We have an excellent team of doctors and specialists who have been helping us on our new journey! We meet weekly with occupational & physical therapy to make sure our growth & development stays on track and that we hit important milestones. So far, Gunner has been a champ and continues to impress his doctors and therapists with his strength (Down syndrome is associated with low muscle tone) and motor development :) We also have been working very hard to keep Gunner healthy and growing so that we are able to repair his heart. The defect he has is called an Atrial Septal Defect -- an atrial septal defect is a hole between the upper 2 chambers of the heart. The heart has 4 sections, or chambers. The upper chambers are called atria, and the lower chambers are called ventricles. The wall between the right and left atria is called the atrial septum. Normally, blood flows from the right atrium into the right ventricle, and the right ventricle pumps it to the lungs. When there is a hole in the atrial septum, the left atrium pushes blood into the right atrium. The extra blood increases the heart’s workload. It also increases the flow of blood to the lungs.
After months of monitoring, we have finally gotten the green light to go ahead and schedule Gunner's surgery. We are scheduled to have open heart surgery on Monday, October 23rd at the U of M Children's Masonic Hospital. Doctors anticipate that the procedure is relatively straight forward and that it should only require one operation. We were told to expect a 7-10 day stay at the hospital for recovery and monitoring to make sure his heart responds positively.
Although our insurance has covered a large portion of the medical costs, there are many expenses that we have had to pay out of pocket and will also incur in the upcoming months. Our family has been a huge help by assisting us and taking Gunner to appointments when possible, but we have had to take many days off of work as well. We plan to have one parent present with Gunner during his stay at the hospital while the other goes to work and takes care of our older son Hank who is 4. It is unclear at this time what type of care and the amount of follow up appointements we will have for Gunner.
We want to say thank you in advance and any amount of assistance is greatly appreciated! Any funds raised will be used to offset the costs of our reduced income over the next month and medical expenses that are not covered by our insurance. We know Gunner is in great hands and pray for a smooth operation and recovery. If you are unable to donate you can also help us by keeping Gunner in your thoughts & prayers!
Meghan & Tyler
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