March 29, 2011

What is a VSD?

      Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD is a "hole" in the wall between the two lower chambers of the heart. The hole may be small, medium, or large. At times the small hole can close on its own, but in case of Amalia, her VSD was BIG, HUGE, and the only way to repair it was by doing an open heart surgery, which means stopping the heart and the patient will be alive by an oxygen lung machine. Scary ha! BUT GOD WAS WITH ME AND MY LITTLE GIRL AND OF COURSE THE SURGEON AND HIS STAFF! Please note the following picture that you will see is Amalia's open heart surgery journey from the day of surgery until her last day at the hospital Arnold Palmer. I ask the surgeon if possible to take some pictures because I wanted to see my daughters heart with the VSD and the repair heart and he did and mailed it to me. Amalia's open heart surgery was on March 19, 2011 at 8:30 in the morning.

With her daddy and her thought on surgery!
Amalia's heart with the "hole"
Amalia's heart repaired, YEAH no more VSD

 What does a VSD do?
      Well the muscular wall between the lower heart chambers is meant to separate blood passing through each of the ventricle. This separation prevents unhealthy mixing of blue blood from the veins with red, oxygen blood going to the arteries. When the muscular wall  is incomplete or "broken", mixing occurs. In most situations, this leads to red blood passing across the defect and mixing with the blue blood on the right side of the heart. This is called a left-to-right-shunt and leads to abnormally high blood flow into the lungs, which breathing can be come difficult in children. When the VSD is large in a very small child, lung blood flow may be so enormous that the tiny ventricles cannot pump such a volume. This causes congestive heart failure. Heart failure in a child produces fast shallow breathing, excessive sweating, inability to feed well, irritability, constant crying, and a failure to grow at a normal pace. I thank the LORD each minute of my day because the doctors, I should say the cardiologist was surprised that with such hole in Amalia's heart, she was able to gain weight, grow at her normal pace, she did not have trouble breathing nor was sweating excessively. 

 What happens if the VSD is left untreated?
     The child can go into heart failure due to the great amount of blood flow into the lungs.

Life after open heart surgery
      Occupational therapy would be suspended for 6 weeks and she can not be picked up from under her arm for 3 months. How is she picked up you ask? by scooping up her bottom and placing a hand on her back for support, like a newborn. Other than that, she will have normal fun, she will run, jump, swim, dance, and play sport with no heart problem and to continue praying for the Lord to continue placing his healing hands on my children so they can have a healthy blessed life on this earth!

45 out of the OR, she looks good. I imagined worst.

                                                               2 days later, looking good!

Saturday March 12, 2011. She looks amazing

March 13, happy to know she will go home on Monday the 14!yeah!!!

Home at last. My mommy handmade this bow for me!
2nd day at home, they missed each other! My mom came from NY to help with Ethan.

Her recovery has been amazing, the doctors are so surprised that for a child with Down Syndrome she able to go home in four days, it usually takes 7 to 10 days in the hospital before they can go home. Her cardiologist did a check up on her on March 24 and did an Echo, and guess what, NO MORE HEART MURMUR, WOOHOO THANK YOU JESUS. Now in about two months she will get eye surgery because she is "crossed - eye" or the medical term - Strabismus.  
Set your minds and keep them set on what is above, not on the things that are on the earth. (Colossians 3:2)  
For the joy of the Lord is your strength ( Nehemiah 8:10) 




  1. 1st I must say you have the most beautiful liTtle girl! Those pictures had me choked up and made me feel so blessed to be a mom! You also helped me realize how important pray is...I've recently lost sight of it but I now have some renewed faith! I'm so happy to see she's healing-bless her little "closed" heart and may her heart be filled with love forever!

  2. May God keep blessing you and your family always.