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December 9, 2010 - Prayer requests & Update from Elise

Hi everyone!

This is the first time I've written in a while and I want to start out by saying THANK YOU!

I still cannot believe that we are on the other side of Greg's transplant - what an amazing gift - and each of you have had a huge role in helping us to get to where we are. Especially as we prepare to leave the hospital and all of the friends we've made there (you know you've been there too long when you're worried about missing the woman who cleans your husband's hospital room!) it is so comforting to know that you are still rallying around us.

We are over the big hurdle but we still have quite a journey ahead of us and we would appreciate your continued prayers. Hasn't it been amazing watching God answer so many prayers this year and especially these past two months? I have a lot to think about and process but I know that God has shown himself to me in ways I never expected. One thing that has been so incredible is hearing Greg's phenomenally intelligent transplant doctor tell us over and over again that he has NO idea how or why the body can heal the way it does after a transplant. And he has NO idea how Greg's electrical conduction didn't completely deteriorate while waiting for transplant based on the condition they found his heart in during the surgery. It has become very apparent that medicine (even the most advanced medicine) cannot explain everything that happens. God has been at work in Greg's body in an unmistakable way. Incredible!

But it is late and I have some prayer requests I'd like to share with you before I go to sleep. They are still hoping to discharge Greg from the hospital tomorrow but it'll depend on a few things:

1. We are waiting for the results of the heart biopsy Greg had today. If he has a 0 or 1 on the rejection scale he can go home. If he has a 2 or 3 on the rejection scale he'll need to stay in the hospital for 3 or more days to get IV steroids.

2. Greg's chest x-ray did not look very good today and his red blood cell count continues to fluctuate and not go up the way they'd like it to. The surgeons are concerned that Greg may have some internal bleeding around his heart. They will be doing an echocardiogram tomorrow to determine if he has internal bleeding. I'm not sure what they'd need to do to fix it but it would mean more days in the hospital.

3. Greg must be able to go up stairs and take a (sitting) shower before he can go home. His physical therapy appointments kept getting rescheduled this week so he has not done either of these things yet. PT will be working with Greg first thing in the morning to see if he's physically strong enough to go home.

As you can tell tomorrow is going to be a really strenuous day for Greg even if he doesn't end up going home. Please pray:

  • For a good result on the biopsy - a 0 or 1 on the rejection scale!

  • That Greg's echo will look good and that he is not bleeding internally.

  • That Greg will have the stamina and balance to go up stairs and shower and that PT would not drain him of all energy.

  • That the doctors will make a wise decision and not send Greg home before he is strong enough to face the challenges of being home (climbing stairs to get inside, low chairs, a tub, etc.). We would rather he stay in the hospital for an extra day or so than come home and realize that he wasn't ready to come home.

  • For us as we transition to Greg being home. It may sound odd but since Greg has lived in the hospital for the last 2 months it is going to be a huge change for both of us when he comes home. We are so excited for him to be home - but it's also hard to leave the safety and comfort of the hospital. I find that I am nervous about taking care of him and he is concerned about adjusting to not having a nurse nearby in case any problem arises. Thankfully we will be having a nurse come to our apartment (for a week or so) to check on Greg and also a physical therapist will be coming to make sure Greg is progressing physically. We have a lot to process and we need to figure out a whole new way of life - new medicines, new routines, new concerns (immunosuppression), etc.

I will do my best to keep you updated on his recovery - I'm not sure how often I'll be posting because there is a lot I need to do to take care of Greg - but I hope to be able to let you know how things are going.

Thank you so much,


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