Doug Woolley Doug and Marsha Woolley

Isaac's Surgery

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Sign of All Children's Hospital on an overpass above the street

As a result of Isaac's very traumatic birth (weighing only 2 pounds), he has had a shunt. A shunt is a tube that drains fluid from his brain and enables him to function normally.

Early in 2003, Isaac had complications with his shunt and underwent two brain surgeries at All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. Then in November 2003, he once again had two shunt related surgeries. Three weeks after having these surgeries, Isaac experienced some more complications with his shunt. As a result, Marsha took him back to the hospital for specialized care on December 10th, 2003. The doctors determined that his fourth ventricle in his brain was enlarged and fluid needed to be released from it. With the help of a skilled surgeon, this was accomplished via surgery and the shunt was modified to (hopefully) prevent this condition from reoccurring. On December 16, 2003 further complications occurred, and a total of three surgeries were performed, and Isaac was in the hospital bed over the Christmas holidays. On New Years Day, 2004, Isaac returned to the hospital and underwent another sudden surgery. Isaac was released on January 3, 2004, (we all exchanged gifts with the extended family) and Isaac has been doing fine ever since. We thank all who took the time to pray for Isaac or offer words of consolation, and we thank God for bringing Isaac through!  Isaac is quite a "trouper", having survived nine surgeries in the past year and 34 surgeries since birth!

A time line of Isaac's surgeries and recoveries from Dec. 10, 2003 - Jan. 3, 2004 can be seen below.
Pictures of Isaac in the hospital on Dec. 11, 2003 and on Christmas Day, 2003 can be seen below.

Note: A shunt is a tube that drains fluid from the brain. Isaac now has a 2nd shunt. Isaac had a grade 3-4 hemorrhage at 12 hours old and has had an existing condition of hydrocephalus since shortly after birth.

Time line of Isaac's surgeries and recovery:

Wed. Dec. 10, 2003, 2 pm

Isaac admitted to the emergency room at All Children's Hospital

Wed. Dec. 10, 2003, 7 pm

Isaac admitted to hospital; cat-scan reveals problem in 4th ventricle

Thur. Dec. 11, 2003, 3 pm

Isaac undergoes shunt revision surgery

Thur. Dec. 11, 2003, 5 pm

Doctor Carey informs family that all is well; She added a 2nd shunt

Thur. Dec. 11, 2003, 6 pm

Isaac placed back into his regular room to rest; recovery seems good

Fri.   Dec. 12, 2003, 8 am

4th ventricle looks good, but the other ventricles are now enlarged

Fri.   Dec. 12, 2003, 10 am

P.A. adjusted pressure valve in shunt and watching Isaac closely

Fri.   Dec. 12, 2003, 2 pm

Isaac walked around floor, ate a good lunch, hasn't had any pain issues

Fri.   Dec. 12, 2003, 6 pm

Isaac is feeling well. In the A.M., if the cat-scan looks better (ventricles are smaller) and he feels good, he can go home.

Sat.  Dec. 13, 2003, 6 am

Another cat-scan performed

Sat.  Dec. 13, 2003, 8 am

Dr. Carey says 4th ventricle looks really good! Other ventricles are slightly bigger than before, but Doctor not really concerned--this could be the new size for these ventricles with the new (2nd) shunt. Isaac wants to go home, but Doctor wants to keep him one more day to give him tordol (extra strength pain reliever and muscle relaxer) and valium for his neck stiffness, and he will probably go home on Sunday.

Sat.  Dec. 13, 2003, 6 pm

Isaac is doing fine; though he has some stomach pains probably from inactivity and gas; He's eating soup and drinking hot tea.

Sun. Dec. 14, 2003, 9 am

Isaac had a good night sleep.

Sun. Dec. 14, 2003, 10 am

Saddam Hussein was captured! and Isaac is released from hospital.

Sun. Dec. 14, 2003, 1 pm

Isaac arrives home with Marsha to a lunch of chicken fingers.

Recovery seemed good,
but two days later, Isaac returned to the hospital due to an infection.
Doctor's mentioned that the risk of infection grows when someone has so many surgeries.

Tue. Dec. 16, 2003, 1 pm

Isaac has stomach pains and is admitted back to the emergency room at All Children's Hospital

Tue. Dec. 16, 2003, 5 pm

Marsha is given a prognosis concerning Isaac that is not good.

Wed. Dec. 17, 2003, 5 pm

Due to an infection, Isaac is undergoing surgery to to take out tubes and let them drain. He will get IV antibiotics for 10 days to kill all the infection. Afterwards, the doctors will put all the tubing back in his brain and his stomach.

Thu. Dec. 18, 2003, 8 am

Dr. Tuite is draining the shunt externally. He positioned a new tube in Isaac's head. He is hoping that Isaac can be comfortable with one tube instead of three. More tests will be done in the afternoon. Isaac is receiving IV antibiotics and is very sedated at this time.

Thu. Dec. 18, 2003, 10 am

Doctor clamped Isaac's shunt off and injected contrast dye into the drain to see if he needs all 3 drains.

Thu. Dec. 18, 2003, 3 pm

Cat-scan taken. Doctor said that Isaac will be on antibiotics for the next 14 days.

Thu. Dec. 18, 2003, 7 pm

Doctor is still investigating the need for how many tubes are needed in Isaac's head. Many x-rays are being taken.

Fri. Dec. 19, 2003,  11 am

Cat-scan performed. Isaac is not feeling well and his head hurts. Marsha is drained and discouraged. Prayerful support is needed.

Fri. Dec. 19, 2003,  2 pm

Isaac had another sudden surgery because his tubes were clogged up. He's in the recovery room now.

Sat. Dec. 20, 2003,  8 am

Isaac has no pain in his head nor his stomach. He had another cat-scan.

Sat. Dec. 20, 2003, 10 am

Cat-scan from this morning looks the best thus far to the doctors. Game plan is to keep Isaac's spinal fluid draining for 10 more days while he gets IV antibiotics. Afterwards, the doctor will put the shunts back in his head.

Sun. Dec. 21, 2003,  9 am

Isaac is doing good. Doctors want him to get up and walk around or at least sit in a chair, but Isaac is a little afraid to do this due to the drains attached into his brain. Isaac wants to leave the hospital as soon as possible, so we're sure he will comply with their requests.

Sun. Dec. 21, 2003,  4 pm

Isaac is doing well. He has been watching football games on TV. It looks like he will be in the hospital until New Years Day.

Mon. Dec. 22, 2003,  2 pm

Isaac is doing fine. Doctors are giving him antibiotics. His IV got irritated in his arm, but he is OK. He is resting.

Tue. Dec. 23, 2003,  8 am

Isaac slept well. He had a cat-scan at 1 a.m. and the Doctors just came in and said that the 4th ventricle in the back of the head is as small as they have ever seen it (that's good!). They are repositioning the IVCs to get the best results so that when they put the shunt back in it will operate at maximum capacity.

Wed. Dec. 24, 2003,  8 am

Cat-scan was done at 6 a.m. and blood was drawn from Isaac's hand soon after. Things were routine until Doctor Carey and associates came in and said that she is planning to put the shunts back in on Friday via surgery, and if all goes well, Isaac can go home two days later! Isaac feels good and is starting to think a little about Christmas.

Wed. Dec. 24, 2003, 10 pm

Isaac had a central-line put in his leg to draw blood and pass antibiotics through it, since the veins are tired.

Thu. Dec. 25, 2003,   8 am

Isaac slept from midnight till 7:30 a.m. and awoke to presents in his room from a unknown source (possibly Santa?).

Thu. Dec. 25, 2003,  11 am

Doctor Carey checked on Isaac and determined that he is progressing well and should be able to have his final surgery tomorrow before 11 am to put his shunts back in his head.

Thu. Dec. 25, 2003,  2 pm

Isaac is visited by family and friends and blessed with gifts for Christmas. Some pictures were taken of these visits.

Fri. Dec. 26, 2003,   9 am

Isaac is having a cat-scan prior to his last surgery scheduled at 11 am. He had a good night sleep and feels good.

Fri. Dec. 26, 2003,   2 pm

Isaac underwent his last surgery and returned to his room under sedation. He was resting comfortably. Dr. Carey was able to place a new shunt in his head and belly. He was feeling a little sore, but he looked very good.

Sat. Dec. 27, 2003,  11 am

Dr. Carey and Dr. Berman came in and said that things look good and  Isaac could go home tomorrow if he feel up to it!

Sun. Dec. 28, 2003,  9 am

Isaac had a pretty good sleep, but was interrupted occasionally for tests. They had a little difficulty drawing blood as well. We are waiting to hear from Dr. Carey to determine Isaac's condition and when he can be released for home!

Sun. Dec. 28, 2003,  1 pm

Dr. Carey said that Isaac's condition is good and that he can go home after he takes a shower! He has not had a shower in two weeks. In spite of the stitches in his head, he is required to take a complete shower everyday in order to avoid an infection.

Sun. Dec. 28, 2003,  4 pm

Isaac returned home and ate heartily!

Recovery seemed good,
but four days later, Isaac returned to the hospital.

Thu. Jan. 1, 2004,   2 pm

Isaac's head was hurting bad so Marsha took him to All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg.

Thu. Jan. 1, 2004,   5 pm

Doctor notices that the 4th ventricle in Isaac's head is enlarged and needs surgery again.

Thu. Jan. 1, 2004,  10 pm

Dr. Tuite performed surgery on Isaac and put another shunt system in the back of his head in the 4th ventricle that had previously been removed and thought unnecessary.

Fri. Jan. 2, 2004,    10 am

Isaac is resting. They have him on pain killers to rest comfortably. They will have him on IV antibiotics to combat any risk of infection. The cat-scan taken earlier looked good to the doctors.

Fri. Jan. 2, 2004,    8 pm

Isaac is doing well.

Sat. Jan. 3, 2004,   8 am

Sleep was difficult, and Isaac had some nausea. Cat-scan taken at 6 a.m. Awaiting doctor's check-up.

Sat. Jan. 3, 2004,   3 pm

Although Isaac's throat is sore from tubes being placed in it, his 4th ventricle is smaller so Doctor Tuite is releasing him from the hospital!

Sat. Jan. 3, 2004,   6 pm

Celebrated a belated Christmas with the extended family at home!

Isaac is doing fine now! Thank you for your prayers! 

Pictures of the hospital and Isaac's recovery (from Dec. 11, 2003) can be seen below.

Sign for All Children's Hospital

Countless times, family traveled an hour or
longer to the hospital and parked multiple cars
in the parking lot to visit Isaac.

All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida

One of the main entrances to the hospital is seen above. Sometimes patients are flown to the hospital by helicopter.

Isaac resting in the hospital bed after his brain surgery on Dec. 11th, 2003

Isaac resting in a hospital bed while Doug and Marsha stand by the side of the bed

Christmas Day 2003 at All Children's Hospital

Sigrid and Brad with Isaac on Christmas Day 2003 Marsha with Isaac on Christmas Day 2003 Doug and Marsha with Isaac on Christmas Day 2003 A precious family from church who surprised Isaac with a visit and a gift and cookies Some of Isaac's favorite relatives on Christmas Day 2003

Place cursor on picture for description. Click small images above to see a larger image.

Isaac received a DVD player from his relatives in Alabama to watch movies

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