Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Mason came into this world on November 29, 2003, exactly four weeks before my due date. We were so excited upon his arrival, as were our other two children who were 12 and 10 yrs. old. At the time of his birth, all seemed well. His coloring was good and after being looked over by the NICU team, he appeared “healthy”. Shortly after bringing him home, my husband and I noticed that his coloring seemed to change. There were times he looked dark or dusky, and other times he looked perfectly normal. Then one day as I had him in the bath, he seemed to curl up and his skin was blue!! I was alarmed and knew that something was not right. We took him to his pediatrician who immediately ordered a chest x-ray and an echo. We didn’t know what an echo was and we were sure that everything was going to be fine. No sooner had I got home from the echo, we had a message on our answering machine to call our pediatrician as soon as possible. They asked me to come back to the office and asked that I bring my husband. On the way to the office, I called our church to ask for prayer. I had no idea what was ahead of me, but knew we needed God’s hand upon us. The pediatrician told me Mason had a congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot. He drew a diagram of it and explained it as best he could. He asked that we drive him to Children’s Hospital Central California (CHCC) in Madera to determine a course of action. I recall the nurse also telling me not let him cry if possible. Once we arrived at the hospital which was about 2 hrs. away, he was evaluated by the cardiologist, Dr. Kenneth Rouillard, who concurred with the diagnosis. He was admitted and hospitalized for almost 1 week as the surgeon, Dr. Malcolm MacDonald, explained the situation and gave us a few options. We chose the complete repair and on January 4, 2004, he underwent emergency surgery to repair his defect. The surgery lasted approximately 6 hours. During surgery, another anomaly was discovered - his coronary artery was lying over the pulmonary artery preventing the surgeon from repairing his own pulmonary valve, without the possibility of causing a heart attack. The decided to put in a conduit and a donor tissue valve. Thankfully, the surgery was successful and after approximately 1 ½ wks. in the hospital, we were able to bring him home. He has since had another surgery to replace the donor valve, which he outgrew within several months. Mason is now 3 yrs. old and doing wonderfully. We are so thankful of the staff at CHCC in Madera, and to friends, family and our church family, who have been so supportive throughout his hospitalizations.

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