One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


The most important news first: Annika is out of surgery and doing fine in the PICU. It was over 8 hours from the time they took her out of my arms until we spied her being wheeled out of the O.R. That's nearly as long as her first transplant, but nowhere close to the 12-hour marathon of her second. Unfortunately, the Rex Shunt did not work for her. The surgeon came out after 4 hours and told us that every time they tried to move the bowel to get to her portal vein in her liver, she started bleeding like crazy. The good news is that they were able to do a different kind of shunt, the spleno-renal shunt (also called a Warren shunt). I don't have time right now to google up some articles to link to, but the main difference is that the Rex Shunt would have restored blood flow (currently blocked by the clot) to her liver. The spleno-renal shunt instead redirects the blocked blood flow down toward her kidneys. This has the effect of instantly reducing the pressure that has been causing her to bleed from her esophagus. But it doesn't restore blood flow to the liver (and remember that the portal vein supplies some 80% of the liver's blood supply). Usually the spleno-renal shunt is done as a stop-gap measure to deal with bleeding varices for a patient who is waiting for a liver transplant. Obviously, we don't want to be waiting for a liver transplant (again). However, the surgeon said that she has developed her own new blood vessels which are sending blood to her liver, and her liver looks really good. So we're hopeful that this shunt might do the trick for her, even though it wasn't the shunt the doctors hoped to perform. Dr. Superina (her surgeon) sounded very upbeat, and that really does mean a lot to us. There will be a lot going on in the next few days, but right now I'm looking forward to just seeing her beautiful eyes open back up again. Perhaps tomorrow, if all goes well.


Blogger jo(e) said...

Eight hours? Oh, Moreena.

Thanks so much for the update. We will keep praying and hoping for more good news.

11/30/2005 7:20 PM  
Blogger corndog said...

Moreena, in the midst of all this, that you can keep us informed is beyond amazing. So glad Annika is fine and hopeful that maybe her creative blood vessels have solved the problem. Also glad that the creative surgery team was able to adjust on the fly and relieve the pressure. Once again, thank you for keeping all of us informed and may all of you have a restful evening.

With much affection and admiration,


11/30/2005 7:23 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Big sigh of releif. I am glad to hear Annika is doing well after her surgery. I have, and always have had, total faith in Dr. Superina. He is just an amazing surgeon. Continued prayers being said for Annika. God bless you for keeping us all informed.

11/30/2005 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

praise be to God for the promising results!

11/30/2005 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Marisa said...

What a relief! I've been worried all day with you. Glad she is out of surgery and that she does have veins growing and her liver looks good! Praying that she has a smooth recovery.

11/30/2005 7:44 PM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

Thank you for the update, Moreena. I really appreciate that you take the time to keep us all informed.

Hugs to you! We are thinking about you all tonight.

11/30/2005 7:45 PM  
Blogger moxiemomma said...

keeping you, anni, jorg, and frankie in my thoughts tonight. you are an incredible woman, moreena. take care.

11/30/2005 8:16 PM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

I am so glad it went well. Here is hoping that the shunt situation coupled with Anni's own healing abilities will do the trick.

Thank you so much for keeping us all posted!

Hugs to you and everyone :)

11/30/2005 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are here with you, and so grateful for your beautiful, sane updates. You're amazing. Love to you and Annika.

xo Catherine

11/30/2005 8:34 PM  
Blogger liz said...


So glad to hear that she's out and doing well.

11/30/2005 8:40 PM  
Blogger Mieke said...

Great news.

Now you get some sleep!

11/30/2005 8:53 PM  
Blogger Jane Dark said...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

11/30/2005 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Beanie Baby said...

I am so happy to read this! Not that it didn't go exactly as planned, but that it seems to have gone well regardless and hopefully now you can begin to transition back into your regular lives.

11/30/2005 8:58 PM  
Blogger ocelot said...

You are all so amazing! Thanks so much for taking precious time to keep us up to date. We've been so anxious today and are very excited that Annika's through the surgery and a step closer to being back home.

11/30/2005 9:04 PM  
Blogger halloweenlover said...

Thank God. Thank you so much for keeping us updated. I was so hoping that we would hear all went well tonight.

Glad to hear that her body is coping well with all of this. More prayers and positive thoughts from me.

11/30/2005 9:19 PM  
Blogger Scrivener said...

Thanks for the update. Take care of yourself and your precious girl.

11/30/2005 9:34 PM  
Blogger Rev Dr Mom said...

So glad that so far things are positive. You all remain in my prayes.

11/30/2005 9:57 PM  
Blogger Elle said...

You are an amazing family. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay strong.

11/30/2005 10:40 PM  
Blogger Jenevieve said...

yay! still praying!

11/30/2005 11:39 PM  
Blogger Kathryn said...

Thank you for finding time to post amid all this....will keep on praying

12/01/2005 7:11 AM  
Anonymous Robyn, Emma's mom said...

Thank you for posting. I'm happy to hear the good news about the Warren shunt, the paragraph that started with "unfortunately" made my heart skip a beat.

12/01/2005 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Becca, Jason and Natalie Ketter said...

Tears....I've said it before, Dr. Superina walks on water in my book.

Give her a big hug from us.

12/01/2005 7:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you dear God for the succesful surgery! I am so happy to see your post Moreena!!!! I am so thrilled to hear the surgery went well - even if it was not what was planned. Prayers continuing and best wishes for a speedy recovery for our dear Anni!


12/01/2005 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Lauren said...

I'm so happy to hear that things are looking up for Anni. I was thinking about all of you yesterday, especially her. Please let me know if you need anything and when she'll be up for a little visit!

Love, Lauren

12/01/2005 8:05 AM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

Yes, Moreena, thanks again for keeping us updated. Glad there was an alternative to the shunt that wouldn't work. Kiss that little baby face for all of us. Hugs to you and the rest of the family.

12/01/2005 9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michael just walked by and said, "Oh, honey, are you checking on your little pen pal again?" And yes, I am. I hope everything is going okay with you guys.

xo Catherine

p.s I keep having this weird disconnect, where I come to post, full of feeling and care, and then the word verication is something absurd: "jeebl" or "feezi," and I have to laugh. Ah, life.

12/01/2005 10:22 AM  
Blogger rocks said...

Great news to hear that the surgery went well. Thanks for keeping us updated, every time I whine about something I keep thinking of you guys and this whole ordeal your family has to endure, and then realized, yet again, how selfish I can be at times.
Good luck and know we are all thinking of you.

12/01/2005 11:51 AM  
Blogger purple_kangaroo said...

I'm so glad everything seems to have gone well. Take care, and hang in there.

12/01/2005 1:40 PM  

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