3/4/16 – LTR Surgery Day

The day we have long awaited has finally come, and it went better than we ever could have imagined.
This morning we arrived at the hospital bright and early at 6am to get checked in and ready for surgery. By 7:30 all the paperwork and pre-surgery discussion was done, judah had been given his first dose of the silly juice (versed) and they were ready to take him back to the operating room. Mommy and daddy gave judah our kisses goodbye, wished strength to our surgical team, and at 8am we sat down to wait.


Surgery was expected to take about 5+ hours, and in the end it took every bit of it – but when it was over we were met with an incredible surprise. Once the surgical team opened Judah’s airway up and got inside to look, they were able to see a story the prior pictures and scopes couldn’t fully tell. They saw the old reconstruction attempt that had failed, along with a lot of scar tissue causing the near complete closure of Judah’s airway. But what they didn’t see were narrowing and closures in other areas of concern, and the swallow study yesterday showed good signs of function and no aspirating. The surgeons determined that Judah was strong enough, and with a repair today would be a good candidate for a single stage repair, and a removal of his trach tube.
So just like that the doctors cleared out the scar tissue, took and implanted a piece of cartilage from his rib to create a new graft, and removed Judah’s trach! Since Judah was just two months old that trach has been his airway, his only method of breath. We’re still in a bit of shock that it’s gone.

The plan now will be to keep Judah comfortable and completely sedated in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit for a week to 10 days or more, giving him time to heal and rest while a breathing tube Running down his nose and into his trachea helps to not only breathe for him, but also keep his newly reconstructed airway open while it heals into place. After that time they will replace this breathing tube with a slightly narrower one, allowing some space around it for Judah to breath. The next day they will try to remove the tube completely and let him breath on his own. If that goes well, Judah will move out of the CICU to the general Airway recovery floor, where they will watch him for any signs of respiratory distress for another week to 10 days. If he seems to be doing well, then we will discuss next steps while staying local in Cincinnati and Judah will have a few more scopes to see how he is healing.

The next few days and weeks will bring a lot of healing and rest, but also some of the biggest challenges for Judah as he works to finally breath on his own, without any assistance from a trach tube or ventilator. We pray that he gets the healing rest he needs, and takes as long as it takes to grow strong and get healthy again.


Tonight we leave him in the incredibly skilled hands of the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati, while we try to get a little bit of rest ourselves. For now this wonderful surprise has been an amazing birthday gift for mommy, but the road ahead is long. We truly and deeply appreciate and love the kindness and support all of you have shown us, and thank you for you love, thoughts, prayers, gifts, and healing strength.

All our love,

23 thoughts on “3/4/16 – LTR Surgery Day

  1. So happy to read this! Continued strength to Judah the Lion! And happy birthday to one of the great mommies on the planet!

  2. Very good news, let’s be patient, time is a good healer. Happy Birthday to Mommy. A year from now we will be discussing more pleasurable things. Be strong. We love you all.

  3. Love you! Very proud of Judah to go through this! Keep it up! You guys are great!

  4. WOW!!!!! So awesome! Congratulations and luck and love to you all!!!!

  5. Great News! Wishing a speedy recovery to Judah! Happy birthday to Jessica!

  6. It is a long road, but you are getting along it with strong and determined steps. I am praying for no roadblocks to this newest path. So happy for such a positive outcome! Happy birthday, Jessica.

  7. You both need to take advantage of Judah’s “downtime,” and rediscover, reconnect, and re-appreciate each other. You are amazing people with an amazing son. You will all get through this. You are – all three of you- incredibly strong. An inspiration to everyone who knows you. My thoughts and prayers have become hopes and dreams. Hugs to all – Mary

  8. Such wonderful news. May the recovery plan fully implement and may Judah and his parents come home, when the time is right, healthy and happy.
    Happy Birthday to Jessica, may you and your family always be blessed with health, happiness and love. We love you all. Xoxoxoxoxoxo. Menella and Misha

  9. I have been watching for an update………Thank God for prayers answered.
    Glad you are going to get some rest for yourselves. I’m sure it was a long anxious day.
    I will continue to keep you in my prayers.
    Love, Marian

  10. I haven’t commented in a long time, but have been reading with prayerful interest every post. I am delighted to hear this very good news! Judah continues to be on St. John’s prayer list. The prayer shawl ladies continue to ask about him. I thank God for his presence in your lives. May God’s healing blessing rest upon Judah now as he recovers and as you begin down yet another road to becoming trach-free.

  11. When I got to work today I got online to see the update on Judah! As I was reading your post to Lee I got all choked up with tears of joy at your wonderful news!! I am so happy for Judah, you and Nate!! Happy, happy birthday!!! I will keep Judah in my prayers for a complete and uneventful recovery! I will keep you and Nate in my prayers, too! I can’t imagine watching your child sedated for 10 days!

    Love, Jan

  12. What wonderful, heartwarming news. A well-deserved turn for the better! We can’t wait to celebrate this with all of you. Cheers and love!

  13. WOW!!!! Such awesome news!!!!!!! I’m SO SO SO happy for all three of you!!! What an amazing BIRTHDAY GIFT for you, ‘Momma Bear’ ;-).

    Lots of love,
    Susan (from Rodef Shalom)

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