Update #4

Jason, one of Albie’s godparents,  sat vigil with Albie through the night. We are about to head up there now.

I have no real words to explain anything and I am not sure where to start. Albie is safe and stable. Dr Artrip, his surgeon, has warned us that kids like Albie, who are doing well, and then have these types of cardiac crisis are hard to treat. Its something that is impossible to predict and they dont know what caused it to happen. This happens here at Starship only 2 or 3 times a year and they do bypass operations every day, so its definitely out of the box. His heart has been beating, not strongly enough, but its there. The function of it otherwise appears good, so that is great. No blood goes through it though for the next few days to rest it as much as possible. They hope that after this rest it will be okay again. He hasn’t minced words with us and has warned that it may not be.

His brain. His beautiful, beautiful mind. This is where my tears start. He has about four screens around his head, and a gazillion probes measuring his brain activity. There will be no photos now. His chest is open and there are over 28 cords on his gorgeous hair alone. This morning they will do a muscle reactivity test and a brain waves test to assess the amount, if any, of brain injury from what happened yesterday.

We already feel thankful for so much. Yesterday, when Albie’s heartrate skyrocketed, plummeted and then ultimately stopped, his ICU pod became a flurry of activity – first as a resus bay, then as an impromptu theatre site. They got in there so, so quickly and for that we are crazy lucky. You see, the best surgeons that they needed to do that, were the ones that operated on Albie the day before. And by chance, they were all kitted up, with their surgical team, in the theatre next door. Not operating on another heart baby as had been planned but waiting as there had been a delay. The kind of delay that had been making us crazy a few days ago, kind of worked in our favour yesterday. If they hadn’t been there in the wings, things would be much more dire now than they are.

So, in the face of all of this we are hopeful. Albie’s whole body is hypothermic at the moment, and paralysed with a cacophony of drugs and through all of that he squeezed my hand last night. And incredibly he even opened his eyes when a probe got taken off his forehead. He’s there for sure – I just hope and hurt and pray that it is the Albie we knew and love so, so, so much.

Thanks for all your messages, we read everyone of them together through tears. Your support is getting us through.


  1. Strong little Albie, not fair that he has to be quite so strong, but he is. I love that he squeezed your hand and opened his eyes.I think he’s letting you know that he feels all the love you have for him and he’s trying to say he loves you back. I went to church for the first time in years after work yesterday and prayed for him. While we were there a group of young boys all healthy and full of energy burst in and we both prayed that would be Albie really soon. So much love for you all.

  2. Please know that we will continue to send many positive thoughts, Many ,many prayers and good vibes here from Michigan for Albie. I wish there was something I could do to ease your pain and worry but as a mom of a fellow heart child (Ella is now 6 and aroad a Rastelli Senning Repair for corrected transposition 3 years ago). I know the best I can do for now is continue ouemprayer chain which we will continue ferviously

  3. Sarah and Marcus, the tears flow as I read this. I just wish I could wave a magic wand and make the wee man fit and healthy. There’s not a minute gone past when I haven’t thought of you all these past 2 days. Sending lots and lots of love and huge hugs to you all and praying that Albie gets through this xxxxxxxx

  4. If I could bottle up all my strength and give it to you I would. Holding vigil over here, in Lancashire. Hoping and praying and sending love from Liam and Ailsa xxx

  5. So glad to hear he opened his eyes and squeezed your hand. Precious little fighter. My son never got near ECMO, but it’s the scariest thing I think I’ve ever heard of and my heart broke for you reading the update last night. So, so glad to hear he’s responding in small ways despite all the stuff in and on him. Those small favors (the surgical team ready next door) are the things I ask the Universe for, that the right people are in the right places at the right time. He was the first thing I thought of this morning, so much so that I added in another little prayer while I was on the treadmill at the gym. Stay strong and postitive for him, he’s aware, keep up the good vibes as difficult as it may be. Continuing to keep the good vibes and thoughts headed your way.

  6. I sit here crying, my heart aching but with a smile on my face as at times like this I believe so much that Albie has a guardian angel right beside him and someone is listening to us all pray for him. Again and again Albie proves that he is a fighter and wow!! what an amazing man he is going to be!!! Am going to LOVE watching him grow up!! Clare

  7. Oh you guys, words fail me. You are, and continue to be, absolutely amazing. Albie is letting you know, big time, that he is fighting the good fight alongside you.

  8. Heart breaking and many tears but Craig and I have been praying so hard and sending you all our love and strength. What fortune with the team and blessing he squeezed your hand! Thank you so much for the strength to update us, we’re checking back and holding onto Hope. We love you and will see you as soon as possible xx

  9. Our love and prayers continue big time from Aunty Tui and me.
    Glad he opened his eyes and squeezed your hand Sarah .
    Thank you for so posts on your blog as it helps us to focus on when and where you need
    prayers focused.
    I praise God for modern technology that means we can so easily send messages of
    support. Janice

  10. What can I say other than we are sending you love and keeping you in our hearts and willing Albie to pull through this. He is such an amazing little fighter and with you two as parents he knows what he is fighting for. You are amazing. A whole lot of people here thinking of you and wishing you all well and sending love. Big hugs x Kerris and all x

  11. Thinking of you every step of the way. Praying for today to bring more promising signs that Albie is going to be OK. Much Love, Strength, healing vibes and peace of mind in knowing that despite odds miracles do happen xx

  12. Sending all our love and prayers Sarah and Marcus, on behalf of the Family Support team @Heart and Wellington@Heart. Amazing Albie could squeeze hands and open his eyes through that smothering cacophony of drugs! What strength he must have! Just like his parents. Hang in there. We’re not far away. xx

  13. Oh my goodness guys you are amazing in your strength and love, and in your ability to gather us all together, who care for you, into a united army for Albie. Thanks for allowing us to travel this journey with you, for your honesty, your vulnerability, and your courage. By your example you teach us all so much. With you there in spirit and sending a cyber hug for you and your wee man. xxx 🙂

    • I’ll second that, Albie does indeed have a united army of support – all over the world. As do you both. I understand how scary and horrible hospitals can be and how helpless you feel, but you just being there is what matters. Albie will feel that surge of love. Hope you managed to get a little rest, look after yourselves too. Much love x x x x

  14. Sarah, I don’t know you well,and I have never met Albie. I only discovered this blog and your journey yesterday. I don’t have the words to tell you how much I feel for you, but I want you to know you have been in my thoughts and my heart this past 24 hours. Yesterday I lit a candle for Albie, it still burns brightly this morning. Keep strong guys, you are amazing xx

  15. When I left you last night I stopped off across the road to have a hot chocolate. The lady behind the counter asked if I wanted to buy a cookie to support @heart and started telling me about all the great things they did. I think she thought I was a little strange when I stated sobbing and buying a load of cookies.

    Thinking of you so much and sending all the good thoughts I have to the Albinator.

    Come on back to us when you are ready sweet boy.


  16. Oh my goodness. I haven’t been on here in a few days and was just checking in. My heart aches for what you have just been through with precious Albie and what you are continuing to go through. Know that I am keeping you all close in my prayers! {{{HUG}}}

  17. Keep fighting little man, you’ve already proved you are tougher than most of us will ever be and gone through more than most of us will ever know. Hope one day you get to read all these comments from all these people that are rooting for you. We’re thinking of you Albi and your brave parents! All our love BnG xxx

  18. Strength and patience to your magical little family – Albi and her parents are sending light and we are all pulling for the little man!

    Though miles apart, us heart families have to stick together – we are right there with you.

  19. I pray that you will all get through this difficult time well. Strength to you, strength to Marcus and most of all, strength and good luck luck luck to Albie. Thinking of you.

  20. Words can’t sum up anything right now. All our positive energy is been sent your way Albie. Hugs, love and recovery. Gosia & Boofa xxx

  21. What really stood out for me was when you say, “in the face of it all, we are hopeful.” We hope with all we have with you, and I have learnt that hope never disappoints. We are believing for Albie. Immanuel says “Albie Albie” and we have been watching his beautiful 1st birthday video not sad tears, but tears of how beautiful the Hopkinsons are. Hold onto hope. We are pray for Albies, yours and Marcus’ hearts in love.

    • Sarah, Marcus and beautiful Albie. I am completely blown away with your amazing blog. I admire how much you have shared a very personal journey with many of us. I am sending all my love and thoughts to you all, especially Albie. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this with you. God bless xxxx

      Reply ↓


  22. you guys are never far from my thoughts, I woke often through the night and there you guys were and each time i woke i prayed for the ” bestest ” outcome. Thank you for allowing us to share in your good times and in the bad I cry as i read these last few blogs as others do who love and care for you guys . May the next few days bring some miracles -ah? xoxo

  23. Sarah, Marcus and beautiful Albie. I am completely blown away with your amazing blob. I admire how much you have shared a very personal journey with many of us. I am sending all my love and thoughts to you all, especially Albie. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this with you. God bless xxxx

  24. Positive vibes for the little un! Love and strength for the family right now!!! Nat and I are reaching out…

  25. Am sitting here with tears coursing down my face after reading this last post-my heart aches for you all & I pray that Albie gets through this. I have spent the last 2 hours reading your entire blog on your wee man’s rollercoaster of a journey……my fav bit would have to be the “Peekaboo” vid 🙂 I know through reading your blog that Albie will be back to playing peekaboo & stacking blocks in no time cos he’s such a wee trooper. Sending loads of hugs, loves & prayers your way xxx

  26. Dear Team Hopkinson, the three of you are in our thoughts and prayers. Please take good care of each other at this time of need, you’re in the best hands there is. Thinking of you and sending all our love, Team Hendo & Shan x

  27. I don’t think I’ve ever posted a comment before, though I’ve been following your and Albie’s journey almost from the beginning. I am so sorry that you are going through such a hard time right now, and am hoping for the very best with all I am.

    Lots of love from Chile.

  28. You are in our thoughts often throughout the day and we pray for you as a family. We wish you love and peace during this extremely difficult time. Please take care of each other. Love from California,
    -Megan, Adam, and Benjamin (OHS 10/27/11)

  29. Gorgeous little big man…Albie what a lesson of courage you’re giving us all! Much much love to you little one and I will see your cheeky laugh soon again. Sarah and Marcus I send you all my love. XXX

  30. Marcus, Sarah, and Albie,
    you are in my thoughts constantly at the moment. I send you all my love and my hopes for an improvement in Albie’s condition. Arohanui, Kerry

  31. Think of Albie and sending love and energy to him every second of the day. Draw on the strength from us all – we are lughting our ‘Albie’ candle every night. All our love Jodi, Maddy and Harriet xxx

  32. I don’t know why I post a comment on almost every post, since they all say the same. I guess it’s because the more I send love and prayers, the better the outcome will be, I hope. Anyway, once again, sending you guys all the love in the world. Strength, love, determination. xxx

  33. Still praying for Albie and sending you lots of love and strength Sarah. John Artrip was my son’s surgeon too and he is an amazing man. We are so lucky to have such a great team looking after our heart babies. Keep fighting little man xx

  34. Love, love, love to Albie from Jon and Kate’s Gisborne family. Thinking of Albie and sending all our strength, love and determination to your soldier who is teaching us all so much, even this far away. xxxx Vicki Kelso

  35. Praying for your wee gorgeous little battler, Albie. You are probably already aware at how amazing CHD babies can be at pulling through hugely tough times. He is in such great hands up at Sship and 23b. Sending ((((XXXX)))) to you all, in our thoughts, love & prayers Gail, Lucy and MrHarry -11yrs & CC TGA, VSD, PS

  36. Marcus, Sarah and Albie
    I just wanted to let you know that my dad (who is an anglican minister) led 40 children at a kids club in Shannon, in prayer and thought about Albie tonight. My dad said that he will also lead his congreation in prayer for Albie on Sunday too. Meg xo

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