Jude passed his trial off of ECMO, so he's being decannulated at 7:30!
Like any surgical procedure, decannulation involves some risks. For Jude, the greatest risk is bleeding since he has been on blood thinners during his run on ECMO. Moreover, since his cannulas are essentially big catheters that extend deeply into his chest near his heart, the surgeons need to be very careful when removing them. In a conversation with the surgeon who's doing the decannulation, I believe he suggested that Jude's vessels might be slightly weakened because the cannulas have been in for so long, so that's another concern.
Despite the risks associated with decannulation (which are small within the whole scheme of things), Rose and I are incredibly thankful that Jude has made it to this juncture. Sadly, there are those babies who go on ECMO and are never sufficiently stable to come off, and our hearts are breaking for those families for who have experienced that. At several points, Rose and I feared that Jude wouldn't come off bypass, so today's events and his imminent decannulation are an answer to all of our prayers.
We thank God that Jude has endured the many obstacles that he's encountered thus far, and we pray that God will continue to protect him and equip him with everything necessary to meet the challenges that will now lay before him.
To all of you who are reading and praying for Jude: Thank you for being faithful to pray for our beloved baby boy. We now humbly ask that you continue to pray him, as he still has what will probably be a very long fight ahead with CDH and its aftermath.
A quick, but significant side note: While Jude was clamped off from the ECMO circuit during his trial off, the attending pediatric cardiologist came upstairs to do his echocardiogram. Before she left, she shared some very exciting news: Jude's cardiac function on both sides of his heart looks great, and she didn't see any real evidence of pulmonary hypertension. That's awesome! We'll undoubtedly get an even better understanding of his heart function and the state of his pulmonary vasculature after he's been off ECMO for a while, but the results of this echo are amazing and so encouraging. Thanks be to God for his amazing and wondrous works!
Great are the works of the LORD,
studied by all who delight in them.
Full of splendor and majesty is his work,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered;
the LORD is gracious and merciful.
He provides food for those who fear him;
he remembers his covenant forever.