Rehab at Home: Weaning Andrew off the Vent (Part I)

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Andrew was born at 25 weeks and less than 1 lb. after his mom was diagnosed with a life-threatening complication. Due to Andrew’s severe prematurity and emergency birth, he developed severe pulmonary hypertension and was placed on a ventilator.

Now 2, Andrew is crawling, using sign language to communicate, and has been working with his physicians, nurses, and parents to accomplish his biggest goal yet: to breathe on his own without a ventilator.

Coming Home

“Even though we were well prepared when we took Andrew home, I wouldn’t leave his side,” says Jennifer, Andrew’s mom.

Andrew survived his first 10 months of life in a NICU before coming home. Upon discharge, he was on a ventilator, oxygen, g-tube feedings, subcutaneous pump for Remodulin (a painful and expensive treatment for hypertension), and required 24/7 private duty nursing.

Andrew has been thriving at home for the last 15 months thanks to his family, medical team, and private duty nursing care.

AR_favVent Weaning Progress

Beginning mid-June, following a successful discontinuation of the Remodulin, Andrew’s physician gave the okay to begin vent weaning. He started slowly with going off of the vent for 15 minutes, three times per day.

Today, Andrew is off of the vent twice a day for two hours at a time!

“Andrew’s transition off the vent is natural as he appears very comfortable breathing on his own,” says Stacey Turner, Clinical Manager at Independence Plus.


Developmental MilestonesAR_6

Being off of the vent has allowed Andrew more mobility. He has been crawling since Memorial Day and is now able to explore his environment without restriction of a ventilator circuit. He recently celebrated his second birthday with a party where he was able to go off his vent.

He communicates using sign language and knows commands for “thank you,” “please,” “dog,” “hungry,” and more. Click here to view his progress in our short video.

Andrew’s strong social skills are a testament to his loving family and frequent visits from nurses, therapists, and friends. And he has a smile that will make your heart melt!

We will continue to share Andrew’s progress with you here on our blog, and wish him continued success as he works to achieve his goal.

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