Brads Story continued...(2).

The day of the surgery. 18th November 1994.

We met with the surgeon, Mr Paget Milsom, who explained the operation in more detail and had to make us aware of any risks. The risks almost had me picking Brad up and running for the hills. Brad was taken off to play ( thinking how much fun all of this was) we listened, (and I bawled). The risks........... (all slight)


Paralysis, due to lack of blood to spine.

Voice box damage, could have to learn to talk again.

If an artery from the arm is required, one arm might grow shorter than the other.

Waste fat may empty into chest instead of body.


10am, signs were pinned to Brad saying "I must not eat or drink" I added a note under this saying "but mums allowed chocolate".  Brad thought these were "cool". But no one gave me chocolate!

11:30am, Brad had a bath in "special" soap and by 12noon was getting a little bit concerned about his hungry tum.

12:30pm, he was given his pre-med became woozey and "drunk" acting. I can see the funny side now but of course not back then.  Just before he fell asleep he looked at Richard and said, "What are you looking at silly billy Dad?" It was 1:15pm and Yes, I bawled more that ever before. Brad was asleep.

1:45pm, Brad was taken to theatre and I have to say it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do,  leave him behind. I don't even need to mention what I did!!!.

3:50pm, We were called to ICU where Mr Milsom spoke to us and told us the operation went well. He told us that we were very lucky we had had the surgery now as Brads artery had closed up and the body had formed "life saving" capillaries to allow blood to flow around it.  Mr Milson said he didn't think Brad would have lived for another three months. Boy, did I give him a bear hug!!!!

We were allowed to see Brad straight away, it was a huge relief to see him breathing but horrible to see him wired up to the machines. The nurses had removed the breathing tube before we got there as Brad had woken and tried to pull it out. He had two tubes in his neck, (Morphine and fluids), a drain in the side of his chest and a tube in the wrist to take blood from.

It was so hard to see our son , who looked a bundle of smiles and energy just 5 hours prior, look so unwell.  He woke, very groggy and my heart broke not being able to make it all better and also not being able to explain what was happening. I asked him to wiggle his toes and say hello, eliminating the remainder of the "things that could go wrong" list.

His wrist tube was removed at 6pm , he woke 6 times overnight and was given morphine boosts and panadol. He wanted to go to the toilet but refused to go on the "potty" because he was a "big boy who went on the toilet". lol. A fantastic nurse, Patrick, finally conned him into going, with some small bribe.  Brad had an x-ray but cried when moved due to the pain, they had to repeat it and the pain he was in can clearly be seen in one of the photo's on the ICU page.

19/11/94. 1pm, the drain was removed from his chest. He absolutly screamed in pain, it was horrible!!! A morphine boost was given and the fluid tube removed from his neck. This was now combined in the morphine tube. He was taken back to the kids "heart" ward at 2.30pm. He was hungry but kept vomiting up his food, he was very distressed, tired and sore but still wanted to get out of bed. Very hard to watch.

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