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Carson's Heart Surgery
We were admitted on Jan. 27, 2000 and immediately underwent a series of test by the hospital cardiologist to determine the procedures they would use to correct his most life threatening defects.  That night was spent holding on to the most precious gift we had ever been given.  Scared and frightened of the outcome of such a serious surgery.  The nurses came for him the following morning to walk us to the operating room where they would begin anesthesia.  That was the longest walk in our lives.  The hardest thing to do is give your child over into the hands of others to care for him.  We had been his source of comfort and protection for 9 weeks, never apart since birth and suddenly having to trust others to save his life.  We knew he was ultimately in God's hands and we believed for his safe return to us.

The surgery was scheduled to be 3 1/2 hours long with hourly updates phoned into the waiting room.  The VSD was repaired first and was over in an hour.  With this procedure being done correctly we knew there would be no further complications that would require him to have need of a pacemaker.  The second procedure to repair his Aorta took longer than expected.  Finally, at 11:00a.m. we were told we would receive a phone call after one hour to let us know how well the operation worked by use of echocardiogram.  That hour turned to an hour and 5, 10, 20 and 30 minutes.  As you could imagine we were in the halls asking anyone who passed through the operating room doors for information on his well being.  When the surgeon, Dr. Vincent Tam, arrived to inform us of the outcome, we completely lost it when we heard the news that it appeared to be successful.  He still had to be watched very carefully in CICU for the next 24 hours.  The first time we saw him after his surgery was heart wrenching.  There lay such a helpless, lifeless body under complete control of machines.  The wires and tubes were alot to take in.  After the first night his body became very swollen.  We spent every possible minute by his side.  We hoped that in some way our voices would give him added strength to pull through even quicker.  It was very tough being around all of the chaos involved with the unit.  One of the frightening experiences was when they would have to suction his chest tube.  Every time we thought we were losing him.  The machines would beep, paper would print out all of the stats from each vital sign and nurses from other babies would come to assist in stabilizing him.  Aside from the times we were sent out due to other emergencies not related to Carson's, we wanted to be there to learn all we could about his condition.  We used our time with each nurse to get diagrams and information about each of his defects and the time we could expect for healing.  After 5 days in CICU he was sent to the floor to complete his recovery.  There he was on a feeding tube that was eventually taken out when we left the hospital.  His little mouth was so tender from his ventilator tube that he would no longer take his pacifier.  We were so thankful that when he was offered a bottle he drank it quickly.  Now, after 4 days of recovery we were given the O.K. to come home.  Of course this left us wondering how well we would adjust not having a full staff to monitor his condition.

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