At 6 am we were admitted for in patient surgery and then escorted to a sort of pre-surgical holding area. It was a large room with many other surgical patients all separated by curtains. There we answered some last minutes questions and they gave Watson some medicine that was suppose to relax him well enough to be handed over to a nurse and carried to the OR. After about 10 minutes or so Watson began to kinda stare off and zone out. He seemed relaxed but then began to cry went we tried to hand him over to the nurse. She had puppies on her face mask and was trying to get Watson to focus on them. The anesthesiologist decided to let me just carry Watson myself to the OR. I had to quickly gown up and carry him down a series of hallways. Fighting back tears I held Watson tight in my arms and assured him everything was going to be ok. He seemed kinda content and obviously had no clue what he was about to face.When we arrived to the OR he was relaxed enough to not mind the nurse taking him. That was the scariest moment handing him over and it was difficult to not just break down. I had to walk away and I felt totally helpless. My work was done. Now it was time for the surgeons.

I eventually met back up with Greg and we went up to the seventh floor to meet up with the rest of the family in the waiting area. Those 4-5 hours we waited are all kinda of a blur. We had both sets of Watson’s grandparents with us and my sister. They were good distractions for Greg and I. I would recommend for anyone going through something similar to have family and friends with you during this time. It was comforting to have them around and talking keeping us from panicking. We set up a online carepage through the hospitals website which we used to update our friends and family about how Watson’s surgery was going. This allowed us to write several updates as we got them and
kept us from having to make a zillion phone calls. Our friends we able to post back with their prayers and thoughts. I later made the carepage into a remembrance book.
We got three updates from a nurse while surgery was underway. The first was to let us know that surgery had begun and everything was going well. The second was that he was on the bypass machine. The last update was that he was off bypass and breathing on his own. We were told the surgery went well and Dr. del Nido would be out soon to speak with us. The relief had washed over us all. I could breath again. Dr. del Nido surfaced and briefly explained that he had repaired Watson heart and mentioned something about his unusual heart anatomy. I really wish I could remember this conversation, but again this part is blurry. I just remember finally feeling relieved and so grateful to have had del Nido as Watson’s surgeon.

We later asked for Watson’s medical records and when they arrived in our mailbox it was then that we learned the specifics of the surgery.
Watson’s final diagnosis was:

Inferior Sinus Venosus Atrial septal defect (SV ASD) with Partial Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return (PAPVR) and malalignment of the septum posteriorly.

They discovered that the inferior right pulmonary vein was draining into the right atrium rather than to the left atrium mixing oxygenated blood with unoxygenated blood. The heart was enlarged due to right ventricular volume overload. The inferior right pulmonary vein was draining into the right atrium where the inferior vena cava also drains into the right atrium. The ASD was cloer to the inferior vena cava. The malaligned septum was detached from the atrial wall where it had been attached posteriorly and moved to create a new septum between the inferior pulmonary vein and the inferior vena cava. The newly positioned septum allowed for a correct pathway into the left atrium for the inferior pulmonary vein. Then a pericardial patch was used to close the inferior sinus venosus ASD. The eustachian valve was noticed to be prominent with the potential of causing an obstruction so it was then resected up to the free edge of the atrium.


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