Sunday, December 20, 2009

Friday, December 4, 2009

UAB, Dr. Colvin, & STARBUCKS!

Austin had a check-up with Dr. Colvin yesterday. The appointment went very well- and he was very pleased with how well Austin is doing... he was so pleased that Austin doesn't have to go back to Dr. Colvin until June!!! That is SIX months from now! We were thrilled with the news, and equally thrilled about how well Austin is doing.

Austin was so funny the entire appointment he stayed one step ahead of Dr. Colvin! We walked in the room and Austin was asking for bubbles and candy (two things that are always a part of Austin's visit to this office), he tried to check his own O2, told Dr. Colvin the lights needed to be turned off for the Echo, and helped Dr. Colvin do the Echo! It was one of those moments that again reminded us that this is life for Austin, no matter how well he is doing, his life will always consist of doctors appointments, medicine, and he'll always have his "zipper" scar as a part of him. This is how God made him, and we're honored to be the chosen ones to journey with Austin!

We wrapped up Austin's appointment with a stop at the UAB Starbucks! Austin enjoyed a hot chocolate and is wishing the same to you! Enjoy the cold weather, Christmas season, and be sure to take some time for hot chocolate! Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Enjoying Halloween & fall!

Cookie Monster wants to wish you a Happy (late) Halloween!

Austin continues to do well and is recovering very well! We just wanted to send an update your way and let you know how well he is doing and wish you a happy fall! Hope you're enjoying chilly weather, pumpkins, apples, and leaves!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Post-op Follow-up #2

Austin went to see Dr. Colvin today for his second post-op follow up. Everything is looking good- and there was NO evidence of fluid build up!!! We were so happy to hear this! Austin continues to be on Lasix as a diuretic to help relieve any fluid that may build, but so far so good!

Austin is loving being at home and feeling more and more like himself. He's looking forward to Halloween this weekend, and we all want to wish you a Happy Halloween!

Thank you for praying!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Austin is home! He had several x-rays done over the weekend and there wasn't any more fluid buildup!!! We're so relieved and so glad that he is home.

He'll have a follow up appointment in the coming days, and I'll be sure to update soon!

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers this week!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Drainage tubes are OUT!

Austin hasn't really drained any fluid since yesterday so they made the decision today to pull the tube. Austin is loving the independence and being tube free! They've taken several chest x-rays today and will do the same tomorrow then make a decision on Sunday about whether he can be discharged or to wait again.

Join us in praying that there won't be any more fluid buildup and that Austin can go home on Sunday!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Austin is doing well- as you can see, he is still finding ways to enjoy his time in the hospital!

Update: Austin's drainage has almost completely stopped as of 10 last night, they are doing an x-Ray today to determine if there is still fluid and its not draining, or if its really stopped.

Also, they had to go in and loosen a suture this morning (this was an older one from where he had drainage tubes post op in Memphis). It was too tight and was becoming infected, so it has been cleaned.

Stay tuned for updates on the fluid later today- we're hoping for NO fluid buildup, and talks of going home in a couple of days!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

700 cc of fluid!!!

Austin had his drainage tubes reinserted and since has drained over 700 cc of fluid!!! That is ALOT of fluid! (for example, 30 cc equals 1 ounce)... so as you see, this is alot of fluid! As you can imagine, Austin is feeling some relief from the fluid draining and is breathing with much ease.

He is out of ICU and back in a regular room, still with the tube. They will continue to monitor him and the drainage. The Doctor came in this afternoon and warned that we may be looking at a week or so in the hospital, which is discouraging, but at the same time we want what is best for Austin!

Thank you for continuing to pray for Austin, Andy & Heather through this journey. We feel your prayers. Pray that even in moments like now, that God will get the glory!!!

headed to ICU...

Hey guys- Austin had a fair night, but still has a considerable amount of fluid on his lung. He is headed to ICU in the next few minutes and they'll begin proceedings of putting him under and reinserting the chest drainage tubes.

Continue praying for Austin today! I'll update again soon.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Check-up with Dr. Colvin and back in hospital!

We had an appointment with Dr. Colvin (Austin's cardiologist in Birmingham) today. We fully expected this to be a routine visit. Austin did have a few min this morning where he appeared to have difficulty breathing but recovered and seemed fine. We arrived at Dr. Colvin's office and they did x-Ray and EKG. The x-Ray showed fuid on his right lung. It is a large amount of fluid and was concerning to Dr. Colvin. They immediately admitted him to UAB. The plan right now is to administer iv Lasix (a diuretic) to help with fluid then retake the x-Ray in the morning. If fluid is still there, Austin will go into the ICU here, be put under and have drainage tubes reinserted.

Pray for Austin especially as he is so done with doctors and nurses right now. He is still sore from surgery and emotional. He doesn't want to be touched! Pray for him to be comfortable and adjust well to his rehospitalization.

We'll update again in the morning.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

We love Dr. Knott-Craig!

How do you show gratitude to the man who has "fixed" your child's heart three times! God is ultimately the Great Physician and the one who has repaired Austin's heart to the fullest, but what an amazing tool He's had here on earth as God has used Dr. Knott-Criag in Austin's life!

Dr. Knott-Craig had just recently come to Birmingham only months before Austin was born. As you know, there aren't surgeons everywhere who can operate on a heart like Austin's, and God brings Dr. Knott-Craig to Birmingham! We clearly remember sitting in a hospital room, being told for the first time that Austin is in NICU, they're running tests and it may be a heart condition... thats not a great feeling, it stirs MANY emotions! And a few hours later, Dr. Colvin comes from UAB, comes in the room and informs us it is Austin's heart... Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome to be exact. "Austin needs surgery or he isn't going to live"... those are words no one ever wants to hear! Austin is transferred to UAB, and we're introduced to a surgeon, a surgeon who just came to work at UAB, a surgeon named Dr. Knott-Craig.

January 17, 2007 was a date we'll never forget, the date of Austin's first surgery. Dr. Knott-Craig was amazing, so comforting, and truly cares most about his patients. Austin's second surgery was May 16, 2007, and again, Dr. Knott-Craig was amazing! We'll never forget the day Dr. Knott-Craig removed Austin's pacing wires in his room, Austin was crying and uncomfortable but when Dr. Knott-Craig finished, he picked up Austin, and it was an immediate comfort to him. Austin stopped crying and just looked at Dr. Knott-Craig. Even at five months old, Austin knew, he knew this man was someone to trust!
So when the time came for Austin's third surgery it was only natural that we'd follow Dr. Knott-Craig to his new home, Memphis, TN. We traveled to LeBonheur Children's Hospital this past week and Austin's third surgery was performed there. On the way Austin held pictures of himself and Dr. Knott-Craig as Andy & Heather explained to him that Dr. Knott-Craig is the one who would fix his heart and give him his third "zipper" / scar. Even with Austin's apprehensions, Austin was comfortable with this, which again shows his trust in Dr. Knott-Craig. One example of his care and concern is on the day of surgery, Dr. Knott-Craig had a nurse in the OR who continually sent text messages to Andy's phone giving updates on Austin. The nurse usually calls to the waiting room phone and speaks to the parents with updates periodically during surgery. But with Andy & Heather being Deaf, Dr. Knott-Craig wanted to ensure they were updated directly! This spoke volumes to Andy & Heather, and also showed us his care and concern for the patient and their family. We were touched! Then on Wednesday of last week while still in ICU after surgery, Dr. Knott-Craig walked into Austin's room, and Austin looked at him, then immediately signed "Dr. Knott-Craig fixed my heart." What an amazing moment for all of us! We could go on and on with stories, but as you can see, Dr. Knott-Craig has touched our lives in a special way.

Our experience in Memphis was wonderful, and we really thank Dr. Knott-Craig and his nurse, Holly, for making this experience a positive one.
As you can see, we think very highly of Dr. Knott-Craig, and thank him for using his skill and expertise to give Austin life! And as we said, we first and foremost, thank God for allowing Austin to experience life! May God receive the glory and honor for this precious life!

Austin is home now, and continues to do well! He's loving being back at home, playing with his toys and enjoying some movies as he recovers. Please continue to pray for him and his recovery over the next several weeks! We have many people to thank... our Lord Jesus Christ, Dr. Knott-Craig, other doctors, nurses, family, friends, and especially our prayer warriors! Thank you for following this blog and joining us as we lift up Austin in prayer! Thank you!

Monday, October 5, 2009


Andy, Heather, & Austin made it home tonight safely! They're thrilled to be home, and Austin was looking forward to a nice warm bath in the bathtub and they're all looking forward to a good nights rest in their own beds!

Stay tuned for more updates soon!

going home!!!

Hey guys- we just got word that Austin will be discharged this afternoon! We're thrilled! They took him off oxygen this morning and he has done very well today, so they're sending him home! Less than one week from surgery and he's headed home!

This past week has had its ups and downs, but we praise God for His power and grace! Its been an amazing week and we're constantly reminded of the many people we have praying for us. Thank you!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

On the road to recovery!!!

Austin was finally discharged from ICU yesterday afternoon! His heart rate seems to be stablized and his chest tubes finally came out today! He has been smiling and is more and more like his self! We're thrilled to see him doing so well!

Dr. Knott Craig and his wife came by to visit Austin this afternoon. It was a sweet visit and meant a lot to the Andersons. While there Dr. KC said if Austin continues to do well then there is a chance they'll discharge him tomorrow!

His continued progress is because of your prayers! Thank you!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Keep praying!

Austin's heart rate continues to be elevated today. They tried giving him iv drugs last night to bring it down and have tried using the pacemaker this morning. But it continues to be elevated. They are keeping him in ICU for now as they watch him and try to determine the cause of the high heart rate.

He also still has his chest tubes, ivs, and oxygen. Join us in praying for improvement and especially that they can resolve the heart rate issue.

I will update again later on once we know more.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

up and walking!

Austin seems to be feeling a little bit better than earlier today. He was able to get up and do some walking this evening! He looks great!

Please join us in continuing to pray for Austin. His heart rate is slightly elevated tonight, and again, they're assuming its caused by some of the medications he is on, but please pray that he'll be able to rest well tonight regardless of the elevated heart rate. Pray that he will continue to show signs of improvement tonight and be able to move to a regular room tomorrow! Pray Andy & Heather will rest well tonight and be ready for a new day tomorrow.

a few pictures from yesterday...

Look at that O2 sat!!! Yes, Austin is on a little bit of oxygen, but 99 is an amazing O2 sat!!! He's pink (not blue) and has great numbers on the monitor!

still in ICU- please join us in praying!

Hey guys- we'd appreciate your prayers this evening as Austin isn't feeling too good. We think he's reacting to some medications again and is pretty nauseated. He's sweating a lot and has a heart rate in the 130s, which is higher than we want to see. Overall this is making him uncomfortable. Join us in praying that he'll begin to feel some relief and that doctors can figure out what is causing his symptoms.

On a lighter note, he did have one of his three chest tubes removed this morning, so that is very encouraging! He still has two others still in, and some other things that will need to be weaned before he is officially progressing to moving out of ICU.

Please take a moment right now and join us in praying for Austin!

I'll update again soon... thank you!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

One small step back and leaps forward!

Austin is doing so well!!! He truly has shown himself to be our hero this week! What an amazing little boy with such a great spirit!

This afternoon Austin had a slight reaction to some medication he was given. The rash lasted off and on most of the afternoon but seems under control tonight. He was also not having as much urine output as they wanted, thus had to reinsert the Foley catheter. But even with these minor set backs this afternoon, Austin is doing really well!

Heather was able to hold him some this afternoon and Austin especially enjoyed that. He was also able to enjoy a snack of Goldfish crackers and juice to then be followed by a great meal tonight. This was the first he has eaten since surgery but is handling it well.

After a little Disney Cars movie thus evening, Austin is now resting well.

Be praying for him tomorrow as they remove his chest / drainage tubes. Pray they'll also be able to remove the catheter for good and even begin to wean him off oxygen. As these things happen tomorrow there is a great chance he'll be transfered to a regular room! I'll be sure to keep you updated, and will also try to post some pictures from today. So stay tuned!!!

It's a new day and a PINK Austin!

Austin had a great night. He slept well and has already had several IVs disconnected this morning. He also got to sit up in bed briefly this morning and even try to use the potty! We're all very encoraged by how well he is doing.

He still has his chest tubes (for drainage) and will probably have them through tomorrow. If he continues to do well tonight they may will move him out of the critical care unit at some point tomorrow.

I will update again later on this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

the ventilator is out and Austin is stable!

The ventilator was removed about 2 hours ago. Austin is breathing well on his own with a little help from oxygen. We're so proud of him!!!
He is also doing a GREAT job of communicating with us! He is still very much "out of it" with sedation and pain meds. But he will respond when spoken to and is hanging in there.
We can tell he is very uncomfortable but he's handling it well.
Pray that all will rest well tonight and continue to do well tomorrow.

I know we say this a lot, but, thank you for walking this road with us!

Update #6

Austin is out of OR and in CVICU. He is stable but still not awake and still on ventilator. He's hanging in there.

Andy & Heather are doing well, but are tired. Pray for renewed strength. Pray for peace in the coming days.

Stay tuned for updates.

Update #5

His chest is closed and he should be out of the OR within the next hour. We just met with Dr. Knott-Craig and he was pleased with surgery. He said Austin looks good and is doing well. He is still on the ventilator but hopefully will be off at some point before end of day.
We will get to go back and see him in the next hour or so and I'll update again soon.

Your prayers are getting us through today. Thank you!!!

Update #4

Dr. Knott-Craig is closing Austin's chest now. It'll be another hour or so and we should be able meet with the doctors.
Austin continues to do well and is stable.

Update #3

Austin is off the bypass machine. Still in surgery but continues to do well.

Update #2

Austin is on the heart bypass machine and they're in his heart. He continues to do well.

Update #1

We just got word that Dr. Knott-Craig has begun surgery.
Austin is with the pre-op team now. We'll have another update in about an hour.
Austin was full of energy and seemed happy. He went with the nurses with no tears and seems well.

Join us in praying for the team of nurses and doctors. God is a great God and we're trusting Him in guidance of the team and care of Austin.
Thank you for joining us as we trust the same God!

We're set for 7 a.m... updates coming.

Monday, September 28, 2009

We're headed to Memphis

We are on the way to Memphis now Pray for us that everything goes well. Austin is currently looking at a picture of Dr. Knott-Craig (his surgeon). The picture is of Dr. KC holding Austin when he was a baby. We told Austin that Dr. KC will fix you up and make your heart stronger. And also give you your "third zipper" (scar).

Austin is also showing a face of uncertainty because he sees us being so emotional. We are ready to get this done and move on with our lives. We have been under different difficult weathers and seasons up to now. Heather and I are not ready to see how much Austin will have to suffer for this operation. Its more harder for us to accept knowing Austin does not understand pain's purpose in our lives. Suffering is a powerful tool from God to help us understand that we need God.

May we live one day at a time, and praise God in every second of it!

-Andy, Heather, and Austin

Austin's surgery is scheduled first thing tomorrow morning. I'll be sure to keep the blog as updated as possible- so stay tuned for updates. We really appreciate your prayers and support! Thank you!

"Chillin" and waiting...

Did someone say "surgery?"

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

September 29... that's the day!

Austin's third surgery has been scheduled, we'll head to Memphis, and Austin's surgery will be on Tuesday, September 29th. As I'm sure you can imagine, we have mixed feelings about this surgery. It doesn't get any easier handing him over to a surgeon, much less a heart surgeon, even if it is the third time. The encouraging part is knowing this should be his last heart surgery for some time!

As I think back to January 8, 2007 when Austin was diagnosed with HLHS and we were told he'd need a series of three surgeries, I don't think we really knew what to expect when this time came. How could we? And the many nights Austin fought for his life in the NICU, it was hard to imagine an abundance of energy and life. Austin is FULL of energy, life, joy, curiosity, smiles, and love. He's an amazing little boy, and we're so grateful for his chance at life!

Join us as we pray for Austin as we being to prepare him for his next hospital stay, pray for his doctors and for the team we'll be working with in Memphis. Pray that he'll remain healthy over the next few weeks leading up to his surgery. And even more specifically for his time in Memphis at the end of September.

We'll be sure to update more as we know more details... start praying!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Heart Catheterization

Hey guys- sorry for the lack of updates today. It has been a long day, but things went very well with Austin's catheterization. Dr. McMann was pleased with what he saw, and was able to check pressures, take measurements, and pictures of Austin's heart in preparation for his upcoming surgery (Stage 3: Fontan). All of the information that was collected today will be sent to Austin's surgeon, Dr. Knott-Craig, for review. We're hoping to know something over the next month or so as to when Austin's surgery will be. And as always, we'll be sure to keep you updated!
Thank you for your thoughts and prayers today! Please join us as we pray for God's guidance and wisdom for Austin's doctors and team as they prepare for the next step in his heart journey! Thank you!!!

we're at UAB... waiting...

We're here at UAB. We arrived this morning at 6 a.m. Austin is scheduled to have his heart cath this morning. Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, June 8, 2009

one week to heart cath...

Austin's heart cath is scheduled for one week from today. Please join us as we approach this big day and pray God's guidance on Austin's doctors and wellness for Austin going into the cath. Thank you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ready for Summer???

Are you ready for the summer? Austin is; Austin and his new buzz cut are ready for hot Alabama summers! Austin continues to do well, and is enjoying life! Remember to be praying for his next heart catherization, it has been scheduled for June, 15th. 
We'll be sure to keep you updated as it gets closer.
Thank you for still walking this journey with us!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Lollipops, ipods, books, and more!

We saw Dr. Colvin yesterday, and had quite the fun keeping Austin entertained! After a lollipop, reading books, playing with toys, watching cartoons on the ipod, and lots of screams, we were finally cleared to go! Austin did well and Dr. Colvin didn't see anything that caused any concern. He said Austin's heart looks like it should, but he did go ahead and schedule a heart catherization for June. Dr. Colvin is thinking Austin will have his third surgery (Fontan) sometime within the year. We'll know more after his cath in June.
We talked with Dr. Colvin about Austin's "blueness" and he really feels like Austin's heart looks okay. Last Friday, Austin had an episode where he dazed out, became very dizzy, blue from head to toe, coughing, and couldn't catch his breath. Of course, it scared Andy & Heather, it only lasted about 5 minutes, but was enough to prompt concern. Dr. Colvin has issued Austin an event monitor to keep with him for the next month or so as we watch for further episodes. As these episodes arise, the monitor will record a small ekg and send the information on to Dr. Colvin. We hope and pray Austin won't have another one, but if he does, we pray that Dr. Colvin will be able to see what is going on with his heart. As of right now, we're thinking it has something to do with an irregular heart rhythm. Join us as we continue to pray for Austin's health, especially his heart, and his overall health as we approach his cath in June, and third surgery.

We truly truly appreciate your continued support and prayers! I know we say this often, but it means more than you know! As we were leaving Dr. Colvin's office yesterday (at UAB), we walked down the NICU hallway and by the RNICU. It brought back many bitter sweet memories of Austin's time there. They had an empty isolette bed in the hall, and we stood there with Austin for just a minute talking about the many hours we spent watching and wondering through the plastic. Austin has come a long way! He has fought more than most of us will ever fight in our lives, and has much more to fight. Thank you for walking this journey with us!!!

Friday, March 6, 2009


We recently had some snow here in Birmingham... Austin loved getting to play in the snow!

We have a few praises and requests to share with you, please join us in giving God the praise for answered prayers, and join us in continuing to pray for others. Thank you!
-Emma Kate is home and doing well! Thank you for praying for our sweet friend.
-Austin continues to have more and more periods of "blueness" and times when he isn't himself. Join us in praying that he'll continue to be stable and God will give his doctors wisdom in treating him.
-Austin has an appointment with Dr. Colvin on Thursday of this week, pray that we'll have some answers to the increasing "blueness" and guidance in what is to come.

Stay tuned for another update later this week! Have a great week!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Join us in praying for Emma Kate!

Our hearts are burdened for a local HLHS friend, join us as we're praying for precious Emma Kate! You can read more about her story here. Emma Kate, we're praying for you, for your sweet parents and big sister! We can't wait to see all God does through your life!

Thank you!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Today marks two very special days for Austin! First, today is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day! And... as you all know... today is Valentine's Day!!!
Austin had a great day! He played with a friend and enjoyed putting CHD Awareness stickers all over himself! It was so fun!
We wish you a very happy Valentine's Day!!!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week!

Join us in raising awareness about Congenital Heart Defects! February 7-14 is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week... a week set aside for babies, children, and adults with heart defects like HLHS.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

GI doctor- CLEARED!

Austin saw Dr. King today (GI/stomach doctor) and all is good! He cleared Austin to only come back on a "as needed" basis! We were thrilled with this and what a blessing to know Austin is doing so well! Dr. King was very pleased with Austin's growth and overall health... so we're good to go!

Stay tuned for more updates... in the meantime, here are a few prayer requests...
-Austin's next appointment with Dr. Colvin (cardiologist) is in March. Be praying for this appointment and what lies ahead for Austin.
-As Austin gets older we're getting closer to his third surgery. Join us as we're already praying for this process, where it will take place (Memphis), Austin's overall health going into surgery, the surgery itself, and his recovery. We'll keep you updated once we know more about this... it will probably be sometime over the next year.
-Also, join us in praying for a friend of Austin's. When Austin was in NICU at UAB, we had the privilege of sharing our journey with two other families who were also walking through the HLHS journey. One of these little boys, Mitchell, is having a hard time right now, physically, he has been in and out of Children's Hospital lately. Join us as we pray for Mitchell, and for his family!

Thank you!!! We couldn't do this without you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Happy 2nd Birthday, Austin!!

Austin is TWO years old!!!

Its so hard to believe that he has already celebrated his second birthday! January 7, 2009 marked Austin's second birthday, with the 8th of January quickly reminding us that it has been two years since he was diagnosed with HLHS. And what an amazing two years it has been! God has proved Himself to be the INCREDIBLE God, and we'll forever be grateful for His goodness!

Austin, you're the blessing we never expected, thanks for being God's little miracle to us! We love you! Happy Birthday!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!!!

We're looking forward to 2009, and all that God will bring our way!!! Its so hard to believe that Austin is almost two years old, time goes by so quickly! We hope that your New Year is a great one! Happy New Year!!!