This was originally posted on 11/18/12 on Facebook.
Today was another good day here at Strong Hospital. One week ago God blessed us with our first child and has continued to bless us each day by His grace. The head heart surgeon (Dr. Alfieris) came to see Judah and was “thrilled” with how he was doing. His body has continued to react well to the surgery and his fluids have remained low. All his numbers and levels are also where they need to be which means he is tentatively scheduled to have his rib cage closed tomorrow. There is a much lower risk with this procedure but still some risk. They will most likely perform the closure right in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit), where he’s been since we got to Strong. If they do, they will clear part of the wing of visitors and parents and turn it into an operating area. My understanding is that this will take about an hour or so to do.
Once they remove the Gore-Tex patch, (which I hope someday he thinks is super-cool) they will clean out his chest of any extra fluids and make sure everything is doing what it should be. Next, they’ll tie his rib cage together and then apply a “VAC Dress” (Vacuum Assisted Closure). The VAC Dress is a piece of black foam that covers the wound and is sealed with an adhesive drape. This will improve local circulation, remove any debris and help the tissue and skin to heal more naturally, from the bottom layer up. It could take up to 3 weeks for his incision to fully heal.Please pray that he will continue to react well to the surgery and his fluids stay low. As far as closing his chest goes, please pray that there will be no complications, that his body will handle this next procedure, and that God would be with the surgeons as well. We are still believing for a miracle to happen in Judah’s heart. The diagnosis was clear: the doctors can ONLY help his heart, they can never fix it. He will always be a cardiac patient, he will most likely need a pacemaker and possibly even a heart transplant. But we believe that God can do anything, we believe God has a plan and purpose for Judah’s life, we believe for complete healing. We will not back down from that cry. His healing may not come until his 40’s but we will believe until there is no longer a reason to believe. He has given us so much grace and so much peace, I truly do not know what we would have done with Him. He has become our savior in a totally new way.Once again, I can not express how much we love you all and how you have encouraged us this past week. We owe you each a debt of gratitude that we can never repay. Thank you. You have made us feel loved and supported in the darkest of hours.
Nick & Liz
Also, I would like to thank my wife for the great job she does editing all of my grammatical errors and incomplete/run-on sentences before I publish these posts. We make a great team! :)