On June 28, 2007, Evelyn Sophia Strother was born, at 37 weeks on the nose, at Wright Medical Center in Clarion. She was 5 pounds, 12 ounces. The staff noticed she was having difficulty breathing and decided to transfer her to Blank Children's hospital in Des Moines that same morning.
At Blank, Evelyn was diagnosed with Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension. Shortly after birth, the pulmonary artery opens to let blood and oxygen into the lungs, so a baby can breath. With pulmonary hypertension, this does not happen. The baby's body thinks it is still in utero and the blood bypasses the lungs, making it impossible for the baby to get oxygen. By July 4th, Evelyn was not showing any signs of improving, and it was decided to transfer her to Iowa City, where they were allowed to administer different treatments for PPHN, including ECMO, where a machine is used to bypass the heart and lungs to put oxygen into the bloodstream.
On July 8th, it was decided ECMO was Evy's only hope. She went into surgery that afternoon, went into cardiac arrest, and came out with severe, severe brain damage. On July 9, 2007, Evelyn passed away.