Most of today has felt like a typical appointment. Our day began at 7:30am, when Leo had blood work done. He was such a trooper with around 4-5 vials of blood taken. Lauren on the other hand was given a cup of apple juice. Next was chest X-rays followed by an ECG.
At the Cardiac Clinic we met with a nurse from the RSV program who reminded us not to let Leo go near any sick people between now and Tuesday, and told us that Leo is a candidate again this year for the RSV prophylaxis, a monthly shot costing around $1500 each, covered by OHIP (thank you Canada!).
We also were visited by the pre-op nurse, anesthesiologist, research nurses, and cardiac surgeons. They all were happy at how well Leo is going into this surgery.
We really enjoyed meeting the cardiac surgeon “fellow”. He said he is new at Sick Kids, coming from “Asia-Pacific” to learn. He is one of four cardiac surgeons in the whole country of “Asia-Pacific”, and was SO thrilled to hear how our plan is to move to his home city to learn his language. He kept saying, “You’re not joking, right?”. Such a nice guy, and we hope we can meet with him again while he is furthering his learning at Sick Kids.
Though it was exciting to meet someone from “Asia-Pacific”, he also reminded us continually how Leo’s upcoming surgery is one of the most complex cardiac surgeries in the world. Sick Kids performs the Double Switch Operation about 1-3 times a year, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but in reality it is as the heart defect that needs this operation is so rare. He reminded us of the risks to this surgery due to being on the bypass machine, stopping his heart, creating a baffle, moving coronary arteries, etc. The five major complications are: Bleeding – he will most likely need a transfusion, Infection – from bypass machine, transfusion lines, people on the cardiac team, etc., Heart failure, Stroke, and Death (5%). Phew. There are some moments during these appointments that you just look at Leo and want to burst into tears!
Around noon we returned to RMH for lunch and a nap for Leo as he was getting pretty fussy.
Our nurse called us when Dr. Van Arsdell was out of the OR, so we returned to Sick Kids to meet with him. Again, he explained to us all of the risks involved with this surgery and answered questions we had. Such a nice guy and we are so blessed to have one of the best pediatric cardiologists in the world doing surgery on Leo!
We have been enjoying our short stay at Ronald McDonald House. A group cooked a wonderful dinner for all the families last night, and we got to see our friends Tania and Aleeda during dinner (please be praying for her as she continues to recover from a heart transplant). We were also given a parking pass to the Sick Kids parking lot, which will save us at least $60! What a neat blessing!
Another huge prayer request would be for Mark. He has been feeling very sick again, so we’re hoping to get an appointment with his doctor before next week. He also has a consultation for a root canal that needs to be re-done on Friday. There’s just a lot going on for him right now! His “illness” is definitely stress-induced.
Tomorrow morning we’ll be headed back home. Then Lauren’s dad and grandpa will arrive on Friday. Monday we return to Toronto for Leo’s heart surgery on the 22nd.
Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging words! Don’t stop praying for us!
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26