After my daughter’s procedure, I’m feeling better about looking at all the web sites on it. You can look, too: the diagram here shows the closure device they send to the heart via the leg veins. The video they took was pretty impressive: that patch exits the catheter quite fast and goes perfectly into place. I wasn’t paying too much scientific attention at the time because I was repeating the litany, “Thank you God thank you God thank you …” to myself.

This link also informed me:

It is done during a heart catheterization six to twelve months after the Fontan procedure. Most children require only a small fenestration that closes with time.

And I found this curious. Brit’s stage three was done eight years ago. Somehow I had the false impression that the closure device was usually placed later in childhood. Her oxygenation rates have been very good–low to mid-90’s, so maybe the cardiologists thought we had time to see if the hole would close. Or it could be that the foster parents and/or social workers never followed up on this. At this point, I’m not fussed about it. My child is home and happy and back to normal.

For the curious, UM’s site on HLHS. Brittany had the three-stage repair (one, two, three) before we adopted her. The other treatment choice is a heart transplant. We’ve heard and read testimonies from other HLHS parents why they chose the transplant option instead of the repair. It’s a tough choice to put an infant through one major surgery, let alone three of them. I told Anita Friday that I would have been a basket case if I had to go through that with my child.

There are many support resources, including this parent informtion site we have accessed from time to time. One HLHS infant has a blog which was updated occasionally by parents–up until the middle of last year. I didn’t link and I’m not sure if something tragic happened or if the parents just lost interest in posting to the world.

Again, thanks to all for the prayers this past week. Time to rustle up some breakfast for a hungry child.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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