The brave little dude looked curious and bewildered, but never cried before surgery. It was quite a production. About four nurses and respiratory therapists loaded Will, his leads and tubes, his monitor and ventilator onto a stretcher equipped with four scuba-sized tanks full of oxygen. He was wheeled up and down elevators to another part of the hospital on the longest ride of his life.
Will put up a good front, but couldn't conceal his true feelings: Moments before the long walk, his big eyes widened, he grimaced and puked all over himself for (hopefully) one last time. It was the first of many tears in a long day.
After the maze of hallways, we reached through the holes of his isolette incubator, rubbed his head and told him we loved him. About three hours later, after enduring the agony of waiting and tedium of daytime divorce court shows, the surgeon emerged from the OR.
Will did great. He was a bit groggy, a bit stiff, a bit bloated and more than a little scary looking, but Will was still a sight for sore eyes when we returned to the room.
He was out of it much of yesterday and probably will be today as well. In addition to the probes and lines we've become used to over the past 83 days, the surgery added a few more. In truth, Will looks a bit like a mechanical boy. He has one line coming into his skin above his right nipple to provide long-term IV access. Another, thicker tube goes into his stomach for feedings. It's about five inches long. I'm calling it Will's front tail.
No one is saying the surgery is a panacea. It could take a few days of fine-tuning and fiddling with drugs to get Will completely comfortable. But we hope it can be the beginning of Will's long-awaited turnaround.