Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Bennett's Heart Procedure

Bennett Anderson Hale, our second son, was born on December 13, 2011.
I found this in my den during a lazy day
As soon as he was born, the nurses informed us that I had a two vessel chord. Most have a three vessel chord but for some reason, my body decided it wanted to use only two vessels to send life-sustaining goodness to Bennett. During the development and growth of a baby, several miracles occur. By several I mean millions. And at the same time that my body chose a two vessel chord, it also formed Bennett's heart and kidneys.

I grew a heart and kidneys.

I grew a heart and kidneys.

I grew a heart and kidneys.

No matter where the emphasis, it's pretty miraculous, huh??


I'm back!

Long story short: During this period, Bennett's kidneys were perfectly formed. His heart, on the other hand, was formed with a flaw: a pulmonary valve stenosis.

According to the American Heart Association this means:

 A thickened or fused heart valve that does not fully open. The pulmonary valve allows blood to flow out of the heart, into the pulmonary artery and then to the lungs.

A pediatrician heard a heart murmur in Bennett the morning after he was born. Immediately, Dr. Dane Douglas, a pediatric cardiologist, was called in and he found the pulmonary valve stenosis causing the murmur. The walls of his valve are thick, and therefore, the blood has a more difficult time flowing through into the pulmonary artery.

As he has gotten older, Bennett's heart has gotten worse. Therefore, this Thursday, Bennett will have minor surgery to repair his heart. It is called a valvuloplasty and here are the details from PubMed Health:

Percutaneous balloon pulmonary dilation (valvuloplasty) may be used when no other heart defects are present. This surgery is done through an artery in the groin. The doctor sends a flexible tube (catheter) with a balloon attached to the end up to the heart. The balloon stretches the opening of the valve.

Jed and I are confident in the abilities of the doctors that we have been referred to and have seen God's hand moving since the beginning. Some cool things:

-After we were assigned a "random" cardiologist (Dr. Douglas), we found out that he was our pediatrician's first choice for who he'd have us see. Our pediatrician is Dr. Harry Phillips who we utterly love and adore. He has known Dr. Douglas for several years and loves him.
-After we were set to visit said "random" cardiologist, I found out that it is the very doctor that my good friend, Lillian, works for. Lillian had a heart transplant several years ago and respects and loves this cardiologist and his wife. Good reference if you'd asked me!
-Our visits to the cardiologist's office were amazing. Mary, Dr. Douglas' wife, performed two of the echocardiograms, and we fell in love with her as well.
 -We have been referred to a surgeon, Dr. Rush Waller, who we have heard amazing things about from a close friend of mine and who has also performed caths for Lillian. Lill knows the Memphis cardiologist world pretty well, and I trust her opinion greatly.

Praise God for calming our fears with much of the above.

Sunday Bennett was baptized and it was such a sweet time with our family and friends.
My daddy baptized Bennett on Sunday.

Remember the pictures on this same couch 19 months ago? Yeah...the little boys have grown up quite a bit.

Braden truly adores his little brother.

Braden kissing on Bennett. This is a regular occurrence in our house.

Picture fails are probably my favorite part of parenting. I don't think I need to explain what was going on here.

We'll never have a great family shot again.

So many friends have surrounded us during this time with Bennett. We are so grateful for our church community, our small group, our family, our close friends, and the NICS community. Here are the Youngs with our little man.
Please pray for us as we prepare for Thursday with Bennett:
-Pray that the surgery would be successful and that the surgeon's hands would be steady.
-Pray for the emotional wreck of a person that I might be that morning. :)
-Pray for Jed and me as we see Bennett through the recovery hour. Specifically--please pray that Bennett would come out of anesthesia well and with no complications.
-Pray that the Holy Spirit would move on Thursday. Jed and I long to see Christ in everything, and we long to give Him glory for that.
-Pray that God would draw our family together through this. Jed and I have had some major stress on our marriage these last few months (personal issues, discipline issues with Braden, the chaos of two children, figuring out my work situation, etc.), but God has used it to draw us together in a really new way. We have been given opportunities to know each other in new ways, and our friendship has grown through that. Pray that this would continue and that we would feel and know the Holy Spirit is responsible and at work!

Thank you in advance for praying with us! We have been so humbled at the amount of people who have loved us well through this. God has truly blessed us beyond anything we deserve.


Kelli said...

praying. i.love.you.

Roxanne said...

Your honesty and openness is amazing, Whit. Love you guys and we are praying!

Rachel said...

I love the way you write and I love you! We are all praying for b and look forward to the next blog!

Love you, mom

Leah said...

Whitney and Jed, I will pray for you both as well as Bennet as procedure is performed. God is Good all the time!

Rachel Michelle said...

I will be praying all the day long! Love you guys!

Jackie Parks said...

Praying for a peace that far exceeds your understanding.

Jackie Parks said...

Praying for a peace that far exceeds your understanding.

Christina said...

You always make me cry. : ) Praying for y'all.

Katy Lareau said...

This story brought tears to my eyes. You know, it's those struggles that make a relationship stronger! God never gives a person more that he/she can handle- I'm a firm believer in that. When Makenna (our youngest) was a baby, she has acid reflux so bad that we were in and out of LeBonheur four times before they started medication for reflux. Those times were extremely stressful (especially the financial part- which I despise stressing about anyway!), but it also brought our family closer. Good luck on Thursday, and I will be prayin for your little man!

Sissy said...

Whitney, I love your honesty and vulnerability. I have and will continue to pray for this little fellow and his dear family. Isn't it beautiful how God uses the trials to draw us closer to Him and each other? Love you much-Sissy

Anonymous said...

We will be praying for you all!
Tim Kensora

Anonymous said...

I have never met you or you precious family before but I saw your blog post off of a Facebook link. Your blog touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to tell you that I am praying for you and your family. I have said many prayers already within the last 30 minutes after reading your post. Our God is a mighty God, and is going to take care of your precious Bennett. I have a 2 year old and he is my world,so I can only imagine what your heart feels. You are not only his rock, but his mommy and you hold him and kiss him and tell him he's gonna be all better when he wakes up. I am going to continue the prayers today and the days and weeks, months and years to come that Bennett will grow to be a strong healthy individual. Keep your Faith strong and know That if God leads you to it, God will lead you through it.