Wednesday, July 13, 2011

She's through!

We just received word that Aurelia has successfully underwent surgery. Dr. Spray repaired both her holes and augmented her pulmonary artery. He says that although her mitral valve appears slightly misshapen there is no leaking or backflush of blood across the valve, which is good, and it appears that whatever muscle bundles might have been in the way of her VSD repair have been cut away. Apparently, Aurelia's heart has become a little larger to compensate for the resistance placed against blood flow due to the PA band she received in October. As a result, the increase muscle tissue in her heart might have obstructed those areas the surgeons needed to access when repairing the VSDs.

The echo cardiogram taken immediately after surgery shows no leaking across the two chambers of the heart and no leaking across the valve, as I mentioned above. It also appears that her heart is successfully handling the full blood flow into and out of the lungs, and through her body. Whether or not her heart could handle pumping by itself is a concern, primarily due to the fact that her left ventricle sits right on the border line of a functioning/non-functioning ventricle (which is based on its capacity and ability to maintain adequate pressures and flow).

Currently, Aurelia is off the heart lung machine, being extubated, and undergoing an x-ray. We will be watching her carefully over the next day or two for effusion, or increased fluid around the heart, and any change in her heart's ability to handle blood flow to the lungs and body. Again, due to her heart's increased musculature the trick is going to be getting her heart to relax substantially, so that it can fill to complete capacity, and subsequently pump blood to and from the lungs to complete capacity. In the past her heart built up its strength and did not pump to capacity because of the restrictive PA band. Hopefully, though, given the medicine she is on we will see improvements over the next few days as her heart begins to fully manage the appropriate blood flow of her body.

Thank you to everyone for their prayers and well-wishes. These next 24 hours will be crucial in Aurelia's recovery, so we will keep you informed. For now Aurelia is out of the dark heart of the forest and onto the path, but the way is steep and overgrown, and fraught with briers and other dangers, so keep those prayers and positive thoughts coming.


  1. So glad she's through! All crossables crossed for continued progress and improvements in her heart's efficiency. Much love.

  2. Thank goodness! I am so happy to hear that the surgery went smmothly. Aurelia has been through so much (and you, Jillian, and Madison with her!) and she deserves a break! I am so hopeful that things continue to go well. I will be thinking of you all as she recovers! We are so eager to see you when we get back. Please tell Aurelia that Uncle Jay is so proud of her and will see her soon!