Many of you know that Kristina is pregnant with our second child, Matilda Grace Odom. The past month or so has been a whirlwind of information and sad news. Kristina's OB/GYN referred us to a specialist in Fort Worth after seeing what she considered markers for Down Syndrome. This specialist informed us of a much more serious issue in the form of a heart condition. Again, we were referred to another specialist, this time a pediatric cardiologist. We had our first appointment with the pediatric cardiologist (Dr. Lisa Roten) yesterday and received some sad, though not unexpected, news. Matilda has a rare heart condition called Pulmonary Atresia. In her case the problem is that the Pulmonary Valve has not developed, preventing blood flowing into the right side of the heart to continue on the normal path to the lungs. Consequently, the blood has nowhere to go, so it flows backwards. This is what caused the right atrium to become enlarged. Normal fetal hearts take up about 30% of the chest cavity; Matilda's heart is at about 50% right now.
Though her heart is beating well right now considering all that is going on, there is a 70% mortality rate in patients with this condition. Since Kristina is only 18 weeks into the pregnancy, there is nothing that the doctors are able to do, other than normal checkups. We have another appointment with Dr. Roten (the pediatric cardiologist) on Nov. 20. If Matilda makes it to this appointment (~30% likelihood), we will have some difficult and complicated decisions to make depending on how the heart has developed between now and then.
Below is a great, easy-to-understand page on PA:
Please continue to pray for our family. We thank God for the health he continues to grant Matilda and pray that He would now heal this particular ailment. It is difficult to say, but true that God loves Matilda more than Kristina and I ever could. It is also true that God loves us more than we love ourselves. In all of this, we know that our dear Father in heaven loves and cares for us because He has shown us this in the cross of His Son, Jesus Christ. This is where we look for true comfort. "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?" (Rom. 8:31-32)
Lord, have mercy! Come quickly! Amen.
Weslie, Kristina, Edith, and Matilda