Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Mending a Broken Heart
Thank you so much for all of your thoughts and prayers these past few weeks with regard to my nephew, Eli.
In late July/early August, Eli (17-months) was diagnosed with an atrioventricular canal defect (AV Canal). His open heart surgery was performed over Labor Day weekend at St. Louis Children's Hospital.
Words cannot adequately express our family's appreciation and gratitude for the incredible staff of doctors and nurses that operated on Eli and took care of his pre and post-op needs. Every hour, on the hour, a nurse called with an update for my sister and brother-in-law. Imagine our shock when the call came that they were closing Eli up and would be getting ready to wheel him to the cardiac intensive care unit after only 3-hours of surgery! They were able to patch the hole in his heart as well as create his missing mitral and tricuspid valves using his own heart tissue.
Eli recovered quickly from this traumatic surgery. A mere 24-hours after open heart, he was sitting up in bed and 48-hours later he was roaming the halls with his IV poll, pushing the hospital's cozy coupe car. On Monday (Labor Day) they discharged our little man that couldn't be kept down! My sister reports (much to her dismay) that he has been RUNNING around the house nonstop. Way to go, Eli! You must be feeling 100% better!
Little man insisted on wearing his "quacks" (crocs) into surgery. The staff at St. Louis Children's were more than happy to oblige!
Auntie with Eli and his mommy (my sister).
Mommy, Daddy, and Eli. Sedation is beginning to take effect.
Post-Surgery, Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU)
In the Progressive Care Unit (stepdown unit from CICU)
Still attached to all is tubies (chest tube, IVs, etc.)
My dad (Papa) with Eli.
Me (Auntie Val) with Eli.
Slowly becoming more alert.
Day Two Visitors
My brother's kiddos (Jack & Jacob) brought Eli balloons.
24-Hours Post Open Heart...look who's sitting up! The balloons were a huge hit!
Papa playing with Eli.