July was a tough month for Judah, he spent most of it sick and unfortunately had to make several trips to the hospital. Early in the month Judah spent 4 nights at the hospital after getting a cold, and again at the end of the month Judah spent about 2 weeks fighting another sickness, resulting in two trips to the ER and another night in the ICU. In between illnesses and hospital visits, Judah also made his first trip up to Grandma and Grandpa Jones house, and was interviewed for and appeared on the Channel 4 News in a great story about how awesome he is and the amazing Beads of Courage program!
While sickness struck for the majority of July, when Judah was feeling well he got to play and have fun, and even took his farthest trip away from home – up to Grandma and Grandpa’s house in the woods! He got to run around in the grass and show gramma and grampa his tricks and toys and words. He had a great time, and always loves to go for a drive.
Judah was also featured in another story on the local news! Judah’s story has been on every major network in Pittsburgh, and they just can’t get enough of him. This time mommy and Judah got to show off all of Judah’s beads that he got as part of the amazing Beads of Courage program, helping to tell the story of everything he has been through. Beads of Courage is a fantastic organization in over 150 Children’s Hospitals across the world, and Judah may be one of their cutest spokesman.
For much of July we were reminded how tough it can be for Judah to get sick. A regular cold or some heavy congestion might just take some soup and rest for a healthy person, but with Judah’s heart condition and lowered immune system, even a little bug can hit him pretty hard. When he gets sick Judah has difficulty breathing and often has to go back on his ventilator, occasionally needing extra oxygen. His Cardiologist and other doctors play it very safe when Judah gets sick and they want to watch him very closely.
It was this close monitoring and extra testing that led the doctors to discover some unfortunate – but ultimately with Judah’s heart condition – expected news. During an echocardiogram to take a closer look at Judah’s heart and see if the heart was causing Judah’s respiratory distress, the Cardiologist noticed some calcification of the implanted conduit. This homograft conduit connects Judah’s pulmonary artery to his right ventricle and was placed during his 2nd open heart surgery when he was just 6 months old. Over time the homograft can calcify, requiring replacement. While the doctors want to continue to monitor Judah and the progression of the calcification, we have been told that once calcification begins, the homograft will need to be replaced within the next year or so – requiring another open heart surgery.
We – along with Judah’s medical team – will continue to monitor his progress very closely. For now, as we always have, we will take every day as it comes, and shower Judah with our love and kisses. Now that Judah is healthier again, he will be able to return to day care, play with his friends at music class, the park, the library, and the Children’s Museum as summer continues to roll on. And of course we look onward to Judah’s upcoming 2nd Birthday, just over a month away! For almost 2 years now Judah has continued to get cuter by the day, and we thank you for all of your love, support, prayers, and thoughts that have helped us get so far.
All Our Love