Hello to our Family and Friends, thank you for following Whitney's Caring Bridge blog. We will be using this to hopefully keep all of our loved ones updated in one place. Here is Whitney's story for those that may not be completely up to speed on the journey we have embarked on.
Whitney had been having a really hard time eating starting a little more than a week ago, we ended up in the ER with a double ear infection on Sunday, Feb 24th. Everything sort of went downhill from there, between throwing up the antibiotic multiple times, not sleeping much, eating and drinking very limited amounts for almost 48 hours, we decided to go back to the ER at St. Alphonsus in Nampa on Tuesday, February 26th. The staff there was fantastic and took great care of our girl, it helps that Daddy works there and everyone knows and loves him around there. They originally diagnosed her with possible pneumonia due to her troubled sounding breaths and we started down a path of treatment for that. By the Grace of God, they suggested a chest x-ray just to be on the safe side, which we were happy about. Thank goodness they did, because they discovered that her little heart was significantly enlarged. That raised enough concern with our care team that they transferred us to St. Luke's Children's in Boise for further evaluation. After additional testing, Wednesday, Feb 27th, our beautiful 7 month old baby girl was diagnosed with a Congenital Heart Defect called ALCAPA, (Anomalous Left Coronary Artery From the Pulmonary Artery). Not to be confused with the furry and adorable 4 legged ALPACA unfortunately. We are trying to find some sort of lightness in all the heaviness weighing on our hearts right now. ALCAPA is a condition where one of the arteries connects to the pulmonary artery rather than the aortic artery likes it's supposed to during development in the womb. This is a fairly rare condition and not usually discovered until the baby is around 5-8 months old, unless they exhibit various symptoms, which our little Whitney did not. What ALCAPA does, is limits oxygenated blood flow to the left ventricle of the heart because the arteries are not connected where they are supposed to be. The blood can sometimes back up in the heart, causing enlargement and other various problems.
After this crazy and very unexpected diagnosis, everything is sort of a whirlwind. Only a few short hours later, Lindsey and Whitney were being flown to Seattle Children's Hospital via St. Luke's Life Flight to prepare for surgery to repair the defect. Jacob was able to get a flight to Seattle a few hours later, the surgery was already underway by the time he arrived. There was a lot of watching and waiting over the next few days. Whitney's vitals have stayed pretty stable, she is a strong little fighter and the team here in Seattle is pretty amazing at what they do. After much monitoring by the Cardiologist and the care team, Whitney underwent her second surgery on Saturday, March 2nd to close up her chest cavity. This was the next big step and it was a very big relief to all of us to have her little chest closed up. She had her chest tubes removed yesterday, Sunday, March 3rd and again, lots of waiting and monitoring of vitals, temperatures, breathing, blood circulation and lots of other stuff we don't fully understand. Things seemed to be staying pretty positive and she is doing so good for such a little baby. There have been some concerns about proper blood flow through the repaired heart as it adapts to the changes. This has caused some circulation issues in her arms and legs and they are closely monitoring her for improvements. Unfortunately, this also means we may be staying in Seattle longer than anticipated. We had hoped for a few weeks at most, but they let us know this morning, it will likely be approximately 2 months before we will get to bring our little Miss home to Idaho. Talk about a curve ball in life, we are so blessed to have found the problem and that it was repairable. As tired and overwhelmed as we are feeling right now, we recognize the blessing we have been given at this time. We still have a long road ahead and many unknowns but we are holding it together for now and focusing on what Whitney needs from us. We appreciate all of your prayers, words of hope and encouragement and for loving our sweet little girl. We will do our best to keep people updated, this has also been a wonderful realization of how many people we truly have supporting and loving us through this incredible journey.