In 2006 Master Poppins, who you may know was born prematurely was having a routine heart scan due to a PDA He was three months old. The PDA which can be quite common in premature babies, looked like it was closing on its own and we were all thinking this would just be a quick scan, all is well, special tea to celebrate. Even though he was three months old he weighed less than a newborn, was so very little and of course I crossed my fingers all would be well. The expert cardiologist began his ultra sound of his heart and I did my very best to work out what I could see on the screen. It was pitch black in the room, although there were lovely twinkling lights above Master Poppins who was very well behaved. It was quiet, the cardiologist was concentrating. Then I noticed him frown, the mood changed, he called one or two other specialists in, with me not knowing what was going on. Luckliy I had both my husband and my mum with me. The specialists talked, confirming with each other what were seeing on the screen and then looked to me. They had found a completely incidental, and unrelated to his prematurity, heart defect in my son....
I have to be honest and the rest of the day was bit of a blur....we were ushered into a room where a BHF nurse chatted to us, explained what the heart condition was, handed us leaflets and explained that it was imperative my son was treated if not that day, then very very soon. They had found a severe case of Pulmonary Stenosis and we were told it could be treated by a relatively simple procedure explained here So no open heart surgery. We were given a date to come back, was the same week, and he would be admitted onto the cardiac ward at the children's hospital, I could of course stay with him.
So here he is, at three and a half months, not looking very happy at all in his hospital gown about to go down to theatre. Daddy was doing his very best to calm his crying....
He soon calmed a little.... I was actually quite calm, considering, and just like most parents would feel I imagine when their own children go into theatre, you can't wait for the time they wake up, safe, well, and you are told everything went to plan. We were allowed to carry him into the room where the lovely anesthetist met us, and by then Master Poppins had fallen asleep anyway so we just left him sleeping naturally and before they put the mask on....alright one or two tears were shed from both of us as we made our way back upto his room to watch rubbish daytime television to almost take our mind off what was going on downstairs. About 2 hours later were were told he was alright, bit groggy but all had indeed gone well, big relief all round.
Since that day he has had 2 further follow up scans, and so far so good. He is as fit as the next four year old, though of course deep down I am always aware. We were since told it was a severe case, and although is something I don't dwell on, I know that if my son hadn't been born so very early, with that PDA, that required a check up scan, his heart defect wouldn't have been found so very soon, and he may well not be with us now. All those who love and cherish him, his wonderful big sister, realise, although he is possibly one of the most cheekiest monkeys, he is a very special one. So the time has come in a few months and shall be 3 years without a scan, for him to have one, and I am getting nervous. I can feel it already. We have been told he may require another procedure in the future, but we shan't know more until this next scan. I am happy in the fact we have had no symptoms at all, and he really can run as well, if not faster than many of his little friends on the playing fields, but is natural to worry about ones children isn't it. So I can just be positive and pray everything is fine.
If like me you have been in the position of taking your child into theatre for an operation or procedure, that nervous wait during, the hopefully big relief afterwards when you are told all has gone well, then may I offer you a hug. Is quite an emotional experience.