Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Immediate Call for Prayers

It is never a good thing to hear a long pause after you ask someone how they are doing. I just received an emotional phone call from my mother. Abigail is in desperate need of prayers right now. The past two days have been very hard on her and consequently on my brother and my sister-in-law. Despite her intermittent smiles during the day on Monday, Abigail continued to cry out in pain. They thought it may have been gas pain and continued to give her Tylenol. Yesterday and today the pain increased as Abigail continued to cry out in pain.

Today as a result of the morning routine X-ray, the doctors discovered that there is something wrong with Abigail's pulmonary artery. It is either swollen which will require additional waiting to see if it goes down or it is too small and unable to handle the flow of blood which would require the doctors to once again do surgery. Hopefully in six hours they will be able to do an echo-cardiogram to determine the exact problem. Abigail will have to be sedated as they will also be doing an endoscopy down her throat.

The doctors are estimating that this problem with her artery has been causing great pressure and pain to poor Abigail's head, amongst other problems.

As you can imagine this is devastating news for our family. We ask for your immediate prayers in aiding the facilitation of another miracle in the life of Abigail. We thank you for your love and investment in the life of this sweet little baby.

***UPDATE Oct 26 9:28pm from my phone***
From the echo-cardiogram they discovered that there is a vein bringing deoxygenated blood back into the right atrium, which in Abigail's heart pumps out oxygenated blood. This could be an explanation as to why her oxygen saturation levels have been low.

Tomorrow they will be doing another surgery. From what I understand of the surgery and its purposes, they will be going through her femoral artery to close off this vein to see if this will raise her oxygen saturation levels. They will also be checking pressure levels in different chambers of her heart to assess if an additional surgery may be needed soon. As I am uneducated in all the intricacies of the heart and its functions, I am a little unclear as to what all of this means. What I do know is that Abigail will be undergoing another surgery tomorrow and continues to need our prayers. Thank you dear friends and family!

***UPDATE Oct 27 3:23 pm from my phone***

After several delays Abigail finally left for surgery. She was originally scheduled for surgery around 10 this morning. Poor Abigail has to fast six hours prior to her surgery. Since they have postponed it several times today, Abigail has had to be without food all day long.

I spoke with Jani this morning and she sounded great!...very positive and calm. She said that they have been trying to make things seem a little more like home with toys, playmats, and going on walks in her little wagon. The nurses adore Abigail and enjoy coming in to play with her.

Jani also explained a little more about Abigail's surgery and sent me a little diagram trying to show the problem that the surgeons are trying to fix. This vein, called a ligament of Marshall, normally does not have a blood flow. For some reason it has started to bring deoxygenated blood from the superior vena cava into the left atrium mixing both oxygenated and deoxygenated blood causing Abigail's oxygen saturation levels to be low. The surgeons are hoping that by putting a coil on the vein they will prevent further blood flow and this will raise her oxygen saturation levels. Hopefully this is the only problem and the pulmonary artery is only swollen and not too small to handle the blood flow.

Jani told me that they normally check the pressures of the heart chambers during the surgery Abigail just had, but because they didn't want to be so invasive they decided not to do it then. They will be doing it this time. Instead of entering through the femoral artery, they will be going through arteries in her neck and side.

Her surgery will last a couple of hours. Hopefully they will know right away if it was successful. Thank you all once again for your continued prayers and support.

***UPDATE Oct 27 10:34 pm***
Forgive me for the lateness of this update.  
At 5:30 pm Abigail came out of her procedure, a declared success by her oxygen saturation statistics which immediately improved.  The surgeons were able to stop the blood flow in the vein, the ligament of Marshall.  The pulmonary artery seemed to be a non-factor in the surgery.  Kathy, Jani's mother, did confess that it was "pretty frightening to see her afterwards.  She seemed to be gasping for breath but they assured us that it was her Laryngeal Malaysia problem in her throat and not her breathing."  Kathy explained this term to me, which I was completely unfamiliar with.  It is her damaged larynx that collapses and causes her to breath and snore very loudly.  "Apparently we all have that vein.  We must use it in utero but it is supposed to close off shortly after birth.  Hers, on the other hand, opened up more and more because of the pressure from the Glenn."  The Glenn Procedure is the name given to the surgery Abigail had last week.  This gasping has caused quite the scares for Jani and Jesse and especially little Abigail, whose eyes are wide with panic when she can not catch her breath.

After the surgery Abigail was brought back to the CICU.  Kathy, Jani, and Jesse had to wait an hour to see her because they kicked them out for staff rotation.  Seems so unfair.  

After 15 hours, Abigail was finally allowed to eat.  Poor little angel!  Kathy reported that "they just kept pushing back the time for the procedure.  It was really frustrating and soo tough on Abigail.  She is so incredibly sweet and patient."  

I pray that she will now be able to heal and that this may be the close of this chapter of her surgeries until the next one, projected at age 3-5.  I look forward to seeing her smiley, wiggly self very soon.  Thank you all again for your prayers in behalf of Abigail and our entire family.  Jani told me today that she feels like the prayers of everyone in her baby's behalf has been the reason Abigail has done so well in recovering.  Thank you to all!


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