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Sarah’s surgeon came to our room today to talk to us about Sarah’s surgery. We found him to be thorough, calm, patient, and easy to understand. He completely explained to us Sarah’s condition, the implications of her condition if left untreated, the (only) available treatment, the procedure that will be followed tomorrow, and the associated risks.

We had been told most of this information before, but it was good to get the whole picture one more time. One thing that we had not been told until that moment was that in addition to being placed on a heart/lung bypass machine, the bypass machine will be used primarily to cool her system in preparation for hypothermic sedation.

The nature of Sarah’s heart anomaly is such that everything that needs to be repaired is behind her heart. When her chest is opened up though her sternum, and the pericardial sack is opened, the heart will need to be lifted out of its cavity and turned over to access it from behind. This will require the aorta to be folded over like a garden hose with a kink in it. For this reason, even the heart/lung bypass machine will not be able to continue pumping blood to the body. To preserve her body and most critically her brain, Sarah will undergo what is called Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest (DHCA). Sarah’s circulation will be taken over by the heart/lung bypass machine, her heart will be stopped and drained of blood, and the bypass machine will cool Sarah’s body and brain down to about 55 degrees. When Sarah’s body reaches that temperature, the heart/lung bypass will be shut off. The surgeon assured us that Sarah could endure this condition for up to 45 minutes, and that he believed he could complete the repair in far less time than that.

We’ve had some time now to process that information. Stephanie and I have both, separately, gone through a spectrum of responses, from disbelief to numbness, to terror, to tears, and back again. We pray that Jesus would be with her when she leaves us, walk with her, love her, and bring her back to us in under 45 minutes.

Posted on Wednesday, September 3, 2008 at 09:09PM by Registered CommenterBrian Rozell in | Comments14 Comments

Reader Comments (14)

Prayers will be lifted up for Sarah, for the surgeon(s) and for you. Thank you for keeping us posted even when it is difficult to digest the information yourself.
We love you!
September 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDayna
Brian and Steph and Sarah - we are praying for you!

Love, Adam and Jaime (Joyner) Parker
September 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJaime
Hi, Mel Guy asked her friends to come to your website and pray for your little girl adn I just wanted you to know that I will be praying for her throughout her surgery, and for peace for you both too.
September 3, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRobyn
Brian & Stephanie,
My very special long distance family All prayers will be with you today and thru recovery for little Sarah It is very good you are where you are for her.I am so very glad you keep me posted on all your lives. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you this am as well as our family too
God Bless
Love to all Mary Lou & Jerry
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMary Lou
Brian, My gran'baby girl Sarah is being held in the arms of Jesus for the entire duration of the repair procedure, and He will most definitely return her to you so that you and Stephanie can finish out the privilege of spending the next eighteen years or so loving her and raising her.
My heart says you'll have her back in your arms in no time. Many many prayers from Texas are being raised to Heaven for our Sarah.
I love you son. Thank you for keeping us posted.
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMom
I will be thinking of you all day. It is important to have faith in Modern Medicine as well. I have been witness to some amazing recoveries.
There is a reason the Lord gave us good doctors. And we are about to see why.

Thoughts and prayers for all of you.
Love Krista
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKrista
So many people are praying for little Sarah. It works. I have faith that she will be just fine. Love you so much.
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh
I'll be thinking of you and praying for you and Sarah all day today. May the Peace that passes all understanding guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Love you!
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
We are praying for all of you!
Jennifer and Mike
Emily and Elizabeth
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
Our thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time.

love, Bryan & Carissa
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarissa
Brian, Steph and Sarah - we are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

Ryan,Mindy,Ashlyn,Lisa,Twila, & Ryan Strom Jr
Fort Yukon
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMindy & Ryan Strom
I am a friend of Mel's and we have been following Sarah's journey closely. Please know that there are a lot of thoughts and prayers coming your way from all of us here in Dallas.

Dawn, Jim, family and friends
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDawn
Father God, You love Sarah very much-more than even her family loves her. You made her fearfully and wonderfully as Ps 139 states. You are her defense, her protector, and her healer. Thank you for being her surgeon, her best nurse, and her breath tomorrow. We thank You for a good report and for perfect and complete healing for Sarah. Thank You for courage and peace that passes all understanding for her parents and extended family. Thank You for your perfect love. In Jesus' name.

grandmom of rowdy girls
September 4, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce
Stephanie and Brian

Carissa has been keeping me posted on Sarah's condition and journey back to health. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God bless little Sarah!
September 8, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSue Neubert

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