Before… and After « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowBefore… and After

Before… and After
Published on Thursday, December 17, 2015 by

anomalous coronary artery surgery

I need to make this post brief. If I begin writing all the details of my last two weeks I believe my eventual meltdown will quickly ensue. And it isn’t quite time for that.

On December 5 at 4:00 a.m. I was woken up in Corolla by a police officer knocking at my door. My 22-year-old healthy son had collapsed, was in the emergency room and I had to return home immediately.

Since then, I cannot begin to tell you the roller coaster ride I have been on with him. If he had not collapsed in front of a friend who was trained in CPR, he would not have survived. When I stop to really think about that…to REALLY go there… to think of the ODDS of this happening, I have to stop.

I have lived with my son in the intensive care unit for almost two weeks now. I have seen horrors I cannot write about. I am sleep deprived. I have had to do things that no mother should have had to do. I have watched my healthy boy hang in the balance between life and death. All while physicians remained unsure of what caused his cardiac arrest and unsure of the correct path to take if he made it through.

Fast forward to now. We are in a top rated heart hospital. My son has an extremely rare heart condition called an anomalous coronary artery that is normally only detected during the autopsies of those who had it. Again, this is a place I can’t go in my mind. And tomorrow morning, they will be taking my first born child in to open heart surgery to “unroof the right coronary artery.”

Our lives have forever changed. I will always look at my life as “Before” and “After.”

My boy is TOUGH. He is a fighter. And he WILL SURVIVE.

He has a team of top-rated cardiologists who worked to find the problem and will work to fix the issue. In the best case scenario, they will repair what is wrong and my boy will live a normal and healthy life. If they get in and see a few other issues, things can still be repaired but he will have issues in his future.

As you can imagine, I haven’t been able to look at everyone’s blogs, at comments on this and won’t be able to for quite a while.  I’ll be back – I just need time.

In writing this, I have two very important requests of you all. The first is that you send every bit of positive energy our way, and if you pray, would you please pray for my son?

The second? I am slightly aware of the fact that there is a holiday around the corner that involves gifts and a Christmas tree. From what I remember of the “outside world,” many of you are stressed, are looking for the perfect gift for someone and are witnessing less that polite behavior from your fellow man.

Now listen to me. NONE OF THAT IS IMPORTANT. Not ONE SINGLE BIT OF IT. Let me tell you what is important. Your mother. Your father. Your children. Your friends. The elderly neighbor you say hi to occasionally. PEOPLE are important. Not gifts. Not trees. Not any of that.

Go make a phone call to the relative you haven’t spoken to in months. Give your loved one a hug. Send a special little thing to your friend. Christmas can come and go and it won’t matter if you don’t do a thing.
Give love. Accept love. Enjoy fresh air outside. Look at the beauty of everything around you. Make a difference in even the smallest ways.


mom blog

  • Heather Ras

    Love you to the moon and back! Praying and positive energy!

  • Ron

    Katherine, just know that I am sharing MUCH, MUCH, MUCH, love, positive energy and prayer to not only your son, but also to YOU and your family.

    Having gone through something similar in October (and you know what I mean), I know what you’re feeling. So just know that I am with you right now and that I’m sending you strength and peace.

    ((((((((((((((((( YOU )))))))))))))))

    “Go make a phone call to the relative you haven’t spoken to in months. Give your loved one a hug. Send a special little thing to your friend. Christmas can come and go and it won’t matter if you don’t do a thing.Give love. Accept love. Enjoy fresh air outside. Look at the beauty of everything around you. Make a difference in even the smallest ways.”

    You are so right about that because those are the same things I realized while I was in the hospital.

    Take care, my dear friend!

    • Ron… you won’t believe this. I think my last comment on your blog was about my son having a cough… and an infection/antibiotics regarding something in his mouth. I even sent him the link to your post and said, “If you continue this cough, you HAVE to go to a doctor.” The Friday it happened? Well, he had completed his antibiotic for his tooth on Tuesday. His cough was a bit better. He had two teeth drilled Friday. Friday night/Sat morning he went in to cardiac arrest. I thought of you later in the hospital as I sat over him. How bizarre… I was just so blown away by the whole thing. The doctors don’t think it was the dental work necessarily. They saw pneumonia even though he didn’t really feel very sick. So it could have been the pneumonia that caused the arrest due to something he was born with… or maybe the dental work, the infection… there is no telling…. so now we are looking at him coming home tomorrow and I am so afraid…. the surgery is most likely the fix, but there is no 100% in this.

  • Oh honey, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Prayers in progress not only for your son, but for you and your entire family.

    Big positive and healing hugs. ♥♥♥

  • It finally let me post the comment. Wow, that was hard. 🙁

  • Thanks for getting back to me. I’m so happy that the surgery went well. You are all in my prayers.

    Big healing hugs. ♥♥♥

    • Thank you so much for your prayers. I have welcomed every prayer we can get…. they even had a chaplain come the night before surgery… kind of scary but he asked if we minded or wanted a prayer. David was embarrassed and said he is OK but i said, “I will never turn that down” and he said a nice prayer.

      Tomorrow is the big day and I am so scared going home… no one can say for sure if the surgery is THE fix or not. So many what if’s!

  • Katherine, I had been following along on Facebook and praying for David and for you. I know that by now he’s home and Christmas is tomorrow. I also know that this will be a most special Christmas and one you’ll never forget for a myriad of reasons. The most important thing is that you are here and he is here. Live, love and be happy! Merry Christmas and a happy and blessed New Year!

    • Linda, the funny thing is as nice as Christmas was, it was so different that it was almost surreal. We were in one room on different floors for 18 days… no Christmas buildup – so we got home and BAM, it was Christmas. We have a bit of post traumatic stress going on in a way… so it was just “different.” I thought I might melt down in Mass Christmas eve but I did good. It was the children’s Mass so I was able to smile at all the little ones and enjoy watching their antics. 🙂

      I hope your Christmas was joyous!

  • Katherine -OMG! I’m glad I read what happened in more detail than was posted on FB. What a rollercoaster ride. I’m so happy your son had a successful surgery and is recuperating. It’s amazing when things happen the way they’re supposed to… that your son was with his friend who knows CPR when he collapsed. Sometimes good things do happen to good people. Happy New Year!

    • Lauren, my two other children and I are going to take CPR in the next month or two – I have to sign us up this week. Then even if we don’t need it for David we might be able to be that “someone” that can save the life of another. My mind can only stay on the thought of “what if” for a second… I just can’t go there!

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