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Date: 16 Oct 2003
Time: 21:51:39 -0700
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
Liam is still in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU). He's doing well, they say. After the operation, he had a chest tube, breathing tube, pacemaker, catheter, and various other probes attached. Today, they removed much of this. Right now, he only has the basic monitoring stuff that he had before going into the operation, with the exception of some catheters going into his heart, which are used to monitor the electrical signal around his heart and the pressures in the various chambers of his heart.
We found out that the patch over his tricuspid valve does not cover the entire valve - it allows some blood flow around the valve, but it should do a good job of preventing the right atrium from expanding to the extent that it was doing while Liam was in utero. The right atrium is much smaller now, allowing his lungs to grow properly and allowing Liam to take fuller, deeper breaths. The doctor today showed us a before and after x-ray of his chest. Prior to the surgery, his heart effectively took up his entire chest cavity. We knew it was big, but didn't realize how big. Now, it's smaller and you can see on the x-ray how much more room there is for his lungs.
We're still not sure what the next surgical step is, and I don't think they will make a decision for quite some time.
The nurses said that as long as he does well tonight, he should be able to come out of the CICU tomorrow. That would be great, because it would allow us to see him more, and be a little more at ease, knowing he doesn't quite need that level of care. Every time, we go to see him in the ICU, he keeps looking better and better, though. It was kind of hard at first after the surgery, because he really looked okay beforehand and now he's swollen and bruised. But, like I said, we are seeing improvement all the time.
I put some new pictures in the photo gallery - they're still pre-surgery, but there are some nice ones of Liam with his family.