Photo captured by Amanda Barker, Vivitography

February 2, 2011

Bradley's Heart Catheterization Results & Treatment

I know that there have been a lot of people that have been asking for updates on Bradley and his procedure on Monday. I'll try my best to explain it in a way that everyone can understand. (Even I have trouble understanding it all!)

The last time I posted, back in June, his cardiologist was thinking that the blood clots in his lung were causing the pulmonary hypertension. (You can read that post here.) In the time since then, Bradley has been having trouble breathing and some other heart-related symptoms. So, he had a diagnostic heart catheterization on Monday to check out exactly what's going on. We were looking for answers, and praise God, we found them.

Dr. Dimas, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Medical Center in Dallas, did the catheterization and got precise measurements of pressure in all chambers, veins, and arteries in his heart. She determined that there is a severe obstruction or narrowing in a passageway above the tricuspid valve draining into the right ventricle, which in Bradley's heart, pumps the blood to the body. This is causing a back up and increased pressure in both the right and left atria and the pulmonary artery (a.k.a., pulmonary hypertension). This narrowing (most likely due to a baffle that was put in when he was 11 months old) can only be repaired by open-heart surgery.

While open-heart surgery is not something that gets us excited, it does mean that this problem is fixable, and that gets us very excited. Once the passageway is opened up, his lungs will hopefully heal and reverse any damage that has been done from the pulmonary hypertension. In the long run, this gives him a better chance of only requiring a heart transplant, instead of a heart and lung transplant, which is infinitely more complicated and rare. So, the results we got Monday were the best we were hoping and praying for, even though it means open-heart surgery. We're waiting to hear from the doctors about scheduling it, but I anticipate it will take place within a month or so. Also in the surgery, they will attempt to fix a spot in his heart where his atrial flutter is originating from.

I think I've covered the basics. I tried to keep it short, but I'm sure I've left out something crucial. We have had over 24 hours of information overload, so we're still trying to sort it all out. Thank you to everyone who has lifted us up in prayer the past 2 days, week, month, and longer. The outcome of his procedure could have been much worse, and we praise God that we received the news we did. Please continue to lift us up in prayer as the surgery approaches.

Also, Bradley is having a difficult time recovering from the procedure. It was only expected to be a 3-4 hour cath, but he ended up being on the table and under anesthesia for 9 hours. His body did not handle coming off the anesthesia very well (nausea), and he's still having a lot of tightness in his chest from having to lay flat for that long. Please pray for his remaining recovery. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask one of us. We'll try our best to answer. :)

The Lord is sovereign and in control of our lives. We trust in his plan and know that He is good and does good. We pray that all of you may come to know the comfort and peace that we have experienced during these trials. Love you all.



  1. Thanks for writing this. You are truly an amazing person. I love you. Oh, and good job on the altar call at the end. :)

  2. She is amazing. Thank you for keeping us up to speed. Bradley, you keep strong!

  3. I love you guys! If you need anything let me know:)We are hanging out at here if yall don't have plans for Sunday.