Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Holding His Own

WARNING: There is a post-op picture of Jethro ~ I debated about putting it up, but decided at some point it may be of help to another family facing their first open heart surgery. I was able to look at pictures of another baby yesterday, and it just helped to prepare me a bit for what we were going to see.

We were so excited yesterday. Surgery went well, and they were able to close his chest! We didn't think that that was going to happen right away. They prepared us for the chest being left open for 3-7 depending on swelling, etc. But, after taking some of the atrial material out and getting things working again, there was plenty of room for them to go ahead and close! What an encouragement that was.

When we got up to PICU, his oxygen sats were good, and so was his color. He is heavily sedated right now, still intubated, and lots of tubes and wires right now, which is hard to see, but knowing that it's all necessary makes it a little easier.

They showed us a chest x-ray they took shortly after he was born. His heart took up his entire chest cavity. There was NO ROOM for anything else in his chest. Then they showed us a post surgery x-ray, and there were lungs there! It was so exciting to see!

Jethro had a good night, with some fluctuations in his blood pressure, but it responded well to a change in medication. We talked with the peds intensivist this morning and she was very happy with how well he is doing. It'll be good to talk with the cardiologist and see how she thinks he's doing.

We are still in the critical time period, post-op, so please, please keep praying!


  1. Oh how good God is! I am so thrilled that everything has gone well so far. May God continue to work and help little Jethro continue on his upward road. I have been thinking of you all almost constantly and praying often; especially yesterday. I will keep praying! God is near!

  2. Your family is daily in my prayers...last Sunday one of the readings at Mass contained Jethro's name...reminders to pray for your family are everywhere!!! Dena

  3. He looks so good! Praise the Lord they could close his chest!! We are praying for a speedy recovery - you are all so brave!

  4. I didn't realize that leaving his chest open was a possibility...what a scary risk for infection even in the most sterile of environments...thank God for the proper circumstances to allow them to close! Continuing to pray for your little fighter!

  5. It's not open-open when they leave it open. They cover it with a mesh covering, but they don't suture it closed so that there is room for the heart to swell. But there was so much room after they took that extra tissue out, that they were able to close him properly!

  6. Tracy, I saw that photo on Facebook earlier today and just cried and cried. I am so thankful that there are doctors who are skilled to do this kind of life-saving surgery, but my mother's heart sure hurt (and still hurts) for you to see your precious baby like that. I'm counting the days (however many they may be) with you until you are able to cradle sweet Jethro in your arms and never let him go.

    Thank you for the photos and for the updates. I check back several times throughout the day and pray each time I do.

  7. I have been praying and thinking of you and was so glad to see this post (even with the post-surgery photo). Thank God for good doctors! We will continue to pray for Jethro's recovery and future surgeries. Blessings, Jennie