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.


  1. How great that he recovers that fast! I´m so happy for You all!

    I´ve missed that You had posted this, but now I´m updated anyway!
    Have a great day now!

  2. How weird that this posted with the date of Sept. 8th.

    I guess b/c I originally started the post on the 8th, but didn't get the pics downloaded from my camera and then uploaded to blogger until today, that it assigned the original creation date.

  3. I love that you took those pictures. We have found that with our heart baby Morgan, we can't believe that she ever had surgery. A very faint scar remains and that is all. I pray that recovery continue to go well and that the stress brings the family close to each other and to Him. I am so thankful that all went well. God Bless!

  4. Valerie--
    So good to hear Eli is doing so well! Thank goodness kids are tough. Sometimes it's harder on the grow ups more than the child.
    Medical technology is wonderful nowadays Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

    Have a wonderful Sunday.


    PS---It's good to see you back in blogland.

  5. Hi Valerie! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by my blog during a time that must be very stressful for all of you. I am so happy to know that your nephew is recovering so quickly! Hope he has nothing but great health and tons of happiness from now on!

  6. Oh, I'm so glad the surgery went well. What a modern day miracle. I pray Eli will make a speedy recovery too.

  7. Wow. What a tough little guy! Praise God! I'm so happy to hear he is doing well.

  8. I had prayed for this little guy that I don't even know so I'm glad to get such a great update!

  9. I'm so thankful he recovered so fast! Praise the Lord! And thank you for sharing hte pictures with us!
    Hugs and Blessings,


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."