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Shunts Away!

Here is just a quick update for all those waiting and praying for our Leo, before we go collapse in bed for the night. Leo was prepped and ready for surgery early this morning, but they only took him around two in the afternoon. We were there with him for most of the day today, just waiting and biting our nails. The anesthesiologist, a very nice British guy, came up around lunch to talk to us about the risks etc in Leo's case. Apparently because of his tucked up little chin, the regular breathing tube could not be used without lots of maneuvering and fiber optic tools. The anesthesiologist decided to use another breathing aid that isn't normally used for babies; a little tube that only goes down into his larynx, and does not do much more then blow some air down. Most of the breathing support would have to come from Leo himself. Typically under anesthesia babies need help to breathe, so the anesthesia team takes over the breathing. However the side effect of that is the newborns have to restart their own breathing once the tube comes out. The method they used with Leo does not suspend his breathing, so he wouldn't have that tense post-op moment of getting his own lungs back. Anyway, as you can imagine there are a lot of risks with this method, as they really don't have much control over his lungs during the surgery. We signed the grim papers with ink and tears, and then watched as they took our baby away. The surgery took two hours.
Anyway, as we have been shown over and over this past week, Leo isn't a quitter. He breathed on his own through the whole thing, and they managed to get the shunt in. As they wheeled him back into his cozy NICU room, I almost didn't even recognize him, because of the changes in his face and head. He really had an astounding amount of fluid in there. Apparently his head will come down in size some more before it settles and firms up. Right now it feels like a mushy pomegranate. The surgeon said it would take a couple weeks for this to go away, and until then we need to be very gentle holding his head, and turn him often, kinda like a rotisserie chicken. If all goes well and the shunt doesn't get infected, we might have him home with us next week. Thanks everyone for your prayers. It's been a long hard day, and like all the past other ones since Leo came into our lives, it's been an adventure. I don't see this changing anytime soon. :-) Our Leo has a plan and our job, I guess, is just to wait and see what happens next.

Comments

  1. Thanks be to God! Wonderful news!

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  2. My heartfelt prayers continue for Leo and for you. I have never before cried at the computer but now I do so daily, saying Glory be to God and Lord have mercy in equal measure.

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  4. So happy the surgery went well. Little Leo sure has been blessed with an amazing family.

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  5. Glory to God! Leo blesses all of us, too, because you are willing to share him via your writings. Thank you.

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  6. Amazing news. Thanks so much for keeping us in the loop, despite your exhaustion. Leo is a miracle in every way. He is already capturing so many hearts. Praying especially today for strength for you both, in all that you have to face. Lots of love to you.

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  7. I can't even begin to imagine your day, yesterday. So glad all went well and continued prayers for all of you. Appreciate the update and hope to be up there soon. :-).

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  8. God bless your family. You are enfolded in the prayers and hearts of so many as you face each new challenge.

    We love you!
    Sheila and Nil

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  9. Glory to God! May the Lord's healing mercy continue to be shed on Leo and on you all. It is certainly shedding some drops on us as we follow Leo's story and hear about your own courage and patience in this ordeal. Love to you, and we will continue praying.

    Lydia, Taylor & Lucia

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  10. Justin and Anna: Joe and I have been following little Leo's progress and praying for you all without ceasing. God is obviously at work in his life and body, as in your family's lives as well. Our love and prayers remain with you. Pam and Joe Cochran

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  11. May our Lord continue to have mercy on you.

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  12. Thank God! Little Leo is quite the fighter :) We are all continuing to send lots of love and prayers your way!

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  13. that's my little nephew! strong like his momma and poppa and sis! leo you are da man!

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  14. What a beautiful and strong family you have! You all continue to be in our prayers.

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  15. Dear Anna and Justin,
    Your beautiful, courageous family is very much in my prayers.

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  16. You are all very much in my prayers. May God carry all of you....

    <3 Michelle

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