We recently met with a surgeon, James DeCou, to review the results of Owen’s CT scan. This test gave a much clearer picture of his left lung than had been provided by the x-ray shortly after birth.
The mass on the lower portion of Owen’s lung is still there. It is a portion of tissue which did not develop normally and which is not contributing to the normal function of the lung.
Based on these images and everything we’ve learned about this condition, we’ve made the decision to take our little Owen to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on Friday, August 18th for surgery. The procedure is expected to last around four hours; the goal is to remove the lower lobe of the left lung.
Owen is not currently experiencing symptoms from this condition. However, there are a few reasons to remove the mass:
- The abnormal tissue makes kids more prone to pneumonia and other infections
- If left untreated, there are slightly higher risks for the tissue becoming cancerous later in life
- Removing the non-functioning tissue makes space for the healthy tissue to grow and increase lung capacity
The surgery will be done using a scope. The procedure, requiring three incisions, will first close off the blood vessels feeding this portion of Owen’s lung. It will then be carefully removed and drawn out through the largest incision. A tube will remain in place for a short period after the surgery to help drain fluid which sometimes forms around the affected area. We expect to be in the hospital for two to four days.
Although we’ve known this step was likely for months, it is still difficult to think about taking our sweet, seemingly-healthy boy in for surgery. We know there will be challenges in the coming week and beyond. But Jen and I have peace about the decision and the timing for Owen.
Here are our biggest prayer needs right now:
- Please pray for a smooth and successful surgery. If there are complications, it could potentially require a larger incision and more invasive procedure.
- We need God’s peace and reassurance. We need to feel his presence, his comfort, and have his wisdom if it becomes necessary to make on-the-spot decisions. We also need the strength to say no to worry and what if fears.
- Because of the need to protect Owen from sickness before surgery, we are in a quarantine period right now. We’re avoiding public places and situations which are most likely for our kids to pick up sickness. As a result, we’re a little lonely. We miss all the friends and family God has blessed us with.
Thanks again for your prayers and support. We will post a quick update the day of surgery once we know the exact time the procedure will begin. And we’ll share news as soon as we can after Owen is done with surgery.
Owen’s joy, sweet spirit, and incredible smile have blessed us since the day he was born. We are so thankful to have him and trust God to help us walk through this next step.