Thank you to those of you who have been praying for my friend Grace! I just wanted to give you all an update on her condition. I just received a rather long e-mail from her sister and decided it would be easier to just post the message rather than try to write it up myself. Please continue praying for her and her family, and I will write more as soon as I hear anything!
Hello Family and Friends,
Thank you so much for your incredible support at this time. I have not been able to read and reply to your individual responses, but I see how many of you have responded and we are so grateful. Thank you, too, for your many prayers and for forwarding Grace’s needs to your church’s prayer teams. I apologize for the delay in an update, we’ve needed to focus on Grace the last few days.
I last emailed you Wednesday evening just before we got in the car to drive to NC. I’ll update you from that point on, although I know Dave texted many of you with updates on Friday. I will give you all the details in this paragraph, so if it’s too graphic for you, please skip to the next paragraph. Many of you have asked for the details so that you can pray specifically, so here they are… she was in seriously critical condition Wednesday night to Friday night, and the doctors were telling us they didn’t know if she would survive. They orginally thought her j-pouch had formed scar tissue that was creating a blockage. They decided to do a balloon procedure to strech the scar tissue. During that procedure on Wednesday, they tore her j-pouch. We were all devastated b/c we knew this meant she would need an iliostomy bag. Then the doctors said that the tear allowed them to see into her intestinal tract and they needed to do an emergency procedure to determine what was going on. They opened her and found that the j-pouch had flipped around itself and twisted, suffocating all of her remaining small intestine. About 90 percent of the small intestine was dead. They removed most of what was dead, but left the few parts they thought might have a chance of being revived since the j-pouch was disconnected and there was going to be blood flow to the small intestines. There was not enough intestine for her to live. That’s when we got the phone call saying we needed to come to Raleigh asap. This is also where your prayers for a miracle began. We sat and waited for 48 hours praying that the dead small intestine would be revived. During that 48 hours, we each spent some time with Grace, we said good-bye in our own way, and we tried our hardest to comfort her. Tim was incredible– he coached all of us on how to maintain our composure so we would not alarm Grace. Grace was disoriented to time, place and situation, but she was oriented to person. If Grace was awake, she would ask every 5-10 minutes, “Where am I? What state am I in? What happened? No one is telling me what’s going on?” And Tim would proceed to calmly tell her again that she was in Raleigh at the hospital, her small intestines got hurt, and the doctors were going to fix her. When she looked at her stomach, he would then explain to her that she was “cut open right now, and you can’t touch your stomach because the intestines need to rest for a while”. Grace would get very scared, and he would caress and comfort her telling her “You are doing great. Your job is to rest right now, and you are doing so good at it.” She would fall asleep for a few minutes, and then it would start all over again. Friday night, the doctors removed the sponges from her stomach and looked at the small intestine, and were shocked to see that 60-70 percent of the intestine that was questionable was now alive!!! She has enough small intestine to live!!! We know this was a miracle and that God has been moving in her body and it has been healing!!!! The doctors want to wait 48 more hours to see if the additional 30-percent are revived. On Monday evening, they will go back in, remove anything that is not alive, and reconnect the 5 parts of her small intestine that are currently dis-connected. She is still in the ICU and being cared for a great team of doctors and nurses.
So… we are praying for several things:
1. The parts of her small intestine that were not yet alive on Friday will be revived
2. The surgury on Monday to “put the pieces back together” will go well
3. The care she will need during her recovery (approx. 4 weeks in the hospital and an additional 3-6 months at home) will be coordinated.
4. Grace will be medically stable enough to transport to Michigan soon.
5. A miracle regarding the financial implications of this hospitalization.
We are also asking each of you to network for us. After brainstorming and talking to her treatment team, we think the best way to transport Grace to Michigan will be in a motor home with a bed. The bigger the motor home, the better because it minimizes the bumpiness of the drive. We are hoping Grace may be stable enough to transport at the end of this month or the beginning of September. Does anyone own or know someone who owns a motor home that we could use to transport her from Raleigh to Detroit? It is a 12-hour drive, but we anticipate we will need to take 2-3 days to transport her. The motor home would allow us to pull into a campground at night, but Grace could stay in the bed for the duration of the trip. If we travel by automobile, we will need to carry her from the car, to a hotel bed, and then back again (too much movement for her). Would you ask around and find out if there is anyone who would be willing to let us use their motor home to do this? If the owners wanted to travel with us, that would be great, too.
Thank you so much. Dave flew back to MI this morning, and Dad, Max and I are planning on driving back on Tuesday. I believe Tim’s parents will be in NC through the rest of the week. My Mom and Tim are staying indefinately. Please continue to keep Grace in prayer… the doctors are now hopeful that she will survive, but there is a very long road ahead of her.
With love and gratitude, Hannah