Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Final Chapter

I don't want someday for Pookie to see my blog in book form (because my plan is to have it bound for them, not because I'll be so famous that my ancestors will publish my memoirs...) and wonder why I never finished this story or why I just sort of ended it in mid-thought. But the truth is, it is a long story. And much of it has been repressed. The days following that fever spike were days of survival. Hers. Mine. Daddy's. And, as I sit here even now and type words onto a computer screen, I run the risk of letting the tears fall from the flooding corners of my eyes and I just don't want to allow that. So, I will continue, but with guard.
Pookie's heart filled with methycillin resistant staph bacteria - MRSA. I know you've heard about it on the news. Lives are lost by it. Only one medicine can vanquish it - Vancomycin (I always thought that was irony at its ... well, worst). And Katelyn's tiny, less-than-10-pound body was infused with this medicine around the clock via a portal in her chest. For 14 weeks. This medicine plus another cherry red one (Rifampin, Pookie). She spent 6 weeks in the hospital after the initial surgery. She was very, very sick. In retrospect, our beloved cardiologist admits that he never let on to us just how grave her situation was.

The bacteria damaged that wonderful, perfect, life-saving first surgical repair that the surgeon had so carefully and masterfully sewn into place. Plus, the bacteria thought it was yummy enough in there to take away some valve tissue, and then when they slowly but surely were vanquished, those nasty little germy bacteria, they left their bacterial decay lining the walls of Pookie's heart. And the surgeon was forced, one month after the first repair, to go back in again to clear out the junk and fix the damage.

Two weeks later, she was home.

There is so much more to this story. Maybe she needs to know it all. Maybe. Some day. But, for now, I'll leave you with some photos of the baby who almost didn't make it. And yet, now, thrives. Her beauty is far more than skin deep, as she has a heart of gold (well, at least partially metal --- surgery #4 replaced her mitral valve with an artificial, [precious!!!] metal valve) and a spirited personality and a kindness and intelligence that surpasses her years. Her story has traveled the globe to as far away as China. She has been the poster child for a nonprofit and she is a poster child for God. He listens and He hears the prayers of His people. He makes good come from the trials of those people who choose to follow Him.

And, if I may. Please know, as I know you do, He doesn't always answer our prayers the way we hope. And we have lost too many little friends in the last 6 years. So, my prayer goes out on behalf of the mommies who didn't tuck their baby in tonite. Indeed, congenital heart disease takes the lives of more children in my state than the next three illnesses combined. I wrote about one special friend here.

Last few moments before first surgery

Healing after Surgery #2

Quick recovery after #4

4 broken arms by age 3 (why a black cast??)

Sassy by age 4

Fashionably sensible at age 6

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