We arrive back at the guesthouse and blessedly I held the contents of my stomach in place. Once there things happened swiftly. Dr. Serge Geffrard had the portable Echocardiogram machine set up in one of the guest rooms and proceeded with Melissa's exam. Initially, I was downstairs trying to eat a bite to settle my stomach. I walked upstairs and began to watch the ECHO of my sweet baby lying on the bed. Immediately the grainy images on the screen caused my heart to again drop to my stomach.
Though my Echo reading skills are basic, the small piece flapping in the heart where the heart wall and valve should be indicated this would be no easy surgical fix. In that moment, my mind slammed shut to the doctor side of me and I struggled to keep up with the understandings of what he was finding. After an extensive exam, we learned that Melissa has a complete AV canal defect as well as a small right ventricle (bottom heart chamber) and pulmonary stenosis. At this point, the problems are "balancing" to keep her oxygenated at some level. Her O2 levels when we were finally able to get the probe to work over her tiny finger was in the low 80%'s. According to him this was good though I couldn't wrap my brain around that being "good". Dr. Serge very patiently explained that surgical repair really wasn't feasible for the AV canal due to the ventricle issues and the pulmonary stenosis surgery is considered "palliative" meaning it just buys her some time. He explained that the procedure for the pulmonary stenosis (called a Glenn's procedure) only lasts for a limited time.
**blink, blink, blink**
Somehow, in my heart I did always know that her heart wasn't going to be an easy fix but for it to now be in black and white I struggled so. Learning that the child who the Lord called you to care for has a terminal illness will drop you to the floor no matter how you may feel prepared. The practical "let's take care of what we can" side of me took over to keep me from curling up into the fetal position on the bed next to her. Practically, she could live happily for years. No one knows and I will not limit God's possibilities.
It was getting late, so Melissa and I moved to the next room and I began to unpack and organize what I had brought. A sense of numbness filled with fatigue limited my thoughts and about 1:00am I fell asleep next to my precious child.