Dear Friends and Family: Before retiring for some much needed rest, Sara and I wanted to update you on Elizabeth’s status. First off, she is now one whole week old! It is hard to believe that her delivery was only seven days ago- in some ways it seems like minutes and in others, nearly forever.
Since her surgery three days ago, she has had a ventilator assisting her breathing and a tube exiting her left chest to drain off lymphatic fluid. Attempts so far to remove the breathing tube and to get the fluid drainage to slow down have been unsuccessful. The longer the breathing tube stays in, the more at risk she is for several problems, including pneumonia and permanent damage to her trachea and vocal cords. Each time the doctors change her ventilator settings to move toward getting her off the breathing machine, her left lung collapses, apparently because her chest is filling so quickly with lymphatic fluid.
The drainage of lymphatic fluid also continues. In fact, her drainage is the most anyone has ever seen. She’s leaking about 1.3 liters per day, a huge amount when you consider that represents approximately 1/3 of her body weight! As I mentioned in our last message, this fluid contains clotting factors, proteins necessary for fighting infection and the nutrients necessary for growth. Given how much fluid she is losing, the doctors are trying to keep up in replacing these necessary components, but it is unclear how long that can continue.
Would you join us in praying that this fluid drainage would stop? If there’s time left over, pray that she would be spared additional complications. And if there’s still time, pray that Sara and I would not lose heart in the face of bad news. Your prayers, kind emails, cards and phone messages have encouraged us through some very dark hours this week. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Matt and Sara