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Chloe's a fighter

I went to work this morning to check on a few things and to start an on-call week. Then I hopped on a Southwest flight to Little Rock to be with my family. Chloe went into surgery at ~11:30 am, they started her on anaesthesia and heart bypass. They closed off a valve that only babies still have, yours and mine closed off naturally long ago. And started to disconnect the greater arteries (Chloe has 'Transposition of the Great Arteries').

There was a nurse who came in every hour to give us updates on Chloe and every report was encouraging. The surgery ran ahead of schedule. Up until the time of suturing the atreries that is. Once the suturing was complete, they brought her off the bypass. Her heart started beating, which gets us past the first big risk of bypass. But there was bleeding and it took over an hour to get the bleeding to stop. This was the lowest point in the waiting process.

The nurse finally came back in ~ 6:15pm and said they got the bleeding stopped and were disconnecting her. Just in time too ... because I had to jump on a return flight to Dallas. :-)

They elected to leave Chloe's chest open, I guess that was because of the bleeding and to make re-entering as easy as possible. I didn't get to vist her in ICU. She will be in ICU for about a week and in a room for about a week after that. The normal recovery period is 2-3 weeks.

Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes. It helps a lot and we appreciate it!

3 Responses to “Chloe's a fighter”:

  1. Thanks for reading my post and comments that follow ...
  2. Actually, they leave the chest open because neonates that have heart surgery can have swelling and blood clots after heart surgery. The swelling and the blood clots are not bad, but part of the process of healing. They usually use a clear dressing to cover the chest to keep it VERY sterile, but to allow for the swelling to go down before closing the chest wall. I have seen it many times and have been present in icu when it was done. If there are blood clots, they can be suctioned out while the chest wall is still open. Once the swelling goes down, then the chest wall can be closed. You wouldn't want the chest wall to be closed and then to have the swelling behind it. So that is why the cardiothoracic surgeon does that...it gives the heart, the swelling, and the body a little rest while it is healing.

    Now you know the rest of the story....from your little pediatric nurse friend.


  3. I heard about little Chloe through the homeschool email loop. She is in my prayers. She is a beautiful baby!!


  4. Thank you both! :-)


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