Wednesday, 29 October 2008
by Mama Pig
WARNING: PHOTO AT BOTTOM FOLLOWING MAJOR SURGERY! Just want to give you a heads up before you get there.
Yesterday was a big day in our family. One year ago, E went in for her open heart surgery.
At the time she weighed only 10 pounds. She was eight months old and had been in heart failure since she was four months old. I had always assumed heart failure meant immediate death, but that is not necessarily the case. For E it meant failure to thrive and being closely monitored to ensure that we knew when the right time for the repair.
I had been in the position on more than one occasion to hand my small daughter off to nurses heading to the OR, but this time was so very different. I knew that this time they would opening that tiny chest and stopping her heart for a time. I knew that in some cases, the child was unable to come off the bypass machine right away. I knew that the holes they were trying to repair would be repaired with something thinner than tissue paper. I knew that this procedure was scheduled to last for six to seven hours, but that it would seem like a lifetime. I knew that my world was being taken from my arms and that it was out of my hands if she would be returned to me. I knew what it felt like to be totally helpless and frightened.
As we all know, E came through the surgery with amazing strength. She was out in just five hours, came right off the bypass, and had the vent out the next day. She spent six days total in the hospital and then came home to begin her new life.
She will always have a "zipper" on her chest to remind us of that day. Today she is almost twenty pounds, cruising the furniture all the time, and one of the happiest children I have ever seen. She sees the cardiologist only once a year now and seems to have had a complete recovery.
I am so thankful for the team of doctors that made it possible for our family to move forward. While it seems impossible that a year has gone by, in some ways it seems like a lifetime ago.
Happy Heart Day, E! You have come so far and we love you so much.
What a difference a year makes.
What are some of the significant things your child has gone through in the past year?