Texas Update {Part One}

First off, my apologies for any typos. I’m working on my iPad and I find it really difficult to edit on here.

Most importantly, we have decided to have the surgery re-done here. Surgery is scheduled for October 30 at seven AM.

Why stay here and have it done? Even yesterday afternoon, sitting in the consultation room waiting to see the surgeon, I wasn’t convinced we’d have the surgery done here. It would be sooo much easier to have it done in Seattle. Less time off work for Chuck, less time away from my other children. A smaller, more familiar hospital. Texas Children’s Hospital is HUGE! On Tuesday we asked for directions to his appointment and were told, “take the elevator to level 3, cross the bridge, then take the express elevator to level 12.” That’s right, cross the bridge.

Whe the surgeon, Dr M, came in he first started asking about Apollo’s feeding issues. He asked every imaginable question. He was very methodical and thoughtful. Not in a hurry but truly listening to everything we said. He discussed what he saw in the CT scan and GI images of his esophagus and how it really doesn’t match up with what should be there post-surgery. He have us his opinion on what he saw and what he thought could be done.

He plans to remove the diverticulum which he believes is still pushing on his esophagus. He may reattach his left subclavian artery depending on whether or not he has enough length to work with. He will also check and see if the ligmentum (a fiber us band) is still left from the vascular ring.

The big reason we are staying here is Dr. M has done a this type of re-operation before. That is the exactly what we were looking for, a doctor who has seen something similar. To put it in perspective, the doctor told us Texas Children’s Hospital does about 900 heart surgeries a year and about one double aortic arch division a month. So about 12 out of 900 surgeries are for a double aortic arch. As for a re-operation, Dr M has done 5 or 6 in the last fourteen years.

But five or six is more than the zero the doctor in Seattle has done.

Dr M will be going in between the ribs again, just like was done the first time. This is excruciatingly painful. Worse, we’ve been told, than sawing open the sternum. The reason is that while its true the incision is made between the ribs, they take metal spreaders and separate the ribs to give them room to work.

Specific prayer requests:

1. Wisdom to guide the doctor’s eyes and hands.
2. Pain control- this was one of the worst parts last time. Apollo’s spinal didn’t work and no amount of medicine was controlling the pain.
3. Safety and health, obviously.
4. Sleep. Apollo has been doing great but I’m not getting much sleep. Chuck,Apollo and I are all sharing a bed and we are in the middle of a huge medical center with ambulances going by all night.

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22 thoughts on “Texas Update {Part One}”

  1. We will be specifically praying for your needs. I wish I could help you out more here on the home front, but one more kids just woke up with the cold we are passing around, and you don’t need that! Know that you are on my mind many times a day and I am praying that you would feel God’s presence surrounding you and His grace holding you up in every minute of this trial.

  2. I feel so bad that Apollo has to go through this again. I will be praying for you all…and specifically for the ones you listed. God bless you all.
    God is so good to lead you to Texas, praying for all the doctors/nurses that will be there helping/touching your little guy.

  3. I will be sending all of my positive thoughts and energy your way. You and your family deserve happiness and health, and I hope that this helps put you a step in the right direction for Apollo’s.

  4. So very relieved that you have found the right place and the right doctor. I was hoping someone would at least attempt a left subclavian repair! You guys are amazing parents in being strong enough to make the hard/best decisions for Apollo. We are all praying for the best possible outcome. P.S. I would have chosen Texas too!

  5. Renee & Chuck,
    Thanks for the update. I was actually hoping that you could do all of this in one fell swoop, so I am glad to hear that you can.
    It is very comforting and reassuring to know that this doctor has done so many of this type of procedure. Wow, who knew??
    Praying for your comfort and continued Blessings to help Apollo.
    Also praying for the rest of the family here that they will truly be ok.
    Did the doctor say how long it would be for you to be at the hospital?
    Blessings and Trust in Him,
    Joan

  6. Clairena Redfearn Pastor Kents mother.

    Dear Renee,

    I’m am praying for Apollo. I would like to hear from you. I live here in the Houston area. If I can be of any help please let me know. I have room for you to stay and any other way I could help I would love to. My phone # is 281-997-0286.

    Waiting to hear from you.
    Clairena Redfearn

  7. Dear Jesus,
    Please guide Dr M’s hands and his thoughts. Please use Dr M to heal Apollo completely. Please allow Apollo to have a completely normal life. Also, please help the whole Baker’s Dozen clan to remain united even though apart.
    In Jesus’ Name,
    Amen

  8. Valerie B in Roanoke

    Renee–
    I am praying for you, for your husband and for little Apollo. We look forward to hearing the good report of a successful surgery! May God’s abundant grace be your anchor during this trial! May His peace and goodness flood your soul!
    Ephesians 3:20,21 <3

  9. We are praying here in NorCal…
    Try to get a fan, air purifier, anything that makes a white noise to drown out other sounds. It’s how we survived multiple hospital stays.
    Apollo, your journey is moving hearts and inspiring many <3 May you feel God's immeasurable peace within you.
    Rebecca

  10. I hope more experience will also mean better pain control. I’m pulling for a better experience in Texas. Sending good thoughts your way.

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