Lots of courage

Niyan was full of smiles before her diagnostic cath today. I found her in the intermediate ICU, chatting with her mom via video call. She was third in line for the cath lab, so she had to wait all morning without eating or drinking, but you’d never know it from her cheerful attitude.

When it came time to go, Niyan got just a little nervous and wanted to hold my hands all the way from the ICU to the prep room. Even so, she had lots of courage. “It’s okay, I’m not scared,” she told me bravely as we waited for the doctor to come. She introduced herself to each doctor and nurse who came by, and helped me and her dad answer all their questions.

When all the preparations were done, Niyan’s dad carried her in his arms to the cath lab, where he stayed with her until she fell asleep from the anesthesia. We waited outside the ICU for just two and a half hours before the doctor emerged with the news that the procedure was over and everything went well.

The cath today was diagnostic to help the doctors understand Niyan’s heart better before taking her to surgery. It turns out that her heart is quite complicated; as a result of her pulmonary atresia, more than a few small collateral arteries formed from several placed in her body, bypassing the heart and carrying blood directly to the pulmonary arteries. Because there are so many and her arteries are small, it won’t be possible to do a complete repair. Instead, the doctors will perform interventions to help Niyan’s heart function well even with the abnormalities. This could take multiple surgeries and caths, but they have not yet determined an exact plan of intervention.

Tomorrow morning, Niyan will have some dental work done to prevent infection before her heart surgery. Please pray for her and her dad as they wait and prepare for her surgery.