Hello, everyone,

Another good day for Lea today. She has been quite stable since her most recent surgery, with only a few little bumps in the road. The bleeding from her nostrils seems to have subsided, as has the sinus drainage. She has developed a little bit of a rash, or hot spot, on her lower left leg above the knee, and her knees feel quite hot. The nurses have given her a little antibiotics to counteract the rash, and have actually drawn lines on her leg outlining the rash, to see whether it spreads.

She has been running a temperature ever since the surgery. It was about 101-102 initially, but dropped to about 99 degrees by this morning, and remained about there all day today. The nurses put an oscillating fan near her bed, to cool her from head to toe, and occasionally put cool wash cloths on her forehead. The cultures so no signs of any infection, so it must simply be a reaction to being bound up tighter, and they try to get her incision to return to normal.

There is still some swelling in the abdomen, but it is much less than we initially saw. The swelling, generally, is less than we had seen earlier, and it may come down even more as they attempt to take off 50 cc an hour over night. If her blood pressure stays stable, they could take as much as 500 cc before her next surgery. That will reduce her swelling significantly, too.

Her next (5th) surgery is scheduled for Sunday, sometime around noon or so. The hope is that it will be just irrigation and repacking . . . no infection, no more dead tissue on the pancreas. Dr. Pepe will be doing her surgery tomorrow. She is quite a good surgeon according to the nurses, and I am beginning to respect the nurses’ opinions. They have been really up front and helpful, and they don’t mind telling you when something is not up to snuff.

It appears that Lea’s lungs are doing okay, and that she is absorbing oxygen okay while on the ventilator. We will probably hear something next week about the tracheotomy to be scheduled, and when that will take place. According to the nurses, it usually helps the patient a lot, and speeds recovery as well.

Meanwhile, our friend Joe Stroup, who is upstairs in Cardiac ICU on the 10th floor has suffered a serious setback, after having made such good progress this past week. He has been bleeding into his catheter for several days now, and the intention was to take him to surgery today and cauterize the bladder where the bleeding is believed to be occurring.

Today, however, he began “bleeding out” or bleeding faster than they could replace the blood. The surgery was cancelled, he is being given double doses of blood now, and since his blood count is too low to do surgery, they will have to keep giving him more blood than he is losing until the bladder heals itself. (Thank you, blood donors!).

We ask for a prayer for our friend Joe tonight, as he needs a special blessing. Please also ask the Lord for the miracle of faith for Joe, and that he will come to the cross as a result of God’s healing grace.

One has to wonder . . . if Joe hadn’t gotten sick and had to be admitted to the hospital, would we have continued our travels and allowed Lea to die in her sleep in the back seat? I think Joe may have just played a very important role, and he now needs our help to come to salvation.

Thank you for your continued prayers, emails and eGreetings. I can’t tell you what a wonderful uplifting it is for me to see the love and prayers that are being showered on Lea. I have been very humbled by your devotion to her, and can’t thank you enough. She and I are both going to owe you one of those special hugs. As one of our very special extended family members said, “An embarrassingly long hug!”

Love to all,