One-Week Old Has Open-Heart Surgery

I cried at his bedside every day. And at a week old, I finally got to hold my son. Well, they laid him in my lap because I couldn’t cuddle him (he had the IVs everywhere and the breathing tubes).


The big surgery. CVICU.

The big surgery. CVICU.

On his one week birthday, he had open-heart surgery.


And on that surgery table, a miracle happened. The world-renown surgeon Dr. Reddy opened the valve that was closed (so blood could flow to the lungs) and his heart began to work on its own. This first heart surgery was to put in what is called a “Shunt.” This shunt would act as a temporary bypass keeping open the blood passageway from the heart to the lungs. Since the heart was working, questionably– but working, the shunt was capped on both sides (not for use unless in an emergency) and permanently left in.


They closed his chest THREE days later just to make sure his heart could handle the new workload. We could literally see his heart beating through a cellophane shield they placed over his chest, but my husband insisted they place a napkin over it so that I wouldn’t have to look at it.


2 thoughts on “One-Week Old Has Open-Heart Surgery

  1. I’m so sorry to hear & read about your sweet baby. I just want to offer some encouragement. I am 38 years old. I was born with pulmonary stenosis. I know it’s no where near as serious of a condition as your son’s…but here I am, healthy after having open heart surgery at 3 days old in 1976 at Sutter Memorial in Sacramento. I had a follow up balloon cath done at age 12 which failed that led to my 2nd open heart surgery at 12 yrs. I also have a brother who is 25 that also had the same surgery as I did the same year in 1988. He too is healthy! He did have another surgery when he was 2, however we’ve both survived. I have no doubt your son will pull through this strong as ever & will continue to be healthy well into adulthood. I know our conditions are vastly different, yet similar. I look at the difference in technology & medicine today vs. 1976 & 1988…The medical world has made huge strides! God bless your family & I will keep you all in your thoughts & prayers always! Merry Christmas.

    • That was very, very thoughtful of you to offer encouragement. We can use it! It does give us hope to hear other stories and your story is encouraging — so thank you! We were given zero hope at first. Thanks, again. Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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