It's late at night and we're tired after a long day, but we need your prayers urgently. As Elizabeth's great-grandparents (Mae and Everett) were just completing a wonderful visit, I learned that the MRI results were back from yesterday. They showed several disheartening findings. First, and most acutely problematic, is an area of bleeding around the back of Elizabeth's brain. Normally, the treatment would to boost up Elizabeth's clotting ability by quickly stopping the blood thinners she is on. Unfortunately, if the blood thinner is stopped, her venous blood clot could extend to the liver or kidneys, causing them to fail and possibly need transplantation. If the blood thinner is left going to prevent the clot from worsening, it could cause the bleeding around the brain to continue. If it worsens, the accumulating blood could press on the brainstem causing further damage. Obviously, the doctors need lots of wisdom on how to react in this Catch-22. And Elizabeth needs prayer to keep either of these dire outcomes from occurring.
The MRI also confirmed that Elizabeth's cerebellum did not form properly. We knew from her prenatal ultrasounds that the lower part of her cerebellum was under-developed. Now is is clear that the portions of the cerebellum that did form are "dysplastic," meaning formed inappropriately. Even worse, the adjacent brainstem, another region called the corpus callosum, and part of the right-sided cortex are also abnormally formed. These areas of abnormal development put Elizabeth at high risk for two problems- seizures and/or developmental and cognitive deficits. At this point, no one is willing to wager how, or how much, Elizabeth will be affected.
Needless to say, Sara and I are feeling pretty demoralized by this news. Just yesterday, Sara commented that she was beginning to take things one day at a time, and was feeling less overwhelmed by the highs and lows of this journey. Things had just started to feel like we were making progress (see the hopeful tone of yesterday's update), and now this. We need God to preserve our hope, strengthen our faith and insulate us from fear.
Finally, as my month of paternity time draws to an end on Monday, Sara and I are really trying to decide what would be best for us. This bad news makes it difficult to consider leaving my daughter's side, and I'm not sure whether I'd be able to focus on work like I need to. Legally, I could demand more time off, but his would cause a staff shortage at all the hospitals at which I am scheduled and delay my graduating from residency. We really need to know God's will & his timing regarding my return to work.
Thank you for riding the up's and down's of this roller coaster with us,
Matt and Sara