As anyone who might ever reads this blog may notice, there have been no posts for a while. The reasons for that are that I was very busy with day camp at our church 2 weeks ago and Bro. Carr came down with a serious case of shingles and chicken pox. Currently, I am in Kansas with my family due to my father's health. Here is what happened so far:
On Tuesday, July 22, my father drove four hours north to Hays, Kansas to see a cardiologist. My father has grown weaker and weaker the last few weeks and wanted a second and third opinion. After being evaluated, the Dr. decided it was immediately necessary to have a heart bypass surgery. The surgery would take place Friday morning, the 25th.
I and my son Alex left for Kansas on Wednesday and drove the 14 hours to Hays and the Hays Medical Center. On Friday morning at 7:oo my father went into surgery. The surgery lasted nearly 8 hours. The day was one of the longest of my life. Finally, the doctor came out and spoke with my mother and I. My father's condition was much worse than he initially thought and the doctor performed a quadruple bypass surgery, had to burn portions of an enlarged heart, and used a laser to shoot the heart into increasing blood flow. The doctor felt the surgery was a success, but the road to health would be painful but achievable.
On Friday night we were able to see my father, a sight I wished never to see again. His body lied swollen, the life support keeping him breathing, and more tubes and wires than I could count in the short time we were in there. But, the doctor felt all was going according to plan.
On Saturday he lay pretty much the same and the doctors desired to take him off the ventilator and sit up in a chair. Well, we almost made it. That afternoon they were able to take him off the ventilator, but they were not able to sit him up. His body was too weak for any further advances, but he was able to speak to us that he was hurting, but fighting to get better.
On Sunday morning we came and visited Dad and there wasn't much change. Mom and I and Alex went to High Plains Baptist Church and enjoyed a visit with the wonderful folks there at that church. Pastor Ben Lowery preached a wonderful message on the Christian's Rest in the Lord. I also want to thank Pastor Lowery for coming and visiting dad twice and praying with and encouraging us. Bro. Lynn Sparkman from the church also came on Monday and prayed with us. It is so wonderful to be part of the family of God. The bond of love that saints enjoy is one of the many wonderful blessings and privileges of being a child of God. Folks we have not ever met, opened their hearts and homes to us. How we praise and glorify the Lord. By Sunday afternoon, they had did sitting up in a chair hugging his heart pillow. He spoke with us and we enjoyed seeing dad sitting up and conversing with us. When we went back to the hotel that night, I and Alex planned on leaving early Monday morning.
RING! RING! The phone woke all of us up at midnight that night. The nurse wished to inform us that dad was not doing well. They were having to give him blood and his breathing was not right. She said not to come to the hospital, but for us to be aware and able to pray. Well, needless to say, we didn't just drift back off to sleep. After staring at the ceiling for a few hours, I finally drifted off to sleep. It was then the phone rang again. Our hearts sunk. It was 4 a.m. now and the nurse told us that the O.R. Team had been organized and dad was being taken into exploratory surgery immediately. They were losing him and did not know why. We literally ran out the door and to the hospital. We were able to see him just before he went into surgery. He looked bad. His blood pressure was 60/40 and all his vitals down. My sisters were already on their way from Ohio, and mom and I again found ourselves waiting alone in a dark waiting room. We waited for nearly 2 hours, and finally around 6:30 a.m. the surgeon came to see us.
He told us that all the graphs were holding and that there were no clots around the heart. He had no medical reason for dad's failing health. Soon dad was back in ICU again on a ventilator, but this time his vitals were much worse. The doctor said they were going to keep dad sedated all day and let his body rest, and that on Tuesday they would begin taking tubes out and showing him that 'rough love' to get him back sitting up and healing correctly. Around 9:30 that night, my sisters and Ricky arrived. They were able to see dad for the first time, it was a very difficult visit for them. We left and headed towards the hotel and laid down for the night, praying for a peaceful night for dad and us.
The Lord did bless with that peaceful night, and we found ourselves back at the hospital at 7:45 a.m. waiting for our first visit. At 8:00 a.m. we went in to see dad. Dad was still on the ventilator and his condition was the same. The doctor was not pleased with the lack of progress. It was quickly decided that dad would not be taken off the ventilator again today as his body was not able to handle being off it. His kidneys are not functioning correctly. To aid the kidneys and vital organs, he is on medication to restrict most blood flow to the vital organs. As a result, dad is experiencing a lot of "shading" in his extremities. His toes, knees, and fingers are turning purple and yellow. Due to this and diabetes, they may soon have to take him off the medicine so that these problems may be corrected. This, of course, would not benefit the kidneys and other vital organs. There now is talk that because of a great increase of fluids and swelling on the head and chest, dialysis may be necessary. The doctors are watching him closely and will determine that this evening. As for now, we wait and pray.
His blood pressure is up some with medication. His kidney counts are about the same, but not worse. We know the Lord will take care of him.
I will do my best to keep you updated to my father's condition. I, my mother, and sisters wish to thank everyone for their prayers literally from all over the world. There have been phone calls from so many, and we are humbled by the outpouring of love and support. We love you all and thank you for your love in the Lord.
Folks may email dad here at the hospital at: www.haysmed.com , click on email a patient at the top of the page. He is in ICU room 9. Thank you everyone!