In a few day’s my son Oscar is going into hospital for his 3rd operation on his heart, as you can imagine this is a stressful time for me and my wife. The part that if the most difficult is not trying to show that to Oscar. We don’t want him to be upset about it as he is now old enough to understand what’s going on. As parents Oscar going into surgery is the hardest thing we face. We know he’s under the care of the best surgeons that the NHS has to offer. But still watching him being put under and take in to surgery, Then the waiting for 5 or 6 hours to find out how it went is terrible. It feels like you’re on pause.
This time around it also a new challenge as we now have a beautiful daughter Ivy-Lily. With most of our focus on Oscar how do we make sure Ivy does not feel left out. Well for the day of surgery my wife’s parents have agreed to look after her. So, she can have as normal day as possible. I know she be missing her big brother. You only should see how she is when he’s at nursery, like a lost sheep, she will spend half her morning looking for her brother.
Once he’s out of surgery the next lot of unknowns start. What he going to be like? Did it go as expected? How long is recovery going to be? One thing we don’t have to worry so much about is where we going to stay, Oscars Children’s Hospital has a Ronald McDonald House attached, so we can be with him. They provide accommodation to parents who’s children are sick and in hospital. Allowing me and my wife to be close by and they also have room for Ivy-Lily so she can also spend time with her brother.
As for support before and after the operation there’s one charity that are always there when you need them and that ECHO (Evelina Children’s Heart Origination). They provide support for family’s from day one. As soon as we were referred to the Evelina before Oscar was born they ran a day that let us find out what we were to expect in the first few weeks, from a tour of the PICU to a look inside an operation theatre.
Now Oscar is 4 we have been given a book and teddy so we can explain what going to happen this time around. Plus, a great video we have shown Oscar so he knows what the pre-assessment days going to be like.
So, what have we done to not show Oscar our fears. Simple. We have taken strength from Oscar. We explained what going to happen and shown him the videos. His reply was it’s okay dad they going to mend my broken heart. So much courage for such a little boy.