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A family portrait shortly before Gracie's surgery.
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It's Sunday and we've been discharged! Gracie is amazing!
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Saturday: Say cheeese! Gracie puts on her 'funny face' for the first time post-surgery. She is feeling a LOT better as they let us take a walk around the halls without the nasal cannula! Poor girl didn't want to go back to her room but hopefully the doctors will see her doing so well and discharge us soon. Here's hoping for tomorrow! We can't wait to see how she does when she takes a breath of fresh air! We take so much for granted.
Sunday: Good morning to the sunshine. This little spot on our hospital floor is becoming Gracie's favorite place to look out the window into the clear, blue outside. This morning she is doing much better still. They let us take off the nasal cannula again and she's still in the low 80s. A good Sunday morning it is. Maybe today she can breathe the fresh air outside...
Discharged Sunday and back with her family! Gracie's color is looking really good and she will only improve as she grows and gets stronger.
We were discharged on Sunday!

We are so happy to finally be back with our family! We missed them enormously and we were more than ready to be back together again. We are still in Charleston and will spend the next few days letting Gracie rest and continue to recover. We have a followup appointment at MUSC one final time on Thursday before heading back to Greenville on Friday. We are ecstatic!

What happened?

Friday and Saturday we were discouraged because Gracie seemed to be doing so well with her sats but we needed to stay on for a few more days. As I indicated in a prior post, nights are particularly difficult because of our inability to get a good night's rest. And we knew that with the weekend coming, things would slow down considerably at the hospital. So, we braced ourselves thinking we would need to wait all the way until Monday before we could possibly be discharged. But Gracie's condition really skyrocketed on the Saturday when the kids came by to see her. When she saw them coming, she just lit up! She LOVED having them around. We were able to take off the nasal cannula for a bit and she of course loved that feeling! So by the time Sunday rolled around, we were given a bit more leeway in removing the nasal cannula so that we could take her for walks in the stroller up and down in the hallways. She particularly enjoyed the beautiful view of the outside from one of the windows. It was a gorgeous day and just taking in the view was therapeutic. As I say, her condition just kept improving and the weekend doctors felt it was safe enough for her to head on home -- on that day, Sunday! Incidentally, her sats have settled in the low 80s. We'll take it!

High risk. Higher rewards.

We are so thankful that I don't know how to adequately express it. Jamie and I have been reflecting on the correspondence we had with our cardiologist and doctor before we adopted Gracie from China asking their opinion of her condition from the limited medical information we had at that time. Some of the words used in the correspondence included "would appear that she would not be a surgical candidate or that she would be very high risk" -- and, "very complex congenital heart defect.. uncertain whether it would be amenable to repair." Even still, at the time we felt it was the right thing to do. Understanding full well that even if eventually she did not survive, it would have been much better for her to enjoy the blessing of being part of a loving family, albeit for a short time, rather than to remain alone in the orphange.

We are so blessed. God is so good.

God has been so good to us and especially to her. She not only got the green light for the surgery itself but came through with flying colors. She is no longer blue. She no longer labors in her breathing. She is a loving, vital member of our family, and she is much beloved. She and Martin will grow up together in the "same boat" and will be there for each other as they continue their journey with their unique challenges of heart patients. We are so blessed! Why were we chosen to travel this fascinating road? Why was Martin born with half a heart? Why was Gracie abandoned so early in life? And why did God allow our paths to cross?

All for His glory and all for our good, of course.

".. prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." (Malachi 3:10).

Gracie's Surgery Photos

Category:  Baby Gracie

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Jamie and I have been married since April of 2001 and have five children, Katie, Calvin, Justin, Gracie, and Martin. Please be sure to sign our guestbook and drop us a note!

On February 3, 2012 our 4th child was born with a congenital heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). He will have 3 "staged reconstruction" open-heart surgeries early in life to reconfigure Martin's cardiovascular system to be as efficient as possible despite the lack of an adequate left ventricle. These surgeries do not correct the lesion, and are instead considered "palliative".

He already had his first (Norwood) and second (Glenn) surgeries at MUSC in Charleston, SC. Let's give God the glory in all things. We learned this Psalm together as a family some time ago and it's very fitting: "I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth." Psalm 34.

On November 2013, we embarked on a new journey to adopt a child from China that also had a heart defect. We are still on that journey...

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Gracie's Surgery Photos
Updated: 3/3/2014

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Updated: 2/3/2014