At 4pm on Friday the 9th of August we carried our baby down to theatre. He didn’t have a cannula in yet as he is notoriously difficult to get a good vein, just like his mummy. After about 10 blood tests in 3 weeks most veins were ruined by now.

We went in to the room with him while they put him under anaesthetic, the anaesthetist was a lovely guy named Mike and he made me and Jimmy feel so relaxed. He held the gas mask above Romeo’s face whilst I held his hand, it took ages for it to kick in, to the point where Mike had to put the mask to his own face just to check it was working. 5 minutes later Romeo was asleep, he went so peacefully and didn’t put up a fight at all which was more reassuring, it would have been horrible to leave him knowing that he went to sleep in distress. After we left him they would put in a cannula and a central line to administer the full anaesthetic.

Now came the long wait, his surgery was expected to last atleast 6 hours and Mike said he would ring the ward at 8pm to let them know how they were getting on. We didn’t want to leave the hospital grounds really but decided to go to the nearest shop to get some food. This was my first time in a supermarket in about 3 weeks and it felt good to feel a bit of normality, we decided to eat away our worries and just bought a load of shit food like sweets, crisps and chocolates just to get us through the next couple of hours. For about half an hour it was like our worries went away for a bit but it’s still in the back of your head that your baby is laying there whilst a surgeon repairs his heart. We went back to our room in Ronald McDonald house and ate, I read a book and Jimmy was probably watching football videos. Romeo was wearing a pair of socks when we took him down to theatre and Jimmy took them off whilst he was going under, it’s the best thing he has ever done. We spent the remainder of the time just constantly sniffing these socks as they smelt like Romeo.

It finally got to about 8pm so I decided to ring the ward for an update. “They have said they are expected to finish surgery at 10pm, the surgeon will be up at about 9pm to see you.” This was reassuring, surely everything is going well and they are running on time. We head back up to the ward and wait in the quiet room, now every footstep I hear I am on edge, is this the surgeon coming?

Finally at 9.30pm the surgeon comes in to see us, he has a smile on his face. This is the best feeling ever. “Everything went well!” That’s all I needed to hear, finally my baby is safe! They did a lot in that space of time, Romeo had an ASD and a VSD which they have put a patch in, his pulmonary valve they have managed to cut across and extend but this will need a full replacement, maybe in 4 years, maybe in 60 years but most likely when he is a teenager. The right side of the heart was extremely thick so they managed to cut away a lot of the extra muscle and his tricuspid valve they managed to do a complete repair. This was leaking severely and had caused congestion in the vein to his liver, they didn’t think they would be able to completely stop the leak but they are miracle workers and now there is no leak out of this valve and hopefully in time his liver function will be back to normal.

I don’t think I could ever thank him enough for what he has done for Romeo, he truly is a life saver. Thank you Dr Laverson and Mike the anaesthetist we will forever be grateful for everything you have done for our son!

At 11.30pm finally we were able to see our baby boy in PICU ❤️