BEFORE | AFTER
There were two things I failed to realize. The first, our friends before us, had waited longer for their match, which gave them some extra time to get in the best possible health for this surgery. The second, Lucy had not fully recovered from her Fontan and had sub par nutrition for almost a year.
Needless to say, Lucy's recovery would take a little longer.
Post surgery Lucy remained intubated for two days, because her lungs were a little wet and that has always impacted her breathing tremendously. By day three, she was ready to get that tube out. During extubation, Lucy dropped her saturations to the 40's. She remained NPO the remainder of the day in case a re-intubation was necessary. High flow at 20 liters was providing some extra support.
Her first biopsy was set for 2 weeks post transplant, with compromised lungs we were proceeding cautiously The team had been discussing BiPAP as the next level support. Lucy never had to wear a mask like this, so we started practicing wearing it to get comfortable. Ten minutes here and there in hopes that we would not need it. We carried on with as normal of schedule as possible, including physical therapy sessions. Get a load of her first walk with a new heart!
A virus, with an already compromised immune system, what luck. This virus took every ounce of energy from her. She wasn't sleeping because the cough kept her up and her work of breathing had her dropping saturations, so much so she was up to 20 liters of support with the help of nitric. By Thursday, I had this feeling she would be intubated by the end of the day. During rounds we decided to give BiPAP a go and man am I glad we did. She got that mask on and slept for 7 straight hours. This virus would run its course in ten to fourteen days. The team postponed the cath for another two weeks and would monitor rejection by echocardiogram. They decreased her rejection medications to allow her to fight a little better. I couldn't help but wonder how this would impact the results of the biopsy.
We got full results back the following day: ZERO REJECTION. We are so thankful for all the prayers and especially thankful for our donor family.