Sunday, June 8, 2008
This last Tuesday (6/3), the cardiologist from OHSU traveled down to Eugene and gave us our latest echo. Right away she noticed a small amount of blood flow on the left side of our son's heart. When I heard this news, my hopes shot through the roof. Previously the doctors told us his heart wasn't growing due to lack of blood flow on that left side, and we've been praying for blood flow ever since.
Well . . . apparently blood flow can be a bad thing in our situation, if you can believe that! If both valves on the left side are completely closed off, that's "ok." If both valves are slightly open, that's "ok" too. But, if one is open and one is completely closed off then it can either signify or create (sorry I can't remember which) blockages in other coronary arteries. At our last echo our baby had both slightly open but since then the aortic valve has closed off completely. She said that since it closed at such a late stage that it might me nothing, or it might mean everything.
If he does in fact have blockages in other coronary arteries, he will definitely need a heart transplant because the surgeries would not repair the blocked coronary arteries. Before this news, we have been feeling pretty confident in our decision to stay at Doernbechers for the 3 surgeries, but they don't do heart transplants. In fact, Oregon does not have a pediatric heart transplant facility at all so if we end up needing a heart transplant then we would be shipped off to Loma Linda in California.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to know for sure whether there really are other blockages until he is born and they can do a cardiac catheterization. The cardiologist said that even with a catheterization we might miss blockages that would put him at a higher risk during and after the surgeries.
So, for now we are seriously researching hospitals that deal with pediatric transplants and trying to decide if delivering at Doernbechers is still the best choice. I know the Lord has a plan for our son and our family and pray He will direct us.
Written for you by Kristine at 5:53 PM