Monday, March 21, 2016

Sophear's Heart - Praise God!

When Sophear was dedicated at 12-days-old, we chose the following verse for her.  I'm amazed at how appropriate it has already become in her short two years of life!

But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart;
consider what great things he has done for you.
(1 Samuel 12:24)

7am; ready for surgery
Thank you to the many of you who prayed for our little family last week! We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support and concern that we have been shown. I asked my friends on Facebook where they are praying from - the forty-something who responded represent fifteen states and twelve countries including: Bolivia, Canada, Haiti, Cambodia, Kenya, Mozambique, Hungary, Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, Australia, Albania, and Japan!  When I couldn't find the words to pray, I was comforted to know how many people were praying for the three of us, as well as Dr. Kumar, the anesthesiologist, nurses, and hospital staff.

Sophear, Mommy, and Dr. Bunny Rabbit preparing for anesthesia
We tried to prepare her for the surgery, separation, and hospitalization.  On Tuesday night, we took her to Build-A-Bear workshop.  We paid a little extra to give her Dr. Bunny a heartbeat and explained to her that just like she put a new heart in her bunny, the doctor was going to put a new heart in her while she was sleeping (okay, that isn't quite what happened, but it's the best I could come up with!) and she would feel better (or "better better better!" as Sophear likes to say).
The surgery on March 16th went well. The hole was larger than anticipated and the doctor affirmed that we made the right decision to move ahead with surgery and not delay.  The doctor inserted a "metal mesh" and he said it will take six months to build up a strong enough blood clot in the hole to prevent the mesh from sliding out.  He took before and after pictures, but technology failed so he wasn't able to show us.

Sophear watching Mickey Mouse Club House in recovery
(Olaf was a gift from her post-op nurse)
The surgery lasted about three hours and I was able to see Sophear in post-op (recovery) within 30 minutes.  The space was very small - with post-op patients (kids) on either side of Sophear's bed - but the staff finally permitted Titus to join us about 30 minutes later.

The next four hours were emotionally exhausting.

Sophear was uncomfortable and anxious.  She hated the IV.  She wanted to be held, but we were instructed to not let her move her legs for three hours.  Her face was pale and swollen.  Her voice was hoarse.  Apple juice, goldfish crackers, the Disney Channel, her dolls and toys helped, but three hours passed very slowly.

The nursing staff was incredible.  I do not know how to effectively or sufficiently thank them for their every effort to make all three of us more comfortable.

Sophear was excited to have a blue bed!
We were excited that she drank four sippy cups in five hours and they could stop her IV fluids! 
With the exception of blood pressure tests and changing the dressing on her wound, Sophear was an incredible patient! Even at midnight and 3am, she actively engaged in "helping" take her temperature and holding the stethoscope (a word Sophear and Daddy are both still practicing).  She called everyone in uniform "doctor" including: nurses, lab techs, transporters, etc.  She loved sitting in the bed with Mommy and going on rides through the hospital, waving and saying "Hi doctor!" at everyone we passed!  She won the hearts of many at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital - a blessing for our own hurting hearts.

Five days later, we are very thankful to be so far "on the other side" of healing.  Sophear's x-rays and echo cardiogram show evidence that the hole is already closing.  Dr. Kumer wants to do follow-up in two months.  She will take a daily children's Aspirin for six months, but should be back to herself very soon!

On Sunday night, Sophear helped Mommy make a blue cake to announce that she's going to have a baby brother!
We are very grateful for God's favor on Sophear and her recovery.  We praise Him for how He is taking care of us while we take care of Sophear.  I cannot imagine the heart ache of going through something like this without promises like:
He is Healer (Psalm 30:2)
He is Father (Isaiah 64:8)
He is sufficient (Isaiah 40:29-31; 41:10)
He is omnipresent (Psalm 139:7-10)
He has plans to prosper and not to harm (Jeremiah 29:11)

In our family, St. Patrick's Day will always be a day to celebrate life, healing, and prayer!

Palm Sunday

With thankful hearts,
Titus, Jewel, & Sophear

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