Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Birthday on November 29th

Last year I wrote about everything that had happened in the prior year on my birthday. I think this blog has summed up quiet nicely our little family's happenings for this crazy last year.

Instead of celebrating the big 28, this year I'm going to celebrate 64.

My birthday means quite a bit more to me this year:

On November 29, 1944, a small, frail child was wheeled into an operating room at the Johns Hopkins Hospital for the first attempt to treat tetralogy of Fallot, a congenital heart malformation that robs the blood of oxygen. This life-threatening condition is often signaled by a bluish or "cyanotic" cast to the skin, hence the term, blue baby. The procedure joined an artery leaving the heart to an artery leading to the lungs, in an attempt to give the blood a second chance at oxygenation. It was the first blue baby operation and came to be known as the Blalock-Taussig Shunt.

Without this operation, Nathan's chance of making to age 10 would have been less than 30%. With Dr. Hawkins saying that Nathan's pulmonary valve measured at half of the width necessary to provide adequate blood flow and his other birth defects, I am certain that he would not have made it to kindergarten.

I'm grateful for Dr's. Blalock, Taussig, and Thomas who gave me this gift on my birthday, long before I was ever thought about.


5 comments:

Janice & Don said...

That's a great story! Where did you find it? I too am grateful for all the advancements in healthcare, esp when it helps my cute little nephew!

Tiffany Moore said...

That is the best birthday gift that a mother could ever hope for. The life of their child. Hope that your birthday is a great as what happened in 1944.

Mom & Dad Ellinger said...

I was awe struck by what you wrote - so much significance of what happened 64 years ago. You have put some deep thought into what you have gone through this last year. I too am grateful for that great discovery made by those inspired doctors. I have so enjoyed learning more about the history of all the advancements that were made. It was great to see the actual pictures of the men we learned about in the movie.

Janice & Don said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

Tammy said...

wow what a story! Happy Birthday to you! and i told ben about your new software so im tottally jealous!!!