04 May 2012

Post Op Day 3

So Eddie is resting very quietly right now and continues to improve since his surgery on Tuesday. Each child responds very differently to a new heart based on how their previous condition affected their various systems. In Eddie's case, where his body was accustomed to relatively weak blood flow, it will take a bit of time to readjust to a strong and healthy heart.

At the moment, Eddie is on a variety of support meds and gases to help him through the transition. Nitric oxide to help open the pulmonary arteries and allow the pressures between his right and left side to equilibrate, milrinone to increase contractility in his right ventricle as well as vasodilating his blood vessels, isoproterenol to increase heart rate, dexmedetomidine to keep Eddie sedated, and a rash of other meds for pain relief.

Admittedly, we are chasing our tail a bit since each of these meds cause downstream effects . . . which then have to be mitigated by other treatments. Over the past 24 hours, however, Eddie has stabilized and seems to be in a relatively happy place. Heart rate and pressures are steady, kidney function is good, and when he's awake, Eddie is asking for water, bubbles, and Thomas (the train, of course) showing he is neurologically "appropriate" :-) Can you tell we've been in the hospital a wee bit too long?

So overall, we are very happy with Eddie's progress. We are still in shock that his heart is here and functioning.

Sarah and I are tired, but managed to get relatively good sleep the past two nights. Adrenaline can get you a long way, but taking advantage of a quiet room and a few hours of uninterrupted rest has been super important for us.

I am excited to head home this afternoon to manage the chaos that is our eight year-old's birthday party!

Our biggest hope today is that we can extubate and put some real food into Eddie's mouth. Will know more during rounds. And after that, we hope to share some more photos as Eddie improves.

Have said it many times before, but we are so thankful for the many nurses that have cared for Eddie over the past two months. The doctors often get the credit for saving lives, but Sarah and I will tell you that it is the nurses that have kept our boy strong in his worst moments. They have been by his bedside every hour of every day and, in their own special way, have contributed to his endurance, healing, and recovery. To all you nurses, you are amazing and we love you!

More soon . . .


  1. So happy that Eddie is doing well and that you and Sarah are getting some rest. Continued prayers.
    Love, Cathi

  2. "Neurologically appropriate"... that phrase is a keeper. We are so glad for you guys. Thank you for the updates. Happy Birthday to Ian! (

  3. Just read the good news!!! What a blessing!
    John and Sarah--you have been an inspiration through this whole thing. Thank you so much for writing this blog.
    Here's hoping that Eddie improves daily. Sending much love and prayers your way.
    Shauna & Kent

  4. Thank you for the wonderful update, and thank you for the beautiful words about the nurses.