Tomorrow is a big day for Ava

Please be in prayer for my dear little Ava. Tomorrow, at 1:00, she will be undergoing surgery (technical term: dacryocystorhinostomy) once again for her right tear duct. I brought her to the Sanford’s Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls last month, but the procedure was unsuccessful. Dr. Tufty, who is an pediatric ophthalmologist, said he has about one surgery a year that is unsuccessful. Ava is the stand-out of 2013, I guess.

So, we were referred to Dr. Andrew Harrison with the University of Minnesota. He provides ophthalmology plastic surgery services to people of all ages. When Joe and I met with him a few weeks ago, he shared a story about his son. His 10-year-old had to explain to others at school what his father had for a job. This young lad reported that his dad fixed ‘drippy and droopy eyes’. Now that is a specialist if there ever was one.

A fairly large number of babies (as high as 6%) are born with one or both tear ducts clogged. Over the course of time, sometimes with the help of massage, that tear duct will naturally open. We know that Ava’s isn’t working now because tears always fall forward onto her cheeks, instead of draining through her nose like they should. At this point in Ava’s life, it is mostly cosmetic, although sometimes she accumulates some junk and gunk in her eyelashes. However, as she ages, it could really become an annoyance for things like driving. Also, it isn’t super-fun for me to always answer people’s questions about it (“NO, SHE REALLY ISN’T SAD AND CRYING. SHE REALLY ISN’T TIRED EITHER.” and I don’t think she would appreciate those questions when she is a teenager either.


If you rock glasses as a 2-year-old, you probably ought to own this shirt!

Now that Ava is two, the likelihood of it opening on it’s own is about as close to 0% as you get. So pray that the surgery tomorrow is successful and that we can move on from this. Pray that the anesthetist is skilled and she suffers minimal side effects.

As we drive the 3 hours to Minneapolis tomorrow, it is my hope that Ava does not eat her toys, clothes, and carseat as we have to ‘starve her’ before she goes under. She is such a mellow child but food is very dear to her. On a very serious note, I am just anxious for the surgeon’s report when he comes out to visit us tomorrow. If this doesn’t work, well…yikes, I just don’t even know. This Dr. Harrison seemed somewhat overly confident and, dare I say, arrogant when we met him a few weeks ago. I guess that is better than unsure and nervous. Time will tell.

Again, I ask you to lift Ava up in prayer. Even if you only know her through photos or just as that young girl around town with glasses. In our family, she is our female football linebacker wearing a tutu. Cutest little giggle and the most stubborn personality. Thumb-sucker begging for a footrub. Just our big hunk of love. Pray for her.

Update at 3:15 Friday: Ava’s surgery was a success. Praise the Lord! Thanks so much for your support.


15 thoughts on “Tomorrow is a big day for Ava

  1. You got it, Rita. Praying for Ava. Asking God to guide the surgeon, for success, for comfort, and that he may wrap his arms around you as you anxiously await the outcome. Hugs to you and love and kisses to little Ava!


  2. Alex had 2 surgeries by the time he was just over 3 years old. He came out fine and I am sure Ava will too. Keep the faith. Good Luck. Thinking about you and Ava.


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