He loves his aunt. He actually loves all four of his aunts (lucky him!), but today he is specifically talking about his Cool Aunt Whit. On April 25th, Whitney, my older sister, will give Theo a better chance at a high-quality, full life. That's right: transplant is scheduled for Thursday, April 25th!
|Theo (several months ago) and his hero|
Why is it the right time? Theo's development has slowed. He's still not eating. He's still not walking. His reflux is still not totally under control. Having a healthy, functioning kidney will make a big difference in all parts of his development, we are told. We're also told that his energy level will improve as a result of transplant. We are not so sure that we can handle that! This kid is already FULL of energy. He talks or sings all day long, he is the most wiggly little guy you've ever seen, and he's all boy. Case in point: Theo got his first bloody nose last weekend while throwing himself down the slide face first. (Yes, I was standing right there and felt like the best mom in the world at that moment.) Did a bloody nose stop him from going headfirst again at the next opportunity? Absolutely not. I really can't imagine what more energy will look like.
As a quick overview, here is what we are preparing for:
- Whitney arrives on Sunday, April 21st and will have a few final tests prior to surgery
- Theo will be admitted to the hospital on Wednesday for another battery of tests (chest x-ray, blood work, EKG, etc.) Whitney will arrive at the hospital early Thursday morning and will get prepped for surgery.
- Approximately 1 hour after Whitney's surgery starts, Theo will be taken into the OR. In the ideal situation, he will be open and ready to accept his "new to him" kidney as soon as it is removed from Whitney. Whitney's surgery will take several hours, and Theo's may last up to 5 hours.
- After surgery, Whitney will be in the hospital for several days as she recovers. Theo will remain on a ventilator in the pediatric ICU for several days while his body is pumped with extra fluids (which his lungs may not be able to handle without the ventilator) in order to keep his new kidney happy. After 5 days or so in the PICU, he will move to the main floor, where he will stay for another week or so.
- Once Theo comes home, he will be on a lot of anti-rejection medications (which he'll remain on for as long as his new kidney functions) and we will have to be pretty antisocial for a couple of months he is quarantined to make sure his body has recovered and his medications are right. This will mean 3x per week clinic and doctor visits for the first few months. We'll give Theo a mask to wear to clinic visits. Who wants to take the over/under on how long he'll keep the mask on??
Every night as we pray with Theo we thank God for giving him to us. We are so lucky. While he was not born healthy in every way, he was created perfectly in every way. After yesterday's tragic events in Boston, where an 8-year old boy was killed while eating ice cream, spending time with his family, and celebrating the accomplishments of so many people, I'm reminded that we are not guaranteed health, success, or a long life. I am reminded to cherish each and every moment with family, to love God, and to love people. Thanks for being part of this adventure with us!
|Theo and Whit zoom down the slide together|