Thursday, May 22, 2008


We are the first case of the day. Surgery is at 7:30 am, we'll arrive at 6:00 am.

Just got back to the hotel a little bit ago after a long day of pre-op. Drew was a champion, like he always is, and we made it through ok too. We got to the hospital at 7:30 and Kathy met us there to pick up Ava. After trying a few different rooms, I finally found the right place to be, admitting. The woman who checked us in was very sweet and reassured us that we were in a very good hospital, with excellent doctors. (Also, patients have free parking here! Someone should tell UCSF about that.) She directed me to the Heart Center where we received a new packet of info with our itinerary for the morning.

First up was Drew's echo. He did great, just laying still while the tech took pictures of his heart. He watched a movie and it took about 30-40 minutes. Then he had his EKG. That was a different story. They have to put about 12 little stickers all over his chest and then connect them to wires to record his heart rhythm. Well he started freaking out about the stickers and crying and saying it hurt. They asked me if he was very sensitive, but I don't think it actually hurt, I think he was just scared. Luckily that is a pretty quick test so it was over fast.

Then it was time for blood work. That coincided with my meeting with Dr. Hanley, so Dan had to take him by himself. Even though I gave him all my tricks, it didn't work and Drew did not enjoy his TWO pokes. Poor guy. And poor Drew.

I met Dr. Hanley in his office and got the lowdown on surgery. First he explained the differences between using a human valve (a homograft) and a pig valve. Both average 10 -12 years before they need to be replaced, but a human valve has a range of anywhere from 2-25 years while a pig valve's range is more like 8-14 years. I think we might leave it up to him. I asked how long surgery will be and he said he'll be gone for 6-7 hours, but only 3-4 of those hours will be actual surgery time. Half of the surgery time will just be getting into his chest. Since he's had previous heart surgeries he has a lot of scar tissue and the heart is stuck to his chest. So they have to be very careful in opening the chest. Dr. Hanley expects Drew to be on bypass for 1.5- 2 hours. We also talked about him cutting out Drew's old scar and giving him a new one, which will hopefully heal more pleasingly than the last time.

Then it was back over to the Heart Center for our meetings with the anesthesiologist and the surgical PA. They both examined him at the same time and asked us lots of questions about his history. We found out Drew will not be getting any pokes tomorrow until he is asleep. Thank goodness! We got a detailed explanation of the surgery complete with a diagram. Then they started talking about risks and mortality and Dan and Drew went outside in the hallway. We also gave consent to be a part of a research study and Drew will be receiving the study treatment-a silver dressing to be placed over his incision, which they think will decrease the chance of him getting a wound infection. This meeting went until 11:30, then it was time for the x-ray.

Drew did great with the x-ray, he is an old pro. He will tell you that x-rays show your lungs and bones. Afterwards we had a quick lunch in the cafeteria, because at 1:00 we had a tour of the CVICU. On the first floor there is a huge model train for the kids to look at. Drew had to stop and look at the trains every time we passed by, and that is where we met for the tour. There was another family there with their 1-year old who will be having surgery in two weeks. The mom was very upset and I felt so badly for her, because she's scared and she's never done this before. Even though this is scary, we have some prior experience with it and we know that Drew's made it through twice before. I hope I was some comfort to her, even if it was just seeing how healthy and happy Drew looks even after two open-heart surgeries.

Anyway, the tour was given by a very friendly social worker who showed us the waiting rooms, the ICU, the 3rd floor step-down unit, the play room, etc. Drew was getting tired by this point, but we did show him the CVICU and where he would be waking up after surgery.

Lastly, we met with Child Life who told him a story about surgery using dolls. He helped put all the leads and lines on the doll and she gave us a bag of hospital stuff to play with tonight.

Right now Drew is playing at Grandma's house. We are going to have Ava sleep there tonight, but Drew, Dan and I are going to come back to the hotel to sleep.

We're going to try and get some good rest tonight and we'll be at the hospital at 6 am. Surgery is set for 7:30. We'll try to post updates from the hospital tomorrow.


Amy said...

Andrea, I'm sure you were a comfort to the woman, you can remember the same feelings. Good know everyone is praying for Drew,the family and the team of doctors.

Tricia said...

Good luck to you all tomorrow from another heart family.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THIS POST!!! i love all the pictures, i love all the smiles and i just love you three! thank you so much for keeping us in the loop-i feel close to you guys even though you are far away. along with your community of friends and family-we are on our knees. trusting God's promises of peace and comfort. LOTS OF LOVE!

Molly said...

Just as we prayed before, you are already being a light in a dark place. Praise God that you were able to encourage that other Mom! What an exhausting day. It sounds like everyone pulled through relatively unscathed though! Yay God! Still praying...
Lots of love - Amy

Katie Scott said...

Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed post. It helps us have a better idea of what is going on. We are praying for Drew and will pray extra hard tomorrow morning. I am sure you have gotten lots of phone calls today and I don't want to bug you, but know we love you and miss you! Drew got a package delivered to your house today--I will bring it on Monday!!

Leslie said...

good luck tomorrow!! i'll be thinking of you guys all day. LOVE the new + summery pics on the side panel, but most definitely LOVE the pics of drew all smiley and pro-like with the medical staff. those smiles are such great way to show the other parents hope that happiness can be in their near future.

good luck, good luck, good luck!!

p.s. check went out this morning to grandma's!!

Laura said...

You are such an inspiration...all of you are, actually. You're strength and courage is truly heartwarming. Know that you will ALL be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow. I love you all very much!

Jane said...

Thanks for all the pictures, that really helps picture where you guys are.

We're praying for you guys and for Drew tomorrow.

Love you guys, Jane.

Kate said...

all of the sentimental comments are true, and i know i already told you this, but i would like to say for all of the internet to read: dan should ALWAYS wear awesome 80's neon puff-paint splattered lead aprons. honestly, he should never NOT be wearing one! so festive! love to you all, see you tomorrow! :-) --k

Jeannie said...


Prayers are going out to your family for Drew tomorrow. You have a great surgeon.


Tina & Family said...

Please know our family and friends are praying and sending all of our well wishes to you and your family! Drew is going to do great! Best Wishes, and Big heart hugs!

The Andreae/Sanchez Bunch

Way to go Drew! You can do this!

Lexi said...

Drew - You are the bravest little boy I know! I am honored to be your friend! Lexi and I prayed for you guys tonight and will continue praying!! Thank you for the update!
Much love being sent your way!!!!!

The Sheridan's

Michael, Patty and Sophia said...

best wishes for success tomorrow...we will be thinking of you all.

Anonymous said...

Good luck tomorrow! Our thoughts and prayers will be with you throughout the day.

-The Thompsons

Amber said...

Prayers, prayers, prayers! The boys said them for you guys tonight before bed...and by the way Logan specifically prayed for "baby Ava" was so cute! Hope you all can rest tonight. Tomorrow is the finish line!!

Shannon said...

Good luck and may things go smoothly tomorrow. Drew is in good hands!

I can't believe what a beautiful post you have managed to write on the eve of surgery although I confess I was teary feeling for the other parent who was so fearful. It brings up those feelings in me.

Sleep well with angels.

Isabelle & Calista's Mommy said...

Glad the day went pretty well for you! I am so amazied by all of you! I have been thinking of you all day and will continue to pray for you tomorrow! Get some rest! Love you guys!

Kathy said...

FIRST CASE....WHOoo hooo!!!
We're praying for you guys!!!
Drew will do GREAT...and those awesome nurses at Stanford will take EXCELLENT care of him!!!
Lots of love,

Party of 5 said...

Grace and peace to you, friends. Much love, The Strattons

Linda said...

Thanks for letting us be a part of your day. May you all experience the peace of God as you go through this journey. We are praying for you.
Kevin and Linda

Jennifer Herring said...

Thank you for keeping us all updated and letting us pray for you guys. That's great that Drew's is the first surgery of the day! We're still praying...

-Jennifer & Donovan

Anonymous said...

I Love you all. My thoughts and prayers will be with all four of you tomorrow morning from 5 am on. As well as prayers for Dr. Hanley and his crew.

Much love,

Vanessa said...

So glad to hear Drew is the first case of the day! He looks like a pro in his pictures. I'll be praying for you guys all day tomorrow. Just think...this time tomorrow Drew will be on his way to recovery.

I have to be honest with you...normally I have this uneasy feeling when our heart buddies have surgery but I have such a peace about Drew. I have been praying ALOT about Drew lately and I know he is in the right hospital with the right surgeon. He has the ultimate physician taking care of him tomorrow and will be just fine.

God Bless,


Lindsay said...

I hope things go exactly as planned tomorrow. I will pray for him!

The Portas said...

You guys were the first thing on my mind when I woke up this morning. Sending many prayers your way!

Samantha said...

I am praying for today to go smoothly. You guys were so busy yesterday! I am sure that you were so much help to that other family...just being around other heart families can be so reassuring.

Heart Hugs,

Valerie said...

Things are going to go smoothly tomorrow, I just know it. Will be refreshing your blog often today.


Kathy said...

I just woke up this morning thinking about you guys!
Hope Drew's back already...and you're relaxing in the waiting room!
Prayers headed your way!