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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Update On Oakes' Surgery....

Just posting stuff as we hear:

6:35AM - Becky & Greg arrived at hospital to find little Oakes sleeping peacefully with great heart rate and breathing numbers. Mama held him for about 15 minutes before they started to prep him for a stroll to the OR.

7:15AM - We tagged along as Oakes was escorted to the OR. We talked to the anesthesiologist, the ENT doctor and a couple nurses, kissed our baby and headed to the waiting room.

8:40AM - In our waiting room, received a call that he was asleep as of about 8:25AM and that they were working on the IV.

8:45AM - Greg took off to grab bagels as Connie & Sarah arrived to wait with us in a 6th floor waiting room, about 70 square feet with a little TV.

9:35AM - Received a call saying that the operation was starting right now. More later in this same string of updates. Love you all.

10:39AM - Connie was making some calls and Becky was using the restroom. I was working away and said out loud "I need an update....Neeeeeed an update!" One second later, the phone rang and Sarah and I just looked at each other. The angels are working! The call was to update us that Oakes is on the bypass machine. This is the machine that basically oxygenates his blood and pumps it through the body to all of the organs while they work on him. They have begun work on his trachea so they can get that airway opened up for him. The nurse said the next 4-5 hours will be similar updates since we're right in the middle of the surgery. Praying for wisdom and strength for Drs. Molter & Huddleston!

11:28AM - We were surprised to have Dr. Molter just visit us (he just left at 12:06PM which is the reason for the delayed post). Dr. Molter is the ENT "consulting" on the procedure. He was sort of like the Director - he put the scope down into Oakes' trachea and was telling Dr. Huddleston what he was seeing and helping direct him on the repairs. He thought the actual repairs went very quickly and I'll spare you the details, but there was no leaking at all (which is common) and the "reconstruction" of the halved trachea was as good as they could have expected meaning he has twice the width and almost 4x the breathing area than he had before. Dr. Molter drew a couple pictures of what they did and talked for a while about any complications, both short-term and long-term. Possible issues with the nerve that supplies the sensation and function to the voice box (larynx) resulting in anything from raspy voice to a tracheotomy but will need a month to get better idea of any issues. Oakes will have to come back monthly to have the trachea reviewed to ensure it's healing and growing properly. But the net of it is, and he said this 4-5 times, that he was very happy with the procedure. Dr. Huddleston is hard at work. We are relieved for the time being but should get another update in 20 minutes or less.

11:39am - Received a call while Dr. Molter was in with us letting us know that the tracheal repairs were completed and that they had moved on to the heart procedure. The nurse said that the graft was "out" and ready for insertion. This is the graft they will use to create the new pulminary artery.

12:26pm - Received another call from the nurse. Feels like the doctor just left! I guess he did...not even 20 minutes ago. She said everything is going as expected. Dr. Huddleston has made a couple of repairs and he is currently working on repairing the VSD, which is a hole between Oakes' right and left ventricle. They repair that hole with a graft which the doctor should be sewning on right about now! We're cautiously optimistic and praying hard. Thank you for all of your wishes, prayers and notes. They are awesome and are bringing tears to our eyes that our little Oakes is loved by so many he hasn't even met yet!

12:34pm - Happy Birthday to my wife. I lost track of how old she is, but I think twenty-eight. We're waiting for the good news post-surgery so we can celebrate two fun things!

1:33pm - We are all wiping away tears. I just got off phone phone with the nurse who said that, incredibly, after just four total hours since the actual surgery started, they are finished. Oakes is off the bypass machine and all of his vital signs are good. We just had an awesome, relieving hug but won't know all the details yet until Dr. Huddelston comes by in 60 to 90 minutes to re-live the surgery with us and he will be undergoing intense questioning! If this emotion is even possible, we are cautiously ecstatic based on the early returns. More later and thanks for the continued prayers and thoughts.

2:01pm - Connie is making a run to Panera to grab us some lunch. The surgery ended a good 2-3 hours before we had expected so we're kind of in shock. Becky's friend from college, Janelle Swieca, who works at Barnes, just stopped by the room, minutes after our tears had been flowing. It was fun for Beck to hang out with her for a bit. We are now anxiously waiting for Dr. Huddelston to swing by. We're praying that there were no other complications during the procedure....

2:34pm - Received another call that they're still closing up his chest. This isn't exactly correct though because they won't fully close his chest today. Because his organs are swollen from surgery, they don't want have the organs under pressure, so they'll put a mesh screen over the wound followed by a plastic cover for a couple days. Hopefully this only takes another 30-45 minutes so that we can here all the details from the doc.

2:57pm - Still no doc. Clarification here...when we say we hope there are no other complications, we just mean we hope there were no unexpected issues or that something popped up that could cause some issues later on. We're hoping it was just a normal, routine heart surgery. The larynx issue related to the trachea was something we knew about heading into surgery and we just won't know if it was actually damaged until later. Now we're waiting to hear if there were similar curveballs with the heart portion of the surgery. Praying hard still and holding breath....

3:17pm - Got another call that they're finishing up now and that Dr. Huddleston will be up to talk to us shortly and then we can go back to our home-away-from-home, AKA the CICU, to wait to see Oakes. The nurse said he's still doing great and all vital signs are good.

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