Sunday, April 29, 2012


For those of you not on facebook, but wondering how Jessica is doing, this is her brother's latest posting on the  Jessica wall:

Wednesday night marked three weeks of Jessica being on the ventilator, and tonight will be two weeks of the ECMO procedure. What a journey it has been. The stories I've heard and witnessed have been incredible...

And now for the update on Jess. They have seen some significant clearing in the lungs; however, they are very constricted which is really what is going to make the difference. She is unable to fill her lungs with air at the moment. They have pressurized them using the ventilator and they do take some air but not nearly enough and they are being very careful not to over pressure them as it can cause more damage. So, the clearing is positive but her lungs are not ready for breathing. 

She had a stable night. As my parents were talking to the nurse, she noted that Jessica was pushing a small volume of air into her lungs. The level was .15; she had been at .00 since she went on ECMO. Normal would be around .50. She has a long way to go but it was something to rejoice about. Jessica's sedation was a little light this morning and they said she was responding to commands of, "if you can hear me squeeze my hand"...and she did. These are little steps but bring hope to our journey.

A couple days ago, I was talking to my Mum and told her that I wanted to see a little bit of life in Jess. Have her squeeze my hand, blink her eyes, or even open them. Yesterday as I was in her room with her, I put my hand on her forehead and stroked her head. As my hand made contact, she blinked. Not with her eyes open, but you could tell that's what she was doing. It was almost like an acknowledgement, telling me she knew I was there with her. I was so grateful. Almost like a re-energizer. Gave me a little more to hold on to and a little more strength to continue on.

and the update just before that was this:

James Bond (the surgeon) came out of the surgery at approx 6:10pm and had a positive outlook. We were full of joy and thankfulness. The tracheotomy went well. The draining of the fluid went well. They were worried that they might have to make and incision through the muscle on her back but they didn't. They were able to separate the muscles enough to get at the fluid. Dr Bond was surprised when they drained the fluid that the lung was actually able to inflate. It was an outcome they hadn't expected. He also noted that the lung was able to give them some carbon dioxide exchange. This was significant news and we were so excited!

We asked for a sign for good and today we felt we received something significant. We were worried and tentative about the result, but were blessed with an outcome that we weren't expecting. There is a long way to go but we feel so good about telling everyone that has been praying some positive news! We are so grateful for the result...our spirits have been quickened.

So, good news on the Jessica front.
Of course, she still has a long ways to go, and prayer is still coveted. 


And for those family members wondering about my dad ... this is my mom's facebook posting today: 

Today was a very difficult day..... I had to make that decision I was trying to avoid.
I'm not sure Pete will understand and that breaks my heart. When he told me, putting his mom into the Menno home was the hardest thing he ever had to do, I now understand... it is the hardest thing I have to do also. Right now all I could tell him is that I'm trying to find a better hospital to care for him, hopefully it won't be too difficult for him. I take encouragement from the Lord who knew before we knew what path our lives would take and he is with us on this journey.

Dad will not be going home to the house he built for his retirement. The hospital needed mom to sign the papers, show them her income tax forms, bring in a power of attorney document and choose the care home he should be transported to. It would be a miracle if he got into Elim straight from the hospital; they are advising us to be prepared for transition housing at the holding facility in New West. And after that, he will get the first bed available that can handle his (extensive) needs. He requires hospital care.

He can't sit up on his own. Or roll over in bed. (But somehow he can throw himself onto the floor.) He can't feed himself. Or walk. Or groom. He wears Depends and his speech, which has improved incredibly this week, is slurred and weak. 

Oh dad.
It is such a blessing you are somewhat unaware of this all. Because you would hate it. 

I ache for you. And am so sad about this stage of your life on earth. There is so little dignity in it. 
And mom? I ache for you. This is not an easy journey. I know that. 

  • I am thankful that you have a strong faith in God. 
  • I am thankful that you know He has placed you on this particular path for the journey that he has mapped out for you. 
  • I am thankful that you have claimed Romans 8:28 as your life verse: For all things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.
We know that God will use these circumstances for His good, and for His purposes. Even though we think we are making all the hard decisions here, God is really running the show. 

I'm proud of you, mom. Today is done. You've been dreading it for weeks, and now it's over. The papers are signed. Dad really and truly is in God's hands. You've advocated for his care. You've forced the hospital to look at every option. You were his voice when the nurses couldn't hear him. You have been pushing for him, making sure he was treated with respect. God is saying, "You have done well, faithful servant."


Three things I'm thankful for:

1. Hope
2. Memories
3. Children


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