First and foremost, we want to offer a since Thank You to everyone who has and continues to pray for Drew and our family. We struggle to adequately express how overwhelming it is to have family, friends and total strangers care so deeply for our son. From the deepest part of our hearts, Thank You!
As you may know, Drew was scheduled to undergo his third open heart surgery Friday, January 18. That surgery has been postponed indefinitely.
It has been an emotional 48 hours for all of us. Receiving the news that your child needs heart surgery is not a punch in the gut—it is being run over by a truck. But, we did what we have done many times before: we processed it, accepted it and formulated a plan to attack it. We have experienced that emotional yo-yo a handful of times the past two days as Drew’s on-again/off-again surgical status remained uncertain.
I will do my best to spare you as much of the medical jargon as possible, but this surgery was going to repair a leaky valve in Drew’s heart which has already been repaired twice as well as a few other intricate parts of the procedure. Drew has had this leak his whole life, but has been managed medically since his early surgeries. In November, the degree of leak increased. Dr. McKenzie—who performed both of Drew’s previous heart surgeries when he was four months old—agreed that Drew needs a valve repair and was scheduled to operate on Drew at Texas Children’s Hospital Friday.
As we were going through our standard pre-operative battery of tests and scans at TCH, Dr. McKenzie decided it would be best for Drew to wait on this procedure until he becomes symptomatic. Presently, Drew’s heart is not functioning properly, but clinically he appears fine. He is a happy boy that is not showing outward signs of heart disease. Initially, the thought was to repair this valve before Drew starts declining. Upon further evaluation, Dr. McKenzie thinks it would be best to wait as long as possible before intervening surgically. That would allow Drew to continue to grow and be even stronger for surgery. It would also put Drew in a more capable spot if the valve cannot be repaired and needs to be replaced. The flip side is that it potentially increases risk of a rapid decline and surgery becoming emergent.
On one hand, we are thrilled that we don’t have to hand our baby over to another operation and all that goes along with the recovery and rehab. On the other hand, there is a lot of anxiety associated with awaiting an inevitability. Drew will have to have this surgery at some point. We’ve always known that and thought the time was now. Instead, we are back to wondering if it will happen in six months or six years.
We ask that you continue to join us in praying for Drew’s healing and that God may guide his medical team to make the best decisions for Drew and that He may use them as instruments of His healing.
Matt, Erika and Drew