Saturday, September 28, 2013
Marie had surgery at Edward Heart surgery less than a week after arriving in the United States. And big surgery it was--she had two heart valves replaced and one repaired, by the best heart surgeon anywhere, Dr. Bryan Foy. The heart only has four valves, so this indicates how sick she was. Unfortunately, Marie's heart wouldn't start beating on her own. Dr. Foy put Marie on ECMO, which is basically like bedside bypass. He would give her heart a few days to start pumping on its own.
Things looked grim. We called Marie's sister Rose who lives in New Jersey. She flew to Chicago to be there for Rose and possibly say good bye. When Rose walked into the ICU, took Marie's hand, spoke to her in Creole, Marie, who was still on ECMO and heavily sedated, opened her eyes. The ICU staff were stunned; another miracle. The next day, Marie was taken off ECMO, and her heart took over on its own.
From there on out, she has made progress, but it has been a roller coaster. Marie successfully battled kidney failure and gall bladder problems. She left the hospital three weeks after she had surgery and went to the home of Linda Mrez to recuperate.
Marie continues to grow stronger. She goes for walks, which before surgery, her sick heart would not allow her to do; it was just barely keeping her alive. We are thankful to Dr. Bryan Foy, Edward Heart Hospital, many other medical professionals, host families, the O'Donnell's and the Merz's, and most of all to God for the series of miracles that allow Marie to live.