Madelyn Koch Gabriel and Mary Koch

First post: Jun 10, 2022 Latest post: Mar 28, 2024
In November 2021, we were excited to announce baby #3 was on the way! Mary began prenatal care with a midwife at Santiam Women’s Clinic here in Stayton. We planned to have all prenatal care and the delivery, right here in town at the small hospital. Evidently God had other plans.

At the 20-week anatomy ultrasound, the tech suspected something was amiss. We were referred to Salem Hospital, who then referred us to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland.  On March 2nd, we both went to OHSU for a full day; more imaging was performed and meetings with several doctors and their teams. An official diagnosis of Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA) was made. It was a big day, but extremely helpful and made us feel much better about everything. The team at OHSU / Doernbacher (the Children’s Hospital at OHSU) has been exceptional in every way; our baby will be in excellent hands there.

TGA is a very rare congenital heart defect that likely formed very early in pregnancy, when the heart and vessels were forming. Without intervention, a baby with TGA will die after birth when the fetal heart shunts close. Open heart surgery to perform an “Arterial Switch” operation is the definitive treatment ( >90% survival). Though watched closely throughout life, most babies who undergo Arterial Switch will lead mostly normal, healthy lives after recovery. This link gives a really good overview and explanation videos: Transposition of the Great Arteries | Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (chop.edu) (https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/transposition-great-arteries) . At Doernbacher, they perform many pediatric heart surgeries per year (including 7-8 surgeries for TGA per year) and the surgeons on our baby’s case are very experienced, which is comforting to know.

Since the official diagnosis at OHSU, there has been many extra appointments / fetal monitoring / ECHO’s. The plan is induction on Thursday June 16th (39 weeks gestation) at OHSU. Baby girl will spend a few days in the NICU on IV medication to maintain heart vessels, then open heart surgery for the Arterial Switch operation, followed by a 2-4 week recovery before coming home.

The past couple of months have been a roller coaster of ups and downs. We have already received love, prayers, and support from so many - our Silverton church family, those back home in Illinois, and many more; we're so thankful for the care that each of you have for us. We know this is all in God’s hands, and we are so thankful we can rest in His care, knowing that whatever the outcome or challenges we will face, God is going to provide for us. Please continue to pray for us, our girls, the medical teams, and our baby.

Love,

Gabriel & Mary

Lacy, Hazel, & baby girl 

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