Friday, February 27, 2009

Serenity's Story Part 13 - Surgery

A couple of nights before the scheduled surgery, I was laying in bed praying and I had this overwhelming feeling that God was going to cancel surgery again. I woke up my husband once again and told him the news. He was very supportive but basically thought I was just in denial. I had been really hoping to have more time to donate the needed blood so....At the time I thought, Okay maybe I am.

The night before the surgery, my parents drove down even though the roads still weren't completely clear. We spent most of the night just loving on her and praying.

The morning of the surgery we went down, checked in. They stripped her down. I gave her a pre-surgery bath. The anesthesiologist came over and gave us his hour long what might happen scenario. Then the surgeon's assistant came over to give us our last minute instructions, when she suddenly realized an oversight. "Serenity tested positive for RSV three weeks ago?"

"Yes!” I replied, we mentioned that several times before. She did test positive but she had been placed on the synagis shots to prevent infection and she never had much trouble getting over it."
The assistant looked very concerned. "Oh?” she said, “We never schedule a surgery until at least six weeks from the time they test positive. I'll go check with the doctor, but I'm sure he'll want to reschedule." I just looked at my husband and smiled that "I told you so" grin.

Sure enough, they apologized for the oversight and then rescheduled her surgery for the day before Valentine's Day. This gave us plenty of time to get second opinions and get people together for a blood drive.

Always trust God, He always lead us in the right direction. If we were to get angry or frustrated because of all these changes, we would have missed out on God's perfect will. We do not have to understand the reasoning, we just have to trust God to take care of us and when we do, I promise you…. He WILL.

We arrived in town on the 11th. We knew that it was a good possibility that we might be stuck in the hospital for awhile. So we decided to spend the first night in a nice hotel away from the hustle.

As always, when you are going though a trial, God's favor follows with you. We had seen this throughout our entire experience. However, now more than ever.

While Tom was in the hotel checking in, he began talking to the manager. Now these people live in a town known for their pediatric and adult transplant facilities. They hear a lot of sob stories on a daily basis. But because of God's favor, ours stood out to him. He wanted to do something to help us out. Not only did we get the normal hospital rate of $53 for a room, over half off the normal cost and that includes a full hot breakfast. But he also gave us a free upgrade to their nicest suite. They treated us like royalty the entire visit.

The good treatment didn't stop there. Once we arrived at the hospital, we had to spend the day doing more tests. While we were in the lab getting blood work done. A lady who was there with her own child, came up to us out of nowhere and handed me a check for $100. She said that she just wanted to help out. When I began to study the check I noticed that there was scripture on it. I knew she was being obedient to our Heavenly Father to bless us. It was as if He was saying, "Fear not my child for I am with you."

While waiting in the family room during her surgery, I held onto the vision God had given to me before. Once again I knew that I wasn't trusting any man with the life of my daughter but I was placing her directly into the hands of God.

However, despite my efforts there were a couple of concerns that I couldn't shake. The main one was the fact that Serenity would have to be placed on at heart and lung machine. One of the most dangerous parts of the procedure was getting her heart to beat again on its own.

I was also dreading having to see her with the breathing tube. I didn't want to have to see my baby living by machines again. God knew this and because of His love, He answered my prayers.

We received several updates throughout the surgery, but the one I most remember is the nurse calling to say that they were surgically finished and were attempting to take her off the heart machine. She said to be patient because it could take awhile.

We immediately called our prayer chain to start praying. Then in less than 20 minutes, the surgeon himself came out to tell us all went well. She was fine and would be heading to recovery soon.

When I saw my baby for the first time afterward, I could not believe my eyes. She was breathing on her own. (a miracle in itself) She wasn't swollen hardly at all and besides the draining tube, she just had this very small bandage over her chest. Our God is so very good! He delivers us from even our smallest concerns. courtesy of

Here she is less than 24 hours after reconstructive open-heart surgery:

Our God is So good!

Added Information:

Given.... any Surgery is a far cry from a heart transplant! We were blessed beyond measure to be delivered from that particular path. However, reconstructive heart surgery is not without it's concerns.
During our extended PICU stay, we witnessed the aftermath of many pediatric heart surgeries. Most of which were much less extensive than Serenity's. They were very swollen, breathing on a ventilator and some even had their chest cavities left open for a period of time! These images only fueled my fear for Reni's surgery.
I practiced 2 Corinthians 10:5 "Casting on imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into capitivity every thought into the obedience of Christ. I did not dwell on these images for an instant instead I focus on the promises of God.

Throughout our journey, when fear would start to creep in I would envision Serenity much older, laughing and playing just like any other normal, healthy, happy young lady.

On many occasions I had to desperately cried out to God for help. He never left my side! He was always there and He always answered me the same...."Trust me my daughter...You have given her to me...Now trust me!" I am so very glad that He gave me the strength to listen!