My eight year old grandson, Austin, continues to recover exceptionally well from heart transplant surgery he underwent on December 29th! The doctors continue to say that the donor heart is a perfect match for him.
Austin was extubated on the morning of December 30th. The catheter was removed that day as well. On January 1st, two of three chest tubes were removed. Austin was moved from PICU to the pediatric cardiology ward on January 2nd. The arterial line was removed before Austin was moved from PICU. As he was being transferred, Austin was sitting up in his bed and saying (as best he could), “I’m free!”, “I’m free!”. O2 was taken off the night of January 2nd.
This morning, January 3rd, they removed Austin’s last chest tube. The NJ (feeding) tube will go today as well. The last bacterial infection (C. diff) test results came back negative and Austin is officially out of isolation today. Pacing wires have been capped and will likely be removed tomorrow. I don’t remember the day but the central line in Austin’s neck has been removed as well.
Austin’s blood pressure is high but the doctors expected that the first while after surgery; they are treating it with medication. They think he’s experiencing some withdrawals from the pain medication he’s been on. He still has some pain but it is lessened enough that it is now being treated with tylenol.
If Austin can get eating and mobilized, the doctors are considering releasing him from the hospital on Wednesday, January 9th!
My son-in-law is with the military and has received a two-year compassion posting to our city to assist with Austin’s intense follow-up medical care and therapy as he continues to recover from transplant surgery plus the lingering effects of the stroke he experienced on December 13th. They have found a home to rent for now and will move here on January 31st!