Monday, May 4, 2009

Specific Prayer Request

We just got home from visiting Gaines. The doctors got the results from his heart echo today and I am going to try and explain everything. I am going to give the short version excluding all the medical terms.

From the heart echo the doctors confirmed that his PDA valve is still open, that the blood flow in the PDA is only flowing in one direction, and that the left side of his heart is enlarged. Originally the PDA valve had bilateral blood flow. The pulmonary hypertension in Gaines' lungs was causing enough pressure in his lungs that blood was flowing through the PDA valve in both directions; from the heart to the lungs and from the lungs to the heart. This bilateral flow was actually helping Gaines' pulmonary hypertension. Now, the pulmonary hypertension is gone which means the pressure in his lungs has decreased. This means the flow in his PDA is now mostly from his heart to his lungs.

The flow of blood from his heart to his lungs basically means the blood is getting back to his heart much quicker. This causes the left side of his heart to work harder which is why it is enlarged. This flow of blood through the PDA also means less blood is going to the rest of his body and some of his other organs may not be getting adequate blood supply.

In a separate issue (but related), Gaines has not been digesting his food very well. This could be because his intestines are not getting adequate blood flow and not functioning properly. Again, it all goes back to the PDA valve.

So, the doctors think it is time to close the valve. They close the valve by giving Gaines medicine once per day over the next three days. The first dose will be given at 10 PM tonight. On Thursday, Gaines will have another heart echo to make sure the PDA valve is closed. We were told this treatment to close the PDA valve works 50-60% of the time. If it does not work, the doctors will consider the risks/benefits of leaving the PDA valve open versus closing it with a surgical procedure. Hopefully, the PDA valve closes.

There is another concern if the PDA valve closes. Gaines has 4 small holes in his heart that the doctors currently classify as insignificant. If the valve closes, the amount of blood going through the heart and the pressure in the heart will increase and possibly cause these 4 small holes to become significant. The 4 small holes could basically do the same thing the PDA valve was doing, which is allowing blood to flow in the wrong direction back to the lungs. If this happens, there is a way to treat this with medication and surgery if it requires it.

Long story short, we need to close the PDA valve. We hope we can close it without a surgical procedure. If it closes, we hope Gaines' little heart tolerates it. I know this was a lot of information and very specific, but I wanted everyone to know exactly what prayers need to be said for Gaines. He has proven to be a fighter and we expect no different from him now.

Beau

16 comments:

King J's Queen said...

Praying....

Rhonda said...

Brittany & Beau,

(((( hugs )))) to both of you and to Gaines. The pictures of him holding tight to his Mom's hands are just precious. I'm still praying.

Rhonda

Marva said...

Praying!!!! Praying!!! Praying!!!

Stephanie said...

Praying for his valve to close!!! and sending hugs your way..I know you need them right now!

Kate said...

Praying!

malette-foreveryoung said...

Praying

Erica said...

Praying that God will touch Gaines' heart and close that PDA! We prayed the same prayer for our son when he was in the NICU, and it closed up after the first round of Indomethicin. God is working to heal Gaines even now.

Ruthie said...

Beau and Brittany,

I am praying tonight that his PDA valve will close without needing surgical intervention. I'm also praying that the other 4 small holes remain insignificant. The pictures from earlier were beautiful. I loved seeing him holding his Mommy's hand. Praying that the visits from friends this week are really encouraging!

Ruthie

Daxton's Personal Assistant said...

We'll be praying for it to close! If not, know that babies do tolerate the surgery very well, and I know several babies (including my own) who had the surgery with no ill effects, and my son was less than 2 lbs when he had his!

So proud of how well you guys are holding up... You know so much more at this point than we did! We'll be praying for your continued strength and fortitude!

Kelly said...

praying!!

Melody said...

Praying God close that valve!! ((hugs))

The Ellis Family said...

We pray each night and each morning for my sweet nephew Gaines! Praying for the PDA valve to close and that the VSD's remain an insignificant hurdle to climb. Keep a smile on your face - his progress is amazing!

We love you guys and sure are enjoying Reed. Only a few more days til he is there!

Hugs, Kelly

Beth said...

Praying for Gaines...

BrendaMac said...

I am praying specifically for Gaines heart to be made perfect in God's way. No holes, no enlargement, the PDA valve closed. The perfect heart for the perfect GOD we serve. Praying for your comfort as well.

Brenda Mc

Jayme said...

Lots of prayers coming your way - for both Gaines' heart and you and Beau's peace of mind.

Chad said...

Our family is praying that Gaines will respond to the medication and that his PDA valve will close and that the holes will continue to be "insignificant." Please know that if he does need the PDA surgery, our premature baby girl had the surgery at 4 days old and did very well. May God bring you a measure of comfort and peace at this extremely difficult time!