Drew, 4 months
Grant was exactly this age when he had open heart surgery.
He could only have clear liquids the night before and nothing after 2:am. I woke him up at 1:00am and gave him pedialyte in a bottle.
We arrived at Vanderbilt at 5:30am. I remember we were so worried that he would be hysterical from hunger. Much to our surprise, he was just fine. After filling out our paperwork and anxiously waiting, we left him with the nurses and anesthesiologist at about 7:00am.
Grant was put under anesthesia and intubated. His body temperature was cooled. He was placed on a heart-lung bypass machine as his heart was stopped for the operation.
Dr. Karla Christian repaired the whole between the two bottom chambers of his heart, corrected his overriding aorta, and relieved some of his pulmonary stenosis.
Seven hours later, the surgery was complete. Grant's body temperature was warmed back to normal. His heart was restarted. He was in stable but critical condition and was kept unconscious and intubated for about the next 36 hours. I got to hold him again (very carefully) 3 days after that.
The recovery time in the hospital had a lot of ups and downs. Grant pulled through like a CHAMP. He was discharged just 7 days after his surgery.
I write this because Drew is now 4 months old, and it brings back vivid memories.
I write this because after spending time at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital, you realize there are so many sick children there. There are some that will have lifelong struggles that I cannot even comprehend. There are some that will never get to leave. We were the lucky ones, and I don't take that for granted for one second.
I write this because we are so blessed that Grant is healthy. We don't know what the future holds, but currently, he has no complications. Our only reminders of his heart defect is the scar down his chest and yearly check-ups with his cardiologist.
I write this because someday I want Grant to know what a trooper he was. He was smiling a few days after the surgery. He hardly cried. And when we brought him home, he only needed tylenol a few times for pain.
I write this because someday I want him to know what he went through and how extraordinary he is.
I love you sweet boy. You are my hero.