Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mighty to Save

Yesterday was probably our best visit to the cardiologist to date! I've been pretty vocal about my prayers for Ethan's heart, and I know that y'all have been praying right along with me; and let me just tell you....we serve an amazing God.

Our cardiologist is always thrilled with Ethan's growth (13 pounds 3 ounces & 24 inches, by the way!) but yesterday he was also happy to see that Ethan's heart function has IMPROVED! Heart function is measured on a scale of "normal", "mild", "mild to moderate", "moderate", "moderate to severe", and "severe". The past echos of Ethan's heart has shown severe dysfunction in the right ventricle, but that has now been bumped up to the "moderate to severe" category! The left ventricle was previously "moderately" dysfunctional, but is now labeled "mild to moderate". These are baby steps, but steps in the right direction! He did make a point to say that the bottom tip of the right ventricle is VERY stiff, but the muscle wall (the part that really matters) is squeezing MUCH better! You better believe some tears of joy were shed in that office...

Now for the "so-so" news. Check out this picture:

The solid gray piece you see is the bridge that connects his right ventricle (RV) to his pulmonary artery (PA); it's called a "RV to PA conduit". Look at the top of the conduit where it is sewn into the artery (noted by the stitch marks). Yesterday's echo showed that the pressure going into this point is extremely high, which is caused by a tight connection (imagine pinching the end of a water hose). This will need to be fixed sooner rather than later. It looks like Ethan will be having a heart catheterization in the next couple of months. The hope is that something can be done in the cath lab to fix this problem. If not, we'll be heading towards our 2nd surgery a lot sooner than we had hoped.

All in all, we were very pleased with the visit. Even the potential 2nd surgery doesn't come as much as a surprise, as we knew it would need to happen at some point. Please pray that we would be able to hold off as long as possible to allow Ethan to keep getting bigger and stronger!

Oh, and we still plan to keep Ethan's appointment with the orthopedist next week. However, we'll be having more in-depth discussions about the timing of surgery and what to do if his heart isn't ready for surgery when his hand is. Based on the outcome of those talks, we'll decide whether or not we'll start with the casting process.

Thank you for praying, crying, celebrating, and walking along this journey with us!

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.
-Zephaniah 3:17


Jessica Davis said...

YAYYYYY! I'm so glad to hear all this good news! I'm so proud of his little heart slowly going into the right direction! Everything comes with time (I'm sure you remember hearing that one over and over again when we were little..) God has such an awesome plan for that little chumbawumba it's amazing! No wonder I was exhausted after carryin him around the learning express for a few minutes the other day! :) I love y'all and wish I could be there today! I will see y'all very soon though!

Becca B. said...

Love the new blog header!

What fabulous news!!! Without a doubt, God hears all the plea's on Ethan's behalf, and He will let His will be done on this amazing little life! Glad for such great news.

Kim Smith said...

That is awesome, Joye! Glad to hear it. By the way, I totally see Jeramie in the new picture of Ethan! He sure does look like his Daddy! :)

Anonymous said...

This new picture is adorable!! I just want to reach out and kiss him on the cheek.

This was a good report from the Cardiologist.

Ethan truly has the best support system a baby can have. Our Lord. The way You and Jeramie take care of him as parents. The doctors at Duke. The rest of Ethans family and friends that love him and lift him up in prayer.

I have no doubt that Ethan's health will continue to improve as he grows.

Love you guys!
Grandma A.

Kendra B. said...

Still praying with you and for you and your family!

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