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How going to school can save your life...


Macson is six years old and the picture of health. For the past two years, he has been homeschooled. After Avery was born, with the school year rapidly approaching, I felt very strongly that I wasn't going to be able to give Macson's education the attention it deserves, and let's be honest- homeschooling is all about giving your child THE BEST schooling possible. If you can't provide that, consistently, through homeschooling, you shouldn't homeschool. Plain and simple. I knew it would be hard to stay consistent while living in Chapel Hill for weeks at a time with Avery, so it was the right decision for our family. 

 The day before Avery's cranial reconstruction surgery, we made the impulse decision and enrolled Macson in a private Christian school that would begin classes THE NEXT DAY. 

That decision changed all our lives and saved Macson's... without a doubt.  

He needed one updated shot to complete his application, so we had to schedule a doctor's appointment. I took Macson to get his shot and had every intention of canceling the wellness check up (I had already taken him to the doctor at the beginning of August), but Avery was rushed to the hospital for a two week stay starting Labor Day weekend that left my husband to care for the other children. I assured him it was fine to cancel, but he felt strongly about taking him "just be safe". The pediatrician detected a murmur and Macson's blood pressure was way too high for a six year old who weighs fifty pounds.

A week ago, we sat down with a cardiologist who performed an ECHO and EKG. He diagnosed Macson with  coarctation of the aorta, but ultrasound images are only so good, so we were sent for a CT angiogram with contrast.  

This morning, we discovered that Macson has a borderline severe coarc. His aorta before the coarctation is enlarged, his aortic valve is leaky and left ventricle enlarged (all signs of a very narrowed section of the aorta). A moderate coarctation is the type of health issue that drops a seemingly healthy high school football player during a football game one day, out of the blue. The end result of an undiscovered aortic coarctation is congestive heart failure, or damage to all the other organs if simply detected a little late. The cardiologist was surprised that Macson had been asymptomatic all this time. If the issue had gone undiscovered much longer, we would be replacing Macson's ENTIRE AORTA. It's theorized that the narrowing occurs within the first fourteen days after birth, when the ductus arteriosis closes (the vessel that connects the pulmonary artery to the descending aorta, since babies don't need to breathe in utero). As the PDA closes, sometimes, RARELY, the proximal part of the aorta narrows as well. 

The fix is relatively simple. In the next few weeks, an incision behind Macson's ribs will give the surgeons access to the part of the aorta that will be removed. A week in the hospital and another week recovering at home (snuggling with his smother 😉) should be everything Macson needs to regain his strength and spend the rest of his life as a perfectly healthy boy.  

Again, one of my children faces a health crisis and again, I find God's hands in all the details. If Avery hadn't been born, Macson wouldn't have gone to school. He wouldn't have needed that doctor's appointment. If Avery's shunt had not failed, I would have been home to take Macson to that appointment, which I would have absolutely canceled. If Cody hadn't followed his gut feeling, Macson never would have seen that pediatrician.... You see where I'm going with this. 

I believe that God intervened to spare Macson's life as He always has with Avery. I believe all of my children have long, world-changing lives ahead of them and if that's not the case, then I will rejoice that they will hear "well done" after they've finished their race, however long or short that is. We are not beaten down or demoralized by this news, and thanks to the experience of life with Avery over the last six months, I feel completely prepared to help Macson through this time.  

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged because the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Joshua 1:9


CVR Part 2