An Illuminated Heart

Last Tuesday we had an appointment at the Cardio Clinic at Children’s to check in with Dr. Levine. We left with the beginning of Plan F in place with a date for a sedated echo and an all clear for another few months. She is very pleased with how well Izzie is doing and gave us some suggestions for her croupy cough that was scaring the crap out of me. Hearing her struggle after a coughing fit and knowing her O2 sats can drop when that happens are not a good combination for sleep. Overall it was a great check up and we left knowing the next steps were in place. 

Tomorrow, a friend of mine from high school is going to bring her daughter to the cath lab tomorrow. She will sit in the room with her, maybe a nurse will bring by some toys to keep her occupied before they give her the sedative. She will sign a few consent forms. The nurse and doctor will go over the procedure one more time while they wait for her daughter to get sleepy. They will bring the little girl back with them and leave her to wait. A year ago we were in the cath lab with Isabelle as we prepared for her Stage 2 surgery. We were in her shoes, left to wait. We found a place to set up our laptops and began to work, trying not to think about what they may find.

Before we knew it we were called back and they had finished. We went back to recovery and waited patiently for her to wake up. We were told she would be groggy and a little irritable. She was and very hungry too! I asked if we could see the pictures and if there was anything that raised concern. Just a small collateral, nothing big to speak of. Didn’t even need to coil it. 
*For those of you who don’t know, a collateral is a vessel that the body creates on its own to bring oxygen to a part of the body it feels needs it. Sometimes they can draw the supply away from where it should go, and cause problems. If they are substantial, the doctor will coil the vessel. 

I have seen many beautiful photographs in my life, but none as beautiful as my daughter’s heart. As the dye shot through her vessels, it illuminated her anatomy with such grace and beauty. As the dye passed through her system the image faded to black. Her heart beat strong, even with the delicate scaffolding supporting her circulation. Truly amazing. 

Tomorrow my friend will walk the same hallways, and hopefully see her beautiful girl’s heart the way we did. I pray that the surgeon will get what he needs to make the repairs necessary to give this beautiful girl a chance. I don’t doubt his hands will be blessed by God on Wednesday, as they have been many, many times already. I know the walk to the pre-op area will seem long and it will be so hard to hand her over to those blessed hands but I know when I watch Isabelle run around, smile at me and laugh, that it was worth it. 

Boston Children’s isn’t just where Isabelle has received care, it is where many people have gotten hope that their child will get better, that they will have a chance. Even my own husband has his own story of being at Children’s when he was a little boy. Just one more reason why Miles for Miracles is the charity I wanted to participate with this year. It’s not just about Isabelle. It’s about my friend’s daughter. It’s about all of us. 

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