Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Happy Heart Story

I really want to record all the details of this monumental experience for our family....but if you want to just skip to the end and read the happy ending I wouldn't blame you a bit!
If you don't know what is going on start here 
then here and here.

Tuesday afternoon Bridger and I traveled to Nashville together and met with Dr Frank Fish at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. They ran test and drew blood and we could see that Bridger's heart was going in and out of light tachycardia since his cardiac medicine was now out of his system in preparation for the surgery the next morning. We left his office around 6:30 and headed out for dinner and some Ben and Jerry's ice cream!  We tried to enjoy our night together in a hotel. Watching a movie, swimming and snacking on some gummie bears...although we tried to act brave, we were both nervous!
We were back at the hospital bright and early Wednesday morning. I had to beg him to give me a little smile "for Daddy". Since Brad couldn't come (we didn't have a babysitter for our other boys this time,darn it!) he wanted us to send him lots of text and pictures from our big day.

Poor sweetheart was not too excited to be there.  I couldn't really blame him!

Pretty soon we were back being prepped for his surgery. The nurses were so sweet to my little man. They noticed that he had his backpack full of his favorite most comforting  blankies and stuffed animals. The nurse asked him if he would like his little buddies to stay with for the surgery. He said yes and so she said they needed wrist bands too, just like him. I could tell how happy that made him... under normal circumstances that would have delighted him!  What a wonderful nurse to be so sensitive and caring. I was so thankful!  He wanted me to take a picture to show "Dad and the brothers" but he didn't feel like smiling.

We did finally get a smile though when Coleman called (he was home sick from school that day)
 Brother can always cheer you up, you know?!

With his bear and racoon by his side, Bridger was glad that he had time to watch a few minutes of cartoons.

All too quickly though it was time to say goodbye and he was wheeled off to the Operating Room.  This time I was very impressed with his bravery!  In November when they took him away he was so scared and had tears streaming down his cheeks.  That about killed me.  This time he didn't cry at all and I was the one with tears as I watched him go through the doors with his team of Doctors and nurses.  I hugged him tight before I was left to stare at this board.

Luckily the team that was working on him gave me updates about every hour and half or so.
 It was a LONG nerve wracking 6 hours for me.

Some of the updates I received from the OR ...each one was positive this time much to my relief!

*First Dr Fish called out himself (bless his heart) He said "we don't usually give updates this early in, but I wanted you know that even under anesthesia Bridger was still going into tachycardia!  That was such good news! It was a worry, that maybe the first time the anesthesia was what stopped it making it unable to fix.

*They were putting in the instruments and getting ready to map--meticulous work to thread those up through the veins and arteries and into the heart of a little boy.  That still boggles my mind!  This time the Dr was trying to use as few as possible because he was concerned that last time one of the leads may have been laying right on the problem area and suppressed it.

**soon I got this one, the words I had been waiting and hoping for**
*They were able to successfully map and Dr Fish was administering therapy --ablating or destroying the tissue that was creating the problem.  I was so emotional that day.  I knew all the prayers of so many people were being answered.  My heart was so full of gratitude!

I was absolutely thrilled to get the final call that Dr Fish felt that they were able to fix his heart.  That even after an hour of pacing and trying everything to start the tachycardia up again--there was NONE!
I was told that Dr Fish would be out soon to consult with me.  He went into great detail with pictures and pages of Bridger's heart rate records and explained everything to me.  He felt that the surgery was a SUCCESS this time!  He showed me the area that they ablated which was thankfully NOT close to the pacemaker (area that you do not want o destroy).  The problem was close to a nerve which connects to the the diaphragm and if damaged can lead to breathing problems.  He said that they were super careful and he felt that they were clear, but he would be monitored all night to make sure. I was told that there is a small chance (maybe 5%) that the problem could come back, but if it did it would be within the next month or two.

As he was talking with me I couldn't help my tears from sneaking out.  I felt to much love and appreciation for this man who had fixed my little boys heart! I thanked him from the bottom of my heart several times:)

Our sweet boy resting in recovery out of surgery safe and sound!  

So happy to see that perfectly normal heartbeat on the monitor!

Well hello my darling boy!

The sweet nurses getting him all comfy in his room.  
Vanderbilt has the best care, I tell you what!  These amazing people love children and you can tell!
My little man was in very good hands!

Someone even found him a Tom and Jerry movie--his favorite!

He was not suppossed to move his legs for 5 hours after, to allow the veins and arteries to close up nicely.
He was so happy when he could get out of the hospital gown and facetime his brothers!

We played a lot of hangman:)  It was boring, but I was thankful that he was being monitored so closely and it was fun to have so much one on one time with my little man!
The famous Dr Fish...our hero!
Bridger requested this picture with him.  He said he wanted to show his brothers:)
 He came to check on Bridger several times out of surgery and here for our final visit before he gave the discharge orders--yeah!  I am so thankful for this man--that he has dedicated his life to acquire the knowledge and skills to fix little hearts and save young lives.  We love Dr Fish!

Soon we were home!  Although he needs to take it easy for a few days, by Monday he will be able to join his brothers and be back at school!
Modern medicine is truly a miracle!

My heart is overflowing with gratitude.
I have so much to be  thankful for!   There have been so many "tender merices" ,  little and big blessings along the way.  I know that the power of faith is real.  I am so thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who hears and answers prayers. I know that life if full of trials but as we put our trust in Him we can have peace and happiness in this life...even when times are tough.  I really believe that God will consecrate all our experiences for our good when we turn our lives to Him.  

Thank you for all the love and prayers in our behalf.
We love you all so much!


Tasha L. said...

What an amazing blessing!! So touching to read about this experience.

Julie said...

I was so happy to read the outcome for Coleman. Jill and I both follow your blog and have been praying for you and your family. Sending hugs your way!!

Anonymous said...

Hooray for healthy hearts! So glad to hear!


Brittany said...

Yahooo for a happy, healthy heart! I loved all those sweet pictures. What a big relief - I'm so happy that experience is over. Love you guys

Mel said...

Oh Melanie, I teared up reading this post. Thanks for sharing the happy news!

Anonymous said...

Congrats and sending happy thoughts and prayers your way from Texas. So glad to hear the wonderful news!

n82 said...

I had happy tears at the end! Im glad to hear all went well.

Jessie said...


Susan said...

Melanie - SO very happy to hear that all went well - and your prayers (and everyone's prayers) were answered! That God that many of our best and brightest go into medicine!

Melanie Anne said...

Thank you my sweet friends so much!! xoxoxo

Anonymous said...


kristi and family said...

Hi Melanie. I love reading about your little guys heart problems from SVT. My little boy has WPW (wolff parkinson white) which makes him go into SVT at times and he has to get his ablated sometime in the next year or so. So Scary!!! I am so happy Bridger's is fixed and everything worked so well!! Yay!! My little guy has already had heart surgery twice and it is always so scary. Glad Bridger is home and healthy!

khodson24 said...

My daughter is also a patient of Dr. Fish. She has had to have all kinds of tests to try and determine what type of Tachycardia she is experiencing. It can be very scary and I praying for her complete healing. We go back Jan 5 to Dr. Fish and he is wanting to schedule a EP study and I am praying we can get some answers and she can have a normal heart rhythm the way God created it to be. I'm glad your son had such an amazing experience at Vandi, I'm praying the same for my daughter. Thanks for sharing!

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