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Heart Surgery {Two Years Later}

Heart surgery: two years laterTwo years ago today, at 7:10 am we handed Apollo over to the surgical team at Texas Children’s Hospital.

heart surgery: two years later

The journey that led us to Texas was like a long, never-ending nightmare. The ridiculously long wait for a diagnosis. The first heart surgery that was supposed to fix him. The feeding tube. The crying, the weight loss, the lack of sleep, the failure to thrive. A missed diagnosis and mistakes. Compassionate doctors and doctors who didn’t listen. An ambulance ride and overnight stays in the hospital. Breathing treatments and feeding evaluations.

heart surger two years later

Now we were choosing again to put our trust in a doctor. To hand our son, two and a half years old, to a stranger who would attempt to repair his complicated anatomy. We handed over our beautiful toddler knowing that the next time we saw him would be in the intensive care unit.

heart surgery two years later

Apollo came through the surgery well. He spent a total of ten days in the hospital. He developed chylothorax (his lymphatic system was damaged and leaking chyle into his chest cavity). This prolonged our stay. After that, we had to spend another week in Texas before he was cleared to come home.

heart surgery: two years later

The doctors you see in this photo were members of Apollo’s pain management team. This was Halloween 2012 while Apollo was still in the ICU.

And here we are, two years later. With the removal of his tonsils, he is eating better and growing more energetic by the day. I hope that two years from now his feeding tube will be a thing of the past…

Click here to read more of Apollo’s story.



  1. Melpub

    What an ordeal. But every time you post a picture of him eating a muffin or sipping a drink I feel like doing a little dance. YAY! He’s really come through it all so well.

  2. Judy Small

    2 years already?! Wow! I’m praising God for each new day in Apollo’s life, for the diligence and persistence of his parents, for the support of his family and friends, and for the doctors who have cared enough to listen long and hard and have helped you along the way. I admire you all!

    (Note, there is a typo in the word “hospital” on the last screen of the video…)

  3. Tammi Johnson-Young

    What a little trooper! Our kids are usually so strong and courageous. Blessings to you and your son. I hope he heals quickly from the tonsilectomy.

    Thank you for sharing on the #SHINEbloghop.

    Have a wonderful week!


  4. Jess Guest

    When we passed Kaylee over we had only had good experiences with our doctors (good = they did a great job of reviving her and doing emergency OHS when she turned navy blue at 6 weeks old and made absolutely the right decision to leave her chest open overnight…never thought I’d put “good” in a sentence describing that experience!) and she was so unbelievably sick when we passed her over there were few ways she could have gotten worse and still lived. So handing her over was absolutely the easiest it could be. I can’t imagine how hard it was to hand Apollo over.

  5. Emily

    It has been a year since my daughter’s prolonged stays in the hospital as an ill 2 month old. How can so much of happened since? Such improvement she’s made, despite the lifelong challenges I now know that she may face. Quite bittersweet to revisit those feelings; remembering how I navigated through interactions with medical professionals, desperate for them to help her. How much I learned about patient/doctor relationships, advocacy, and illness. Now that she is diagnosed, understood -and receiving the best care possible- we are in the process of tube weaning her. I wish the world for dear Apollo, and thrilled to hear of his progress. Stay positive 🙂

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Thank you for sharing. This post was very emotionally taking for me. Best of luck with your little girl!

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