James, born 2010
Our son James was born on April 1, 2010. We learned about his condition during our 22 week sonogram. Initially, we were shocked and scared. Fortunately, our pediatric cardiologist, Dr. Achi Ludomirsky, was incredibly helpful and provided us the information we wanted. He explained the condition in detail to my wife and me, and we felt confident that James would be in very good hands.
Before James was born, we also had an opportunity to meet his surgeon, Dr. Ralph Mosca and to tour the NICU and PICU at NYU Langone Medical Center, which was extremely helpful. James’ Arterial Switch surgery took place on April 5th. Despite the fact that we had prepared as much as possible, this was an extremely long and difficult day. We watched James head into surgery at 8:30 a.m. and we didn’t hear another word until 5:30 p.m. when we were finally told that the surgery was complete and we could go visit James. Apparently, there were additional complications with James’ coronary arteries, which made the surgery more difficult than a “typical” arterial switch.
Seeing James, our beautiful little boy, on a breathing tube, swollen and with so many lines coming out of various parts of his body was difficult and the first several days after the surgery were very rough. It was really helpful having toured the NICU prior to surgery so at least we had some idea what was coming. After a few days, James began to make steady progress. He was gradually weaned off of the breathing tube and over time other lines were removed. Every minor bit of progress made us feel better. On Monday, April 26th, after almost 4 weeks in the hospital, James was sent home.
We continued to bring James for his monthly cardiology visits with Dr Ludomirsky. Around the fourth month, he noticed that a “narrowing” started to develop in the area above the aorta. Soon, we were told that it would be best if James had another surgery to open up that narrowing. Opting to not do this would begin to put to much stress on the heart as he continued to grow and become more active. James had a cardiac catheterization first in order for the medical team to gather more information through the pictures. His 2nd surgery is now scheduled for September 15, 2010. We are hoping for a successful operation and a smooth recovery for James.
We are incredibly thankful to all of the doctors and nurses at NYU for taking great care of our son and we feel blessed that we live in an area where we have access to great medical care.
Story by James' dad, Peter - New Jersey