Posted by: Philip Rushton | September 11, 2012

Surgery Day: The waiting game begins

James is scheduled for surgery today at around 1pm. He is the second surgery of the day today. So it will be a long day of waiting.

Yesterday, was a whirlwind. We were at OHSU at 7:30am and had appointments until 2. He had a final EKG, chest x-rays, blood draws, a sedated echocardiogram (though the sedation actually made him more wired), surgical consult, physical exam and so on. Glad to have that behind us.

We were blessed to get a room at the Ronald Mcdonald house, which is right next to Doernbecher. It costs us 20 dollars a night and we get free meals! Last night we had James with us and it was a bit rough. Tonight we will take turns staying with him in the PICU, while the other gets some rest.

Some things you can be praying for today.

1. Prayer for our surgeons Dr. Stephen Langley and Dr. Rabin Gerrah. Dr. Langely is the chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery and Dr Gerrah is his assistant surgeon.
2. Prayer for wisdom as the surgeons decide whether they need to operate on James’ pulmonary valve. The images look good so far and suggest that it might be fine on its own, but we do not know for sure yet. If this needs operating on it may mean multiple open heart surgeries throughout his life and a replacement valve surgery in adulthood. We are hoping to avoid that.
3. Prayer for James’ convection nerves. Whenever they have to operate on the septum there is about a 5-8% chance that the convection nerves will be damaged because they are invisible to the surgeons eyes. IF this is the case James will need a pacemaker for the rest of his life.
4. Prayer for general success in this surgery. The odds are very high that he will come through this without any major complications, but 3-5% of these operations result in major organ damage or death.
5. Prayer for Julie and I while we wait. Surgery begins around 1 and will last 3-5 hours. We are pretty nervous and I have random tears leaking out of me even when I’m not really crying!

Thanks for your love and support. We will try and keep you posted when we know the results.


  1. Dear Julie and Phil, we, the church family, are behind you all the way. Many prayers are offered today for your families and little James, knowing we trust in Jesus for His love and gentle hands in helping you through this surgery and restoring James’ little heart. Love you!
    Carol Dahlquist

  2. Phil & Julie, You were in our thoughts and prayers before we went to sleep last night and when we awoke and thru this day. God is certainly there with you and little James and directing the surgeons hands.

  3. We continue to keep you in our prayers as you “wait on the Lord”.

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