Lesley, Jude's nurse, just stepped out of surgery to bring us news: So far, everything is going well! Praise God!
Things apparently got off to a slow start, as the medical staff worked for a while to get some additional points of IV access, presumably to give Jude blood if that becomes necessary. Dr. Hebra, Jude's surgeon, made an incision in Jude's chest and has managed to move the abdominal organs that were in Jude's chest back down below what little bit of diaphragm he has. A happy discovery was also made: Jude has some scar tissue below his heart on the right side of his chest cavity, which will serve as a good place to suture the GORE-TEX patch (i.e. the mesh/patch that will close the hole in Jude's diaphragm) on that side of his chest. Apparently, Dr. Hebra would have had to suture the patch to the pericardium (the membrane on the outside of the heart) if this scar tissue had not been present where it is. Again, praise God for this wonderful, unexpected mercy!
While we are so excited about this positive report, the operation is far from over: Dr. Hebra still has to suture the GORE-TEX patch through the single incision that he's made in Jude's chest, which will be challenging. The plan is to stitch the patch to the aforementioned scar tissue beneath Jude's heart and to the inside of Jude's ribs in his chest cavity. Dr. Hebra has the assistance of another pediatric surgeon, Dr. Chris Streck, so please lift up these two men in prayer with us as the surgery continues.
We'll keep you posted!