Today was a very encouraging day. Carson has remained in stable condition since coming off of the ECMO machine this morning and we are anticipating closing his sternum tomorrow if the trend continues through the night.
There are two things that are still causing some concern with the doctors and nurses: First, every once in a while his heart rate will drop from the expected 150 beats/min to about 80 beats/min. While it will eventually return to the expected rate, this is causing his external pacemaker to kick into action. There is still optimism from the doctors that this will cure itself with time as his heart continues to heal. We will learn more from talking with the surgeon again during his morning rounds. Second, one of the nose swabs they ran on Carson yesterday discovered that there was some staph. As the day matured, we came to realize this is something we need to be careful about but that the staph strand was inactive and it is not preventing any of Carson's healing steps from taking place.
Other tid-bits of information: The nurses lowered the oxygen content on his respirator from 80% to 35% (meaning that he is breathing air that is much closer to room air). The nurses are also still in the process of weening him from some of his medicine. He has weened himself down to the lowest dose on a couple of them and there is hope that he might make it the rest of the way overnight.
Thanks again to all of you for everything.