Heart of It

My 16 year old daughter, our middle child, Annslee Hope, had emergency open heart surgery Jan 18.

It was terrifying. It was out of nowhere and it stopped my world.

She donated blood at school on Friday, Jan 11 and later that night passed out at work. In doing so, she hit a metal prep table & lost consciousness, so we took her to ER to be checked. There, they confirmed a concussion, anemia and a never before heard heart murmur that was “very noticeable”. We had her pediatrician check it out on Tues & she was alarmed! That Thursday at noon, we were having an ECHO done on her heart.

By 3:30, we were called and told that they had found that it was not a murmur but a very large and life threatening mass in her heart. We rushed 2 hrs away to a Children’s Hospital to doctors who were waiting for her arrival. The testing began immediately and we were sent to the ICU.

At 9:30 am, Friday, Jan 18, the doctors began open heart surgery to remove a 8.5 cm x 2 cm myxoma (tumor) from the right ventricle of her heart. It’s size & placement are extremely rare. It was connected by “a thread” and the dr was amazed that we were “discussing her case post surgery and not at autopsy”. He repeated over & over that she was so lucky to have lived to make it to surgery. Any hit or fall should have dislodged the mass & killed her because it dropped into his hands when he touched it in surgery. In fact, passing out & falling FORWARD was a blessing because falling backward would surely have cause it to break away. While in surgery, they also corrected a previously unknown whole in heart heart between her right and left atrium. The surgery was completed in 6 hours and was successful. And within 14 hours after surgery, she was already requesting to get out of bed & was up and walking.

Had she not given blood at school, though, we’d never had known that she had a time bomb in her heart. She’d have died of sudden cardiac arrest & we’d have just lost her. She never had a symptom of any tumor or any problem. She’s always been very active. She would have just been here and then gone!

And as terrifying as the surgery and the waiting and all of this recovery and dodging infections & illnesses as she recovers is… nothing is as terrifying as knowing we could have lost her and she could have been saved.

She’s a strong girl & her recovery is going well. It just takes time. And we know how blessed we are.

So, yes… my other two HAVE had ECHOs done because I’m taking no chances.

Because the heart of it is that they ARE my heart & soul & we were blessed with a second chance…

Annslee after surgery

3 thoughts on “Heart of It

  1. Oh my god!! How scary for you all and yet, WOW what a miracle/blessing at the same time. When things like this happen, really makes me wonder about guardian angels. Take gentle care of yourselves x (your girl looks like a trooper!)

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