Thursday, September 13, 2012

First Full Day Toward Recovery in the Cardiac ICU

I apologize for the late has a been a busy day and we are still recovering from the emotional drain of waiting through Shane's surgery. Last night we left Shane in the wonderful hands of the Boston Children's Hospital Cardiac ICU team at about 7:30 pm, grabbed some takeout, walked back to the Yawkey House, shared our meal picnic style on our bed with our daughter Olivia while watching a quick 15 min Elouise cartoon. Then we all promptly passed out both emotionally and physically. Our doctor and the CICU nurse both emphasized that Shane was heavily sedated and would be kept asleep till mid morning or later. They had encourage us to go back and get a good night's rest because when he awakes he will need our full attention. After the good report on the surgery and encouragement to get some rest, we were all able to sleep peacefully.


This morning, we returned to check on Shane at about 8:30-- he had done well throughout the night and they had started to slowly allow him to breath without assistance. Once he was breathing completely on his own they were going to Ex tubate him--take out his throat tube. The CICU staff encouraged us to get some food and they would call us when they were going to start waking him. At 12:15 pm they Ex Tubated him. From that point he was very groggy and struggling to stay awake. He appeared to be in a lot of pain but he was given some morphine-- it appeared to help and also make him sleepy. When he was awake he would only say a few words...asking for apple juice and mommy. The nurse was slowly allowing him to drink throughout the day. I watched him knock-out a 6 oz can in about 1 min. It was obvious he was ready to drink a lot more than they were letting him. The rest of our day was taking turns standing with him--bed is high and chair is low. However, even when he was sleeping he would latch on to your fingers and squeeze it-- it appeared to comfort him. Although he looks less like someone asimulated by the Borg today, he still has many wires, tubes, and monitors connected. He still has two large drainage tubes that come out of his chest near his heart as well as an IV in his neck and arm. The tubes will be removed once he is breathing well on his own. Currently, he is congested which is a common side effect from the breathing tube. They have been trying to get him to cough it up...but who in there right mind would want to cough after having your chest split open?However, this is the next critical step....they need the congestion to clear and breathing normalize before they remove the tubes. Once the tubes are removed then they can consider moving him out of the CICU.

The wonderful prayer quilt sent to Shane from Northside Presbyterian Church

So please continue to prayer for his quick recoverers and specifically for the congestion. It is so marvelous to think that in March this year we were in China bringing Shane home. We knew Heart Surgery needed to happen quickly for this little is just amazing how God has opened the doors and cleared the obstacles for his surgery to happen so soon and by such a fantastic medical team.


Susie is staying the night with Shane. From now on she will be staying with him until he is discharged. We were told to expect to stay in the hospital 5-7 days with a 5-7 day out patient in the local Boston area before allowing us to bring him back to VA. I will stay till Fri to ensure Shane is stable and on the road to healing as well as ensure Susie has what she needs. Olivia, our 4.5 yr old, and I will travel home and return once we know Shane is ready to come home. Susie and Shane will move back into the Yawkey Family House once he is discharged.

We received a wonderful gift today....a prayer quilt from Northside Presbyterian Church, Blacksburg, VA. This is the church that my wonderful sister- in-law Linda pastors. The quilt is beautiful and Shane will get much enjoyment and comfort from it. It is getting late....God Bless you all



  1. Wow, I was replying to your latest post and this one came up. Thanks so much for this update. All good news!!!

    A friend, who used to be a PICU nurse before 4 children, told me when S was recovering from OHS: "Slow and steady wins the race."

    Just remember that as each time something is taken out, you are one step closer to home but it is all a delicate balance of not proceeding too quickly. You are in good hands and so thankful you all got a good night's rest. We plan to do the same next month when baby girl has her OHS.

    Will check back tomorrow for another good report! GO SHANE!!!

  2. BTW, Shane looks AMAZING! He doesn't even look puffy. Wow!!! And the prayer quilt is precious!!!

  3. Tom you are amazing for finding the time to update this blog during such a draining time and we want you to know how much we appreciate that.
    There are so many people caring about Shane and your family here. People asking me all the time how you guys doing. Olivia's teacher, MOPS moms, even Olivia's ballet teacher. They all send their prayers and love.
    Seeing your pictures make me want to hug Shane so badly!
    We'll be praying the next days go smoothly and he'll feel better soon. And also my prayer for your strenght.
    Thanks again for update.