We have made lots of little strides towards getting out of the PICU today. This morning Charlie had his last RA line removed and his chest tube drain pulled. Right before lunch they took him completely off of his cannula (pushed air) so he is now breathing 100% on his own! And the doctors turned off the medicine that helps his heart function - so now his heart is 100% on it's own!
He also passed his swallow test this afternoon meaning that he can now take tiny bits of breast milk by bottle (no more than 1/2 ounce). By 6pm the IV nutrients will be completely off as will the lipids which is basically pre-digested fats. So his food will be strictly provided by mama (via the NG tube running through his nose).
Really, at this point the only thing between Charlie and the Transitional Care Unit (TCU) is one last arterial line and about 12 hours. The art line has to come out for him to be released from PICU and the docs like to keep kiddos around for several hours following the removal to watch for bleeding and monitor vitals.
Today has been a GREAT day! Lots of little steps along a very long journey. But it is the small successes that add up to big triumphs.