Thursday, December 16, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

As Phil posted, the heart catheterization went very well. The cardiologist was able to get access to the veins and arteries in Caleb's groin. This is no small feat considering how abused these vessels are. If they were unable to get in through the groin, they would have had to go in through the vessels in his neck. Not only could that have caused scarring, but it would have also had the potential for damage to those vessels, reducing our options for future catheterizations.

The cardiologists were able to see everything they needed to see and everything looked the way they expected it to. The left side of his heart - the healthy side - has a good squeeze with very little leaking of the valve. The pulmonary arteries looked nice and open, with the exception of a narrowing right near the shunt. This is very common and is the result of the heart and vessels growing, but the shunt remaining the same size. The surgeon should be able to fix this as part of the next surgery. The hole between the right atrium and the left atrium of Caleb's heart - one that is not supposed to be there, but keeps Caleb alive - has a little extra tissue around it. The surgeon may clean this up as well so they don't have to go back in later to fix it.

Caleb did not come out of the anaesthesia very well, so we ended up staying in the hospital last night too. His oxygen saturations are supposed to be between 70 and 80%. Caleb varied between 42 to 82% yesterday. They put him on some oxygen, but he still had trouble maintaining 70% when upset (which was a good portion of the time). He was up a lot in the night and set the alarms off quite a bit.

I was getting worried that we might not be heading home today either. As of this morning, Caleb was still hovering around the upper 60's. When the cardiologist came in this morning, he just told us to keep an eye on Caleb and go home. Because he does ok when he is not too upset, I think getting him home and away from IV's, oxygen sensors and alarms is his best bet for keeping his levels where they belong.

We should be hearing from the surgeon's office in Ann Arbor shortly to schedule his surgery. As much as I don't look forward to having him go through surgery again, I am looking forward to not being constantly worried that his numbers are too low.

As I had mentioned previously, two of the babies that were in the hospital with us the first time have had their second surgeries recently. Colton was discharged from the hospital 8 days after his surgery! Ben is off all oxygen and working on feeding 7 days after his surgery. We are hoping Caleb follows their lead.

Thank you for all of your prayers! There are no words to express how much all of your support has helped Caleb and the rest of our family.


  1. Thanks for the update, Jen - so glad it went well! With Caleb, you just never know! :)
    Love you all. xoxo

  2. We have been waiting for the update, thank you so much. So glad that this part is behind you and that it came out quite well. It is unbelieveable what you have all endured. Our love and prayers never end. Love, G. Pat