On July 17 we got a message from Spencer’s mission president’s wife that Spencer was ill.  They suspected that he had pneumonia, so he was going to go to the hospital.  Given Spencer’s health history, we decided that a trip to Florida was in order.  On July 21st we flew to Miami.  At first, everything pointed to pneumonia, but the indicators for pneumonia are very similar to several heart issues.  After a couple days in the hospital we confirmed that instead of pneumonia, Spencer was suffering with endocarditis (a heart infection).

There is a relatively low chance that the melody valve, which is the type of valve implanted when Spencer was 12, can become infected.  Initial heart ultrasounds didn’t indicate infection, but because of the location of the implanted valve it is difficult to assess with a traditional echocardiogram.  We had a transesophogeal echocardiogram done so we could get a better view.  There we could clearly see bacterial vegetation on growing on the valve.  It almost looked like seaweed attached to the valve, flowing in the bloodstream.

The antibiotic treatment Spencer was already on for the suspected pneumonia continued while his blood was tested to see the susceptibilities of the bacteria and his antibiotic treatment was fine-tuned.  Spencer’s heart valve was damaged and needed replacement.  We brought him home to prepare for a valve replacement.  After six weeks of antibiotics he was ready for surgery.

Today is surgery day.  We are in the waiting room and just received word that he is now open and they are beginning the repair.

We are blessed to have such a great team of doctors and staff, and such awesome support from family and friends.  We love you all!!


Comments are closed.