We vividly remember Caleb's first surgery and the long recovery. He was only eight days old. We made friends with several families of babies and kids that had surgery the same week he did. After a week or two they were all discharged and went home. We did not. It was hard to stay and see them go. It was lonelier without them and we often wondered through the ups and downs when it would be our turn to go home.
Today we got discharged. Probably long before before our new friends.
In having to say good-bye, we remembered being the last ones to leave. We didn't want to say good-bye, but what if we never see them again. Some of our new friends are Alexandra, Elliot and Lauren. Alex is a little girl who had the same surgery as Caleb and has been at CHOP for almost a month. Elliot had surgery the day before Caleb. He just got out of the ICU. Lauren played with Caleb in the playroom. She is waiting for a heart. Please pray for them. These are just three of the faces we saw as we walked up and down the halls of the cardiac unit. Although we are crying tears of joy and thanksgiving to God for His plan and for you and all the people who prayed and comforted us during this time, we are deeply sad that these kids are still in the hospital. We were almost embarrassed to tell any of them that we were leaving. We were promised a long stay. God had other plans.
Since the chest drainage tube came out on Monday, they want us to return on Friday for a follow-up visit and some testing. It takes about four or more days for the plural effusion (water around heart and lungs) to really show up. If his x-ray looks good and his lungs sound good on Friday, we will be cleared to fly home. Otherwise we will be re-admitted for IV diuretics and another one or two chest tubes will be inserted for the liquid to drain out. This is a common complication of this surgery, but so far there are no signs of this starting.
Thank you much for praying for us! God heard and answered in such a miraculous way!