September 27, 2005
12:30 a.m. PST
Krystal and I made it to the UCLA Medical Center in about 5 ½ hours. Emily was supposed to have already been in surgery but issues at the donor hospital delayed the start of the surgery. We got to spend about 15-20 min. with her. She was very happy to see use and I can’t describe how good it felt for me. She was in great spirits and was ready to get this done.
1:00 a.m. PST
Emily is moved to the surgical area. It was quite a sight watching the move. She had a huge amount of equipment so there were several people helping. Since she has been on a respirator prior to the surgery she was ‘bagged" on the way to the O.R. At one point the guy squeezing the bag could not keep up and Emily took over the duty herself. In the surgical area we met members of the team and were given an outline of what would be happening. The most important step in the beginning is the ‘visualization" of the heart. It is not until they see the donor heart that the final decission is made to proceed with the surgery. We would be getting a call once the visualization was complete. This was going to be a tough wait.
2:30 a.m. PST
We got the call in the surgical waiting area that they had completed the visualization and the heart is "perfect" for Emily. Wow! What great news. Now she will be sedated and they will complete the sugical prep. The ETA on the heart at UCLA was 3:45 a.m. We found out later that Emily moved herself onto the operating table!
4:10 a.m. PST
The next call from the O.R. and Emily has been placed on the heart-lung machine and the heart was at UCLA. Time for the transfer. The next 2 hours are going to be even tougher!
6:00 a.m. PST
Emily’s new heart is in and beating on its own! She is off the heart-lung machine and now they will watch her for about 2 hours to make sure there is no bleeding. After that they will close her up and this part will be over!
9:30 a.m. PST
Emily is back in the 4East ICU. She is still asleep but everything is looking really good. The new heart is being paced and they tell me it looks normal, I’ll take their word for it. She has very few drips going and this makes the staff happy as well. All of this is great news but I suppose I don’t fully understand how good it is. I am just happy to see her. We were all exhausted and so it was time for food and sleep. We headed back to the Ronald McDOnald House for some sleep.
4:00 p.m. PST
After about 3 hours of sleep we are back at the hospital. Emily is awake and doing great! No signs of complications and very little bleeding. She still has the respirator on and a bunch of tubes sticking out be she looks so much better than just a few hours ago. They will begin to turn the respirator down today in preparation for removing it in the morning.
9:00 p.m. PST
After dinner it was back to the RMH for sleep. What an increadible day! Words cannot describe the emmotional rollercoster of this day. Emily is doing great and that is all that matters!