"Fish Bites: Food-Grade Liners and Fish Tanks"
Corrugated steel round fish
tanks come from Scafco Grain Systems, http://www.scafco.com/grain/products/water-tanks
you need an open-top tank, not one with a conical steel roof, which you don't need or want for a fish tank.
For Liner, order standard sizes AND custom-sized round and rectangular food-grade vinyl liners
from DLM Plastics, 1530 Harvard Avenue, Findlay, OH, 45840, 419-424-5250. Get
"White NSF-61 PVC", it is FOOD-GRADE vinyl (the "NSF" on the
label means "National Sanitation Foundation").
"In The Farmily: Lucky's Story, Part 2"
Lucky was born at home around one PM, but by three or so, our
midwife Nina had diagnosed that he had a problem, and told us we should get him
to the hospital as soon as possible. I grabbed my wallet and shoes, and Susanne
grabbed Lucky and a baby blanket.
The hospital was only about twenty minutes
away, so we were there soon, about 4 or 5 in the afternoon. I was so naive that
I thought we’d be coming back that night, after the doctors in the ER treated
Lucky for whatever the problem was.
We took Lucky in, and Nina told the admitting physician in
the ER the story of his birth and why we’d brought him in. He listened to Lucky’s
heart and lungs, and called Kapiolani Children’s Hospital right away (the best
children’s hospital in Hawaii), but we didn’t know about this call until later.
A nurse came in and started trying to put an IV line into
Lucky’s foot, but he wasn’t having any of it; a 10-pound, 2-ounce baby, he
screamed his head off and kicked vigorously. It eventually took two nurses and
about fifteen minutes to get the IV line in. We didn’t know what was happening,
and were pretty upset by this time.
After they got the IV line in, they sedated
him and “intubated” him (means putting a tube down his throat to help him
breathe) and installed a ventilator with an oxygen line on the tube. He was
just a newborn baby, who wouldn’t understand what was going on, except that it
felt bad: he would have screamed and choked on the tube if he hadn’t been
We asked our midwife Nina what was going on, but she didn’t
know much more than we did. She was handicapped because nurse midwives like her
are sometimes looked down on by the “medical establishment”. She had attended
over 500 births, but in spite of her training and professionalism the doctor
wasn’t happy about answering her questions.
Around ten or eleven, we realized we were going to be there a
while, so Susanne and I curled up where we could and tried to get some rest.
They told us that Kapiolani was sending over an infant medevac team with an
incubator for our baby; but then we didn’t hear any more about them for awhile.
When we did get news, it turned out that because of bad weather, the medevac
team couldn’t make it over in the normal 4-seater plane.
By this time, we’d realized from what we overheard from the
doctors and nurses, and from talking with Nina, that Lucky had a dangerous
condition, and that he might not make it. I started worrying about the plane
and the bad weather; with no news, we were in the dark and completely freaked
out by now.
Then about ten in the morning (the next day), someone came and told
us they were “sending a plane”, and Susanne and Lucky should get ready for an
ambulance ride to the Kona airport.
I said my goodbyes to Susanne at the hospital, and got on the
phone and bought a plane ticket from Kona to Honolulu, where they were taking
Lucky to Kapiolani Children’s Hospital. Then I simply got in my truck and drove
to the Kona airport.
I’d checked in by phone with Susanne’s mom Isabelle, who
was at home with 1-1/2 year old Jack and seven year old Victor, and she said
everything was OK, she could handle the kids, and I should just go.
plane took off later than Susanne's plane did, I actually got to Kapiolani a
bit before Susanne and the baby did, without hearing anything from her about
what was happening: we had left home in such a hurry that Sus had forgotten her
cellphone; I was the only one with a phone.
No one at Kapiolani seemed to know who Susanne and Lucky
were, until I went into their Infant Intensive Care Unit ward; someone there
had heard a baby was being transferred over from the Big Island, but not much
more than that.
I fretted and paced outside the infant ICU, then perked up when
I heard Susanne’s voice around the corner; there she was with the two infant medevacs
and Lucky in a high-tech space bubble on wheels. They wheeled Lucky in and
started putting him on a better ventilator, and administering a new “surfactant”
that would open his lungs up and help him breathe better.
We got conducted to a small room for a talk with the head MD in
charge of the infant ICU. He told us flatly that he didn’t expect our baby to
live. “Your baby is the sickest baby in the whole ward of 52 infants”, he said.
We’d seen a 26-ounce premature baby that had been born with his intestines on
the outside, so this was quite a shock to us.
The doctor went on to explain
that this small baby wasn’t sick, just small and needed an operation; Lucky was
extremely sick with something they couldn’t just “operate” out of his lungs.
They were making arrangements to fly Lucky to San Diego the
next day if he didn’t improve, to one of the two places in the country where
they had an infant ECMO machine.
Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation is a
heart-lung machine that both breathes for the baby and pumps their blood while
they get better. It is a last resort for babies who are certain to die without
(to be continued)