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

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Surgery Date

It is official, we have a date for my next surgery. On April 23rd we will travel to Seattle. Then on the 24th I will have a heart cauterization to determine the pressure level in my lungs. On the 27th the Doctors will review my case and if everything looks good I will have surgery on the 28th. It is nice to know a date, but my mommy and daddy are very scared. They are worried and have been saying a lot of prayers for me. I know the strength of the Lord will be with me and that he will keep me strong.

There is another little girl, Gracie, who has a bad heart and needs lots of prayers. You can visit her at:

We borrowed a heart poem from her website, I hope you enjoy:

It's a beautiful day up in heaven. Jesus is rounding up his tiniest angels, to go live on earth, and be born. One of the sweetest angels says to Jesus "I don't want to leave, I like it here, and I will miss you". He reassures the scared little angel that everything will be okay, and that he is just going for a visit. He is still not swayed on this idea. So Jesus kneels down, and says, "How about if you leave half of your heart here with me and take the other half with you, will that be okay?" The angel smiles and says, "I guess that will work". But the little angel is still a little scared. He asks,"Will I be okay with only half of my heart?" Jesus replies,"Of course you will, I have other angels there that will help out, and you will be fine." Then Jesus gives the angel more details about his plan. He says "When you are born, your mommy and daddy will be scared, so you have to be strong, and when you feel weak just remember that I have the other half of your heart". "Enjoy your time with your family, play and laugh everyday." "And when its time to come back to heaven, I will make your heart whole again. Always remember that you are not broken, just torn between two loves."

Please remember to say a prayer for me.

Love, Drew and Family

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Handsome boy

Hello everyone. Sorry it has been so long. I hope everyone is doing well. My mommy and daddy have found out that my next surgery will be in late April or early May. First they will do a heart cauterization to make sure the pressure in my lungs is low enough so that they can do the surgery. Then if that looks good they will do a procedure called the Glenn. As you can imagine, my mommy and daddy are nervous after what happened with the first surgery. Everyone is praying that this one goes much smoother and that I will not need to use life support this time.
I am still stuck in doors and away from people anxiously awaiting the end of cold and flu season so I can go visit all of my friends. My mommy and daddy are ready to start taking me to church and to see all the wonderful people who have helped them along our journey.
Please remember to say a prayer for me.
Love, Drew and Family