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Round 2

Today Faith is goin­g in for another surgery. Her mitral valve has some severe leakage, which the doctors believe to be the biggest cause Faith’s current condition. The surgeon is going to go back in, and either try further repairs or replace the valve all together. The replacement valve will be made of pyrolitic carbon, and it will be 15mm or 17mm in size. The 15mm valve is a custom valve that is made specifically for this operation.

This surgery, however, does not come without significant risk. At this point Faith’s lungs are very sick. They have not been able to significantly recover from her previous surgery because of leakage in the mitral valve. With her lungs so sick, there is a high probability that she will be unable to come off bypass because her lungs will not be able to take the trauma of another surgery. Thankfully there is a portable bypass machine called EKMO. It is not perfect, but it at least gives Faith a chance to recover. Statistically, babies that have “normal” heart anatomy after surgery (Faith fits in this category) have about a 50% chance of ever getting off of it. Another risk in valve replacement is that it can cause abnormal heart rhythm. This would require Faith to have a pacemaker for the rest of her life.

The good news for us is that we have a number of things working in our favor. First, we have a lot of people constantly praying for her. God holds the entire universe in his hands, and he is hearing every ones prayers. Secondly, her heart has been working great other than the leaky valve. This makes everything a little easier. Lastly, her kidneys are working very well. That is important in her getting off of EKMO if it is necessary to put her on it in the first place. Her kidneys need to be able to get a lot of fluid off her in order for to get better.

The surgery is today at 7:30. Nell and I will work diligently to keep everyone up to date. We both appreciate all the prayers and support. Please continue. It will only be by God that she eventually comes home with us.

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