Claudine Phillips

How to make decisions when you don’t have answers. Crosby’s latest Update

The CT scan was on a Friday and our Cardiologist appointment was that next Thursday. Easter was in between and we sat in the hope that what we and everyone we knew had been praying for would be answered, that Crosby’s pending diagnosis was a mistake and they would send us home.



This mama bear’s heart could only make it to Monday until I called Children’s Hospital and asked for them for a copy of the CT scan and its results. By Tuesday, I was able to pick up the CT scan images and his report on a CD. A thought went through my mind…” I am holding Crosby’s future. One day he is this amazing 4 year old kid with no worries or troubles and in a second he is an amazing 4 year old kid who might have to deal with this “thing” in his life.”   Mom’s think those kind of things, and its not always a good thing.

That evening, I handed the CD to Shad and off we dove into God’s plan for him.  As Shad scrolled through the images, I held my breathe. He looked over them as if he knew what he was looking at, maybe he did. All I wanted was for him to get to the radiologist’s report. It seemed like an eternity, but, finally, the results scrolled up on his screen and Anomalous Aortic Origin of the right Coronary Artery superior to the level of the left Sinus of Valsalva was written in findings. Our hearts sank. We kept reading and re-reading the very short synopsis of the results portion of the report. We googled names we didn’t understand and tried to accept the diagnosis.


We sat there in silence, reading, scrolling, searching for answers beyond what was in the report. Maybe we carried this hope that Dr. Google would tell us the diagnosis wasn’t as bad as we thought. Google is the worst place to go, we know, but it’s what we did.

After about an hour, we closed the laptop, took a collective deep breathe, and finally looked at one another in acceptance of Crosby’s new direction. The older kids were in the same room hanging out and felt like it was time to ask us what we found.  We painstakingly explained the report, showed them the pictures, and did the best we could to hold up hope for them.  They, too, went through a similar experience we just processed. Questions were asked, a sense of disbelief washed over them, and then sadness for their little guy settled in.

By the time Thursday’s appointment arrived, we had discussed every possible question we could think of to ask the doctor. Friends and strangers had reached out to us that had this condition, or had children that experienced heart conditions, and gave amazing advice. I have to admit, I half-heartedly listed because I still hadn’t actually talked to the cardiologist and I was holding on the the last days of not having that official diagnosis.

We arrived to the appointment with a napping Crosby and a list of questions on each of our iphones.  I told Shad just before we left that day that I felt like we were waiting to get “sentenced”.  That is the only way I could explain how it feels knowing we are about to go into a meeting where the news isn’t going to be good and that we are going to be told what the rest of our lives was going to be like. And it was just that. The cardiologist shared the images, discussed the origin and connection of his artery, the risks of the location, stats, logistics, surgery, recovery, blah, blah, blah. I am pretty sure I checked out here and there as he talked. It was yuck. Like really yuck.




After all that was said, Dr. Fonseca said he could give us time to process (pray) and think about the meeting and what our nexts steps were going to be. He said to call him when we are ready to meet with the surgeon. We were told we could possibly wait on the surgery up until he was 10, but he recommended the surgery sooner than later. A “low activity” prescription has been given until then.  I could see the heaviness in Shad’s eyes. I could see the burden on his shoulders.  I felt all of it too, pressing so ruthlessly into my own heart. We thanked our doctor the best we knew how and left, silent.


The yellow line is where the right coronary artery “should” be. The white cord is his right coronary artery that has grown between the pulmonary vein and the aorta and inserted into the (wrong) side of the aorta.

The week after our meeting with Dr. Fonseca, we were a complete snotty mess of emotions, all of us. Every one of us processed in our own way. It wasn’t pretty.  By Friday of the following week, Shad gently approached me to discuss calling the surgeon. He asked if I was ready to make the call and if I felt we, as a family, were ready for this next phase.

I don’t know. I really don’t know right now. So many emotions bubble up. So many “what ifs” rise regarding surgery and recovery. I don’t know if this mama’s heart will ever be ready….ever. But I do know that my God knows. He has always known. He calls me to faith, to trust, and to believe like never before. So, at this point, we don’t know when surgery is. It is our turn to make the call.

We have had our panic attacks, this week. It’s a stress we’ve never felt. It’s invisible, yet obviously present. Its so heavy, but not a burden we are called to carry. Don’t panic. Don’t carry it. He’s Got it. Right?  I am hanging onto Isaiah 28:16b, “The one who maintains his faith will not panic.”

Remaining in His grip and keeping the faith, friends. We will keep you posted on the surgery.

Thank you for continuing to pray for Crosby. You can always see updates on Instagram and follow the hashtag #prayforcrosbymac. THANK YOU!

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20

This is post two so far. If you want to follow the entire story, you can look up the category “Crosby” and follow. Meanwhile, here is the first post.


Oh and PS: After the cardiologist appointment, we stopped at Target and got him a fire truck. So to him, it was “The Best Day Ever!” Just look at that hand on his hip. Too much.

This is post two so far. If you want to follow the entire story, you can look up the category “Crosby” and follow. Meanwhile, here is the first post.