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My beautiful niece Evie was born 16 months ago with a couple of heart issues: 1. she didn't have a pulmonary artery, which is what provides oxygenated blood to the lungs. 2. The bottom of her heart has a single ventricle, instead of two - the wall that should separate them never grew. She had two surgeries last year to put shunts in to create the pulmonary artery, because of course she has to get oxygen to her lungs. She did quite well with those two surgeries, but it wasn't enough, and her blood oxygen is still not high enough. So this Thursday she's going in for a third shunt, possible replacement of the first two, and also a donor valve to create more of a real pulmonary artery. She'll have to be on a heart/lung machine for this surgery, and they'll have to stop her heart to put the new valve in. And everything down the road is dependent on how this surgery goes - if she can't get enough oxygen to her lungs, she can't have the surgery to address the ventricle issue. We don't even know what that would mean, but I know it's not good. I can't even begin to describe the stress my sister is going through right now......

Evie is a twin, and she and her brother Gavin have a blog, if any of you would like to see them. http://legendarytwins.blogspot.com/ She could use some prayers, purrs and warm thoughts!
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

Wow, Evie is so cute and so is Gavin. My prayers and good thoughts are definitely going out to you. Please let us know how the surgery goes.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

Oh, my heart goes out to you, your family, and especially little Evie. I am sending prayers that everything goes smoothly. What a little sweetie she is, and Gavin also.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

Thanks everyone..... it's good to know people are cheering for her! My brother-in-law described more about the surgery on the blog, but couldn't bring himself to talk about HOW they stop her heart. He's usually really good at talking about her surgery details, so I'm not sure I'd want to know how they do that part if he can't handle hearing it. Good thing she's a tough little girl!
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

How heartbreaking that she held on to the tissue package all day. She's a brave little girl. Many, many prayers and good thoughts for her as she goes forward on the journey. The entire family will be included in my prayers- I can't imagine how hard it is on everyone.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

Sending lots of good wishes and healing thoughts Evies way! Toby sends lots of purrs and head rubs too.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

What beautiful babies! Bless little Evie. We went through this sort of problem with a four month old. I know how worried you are. I called everyone I knew for prayers. Please know that my prayers are with that wee lamb. And I'm guessing that the word has gone farther than you think and that God is being bombarded with prayers! I hope He surrounds her with His loving arms and guides the surgeons' hands to give her a successful surgery and complete recovery. I'll be thinking of you. God bless.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

She's about four hours into the surgery right now.... Everything is going well so far, and the surgical nurses have been great about keeping my sister updated. They're updating their blog from the hospital, and there are some adorable pictures from their pre-op time. I'm at their house right now, babysitting for Evie's brother Gavin - for better or for worse, I'm the only one besides my sister who can put him to bed without great difficulty. He's gotten so used to playing with her hair as he falls asleep that if there's no hair he won't relax, and I'm the only other person he knows with long hair!

These two have blessed my life so much.... I'm so anxious for more good news about Evie!
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

Every finger, paw, and toe in my house (and that is alot) is crossed in our house that the surgery continues to go well.

Give Gavin a hug for me. I'm sure it is hard on him also.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

I'm still praying over here, too. :angel I've actually been thinking about Evie off and on today. Just read the blog updates and watched the video links. OMGosh, Evie has some amazingly strong parents! I would be a completely nervous wreck knowing my daughter is going through all that.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

Not out of the woods yet.... When they tried to take her off the heart/lung machine her oxygen levels went way down, so they put her back on it and tried again later. Same problem, so they took her back to surgery again and replaced the valve that they just put in with a larger one. Now we're right back where we were a few hours ago, waiting to hear how it goes when they try to take her off the machine again.

Gavin is slumbering peacefully..... I'm going to take that as a sign that all will be well. They might be fraternal twins, but they have quite a bond just the same, and he knows something is going on.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

WhiteKitties said:
They might be fraternal twins, but they have quite a bond just the same, and he knows something is going on.
I know that first hand. I have fraternal twins, almost 4 years old. They fight like cats and dogs at times just as any siblings will but deep down they have a great connection!

Evie and the entire family will continue in my thoughts and prayers. She seems like a tough little kid. I pray that she pulls through this with flying colors.
 

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Re: My niece is about to have heart surgery

Not the best news.... She's going to be on the machine for about three days. It's good and bad, though. It will do the work of her heart and lungs for her, so she can heal, but they can't close up all of their incisions until she's off of the machine, so she will be very heavily sedated. There are pictures of her as she looks now on the blog, but if you've never seen a baby with tubes and lines all over, you may have a hard time looking at them - when she had her first surgery I couldn't handle seeing pictures of her the way she is now, and now she's worse!

For better or worse, my hubby and I both lost our jobs last year, so we were able to tell my sister to take her time in getting home. We don't have to get up in the morning, after all. We were there until 2 in the morning - They finished up the second surgery around ten, my sister got to see her a little before one, and they got back home right about two. Thinking of the twins' connection again, I noticed that Gavin was awake and sitting up quietly in his crib at 1:30, and about 30 seconds later my sister called to say they were on their way home. It's as if he knew that they had just left Evie and would be home soon. He normally cries if he wakes up in the middle of the night, but he sat and played with toys until they got home and he heard my sister coming up the stairs.

I guess the good thing about this machine she's on is that it comes with a person - it's complex enough and serious enough that there's someone there with the machine and Evie 24 hours, as long as she's on it. It might not be family, but it's someone, and she really needs someone with her during these times.
 
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