Hello everyone,

Thanks to each and every one of you for your continuing prayers for Lea’s recovery. The power of your prayers is being felt here every single day . . . even the nursing staff notices.

Lea continues to make teeny little steps of progress, giving us great encouragement for her gradual recovery. The surgeons have made us feel confident that they are keeping a very close watch on Lea, and the nursing staff is just superb. The nurses are more caring and attentive than I have ever experienced. The staff here really prides themselves on professional, quality, care. We are very fortunate to have been able to transfer Lea to this hospital.

Four of Lea’s brothers and her sister were with us for most of last week, along with nieces and a nephew and his wife. Link and Lance were also here to help through the terror and trauma of the situation . . . . called to her bedside when she was deteriorating so quickly last Sunday she wasn’t expected to live another 48 hours. Through God’s grace she was stabilized enough that we could airlift her by helicopter to a bigger hospital. The airlift was only 12 minutes duration, but the doctors felt that she would not survive the longer ambulance trip. We have heard several comments this week stating that she wouldn’t be alive today if we hadn’t made the decision to take one of the steps we decided to take. Thank God for His guiding hand!

Here’s a bit of an update on her current status. She is still in “guarded” condition, which means she is critical, but stable. She has a dedicated nurse in her room 24 hours a day. Last I counted she was receiving 18 fluids by IV, is on dialysis and breathing assistance. She remains very sick. She has not been conscious since last Sunday, and probably will not be conscious again for two more weeks or so. She is being kept very heavily sedated due to the extreme pain present in pancreatitis cases.

She has a large incision in her abdomen which will be kept open for “several weeks” according to the surgeon, “three weeks” according to the attending nurse. She said that three weeks is the longest she has seen, and that the doctor is giving us the worst case scenario to avoid disappointment if recovery is delayed. The incision is open so the surgical team can check her on a daily basis for signs of infection. When they are satisfied that the pancreas is healing properly, and that there are no complications, they will let the incision heal from the inside out before closing it up.

They removed some dead tissue from the pancreas in a three hour surgery Friday, and a little more dead tissue today in a one hour surgery. But, all in all, the surgeon said things are looking really good. They caution that a lot can still go wrong, and that we will experience ups and downs in coming weeks and months. They say that we should evaluate her progress on a weekly basis, rather than a daily basis, because there are going to be bad days.

Saturday, for example, while the nurses were turning her on her side (something they do every two hours to avoid pooling of fluids and bedsores), Lea had a bad reaction to being moved, and her blood pressure dropped alarmingly low. The Intensive Care team responded immediately, inserting two needles into her chest cavity through the back, and removing a large amount of fluid, which allowed her lungs to expand properly, stimulating the heart, and raising the blood pressure again.

We are SO grateful for your continuing prayers asking God to reach out his hands of mercy to Lea, and that He will grant her a miraculous recovery, that she might grace our lives once again with that heart warming smile. She can truly light up a room, and has been a beacon of His love in so many of the lives she has touched over the years. I pray that He will forgive me my selfish prayer of mercy for Lea, and that he might grant us more time together. 43 years just isn’t enough time with someone like her.

Thank you again for your love and your prayers. We are very grateful to every one of you!