Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Saturday December 29th, 2012

After being transferred to the 3rd floor in Primary Children's, Stephanie and I parted ways around 3 AM.  She stayed with Joshua and I went to Paul and Emily's where Logan was sleeping peacefully.  The next morning, Joshua had an echocardiogram (ultrasound on the heart) to take a deeper look at the heart.  It was determined that blood/fluid was pooling in the lungs.  Because of this, the cardiologist started Joshua on a medication called "Lasix".  This was to help him flush out the liquid in his body, thus relieving the pooling in the lungs. We were thinking he would be at Primary's for a couple days more then we would go home.

The afternoon came and in the echo, they also discovered that the pulmonary veins that were connected to the Superior Vena Cava (due to his Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return) were starting to narrow.  This is what caused the blood/fluid to pool up in the lungs, thus causing Joshua to breath deep and heavy.  An echo would be done the next morning to determine the speed the veins were narrowing.

Bruce and Jerolyn Hicken, close family friends, came to visit.  As we were talking, the cardiologist and Dr. Burch (the cardiac surgeon) came into the room.  The cardiologist explained that she had called Dr. Burch to just let him know what was happening.  He was very concerned and came in--skipping his child's play.  They then proceeded to explain that the narrowing of these veins was starting to damage the lungs and that surgery was very urgent.  They suggested the next day at 10 AM. 

What a shock!  This seemed like a bombshell to us!  No pre-warning that they were going to have a deep conversation that was very emotionally taxing.  Up to this point, we were planning on surgery in February or March.  We also were planning on performing the operation at Stanford.  Also, we had not decided 100% that we wanted to proceed with surgery. 

We have been contemplating the idea of surgery for a few weeks.  We felt the outcomes of each were very cloudy and that both seemed like the same outcome.  We prayed daily on our decision.  We desired to make a decision where we would be able to look back and not have any regrets.  This seemed hard because the two outcomes of each were so unclear to us.  Over the experiences of Friday and Saturday, the Lord answered our prayers.  We were able to visually see how volatile a heart baby can be.  In addition, the surgeon told us that he only expected Joshua to live a few months at most if the surgery wasn't performed.  We also talked with our main cardiologist (Dr. Su) about the situation over the phone.  He answered all questions and a great peace came over both me and Stephanie.  We had received a confirmation that surgery was the way to go.  We knew we would be able to look back and not regret our decision--no matter what the outcome of surgery was.  The Lord was very involved in the whole process.

After deciding to proceed with surgery, we told our parents of our decision and that Joshua would be going into the operating room at 10 AM the next morning.  My parents quickly booked flights and found someone to teach their YM/YW lessons (Thank you if you were one of these subs!) and made preparations to leave.  Stephanie's parents quickly packed up and started their long drive to SLC.  Due to bad road conditions, they were driving all night.  Stephanie and I tried to sleep as much as we could that night for we had a long day coming up.

Here are some pictures of our sweet baby that day.  He was alert a lot of the day and very reactive to us.  What a blessing that turned out to be since we can remember him that way instead of hooked up to a bunch of machines.  

His bed on the 3rd floor.

A little surprised with the flash!

He LOVES his binky and I could just look at those eyes all day long!


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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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