2001 CHOC

Ryan's 2nd Surgery, October 2001

Tuesday, October 23, 2001...Ryan, just over 1 year old, was re-admitted for his second open-heart surgery. The surgery repaired the pulmonary stenosis in Ryan's pulmonary artery. Dr. Richard Gates extended the pulmonary artery and placed a Trans-Annular Patch over the artery to strengthen it. Trans-Annular Patch: in this repair, a cut is made across the narrowing area and the opened up portion is roofed using a patch of pericardium tissue

Awaiting surgery in CHOC's Short Stay unit...
Dr. Gates came to speak with us and see Ryan before surgery.

Ryan's anesthesiologist "testing the waters" with Ryan... Ryan seemed to really like him.

Ryan and his mommy just a few minutes before we had to take him down the hall to surgery.

The surgery was expected to take up to six hours. They suspected 3 hours just to get Ryan hooked up to the heart/lung bypass machine and 2 hours for the repair and 1 hour to close up. We were elated when we were told just 1 and 1/2 hours into the surgery that Ryan was already on bypass and just 20 minutes later that the repair was made!!! His surgery was less than 3 hours and very successful!

Dr. Gates came in to tell us what a success the surgery was. We were all very excited.

Just an hour out of surgery, here is Ryan in the Recovery Room...

3 hours later Ryan was transported across the street to CHOC's PICU... We were very happy to see Kathy Carter, one of Ryan's favorite nurses, working on the transport team. Here we are getting into the elevator to go to the basement and pass through the underground tunnel. (We were saddened beyond words when Kathy Carter passed away unexpectedly of a heart attack in March 2004).

Ryan's heart rate went up when I was talking to him, so they ask me not to talk until he was more stable, lol.

Jim and I waited (with Grandma and Papa Smith, Aunts Julie, Joan, Jill and Jenny) for Ryan to get settled into his PICU bed. Grandpa Harper and Lois Farish also were there to lend support earlier.

Ryan settled into the PICU Cardiac Unit bed.

Wednesday, October 24th... Ryan was extubated (breathing tube taken out) early Wednesday morning and his chest drainage tubes were pulled. He was still hooked up to a central line in his femoral artery, pace maker wires attached to his heart through his chest and his external pacemaker, 2 IVs, 3 lead wires and oxygen.

When we got to the hospital Wednesday morning he was laying in bed watching Barney, looking adorable.

Here we are later that day, off of the oxygen and drinking his first bottle...

Thursday, October 25th...When I arrived at the hospital that morning Ryan was sitting up in his crib eating breakfast! Ryan had pulled out one IV during the night. Jim spent the night with him and had gone home, so his nurse just put his breakfast in his crib and let him go to town - he was in heaven!

Here he is showing me his Cherrios box...

...and his napkin, lol.

Grandma and Papa Smith spent a lot of time at the hospital, helping Jim and I out quite a bit.

Dr. Gates came in and pulled Ryan's pace maker wires and removed the pacemaker altogether. Here is Ryan just after, feeling a bit more free.

Jill and Michael came for a visit and relieved Jim and I so we could go have dinner...

When we came back from dinner, we stepped out of the elevator on the 2nd floor to find Ryan, in a wagon, being pulled around the ICU floor by Michael, Jill following behind with a camera.... it was adorable! He had been so bored in his room, he was in heaven!

Friday, October 26th... Ryan was about to be released. Dr. Gates and Dr. Rebolledo called the surgery a "surgical slam dunk". Everyone was amazed at how quickly Ryan recovered.

Daddy and Ryan waiting to be released.

Aunt Julie helped out by watching Jake at home and taking shifts with Ryan in the hospital as well. Here she is with us awaiting the release papers.

Ryan about to have his central line and leads taken out. Not too happy about that, lol.

Ryan's recovery was miraculously fast. He continued to recover at home for a few weeks following his release from CHOC and is doing very well now. He was back on Lasix for a month or so and Tylenol occasionally for pain. He is truly inspirational.