Well, we’re back in the PICU at Our Lady of the Lake in Baton Rouge. Hannah stopped eating again yesterday, so we brought her to the cardiologist and they did a few EKGs and an ECHO. He said she has SVT (supraventricular tachycardia), which is an insanely high heart rate caused by a rhythm problem in the heart. Basically, her heart rate will be completely normal for one minute, and then all of a sudden it will skyrocket (the highest we saw it yesterday was 280). The ECHO showed that her shortening fraction had decreased to 7% (three weeks ago it was measured at 18%). Yesterday she kept going in and out of SVT, so they admitted her into PICU and started a medication called Amiodarone, which is helping to control these arrhythmias. They also started giving her IV fluids, as well as Milrinone. She is also still taking her other oral medications (Digoxin, Carvedilol, and Enalapril).
One bit of good news is that even though her ECHO showed a decreased shortening fraction, her heart has not gotten any bigger. They are also thinking that this SVT may have caused her Dilated Cardiomyopathy in the first place. The heart is just like any other muscle in your body — if it’s constantly beating very fast, it will tire and start to cause damage. This would coincide with her biopsy results from Ochsner which showed no sign of myocarditis (viral inflammation).
Today Hannah is acting like her normal self. I’m sure she’s wondering why in the world she’s in a hospital! They are going to do another ECHO today to remeasure the shortening fraction. They are thinking that now that she’s out of SVT, her shortening fraction will be much higher. If the heart is beating insanely fast, the efficiency of the heart decreases (even people with a completely healthy heart would experience this). For the long term, they are planning on putting her back on Propranolol, a beta blocker that also helps with arrhythmias. This is one of the medications she was weaned from a few weeks ago.
We are believing that this is just a slight bump in the road to her recovery, and that the ECHO today will show that her ventricular function will be at least as good as it was three weeks ago. This may also help the cardiologists figure out what caused her condition in the first place, so hopefully this will help them figure out how to best treat her condition.
Please pray that her ventricular function will show improvement. God has already worked so many miracles in Hannah’s life. So many lives have been touched already with her story, and we are believing that through this even more lives will be touched. Our God is still in control. He knows what’s going on, and He knows what needs to be done. Pray that God would use this to help her doctors figure out how to treat her condition. We serve a great and mighty God. He is mighty to save! We praise Him that He has brought Hannah so far in such a short period of time. There is no question in anyone’s mind that He is performing miracle after miracle in her life. We pray that the presence of God will just emanate from her room, that every nurse and doctor that comes in will just sense the peace and presence of God.
On a side note, her nurse last night goes to Healing Place! It is so obvious to us that God is orchestrating every single step in Hannah’s road to recovery! He continues to amaze us every day!