Audrey’s surgery was successful. Thank you everyone for your prayers and for your continued prayers in the days to come.
I’m trying to find the words. I have just returned home and so I will try to share as best I can where Audrey’s fight stands this evening.
Most importantly, the surgery was successful. The cardiologist was able to repair the area in Audrey’s heart that was causing her to fall into high risk of cardiac arrest. Tonight she is in the OU Children’s Hospital PICU, closely monitored, in critical condition.
Let me back track a moment. This surgery was unexpected. Heart surgery has always been part of Audrey’s path, but not yet and not this procedure. As Audrey’s condition continued to deteriorate throughout the day today, physicians discovered a new problem in her heart that was the cause of tonight’s events. Here is what Rachel’s father Mark wrote to describe it – I feel he explained it better than I could ever attempt:
“Her latest anomaly: Cor Triatriatum, a septum in the atrium, hers in the left atrium, is what lead to her deterioration today. The repair being done via open heart surgery is to correct this issue but will not correct the other anomalies. They will require another repair several months down the road, if this one is successful. Her condition is critical but hope remains.”
The fact that Audrey has this plus her other conditions in her heart is, as the surgeon told Rachel and Chris, “exceptionally rare.”
The repair was done and went smoothly. The repair itself took about 1 1/2 hours, Audrey was in surgery, observation and recovery for about 3 hours total. The surgeon that performed the procedure referred to the noticeable difference in size of the arteries, one being very small, the one I believe that he had to work on. They are watching her lungs closely to make sure they are taking in the appropriate amount of oxygen or “saturation” as they called it.
In the past 30 minutes, Rachel and Chris were able to meet with the cardiologist and he gave them a very detailed “lay of the land”. These first 24 hours are very crucial and there are many issues they must watch closely. Machines are close by to take care of any emergent issue. Her stay is likely 6-8 weeks. She will be heavily sedated for days. They will be monitoring her very closely. There are so many details that in the end it leads to this: She has an incredibly tough road ahead. They are with Audrey now.
So, where to focus: The surgery was successful! This was an intense day, emotionally draining doesn’t appropriately describe it. But, Audrey made it! She made it. Thank you everyone, for continuing to rally to this family’s side and to hold Audrey’s name up in your prayers. As Mark said, prayers are being answered.
Let’s pray for the moment. For Audrey’s recovery from this surgery. At this moment her chest is still open – they keep it open so that they can see and monitor the heart. They keep it covered, but for the next few days, her tiny precious heart – the size of her incredibly small fist – is exposed to the world, fighting for every beat that it takes. Pray for healing. Pray for progress. Pray for Rachel and Chris as they fight through exhaustion, fight against discouragement, fight for their daughter, as they fight for their family.
The Leslie’s were surrounded this evening by 20 “Audrey warriors” of family and friends at the hospital, and then there were all of the prayers of those not present that were heard and felt!
I have been speechless today and I still fail to conjure up the appropriate words to share. I cannot explain the depth of emotion. I can’t come close to reaching the place that aches in Chris and Rachel’s hearts and minds tonight. All I know is that my love for this family grew even more this evening, and 19 other “Audrey warriors” would say the same. And so, let us all encircle this family once more with love, prayers and encouragement. As they walk in faith one day, one hour, one minute at a time.
More to come. We love you, Leslie family. Audrey girl, you are a fighter, you are a miracle, and you are LOVED.