Watch me Grow

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My Story

Hello, my name is Andrew Wade Jackson. My friends call me Drew. When my mommy was 17 weeks pregnant they found out that I have a severe heart defect called an unbalanced atrioventricular septal defect. This means I have holes in the septal wall of my heart and that only 1 of my 2 ventricles is working properly. This heart defect was caused by trisomy 21 often known as Downs Syndrome.
I was born in Kalispell on July 10th and 3 hours after birth took my first plane ride to Seattle. I was there for 10 days as they monitored my heart. Then I went home to Kalispell to be with my family.
On September 10th I was set to have a pulmonary band surgery which is normally a low risk surgery. However, they were not able to do this surgery and had to begin the "Norwood" series of surgeries. My first surgery was Sept. 11th. Early in the morning I went into surgery spending 4 hours on the heart and lung by-pass machine. When it was time to come off they could not get my heart and lungs started again. I went on a life support machine called ECMO which takes the blood from the body, gives it oxygen and sends it back. This machine would be my best friend for the next 12 days and ultimately saved my life. After many days on life support, many more in the CICU, and a while on the floor I was able to return home. At home I was on oxygen full time, had a feeding tube, and many medications. On April 28th, 2009 I had my second open heart surgery, the Glenn. This surgery was not near as eventful as the first and we were able to return home after only 15 days away. At home things have gone well. I am now without oxygen and without my feeding tube. Currently my Cardiologist is watching me closly as we wait for my next open heart surgery, the Fontan. This will take place between the ages of three and five. My mommy and daddy are nervous as this surgery is more major than the last. Given the complexity of my heart, my past history of issues, and my trisomy 21 make my surgerys more difficult. However, my mommy and daddy trust in the Lord and the Power of Prayer.

August of 2011 we decided to move to Seattle to be closer to Childrens and are adjusting to life in the big city. On Tuesday July 31st I will have my next major open heart surgery. Please remember to say a prayer for me.

Thank you for visiting my site.

Here are a few statistics about my life from July 10, 2008 to July 24,2012:

Days lived at Childrens: 55
Days in ICU: 33
Days on Life Support: 17
2 Open Heart Surgery(Complete with Heart and Lung By-Pass machine)
1 Heart Surgery
3 Heart Cauterization
1 Life Flight(Kalispell to Seattle)
1 Ambulance Ride(Kalispell Hospital to Airport)
3 Trips to Seattle
1 Cardiac Arrest(Complete with CPR and Epinephrine-This saved my life)
To many Echocardiograms to count
To many trips to Cardiologist to count
To many blood transfusions to count

Please say a prayer for me.

Love, Baby Drew and Family

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Benefit, For Me

Wow, some of my friends have worked very hard to set up a benefit for me. As you can imagine, it is going to cost a lot to keep me healthy and happy. So, my friends Rikki Lehman and Kim Winchell decided to set up a benefit to help me and my mommy and daddy.

The date is Saturday December 6th and they have a wonderful evening planned. The place is the White Oak Grand in Kalispell, MT and social hour starts at 5:30. There will be a dinner, music, silent, and live auctions. If you would like more information you can contact Rikki at 406.752.2586 or Kim at 406.257.4157.

I would like to thank them on behalf of me and my family. What they are doing is simply amazing and very heart felt.

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone had a very wonderful Thanksgiving. My family had a very nice Thanksgiving. My mommy and daddy said they had a lot to be thankful for. They said they were thankful for the many blessings they have received, especially that I am here with them. They are so thankful the strength of the Lord brought me out of the hospital and back to my home.

Things around here have been going pretty good. I have been doing my therapy twice a week two hours at a time. My feeding tube did slip down into my bowls and made me very sick for a few days, but I am doing much better now. My sissy's have both been sick, so my mommy and daddy make them stay in their bedrooms so they are not around me.

Happy Holidays!

Please remember to say a prayer for me.

Love, Drew and Family

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Watching Football with My Daddy

Things have been going good for me. I am a bit on the small side for my weight, so they are increasing my feeding volume to try to put on more weight. Other than that things as usual, hanging out at home since I can't really go anywhere. My mommy and daddy are just trying to keep me safe and away from germs. I have been really smiley and talkative lately. My mommy and daddy are so very happy and thankful to see me smile and listen to my little voice. It makes me feel good that I can make them so happy.

Today my daddy put me in my Broncos shirt and shoes(that the Braun family got me from the Stadium). Then we watched the Broncos beat the Falcons. Here are a few photos of me that I hope you like.

Thank you for all your prayers for baby Mia, so far she is doing well and has been extubated.

Please remember to say a prayer for me and my friend Mia.

Love, Drew and Family

Monday, November 10, 2008

Prayer Requests for Baby Mia-She is getting a Heart

Hello everyone, I am doing well, but this post is not about me. My friend Baby Mia is in surgery right now getting her new heart. She needs everyone to say a special prayer for her. We are praying for the surgeons and doctors, grant them wisdom and steady hands. For Baby Mia, grant her strength, endurance, and for her body to adjust to her new heart. For the rest of the family, give them strength, wisdom, understanding, and courage. Finally please give them all peace in knowing that you are there with them every step of the way.

God Bless you All!!

Love, Baby Drew and Family

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Busy Day

Wow, today was very busy for me. First my physical therapists came and they worked with me and are setting up an exercise plan. They will be working with me twice a week. Then I went to have my first RSV shot which I did not like very much. After this it was off to the cardiologist, which did go well. I then finished my day at my pediatrician who gave me three immunization shots. So needless to say I was poked and prodded all day long.

As you can see I am looking very good, at least this is what all my friends and doctors tell me. But, as my cardiologist reminded my mommy and daddy is that even though I look good on the outside my inside is still very fragile. It will be a long winter as we are couped up in the house hiding from germs and bacteria. One day I will be much stronger and my mommy and daddy will be so happy to be able to take me out to see all my friends.
Please remember to say a prayer for me.
Love, Drew and Family