Andreas just called to tell me what's going on. He would have written himself, but his modem is shot (he's getting another one later, so he'll be back online soon).
The news is good. Susan is stablizing and they're going to be closing her today.
The procedure is a bit fuzzy but I'll do my best to describe it from what Andreas said. The incision is about 3 inches long and being held open. There is tape across this which will be pulled shut a half inch at a time. Each time they pull it, they will leave it for a while and observe to make sure she is still doing well. This should take several hours. When she is finally closed, they will staple the sternum together and sew her up.
Susan should be awake later today, probably this evening. She has been lying flat on her back on a surgical table for 72 hours and they're going to want to get her moving as soon as possible, so she'll probably be sitting up before the day is out. And she'll most likely be eating within 24 hours. (I took that as a cue...just let me know and I'll be down there with food. Hardly worth waking up after all that and have hospital food shoved in your face...right?)
Altogether she's gotten 6 pints of blood, but as I said, she's doing better. Andreas said her color was horrifying the first day, a kind of pasty look, gray and frightening. Her color today is much better.
Also, they were toying with the idea of dialysis again, but opted to give her more time, and it paid off. Her kidneys appear to be functioning at about 80%, which is significantly better than before. In fact, everything seems to be moving in the right direction. She was very high risk for this surgery, but I doubt she could have gotten better care anywhere else.
In a prior update, Andreas told us about a total of three hearts. Lest we think that this is only about Susan, the news is very good for the other two recipients. They are doing very well, both of them, and are up and walking around.
As for Susan, they will still try to have her out of the hospital in 6 or 7 days because of the risk of infection. Andreas is getting the apartment ready for her.
Time to start thinking about cooking for Susan again. It does a Jewish mother's heart good. Literally.