Mike Flynn writes:
My cousin’s grandson, Colin Michael, was born Thursday, November 1st with a very complicated heart defect detected during pre-natal tests: pulmonary atresia with a ventrical-septal defect (VSD). Approximately 7 in 100,000 babies are born with both defects present. In addition, he has a blockage (restriction) at the VSD which is only present in 1% of the previous babies. So this affects only 1 in approximately 1,500,000 births.
The long-term prognosis for such infants is not good, but the parents refused to consider abortion. The team at Columbia Presbyterian in NYC consulted with the renowned Dr. Frank Hanley in CA, who offered to take on the challenge, and the parents flew to Stanford for his birth.
Last week Dr. Hanley successfully removed the restriction that was partially blocking the VSD and he successfully created the aortopulmonary window to allow additional blood flow through the pulmonary arteries. The arteries are expected to grow as a result of these achievements.
Towards the end of the surgical procedure Colin ran into a few complications with respect to his right ventrical (RV) function, which require him to remain on a portable heart-lung machine (called an ECMO machine) for his initial days in the CVICU. His heart is pumping on it’s own, but the RV needs a little help adjusting to pumping against less pressure as a result of removing the VSD restriction, and the ECMO machine provides this assistance.
The cardiology team is optimistic, based on their experience and statistics, that the RV will be pumping on it’s own without help from the ECMO machine. But this was only the first surgery. Another is to follow in 3-4 months. Colin could use a few prayers, in thanksgiving for the success of the birth and the first operation and in petition for the success of the second.
Father, hear our prayer for Colin Michael’s complete healing in body, soul, and spirit and that he would grow to a healthy adult, full of the Holy Spirit and love of you and neighbor. Thank you for the successful birth and surgery. Grant skill, compassion and wisdom to his caregivers in the second surgery, and grace, peace, and strength to all who love him. Mother Mary and St. Luke pray for him. We ask all this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.