The surgeons met after the heart challenge that Albie had yesterday and discussed what to do next. Like a muscle designed to lift weights, a heart does different things without blood flow than with blood flow and they were keen to give it another chance. You see being on ECMO is a big and very serious deal. There are dangers of infections, embolisms, brain bleeds and internal bleeding, so while it has given his heart a chance to rest and recover, they wanted to get him off it as soon as possible. When they examined his heart yesterday, it was in severe dysfunction but they hoped that with some drugs to help it contract and a proper go with all his blood flow that it might just get the hang of what it was meant to be doing. So it was planned late last night that Albie would go into theatre at 8.30 this morning to try to get Albie’s heart to pump properly, get him off ECMO and close his chest.
After a nervous morning waiting, they have called to let us know that Albie has returned from the theatre and that they were able to get Albie off ECMO! We are allowed to see him soon.
I have jubilation beyond any I have ever felt before. Our boy has a pulse again! His blood circulates inside his body! His heart is working! That these are things to celebrate is hard for me to believe. There is no doubt that the ECMO machine saved Albie’s life, but at the same time, seeing your child’s blood leave and then return to their paralysed body is far too much to bear. The last few days have been painful beyond anything I could ever imagine and I am so grateful they are behind us.
Albie has a very long way to go yet. His lungs are stiff and tired as they haven’t been used for days, his heart is currently beating far too fast, he needs to be weaned from a ventilator, there is still a risk of infection because of the number of interventions in his chest. They are also unsure why he even went into cardiac arrest on Wednesday at all, so the surgeon has warned us that it is still very much an uphill battle. But, if there is one thing this boy is, its a fighter. And I can sense that Albie is on his way back to us now.
Thank you’s are needed everywhere. And I won’t say them all now and here as we aren’t finished with this journey just yet. But a big thank you at this stage has to go out to Jason, who arrived the day of his arrest, and is leaving tonight. Thank you Jason for keeping everyone in the loop when it was too painful for us to, for sitting vigil wth Albie through the night and for generally keeping our spirits buoyed. You have been our ECMO hero – and its only fitting that the ECMO machine leaves Albie’s bedside the day you head back home too.
And thank you to each and everyone one of you – you have surrounded and covered our family in love, light, prayers, chants and positive vibes. Keep doing what you are doing. We KNOW it has made a difference so far.
Have a BEAUTIFUL Sunday everyone. We certainly are.
Love to you all – Sarah, Marcus and Albie xxx