02 February 2010


I am going to try and post updates here just so that everyone can get all the information we have. Sending texts and emailing is becoming a little complicated at times so although we will try to give individual attention, we won't always be able to.

Nathan had a CT scan this morning and it showed that his brain is moving to reclaim the area that once held the abscess. Good news! It was too early to tell the nature of the infection but they will have that information tomorrow. At that point they will know which antibiotics he needs to treat the infection. Right now he is being treated for anything he could possibly have.

The doctors also did an ultrasound of his heart and found something on his aortic valve which they suspected to be bacteria. To get better pictures, they did another type of ultrasound that puts a tube down the esophagus and they were able to determine that his aortic valve has a leak and is thicker than it used to be. They expect that was the initial site of infection. Fortunately, they had ultrasound pictures of his heart from November when we were in the ER with Nathan the first time (two days after we got home - yes this poor boy has been through a lot medically in just over 2 months). They compared the photos and found that his valve did not have a leak back in November. Either way, the antibiotics that they are giving him to treat the infection in his brain will also treat any other infection in his body, including his heart.

Nathan also made good progress today by coming off of his breathing machine! We were very happy about this as you can imagine. After completing the ultrasound that went through the esophagus (sorry, no medical terms here), they wanted to get him off the breathing machine. They actually wanted to get him off of it this morning but it's much easier to do the type of ultrasound they wanted with the tube already down his throat so they kept it in. Soon after the sedation wore off, the nurse asked him if he wanted the tube out of his throat and he actually shook his head yes!! We were so surprised. We don't know if he actually understood her but we were overjoyed that he understood that he was being asked a question and responded. We were still wondering about possible neural damage caused by the infection and this was just another step in the right direction.

So, they took the tube out and he started breathing on his own!! He cries and is uncomfortable but at this point he can have limited pain medicine because one of the risks is respiratory issues and they need to make sure he will continue to breath. He also really wants food but again, in case the tube needs to be reinserted, he cannot have a full tummy. Sometime tomorrow if everything goes well, they will start him on clear liquids. His throat is understandably sore and his vocal cords as well. His cries are very soft.

Additionally, he is shaking his head 'yes' or 'no' in response to questions which is so great!

We are so very thankful for all the people around the world that are praying for us and especially for Nathan. We are so humbled and in awe of the outpouring of love and the willingness of so many to petition God on our behalf. Yesterday morning I was all alone in the hospital trying to absorb all that was happening to our little guy. Doctors were telling me things I didn't want to hear but by the time Nathan was out of his emergency surgery, His peace came. Last night I told Richard that for most of the day I felt at peace and in a situation like that, we know that type of peace can only come from our Father in heaven and we thank all of you for praying. We are being sustained by your prayers and we hope you know that we are so grateful!!

For those interested in learning the background information on how we came to be in the hospital, I will recap the last week.

On January 22, Nathan woke up in the morning agitated. Shortly after, we found out that he was sick with vomiting and diarrhea (sorry if that's tmi!). Anyway, he just had that one episode in the morning but he seemed fine throughout the day. Saturday morning we woke up to the same situation but this day went differently. He vomited multiple times and had a fever. I will mention that this just so happened to be the little guys third birthday!! Poor guy was sick on his birthday and it was his first birthday with his family. This made us very sad. He still got to open presents but he wasn't that interested in playing with his new toys. Moving on... he was understandably lethargic that day but was eating crackers and drinking fluids. By 6:00PM I took his temperature and it was very high so we decided that I would take him to the ER.

Once we got to the hospital they did a battery of tests and gave him an IV. All his tests were fine and actually within a couple of hours he seemed to be doing very well. He had energy and was playing and eating. The staff however, decided to keep him overnight for observation. The next morning we woke up again to the same situation as the past two days. Again though, he was eating well and his fever had gone down so by the afternoon we were discharged and went home. They determined that he had the stomach flu and that is just needed to run it's course.

Throughout the week his fever went up and down. By Wednesday there was no more vomiting. He still had a fever but by Friday that was also gone. He was however by Friday, very lethargic and sleeping way too much. On Saturday, he was so tired that we could barely keep him awake. Since all other symptoms were gone, we started to question whether or not his sleeping was some type of coping mechanism. We thought maybe he was "checking out" or grieving. When you add all of this with the fact that he was just recently adopted, we weren't sure what to think. By Sunday though, he vomited again and then we realized that he was still sick. Sunday (1/31) he was sleeping and we tried to get him to eat and drink but he could not keep his eyes open to even chew! Since he wasn't getting much fluid our pediatrician told us to take him to the hospital.

Once there, they did more tests and found nothing. They gave him an IV and because he was so listless, they admitted him. Not too long after being in the pediatric ward, Nathan had a seizure-like episode. I was freaking out it was so scary. He had several of these and they decided to do a CT scan. Once they got the results, they saw that he either had an abscess or a mass in his brain. They moved him to the pediatric ICU to be better monitored. As soon as we got there, everything went down hill. They checked his pupils and something was wrong. He needed to be incubated. People started flooding into the room and I was escorted out. I sat in a lounge area with people periodically brining me updates or release forms to sign.

About 3 hours later I was able to see him and I was not prepared for what I saw. His little body had tubes everywhere, too many to count and nearly all labeled so that they could keep track of what each tube was for. First the cardiologist and then later the neurosurgeon talking to me about what needed to be done and painting a grim picture. It was so emotionally draining.

Soon after, they took Nathan to get an MRI, which would tell the neurosurgeon what he needed to know before he did the surgery. He went straight to the OR after that and they drained fluid from his brain and cleaned out the abscess which we were told was the size of an orange! His head is so little, I cannot fathom that.

At any rate, the story has unfolded much better than I thought it might when I first learned of his condition - yesterday! God is SO good!

Like I mentioned, I will try to post updates here as I'm able.

Thank you again for all your support and prayers!


TanyaLea said...

Kelly, Richard and Isabel~ I am so sorry to hear of all that you have been going through and the big scares with your precious Nathan. We have been praying and will most certainly continue to lift you up daily! I wish I could just reach through the screen and give you all a big hug. Thank you for posting the update. The details of what happened just one day ago left my stomach in knots. I can only imagine what your momma-heart was feeling! But so glad to know that God had His hedge of protection around Nathan and praying that He continues to make His angels charge over all of you in the days and weeks to come. Know that our thoughts and prayers are with all of you, and please don't hesitate to ask if there is ANYTHING we can do!

Love and Hugs,
~ Tanya

The Ferrill's said...

We are praying in Alabama for your sweet Nathan!

Tami said...

I'm so glad to hear Nathan is doing better...Praise the Lord!!! John and I have been praying for Nathan....for YOU ALL, since we heard the news from Karen. I can't imagine what must have been going through your mind as these things transpired. You poor little guy surely has had a rough road. I'm praying it's all down hill from here...that Nathan recovers quickly, that his heart surgery isn't delayed for too long and that he can resume just being a playful, carefree little boy.

Thanks so much updating us.

Sending hugs,
Tami...Sophie's mom

Mandi said...

My heart just aches for you right now. I began praying for Nathan as soon as I heard the news. I will continue to lift Nathan, and your family in prayer. I cannot imagine what you are going through right now.

Thanks so much for the update and keep them coming.


Kim said...

Grateful for the link from New Day. Have been (and will continue) praying for Nathan from Hong Kong.
Love & Blessings,

Aaron and Erica said...

I'm not sure if I've ever commented before but I followed along on your trip while you were in China and I want you to know I'm praying for Nathan and your entire family.

(mom to another China blessing w/ CHD)

AlyAbox said...

I heard about Nathan through Karen at New Day. So glad to hear that Nathan is responding to the treatments! We are praying and will continue to do so.
May God continue to fill you with His peace.
mama to Adahlyn

Ashley said...

Praying for sweet Nathan. I cannot imagine how difficult the last week has been for you. I am glad he is recovering well. I will continue to pray for ALL of his movement to return.