Sunday, December 27, 2009

Chrissie's Heart Surgery is Scheduled

This post is for those who didn't access our blog via our Caring Bridge update.  (  This is what I posted on Caring Bridge yesterday (12/26/09):

We celebrated Jesus’ birthday with family and friends, and all of our kids proclaimed this Christmas to be the BEST Christmas ever. We asked God to quiet our hearts throughout the Advent Season, and help us to stay focused on His precious Gift, the most wonderful Gift of all…Jesus. We spent each night of the Advent Season reading God’s Word, creating ornaments for our Jesse Tree (tracing the lineage of Christ back to a shoot from the stump of Jesse), praying together as a family, admiring God’s plan to come to earth as a baby and His many fulfilled prophecies, and thanking Him for His precious gift of Salvation. We also decided as a family to receive less and give more to help orphans. It is truly amazing to witness all of our hearts being transformed daily into hearts which care less about things and more about relationships. It was such a delight to have our precious Chrissie with us, and I am confident that the gift of Chrissie’s smile and her sweet spirit is partly responsible for making this our best Christmas ever, second to the wonder and amazement of the Christ Child being born, of course. Chrissie continues to overflow with joy; I think she just might be the happiest child I’ve ever met! I continue to be amazed at God’s amazing and abundant blessings for our family.

Christmas Eve in the Patterson Home
(off-centered photo, courtesy of timer enabled digital camera perched on china hutch!)

Christmas morning in our home as we finished our last Jesse Tree Devotional prior to opening gifts.

One would never know this precious doll has several severe heart defects!

Chrissie’s open-heart surgery has been scheduled for January 18, 2010. I would LOVE to have someone head up a prayer chain for her. Her surgery is so complex and extreme that I feel it’s imperative to have Chrissie and her team of surgeons and medical staff prayed for continuously throughout her surgery and hospital stay until she comes home. If you would like to spearhead this prayer chain, please let me know. You can leave a comment for me on this site or you can email me directly at Lorraine @ Forgotten Saw (remove spaces from email address; placed there for spam control) I have a feeling that God will lift up an army of prayer warriors for our precious princess!!!

Chrissie’s surgery is quite complex. I’m not even sure what exactly will be done, and I’ll probably not describe this accurately, but I’ll attempt to! Chrissie is a miracle child, as she should have died within the first 2 days of life since she was born without a pulmonary artery or valves in her heart, amongst other defects, such as a large hole between the lower right and left ventricles of her heart. As we reported before, Chrissie is being kept alive by 3 God-made vessels (which none of the rest of the world has) which are working independently of her heart. Our hearts pump blood to our lungs to be oxygenated through the pulmonary artery and valves; since Chrissie lacks these, there is NO blood flow to her lungs from her heart. However, God created those 3 God-made vessels to work independently of the heart to pump blood to Chrissie’s lungs to be oxygenated. There’s also a large hole between the lower right and left chambers of Chrissie’s heart, which must be closed. I know there were some other issues with Chrissie’s pulmonary system, but I can’t recall all of the details. I just know that it’s a HUGE miracle to be able to repair all that is wrong, and I thank God for His healing hands in Chrissie’s life and for sending Dr. Mary Porisch (pediatric cardiologist) into our lives.

First, as with any open-heart surgery, they will need to separate Chrissie’s sternum (OUCH!), and then they’ll need to operate on her heart. Chrissie will have to have some cadaver parts installed into her heart since she’s missing her pulmonary artery and valves. They’ll need to close the big hole between the lower chambers of her heart. Then they’ll need to take the 3 God-made vessels that are outside of her heart, and tie them into the cadaver pulmonary artery/valves. Then the heart will have to learn how to operate properly with all of the correct parts and functions. Her heart has never been a properly functioning heart, but God is the Great Physician, and I feel confident that He will allow the cardiosurgeon and medical staff to heal Chrissie’s fragile heart and pulmonary system.

The average hospital stay for pediatric open-heart surgery patients is 7-10 days. However, these are usually “minor” repairs such as a hole in the heart. Chrissie will be having so much done to her little system that no one will be able to predict how long she will stay in the hospital. (I will be staying round-the-clock with Chrissie, right there in her bed beside her b/c that’s where she wants and needs me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Stephanie will take care of our other 4 children at our home, and Matt will toggle between the hospital, his office, and our home.) We would love for you to join us in praying that Chrissie’s heart will be repaired beautifully without any complications, and that she’ll recover quickly without any complications. We are doing all we can to take all fear-provoking thoughts captive; however, it is extremely scary and downright heart-breaking to consider what all Chrissie will have to go through. We are trusting and believing God for His gift of healing, and while we must be prepared to tell Chrissie goodbye as she goes into surgery, we cannot allow ourselves to really consider the possibility that her joyful smile, contagious laugh, and sweet kisses might not be seen, heard or felt again until Heaven. That thought is just too much to consider, and that is why I am asking for each of you to join us in praying for Chrissie and her cardiosurgeon, cardiologist, and the entire medical team that will be taking care of our precious princess. Please consider the privilege of heading up a team to coordinate a schedule of prayer warriors who will be praying every minute for Chrissie’s procedure and healing. We would be so very grateful.

In the meantime, we are enjoying every second with Chrissie and trying to make the most of life together as a family before her surgery. Each day is a gift from God, and we are forever grateful and forever blessed by our King of Kings.

Our Precious Princess!  Please pray for her upcoming surgery!!!


Unknown said...

Beautiful! Your blog looks so nice and the pictures are great. Your daughter is such a cutie. Her surgery is on my birthday so that should help me remember to pray.
Love, Joy,RR

Sara Beth said...

lovin' your new blog! I am posting Chrissy's surgery on the prayer page linked to my blog. Please let me know if there is anything else i can do. I will be praying for her in preparation and then of coarse through her healing. Keep us posted! Wishing you a beautiful new year!

Kelly said...

Oh your blog is so pretty! I will be saying prayers for Chrissies surgery! We are out of the country, meeting our girls for the first time, on the 18th, but I will be praying till then!

I love her smile, she just oozes joy! LOL Love the family pictures. How did you get such a pretty tree with so many helpers to decorate it? Our tree... well lets just say it needs major help! But the kids think it's perfect... so I guess that is all that matters. :)

Karin said...

I know what you're going through--all the emotions of a child having a complicated heart surgery. One of our daughters had a fontan procedure done in April 2009. If you want to read about her surgery, you can at .
She had her surgery at University of MI. They were wonderful. Amazing. I will pray for your sweet Chrissy every time God brings her to mind. I'm sure the surgery our daughter had was a bit different, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me.

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