Look what Witt did at 2am...He took a 45 minute break off the CPAP!!!!
Friday, July 31, 2009
Look what Witt did at 2am...He took a 45 minute break off the CPAP!!!!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Witt is doing well. He continues on the same course of weaning him down or off everything! I imagine this will take a number of days. The cardiologist would like Witt to remain in the PICU while this process takes place. That's Mel's preference too! It means the recliner room for a while but God has really blessed me in that room! It feels like you are living in an efficiency with a dozen or so friends and strangers! All in one room is your recliner, constant flow of fresh coffee, refrigerator, microwave, secretary/receptionist and maid service! There is an amazing bond that God uses to bind people together through hardships. I have been privileged to meet and pray for so many in the recliner room...most have come and left but amazingly the bond remains!
Please continue to pray for Witt...pray that the weaning process continues smoothly. Especially pray that his heart continues to work well and that the mitral valve leaks even less!!! Above all I pray that God somehow uses this walk we are in for His glory...anything less than that is a real tragedy!!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Mel finally was able to hold Witt!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Please join us now as we pray that Witt's osat (oxygen saturation) stays up and respiratory rate stays down...basically, we really, really need for Witt to take nice, long, deep breaths.
These next days, maybe weeks, will be critical as we wait to see if Witt's heart is able to function properly and control the fluid build up. The doctors don't know what caused the fluid that sent Witt back to PICU this last time. There are several possibilities and we are fervently praying that it was simply a setback from the surgery. Remember, Witt was moved to a regular, low care level room only 3 short days after open heart surgery. There is a very real chance that he just needed more "help" in the days after.
When Witt was moved back to PICU, Karen shared with me something has really made a huge impact on me. She said that God does not take 2 steps forward and 1 step back...His Perfect Plan is always moving forward!!! God knows no setbacks!!!
"So much confidence is packed into the assertion of God's forward march."
-Witt's Great-Great Aunt Nita (No one lives up to that title more than our precious Nita, Grandmama's sister. She is so kind and tender and loving and we simply ADORE her!!!)
Praying and Praising!!!
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. -John 14:27
In Christ Alone,
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sometimes people wonder how we can be doing this. First, we all do it because of Witt. When our eyes remain on Witt as the earthly prize and Christ Himself as the eternal prize it's possible to keep going. I constantly pray that Christ Himself is Mel and Austan's strength and that He is the very air that Witt breathes. Psalm 28:13-14 pretty well sums it up for me:
"I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord."
God constantly encourages me with His goodness. I see it so many ways:
~in the way He carries Melanie and Austan...sometimes simply bringing the next breath!
~in Witt's precious smile even with the vent tube in his mouth and tape all over his face!
~in the comments, prayers and actions of all of you!
~in the way He is at work in the "recliner" room!
The lady(Marsha) that I have visited with over the last few days in the recliner room came and found me yesterday. Remember she was the one that was very angry at God especially for her daughter's suffering and said that God was nowhere around this hospital. I watched as God worked in her life. Yesterday, she came to say goodbye because her daughter was being moved to a regular room...just days after a lung transplant! She had tears in her eyes as she told me of plans to take her daughter on a cruise and so many other things that were never possible. I said do you see that God is here...she said that she did but with a smile said that He seemed like he was way to busy. I said never too busy for her. We both admitted that we still didn't fully (if at all at times!) understand the suffering but it didn't seem to matter as much. This is nothing short of the goodness of the Lord. This is what many times keeps me from despair. This is nothing short of the glory of the Lord!!!
If we need any reminders of why we do this...here it is!!! Do your hear that laughter? That is the goodness of the Lord!!! This video is from a couple of weeks ago...think it warrants being posted again!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
All our lives are gifts from God that we have only one day at a time. You see that more in a hospital than we do in our busy lives. Because we forget that, we sometimes forget to just live. We forget to share. We forget to love and we forget to forgive. Those are all good reminders for me today and everyday that God gives me. It is in these days that I am most alive to the love and knowledge of God at work in His loving way. Thank you for always sharing your love and prayers for Witt, Mel and Austan. We are all blessed knowing that God is using so many warriors of prayer to strengthen and comfort our family. Have a great day.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
It's hard to believe it was NINE months ago that we first got to meet you!
We have been overwhelmed with LOVE for you every day since.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Only our Great God could bring blessings out of this hospital stay. One of those blessings for me is getting to visit more and more with Austan's family...the Witt's (where Witt's great name comes from!) and the Luphers. I think since we all live in or near the same city I just take for granted that we would get to know each other. I am grateful for all their efforts to come to the hospital to support Austan and Melanie and for the chance to know them better!
Another blessing is the opportunity to share my God, my faith with others as God leads! Today I met a woman named Marsha whose 16 year old daughter has cystic fibrosis and just had a lung transplant. I am not sure if she is a fellow believer in Christ but I do know she thinks God is no where near her, her daughter and this hospital. I was trying to take a nap when she just started talking. It was an opportunity that I wasn't looking for but no doubt presented by God! At one point I told her that I don't know, that I don't have near all the answers for her or for Melanie or for me! I said that I wished I could just say a truth from the Bible and things would be all better but it doesn't really work that way...only God Himself can truly comfort with His truth! She said it was at least refreshing to hear someone say that don't have the answers. I told her that I don't understand God's actions a lot of times around here but that that's when I have to trust in His heart and the truths I do know about Him. We talked a little longer then she was done. Please pray for Marsha and her daughter, Megan. I have been praying that God would in a real tangible way show Himself to her. What I witnessed was a Faithful God, the Relentless Hunter who doesn't give up on us even when we give up on Him. He continues to bless me!!!
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
CO2 is at 59(it had been in upper 70's). PH is at 7.3 and Witt's bicarbonate is at 29. Normal range is CO2 in 40's..PH is 7.3 and bicarbonate is 24. We are headed in the right direction.
Melanie just texted...did an echo on Witt's heart and valve might be leaking again. Not for sure.
Also, we need prayers again for Witt to wet his diaper. He needs to get rid of the fluid without a diuretic which pulls too much sodium off!!!
Monday, July 20, 2009
He just doesn't feel that good!!!
Last night when I got down here Melanie said she was worried about Witt. Please also pray for Melanie...she is worried and worn out. She is going on 6 weeks with him this time. A while back Melanie figured out that Witt has been in the hospital at least 15 weeks. Yesterday Jim and I listened to a sermon by Gregg. He used the antique car ride at Astroworld as an example. He said it was his favorite ride when he was little. He didn't realize that down the middle of the lane was a steel bar that would never let him get off track. He asked what keeps us on track especially during times of suffering. I can tell you this...it is God that keeps Melanie and Austan on track...that hasn't changed. Right now Melanie just needs a little gas in the engine! Would you please pray that the Holy Spirit strengthen her and encourage her. That Melanie is filled beyond measure to continue on the track that she is on for Witt!
Sunday, July 19, 2009
be removed very soon!
If Witt could just get the whole hand in his mouth he would be happier!
Witt still managed a lot of bubbles today!
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Yesterday, my mother (Melanie's grandmother and Witt's great grandmother) along with my sisters came to the hospital for a birthday lunch for mom. Mom turned 78 and has always had a special way with grandbabies and now great grandbabies!
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Psalm 20:24 "You shall make an altar of earth for Me, and you shall sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause My name to be remembered, I will come to you and bless you."
Witt spent last night in his new room. Which also meant a bed for Melanie. The progress that Witt has made can be described by nothing less than God! God causing His name to be remembered...blessing Witt! Witt still needs prayer for his stomach to settle down. He just threw-up a lot. He is on a continuous slow feed and that seems to help. I kneel today at God's altar offering my "sacrifices" and asking God to settle Witt's stomach down...to do this seemingly small thing and yet bringing Himself great glory. Lord, cause Your name to be remembered at this hospital today!!!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Please pray for Witt right now. He is breathing fine but is pretty agitated even with morphine, tylenol and ativan. The concern is that it really affects his blood pressure. He is squirming and moaning. Melanie and Austan stayed all night with him and are now at the hotel getting some rest. It sure would be another great birthday present for them to come back in a couple of hours and Witt to have settled down! I am praying for comfort for Witt...for God to ease his pain and cause him to sleep. I still haven't quite grasped that in the last 3 weeks we moved from draining the fluid around his heart to maybe needing to cut a window in the sac to full open heart surgery! It's times like these that I understand why God just asks of us and gives us the grace to live one day at a time. Lord, I thank You for today, for the grace to live abundantly today and I especially thank You today for Melanie!
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The next few days will surely be filled with ups and downs but I pray that Mel and Austan will their faces upward! I was walking today and heard a song that made me think so much of Witt and the way his life has touched so many...Mel, Austan and Witt, thank you again for sharing your journey with us! You have encouraged MANY of us to come back to the "HEART of worship!"
"And, it's all about YOU, Jesus!!!"
Friday, July 10, 2009
As I type this update, we just received a WONDERFUL text from Mel...she and Austan are back with Witt for the first time since surgery...Mel has been extremely nervous about seeing him but she reports that "he looks ok, not as bad as I thought." He is still at risk for a lot of complications but the doctors aren't any more worried about Witt than any other child who just had heart surgery. In fact, she made my day when she said that my oldest two kiddos, Connor and Kelsey, can come see him!!!
All in all, it has been a peaceful day filled with lots of joy! And, as I leave the hospital later this evening, I'll have an extra bounce in my step and praise in my heart!!!
"Let my lifesong sing to you!"
Humbly and gratefully,
The mood here has been incredibly upbeat...lots of laughter from all 23 of us in the waiting room with a 6 person limit per patient!!! In all honesty, God's presence is so very OBVIOUS! Your prayers have lifted us...may God bless YOU today!
We will update just as soon as Dr. Morales comes in with his report!
We will update asap!!!
The surgeon, Dr. Morales, wants to get a "direct look" at the valve so Witt is on the heart bypass machine and they are going in now to closely examine the valve. Please pray that the doctor won't need to do any repair work on the valve! We should know within the hour.
On my knees!
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Maggie, our good friend from the cardiac clinic, brought Witt this heart pillow! She just got back from vacation, caught up with the blog and came to visit Witt today. She also brought me a medallion that on one side says: "This is the day the lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it." The other side says: "One day at a time." True words of wisdom!! We will rejoice tomorrow even though surgery will NOT take place. Witt is on the "maybe" list for Friday. Rejoice with us in each and everyday...surgery or no surgery!!!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Austan, Witt and laughter truly is the best medicine! Witt has always chuckled at his daddy more than at anybody else.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
Thank you, Lord, that we live in a nation where we are free to worship You! Everyday may we take advantage of that freedom. Today I ask that You bless the men and women and their families who fought for this country...who showed the greatest love by laying down their lives for their brothers.
The surgeon, Dr. Morales, came by yesterday and talked to Melanie and Austan about the surgery set for Monday. The chances are very great that the surgery will indeed take place on Monday. Witt continues to get better and is probably in optimal health for the surgery. Dr. Morales explained how and what he would do. He will have to go in through the ribs to remove the sac and he will take a good look at the valve with a scope down the throat once Witt is sedated. Dr. Morales will decide for sure then if any repair is needed on the valve. I admire Mel for so many reasons one of which is her maturity and boldness at such a young age. After Dr. Morales finished, Mel did say for him to not take this wrong but who would be sewing Witt's chest up. She said that she knows that surgeons are usually more concerned about the inside than the outside and she wanted someone good to sew him up...O, the Melski!!!! He was not offended at all and said he actually did all his own closing up and used many more stitches than most. Melanie is bold...bold for her son...bold for Christ!
Friday, July 3, 2009
As you can see from the picture, Witt rests much better with the nasal cannula! Right now this is just a long (3hour) trial but Josh, the respiratory therapist, said that at rounds this morning it might be decided to leave Witt on the cannula and no more CPAP. The worry about being off the CPAP is that the right lung might get pockets of collapse. The CPAP blows stronger which helps to inflate the lungs. Witt's surgery is still "scheduled" for Monday. Hopefully that is the day! Monday will mark 21 days in the PICU for Witt and recliners for us! Witt has had 7 or 8 roommates...I've lost count! Austan and Melanie continue to handle all this in such a way that honors their God!
The little baby that was on life support was taken off yesterday and passed away late evening. I can't even imagine what the family is going through right now but I know they have chosen to go through it clinging to Christ. I had the privilege of praying with some of the family members who were standing in the gap for the baby and parents just shortly before she died. As much as I thought I could encourage and minister to them, I walked away strengthened by their faith! They asked, begged God to heal the baby, to make her strong but the last several minutes of prayer was filled with them just saying, sometimes gloriously shouting: "Nevertheless, I will praise You! Nevertheless, I will praise You!" That was repeated over and over. That's the way the prayer ended. That's the way they left it with God...nevertheless, I will praise You...nevertheless, Your will be done and You are worthy of our praises!!!! Whatever is going on in my life, in Witt's life, I want God to fill me with that kind of faith that I will cry out to Him: "NEVERTHELESS"....glory!!!!