The past 36 hours have been a bit of a stressful, amazing, terrifying, and yet, miraculous blur. For my brother, Danny, and my sister-in-law, Becky, it all started yesterday morning. They knew Monday was going to be a day of tests, consultations, and scheduling. They did not know it was going to end with Baby Aiden's heart fixed in what can only be described as a miraculous surgery. Since I wasn't at the hospital I can only give you my point of view of the day's events, but it went kind of like this. I'll start with Sunday. On Sunday we went to visit Danny, Becky, and Aiden. At that time he was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, or HLHS (I'll be calling it that from now on in this post). HLHS basically means that the left side of the heart did not form properly and doesn't work. In some cases, the left side of the heart is basically non-existent. However, in Aiden's case, he has the left side of his heart, it's just a little smaller and wasn't working. The reason it didn't work was because it was being blocked by a membrane that started growing during the formation of his heart. This membrane restricted blood flow to the left side of his heart, which made it slightly smaller, and did not allow it to work.
On Monday, after several tests, the doctors concluded that if they removed the membrane from the heart, the problem may fix itself. The alternative, and 'safer' surgery would have been a three step process over the next 2 or 3 years. Well, at around 2 pm, we got a call from Danny that Aiden was being taken into surgery 'now'. The doctors felt that if they waited any longer, they would miss the opportunity to just remove the membrane. If this surgery didn't work, Aiden would have had to have been put on life support until they could do the usual surgery for this condition.
Going into surgery, the surgeons also knew of several possible complications, and honestly expected them to happen. For one, their were a couple of arteries that were too small for regular blood flow and they expected to have to enlarge them. After just two hours of surgery, the membrane was removed, and as hoped, the heart began to fix itself. Even the arteries that were too small enlarged enough to move the right amount of blood through his tiny body. The doctors and surgeons were amazed! The only part of surgery they had to do was to remove the membrane. The rest fixed itself. Danny told us that when the main surgeon came to speak with them, that he was glowing he was so excited.
The surgeon then told Danny and Becky, that the next 12-14 hours were the most critical. They expected his heart to start losing strength and pressure as his body went more into a rest mode. They assured Danny and Becky that while these episodes were going to be critical, they were very normal and expected after this type of surgery, and that they were prepared. Well, it's now been well over 24 hours since surgery, and Aiden did not have one single 'episode'. After the 14th hour had well past, the doctors have told them that Aiden is well on his way to recovery, is out of the woods as far as any 'episodes', and that everything should be uphill from here on out!
Aiden still has a long way to go, and he is going to be at the hospital for at least a month while he recovers and receives treatment. However, barring any unforeseen issues, his heart is fixed, and we have witnessed a miracle first hand. In fact, this was my brother's facebook status just a few hours ago:
'The doctors start there rounds every night at 8:00. Today was a very positive move forward. Aiden is puzzling them because he is doing so well post-op. He is a strong little guy, and I know why he is doing so well. God is holding his little body at every moment.'
Aiden still needs your prayers. He has swelling in his hands, feet, and face. The doctors say this is normal and it should go away in a few days. Aiden is also not urinating as much as they would like. This has improved as the day went on, but the doctors would like to see more of an increase in urine. (I'm sure Aiden is going to love that I wrote about his pee when he gets much older. To 12 year old Aiden, if this blog still exists and you're reading this, I apologize for embarrassing you.) :) Again, the doctors expected this to happen, and it is normal, however, it needs to get better. Also, please pray for a continued fast recovery, and for Danny and Becky. They have been so strong through out this ordeal, but I know it can be hard being away from home, and their two precious girls. The girls, also need your prayers, they are missing their mom and dad, but are having a great time staying with us, and we love having them here. Those two keep my two kids very busy. :)
Tomorrow, we are taking the girls down to see Danny and Becky, and they will be staying with my parents at the Ronald McDonald House for a few days. Speaking of the Ronald McDonald House, I went with my dad yesterday to help him check-in for my brother. That place is amazing. I'm sure you may have heard that before, but really, it's amazing. Beautiful artwork and photography hanging from the walls, hardwood floors though out, a huge playroom for kids, Tempur-Pedic mattresses... Seriously, better than some hotels I've been too. :) Plus, it's only $10 a night. When you're faced with a medical situation that is going to keep you for over a month, you need a place to stay, and the Ronald McDonald House provides this and more. It's an amazing charity that I plan to start giving to on a regular basis. To learn more, check them out here: http://rmhc.org/
Thank you all for your prayers and support. As I said in my last update, my family and I have learned a long time ago, that putting faith and trust in God is the only way to get through these types of situations. By all accounts, it looks as though Aiden is proof that miracles can and do happen, and you have witnessed this miracle with us. God is alive and very, very real. I can see his hand in everything that has happened up to this point. He has been involved in every little detail, right down to the fact that I was supposed to be on vacation this week, so Justin has been in the studio taking care of business. Had I not had a vacation lined up, no one would be covering the studio right now. There are many little things like this which all equal a plan laid out by a loving Father who takes care of His children. Prayer works, and there is always hope.