Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Also the vein like arteries that he was born with are starting to degenerate, and they are getting smaller instead of larger. And since they're so tiny and they pretty much have to sew them together they can clot and then it'll all be over for him. So the next few days will be very critical and the surgeon is worried
Eight hours have passed! They are finally closing Austin up. His heart is beating on it's own. Thanks for all your prayers and concerns. We will be able to see him in ICU in a little over an hour. They will be keeping him asleep until later tomorrow.
They have decided to use the jugular artery of a cow for the graft. They don't use these often, but they feel it will lay flatter and work better for Austin. His body has been cooled to 77 degrees. He is doing fine.
They have put Austin on the lung and heart machine. They have decided to give him a new valve, but still have not decided whether to repair the hole.
They are separating and isolating the smaller arteries and determining which arteries are significant. Some will be considered insignificant and they will not be attaching them to the conduit. The conduit can be made of human matter, or it can come from a pig or bovine. They have not yet decided which material to use for the new artery.
They will be updating us about every hour. We have had the first update and he has had all the tubes and IV’s put in and the anesthesia has been administered. They have begun the operation. So far he is doing very well.
We arrived at the hospital this morning at about 6:10 am. They checked Austin in and sent us up to pre-op. There they dressed him in his hospital gown and checked his vitals. One by one the nurses and doctors came to greet us and ask us the same questions over and over that we had answered yesterday.
At about 7am they gave him a little cocktail that helped him relax and will help him forget everything that is happening. He got very silly. When you held him he was dead weight. He would lift his head, smile, giggle a bit and then slam his head into my shoulder. He was being so cute. They checked his vitals several times and then washed him down with a disinfectant soap. We did this same washing last night.
After lots of hugs and kisses, he was carried in the nurse’s arms out the door to begin his surgery. He just looked at us with is puppy brown eyes as the door shut between us.
Okay guys, Austin has been in surgery for 6 hours now. Just in case you aren’t aware of what’s going on with Austin, he has pulmonary atresia with VSD. The PA mean he has no pulmonary artery and instead had little veins coming off the heart doing all the work. But the problem with this is it is very hard on the lungs. So he heaves a lot, gets tored easily, turns blue, and has a low immunity. His life is shortened significantly with this.
This surgery is basically them connecting those veins and putting in an artificial artery. He’s still have a shorter life, but it will be longer than what it would be. This is rare heart disease so noone has much experience with it. They say it’s one of the most difficult and tedious heart problems to fix. It can be fatal. And with this particular problem, brain damage after surgery has a higher chance. It’s a very scary day for us. But if all goes well, he be able to play easier, live a little longer, and have a better, fuller life.
We are hoping and praying for the best and preparing for the worst.