Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Chest closed and slowly improving

On Tuesday morning, we were pleasantly surprised when Dr. Burch (our surgeon), was able to close Joshua's chest.  The procedure was done first thing in the morning (around 8am).  When he went in for the procedure, they were expecting to do three things: 1-clean out the chest cavity, 2- put in an abdominal catheter to help with drainage, 3- remove an arterial line that was no longer working right.

We didn't think they would be able to close the chest because he has been so swollen. However, when they put the catheter in, they were able to drain a TON of fluid and that allowed them to close the chest. This drain continues to help with the swelling a TON! We are grateful for that.

After the procedure, it was a pretty quiet day. All the way through today, we have just been waiting for the swelling to go down and his breathing to improve. The extra fluid in his body also affects how well he can breath on his own (hence the breathing tube). Hopefully in a few days, he will be able to get the breathing tube out.

Over the next few days, our goal really is to have Joshua keep his stats in a good place and keep draining as much fluid as possible. It has been slow progress so far, but we are encouraged that it will continue to improve. Hopefully he will also get off more and more of the medications. I feel that he is in a great place for only being a few days post op. We just keep telling Joshua to keep it up!!

A view of his room with the x-ray machine.  He was getting x-rays every 6 hours for a while.  Now they are doing them every 12 hours. 

Check out that manly band-aid!  He is going to have a very manly scar to brag about someday :)

Opening his eyes!  He is starting to do this more often and he moves around a little, too!  Don't worry, they have him on some pretty awesome pain meds, so he doesn't feel any pain.  It was so good to see those bright eyes again!!


  1. Steph and Tim: you guys are amazing. I've read all of your posts tonight and I can just feel the strength you both have! I'm impressed by your faith and know that your little family will continue to be blessed and watched over. I'm not too far away, so if you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask. Keeping little Joshua and the rest of you in our thoughts and prayers.

  2. We LOVE all of these updates!! Kyle and I are both so glad to hear that he is handling everything he has had thrown at him so well this week! Dr. Burch is an incredible surgeon and Dr. Pribble is one of our favorite anesthesiologists,, not to mention he is also one of the CICU attendings, so he is a great one to have on your team! I am so glad you were able to proceed with surgery before Joshua's body was too sick to handle it all! What a tremendous blessing that your pediatrician was so thorough. Was Dr. Burch able to do the full unifocalization or will he need additional procedures for that repair? Is he a candidate for the Glenn in the future now? Is it a JP drain that they placed in his abdomen? I have too many questions! I will continue to watch for updates and pray that his NEC scare diminishes and that his recovery is smooth! Hugs and prayers for your whole family!

  3. He is so sweet!! Thank you for letting me hold him while I was there!!! Prayers for everyone, especially lil, Josh! Love you guys!


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Joshua Kent Ipson was born December 1, 2012 with a very complicated combination of congenital heart defects. After 2 1/2 months of fighting for his life, he passed away on February 13, 2013. We invite you to share our experiences as we grieve his loss, rejoice in God's plan, & keep Joshua's message of hope alive.
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