This first day is written by Ryan.
On Tuesday November 22 we started our journey by heading to the UW Children’s hospital to have Eli’s type and cross lab which is where there check his blood type and put an ankle band on him. This assigns the blood to him in case a transfusion is needed.
We then went and checked into the Ronald McDonald house to stay the night before surgery and since only one parent can stay at the hospital I would be spending the nights there.
We arrived at the hospital at 7:15 in preparation for the 8:30 surgery. We were checked in to the pre-OP room and then got to talk with several nurses, anthesialogists, and our two surgeons. Questions were answered and the days schedule was given. We were blessed with two wonderful surgeons, Dr. Iskandar – Pediatric Neurosurgeon and Dr. Mount – Pediatric Plastic Surgeon. We asked about the length of surgery and Dr. Iskandar said they would be done by lunch otherwise they would get hungry and need to take a break. Both Drs. did a great job of making us comfortable with the procedure. The whole time this was going on we had a very happy baby.
Around 8:50 it was time for him to be taken back to the operating room and Reneé got suited up to carry him back. She got to hold him as he drifted off to sleep. We were then off to the waiting room where we had a great support group of family and friends.
We were told that it could take an hour or so to get set up and they would let us know when the surgery started via our pager. After an hour and a half we decided to ask for status and found out our pager wasn’t working and that they started the operation at 10:20 and everything was going great.
We continued to hang out in the waiting room and found that technology made the wait easier. There were smartphones and Ipads in use. It helped to see all the prayers and well wishes.
Then at 11:45 a nurse came out and told us that everything was going great and they had started to close.
Next thing we knew the surgeons walked out around 12:30 to see us and tell us everything was done and went very well. They explained what they ended up having to do. Dr. Iskandar also stated that they took a vote in the OR and they decided to make him look more like Mom than Dad. A surgeon and a comedian. All joking aside, both of the Doctors were great, very personable and down to earth. We were told that he was in recovery and that we would be able to go see him shortly.
Around 1:00 Renee and I got to go back to the recovery room and see our Little Elijah. He was still asleep when we got there and had a little turban on. The surgeons even put a tigger sticker on it. He started to respond to our voices by cracking his eyes and squeezing our fingers. We then got to talk with the recovery nurses and the head anthesalogist who both said that he was doing very well and did perfect during the surgery. He then had to have some blood drawn to check his levels. After he started to come out of the anthesia, he was moved to the pediatric ICU.
Once we got up to the PICU we were met by several nurses and doctors who went over things with us. The attending had some concerns of him being anemic and pale. He talked to us about him possibly needing a blood transfusion, and that we would find out when the blood test results came back to see if his hemoglobin level has went up. After the results came back it was determined that he needed a transfusion. It was pretty amazing to see how much his color changed and he started to perk up during and after the transfusion which took 4 hours.
By night time of the first day he had really perked up and was playing with toys and we even got a smile out of him. It was amazing to see the changes he went through in the course of a day. He was one tough little guy.