07 May, 2008

Samuel's Heart

Below are graphic photographs from the operating table of Samuel before and during his surgery. There are images of his heart and incisions in his heart as well as the material that was removed from his heart. Don't go further if this will bother you.

Samuel is on the table all washed up and marked up, out with eyes taped closed:
I noticed in the ICU what looked like marker lines around his nipples. I figured it as tape gunk or something, you'll see in the next picture that it is indeed marker. I have to say, If I was a surgeon, it would be hard not to make the line dashed and add little scissor marks like this ---8<----8<--- That's just my sense of humor.

There are other images that I am not putting up of echo cardiograms they did in this process. To do those, they put the probe to get the images of the heart down his throat to get a view from behind the heart. Think about that... He has a breathing tube in place, a drainage tube from his stomach. And then they fit a probe down there? Crazy...

Here they have finished with prep and are ready to make the incision:

They have completed the incision and are working to expose the sternum so that they can cut through that:

Here is Samuel's heart:
It is the large sort of blob in the upper area of the incision. It's not very clearly defined as most of are used to seeing. Most of us aren't used to seeing a heart where it belongs, in the chest.

This image shows them opening up the right atrium to get to the area that needs attention. The ribbed hose to the right is one of the canulas that takes blood to / from the heart lung machine:

Here is the first piece of muscle tissue that was removed from the heart:

When you look at his incision, and then look at what the doctors are doing in his chest, and all of the hoses, tools, clamps, and hands...

I believe that Dr. Silverman who took the pictures was behind a screen in an adjacent room taking these pictures. That means that the camera is mounted on a platform or something.

While I muse at the chest opening and all the hands and tools in there, etc., now we get into the heart. They have tools and such in there. A yet smaller opening. This is a closer view of the opening in the right atrium as they get into the right ventricle to remove more tissue:

Yep, there it is:

Here they are backing out of the heart:

Then, the opening is closed off with a patch:
I wasn't aware that they were going to do that. I figured that they would close the wound with a seam. Perhaps they cut a piece of tissue away from the atrium to do the work. Unknown at this point. I would have requested the material like the last time if I had known.

I put these up as a part of my process of dealing with the whole thing. This has been very challenging for us as a family and for Samuel individually.

He is out doing laps around the hospital right now. He wanted to get out and this is a good sign. This is the desired outcome. It is also what was unknown only a week ago. Going in, I put my trust in the surgeons and science. I went into this knowing that this was the best place for him to be. The doctors have done this and more before.

I put my faith in God to work for the surgeons to be skillful and for Samuel to be strong, brave, and hopeful. Those prayers have been answered.

God has worked miracles here, most of which I am unaware. That Samuel and his sister were entrusted to us to raise, teach, and care for, is a miracle. That we are here now, in a place where technology, resources, knowledge, and skill exist is the biggest miracle for Samuel. How many other babies in the world are there with similar or even less challenging issues, that can't get care at all?


Taunya said...

FYI-- tears running down my face. And not from the pictures. Uncle D-- You and Aunt Ro are two of the best parents I know. Your kids rock because you two rock!

Chato said...


Thank you.

Uncle d.

Samuel Hinojosa said...

cousin it 's ok i was sared becouse you did not know how much you care for me as your cousin i was never there for you becouse you were my cousin forever