Sunday, 12 October 2014

Baby George and Pulmonary Atresia

George Peter Sams
George Peter Sams was born at 10:22 am on the 10th October 2014 at St Thomas’ hospital, London. He has had the most amazing support from the medical staff there and is currently under care in the Intensive care ward. For those of you who don’t know my son (my third child) has Pulmonary Atresia, a rare heart defect that ultimately leaves half of his heart, the half that pumps de-oxygenated blood to the lungs to bring back vital Oxygen for the rest of the body, non functioning. We had the option to terminate early on but…

On Monday he goes in to have his first of three operations . This one is to put a plastic pipe or shunt into the closing hole in-between the ventricles that keeps the heart as a two (rather than 4) chambered pump giving him the shot at life. More will follow and his is not an easy road. He will have limited tolerance to exercise, complications to diet, digestion, renal function etc caused by the future ops and above him the spectre of early death on the operating table, or if his weak half a heart should give out. All the while we have agreed to give him this shot.

It just seems so bitterly unfair that this little bundle of innocence has already been given this massive handicap that could and probably will kill him eventually and we his parents have to make choices as to how long he gets to live or try and guess at what may or may not happen. I keep wishing our roles were reversed but to no avail.

Every hour I panic and worry that we’ve done the right thing, that he is going to be alright and that he has the best shot at life as he possibly can. I’m terrified of leaving the hospital on Monday unless I’m not there and…

I’m not a religious man, far from it, but for the first time in a log while I have offered up a silent prayer to my ancestors (especially my Grandparents) to watch over him and to take care of him. His fate is in the hands of the Doctors and in nature and all manner of things. If there is a higher reason or force controlling everything then I hope that George is dealt a better hand.

A good friend of mine said to me this weekend that I was tough, and I could get through the heart ache, pain and stress to come. The truth is – I’m not tough, I’ll get through this because I have to but in reality I’m terrified. I'm maintaining a steely façade and the "I'm good with this" stance to cover up the little boy inside who just wants to curl up into a ball and beg this to stop. This past year hasn't been the best for me or my family and more bad things are being pushed below the surface with the other repressed feelings. It is so repressed that the other day I started sobbing uncontrollably when I read that a German Cruiser sank with all hands a century ago! I mean really?

The raft I cling to is that he was a good weight, a healthy colour and alert and focused so should be strong enough to fight through the surgery and make a full recovery. He is one of us and my forebears were hardy and resilient. So should he be. He WILL be ok!

This whole blog post probably doesn't make sense. It is more an attempt to get my thoughts and feelings onto paper and definitely not a cry for help.