Earlier this week we met with Hannah’s cardiologist for her routine 6 monthly checkup. Since 2016 each time we’ve seen him it’s been a case of checking her stats, having a echocardiogram (ultrasound of her heart), and then saying see you in 6 months!
But we have recently noticed Hannah getting more breathless after riding her bike or running around, and going purpley-blue quicker when she’s cold (both clues to her oxygen levels dropping), so we’d wondered if this time he’d say it was time to start planning her third surgery, the second part of the Fontan.
What her cardiologist identified is that her stats have now dropped to the mid 70s (for comparison, a normal heart is rarely below 95% oxygen). For Hannah, it’s been about a 5% drop in the last 6 months. Which means she needs to have the next stage of surgery. The plumbing inside all looks good though, her other organs are doing well and she’s generally in good health, so it’s not an urgent thing.
The next step is planning for her to have a day procedure called a heart catheter. That’s when a small tube is inserted into her upper leg, and another from her shoulder, which will be used to check her heart from the inside and make sure she’s a suitable candidate for the bigger surgery. Once that’s done we’ll meet with her surgeon and start planning more specifically. This all takes time, so we’re not looking at surgery being till the end of this year or start of 2019. We also know that once the surgery is scheduled, it can easily be postponed right up to the last minute if here are more urgent cases. Last time Hannah had surgery it was postponed 5 times for a total of 5 weeks.
We’re so thankful for the stability she and we have had over the last 2 years. Life has been quite busy in other ways during that time, including welcoming the twins, so it’s been a relief not to have to worry about her heart too. But we’ve always known that one day we’d be heading back to Westmead for Hannah to have open heart surgery again. And that time has sort of arrived.
Please give thanks and pray for…
- Our beautiful girl and how she’s grown and developed over the last couple of years. She’s a smart, funny, cheeky and inquisitive thing and we are so blessed to be her parents.
- The medical care we have access to so close to home, and for wisdom for Hannah’s care team working out the next steps.
- Strength and patience for us in the uncertainty ahead, trusting in our Lord who knows every day of our lives already.
- Wisdom loving and looking after Hannah, especially in terms of when and how to tell her about her heart condition and what’s ahead. (I plan to write more about this soon)
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?