Lea is resting comfortably tonight. She had to do a little work today, trying to do a little more of the breathing as the ventilator was turned down just ever so slightly. In just a short time she began to labor with each breath, and her physical therapist, Cliff, returned the vent settings back where the were, letting her rest. Her nurse, Adam, stated that the little bit of exercise is very tiring for her, but it is a first step to building her back up to where she’ll be strong enough to breathe on her own.

Her vital signs all seem to be pretty stable once again, except when she is being moved, or she thinks she is going to be moved. As soon as you touch her unexpectedly, she opens her eyes, and her blood pressure elevates. I can’t imagine the horrible pain she must have in her abdomen, and of course every movement you make, including breathing, uses those severed stomach muscles.

Dr. Mah did a dressing change again today in the stomach wound, and said everything looks good enough that he plans to do the dressing changes every second or third day for the next week or two, and then will close her up. By then we should be very confident that the acute pancreatitis is well under control, and that the healing of all systems is under way. All major systems are likely to have suffered some damage, but we won’t know how much until recovery begins running its course.

Good news also came in the form of a conversation with our friends Pat and Joe Stroup, who were able to return to Indiana after their stay here in Hartford. It appears that Joe is well on the way to recovery, and we are delighted to learn of his progress, although we miss having the Stroups here to visit with on a daily basis. We look forward to being able to sit on the porch with them again passing the time drinking iced tea and people watching.

We really miss our dear friends back in Indiana. I haven’t mentioned in my notes that Lea is in her second term as president of the Atlanta Lions Club, and we have made acquaintances with many wonderful people through that service organization. Joe and I are both past presidents of the club, and Pat has held several offices including her present post as secretary.

We have been humbled to learn that our Lions Club has set up a fund to help us financially through this bazaar situation. Although that is what Lionism is all about, and what we, as leaders of the club have done for others for years, it feels different to be on the other side. As one of our fellow Lions said, “It’s easier for Lions to give than it is to receive. That’s just our nature.”

Thank you for your loving kindnesses, your thoughtful support, your Christian charity, your prayers for Lea’s miraculous healing, your emails, cards and eGreetings. They are all so very much appreciated!

Humbly yours,