Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cardiology Appointment: Stable

Update from December's cardiology appointment: 
Jacob's heart is STABLE. 

This is good news. The Aortic Root did grow, but it grew in proportion to how much Jacob's body grew from 2012-2013. Dr. Etheridge loved hearing that Jacob played soccer and that he is doing well in school.  Because he is looking so good we are keeping yearly cardiology appointments, but are only doing echocardiograms every two years.  She said that Primary Children's Hospital Cardiology team is trying to synchronize their appointment schedule with what is being recommended for all patients with Transposition of the Great Arteries that are post Arterial Switch Operation with no big complications. Kinda like the different Cardiology centers are trying to establish a standard of care that is consistent at all children's hospitals across the US.



We are hoping that next year Jacob will have grown bigger but that his Aortic Root will have not grown. Dr. E thinks that because of the scar tissue from the surgery that that will help contain the dilatation.  We will add echos back sooner if there is any indication that we need a closer look at his heart. Also, there are future plans to add MRIs and Treadmill tests to give us an overall better look at his heart. I am so grateful for modern medicine and how well Jacob is doing!

We constantly pray for our Heart Friends and Angel families.  There are a lot of families fighting each day for their sweet children.  I have amazing friends that are missing their children every moment of everyday.  Sending lots of love, hugs and prayers to those whose are struggling. xoxo

Wednesday, February 5, 2014


Running & having fun!




Goofing off

So exciting!

Taking a break from the game

With the encouragement of cardiology we signed Jacob up for soccer through our city recreation department.  The first game I was super nervous! Would he be able to keep up with the other kids? Would all the running be too much on his heart?

At the first practice I talked to his coaches about his heart and not to push Jacob if he wanted to rest. As I was talking to the coaches Jacob was leading the boys running a lap around the field. Yeah, I think I sometimes worry too much! :) 

Jacob did GREAT for soccer! He would usually spend some time as goalie. He kept up just fine running and he had tons of fun! We will be doing soccer again in 2014.


1st Grade

Happy 6th Birthday

Heart Hero Super Jacob

Smiley Boy!

Silly Boy!

Camp Hawkins Heart Camp

Heart Buddies & Cousins: Jacob & Alec

1st day of 1st grade

Running on the BYU Football practice field

ESPN Road Trip filming crew at BYU Football practice

Spiderman Halloween

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cardiology: Good News!

Jacob had his yearly Cardiology appointment in December this year instead of waiting for January (due to a change in our insurance and wanting to fit it in before our new deductible took effect).  We had a great visit.  Jacob is so great at cooperating for the nurses and doctors.  He was excited to see his heart doctor so he could "get the goop (gel for echocardiogram) and a sucker".


We got wonderful news from Dr. Etheridge- Jacob's heart actually looks better than it did last year!  His Aortic Root Dilatation z-score is down to 3.5 (still not in normal parameters but an improvement from last year) and his Aortic Branch Stenosis has decreased.  Dr. Etheridge wants him active and happy- which he is!  Jacob was talking up a storm about school, turtles, Christmas, and anything he could think of.  She wants us to watch for him struggling in school (which is common for kids with heart defects due to lower oxygen levels effecting learning) so we can get additional assistance if needed.  Luckily we have not seen any signs that he might struggle in that area.

We love Dr. Etheridge!

Whew! I was kinda stressed since we have had such a cruddy medical year in our family. Merry early Christmas to us.  Now if only we can get through the highly germ filled winter!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


1st Day of School!

It is hard to believe that Jacob is in Kindergarten!  I remember wondering after he was born if we would ever see this day.  Before school started I met with his teacher and the school nurse to tell them about his heart.  Earlier in the year I helped out with a big project for the school to get an automated external defibrillator (AED), not because I thought he would need it, but because our cardiologist recommends every school have one.  Knowing it is there though does give me peace of mind.  Jacob has been so excited about starting school.  When I took him for testing before school began the teacher testing him came back and said "he has quite the personality".  That is totally true.  Jacob is our happy boy.  He loves to make people laugh and smile.  We are so glad to be blessed with his special spirit in our home!


On the first day of school Jacob was so excited so wear his uniform and backpack.  When I picked him up however he wasn't looking great.  It turns out he had thrown up right at the end of school.  He spend the next few days sick and resting on the couch.  Not quite how we thought the 1st day/week would go.  He used to get sick all the time when he was little, but now the illnesses are more in line with that his sisters get.  He is still more prone to croup (the last ER doctor thought that was a combination of asthma and being intubated as a baby), but overall Jacob's health is good.

Sick on the 1st day of school :(

Monday, August 20, 2012


Happy 5th Birthday!
Big boy bike for the birthday boy!
Preschool Graduation
Swimming Lessons
San Diego Trip

Heart Buddies: Cousins Jacob & Alec

IHH Family Heart Camp

I'm not too sure about this!

IHH Walk for Healing Hearts

1st tooth lost!

Always the happy & silly boy

Fall 2012
Here is a photo review of some highlights of 2012.  Jacob is growing and doing well.  He is definitely the entertainer of our family!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BYU Coach Mendenhall

Look who we met today...

Yes, that is BYU Football Coach Bronco Mendenhall. We just happened to run into him today. Jacob and I were both wearing our new BYU hoodies. Coach Bronco was walking in the door as I was getting ready to exit. He stopped and pointed to my shirt and then to his and said "We match". He was so nice to stop and take a picture with Jacob. Jacob was excited to see the "BYU Coach". Love my alma mater. Go Cougars!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Cardiology Update

Today was Jacob's cardiology appointment. He had an echo, ekg and visit with the doctor. Jacob didn't want to go until I reminded him that he usually gets a prize from the doctor.

The nurse said she was going to make him look like a robot:

Doctor Etheridge commented on how happy he was. He really is happy and smiley. He likes to make us laugh and make up silly words for things.

He held still and watched Thomas the Train for the echo. It was a little hard to see the pulmonary branch arteries but the echo tech came back to them later and got some really good views.

So overall Jacob looks good. Dr Etheridge wanted to make sure he is keeping up with his friends and cousins and he has been, so that is good. The branch arteries that they got good images of look better (less stenosis- last time measured at 15, this time at 12 and 13). Thus his murmur was less pronounced. As far as the Aortic Root Dilation goes, not as great news. His z-score was 4.5 which means his aortic root is roughly 4.5 times larger than the standard deviation (this is a statistical number they use based on his height, weight, and size of the root). The doctor is hoping that it will stop growing while he continues to grow (thus reducing the z-score... a good thing). We will have another appointment in a year and look at it all again.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Blog Book

I finally got Jacob's blog printed into a book. I love it!

This is the first four years of posts. It took me a long time to edit and get the layouts that I wanted but I was able to find a coupon for $40 off the book printing so I got an awesome deal. Just waiting to find another coupon so I can print a second book!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


I love our Pediatrician. Dr. Ryan Wilcox at Utah Valley Pediatrics is so great and his office staff is wonderful. Nurse Sam knows me well and we talk on the phone often. :) Thankfully as Jacob has gotten older and we have gotten things under control with his heart, asthma, croup, and allergies we have been to the doctor less. Yea! At Jacob's last well child exam Dr Wilcox spent a while looking in his ear. I was thinking Jacob must have and ear infection but he had not been complaining or anything. Then Dr Wilcox says "I think there is something in there." Nice, so we were off to the Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor.

Yep, sure enough there was something in there. In order to get it out they wanted to strap Jacob to a papoose board so he wouldn't fight them to get it out. I did not feel comfortable with that. I told them he would do fine and I would hold him if need be. Jacob turned his head and held perfectly still as the Doctor removed a small red bead from his ear.

Jacob is so great and compliant with doctors. It makes appointment go so well.