Darlene Perkins

First post: Aug 7, 2019 Latest post: Aug 14, 2019
You can read below for a history of what has brought Dar to this point.  Dar will be having robotic open heart surgery on August 7th at Portland Adventist Health.

On Saturday, June 16th, 2019 Dar wasn’t feeling well, fighting a later diagnosed allergy causing severe coughing spasms.  It was during one of those episodes that she became severely short of breath and ill with pain in her left upper chest.  She was taken by ambulance to Legacy Meridian Park Hospital in Tualatin.  After test pointed to a heart attack the Dr. decided the best plan of action was an angiogram.  The angiogram showed no blockage, rather a large tumor in the left atrium of her heart, called a myxoma (https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007273.htm).  They believe the tumor to be benign, but will not know until it is biopsies after removal. At this point in time doctors are unsure if the episode on the 16th was due to a piece of the tumor detaching or another condition called Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy.  What we do know is it was divine intervention the tumor was discovered.  Over 95% of the time these heart tumors are found during an autopsy or catastrophic event such as a stroke.  

The following week records were sent to the cardiac surgery department at Portland Adventist Health.  Upon receipt the head of the department, Dr. Thomas Malloy, asked Dar to come in immediately to discuss surgery.  Dr. Malloy shared the tumor was half the size of her heart chamber and needed to be removed in the next few days via open heart surgery.  Because she was too fragile to undergo traditional open heart surgery, in which the sternum is broken, the Dr. opted for robotic open heart surgery.  Dr. Malloy has performed approx 2000 robotic assisted surgeries and this will be approximately the 15-20th open heart robotic surgery.  However, after pre-surgical tests, it was determined her heart was too weak, she was severely anemic and her blood platelet levels were too low to have a positive outcome.  Instead surgery was scheduled for August 7th with weekly 3 hour infusions to bring her anemia and blood platelet levels to an adequate level and give time for her heart to strengthen.

Last Thursday at her pre-surgery orientation it was revealed she has a 50% improvement in her levels!  There was a minor road block Sunday afternoon as an eye infection reared itself.  After two different antibiotics the infection is under control, but we are praying this does not affect surgery or complications for tomorrow’s surgery. 

Dar is the first scheduled surgery of the day.  She will arrive at 5am and doctors anticipate she will be heading into surgery around 9am.