One Step Closer

Ayleen and her mother have been with our Jaffa community for the past eight weeks, waiting for Ayleen's surgery to be scheduled. Since their arrival they have joined many farewell parties, and have seen other children undergoing open heart surgery. Of course this has not been easy for Ayleen's mother. With each passing week it became harder on her. Nevertheless, she does not give up out of love for her little daughter.

Last week we were informed that Ayleen was scheduled for a heart catheterization this Wednesday. We did not really understand the need for a catheterization, nor why only after nearly two months of waiting. Yesterday Dr. Alona took some time to explain. The medical team had discussed Ayleen's heart repair. Because her right ventricle is not completely functioning as it should, they would like to take a surgical approach that would bring some relief for the right ventricle. Thus, the hope is that they can create a shunt between the vena cava superior (large vein that returns deoxygenated blood to the heart from the head) and the pulmonary arteries. By creating this shunt, the blood would flow passively directly to the lungs, bypassing the right heart, which then only has to cope with the blood coming from the vena cava inferior (large vein that returns deoxygenated blood from the middle and lower body to the right heart). In order to do this procedure, they first have to assess the resistence in the pulmonary arteries, which is done via catheterization. If the resistence is too high, the blood could not flow passively to the pulmonary arteries and into the lungs, and Ayleen's heart not suitable for this specific procedure.

After some hours of uncertainty this morning if Ayleen would indeed have her catheterization tomorrow, she was finally called in for admission to the ward. Before she and her mother left, our community gathered around mother and daughter and prayed for them. And off they went.

We are thankful for the caution the doctors are taking to give Ayleen the best heart repair possible. This catheterization is an important step in their decision making process in how to best approach the repair. Thank you for praying with us for the medical team and Ayleen and her mother. May God's will be done in their lives.


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