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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Elizabeth Archives - Day 4

After a long morning spent in the waiting room, we were blessed to hear that Elizabeth's surgery went well. The surgeon was surprised to find that her coarctation was more severe and of a longer length than pre-operative testing had indicated. Despite this, he seemed optimistic that he'd done all the necessary repairs. Taking a cue from my brilliant sister-in-law, I found a web image of Elizabeth's surgery and altered it to show the normal anatomy, the severity of Elizabeth's narrowing, and finally an approximate sense of where her stitches are.

Although we are rejoicing that she came through the surgery, this feels like the first step on a very long and bumpy road. Pre-surgery, the doctors predicted abnormal fluid build-up around her left lung and that started to occur even before the operation was over. If it keeps up (and they expect it to), she could be in the ICU for a very long time waiting for the leaking to heal (months?). The fluid that is leaking contains the proteins necessary to protect against infection and to stop her blood from clotting inside her vessels (which could lead to strokes). They will try to replace those proteins (amazing that they know exactly which ones to give her!), but she's at high risk for those problems.
Elizabeth will probably be on the breathing machine and high doses of pain medication for the next two days. We'll visit her several times per day, but plan on using this time to catch up on the sleep and processing time we need.
Pray that God will rejuvenate our bodies and spirits sothat we'll be strong and ready to spend lots of time with her after she wakes up.Thank you again for bearing this heavy load with us. We still trust that God has some purpose in all of this and are relying on his daily mercies to get through it.
We love each of you,
Matt and Sara

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