The Trach Remains

Hey everyone,

Thank you so much for all the prayers, comments and shares. Judah is in recovery and doing well, but things have taken a pretty sharp turn from what we were expecting to happen today.

During the bronchoscopy they did find scar tissue in his upper airways. It was our understanding that if that was the case, they would take him directly into surgery and remove the scar tissue today. This was not the case. We’re not sure if we misunderstood or if we were given wrong information, but Judah wouldn’t even be able to undergo that procedure until the fall or even a year from now. We try hard to ask a lot of questions and make sure we have a good understanding of everything that’s going on, so we’re not sure where the breakdown in communication happened. This procedure is a “bigger deal” and will require some planning as well as him being a little older.

While he was “under,” they used a balloon to dilate the area where he has scar tissue. At the moment, the area has been stretched to an “acceptable” diameter. Whether or not it will remain stretched, we’ll have to wait to find out.

In 6-8 weeks they will do another bronchoscopy to see if the area has remained stretched and open, or if the scar tissue in that area has narrowed his airway again. If his airway remains stretched, we will likely take steps to remove the trach while we’re in the hospital at that time. If his airway is narrowed again, we will begin planning the surgery to remove the scar tissue and reconstruct his airway. The reason we would have to wait until the fall or a year from now is because they would need a piece of cartilage from his ribs to help reinforce his airway, and that cartilage won’t be mature enough to “harvest” until around age 2. The doctors are confident that the scar tissue is from the breathing tube he had for his first few months, and not something congenital.

So, the trach will remain in and little will change for us in the near future. We’re a little disappointed, but so thankful to not be taking any steps backward! We will continue to trust in our God.

I apologize if my Facebook status was misleading. I was just trying to keep it simple and let you all know Judah was doing okay.

We are heading home now. We will update again tonight if there are any changes.

Thank you for all your prayers!

Much love,
Nick & Liz

Let’s get that trach out!

Washer Letters 2

As many of you know, Judah has been doing very well since having his second heart surgery in October. He’s been growing, babbling a lot, learning to walk, and most importantly, he hasn’t needed a ventilator in 4 weeks! We are constantly in awe of how blessed we are to have Judah. It’s amazing how much joy he brings us and those around him. God has been so good to us!

Early Monday morning, we will take Judah into Strong Memorial Hospital for a bronchoscopy. This is where they will look down his throat with a camera to make sure his upper airways are wide enough to support him breathing without the trach. (For full details about why, read our last post here.)

If his airways are clear, they will remove the trach (decannulation) right then, cover the stoma (hole where the trach was) and let it close naturally. (When the stoma is allowed to close naturally, it can take anywhere from a couple weeks to several months.) After a couple days of observation in the hospital, we’ll be able to go home with no trach!

If they find that his upper airways are narrow, it will most likely be due to acquired scar tissue (from having a breathing tube in for his first couple months). If this is the case, they would have to remove the scar tissue. This would extend our stay in the hospital to about a week. 

We ask that you stand with us in prayer, that they will find his airways 100% open, that the trach will be removed without any complication, and that we’ll be back home soon.

Whatever the outcome, we are so excited to be able to close this chapter of our lives. I still remember the first time we heard the word “trach” and how hard it hit us. To be here, now, is an amazing feeling. We truly praise God for how far Judah has come.

We are so thankful for your thoughts and prayers. Please keep them coming!

Much love,
Nick & Liz