08 March 2012

Thursday Rounds

As always, morning rounds are one of the best ways to get calibrated with the doctors and to get consensus decisions about how to manage Eddie's treatment. This morning, with Eddie continuing to stabilize, we had a good discussion about what to expect in the next few days.

Everyone is in agreement that Eddie will stay on ECMO through the weekend and we'll use Monday as the decision day for transferring him to a Berlin Heart. If we decide to go to a Berlin Heart, it will take a few more days to get a pump here so most likely, we'd be looking at going into surgery mid- to late-week next week.

Obviously, this plan is entirely dependent on availability of a donor heart. If at any time an acceptable donor heart comes into the picture, we will immediately prep Eddie for surgery and everything else goes out the window. Near-term transplantation continues to be the best available option.

Eddie has been resting very well this morning. He was much more alert today and was clearly responding to our voices and touch. The nurses are head over heels about Eddie and have remarked many times about how gratifying it is to see him responding so well . . . a strong sign that his neurological functions are intact.

I also thought I'd include a bit more information about Eddie's surgery Tuesday night. For the doctors in the audience, Eddie was showing evidence of pulmonary edema as a result of his earlier heart failure. This was manifesting primarily as bloody froth in his breathing tube. In order to reduce the left atrial pressure buildup, our doctors decided to proceed with a blade and balloon atrial septostomy, or cutting a small hole between the right and left atria. This would allow the pressure in the left atrium to come down and balance with the normal pressures in the right atrium. As is clearly shown in the diagram above :-), a metal stent was placed in the hole to keep the channel open. So far so good . . . his pressures immediately dropped to normal levels and the immediate risk of pulmonary hypertension has diminished significantly.

More later . . .


  1. John, your bits of humor in your posts show an unbelievable strength, and help the tears that are welling up in my eyes from running down my face as I read what you are going through. I cannot start to imagine what you and Sarah must be feeling. You and your family are in our prayers.

    The kids do not know us, but we are in the same neighborhood and would be willing to do anything, anytime to help. Rides anywhere, meals, childcare, shopping – Anything really, it would feel nice to be able to do something. My cell # is listed in Outlook so please don’t hesitate to call or email me with any needs, planned or not.

    Take care of that sweet boy

    Jaimie and Paul Faccone

  2. Good morning guys. Glad to hear Eddie is continuing to stablize. I, too, enjoy hearing your humor. We sure miss you guys!