May 21st was Madi's Heart Day...1 whole year post surgery!! The morning was actually a little emoitonal for me as I spent some time reading old blog posts and looking at pictures from our hospital stay. I am still amazed at how incredibly well she has done this past year especially given the complications that arose.
I remember waking Madi up very early that morning for our 5am check in time. We loaded her in the car and she of course was all smiles the whole way there. My stomach was in complete knots but I was trying to stay as calm and relaxed as possible. We waited in pre-op for a while and met a ton of people from the surgical team...anesthesiologists, ICU personnel, the team of surgical nurses, etc. Finally it was time for the dreaded moment. We left the ICU room and headed down the long hallway to the surgical area. We hit the double doors where we had to say our goodbyes. I tried so hard not to cry in hopes that I wouldn't worry my happy girl. We handed her to one of the nurses and watched as they walked back to the OR. They had to turn a corner before they were out of sight...I will never forget what happened next. As they turned the corner, Madi popped her head up over the nurses shoulder for one last glimpse of her teary eyed parents and just like that they were gone. My heart literally fell into my stomach and I lost all composure. We made our way down to the waiting room and there we sat for hours...literally 6 hours! The surgery was supposed to take 2 hours but ended up taking 6. A nurse called my cellphone every hour with an update...all she would say is he is still working and she is doing fine. That was the longest 6 hours of my life! We read magazines, played cards and games, told stories, looked outside...anything to keep our mind off of what was going on. Finally it was over and we met with the surgeon to explain how everything went. He said that it took a lot longer because of some unknown complications. It was the most difficult AV Canal he had ever seen. She was doing well and it appeared that the surgery was a success. He said there was a chance that she may need another surgery in the next few days...only time would tell and the first 48 hours were the most critical. We had to wait for a bit while they got her situated and stable in the ICU before we could see her. I remember walking into her ICU room...it was so overwhelming. It was like something out of a movie. There were at least 10 people in there, machines everywhere, alarms sounding, orders being called out, IV's being hooked and un-hooked, and a sweet little girl laying peacefully in the middle of so much comotion. It was very hard to see her intubated and totally sedated. The days that followed absolutely blew my mind. Each day tubes and wires were being removed and she became more and more alert. She showed us what an amazing fighter she is.
We spent a total of 10 days in the hospital. Her lungs had a hard time coming around and her valves were still leaking a bit. After being home for 4 days were back in the hospital with a staph infection in the incision site. The surgeon had to reopen the top of her scar (all the way down to her sternum) and let it heal from the inside out. She was placed on IV antibiotics for a few days and once her white bllod count returned to normal we were released to go home. Dave and I had to pack the wound with gauze and change it twice a day until it healed ( a few weeks). It was awful! I literally didn't lok at it for a week until I finally got the courage. The truth is, Dave wasn't home one night and the dressing needed to be changed so mom had to toughen up.
It was quite the journey for us and we are so grateful for such an amazing outcome. We had a few setbacks along the way but 1 year later our girl is THRIVING!! Prayers were answered and a family grew stronger! We don't know what the future holds for Madi in terms of more surgeries. There is still is a chance that she will need another repair down the road but for now, everything looks great. We are holding on to that and just enjoying every day with our Miracle Madi!
Happy Heart Day Madi! Of course we had to celebrate with a Heart Party this year. It looked like Cupid made an appearance at our house. I didn't get many pictures of the evening but we had heart decorations, a heart cake, and some close friends to help us celebrate Madi's big day. Here are a few pics from last year and this year. WOW...what a difference a year makes!