We just got done speaking with the surgeon. Jackson did remarkably well during the procedure, until the very end. He was taken off of the heart/lung machine (bypass) and everything was going great, when his heart started beating in an abnormal rhythm and the surgeon noticed the right side of the heart swelling. The surgeon massaged his heart in an effort to keep blood flowing in the coronaries, while making preparations to put him back on bypass. The anesthesiologist administered a drug called epinephrine to get his heart going again. It did the trick, and he hasn’t had any problems since.
They drew some blood during that episode, and analyzed his hemoglobin and hematocrit. The hematocrit was very low at about 20, and by calculating how much blood he lost vs. what was put back into the little guy- should have been closer to 35 or 40. No one was sure what was going on. They administer drugs to thin Jackson’s blood prior to surgery to keep it from clotting too much; that being said he could be bleeding somewhere else (head, belly, etc). Everyone’s arms are folded and heads bowed praying that this little episode doesn’t happen again. They will continue to do some follow up labs to keep an eye on his hematocrit level.
Prior to that episode Dr. Burch (the surgeon) felt confident that he could close the little guy’s chest without any problems. There was minimal swelling, and he was a pretty big kid. After the episode he wasn’t 100% sure he wouldn’t have to go in and fix something else; so they have opted to leave the chest cavity open with a big bulky dressing and binder.
He is by no means “out of the woods” but everything else looks great. His coronary arteries (the arteries that supply blood to the heart) are functioning as intended and he is sustaining himself with a very minimal amount of vasopressors (about half as much than we use on the ambulance with adults); so that is very comforting.
I will try to post again tonight, hopefully with some pictures of us wheeling him off to surgery. I can’t say thank you enough to all of you who have shown support and love. We can feel the powers of Heaven and God’s hand in this.