This morning they took Judah in for his bronchoscopy (for details on what they did, please read yesterdays blog post) and he tolerated everything well. The hope was that they would find nothing physically wrong with his airways and would actually extubate him today. But sadly, that was not the case. Judah has something called “Bronchomalacia.” This means he has weak cartilage in the walls in one of his bronchial tubes. This is something that’s completely separate from his heart condition. Basically, we all have cartilage rings that help keep our bronchial tubes open and round. In Judah’s case, some of the rings are weak. When he takes a breath, the tube collapses and he can’t get enough air. Think of a damaged drinking straw. When you suck in too hard, the weak spot collapses.
The solution to this is a Tracheotomy with a tube attached and a portable machine that provides positive pressure to keep his airways open. This significantly changes what the immediate and semi-long term future looks like for both us and Judah. In the immediate future, Judah will remain on the breathing tube until they do the tracheotomy. Judah needs his second heart surgery in the next 4-5 months, and because of how close the trachea would be to his chest incision, it might be easier to do the surgery earlier than anticipated because the trachea could interfere in a variety of ways. The problem is he needs the tracheotomy now. They don’t want to leave the breathing tube in for too long because it has the potential to damage his vocal chords. Judah could need to have the trachea tube in for as little as 8 months or as long as 2-3 years, depending on his growth rate. Thankfully, it’s not forever. Over time he will grow and eventually the airway will be bigger and strong enough to hold itself open.
Each Thursday morning, all of the heart surgeons and cardiologists from Strong, Buffalo and Syracuse have a conference call to discuss any upcoming surgeries for the week. So tomorrow morning, they will discuss Judah’s case to see what the best way to proceed is. It’s possible they may move up his heart surgery and do it before the tracheotomy, provided his body is ready for it.
Please pray God will give the doctors wisdom in deciding what to do and when.
Today was a difficult day for us. Our lives have changed all over again and our immediate future is unclear. We still believe that God can do anything. We still believe God can heal Judah’s body, including this new discovery. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to seek His grace and strength, and peace as we continue on in this season. We ask that you believe with us.
With all our hearts,
Nick & Liz