Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Surgery = Complete. Prognosis = Hopeful.

We received a call that the surgery was completed, and they were closing Zoe up and taking her off the heart bypass machine. A few minutes later, when we reported to the cardiac intensive care unit, as we were told, we learned that Zoe's oxygen levels were too low, so they had to go back in and put her back on the heart bypass machine. Essentially, an artery, which was connected to the surgically implanted shunt, became kinked, once blood flow was re-introduced to the anatomy.

We talked to Dr. Spray who indicated that once he put a patch on the artery, to prevent further movement, the surgery went as expected. He said the real critical period is the next 12-24 hours.

Because of the revision, Dr. Spray decided to leave Zoe's chest open overnight. That way, if they need to gain access to the heart, they can get in quicker. Dr. Spray's hopes are to close Zoe's chest tomorrow morning.

Many of you already know the intimate details of HLHS, but for those who don't the following illustrations helped us:

Normal fetal heart:

HLHS heart (notice the tiny, non-functioning left-ventricle (LV)):

The HLHS heart, following the Norwood procedure:

For another bit of trivia, the shunt that Dr. Spray surgically implanted is called the Blalock-Taussig shunt, and its invention was dramatized in the HBO made for TV movie Something the Lord Made.

After we spoke with Dr. Spray, Zoe's cardiologist came to our room and told us that Zoe's oxygen sats post-operatively were not quite ideal and that her case is a bit more "worrisome" than a textbook case. In the same breath, she stated that Zoe had "no pre-operative" issues which is positive.

As soon as we were allowed, we went to see sweet Zoe. She was lying in her CICU bed on medications, including a paralytic. She has a chest tube, several atrial lines, is on a ventilator and 100% oxygen. We were saddened (an understatement) to see her like this, but feel that she is strong and will fight during this critical time period. Please send your positive thoughts and prayers to CHOP as Zoe is in need over the next 24 hours.

Thanks for following, sorry the update is so late but we've been given a ton of information and been under a lot of stress today. Not to mention mommy is still recovering from giving birth to our sweet babe less than 24 hours ago.

We love you Zoe Madison. Stay strong and fight, fight, fight. We're here fighting right along with you and can't wait to take you back home to Arizona.


  1. Sending lots and lots of prayers and love to Zoe Madison!

  2. We are praying for all of you! Lots of Love!
    Melissa,Ryan and Kellen Jones

  3. You've had a long day, a long two understatement. I'm thinking of you all and I'll be praying. All the details, it is so hard to be standing where you are - I know and I feel for you - hang in there and we'll keep praying you guys and Zoe along.

  4. Um, Stacey, I don't think you have to apologize for the update being so late. :o) I hope mommy is able to get at least a little rest tonight. The G&K IT Team is sending The Lihns (esp. Zoe!) lots of positive energy! Remember to breath. (((hug)))

  5. i couldn't love all of you more and have been sending my thoughts out to the universe like you wouldn't believe - i think i even heard it talk back to me in the wind..."ok we get it. we'll take care of her...don't worry she'll be fine..." :) xoxoxoxoxoxox

  6. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going thru. Your family has been on my mind these past couple of days!! Lots of prayers said & sent your way!! And nothing but positive thoughts!!