Madison Pankratz

First post: Jan 23, 2019 Latest post: Feb 18, 2019
                As some of you know Madison was born with several heart defects.  She has faced several surgeries in her short life.  On December 3rd we left for Ann Arbor for her to face yet another surgery.  Little did we know that this surgery would take us down a different path.   Madison’s first surgery was to take 4 to 6 hours and was to fix her Mitral valve.  This surgery ended up taking 10 hours, and little did we know that they put a stitch in her coronary artery.  They essentially caused her to have a heart attack, so Madison’s second surgery happened on the December 7.  Madison developed some rhythm issues, which were not new to her, but they were going to wait and see if they resolved themselves.  They did not, so on December 12 she had a pacemaker placed.  We thought we were on the road to recovery, but they came back to us and shared that the valve was not working and her heart function was not good.  So, after a few studies, it was decided that she would need a replacement tissue valve.  She was feeling really good and her color seemed to be back.  Then on the December 22, in the afternoon we saw her heart start to race.  She had “blown” a stitch in the valve, and had to return to the operating room for yet another surgery.  We knew that her heart function was down, but hoped it would rebound. 

We came home from Ann Arbor and started to try to get back to normal life.  On the 10th of January we saw her rhythm specialist from University of Iowa, he had Madison wear a halter monitor and from that we discovered that Madison was having numerous bouts of rhythm issues.  On Wednesday, January 16, they called and wanted us to report to the hospital on Thursday.  We went in and they started her on some medicine.  On Friday, the doctors came to us to tell us that things were not good.  They wanted to send us to a center that was larger to meet her needs.  They also told us that her heart function was down considerably, from even the 10th of January.  So they said that if they could not get the medicine to work to get her rhythm issues in check, she would have to be put on an LVAD, a heart pump.  The doctors then shocked us when they said she would need to be placed on the heart transplant list.  Dave, Madison and I talked about the options of where they wanted to send us, and we chose to go to Iowa City to the University of Iowa Children’s hospital.  On Saturday, January 19, they send us on the flight to Iowa City.   We now are learning about Madison next chapter in her heart story…..