February 15, 2015

Luke Swank's Pacemaker Surgery



Luke Swank's Pacemaker Surgery
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for February 15, 2015


On Wednesday night, Miss Sheri and I celebrated 21 years of marriage.  That's a darn long time this poor lady has had to put up with me.  For the next 21 years I'm going to make it up to her.


Early Friday morning, we drove to downtown Minneapolis to Children's Hospital.  It was time for Luke to get his pacemaker.  If you want to see what led to this decision, this post here explains it:


Luke was all smiles as he went into the bathroom to scrub down and then put on his fancy hospital gown.  It would have been cuter if I would have shot this picture from the other side, but he wouldn't let me.


Most of the hospital has been re-constructed since we last spent any significant time here.  We were excited to see that the Cardiovascular Conference Center had been renamed to honor Dr. Helseth.  Dr. Helseth performed Luke's very first heart surgery when he was only a couple of months old back in 1999.  Reading this story about him brought back memories of those days.


The surgery went well, but ended up going a couple hours longer than we were expecting.  Luke had pacemaker leads put on his heart when he was two years old, but unfortunately they no longer worked.  So the doctor had to install new leads on his heart.  Luckily, he was able to do it with only a minimal incision.  They didn't need to open up his breast bone which was good.  No bone saw is always good.  This photo was taken shortly after Luke was out of surgery and he was still pretty loopy.  I laughed out loud when the anesthesiologist walked in the room and asked how he was doing.  Luke held up his right arm with the large board on it and exclaimed "We're training police dogs in here!"  I thought that was pretty funny all things considered.


Luke had a beautiful view of the city outside of his window for the first couple of days in the hospital.  Not that he really got to see it.  His bed was facing the opposite direction.  Nice view, though.


Miss Sheri stayed with Luke in the hospital both nights and I came home to be with Avery.  On Friday night, we went to Teresa's Mexican restaurant.  MMMMMM, Philly Cheese Steak Burrito!


When I came back to the hospital on Saturday, Luke was still in a lot of pain, but we were starting to see some happier moments out of him.  We then began the countdown of tubes and wires being removed from his body.  Every time something gets unplugged from him, it's another step closer to going home.


By Saturday night, he was ready to start walking around the floor.  Either that or he was trying to pick up the pretty nurse.  I'm not sure which but I'm real proud of him either way.


On Sunday afternoon, after 54 hours in the hospital, Luke was ready to come home.  He wasn't thrilled with the prospects of Avery pushing him in his wheelchair, but eventually he relaxed and just rolled with it.   Thanks so much to everyone who has been praying for Luke!  We really appreciate it!!