marching band could have come through the room and Devin wouldn't have noticed.  He had one of those television comas that he inherited from his father, I'll admit.  Quentin was okay with that.  After all, hosting is a big job that requires a lot of rest.  And after being cooped up inside Mommy for weeks on end, it sure is nice to stretch out a bit and take a nap.  After all, it's going to be a late night tomorrow watching the Super Bowl.  He can't wait.  He told me so.  Honest. 


Keep the love, prayers, and comments coming! It's great to hear from all of you.  More to follow for sure.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Welcome, Quentin Joseph!

With Mommy recuperating nicely, Daddy is filling in as guest blogger.  While my digital grunts and monosyllabic phrases can in no way suffice for Christy's beautiful prose, at least you're getting a few pictures to distract you from the poor quality of writing......Anyway......

Quentin Joseph Silva arrived to greet us this morning, February 4th, at 8:08 this morning! He weighed in at 7 lbs., 11oz. and measured 21 1/2 inches.  He put the world, or at least Chester County, on notice with some throaty yells and cries to announce his arrival.  Apparently he was not very impressed, for he then proceeded to fall asleep soundly as he adjusted to his new surroundings. 


Later in the day, big brother Devin came to meet his new little brother.  Not sure Devin could have been more proud, and he was very gentle, loving, and to be honest, giddy at the sight of Quentin. 


Quentin may have set the Pennsylvania state record for the most photographs in a 12-hour time period; we're checking official records.  So these are just a few.  Check back often, for there is a good chance you may get to see one or a few thousand more.  Thanks to all of you for your thoughts, good wishes, prayers, and love sent our way.  We felt it, and we still need it.  With today being both the arrival of Quentin and the five-month mark to the day of losing Aidan, it was a surreal experience filled with a gazillion simultaneous emotions.  The gift given to us today helped make the world a bit more right.  More to follow.  Love you all.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ready for Baby!

A few weeks ago, Devin wanted to help Steve paint Quentin's room.  He painted a huge Q...





...with a smaller A and D inside it.  He's quite pleased with his masterpiece!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Big Brother

Aidan made this during his first week of school.  The picture is of him, Devin, and the baby, and how seriously he took his 'job' as Big Brother.  I love how he wasn't quite sure if he should include the baby yet, so though he started with a circle, the face is crossed out-- I'm sure he was thinking about hair and eye color and didn't want to draw inaccurately...

Steve loves how Aidan also honors our profession of teaching, and honors those teachers that were so much a part of his happy life at Brandywine School and Brandywine Wallace Elementary...

Three more days to Q-Day!