This shot was taken two days ago during the final pre-op meeting with Dr. Gordon, the brains and hands behind all of Katie's surgeries over the last several months. The discussion was good, as he helped us understand why we'd lost some of the gained airway. He drew some pictures to explain the unique anatomy of Katie's face, showing us some of the "surprises" he encountered during surgery - spots below her eyes where most Treacher Collins Syndrome at least have some bone, but Katie had none. Thus, he was not able to do the textbook style cuts to create what the extension we were looking for. He's really had to be creative with her, and says that her case will become a basis for doctors to build upon as they learn more about how to deal with similar cases.
We like Dr. Gordon a lot, because he really cares. He spoke of some of the dangers involved with all that he's done, and he has taken extreme care to keep her vision safe during it all. He spent almost an entire hour with us on Monday, which I'm certain was more than was scheduled. We appreciate his efforts to explain it all to us in layman's terms.
We are now sitting in the hospital, awaiting her final surgery of this extended summer. Today she'll get another layer of cheekbones, filling in of the clefts in her temple region, extend her chin just a bit, and revise the scars created by the jaw distraction pins. Then we're to let everything alone for a year to allow mostly the upper jaw to solidify before anything else can be done. He says her lower jaw is plenty hard already, but that upper jaw started with such poor bone that it is still a bit loosey-goosey and needs time.
He gave us the option to do more with her eyes and nose during this surgery, but after talking about it, we all came to the conclusion that those things would need to be redone again at the time we do the next jaw distraction, so why do it twice? Our goal is to just finish things up and get us home and back to a normal life, so that's what we're going to do.
Thank you all again for your prayers in her and our behalf. She's only supposed to be in the hospital overnight this time if all goes well; we'll let things heal for a week and then head for home on Thursday, 3 Nov, arriving Sun, 6 Nov. She is VERY excited to get back to school and have her own bed, her friends, and her dog. (Anyone know how we can get her dog trained so we don't have the stress of a pooping dog around the house??)
I'll update this blog again once she comes out of surgery, or at least by tomorrow.