Why won't my son talk after open heart surgery?

Rachael - posted on 10/19/2014 ( 1 mom has responded )




My son is 2.5 and has had open heart surgery for the first time. He was diagnosed with aortic stenosis when he was 6 months old which they fixed with an angioplasty. On September 30th he went into cardiac arrest and was placed on life support (ECMO) before doing open heart surgery of the left coronary artery. This diagnosis was coronary ostial stenosis. He was able to come off his ventilator and talked to me in a raspy voice. Unfortunately, he went into respiratory arrest a few days later and was placed back on his ventilator. He is now off it again and he is not talking at all. This is several days later and he refuses to talk. When he went into cardiac arrest they did CPR for over 70 minutes. I worried about the function of his brain but the MRI came back spotless.
What can I do to get him to talk to me? I know it will take time and he will talk when he wants to but is there something I can do to help him feel more comfortable?


Jodi - posted on 10/19/2014




I'm sorry to hear your son has gone through such a traumatic experience.

Just remember that trauma such as this can force a child into regression. He has had a lot to cope with. He may be feeling a whole range of emotional confusion right now, and just needs some time to regain his confidence. Maybe have a chat to a professional child psychologist - the hospital is likely to have one on their support team, ask them.

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