Ruthe and I had planned to travel to Cabot, AR (just north of Little Rock) to watch Sam and Abe (our two grandsons) play football on Saturday morning.
Friday morning, Ruthe said, “how about riding the motorcycle (Honda VTX 1800)?” We suited up, took off in the afternoon, and fought a terrific wind the entire trip.
Friday night, we watched the Cabot Panthers play – ah, high school football! The joy was watching our daughter, the Cabot High Foundation President, recognize several fine students for their achievements in the pre-game ceremonies.
Saturday morning, we baked in the sun and watched four (4) games! What a joy!
After lunch, back to Memphis – fighting a terrific wind once again, on one of the most heavily -traveled highways in the nation – I40, between Little Rock and Memphis. The temperature began to fall and we began to chill in the wind. Thanks be to God for a cold but safe trip.
Sunday morning, the Orchard Fellowship overflowed with passionate worshippers – a great day of worship. By His grace, we are not far from moving to two services – 4 weeks into the launch of the church.
A short nap on Sunday afternoon – just like the Bible teaches – a long run and the evening with my sweetheart.
A good weekend – Thanks be to the Giver of Joy!
Eloise was born without the left half of her heart. After many surgeries, hundreds of prayers and the love of her parents and brothers – and her grandparents – she is now 4 years old.
Here is her story.
She’s a heart-breaker! At least, she is to me.
On Tues, June 15, our miracle granddaughter, Eloise, turned 4 years old. She is so excited to be four – Somehow it is the “magical ” age to her.
When I called her, she said – machine-gun style-
“papa, guess what, i’m 4, today is my birthday, happy birthday to me, wanna hear what i got? I got a credit card (gift card to Target) papa! I’m 4. When you coming to see me? today is my birthday. sing happy birthday to me. I’m 4, and i’m eating skittles and …..”
Sarah, her mother, writes…
After a visit to the cardiologist we learned that her heart functions are great and all the new “re-plumbing” of arteries are working perfectly.
She is still higher risk for fluid build-up in her lungs so they have her on a VERY strict food and fluid restrictive diet.
We do not know how long that will last. She is not allowed fat or sodium in her diet; so instead of cake and ice cream for her birthday we had Skittles!!!!
She was as happy as ever!!!
To all who prayed for her – words are inadequate to express my gratitude. But please hear a heart-felt thanks from Ruthe and me.
Thank you, thank you for praying.
Eloise is out of surgery. She was in real trouble.
They successfuly drained 1/2 liter of fluid, with much more to go. Now we aspirate the drain every 2-4 hrs and load her up on the diuretics. They are going to really moniter her fluid restriction.
Have you ever told a 4 yr old she can’t have anything to drink?
Thank you again for praying! She is not out of the woods yet, but we are seeing God at work, as He answers our prayers.
Our granddaughter’s right lung collapsed due to fluid pressure, heart endangered. I’m asking for intercession for Eloise. She is in surgery at this moment in LR. My son-in-law tells me this is not uncommon but is serious. Will keep you posted. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
Eloise, our granddaughter, has been rushed to emergency surgery – so much fluid compacting her heart, oxygen below 70. Thanks for praying.
Eloise had open-heart surgery two weeks ago – today. You can read the story and see the pictures as it progressed by scrolling down this blog.
She came home 5 days ago, and it has been tough sledding since then.
Please pray for Eloise. For three days, she has been running a fever. Lab results show that she has a form of bacterial infection in her little body. She still has some fluid resting on and around her lungs (often called a plural effusion), giving her a severe cough. Eloise is very weak and lethargic and has a very poor appetite.
This was her happiest moment today… when she put her tutu on
This is what a few moments later looked like…
Sarah, her mother and our daughter has asked…
Please pray for continued and God-empowered strength for me. Days and nights are very long in caring for her.”
As you can see Eloise feels 100% better. She is gradually gaining strength and having more energy to play. We are all prepared to be pulling her off the ceiling in a couple of months with all the new energy she will have. Plans are to still allow us to go home later tomorrow afternoon!
Today started with good news and ended with good news.
The labs that were drawn overnight indicated that her Potassium and Sodium levels were good and there is no need to supplement any more. Over the day we gradually weaned her off the oxygen, and as of around 4 pm, we were completely off oxygen. Her oxygen saturation is holding steady in the high 80s – low 90s!!! Yea!!!!!
There is possible “talk” of being discharged Monday evening.
We started having more of an appetite and are administering solids. She is keeping everything down without spitting up.
Her brothers got to see her today for the first time in a week – what a thrill for all. They also got to watch her have a respiratory treatment. You can just assume what line of questions all this has prompted Sam to ask.
From Sarah’s Dad:
Sarah sent me a pic yesterday that I missed posting. As the medical personnel sought to stablize Eloise’s oxygen levels, Sarah caught her imitating her Papa on Sunday afternoons, and couldn’t resist the Photo Op.
Here are some pictures from today. As you can see, we walked and Eloise did great! As long as you can bribe her with something, mostly ice water, at the finish she will walk the entire way. In one pic she decided she was “finished”.
We had the pacemaker removed because our heart rhythm is back to normal. We got moved to a step-down cardiac ICU where mommy can sleep in the room with Eloise. We are still working on raising Potassium levels and being able to hold down fluids. The pic at the end is our freshly bathed Eloise in her new American girl Pjs. She was tired but happy.
From Eloise’s Papa and Sarah’s Dad
Sarah is also tired but happy. Eloise has moved out of critical CV-ICU into a transitional ICU room, where Sarah is with her 24/7. Clayton is back to work, friends are helping with the boys, and everyone will helping this weekend. Ruthe will return to Little Rock on Monday.
I could not be more grateful to God for the strength of my daughter and son-in-law, the love of my other children, the beauty, wisdom and poise of my wife, the support of many friends, and the prayers of an army of intercessors the Lord mobilized from all over the world – Jerusalem to Seattle, Hong Kong to Tupelo. I am, of all men, most blessed.
It was hard to know what to label this photo – I almost entitled it, “what a wonderful world.”
And – wonder of wonders – Eloise smiled at me. Later this morning, she drank a strawberry-banana smoothie – then threw it all up – including the smile.
It’s three steps forward, two steps backward.
In order to get out of CVICU, her potassium levels need to be normal. Her sodium levels need to be higher. She needs to be off the pacemaker. She needs to start Coumadin – a blood-thinner. And, she needs to be able to keep down fluids and solids.
Beyond the obvious… I would appreciate it if you would ask the Father to grant Sarah and Clayton an extra measure of strength, joy and perseverance. The CVICU is a tough place to try to sleep.
By the way, there is a continual stream of friends from church and the community (the boy’s ball teams) who are coming by, bringing food, providing rides, and doing whatever they can. Friends are one of the greatest gifts we have!
We got up at 10 pm and did about a 20 feet lap of walking. Getting her unhooked and then rehooked up to portable everything was the most exhausting part. She liked getting yellow(lello) as she says it, scrub pajamas. She did FANTASTIC!!!
We whined a little, and she was very weak but did it. As I had originally thought, we were able to bribe her with mommy holding her to get her to walk.
What a great feat for her and rewarding moment for me.
God is good!!!