Dr. Clark just came to talk with us. He gave Verity another chance tonight to show what she could do without the pacemaker, and for the first time, he is seeing some hopeful signs!
Basically, when Dr. Clark was sewing the patch to close up the hole in Verity’s heart, the stitches around the very bottom of the patch may have blocked the electrical signals that the top of her heart (atrial) was sending to the bottom of her heart (ventricular). This is called heart block, and her heart block was third degree, or complete. No signals were getting through from the top to the bottom.
He said that this could be caused by swelling from the surgery, which would be resolved within the first few hours or days. It could be caused by bruising from the surgery, which would be resolved within seven to nine days. Or it could be caused by the actual stitches blocking the pathway, which obviously cannot be resolved. But even in the third case, sometimes those signals find another pathway around the blockage. This can happen even after a permanent pacemaker has been placed.
The more days that have gone by without signals getting through that blockage, the more likely that the situation would not resolve on its own. As all statistics are, this probability is based on what has happened in past cases, and is not a predictor of the future! We told Dr. Clark today that if God wants her to have a pacemaker, she is 100% certain to have a pacemaker, and if He doesn’t, she is 100% certain not to get one.
The good news is that when he tested her tonight, some signals were getting through from the top to the bottom! Not very strong yet, but there, and fairly steady!
And this afternoon, we watched as she got her first echocardiogram since the surgery. We heard all sorts of words like “excellent,” “great plumbing,” “beautiful job,” words like that.
Ordinarily, two surgeons work together on surgeries like the one Verity got. But the main surgeon here at Hershey was on vacation when Verity needed hers, so Dr. Clark went solo. This man has impressed us for more than one reason. Since Verity’s surgery last Friday, he has done more reading on the heart block/pacemaker situation, and has come and explained some more to us. He clearly has his heart in his work. He comes and finds us wherever we are in the hospital occasionally, and keeps us informed when there is any “heart news” about our baby. He is very sensitive and personable, and keeps asking us if there is anything he can do for us. And apparently, he does very good work in the operating room.
I asked him if we should get our hopes up about tonight’s news. He replied, “Mine are!”
So, great cause for thankfulness tonight!