As of last night we have arrived in Cincinnati. Now we prepare for the long awaited next steps and Judah’s 2nd attempt at a Laryngotracheal Reconstruction, this time with the amazing team at Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati, bright and early tomorrow morning.
Yesterday we got ourselves settled in, and today Judah had a couple of pre-surgery check-in appointments to prep for the big day tomorrow. Today’s appointments included a swallow study, where the doctors gave Judah some liquids and things to eat to test how he swallows, to make sure that after his reconstruction he will not aspirate, or swallow liquid into his lungs (you know the feeling you get when you take a drink and it “goes down the wrong tube”). Judah passed this test very well, which was a big concern for our doctors since he takes almost none of his food by mouth. After that we had a little break and then a check in with his Pulmonologist, who reiterated to us that we really won’t know what’s going to happen until they get in there and take a look. We keep telling ourselves that the only thing we know is that we don’t know anything just yet.
For the last couple of weeks we’ve done everything we can to keep Judah healthy and ready for the big day tomorrow. The plan for surgery has changed a bit since we last updated, and now there is a much more likely possibility that Judah will be having this surgery done in two stages, much like the last LTR he had back in 2014. This means the doctors will not be removing the trach, but will leave it in along with a stent to help keep the grafted cartilage (taken again from between his ribs) the correct form and shape while he heals. The plan as it stands right now is for this dual stage (the second stage being when they remove the temporary stent in a couple of weeks) procedure to repair the original LTR site which had collapsed. Judah will still have his trach until it is safe to remove it, which could be weeks, months, or still longer. Again, the only thing we know is that we don’t really know anything. The doctors could get in there tomorrow and see something different and form a new plan, but at this point it is not likely given Judah’s complicated surgical history. We want to give him the best opportunity for success, which means taking it slow.
Tomorrow morning at 6am we will arrive for surgery. Please keep Judah, his entire medical team, and all of us in your thoughts and prayers – we truly appreciate the love and strength. We will update this site as well as Facebook as information becomes available tomorrow and once surgery is complete.