Grace Update

Here is another cut and paste of an e-mail from my friend Grace’s sister. Please keep praying for her recovery, pray that they will figure out a way to transport her back to Michigan, and pray for their financial situation as the hospital bills start to come in!

Hello Family and Friends,
I’m excited to send you more good news about Grace’s recovery! She drank her first cup of juice yesterday, and her small intestines appear to be functioning now! She is now standing up and using the restroom on her own! She is also sitting up at a 90-degree angle– quite an accomplishment when you’ve got an incision nearly the length of your torso! She’s tough…
If you’d like more information about the Bringing Grace Home Fund, you can contact:
Joan Beach: or Marilyn Schmidt:

Thank you for your continuing support, encouragement and prayer! Hannah 🙂

Note: I have added several more of you to this update list, so I wanted to include the brief re-cap for those of you who I neglected to email previously: 3 years ago, Grace began having severe gastrointestinal symptoms related to ulcerative colitis. After three surgeries, her entire colon was removed and a pseudo-colon (called a j-pouch) was created using 12 inches of her small intestine. She was in very poor health, and worked very hard to regain strength and a normal lifestyle. Then she had 2 years of good health. She and Tim were living in North Carolina, and had just returned home from a Sullivan family reunion in Boston when she began to have GI symptoms again (bleeding, cramping, etc.). She was hospitalized for four days while the doctors assumed that she had scar tissue blockage at her anal opening. During a procedure to stretch the scar tissue, her j-pouch tore. The doctors then initiated a surgery to re-route her small intestine to an colostomy bag, and they discovered that her j-pouch had flipped around itself, twisted, and choked her small intestine. The surgeon approached Tim and my Mom (who had flown to NC by this time) and told them that Grace did not have enough living small intestine to live. They removed the parts of the intestine that were no longer intact, and left the parts that were still intact with the hope that it might be revived. The family members were called to gather in NC because Grace was not expected to survive. After 48 hours of severe distress, Grace’s battle to stay alive, the prayer of thousands of people around the country, and move of the healing hand of God, the doctors looked at her body again and came back with a good report: “Parts of her small intestine have been revived, and we believe she has enough to live!” After two more days of “rest”, the doctors removed the parts of the small intestine that were not revived, and re-connected the 5 segments of small intestine. They gave Grace an iliostomy bag (similar to a colostomy), and “stitched her up”. Grace has an estimated 8 feet of healthy intestine, in addition to an estimated 8 inches of the j-pouch. In the future, Grace may be able to have the iliostomy reversed and use the j-pouch again. Just as a reference, most of us have somewhere around 20-25 feet of small intestine; a human usually needs 3.5 feet of intestine to survive.


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