Monday, December 13, 2010

Our Christmas Miracle

Today was a busy day. We were able to take both Max and Ivanna into the pediatric cardiologist for a check on their hearts. Since nearly 60% of children with Down syndrome are born with congenital heart defects (like Justus was) this is an important appointment generally speaking. We were also aware of the big possibility that Ivanna had an untreated/unrepaired heart defect prior to the adoption being finalized. The embassy physician also stated that she heard a significant murmur when she listened to her chest. With all this - I was a bit anxious to see what the cardiologist (which, btw I think is the BEST EVER) had to say.
Both Max and Ivanna had echo cardiograms done, as well as some other procedures. Afterward we scurried back into the waiting room to await the results. The physician walked in, and began with these words ... "I think you guys have a Christmas Miracle on your hands..."
** Big Smile **
She started with Max. He has what is referred to as Patent Foramen Ovale. Basically, in the upper chamber there is a little wall that is open when an infant is born - but closes off eventually. His has not yet closed and is 2.9mm big. Translation: no big deal. If it remains open: no big deal. So, that was a relief.
Then ... Ivanna. She also has a Patent Foramen Ovale - and it also is 2.9 mm big. Guess what? No big deal. (Praise the Lord!) Then she cocked her eyebrow, and smiled big. She said "This is where it gets interesting..."
She went on to tell us how they could tell from the picture that Ivanna was born with VSD - a hole in the lower chamber. Justus had that also, apart of the TOF he had. Unlike Justus, the VSD that Ivanna was born with was in a location that NEVER is known to close on it's own by growing tissue to cover the hole. She went on to say that they could see that the hole was about 12 mm big. The doctor's eyes got big and expressed to us that this was a significant hole. When Ivanna was born, still an infant, she had a hole in her heart that was approximately the size of a dime. The doctor went on to say that Ivanna should have immediately been put on medication, and had open heart surgery at six months old.
Here is where the miracle comes into play ...

Ivanna's little heart ... began to heal on it's own. What is known to never happen, happened. The tissue grew. You see in the above picture - a piece of tissue sort of grew out and around to work and cover up the big, gaping hole. All that is left is a tiny hole that is 1.7 mm.
This is a MIRACLE!
The doctor told us that she does not know how Ivanna survived. She said that Ivanna, by all accounts, should have died without that repair to her heart.
Of course, we know that the GREATEST of physicians reached down and healed little Ivanna's heart. We know that God, himself, sustained her health just enough. We know that He kept her heart beating without the needed medication. We know that HE is the GREAT sustainer of life. We know HE is to be praised for this Christmas MIRACLE.

That's not all. Ivanna's heart shows no trauma. That is amazing in and of itself. Her heart is not enlarged from the extra effort to keep it going. There is no pulmonary hypertension - which astounds me. There is no need for medication or intervention what-so-ever. Just another check in a year to be sure she is on track.
I am still in awe of the fantastic news of such a story. I think this tiny, little Ivanna is going to continue to bring honor and glory to our Lord in magnificent, and unexplainable ways.
Now ... here are some more random pictures of late.


Max, clearly has good taste in literature. "The Open Door" by Mrs. J.L. Ragsdale is an incredible true story about a couple who serves the Lord by starting a children's home in the mountains. Very inspiring...

My sweet little Ivanna. She has already gained at least one pound since home. She is now 23 lbs.

Max is doing great. Here he is on his big brother's shoulders. He is still struggling with reflux and he has a swallow test scheduled for Wednesday. He weighs in at 26 lbs.

Isaac showing Max the tree.

We appreciate the on going prayer for everyone during the adjustment period. Both kids have now been to the pediatrician and cardiologist. We now have several other appointments with specialists for sight, hearing, and other things. Once we get past the appointments, and start them on the road of health - then things can find a normal pace. Ivanna continues to be a little piggy and is doing fantastic in learning to chew, holding her own bottle, and just taking in all the sights. Max also loves to eat, but we have to pace him a bit. He is loving puzzles, and is VERY good at them.

We hope you are enjoying this blessed Christmas season by enjoying family and friends. We praise God for the Christmas Miracle He has wrought in little Ivanna!!!


15 comments:

I am truly blessed said...

Praise God!! Amazing report. Thank you for sharing. We have been looking for an update. What a joy to read tonight. Those babies are going to thrive...and God will receive all the glory from your family..that I am confident of. What an exciting update.

Kelly said...

Wow. That's awesome.

Jill said...

God is the Great Physician!!! Praise Him! This brought me to tears. Glory to God for this Christmas miracle!

B.E.Hughes said...

Tears in my eyes again... God really blessed me with the news of your newest miracle. Thank you for sharing His wonderful works! Have a merry Christmas, dear family@

Tom and April said...

OH Chrissy! I am bawling. I am so happy. All praise and glory to God for Ivanna and Max and their health. Oh I wish I could hug you and jump up and down with you right now. I am so excited. That means for now the Ronald McDonald house and you sitting next to a baby with tubes coming out everywhere is not in your future, and this makes me happy for you and Phil. My heart is full with God's answered prayer. What a wonderful Christmas present!! Who needs anything now?!-A.

Gretchen Thibault said...

Praise God from Whom even more good things flow...no surprise!!! Yay. Merry Christmas indeed.

Blessings
Gretchen

Looking Up said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marianne said...

Absolutely amazing! Praise God!

handstrustinhim said...

Dear Brownings,
Oh how we love you and are so thankful for this glory-giving post. What a miraculous story...all the intricate details God works out for such purposes. We are lifting you and the kiddos in prayer. we look forward to a visit before we are carted off to Italy by our government...
Love you and all praise and honor be given to the HEALER!!!

Jenny B. said...

INCREDIBLE!! I am astounded, yet I shouldn't be, I know. God is much bigger than any ol' hole! What an amazing miracle and beautiful showing of how Ivanna was meant to live just to be adopted by you! How exciting to see what purpose God has for your blessed little angel! Thank you for sharing, it brought tears to my eyes. God is SO GOOD!!!

Anonymous said...

praise the Lord, so happy for you guys. God is good. Luba.

Faith for Hope said...

"Praise God from Whom all blessings flow..." Rejoicing with you all!!! I'm soooo glad the Lord blessed little Ivanna with this miracle. Both Max and Ivanna look so much better since they came home. Still praying for you all. Love ya, Grace

Amy said...

Wonderful news! God be praised! I am going to come back to your blog to read MORE about your adoption! We are just starting ours... godsarrowsinourquiver.blogspot.com
Thanks for sharing your story!
Blessings!
Amy

Anonymous said...

Please check up this video, you are going to love it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b7y9UYt_fM

Beatriz

Lacey said...

These kids are such miracles! Arina's heart was beautiful as well, her VSD has closed on its own, and no PH for her either. She is shown to aspirate, but has had no bouts of pneumonia, so we are going to just wait and see! Her development is amazing as well, considering she spent the first 14 months in an orphanage!

 




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