Open Heart Surgery

The day for the surgery came. All in all, it's kind of a blur now. The things that I do remember are: Not wanting to let the doctors take him from my arms to do the surgery... but knew that we had to try this. Josh and I were on pins and needles and stayed as close as possible in case there was any news. Once or twice someone would come out and let us know things were ok. But the wait seemed unbearable. Once they had finished, the surgeon came out to discuss things with us. He took us into a private room, sat us down, and tried to explain what he had done. He had managed to clean out some of the tumor in the main arteries, and was also able to get a sample of the tumor to biopsy, but he was not able to get much of the tumor out because the heart tissue and tumor tissue look so similar and he didn't want to cut any of the heart. I remember the surgeon, Dr. Hawkins, seeming so disappointed and apologetic that he couldn't do more. He told us that this was basically inoperable and about our only option would be to wait and see where things went or to list Nick for a heart transplant.

We waited for Nick to come out of anesthesia. We watched him... a tiny 5 month old boy who had just endured a major surgery, lying sprawled out on the hospital bed with wires and tubes all around him. We could not hold him and there were few places we could even touch him. The nurses informed us that it would take hours for him to come around. It made us just ache inside just being there and so helpless. We soon decided that we needed to take a break from the hospital and absorb some of the days happenings. With a promise from Nicks private nurse to call us immediately if he awoke or if there was any problem, we headed down towards Temple Square and the mall a couple of miles away. As much as we tried to clear our minds and relax for a few minutes, nothing seemed to help. I remember walking into a hair salon and telling someone to cut my hair drastically, thinking that surely this would take my mind off of things for at least the length of the haircut. I was wrong... and ended up having about 9 inches less hair.

We headed back to the hospital, conceding that we were not going to be able to avoid all of the thoughts and the pressure we felt upon us. We met with the transplant team to discuss the heart transplant option. At first we leaned strongly toward the idea of a heart transplant. "Anything to save my baby!!", and then, the more we heard-- the less sure we felt. There was so much to consider. So many negatives and some MAJOR positives--IF the transplant worked and his body didn't reject it. One thing was certain, we would have to put a lot of thought and prayer into it.

No comments: