'Please Pray with Us': Parents of Infant Facing Heart Transplant Complications Make Urgent Plea
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The parents of a seven-week-old infant fighting for his life after receiving a heart transplant are requesting more urgent prayers.
Augustus Elliott Joubert, better known on social media as Gus, received a new heart just 11 days after being put on the transplant list.
According to his father, Mark Joubert, the baby was born with a heart defect that would require a multi-stage surgical repair. However, at about four weeks Gus' heart health deteriorated to the point that the only option was a heart transplant.
"Without God's kindness and the amazing medical team, we'd never have made it this far," Joubert shared.
Gus' transplant surgery was successful, but his new heart would not beat.
"He will transition to ECMO (heart bypass machine) for a couple of days in hopes that it begins to beat. Otherwise, he will pass away. Please pray for us all," Joubert, requested on X.
Thousands of believers began to pray for the infant as time counted down and life seemed less and less viable.
Two days later, Joubert and his wife heard a faint heartbeat from their son and they specifically requested prayer that his new heart would function on its own.
Doctors required Gus' heart to pass a series of tests to let them know that his heart would be able to properly pump. And on Tuesday, just ahead of a test that precedes coming off the ECMO machine, the family again requested prayer.
Good morning friends. Please continue to pray for us as our team continues to test the vitality of Gus' heart.— Mark E. Joubert (@mark_joubert) January 23, 2024
Yesterday Gus' heart performed well when ECMO support was reduced. Today the plan is to have a 'clamp trial' during which ECMO support will be temporarily suspended.… pic.twitter.com/WRzSR8paO6
"Yesterday Gus' heart performed well when ECMO support was reduced," the father wrote in an update. "Today the plan is to have a 'clamp trial' during which ECMO support will be temporarily suspended."
The test did not go as planned due to complications with the ECMO machine.
Physicians were forced to fully remove the baby from the support.
But according to an update shared by Joubert, Gus' heart miraculously began to stabilize.
"Hello everyone. After a wild afternoon, unexpectedly going off ECMO, and hours of failed attempts to stabilize him, in typical Gus fashion, Gus actually started to look more stable right before they were looking to return him to ECMO! He's apparently been stable(er) for the last 30 minutes. They will give him 30 more minutes in hopes he maintains this improved blood pressure. Otherwise, if he destabilizes again, he'll go back on ECMO. That's not necessarily the end of the line, but we eagerly want to avoid it if God wills it so," he wrote.
Thousands who have been touched by little Gus' story have joined the couple in prayer.
On Tuesday night, Joubert shared an encouraging update.
Friends: we are so remarkably grateful to report that after hours of working hard to get Gus' blood pressure stable, Gus' heart seems to have steadied out for the time being. He will not be going back on ECMO as of right now.— Mark E. Joubert (@mark_joubert) January 23, 2024
The Lord has done great things for us today! We… pic.twitter.com/Rd77db1GEg
"Friends: we are so remarkably grateful to report that after hours of working hard to get Gus' blood pressure stable, Gus' heart seems to have steadied out for the time being. He will not be going back on ECMO as of right now," he began.
"The Lord has done great things for us today! We remain cautiously optimistic, but God has been good to us," Joubert expressed. "Please join us in praying for his continued stability tonight. Pray also that after everything he's been through today, inflammation and infection can be avoided. His new heart is still weak, especially the right ventricle. Time is the best thing for his heart now and we are hoping for it to come into full, healthy function in the days ahead. Not out of the woods yet, but thankful for God bringing us this far!"
More than 600,000 people viewed the request and prayers of support flooded his timeline.
"Dear Father in Heaven, hear our prayers. We pray in Jesus's name for you to please wrap baby Gus and his parents in your arms. Keep them safe and continue to bless this sweet little boy with your healing love and light. Please strengthen his heart, especially the right ventricle. He is a fighter, Father. His faithful parents and his caring medical staff are your servants ready to do whatever you need of them to save this beautiful child. We ask this in Jesus's name, Amen," wrote one user on X.
Heavenly Father,— Marc Herzog (@MarcZog767) January 24, 2024
We come before You with hearts overflowing with gratitude for the mercies You have shown Gus today. Your hand has been evident in stabilizing his blood pressure and heart, a testament to Your unfailing love and power. We are in awe of how You have used the…
But in the wee hours of the morning, things hit another snag.
"Gus took a very bad turn in the early hours of the morning and once more his pressures became unstable and our team fought hard to keep them up. After nearly losing him at one point, they made the call to put him back on ECMO to give him another chance," Joubert shared in a Facebook post.
As of Wednesday morning, the father was told by the medical team that Gus is currently stable and his heart looks good.
"The right squeeze is actually decent, joining the left side, meaning we're now running on a pretty good heart," he wrote.
Physicians believe there is damage to his lungs that is causing his blood pressure to plummet when off the ECMO.
"Our team's hope is that if we give Gus more time on ECMO the lung may be able to recover, and this might be resolved. It's risky to be back on ECMO, and each day on it opens us up to big complications, but because his heart has done so well, they want to give him this chance," Joubert shared.
The couple is requesting prayer again.
"Please pray with us for God to give our doctors wisdom. Pray that Gus' lung would recover; that this time on ECMO would be free from complications and provide the time he needs to finally come free and soar," Joubert said in another Facebook update.
"He's still with us, for that, we're thankful," he shared.
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