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3/3/2016 Latest post:
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
LOGAN'S STORY As many of you know, Logan has a congenital heart defect called supra valvular aortic stenosis and pulmonary stenosis. That's a fancy way of saying that the arteries to/from his heart are too narrow. He was diagnosed with the condition immediately after he was born and has seen a cardiologist regularly since then. When he was 18 months old, his condition went from moderate to severe and he had to have open heart surgery to widen the area above the aortic valve (the aortic root area). That surgery was a complete success and he was released after only five days in Mary Bridge Hospital. Go Logan!
Logan's cardiologist, Dr. McCloskey, continued to monitor his condition, including Logan's high blood pressure that seems almost impossible to control. Dr. McCloskey has always advised us to be prepared for a second open heart surgery, but we prayed those were words that we would never have to hear. All things considered, Logan is the healthiest heart patient I've ever seen. He's active and strong and he's built like Marshawn Lynch. But lately, he's shown signs of tiring easily when he plays sports or just wrestles around with his brothers. Deep down inside, I think both Dean and I knew that another surgery was getting closer.
Fast forward to August 2015; Logan had an episode of difficulty breathing and chest pain so we rushed him to the ER. Doctors were unable to confirm if it was heart-related (mom thinks it was more likely indigestion from the pounds of chicken wings he ate earlier), but the fact that it happened when Logan was sleeping (and not overexerting himself) had doctors concerned. That ER visit led to two cardiac catheterizations and an MRI, which showed extensive narrowing along Logan's ascending aorta, aortic arch, and descending aorta. The words "second open heart surgery" were finally spoken. I hate those stupid words. So with that, we started planning for surgery number two. And by prepare, I mean we hurried up and waited. Because when you have a heart condition, nothing is simple. Logan had some cavities that needed filling because they didn't want bacteria in his mouth for surgery, but he can't do normal numbing agents because they affect his heart so we had to arrange to have the teeth pulled in a hospital setting by a dentist with Mary Bridge privileges and where a pediatric cardiac anesthesiologist could administer the anesthesia. Seriously? I swear it took less energy to plan my own wedding. Getting that tooth extraction scheduled took FOREVER. But finally, we had a date: Feb 10 AND a date for heart surgery: Feb 25. Life was finally moving forward.
So on February 10, we did our tooth thing and all went well. The dentist pulled five teeth and, thanks to the Tooth Fairy (aka Dad, who Logan has eating out of the palm of his hand) Logan can basically pay for his first year of college with his loot from those darn teeth (tooth fairies are apparently very generous when you lose your teeth in an operating room).
One surgery down. 15 days and counting until OHS2 (open heart surgery, round 2). We dutifully went about our pre-ops; all went well and we were ready to kick this CHD (congenital heart defect) in the butt and get this surgery behind us! And then we got the dreaded call that an emergency newborn heart surgery had bumped Logan's surgery to a new date: March 1. BAH! But now we had the luck of the Irish on our side and five more days to prepare (or obsess, however you want to put it). So we busied ourselves over the weekend, ate a lot of chicken wings again (Logan's choice), and just enjoyed time together as a family. Finally, Tuesday arrived and Dean, Logan and I headed up to Seattle Children's at 5am for a 6am check-in. Logan got his happy drugs (still wondering where mine and Dean's were) and they took him back to the OR around 7. Over the next 6-7 hours, two of Seattle Children's ridiculously talented cardiothoracic surgeons widened Logan's ascending aorta and aortic arch by dissecting the artery and putting a patch on it. Surgery went as expected, although the surgeon commented that Logan's aortic arch was even worse than he thought. I always knew that kiddo's heart was EXTRA special.
So, with surgery number two wrapped up, Logan was returned to his room in the Cardiac ICU and we settled in for a week (ish) long stay, where recovery was expected to go somewhat normally. Logan was sedated and could not interact with us, but all was going as anticipated for the first few hours. Dean and I FINALLY breathed a sigh of relief.
And then our whole worlds were turned upside down. As Dean and I stood by Logan's bedside that evening, nurses suddenly noticed that his blood pressure was dropping. In a matter of seconds, Logan's pressure dropped by 60 points and then his sweet little heart just stopped; my beautiful baby boy with the extra special heart was in cardiac arrest. WHAT THE F-? (I would type the full word for dramatic effect, but I promised God in those hours after cardiac arrest that I would stop swearing if he let us keep Logan). What happened after that is like a scene from an ER episode that I never wanted to watch, let alone participate in. Lights started flashing, doors flew open, alarms started sounding. We were the "CODE BLUE" (cardiac arrest) over the Seattle Children's intercom system. WHAT THE HECK? THIS WASN'T HAPPENING. Doctors and nurses (one after another after another after another) flew into Logan's room. Crash carts were rolling, syringes were flying, people were running. And all I could hear were doctors screaming, "It's not working" and "He's not responding." I will NEVER be able to put into words what it feels like to think you've lost your child. Utter devastation is an understatement. I would have rather had my limbs cut off slowly, one-by-one, than face the thought of doing life without my witty, goofy, one-of-kind Logan. That scene will FOREVER haunt my thoughts.
But I digressed. Doctors immediately started doing CPR and chest compressions. Still non-responsive. And then the ECMO machine appeared. THE ECMO MACHINE!!! GOD BLESS the ECMO machine! I'm so grateful for that darn machine that I may name our next dog ECMO. Heck, if I had another kid (knock on wood), I'd name our darn CHILD ECMO. 36 minutes after Logan's heart arrested, doctors were able to get his heart and lungs hooked up to the heart/bypass machine (ECMO) and he was alive. ALIVE!! 36 minutes from arrest to ECMO. It is still unclear what effect those 36 minutes had on Logan's organs, particularly his brain, but my God, my baby was alive and his skin was warm and I could touch him. That's all I asked for from God ... I didnt care WHICH Logan He left me, just that he leave me his BODY with an ounce of life in it so that I could touch him, and kiss him, and hug him. (I later amended that request and asked that he at least give me 10% of the old Logi because, let's face it, I'm selfish and it really is all about me; and, even 10% of Logan is still one freaking fantastic kid)!
So here we are, day 2 (feels like day 222) of OHS2 and we are in the cardiac ICU, Logan's on ECMO and our "normal recovery with 7 days in the hospital" just got a lot more complicated and much longer in duration. Hence, the creation of this Caring Bridge site. This site is a win/win for all of us. I get the therapeutic effect of getting out of my own head and you can all stay up to date on Logan and us and this crazy thing we call life. LIFE!!! God, I love that word, too. So our next dog will be named ECMO LIFE Burton. Kinda has a ring to it, don't ya think?
So, that's Logan's story up to March 2, 2016. The fact that I get to write about life and Logan on March 3 is my dream come true, my prayers answered, and the reason I have a ridiculously ginormous IOU with God. I'll happily take on that debt.
We will continue to post on FB, but I'll write a bit more here. I'll also post pictures because I want everyone to know what these little warriors go through when they have congenital heart defects. These pictures are hard to see, I'll admit that. No 7-year-old should ever have to go through this. But with knowledge and awareness comes increased research and funding. Funding for things like an ECMO machine. The machine that saved my baby's life. You can bet your ass (crap, is that a swear word? Sorry God) that my donation to Logan's Jump Rooe for Heart will be a bit larger next year now that I know that the money raised goes to fund developments like that (I swear that's not intended to be a plug; just a real-life example of what $$ raised can do).
Thank you to to all of our Prayer Warriors and #teamlogan friends. We have felt your prayers and your support every step of this journey. Logan has, too. The power of prayer is so strong and I truly believe THAT's what returned Logan to us last night. He is a hero. He's battled this CHD since day one with strength and bravery and acceptance and he will continue to do so. He is, and always will be, MY heart hero.