We sat in the waiting room of Wolfson’s Day Hospital…waiting. We had already been told Mario had done well with the cardiac catheterization and was in recovery. Based on what the doctor saw today, we would know if there was a surgical option. Dr. Ettedgui and Ellen, his Nurse Clinician, emerged and pulled up a chair to sit with our gathered group. Priscilla, our hospital interpreter sat next to Marta, ready to share the news.
We had finally met Dr. Ettedgui in person the day before. During the last six months that we had been in communication with him and Patrons of the Hearts, he has been accessible, responsive and honest. With limited surgical options, the most hope he could offer was “I am still in favor of him undergoing a more complete evaluation here in Jacksonville before any final decisions are made.” To my ears, that meant the door of possibility was still cracked but God has been clear in this experience: He wasn’t just opening doors for this child, but He was blowing them wide open. Dr. Ettedgui had been methodical in his approach so far. Step one – EKG/Echocardiogram. Results would determine if Mario would go to Step two – Cardiac Catheterization. Those results would then determine if he would go to Step three – Surgery. Figuratively, we all stood on step two with a foot raised at the ready to go to the next step. We just needed the doctor to say the words.
Dr. Ettedgui had been able to give us a complete diagnosis for Mario – Patent Ductus Arteriosus, AV Septal Defect, Pulmonary Atresia, Left Ventricular Hypoplasia. In short, his heart was “a mess.” Nothing could be done to fully repair the structure of Mario’s heart, but the question that needed answering was whether anything could be done to improve it. As Dr. Ettedgui and Ellen sat before us, they would give us our answer – “I am thrilled that there is something we can do.”
Mario will see the surgeon tomorrow to clear him for surgery on Wednesday. Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray that this little boy’s dream of playing soccer will come true on this side of heaven.