Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Toby's Surgical Outcome

Wow! Thank you for the outpouring of love and prayers on behalf of Toby as he had surgery!

I just took this, 2 days post op, for this post. Can you believe him?!?!?!

Surgery lasted 4 hours. First Dr. R began with the circumcision. This went smoothly. Then Dr. Z came in and started with the toe removal. Then he began on his arm.

This was a big deal.

First order of business was to rotate his arm. You see, his shoulders are internally rotated making his hand in a backward position (on top of his wrists being severely bent). Surgeries to alter the shoulder have been highly unsuccessful, but they have discovered that it is working to cut the humorous in half, rotate the lower part of the arm into the correct position and then put pins or plates in to hold it. (Toby has permanent plates.) They did this just above his elbow.

Then, they did an elbow release. This involved cutting tendons, moving nerves and then making slices in his tricep muscles to lengthen them. The way it was, the arm still would be unable to move due to the tight muscle that has never been used.

Are you grossed out yet? Yeah. I know.

Then they cast that arm in a 90 degree position.

He got his fingers in his mouth for the FIRST TIME EVER!!!

He can actually reach his left ear with his right arm!! (not without help)

This is in the recovery room. His face was very swollen and he didn't look like himself.

As is common with AMC kids, they were unable to get a good vein for an IV in either his hand or foot. (his poor foot is all bruised and I can see they tried 5x to get one in!) So it was in his neck. :(

While in the hospital...we did very little.

Lots of sitting and holding. And trying not to cry.

But Toby is a fighter. And although he wasn't happy, he didn't cry that first night.
He had me sleep in his bed to comfort him and he worked on a new position about every ten minutes, but the boy did not cry all night.

We were incredibly blessed to share a room with our good friends Gideon and his dear mommy! They made the entire experience amazing with their company and all their helpful AMC wisdom! We even got to meet up with  3rd Chinese AMC adoptive mommy however they were on their way out and it was much too short a visit! Next time!

Toby borrowed Gideon's iPad while Mommy grabbed a shower. With his dominant hand occupied, he resorted to his good foot for iPad playing:

This is how he looked by yesterday afternoon when it was time to go to the airport:

A study in pitiful.

But he immediately perked up when we saw our friends who graciously picked us up and drove us to the New Jersey airport.

And he so mercifully slept on the flight home to Ohio.

And then we were back at Grandpa and Grandma's house for the night. He started to smile once again. What a joy!!

The only snag was that his high powered pain killer exploded in our suitcase and he never got a drop. He's been only on regular children's Tylenol.

And now you say: WOW!!!!!!!!

He traveled home to our house well (a 3 hour trip) and began to eat once he was back safe at home. (I thought that was so interesting!)

This boy is SUCH an amazing child. I cannot fathom doing all he is just 2 days out of surgery. Isn't he AMAZING!??!?!

Now the outcome of his arm surgery is not yet determined. The GOAL is that his arm will return to a straight position and then be able to press against something to bend.

Reality could be different. He could become locked up in the new 90 degree position. He could get a small range of motion.

There is a very teeny, tiny chance that he could get an active bend in his arm. (Meaning he could draw his arm up on his own.) But the report from the doctor is that his muscles are not healthy and deep red but rather a salmon color, indicating that he will most likely not.

We return to Shriner's in Philadelphia in just two weeks for post op and therapy. This will be several days of twice daily work to use the arm in it's new way.

In the middle of our experience, another Chinese adoptive family...just a few miles away from us in Philadelphia...lost their precious daughter when she did not make it through her final heart surgery. We (Gideon's mommy and I) had knelt and prayed for them before we learned the outcome. This was a last ditch effort to keep her alive until another donor heart became available. It was so sad to learn that they handed her to her parents to hold her while she left this earth. There is no way to sum up the blessing these Chinese children are to our families.

There was someone who told us while we were fundraising to bring Toby home that he was better off in his orphanage and that we should leave him there. I cannot fathom where this person was coming from to say such a thing, but all I know is he was DEAD WRONG. There is no honor on this planet like being Toby's family and this AMC journey is such a blessing. The joy his smiles and laughter bring are worth every ounce of effort we pour into him. We are counted blessed by the Lord to be chosen to be his family.

Thank you for your prayers for our sweet boy as he went through this! I ask that you continue to pray for him as he adjusts and learns to use his arm, especially as we begin therapy in the next few weeks!


  1. Thank you for the update! Wow - that Toby truly is amazing. I will be praying for his recovery - for a God sized outcome and for all the details in between. I love you!

  2. Toby is such an amazing little guy! Isn't it unbelieveable what these kids are able to go through with very little complaining. They are just so happy to have the love of a family. At your silent auction a man came in and was very upset that we were fundraising for an adoption from China. I didn't want to upset you, so I didn't tell you. I was so upset and told him I believed all children deserved a family and every child was the same to me regardless of where they came from. It was so hard to contain my anger. This type of ignorance has been the hardest thing for me to tolerate. A person approached me with this same thing when we were adopting Shali. Anyway, it's so great to see Toby getting what he needs to have a much better quality of life. It makes me so happy! Love what you're doing! We will continue praying for your sweet boy. :)

  3. He is truly amazing - so glad he's doing so well and has that brightness and dimple back in his face so soon!

  4. I've had Toby's picture up in my kitchen cupboard for a long time. It was a reminder to pray for him each time I saw it.
    I'm so glad to finally learn that he is with his forever family.

  5. So, so thankful all went so well!

  6. Oh that's AWESOME, Holly! Thank you for your prayers! God has had His loving hand on him!!! Blessings!


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