There’s something wrong with this baby’s heart, part 3

Here’s the follow up to Part 1 and Part 2 of the the story of J’s heart issues.

So, while J’s right ventricle was viable (still love that word), his pulmonary valve was not.  He would need to have his faulty valve removed and the area around the removed pulmonary valve widened (a procedure called a transannular patch).  This would entail slicing the area lengthwise and sewing in a patch taken from his pericardium (the sack around the heart) to fill in and widen the area.

Needless to say, this could not be done without cracking open his chest.  So, open heart surgery was scheduled for when he was about 4 months old.

blueJJust a shot showing how blue J was
compared to my hand

Handing over our four month old son to a cardiac surgeon is one of the most difficult things we’ve had to do (possibly only topped by waiting 4 hours for the surgery to be completed).  We were comforted by the fact that we  knew there were thousands of people  praying for our son, thanks to an email-fueled chain of friends,  Sunday School Classes, and churches around the world.

When the surgeon came out to talk to us, he said Little J came through with flying colors.  When we were first able to see him, this is the sight that greeted us:


Now, at first, this is the last way you want to see your infant son.   But there are a couple of things you can’t see in this picture.  The first is his blood ox reading:

bloodox98 is much better than 68

The second thing you can’t see is this:

pinklipsHis lips are pink.

Let me scream that again.


scarChicks dig the scar

AJpostsurgeryA welcomes J home with a stiff-arm to the head

Fast forward to 2009.  If you’ve seen pictures of J on this blog without reading these posts about his heart condition, you’d never guess that he has any issues.  Other than the fact that he only has 3 heart valves (I always thought that 4 valves were, you know, required.  Who knew?), he is just like any other 4 year old.  He has no restrictions on activity.  He is on no medications.  He likes to aggravate his sister.  You know, pretty normal.

Now, that doesn’t mean everything is easy-going for the rest of his life.  At some time in the future, he will need a new pulmonary valve.  But we need to wait as long as possible so that we don’t have to repeat the valve replacement multiple times as he grows (since the artificial valve won’t grow with him).  So, ideally, he’d get to be 18 or so before the surgery.  But it could need to happen tomorrow.  All we know is we go to the cardiologist every 6 months.  As long as his blood ox is good and there are no other signs of heart distress, we say thank you and make another appointment for 6 months later, just like we did at last week’s appointment.

Everything else is in God’s hands.

IMGP5451 (Custom)Still sporting pink lips

Explore posts in the same categories: heart, Kids

One Comment on “There’s something wrong with this baby’s heart, part 3”

  1. carpoolqueen Says:

    Those precious little pink lips, and the awesomeness of our God makes me weep.

    He is so good.

    So very good.

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