Friday, July 31, 2009
The cardiology team just rounded with us and gave us the plan for today. With some luck, her final chest tube and pacer wires well come out today. She's taking enough formula, that we can stop her IV fluids, and they want her up and playing as much as possible to keep her lungs nice and clear. All great things, and steps closer to going home. The team remains optimistic that we could be home by the end of the weekend. Let's keep praying that her recovery continues to go so smoothly. Thanks to everyone for helping us make it happen.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
In case anyone is still watching the blog, I'll continue to update you on how she is progressing through the surgery.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Its so great to have Dad home to hang out with us during the day!
Monday, July 27, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
* American Heart Association
Here are a few facts about congenital heart defects, ventricular septal defects, and Caroline's upcoming surgery:
- Approximately 1 in 100 babies are born with a congenital heart defect.
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is the most common type of heart defect.
- Many VSDs close on their own and do not require surgery. However, if the hole is large, surgery is usually recommended in the first year of life.
- Caroline's VSD measures about 11 mm at its largest point (this is a large VSD).
- At the present, closing a VSD of Caroline's size requires open heart surgery.
- VSD closure is one of the most commonly performed open heart surgeries done on infants.
- The surgery has a very high success rate.
- Children are expected to have a very healthy and normal life span following a successful VSD closure.
If you are interested in learning more about VSDs or Seattle Children's Heart Center, check out the following websites:
Thanks for your ongoing love and support during this difficult time, but as you can see, we have many reasons to believe that Caroline is going to come through this just fine. She is a tough little girl and has already taught us so much about what it means to live.
Leslie, Mike, and Caroline
Sunday, July 19, 2009
As many of you already know, Caroline was born last fall with a congenital heart defect called a VSD (ventricular septal defect). Basically, there is a hole in the wall that separates the two ventricles of her heart. The hole between the ventricles causes already oxygenated blood to back flow into the right side of the heart and recirculate into her lungs, making her circulatory system extremely inefficient. In short, her heart works very hard to pump blood through her body due to the hole. The inefficiency causes Caroline to tire easily and made feeding extremely challenging. To make matters worse, Caroline contracted RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) when she was 8 weeks old. RSV is a common childhood illness that virtually every child in America contracts before the age of 2. It usually manifests itself as a mild-moderate upper respiratory infection for most healthy kids, unfortunately, if you are cardiac or pulmonary compromised, it can be particularly dangerous and even fatal. The insult of the virus caused Caroline's heart to fail and she was hospitalized following a routine cardiology visit on December 22nd, 2008. We spent 10 nights in Seattle Children's Hospital over Christmas last December. Unfortunately, the combination of the virus, heart failure, and previous difficulty feeding, Caroline's poor body couldn't keep up with the work of eating. A nasogastric feeding tube was placed while we were in the hospital to give her a chance to rest and still receive the calories and nutrients she needed to regain her strength and recover from being sick.
We spent a long winter nursing Caroline back to health, but unfortunately, oral eating never recovered. A permanent feeding tube called a G-tube was surgically placed in Caroline's stomach this spring. Now that she has recovered from the RSV and heart failure and she has a permanent source of nutrition, the cardiologists are ready to repair the hole in Caroline's heart. We are headed back to Seattle Children's for the third time this year. Caroline's surgery is scheduled for July 29th. Caroline's surgeon will patch the hole in her heart with a special piece of plastic, essentially sealing the hole and giving Caroline a near perfect heart! We plan to be in the hospital for about a week and we are very much looking forward to bringing Caroline home with a healthy heart. More on Caroline's heart defect and the upcoming surgery in future posts. For now, we'll leave you with knowing that you'll have a place to check on our family and Caroline's progress through this new phase of our journey.