ODESSA, TX (KCBD) - During the day, Isaac Ibarra seemed like an energetic 5-year-old boy. During the night, he would lie down and his parents would worry.
Something wasn't quite right.
His mother, Nohely Martinez, says, "He would snore, gasp for air. He would sleep like he is right now, standing, sitting."
Nohely says he would pour sweat as soon as he would lie down to sleep. But she says her doctors in Odessa told her not to worry, he was just a big boy.
But Nohely became even more concerned when he started pre-K and didn't pass a Hearing Screening Test.
An ear, nose and throat exam in Odessa revealed unusually large tonsils and ears filled with fluid that had been gathering for years.
This was the reason Isaac had been struggling to hear.
The next step was a routine tonsillectomy there in Odessa to remove all the fluid. After successful surgery, the family took Isaac home and put him to bed.
That's when everything changed. When Nohely went to check on her son, she says, "His lips were blue. He wasn't responding. He was having a hard time breathing."
Nohely threw him over her shoulder and rushed him back to the the E.R. in Odessa.
She says, "I didn't register, I didn't sign him in I just went straight to the back and I said he we need help. My son's turning blue! And as soon as they saw him, they took him to the back and they just put oxygen mask on him, it read 15 percent of oxygen."
As the nurses and doctors began to work on Isaac, Isaac's father says he felt panic and fear.
Isaac Ybarra Sr. says, "My stomach dropped. It felt like a lot of pain - like 100 needles in my heart - I can't even speak to him or hug him or kiss him."
The team was unable to intubate him, so they turned him over. Little Isaac began to vomit and blood came spilling out of his lungs.
Nohely was fearing the worst.
"What am I going to do if I lost my son, what am I gonna do. He has half of my heart just like she (my daughter) has. I'm going to lose half of my heart. That's what I was thinking."
The Odessa medical team had to sedate Isaac. The little boy was trying to pull off the tubes and wires he needed. The stress and struggle left him with a collapsed lung and even cardiac arrest. The situation was getting worse. Now, he was diagnosed with Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
That's when Isaac was flighted from Odessa to the UMC Children's Hospital. The medical team in Lubbock immediately put Isaac on a machine known as the Cooling Blanket. That high-tech blanket helped slow down his brain's metabolism and prevent further damage.
Dr. Kerrie Pinkney, Director of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at UMC, credits CMN donations for the Cooling Blanket and Isaac's recovery. She says,"That was paid for with CMN funds. I honestly and truly believe that that truly made the difference and why he came out as good as he did."
Doctors say many people who develop ARDS don't survive. Isaac was under the arctic blanket for about a week, and Dr. Pinkney says this equipment likely saved his life.
Nohely says she is grateful for the equipment and the expertise at UMC.
"Without them and without the help of God, he wouldn't be here right now." And Isaac Sr. agrees. He says, "We could have buried him as soon as he got here, there wasn't really that much hope. But then they made it possible. They gave us that hope." Nohely adds, "They saved my son, and I'm never going to forget about the doctors and the hospital and everybody that helped me and my son, especially my son. We're always going to be here."