The chief of pediatric cardiothoracic surgery approached us from down the hallway that ran along the side of the intensive care unit. As physicians, my wife and I recognized his face as that of a surgeon—masked and unrevealing. Was he coming to tell us our 3-year-old son's third open heart surgery had gone well or that there was a devastating complication? For 1187 days, we had done what we could to prepare Charlie for the Fontan procedure. Today was supposed to be a good day. He was supposed to cross the finish line of this long race, recover, and move on to new things. Unexpectedly, our eyes watered when the surgeon delivered the news.
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