October 12, 2011

Samuel's Surgery Updates

We arrived at the hospital at 5:30 and got checked in. Samuel stayed asleep until we reached the Pre-Op suite. I was worried he would be extra fussy since he had to stop eating after midnight, but he was a champ. He was wide awake and happy while they checked his vitals and we met with the nurses. It was nice to have him in a good mood that last hour we got to be with him. We rocked and talked to him while we waited for the anesthesiologist to come. Travis held it together pretty well, but I have been a mess since we left the house. I know he is in the best possible hands, but this is still the hardest thing I have ever had to do. We gave him over to the anesthesia team about 15 minutes ago and are now in the cafeteria eating breakfast. It will be about an hour and a half before we get our first update. They are putting him under and then getting him ready for the surgery with the IVs and the myriad of other things that have to be in place before they start.
Thank you for your prayers and thoughts today. We need them and appreciate them.

8 AM
We just received word that the surgery has begun and that everything is going well. We were given a private waiting room since I have to pump and because we will be here for so long. It's a small room that has 2 chairs, a small couch, and a few tables. It has a window that looks out on this appropriately gloomy, rainy day. I think it would be weird if it were a sunny, bright day outside while we are having such a hard day inside. Travis and I are watching Hulu and trying to keep ourselves distracted.

Samuel is now on the heart/lung bypass machine and everything is still going according to plan.

Latest update relayed to us from the surgical nurse: They are still working and everything is good.
It's not exactly all the information I would like to know, but it covers the basics, I guess. We don't get to speak to her directly; it's relayed to us by the very nice hospitality coordinators on the waiting room staff. But, I guess I don't really want the nurse to be on the phone with me instead of doing whatever her job is in there.
We are beginning to get a little antsy now. We are trying to distract ourselves with gadgets and Words with Friends and endless games of Angry Birds. It has been so good for us to see your comments on Facebook and here. We can feel you all here with us and know that Samuel is being surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.

Just heard that Samuel is off the bypass and they are closing! We are so excited. For such a short message, it conveys so much. His heart is pumping on it's own again and that seems like such great news to us. We still won't know any specifics until we get to speak to the surgeon.
There are a few things that we have to be concerned about and won't know until he comes to fill us in. First, how well did the repair go? They have to create two working valves out of one big valve and this can be tricky. They said making the left valve so that it creates a good seal and isn't leaky is the hardest part of the whole surgery. Depending on how well it went today, we may or may not have to have follow up surgeries at some point in his life. Secondly, there is a possibility that Samuel will need a pacemaker. There is electrical tissue in the heart that looks exactly the same as non-electrical tissue. The surgeons know where it SHOULD be, but with an abnormal heart there are no guarantees. He may just need a temporary pacemaker to help with his rhythms while the heart recovers from the trauma of the surgery, or he may need a permanent one. We won't know for a while.
We don't know a whole lot right now, but we are hoping that since the surgery went according to the time schedule they gave us, that that is a good sign. Fingers, toes, and everything else crossed. Mostly just praying our hearts out and thanking you for yours. It's so amazing to have you all on our side in this. Much love, friends. Much love.

Just heard that the surgery is over. Once the surgeon wraps things up in the OR and then dictates we will meet them him.

We just met with Dr. Maxey and it seems like the surgery went very well. The valves look really good and that was the most encouraging news. He said his heart rate is a little low, but that is not abnormal. They are using the pacing wires for now, but we won't have to worry about anything for at least 3 more days when it comes to discussing the pacemaker. His lungs seem to be doing great and he came off the bypass very easily. He is up in the CV ICU and getting settled in. They will let us go up in about 45 minutes to see him.
We are feeling good with this news and are relieved this long morning is over. There are many other factors that can and will come into play, but it will be a few days before anything is worth discussing. For now, he gets to work on recovering from the surgery and letting his heart calm back down. He will be sedated for a while and still have a breathing tube. That could come out later tonight, but probably not until tomorrow morning.
Thanks again for sticking with us through this ordeal. I won't be updating hourly anymore, but I will update again this afternoon/evening. Love to you all and glory to God.


  1. We are sending you all of our strength, love, and prayers. Love you!

  2. Our alarm was set for 5 so we could start being a mess, too. "Hardest thing" you've ever had to do probably doesn't start to get at what this must feel like. We are also praying - for you, for Travis, for Luke and for Samuel that all goes well.

  3. Every ounce of strength I have is with you and your family today...Hang in there!

  4. Grandma Betty, John & I we're a bit of a mess with you this morning and will be praying together for Sam through out the day. It is so precious to have updates. Love you

  5. I am thinking of and praying for you and baby Samuel today and that all goes well. Going to share the blog with the rest of our family.

  6. My ache goes soul deep for what you are all going through. Counting on the Holy Spirit to intercede. Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God

  7. Great news, praying for nonleaky valves and smooth rhythm. Love you

  8. So glad he's out of surgery. Continuing to pray. Have shared with my small group and they are praying too. Love you.

  9. Tori, as I was reading your posts, I just couldn't help but bawl my eyes out. I can't imagine what you and Travis must have been feeling throughout all of this ordeal. Buddy and I have been praying for Samuel and we put him in God's capable hands. We have also been praying for you and Travis and family and friends who are waiting to hear news. Thank you for the updates. We are praising God for all He has done and for all He's going to do in little Samuel's life! Love from The Hands

  10. I can't imagine the stress, fear, and heartache you have been enduring today. My prayers are with you all and Sam is so lucky to have such brave, loving parents to get him through this.


  11. Glad to hear Samuel did so well today (and you and Travis too). We are saying extra prayers today for you all. The strength you and Travis have shown is inspiring and Samuel and Luke are incredibly lucky to have you as parents.