This was such a busy trip! So many procedures and so much driving in under 40 hours! Chris was a trooper... with tubes down his throat, needles everywhere, wires in his heart, etc. We learned a lot, but not what we were hoping to hear.
After all the tests were done, we met with Dr. Gomez-Abraham. He had been a kidney transplant surgeon in the past, and now works with heart & lung transplants. This expertise is why the transplant team looked to him for his opinion.
He saw something in these tests that we hadn't anticipated. We thought it would be a simple fix-this-valve-first or transplant-this-kidney-first. We never thought there would be more to it than that. But there is.
In addition to his leaky (and congenital bicuspid) aortic valve, Chris' aorta is enlarged and if left untreated will continue to get larger and cause heart failure. This means that (at least at the University of Utah) the kidney transplant is off the table unless and until Chris has a repair or replacement of the aortic
valve and ascending aorta.
Dr. Gomez-Abraham is going to consult with another experienced heart surgeon. He will then let Chris know what type of repair(s)/replacement(s) they recommend. Then Chris needs to decide how he wants to proceed.
Chris' favorite part of the trip was when Dr. Gomez-Abraham asked if his mother had any questions. HIS MOTHER!? SERIOUSLY!? He thinks I'm 20+ years older than my greying-bearded husband?! "Mortified" doesn't begin to describe how I felt. I must need a makeover.
Right now, Chris is still recovering. He's on dialysis to get the dyes from the TEE and the heart cath out of his system. He's also got some pain from the cath site, as well as some significant movement restrictions for the next couple of days. I've been helping out with the lifting. (Those dialysis bags are heavy!)
Thanks for all the prayers & good wishes. They really do help. We'll need more of them when you get a chance.