Today, Mommy and Daddy woke up early again. It’s Saturday–The day of my surgery. Everyone’s been busy these days and today is nothing different. Mommy and Lola gave me a bath and rubbed these special towels all over me and dressed me in a loose fitting outfit and off to the Hospital we went.
It surely was quiet around there this early in the morning. And I guess on Saturdays construction workers don’t get there this early or they don’t work because there were no sounds but the birds chirping. We checked in with security, and then to the check in area and a nurse came and greeted us. Brought us on a little walk and down the elevator. Daddy and Mommy sure were being quiet. Another nurse met us and had me lay down so she could do some paperwork which took about 45 minutes. Then, two people, I think, dressed in green and masks covering their faces came in. Mommy and Daddy started to cry and handed me over to them. This happened so quickly. I would have objected but I knew I had to get better. From here, my Mommy and Daddy will have to tell the story. I am going to be gone for a little while–sleeping they say. Mommy, Daddy… I love you–Pray for me and I will pray for you. Bye For now…
…As we watched our precious child be carried away because he was small enough not to need a transport bed, our tears poured out like rain. So many unknowns and nothing you can do–but pray and cry.
They ushered us to a waiting room and after awhile we were able to meet with Joseph’s surgeon, Dr. Reddy. We were ever so glad to meet him. Our tears had slowed down for a bit. He asked us if we had any questions, which is nice of him. Even though both Joseph’s Mom and I have a college education, well cultured and versed, one is never ready for the unknown. How do you ask questions if you never experienced it before? We are finding nothing is text book for we sure did research online and asking questions and nothing prepared us for this. The nurse that checked us in came to visit us a couple of times before it was time for her to leave. We had been given some snacks and milk which was so nice of them. The room was large enough to hold several families–which this being a Saturday, we were the only family there waiting. A TV was there but our minds were fixated on concerns of which we had no control over. Sometimes our talks would make us cry together and others anxious. Together, we were in harmony. We only wanted to be sure we would receive our Son back to us better than when we gave him to them. Once in awhile, we would text Mom and see if everything was alright. Hours went by. We tried to rest our eyes while waiting, but sleep really never came for the two of us. We called our friends in Idaho and asked them to pray and let them know surgery has started. It was set to take quite awhile. You really don’t dare go far because something could happen so you’re glued to this room. We found a little screen that was connected to a computer and we watched it with intent though we did not know which patient number our son was and noone came down so we could ask.
What seemed like were days were simply hours. The wait was agonizingly long. We discussed or simply thought about all the things that could go wrong and worked ourselves up to tear up again. Around 4 pm, something we have seen on the screen that all patients were finished. After a while, the doctor came back in and said they were finishing up and he should be in CV (Cardiovascular) ICU soon and we should be able to see him. He also explained to us that they left his chest cavity open, but we think we were just overwhelmed with everything going better than planned and it was a shorter surgery for when we finally got to the room, we were not prepared for what we have seen.
They led us to the main floor and explained to us how to get to the CVICU unit which we directly rushed to. They were not ready for us yet so they asked us to wait outside and they would come and get us. Either we walked in there asking if things were ready or someone did come and get us–this has escaped our memories, but walking into his portable, curtained room we were not ready for.
As soon as we walked into the room, even from a distance, our eyes swelled–how could it be? Don’t tears eventually dry up? All the cables, beeps and sounds. Then, we got closer and as you can see by Mom’s surprise–it drained all we had in us.
We could even see through the Opaque bandage his heart, every beat of his pumping heart. His Chest was open. Now we knew what to see. It simply took your breath away from astonishment. Our Beautiful baby boy was alive through machines breathing for him, and medicines and machines pumping his heart. He just laid there lifeless.
For the next 4 days, he would need to have his chest left open. We stayed at the hospital quite a bit but also, from time to time we had to remember we had another son and he as well needed our attention. So we went back and tried to get a little sleep and eat something.
During these four days our fears were coming true, he was waking up. He would look at us or move or try to make a sound. We were excited but worried as well with his chest still open. They wanted him at the brink of waking but not enough to feel or remember anything or experience much. But he recognized us, our smell and our voices.
The Fourth day came and we were so relieved. We finally came to the conclusion it’s not going to be a quick in and out and we needed for our own sanity to break down each milestone and celebrate them as they came forth.
* We wish to thank Amy Grant and her Management team for giving us permission to play her song Breath of Heaven for the background music. Thank You!