Walter is out of surgery, and everything has gone better by leaps and bounds, than what we imagined was medically possible.
Surgery lasted only about four hours and Dr. Starnes was able to accomplish what others had said could not be done: preserve Walter’s pulmonary valve and complete a full repair without using a conduit. This is HUGE for Walter’s future:
1. With his own valve intact we are cautiously optimistic that Walter will not be needing future planned open heart surgeries, and that his valve will continue to grow (though small) enough that he never needs a valve replacement.
2. With ever improving technology any future adjustments or minor corrections Walter may need will hopefully be able to be done via catheter without having to go on ECMO/bypass and cracking open that adorable chest of his.
3. The patches on Walter’s ASD and VSD (holes) were successfully placed, as was the transannular patch over the pulmonary artery and valve, and his hypertrophied (thickened)right ventricle was thinned. Oh be joyful!
4. He looks AMAZING! Saturating at 100% and warm with beautiful pink color, this guy is looking like 4 days post op at just a few hours.
We’re not out of the woods, but things are really feeling upbeat over here. We knew it was a good day when Walter said goodbye to us before surgery with lots of sloppy, slobbery sweet kisses.
Right now we’re working on getting him off his vent and breathing on his own, chest tubes and pacer wires out, and maintain stability and comfort.
We are still in awe of Dr. Starnes and his team. His finesse, skill, and ingenuity in complicated non-standard situations has truly been guided by the hands of God…this repair is “like something the Lord made”.