Our beautiful daughter Jessica was born in September 2011 with a severe heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. This was diagnosed at her 20 week scan and we were initially told that she was unlikely to be suitable for surgery. However, a pioneering in-utero operation at 28 weeks to enlarge a hole in her atrial septum was carried out and she was able to make it to term and get through her first open-heart surgery at just eight hours old. Jessica underwent five more surgeries during her life. Her final surgery - the Fontan procedure - took place in December 2017. She initially made a good recovery but sadly passed away suddenly on 14th April 2018 at the age of 6. This is the story of a little girl whose half a heart overflowed with love. She was, and will forever be, our little miracle and brought joy to all who knew her.

Thursday 28 December 2017

Completing the Fontan

Jessica went down to theatre at about 9am this morning. She was an absolute superstar – smiling and chatting away to everyone right up to the point that she went off to sleep. We then had a long wait to endure while she was in theatre although we did receive occasional brief updates throughout the day.

Jessica sitting on her theatre trolley ready to go in for her op

Mr Viola, the surgeon, came up to the ward at about 4.30pm. Jessica was fine. Her surgery had been taken a bit longer than expected. They had done an internal Fontan procedure (inserting a tube into the heart itself) rather than an external one (making a conduit outside the heart) because there were veins in the way. He had also needed to do some work on Jessica’s left pulmonary artery. Because the surgery was a little more complex than anticipated and Jessica needed to be on bypass for quite a while, her lungs may struggle a bit at first with adjusting to her new circulation. However, he was happy with the blood flow through the Fontan and how Jessica’s heart was coping with it.

We finally got to see Jessica on PICU around 7.30pm. The consultant on PICU tonight has looked after Jessica several times in the past and it was reassuring for us to see a very familiar face! Tonight will be all about trying to get all her vital readings where the team would like them to be and keep them there. We are very aware of what a rollercoaster ride this can be!

Thank you all so much for all your prayers, love and support. We are so thankful that Jessica has come through her Fontan surgery and will be praying that her recovery will be considerably smoother than it has been with her past surgeries!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad the surgery is over and done with and I hope she recovers quickly. I will keep you all in my thoughts and look forward to positive updates on your blog and social media.