Wednesday, July 31, 2013

He's done!

Alec is all finished!  The surgeon told us that all had gone well with no surprises.  Well see him in a half hour or so.  Matt & Joan

Out of surgery

We just got a call that Alec's surgery is all finished except the final closing.  Apparently everything went well... We will find out in about 20minutes.
So, here we are.   Interesting night in that Alec began running a fever early in the night.   There was concern that the surgery would be cancelled or postponed until the fever came down.  The night nurse worked on bringing it down, and it did come down low enough for the surgeon to give the thumbs up.    Alec did OK last night and wanted to get up and move around the room a bit (slowly).  However, this morning he was a more upset and scared.  He cried quite a bit while in the holding room until we distracted him with watching TV on the iPad.   Finally, they sedated him because he was just becoming too upset.   

Currently, he is undergoing all of the pre-op stuff.  They will call us from OR when they're about to begin the incision.   And so the long wait begins.

We learned from talking with the surgeon (who by reputation and our opinion, after meeting her, is exceptional at what she does) that Alec had a MASSIVE collateral (essentially a large clump of vessels that pools and redirects blood flow in the lungs) close to the aorta.    The doctor who assisted yesterday's surgeon assisting said she'd never seen such a large collateral.   
Dr. Christian, today's surgeon, came by yesterday to meet us and was surprised to find out that Dr. Ammon (yesterday's surgeon) was still in with Alec.  So, she was able to go in and see up close what Alec's heart looks like (through the heart cath) and was able to see the collateral and then later described it as "God's little miracle" as to how his body compensated and provided a natural shunt where it was needed when he was an infant.   This huge collateral, although not an overly efficient way to get blood to pulmonary artery, preserved his life at a time when he needed surgery but likely didn't have access to the medical care he needed.  She confirmed what I knew all along and that is he never did have the first surgery that our cardiologist in Chattanooga kept telling us he HAD to have had to have survived. .. . .    So, in the end, it had saved him but it did need to be fixed and so we are thankful for God's provision that the collateral was discovered before the open heart today.   

Another teachable moment for me (Joan) in God's provision for Alec and for us. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More on Alec

We are currently in a regular hospital room, as Alec continues to recover as well as prep for the big surgery tomorrow.  We were able to secure a Ronald McDonald room for a few days while Alec will be in ICU.  We will take turns staying there each night, giving us a break for a brief time.

The open heart surgery begins at 8 am tomorrow and will last until about 2 pm.  We talked with the surgeon for some time this evening.  She feels good about the surgery tomorrow and feels it will have a very favorable outcome for him.  The surgeons found a very large blood vessel collateral near his aorta.  It was one of the largest they had seen.  They were able to plug this and keep blood from flowing in directions it shouldn't go, but they explained that because of how it was rerouting blood, it may have kept him alive all these years.  As we've gotten further into this, we've really gained insight into just how serious his condition is.  It's quite amazing that he's done as well as he has.  The procedure tomorrow is really just one step shy of a heart transplant.  We continue to be impressed by Alec's surgeons who seem to be able to do the sort of things that are so far beyond our experience, and which keep kids like Alec alive.  We're grateful for how well Alec's doing, and we feel Gods hand on him.  As always, thanks for your prayers and kindnesses to us through this.  Matt & Joan

Out of surgery

Alec is out of surgery and doing well.  He's in recovery and still asleep, but we're able to be with him. Things went well today, and the surgeons were able to fix several things that set him up well for tomorrow's more invasive surgery.  More later.

Alec surgery update

We've gotten word from the surgical staff that things are going well for Alec.  They were going to put  some kind of coils into some collateral blood vessels to block them.  When they got in, they found that the vessels were somewhat bigger than anticipated, so they're putting in a device of some sort. What does all this mean.  We have no idea, but apparently everything is going well.  More later.  Matt & Joan

Alec's first surgery

Hello friends:

We're here at Vanderbilt for Alec's heart catheterization procedure.  Thus far everything has gone quite well. Our hotel was only a mile away from the medical center, and it was fairly easy to fi d the place.  Alec was fairly calm for the preop stuff... But we did have to sedate his mother!  Right now he's in surgery and we just got word that he went to sleep easily and that they've had no problems.  They'll start the actual procedure soon, and will call us in a hour.

Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes.  We do appreciate them.  Matt & Joan

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Alec Vos' Upcoming Surgery

Alec Vos' Upcoming Surgery

Hello Friends:

On July 30, our son Alec will undergo a left lung reconstruction at Vanderbilt that will allow for greater and freer blood flow through his left lung.  
If all goes well on the 30th, Alec will undergo an open heart surgery the very next day, on July 31st.  (If the outcome of the July 30th procedure is not what doctors were hoping for and expecting, then the open heart surgery will be cancelled and re-scheduled for a later date.)   
One of our greatest concerns is that the doctors indicate that this particular surgery (Fontan procedure) is very physiologically challenging in terms of the recovery/adjustment and return to normal activity after surgery can be lengthy and difficult.   
It is imperative that Alec be strong and completely healthy at the time of the surgery. Also, during his recovery of 5-7 weeks, he is to be isolated from other children to avoid contact with any virus or bacteria.  
This all feels very overwhelming and yet we remember God's provision thus far, and how He so clearly grafted Alec into our family.  When we reflect on the past year and all that has transpired in regard to Alec, we realize that God is in the details as well as in the process and the outcome.
We ask for your prayers for the following over the coming weeks:
·  Good health for all of us, but especially for Alec.
·  Alec's quick recovery and eventual transition into kindergarten at CCS.
·  Skillful hands for the surgeons.
·  Rose and Kate as they may have to begin their school year with one or both parents still living in Nashville.
·  More peace and less anxiety, and calm in the midst of the many details in both the pre and post-surgery stages.
·  We can plan carefully and prepare thoroughly and yet there are many unknowns in this situation.  Pray that we (Joan and Matt) will have calm and clarity as we proceed through the many and varied facets of this experience. 
We thank you for your prayers and the many kindnesses you have shown to our family  We are grateful for you and humbled by the care you have shown to us.   
Joan and Matt Vos, Rose, Kate and Alec