Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Surgery, Recovery, & Prayer

I've been meaning to write more details about this journey since I wrote the first post about Chad's opportunity to donate part of his liver to his mom.  And now it's the day before the surgery and I have a to-do list 10 miles long!  

Honestly, most of it won't get done.  And surprisingly I'm okay with that {shocker to you who know how much I love scratching things off a list!}.  Instead of cleaning and organizing, Chad is currently on an adventure walk with our two cuties, we spent all morning with them playing in the pool, and their Daddy is picking them up for hugs and kisses as many times as possible. :)

But in the middle of our last "normal" day together for a while, I did want to give some more details to the hundreds of you who have been praying and encouraging us already!

Tomorrow is the big day!  I can't explain the anxiety that sits just below the surface in our hearts and minds.  We've been able so far to calm our fears with the Word and what we know is true about our God.  Please pray that this Peace will continue {especially so we can get some sleep}!

Chad's mom was already admitted to the hospital today to have certain things done in order to get her body and blood ready for surgery.  Chad has to be at Ochsner for 5:30 am tomorrow and they expect the surgery to begin around 8 am.

The surgeries for both Chad and his mom will be about 5-6 hours, but they will overlap.  Chad's surgery will begin and once they physically see his liver, they will make the final call about whether the surgery can proceed.  {There is only a 5% chance that they will for some reason have to stop . . . please pray for no surprises.}

After Chad has been in for about 2 hours, and if they give the green light, Mrs. Tina's surgery will begin.  Our transplant coordinator, Jeanne, has told us that the transplant is like a beautiful dance.  There will be 3 surgeons with Chad in one OR and 3 surgeons with his mom in the OR next door.  She said that the movement of Chad's liver to his mom and all the steps before and after are seamless, with perfect timing, and done almost without words.  

Please be praying for these 6 men.  Pray that this "dance" will be the greatest performance of their lives!  I wrote Dr. Reichman, who is Chad's main surgeon, a note yesterday just letting him know that we are praying for him.  I know that doctors have to develop the ability to turn off everything else when they walk in the OR.  I also know that this has to be easier said than done!  I'm praying for peace in his life and family, for good health, and for good rest especially for tonight.  

I also shared with Dr. Reichman that because we are followers of Christ, we belong to a family much larger than just biological.  I assured him that hundreds of people will be praying for him and the other surgeons and nurses.  I hope this brings him great comfort . . . although it might have just freaked him out!

We would be so honored if you would intercede with us tomorrow!   Say a prayer when we come to mind or when you see a facebook update.  Maybe set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to lift our family up to the Father.  However you can join us in prayer will be such a blessing to our family!

Tomorrow will be a very long day, but really just the beginning.  

God willing, it will be the beginning of new life for Mrs. Tina!  She will most likely wake up with 90% of her symptoms gone and feeling better than she has in years!  She will be in the hospital for 5-7 days and then will have to remain in an apartment close to Ochsner for about 4 weeks.  Her recovery has a much higher risk than Chad so they like to keep transplant patients very close.  She'll have to have lab work done multiple times a week and see the doctor often as they monitor how her body is coping with the new liver.  Please pray for a smooth recovery, that her body won't reject the liver, that her medication {some of which she'll have to be on for life} will be regulated quickly, and that her spirit and faith will remain strong.  Pray also for Chad's dad {Boone} and the rest of the family as they care for Mrs. Tina during her recovery.

For Chad, however, it will be the beginning of a lot of pain.  :(  He will probably wake up feeling worse than he ever has before and will be in the hospital for 4-7 days.  The surgeon said that there is a 30% chance of complications and that if this happens, it will most likely be during the surgery or in the first week.  Please pray against any complications {infection, internal bleeding, blood clots}.  Needless to say, I feel like I'll be holding my breath for a week! 

My parents are going to be in NOLA to be with the kids so thankfully I'll be able to be with Chad the whole time he is in the hospital.  Please pray that our time together in the hospital will be well spent, even as he recovers.  We will have more time than usual to pray together for the Church {who knows what Chad will be praying when he's on drugs!} and hope to be bold in opportunities to share the Gospel with doctors, nurses, and other patients!

They say that a full recovery for Chad will take somewhere around 6 weeks.  We are hoping that he will recover faster, but he's already had to agree to take it slow and that I get the final say as to when he can get back to work!  He definitely can't pick up anything for 6 weeks, which will be so tough with the kids.  They are used to a very engaged Daddy who loves nothing more than to pick them up or wrestle on the floor.  Please pray for Ava and Grayson as they have to adjust to a new normal during Chad's recovery. 

While you're at it, please pray for me!  Because Chad is such an engaged dad, I'll definitely be feeling his restrictions with things around the house and with the kiddos.  Please pray for strength from the Spirit, patience and gentleness with the kids, compassion for Chad, and a continued daily feasting on the Word. 

We have been so humbled and thankful for how our faith family at Edgewater has poured out love and service to us already . . .

Four men are ready to preach in Chad's absence.  

The staff and others have graciously taken on everything else that needs to be done this month.

  Edgewater is continuing to pay Chad this month even though he will be out . . . what an incredible blessing for us!  

Many families have already signed up to bring us dinner this month {you know I won't turn down food!}.  

A few guys will be cutting our grass each week until Chad is able again.  

Friends have already committed to having the kids over for playdates to give me some time and avoid us all going stir crazy!  

One friend gave us a sacrificial gift to cover my food expenses while we are at the hospital.  

My best friend is spending all day with me tomorrow during the surgery just to make sure I am supported {whether that means I need to cry, pray, laugh, play games, or take a walk}.  

Our entire faith family prayed over us on Sunday and I've gotten texts every day that people are praying.  

Seriously, the list could go on and on. And this is just for us . . . Chad's parents have experienced the same love from their family at FBC Lafayette!

We. Are. Blessed.

Thank you to everyone who is a part of what I listed above.  Thank you to friends and family who are covering us in prayer.  Thank you for being a picture of what God intended as He created the Church.  

Please pray that as the Body of Christ loves and serves us in sacrificial, radical, and practical ways, the watching world will ask "Why?".  And when they do, pray that we will have the privilege to share with many the life changing Gospel that gives us Hope even in pain and uncertainty and is the fuel for the way the Church is loving us!


  1. Oh girl, I am praying for you all!

  2. Praying for y'all from Mozambique, Cole.

  3. I'm in tears - I love y'all so much. You have prayers from side of every hemisphere, as I see Katie's msg above. :)

  4. Hey Cole,

    We are praying for your sweet family over here in East Asia! We love and miss yall very much!! Can't wait to see how Father will use yall over the next several weeks!!

    Love ya,

  5. just prayed for y'all and the requests. your words about how everyone in the faith family is coming together to help brought tears to my eyes.