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See Emily's open-heart surgery as it happens

July 05, 2012

We followed 3 year old Emily Stone through heart surgery to repair a heart defect called tricuspid atresia, meaning her heart only has one chamber. We captured her surgery through Instagram as it happened, posting updates and pictures every few minutes so that her story could be followed in real time. Below are the photos and a timeline of events throughout the surgery. Emily's surgery was successful and we wish her the best as she gets back to being a normal little girl again.

You can also see all of Emily's surgery updates on Instagram, with username APHospital.



Monday July 9, 1:30pm - Emily is headed home today! She recovered well from heart surgery over the past 3 days and is doing great. She celebrated this morning by painting some pictures. Wish her well as she heads home!

Friday July 6, 11:25 am - Our brave little heart surgery patient Emily is doing well this morning as she recovers in our Cardiac ICU. She even managed to smile for a picture! Post some encouraging comments at the bottom of the page for her as she starts to feel better.


Thursday July 5, 3:25 pm - Emily is still asleep but is resting in our Cardiac ICU, where she will stay for a few days to recover. Thanks for joining us today!

12:57 pm  Dr. Decampli giving Emily's parents the positive update they've been waiting for all morning. #emilysheart

12:44 pm  Emily's incision is all closed up. Next step is to move her to the Cardiac ICU, which should happen soon. #emilysheart

12:40 pm  Emily is almost finished with surgery! #emilysheart

12:34 pm  Making the final stitches to close the surgical site. #emilysheart

12:27 pm  Emily's sternum is now closed and they will begin sticking her skin back together.#emilysheart

12:23 pm  Emily's chest is now being stitched up to close the incision. #emilysheart

12:18 pm  You can see the white graft inside the chest, just under the heart. #emilysheart

12:13 pm  Making final adjustments to drainage tubes that will stay in through tonight.#emilysheart

12:01 pm  Dr. Decampli is making sure no bleeding is happening around Emily's heart. Once that is certain they will begin to close her chest.

11:51 am  The team is now watching Emily's heart to make sure everything is working perfectly.

11:40 am  Now that Emily's blood is flowing through the graft the saturation of oxygen in her blood has gone up significantly. It went from the low 80's out of 100 up to 96 out of 100 right now.

11:31 am  Dr. Decampli is now making sure everything around Emily's heart is not bleeding.#emilysheart

11:28 am  Emily is fully off of bypass. #emilysheart

11:27 am  The bypass machine pumping Emily's blood is slowly winding down as her own heart resumes beating and pumping blood. #emilysheart

11:22 am  Dr. Decampli is now placing a monitoring line into the right atrium to monitor the pressure. #emilysheart

11:16 am  Emily is slowly coming off bypass. Her graft is fully attached. #emilysheart

11:13 am  The team is seamlessly moving through the graft process to redirect blood flow.#emilysheart

11:06 am  Warning: GRAPHIC PHOTO. A close up of the graft being attached to Emily's heart.

10:57 am  The graft attached to Emily's heart is about 20mm wide and is sized so that her body will grow around it. This means it won't need to be replaced because she's growing up.

10:45 am  The graft is nearly finished being attached to the IVC vein. Next step is to attach to the pulmonary artery.

10:34 am Dr. Decampli is now attaching the graft to the IVC, which is a large vein that carries de-oxygenated blood from the lower half of the body into the right atrium of the heart.

10:22am  Dr. Decampli shows the graft that will connect the two parts of Emily's heart that have never been connected. Because of this her heart has worked harder than it should have been throughout her young life.

10:12 am  Dr. Decampli is now clamping the IVC (Inferior Vena Cava) which will soon be connected to the pulmonary artery.

 10:01 am  Emily is now on bypass, which means an artificial pump is pumping blood to her lungs and body. #emilysheart

9:54 am  Dr. Decampli utilizes blood thinner as Emily is prepared for bypass. Blood thinners help prevent clots when bypass is started.

9:52 am  This is the bypass machine that will be used to keep Emily's blood flowing as her heart is repaired. #emilysheart

9:46 am  Dr. Decampli is tying off arteries to prepare for bypass machine #emilysheart

9:45 am Several members of the team watch Emily's vital signs each step of the way. Every detail is noted. #emilysheart

9:30 am  The beating heart of a little girl named Emily Joy. #Amazing #emilysheart

9:27 am  Vital signs on the monitors around the room. #emilysheart

9:22 am  Emily's heart can be seen beating now as her chest is fully opened. #emilysheart

9:14 am  Emily's sternum is now cracked open. Dr. Decampli is cauterizing tissues inside Emily's chest. #emilysheart

9:11 am   With small children like Emily the surgical site is very small compared to adult surgeries. #emilysheart

9:06 am  Emily's chest is still being opened.

9:00 am  Monitors around the room show Emily's chest as the team opens it up. This is Emily's third heart surgery in a series of 3 procedures that were planned from the time she was born.

8:58 am  Dr. Decampli is making the first incision into Emily's chest. #emilysheart

8:56 am  Dr. Decampli and team are ready to go. Now they are doing a "time out" to double check every last detail. #emilysheart

8:49 am  Dr. Decampli scrubbing in to surgery. #emilysheart

8:48 am  Dr. Decampli adjusting his headgear and light as he makes last minute preparations. #emilysheart

8:40 am  Emily's chest is being prepped and the team is noting where they will make the incision. #emilysheart

8:27 am  Dr. Decampli making some last minute notes before Emily's Fontan procedure begins. #emilysheart

 8:20 am  Dr. William Decampli, pediatric heart surgeon, is checking on the team's progress as they prepare Emily for surgery. #emilysheart

8:10am  Emily's latest scans are on the wall to show the team the areas they are focusing on. #emilysheart

8:05am  Dr. Munro, Anesthesiologist, is placing Emily's central lines. #Emilysheart

7:53 am  Emily is in the operating room and is getting ready for anesthesia.

6:50am  Today is Emily's surgery day! Follow along with us all day as we share her surgery through photos. She will be undergoing a Fontan procedure to repair blood flow in her heart.#Emilysheart