Collin Schultes, son of Jim and Amy Schultes (Swanson), was born 11 1/2 weeks early on December 20, 2005 in Perry, Iowa, then transferred to NICU in Blank Children's Hospital. He only weighed 3 lbs. 2 oz. and dropped to 2 lbs. 8 oz. on Christmas Day. Collin was one month old and had to have a VP shunt placed in his head for bleeding in the brain. After a long 52 days at Blank Children's Hospital, we finally got to come home.
Collin was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy on one side of his body and developmental delays. Collin went through some difficult times, and when he was 11 months old, he had a valve added to his shunt and was hospitalized again. In March of 2007, Collin was hospitalized again with concerns of infections in the shunt, and again in November of 2007; all these times were at Blank in Des Moines.
In 2008, Collin was hospitalized four times with concerns about shunt revisions. In December of 2008, we visited the ER in Carroll at least once a week, and sometimes two times a week. One day we were in the ER twice, once in the morning and got taken by ambulance that night to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines. Then in 2009, Collin was hospitalized five times within six months.
Collin has had eleven surgeries, and four of them were within three weeks of each other. His VP shunt has not been working correctly. We discovered that Collin has small ventricles in his head which are hard to treat. Collin has been in an ambulance at least ten times in just three years of his life. He was life flown once to Des Moines when he was first born. He has been life flown to Mayo in Rochester, Minnesota twice, and the last time was August 3, 2009, when we were in ICU for a week. Collin underwent two surgeries in one week while at Mayo.
In 2010, we visited our local doctor at least 3-4 times each month, and that does not include any specialist that we have seen or hospitalizations. Collin is now seven years old, and has had many shunt revision surgeries and many ambulance rides. Despite all that is going on, Collin always has a smile on his face. He enjoys attending school, playing t-ball, playing with farm toys, and spending time with family and friends. We are thankful to the NICU for taking care of Collin when he was so young. To this day, we will still have our ups and downs, though we make it through.
Collin just had his shunt replaced on May 17, 2013, and he is doing great! Collin's grandparents are Duane and Jean Swanson of Hampton, Iowa.