Cardiology

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When we received Jude’s referral it was obvious that one of the reasons why was because Jude had a cardiac (or heart) condition. Being a nurse I had indicated that I was willing to accept any non-lethal cardiac conditions. Otherwise the wait for a child Jude’s age and gender would have been 3-4 years (not just over 7 months). But the truth is that not many potential adopting parents are willing to accept a child with a cardiac condition. So the wait for such children is much shorter.

In the referral it stated that Jude had a patent foramen ovale. This is a hole in the heart between the walls of the two atrium that is present in all children when they are in utero. Jude was born at 26.5 weeks gestation so this was not surprising. The hole had not yet closed because she was nowhere near to term. In addition, Jude was said to have some insufficiency of her Tricuspid valve and an associated heart murmur. All in all, it was a lot; but it could have been so much more. I didn’t hesitate to accept her referral.

When we got to visit Jude in December we knew that the only thing we would be able to possibly evaluate for ourselves was the murmur. But Jude had pneumonia. And try as I could (and my Mum with some greater cardiac experience than me listened too) we couldn’t hear the murmur over her rattling chest.

There was a reason why. Upon pick up When Jude no longer had a respiratory illness I could only hear normal heart sounds. And so could my Mum. And the doctor at the embassy appointment. And 3 doctors at her exam when we came home.

So today we went to the pediatric cardiologist in southern Maine to be absolutely sure. And after an exam and multiple tests we got the news:

JUDE’S HEART IS PERFECTLY NORMAL

All that and it turns out that she is absolutely fine. I am over the moon with joy. Although I was prepared to parent a child with these medical needs, to suddenly find out that she is fine is SUCH a relief. (I also feel like I kinda cheated fate, since there are many families who have/are waiting for a referral much longer than I did and as it is looking Jude is turning out to have almost none of the medical needs that were reported and therefore made her level of needs seem much higher than it actually is)

So that makes 4 specialists down and only one more to go at the end of the month. I am hoping that our good luck streak continues until the very end.

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2 responses »

  1. This is wonderful news. I think that level of prematurity alone though is something most families would not accept, so there’s no reason to feel you cheated fate.

    Your story reiterates something I have seen many times: families open to a great many special needs and even to older children are often quickly referred, through the main procedure, the youngest of kids with needs that frequently turn out to be very manageable. It’s a strange dynamic, but it’s happening.

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