Friday, February 8, 2013

CHD Awareness Week - Day 2

Today is day 2 of National Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week.  Day 2 of Keegan's life was September 13, 2007.  Over 12 hours of that day for Keegan were spent inside the cardiac operating room trying to fix a heart smaller than a walnut.  For us, those hours were spent on a roller coaster ride that was just getting started with a very rocky start.  We were told to anticipate a 5 to 6 hour surgery.  Despite the surgeons' best efforts, Keegan's heart would not work properly.  He was placed on a type of life support called ECMO that oxygenated and circulated his blood for him.  

Our hope was that Keegan's tiny body needed time to rest and respond to his repaired heart.  He was also born several weeks early, and it was possible that his lungs needed a little time to catch up.  We soon would find out that neither of those best-case scenarios existed for him.  But on this day in 2007, we were grateful that he was alive, no matter what it took to keep him here.  

The machine on the right is the ECMO circuit.
I am in the foreground on the left with Keegan in the incubator in front of me.
This was taken shortly after we were able to see him for the first time.
Keegan had the biggest room in the cardiac ICU, but with all the equipment, 
that desk chair in which I'm sitting was the only place to sit in the room.

*I want to give some warning that tomorrow's picture will be fairly graphic.  Please view with caution. It is one we originally did not share, but I feel it is an important part of Keegan's story.

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