Friday, April 26, 2013

Gifted Surgeon

As Deanne mentioned in the update from the waiting room, Gideon did great during surgery.  His heart was taken out, some plumbing was re-routed and it was put back in.  All in about 3 hours.  What an amazing miracle.  And to facilitate that miracle, as a partner with God, is a deeply religious, sober man who has an incredible understanding of his responsibility to save and extend life.  I want to share some thoughts about the surgeon, Dr. Kaza.  

He has a rich brown complexion giving away his ancestral connection to India.  Large, dark brown eyes that are bright with knowledge and wisdom, but seek for further enlightenment at the same time.  His physical stature is far from intimidating.  His hands are small, narrow and soft - the perfect tools for the delicate operations he performs on the smallest of God's children. 

One of the signs of one who possesses great understanding, is the ability to explain complex things in terms that the lay person can understand.  Dr. Kaza has that ability.  After 2 or 3 cardiologists explained the options and the proposed procedure to us, we understood pretty well what was going to happen.  When Dr. Kaza explained it, he added 10 times more detail, but we understood it even more clearly.  

As a devout and practicing Hindu, he is open about his belief in God. He attends and teaches Sunday school at the Hindu temple around the corner from the LDS Jordan River temple in South Jordan. (He lightheartedly expressed his disappointment that his temple is dwarfed by the "other" temple he sees as he walks out the door of his temple.) 

During his description of Gideon's condition, he included phrases that gave us great peace and illuminated his acknowledgement that God is in charge. One such phrase came when he described the Pulmonary Stenosis that Gideon was "blessed with".  This is a narrowing of the artery carrying blood from the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery and eventually the lungs. He said, "God gave him this to save his life".  Then he explained that if that artery had been perfect, the lungs would have been under more pressure during the two years of Gideon's life causing damage that would have prevented the capacity needed to bypass the heart and feed blood directly to the lungs.  The "Glenn" procedure he performed today diverted 40% of the volume flowing through Gideon's heart, eased the workload on the heart, and increased the oxygenation of the blood carried back out to his body.  The stenosis made all that possible.  Blessings can come from what we perceive to be problems.     

After learning of how many children we have, Dr. Kaza also thanked us for "doing what we are doing" and seemed to appreciate specifically the opportunity to help Gideon. He told us more than once that he would work on Gideon as if he was his own son.  This is in stark contrast with the attitude of another top cardiologist in the area who we contacted for a letter of recommendation that Gideon's adoption process be expedited.  His comment was admonishing us to "leave Gideon in China and bring another child home who can be fixed."        

Dr. Kaza also impressed us when he was interested enough in Gideon's name to have one of the nurses look up the meaning.  He was delighted to know that he was working on a "Mighty Warrior" and said that name would serve him well during this process.

I don't intend to put Dr. Kaza on a pedestal he himself would not want to be on.  He is an impressive and obviously an accomplished man, but when you put the life of one of your children in the hands of a man, it is vital to know of his core beliefs.  Wisdom, science, skill and talent are wonderful, but it gives us an added measure of peace to have a doctor who acknowledges the Creator of all life and brings Him into the experience.

A few minutes after we saw Gideon for the first time after surgery.  
We were prepared for something a lot worse than what we saw.  The surgeon, Dr. Kaza, wanted us to see what a post-op baby looked like so he had the nurse take us to see another baby yesterday.  That baby had more tubes and was pretty puffy.   Gideon looked great.  Notice the IV in the neck - ouch!

What I call "The tree of life".  
This is a rack of medicine "dispensers" pushing an array of drugs into the myriad tubes hooked up to Gideon at various locations in his body.  (I always wanted to use that word "myriad" and sound really cool.  Is it just me, or is it hard to resist putting the word "of" after it?)

Mom and nurse Nicole making sure Gideon is comfortable.  
He had some wakeful moments when he did his best to roll over, yank out tubes and remove his oxygen mask, but between mom's singing to him and more drugs he was quickly put back into submission.

Our "Mighty Warrior" with his first battle scar.  
The thing on his right arm is called a NO-NO.  At least that is what the nurses called it.  It keeps his arm straight making it awfully difficult to pull on the tubes.


  1. Glad things went so well.
    Love you guys.

  2. Wow! I ache for what Gideon is going through. I ache for you guys. I wish I lived closer so I could help in some way! I'm so glad he is doing well after surgery.

  3. Wow Dad! Did you write this? I had to keep reminding myself it was you. I never took you as a poetic writer. Maybe it is just because this is my family I love so much but this drew out my emotions and a tear came to my eyes.

    I am so grateful that Gideon had such a man as Dr. Kaza working on him. Thank you for telling us about this experience. I really like to see the human side of things and how we as a community pull together to assist and uplift one another. We pray for everyone at home and Gideon constantly.

  4. I couldn't wait to get home to get the update! I have been without phone or computer for the past two days and there isn't a pay phone on the planet now that we all have cell phones. I had to spend $20 for a long distance call just to leave David a message to let him know we were safe and well.

    Anyway, thank you for keeping up on your blog and posting the photos. Gideon looks good and it is reassuring to see him.

    Dr Kaza sounds like the kind of doctor we would all want working on a child if needed. What a sweet mercy! I love that he wanted to know the meaning of Gideon. It is true that his name is very fitting.

    love you!