Friday, April 21, 2006

Surgery and Post op Updates

April 21, 2006 at 08:08 AM EDT
We are commanded to "pray without ceasing" and that's just what so many of you have done for Corbin. We stand in awe of God's goodness and mercy. Even as there are complications and setbacks we marvel at the grace God pours out.

Sorry I didn't update yesterday, but Thursdays are a "rat race" here and I was waiting for the next update from Terri. Since yesterday Corbin is breathing better, his lungs are a little better and he still needs to cough to clear the right lung which is congested. He is still on high oxygen support by nasal canula. They are weaning the milrinone (cardiac output med) very slowly as his blood pressure drops (to a mean 55). His diuretcs have been changed from pump to IV and they are weaning the sedation. He's awake more, but still lethargic. Yesterday he watched some video and kept his eyes open more, and did smile when Terri signed "I love you". She still calls him "pathetic" but there are many positive signs.

They resumed feeding rice dream during the day (he only took 4 ounces) and tube feeding formula at night, but he is not tolerating food. He's on prevacid and zantac for digestion. Corbin's digestion has always been sensitive so this is not unusual and should improve as his meds are weaned and his system returns to balance. He is off TPN but still receiving lipids.

This morning they have removed his catheter, the arterial line, and the most uncomfortable chest tube! (It will be easier to hold him.) Output from the other chest tubes is very low and clear but will remain until he becomes mobile, as that is when the clearing of chest fluids will be more dramatic. They continue to wean him off the morphine and atavan sedation but he has started some tremors which may indicate withdrawal signs. He's still on sodium bicarbonate for the acidic state of his blood as well as enalapril for his heart. His core temperature is stable as his body fights hard.

Corbin is sleeping most of the time and they would like him to awaken and become more active. That would help clear his lungs and GI tract and help him regain muscle tone. Since he's now lay in bed for 9 days, it will take a while to regain strength. There is talk of moving him out of the ICU, but they are not certain whether he must go to moderate care (the step-down unit) or can go to the floor. In moderate care the parents can stay 24 hours but they may not sleep at bedside (now they leave the unit for shift change, rounds and any complications with any patient). On the floor a parent can stay in the room and sleep in the lovely recliner.

My personal prayer is that once Corbin will tolerate being held he will improve more rapidly and regain strength and digestion. Oh the power of human touch! Dr. Ohye (surgeon) is pleased with the results and my personal daily question appears to be answered -- Corbin appears able to adjust to the fontan circulation and is not expected to need a "takedown" (undoing of the surgery). Nothing is certain until he leaves the hospital. The significant concern at present seems to be that Corbin's cardiac output needs to improve.

So today we ask that you join us in continuing to "pray without ceasing" that Corbin:
continue to wean from the narcotics and regain activity and interaction;
have improved cardiac output from the right side of the heart as it works to perform "double duty";
blood pressure improve as the milrinone is weaned;
body chemistry stabilizes at acceptable levels;
be protected from infection and human error;
be able to tolerate food necessary to restore strength;
has a bed in the appropriate unit as soon as he is ready to be moved out of ICU;
and, that Terri and Travis receive the rest necessary to take over 24 hour care as soon as Corbin leaves ICU;
that they are content and at peace with Corbin's care and progress.

Each of you is a treasure of support and caring, and we thank God for your faithfulness. May God be glorified THIS day.

April 19, 2006 at 10:29 PM EDT
Blessed be His Name, when I'm found in the desert place, though I walk through the wilderness, Blessed Be His Name

Corbin seems to just be worn out. This evening Terri says he looks "pathetic". They want him to awaken more, especially to be upright, move around and loosen chest congestion. He's not comfortable being held, so they have a therapy chair for him, but he just wants to sleep. What a change from the wild man in the crib yesterday! His temperature is under control and his breathing is less labored than it was this morning, but still on 3 liters Oxygen. His saturations hover around 80% and they want it up to 85%. They have started his regular pre-surgery meds, enalapril and aspirin.

Last night when he was still agitated and acting wild, he was signing "please, more, milk, mama" and every time they'd mess with him he'd say "no, 'op". (Praise God, he's "neurologically intact" even after all the trauma post-surgery!) Finally they fed him to help him calm down and he ate very well, but he's not digesting well and the dietician left without writing orders for food, so he can't be fed again until tomorrow, although the TPN and lipids have been removed. He's off the insulin and losing fluid weight. Since he's more calm (worn out) the narcotics dosages are reduced and he was only getting chloral hydrate most of the day. He's wearing a shirt now which makes him look more like himself, and his heart rate remains good both at rest and when awakening.

That's all I can remember, so it sounds like a day of rest for him.
Please pray specifically for:
T&T to be content and at peace with Corbin's care, effectively expressing their concerns and advocating for Corbin, and being heard;
Corbin to breathe deeper and stronger to reduce oxygen support and help clear congestion;
Corbin to awaken more;
Corbin to be comfortable and content;
oxygenation and blood gases to improve;
blood pressure to remain stable;
Corbin to receive the best nutrition and be able to digest well;
Corbin to be protected against infection and human error.

Thank you for all your prayers and care. T&T are so grateful for the visitors, messages, food and calls. We are grateful for the same, as well as planned and surprise meals provided, and invitations for the boys to visit friends. I don't know if Travis' shoulder is any better, but he's not complaining. My foot/ankle is no worse and the doctor provided some strategies for improvement today. I have to be able to chase these 3 little guys!

May God richly bless you and may He be Glorified THIS day,

April 19, 2006 at 12:52 PM EDT
Just a quick request for prayer -- will post more later.

Corbin is struggling to maintain oxygenation and is on as much oxygen support as possible without re-inserting the ventilator. Although they let him drink 15 ounces last night, not everyone feels that's a good idea. He is running a fever being treated for now with Tylenol, and is VERY tired.

My personal thoughts are that maybe he came too far off the vent and oxygen too soon and because he has been so agitated, also has stressed his body and worn himself out. Terri will call me later to let me know how things are going and what adjustments are being made, so I'll post details tonight.

Please pray that:
Corbin will rest comfortably, relax and breathe more deeply;
secretions will loosen and congestion will clear;
fever will go away;
Corbin will be protected from infection and human error;
Corbin will regain strength and stability.

Thank you and blessings to all, until tonight . . .

April 18, 2006 at 06:05 PM EDT
Thanks to Rachel and Nikki for the wonderful pineapple and fruit basket! We'll do our best to put it to good use!!!


April 18, 2006 at 04:24 PM EDT
Ask and it will be given . . . pray without ceasing . . .

The power of prayer is awesome. Just this morning we asked:
"We thank you for your prayers that hold us up every day. Please join us today in praying specifically that:
Corbin's lungs will strengthen and remain clear, making progress toward getting off of the ventilator; HE'S OFF THE VENT !!
the sedation will keep him comfortable yet be monitored closely to maintain optimum recovery; HE DOESN'T APPEAR IN PAIN
his blood pressure will continue stable and allow weaning off other medications; BP GOOD, MEDS BEING WEANED perfusion throughout his body would improve and he would become pink all over; USING ALL 4 LIMBS AND SATS AT 93%
Corbin would awaken more peacefully, calm and strong; WELL, STRONG HE IS, PEACEFUL WHEN ASLEEP

We have witnessed another miracle. Terri called to say that Corbin was so active and fitful that he was endangering himself and had dislodged his ventilator. The staff decided they'd have to re-set it anyway, so pulled it the rest of the way and he's doing fine without it! They started with 3 liters oxygen by nasal cannula but stopped down at 1/4 L and his blood gases are fine. His esophogus was so swollen that they gave him epinephrin and the strider is quite loud, but he's much more comfortable without that ventilator down his throat and he's breathing on his own! The tape has torn up his face, but that will heal.

Corbin's blood pressure is good at a mean 68, heart rate is stable at a good 145, and they moved him IMMEDIATELY into a CRIB -- no longer on the surgical bed, because he's back to his wild man actions and they fear he'll climb out. He's maxed out on the narcotics so he is not very peaceful. Best of all, he was mouthing "MOM" over the ventilator, and even though he's not fully conscious he responds to her voice and tries to talk.

Here are the latest prayer needs -- and we know to pray specifically! Yeah God! Please join us in praying that:

Corbin will have bowel sounds so feeding can be initiated;
He will continue to lose fluid weight to return to "dry weight" and be able to come off the dopamine;
cardiac output will improve and the milrinone can be reduced;
Corbin will be calm and peaceful and awaken more, depending less upon the narcotics.

We ask these things in the name of Jesus who heals, surprises and delights His children. God be glorified!


April 18, 2006 at 09:57 AM EDT
Morning by Morning new Mercies we see, God's always been faithful to me! God has provided constant care for Corbin and we rejoice in His great goodness and mercy!

We have a new condition category of "stable" -- no more "critical" although he is, of course, still in the ICU. That sure makes me feel better 1000 miles away! Corbin continues to adjust to weaning of his medical support. He is off the steroid and they are weaning the insulin as his sugars levels hold. His blood pressure is still low when the epinephrine is off and having to keep him sedated keeps his blood pressure down. This creates a viscious cycle with the sedatives. He is uncomfortable and the chest tube placements are quite inconvenient. Yesterday they replaced, unclogged or adjusted tubes 7 times, each time requiring additional sedation. Corbin does not appear in real pain, but as he awakens he is fighting to remove everything, sits up, pulls up, rolls over, scoots and even uses his feet to try and move the tubes. As miserable as that is, it's a great indicator of his strength and strong will, as well as one of the best indicators of neurological condition following such a serious surgery and threatening recovery! Unfortunately then they have to start back with the morphine, atavan, versad, and chloral hydrate until he calms, and that causes his blood pressure to drop again.

They have begun reducing his oxygen support on the vent. He went from 75 to 55 yesterday and then did several half-support "sprints" to exercise his lungs. His blood gases maintained satisfactory levels so he's on his way toward getting off the ventilator some day soon, which will be the biggest hurdle of all.

His body temperature is still too cool (partly because he's in the room with a baby requiring severe cooling treatments) so he's on a heated blanket. The heavy antibiotic has been stopped, no signs of infection, and, on a lighter note, his "heart bear" that he carried with him to surgery, had HIS chest closed yesterday. Those doctors need something to lighten their day and so the heart bear had come up from surgery with Corbin with a surgical opening of HIS chest. When Terri arrived this morning, there was the bear, with a note attached that said, "chest closed after 48 hours stable". Too funny! We are thankful for lighter moments.

We thank you for your prayers that hold us up every day. Please join us today in praying specifically that:
Corbin's lungs will strengthen and remain clear, making progress toward getting off of the ventilator;
the sedation will keep him comfortable yet be monitored closely to maintain optimum recovery;
his blood pressure will continue stable and allow weaning off other medications;
perfusion throughout his body would improve and he would become pink all over;
Corbin would awaken more peacefully, calm and strong;
Travis' shoulder (old injury) would heal and pain subside so he can rest well;
GrandPenny's foot/ankle (tendonitis?) pain would subside so she can chase 3 little boys and transport 3 busy teens.

You are so special to us and we so appreciate your prayers, your caring, and all the great messages of support and encouragement. May you draw near to our great God of mercy and comfort and glorify Him THIS day.


April 17, 2006 at 05:12 PM EDT
Well, this afternoon I'm savoring the words of Dr. Ohye, the surgeon, who conveyed to Terri that he thinks Corbin has "turned the corner" and although there are never any guarantees, his opinion holds weight with me!

Corbin's "numbers" are really no better, but they have weaned down the epinephrine as far as they can go. However, Corbin's blood pressure drops when they try to turn it off, so now T&T are bribing him (Gunnar's new motorcycle was mentioned) and threatening him (no, GrandPenny does NOT spank)so they are telling him to "shape up" and kick some meds.

This is a slow wean day and it is just very hard to get his body to respond to reductions in meds when they have to keep him so heavily sedated to keep him calm and comfortable.

Please pray that Corbin's care team can find a better mix of sedation to allow his body to work and get off of some support and still not be agitated.

For those who are interested, there are some photos on the family website Corbin really looks very good for post-op, once you look past the machines, tubes and wires.

Thanks again for your continued prayers for Corbin. His brothers had a great day of play with generous church friends so that GrandPenny could hold a business meeting and the rest of my family could return to work and lessons. So very much for which to be thankful. We serve a Great God!


April 17, 2006 at 07:52 AM EDT
I feel like we're dancing a "two step". Two steps forward, one step back, but Corbin is still going in the right direction, with small improvements along the way.

Terri is getting better rest and sounds good. She was so thankful for her visitors yesterday and Corbin made some improvements, but overnight needed some support returned. They've added TPN and lipids (nourishment) which required the addition of Zantac. His body cools too much then fever returns periodically as meds are given and wear off, but he made it off the nitric oxide and vasopressan (sp?) last night with no change on the ventilator. He's on insulin in response to the additional steroid to keep his blood pressure up. They removed the intercardiac line (one less internal line).

Now this morning Terri found that the nitric oxide pump has not been removed from Corbin's room, meaning there's a chance he'll have to go back on, as his blood gases are not where they need to be. They had to go back on the vasopressan and increase the ventilator oxygen support a bit. His chest x-ray shows a pocket of fluid on the right side, meaning a chest tube has clogged or a 4th drainage tube may be required. The CVP (measures the pulmonary arteries pressure) is higher than they'd like since coming off the nitric oxide.

Terri and Travis have had some concerns about pain management and are asking that sedation be monitored more closely, especially as they attempt to wean meds. Blood pressure AND heart rate have remained stable and good, so weaning of bp meds may continue today. Urine output has slowed a bit, but diuretics can be adjusted for that. He's on the ventilator, 12 med pumps, 2 pump lines and 5 additional intermittent meds. Still a long way to go.

Today we pray specifically that:
Corbin will be kept comfortable and not be in pain;
his body temperature will become stable;
his blood pressure and heart rate will remain stable in good range; his urine output will increase and excess fluids eliminate;
the pulmonary arteries pressures will reduce to normal range; additional seadation and other meds can be slowly weaned away;
there be no infections;
the chest tube be unclogged and he not need a 4th one inserted;
blood gases return to good range;
there be improved oxygen perfusion to the right side;
T&T are at peace and comfortable with Corbin's care.

We praise God for the gift of rest; for wise, skilled medical staff; for family and friends who visit, pray, serve and send messages of encouragement (WOW, you all are great!); for sustaining Corbin and providing glimpses of improvement. One of the best things is that Terri continues to say "Corbin looks like himself". You heart moms all know what that means . . .

Thank you so much for your faithfulness to pray for Corbin's healing. May God be glorified THIS day in all we think, do and say.


April 16, 2006 at 05:31 PM EDT
Christ the Lord is Risen today -- hallelujia!

CJ Mahaney had a wonderful teaching for us today and provided some "gold nuggets" to help me stay focused on God's goodness and mercy in our situation.

Terri reports that Corbin continues stable today with some weaning in medical support. Although they had to add hydrocortisone, with a corresponding need for insulin, his blood pressure is stable at a mean 65, he's losing fluid weight, his heart rate is high at 175 so they are not weaning epinephrine today, they keep weaning the nitric oxide in little bits and hope to have it off by evening, they've added chest percussions to clear mucous, and there has been no growth on the cultures so there is the possibiity of stopping the heavy antibiotics. Corbin remains very sick, "critical but stable", but I see many praises in even these "baby steps" forward.

God has reminded me today how he loves to please his children and give us our heart's desire. Haven't I seen that so often! We have not, because we ask not. I've watched our Pastor, Lou, pray so specifically for Corbin and then shortly hear each prayer, even what we thought impossible, be answered. So although I am uncertain today of exactly WHAT Corbin needs, I purpose to pray specifically for each need, God knows every need, despite how unlikely it may appear to my brain. I pray in faith, that God may surprise and delight his children and His Name be glorified. For today, I know that Corbin's heart rate needs to come down, perfusion to the right side of his body needs to improve, his blood sugar needs to stabilize, he needs to be free of infection and working toward weaning off the ventilator (in general) along with less medication support. I ask you to continue your faithful prayers for Corbin and to join me in praying for these specific needs and those I hope to bring you tomorrow, sharing in the privilege of praying and the mercies of God's grace.

Blessed Easter -- the greatest miracle has already happened, yet God shows us mercies anew day by day.


April 15, 2006 at 10:45 PM EDT
He is Risen, Indeed!

As we approach Easter and celebrate the Risen Christ, I realize that I will always remember this particular Easter miracle. How kind of God to give us such immediate, tangible answers to our prayers for Corbin. Tonight there is no real "new"s, but that is probably the best news of all. Stable, continuing to hold good numbers and very slowly adjusting to reductions in meds and other assistance. Tomorrow they will try to wean the nitric oxide some, and we pray for continued strength, and compensation for Corbin as he adjusts to the new circulation pathways. Remember, "Corbin" means "for whom God will provide". Praise Him!

Coach, Lattany and Logan returned from Mexico and were able to speak with Terri by phone -- what gladness. And three little boys here in Va are VERY happy, also, to have them home.

Happy Easter from our family to each and every one of you. As I promised, here are some Easter EGGs (EGGs = Evidence of God's Grace).

Travis is able to be with Terri and Corbin in Michigan without employment worries because of the "grace" poured out through his employer, United Rentals.

T&T have the comfort and security of lodging and familiar accomodations because of the diligence of U Mich staff and the generousity of the Ronald McDonald Foundation and all who contribute.

Nurses in Pod A were treated to homemade fudge today when Terri shared her special "comfort food" brought all the way from Virginia.

Skilled, caring surgeons apply their gifts to preserve the lives of babies like Corbin all over this country.

Caring friends call at just the right moment, stop by to offer assistance, encouraging words, or realize that a grandmother should not be alone on her grandson's surgery day.

People we have never met cry with us, rejoice with us, pray for us.

Pastors work tirelessly and respond to every immediate need.

Children come and climb into a lap, just to share a little love at the moment it is needed most.

Never ending love and the assurance of eternity in paradise, all because of the greatest sacrifice of all.

We see these EGGs because He came to earth, shared His love, was sacrificed for our sins, once and for ALL, rose again and Reigns Eternally. Corbin has breath tonight, only because of the grace of God. We thank God that we know where we will spend eternity, and pray that it will be with each of you, because it is the FREE gift of God's grace.

Hope you find MANY Easter EGGs around you. You are precious to us.

Praying for continued progress for Corbin's recovery, for rest and peace for T&T, and for peace and contentment for each of you.


April 15, 2006 at 02:23 PM EDT
What a difference 24 hours can make! Praise God for wisdom, strength, perseverence and His infinite mercy.

It appears safe to say Corbin is "stable" and moving in the right direction. I was waiting to post until the surgeon had stopped by today, but having spoken with Terri this morning and just receiving an update from Travis, there are many good indicators this afternoon. I will post again this evening and plan to share some Easter EGGs with you.

Corbin is on many meds, but no new problem areas have developed and they are able to begin slowly weaning him from the vent, nitric oxide, epinephrine and to start the milrinone to improve cardiac output. His temp and blood pressure have both normalized (indicating improved cardiac output)and are holding while meds are adjusted. He is off the paralytics and being allowed to awaken somewhat, while still heavily sedated. His fluid output is no longer just when he receives the diuretics, but he is more steadily eliminating (great sign that kidneys are functioning).

The goal for today was to let Corbin "rest", but it appears that it has been much better than that and Terri calls it a "great, stable day". They will not start weaning the blood pressure meds until the milrinone is where they want it to be, but normal bp numbers are a real blessing even with medical support.

The best part is that Terri says his color is constantly improving even in his extremities, so with better oxygen perfusion, better eliminating, stable temperature and blood pressure, Corbin is heading in the right direction! He has a very long way to go to get off of all the med support and ventilator, but we'll patiently await God's perfect timing. Best of all, T&T are getting more time with their baby.

I'll send the latest news from today before bedtime, as well as some Easter EGGs for you!


April 14, 2006 at 10:35 PM EDT
I feel that I needed to get on to tell you how much we love all of you, as I finally had a moment this evening to check email messages and received over 175 messages. We are truly amazed at God's goodness and love for us. Thank you so much for all you are doing and continue to do for our family with your prayers.

Corbin is as Grand Penny says hanging in there. As of 9pm his fever has returned but they are working hard at keeping it lower. We are just praying that Corbin can stay where he is and make small steps forward.

All our Love,
Terri and Travis

April 14, 2006 at 08:56 PM EDT
Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Blessed is his Holy Name!

We are overwhelmed by your committment to pray, by the volume of messages and calls, and our God is honored and glorified by your faithfulness. His mercies today are also overwhelming. Each specific need is being met in His perfect timing.

From the day Corbin was born, we've learned "what a difference 24 hours can make", through each hospitalization and even at home. The past 24 hours have been an excellent example. There are encouraging signs of improvement and, although I cannot see Corbin, I can hear my son's voice when he calls, and know that Corbin is somewhat better.

They are confident in Dr. Ohye's assessment and "gut" feelings about Corbin's recovery. Dr. O assured them there were many steps to take to recovery before considering drastic measures. He expects to know more over the next 24 hours as Corbin "proves himself". They refer to Corbin as the "drama king" who takes drastic turns quickly.

Specifically, the wise and skilled nursing staff is tirelessly making constant adjustments to improve many aspects for Corbin. He is resting on paralytic drugs and his fever is gone; he is urinating increasing volume; the drainage tube output is decreasing but more clear; he's needed no additional blood since last night; no infections have been found to cause the fever, so an echo has been done to assess cardiac output and both the function and fenestration look ok for this stage of recovery; addition of some nitric oxide to the ventilator acted as a vasodilator and brought up Corbin's blood pressure, improving oxygen perfusion, but will require weaning over time; lowering the ventilator rate and volume has not brought a corresponding decrease in oxygenation. Terri had remarked how "grey" Corbin looked after surgery, but that is changing. His nail beds are starting to turn pink. Corbin has run about 75% oxygen saturations over the past months, but with the vent turned down to 79%, he was at 89% this evening. They are starting to allow him to awaken a little and will keep "fine tuning" meds, temperature and ventilator.

In summary, although Corbin still has a very long way to go, there are some improvements and although nitric oxide is an additional support, there really are no new problem areas this evening. We give glory to God, Great things He has done THIS day.

Please pray for improved cardiac output, body temperature and blood pressure maintenance, and Corbin's strength and comfort. We could also use prayers for accurate and compassionate communications among all staff and to T&T, to maximize trust and cooperation for Corbin's care and recovery.

We are praying for safe travel for my family returning with the Mexico missions team tomorrow. How I pray their service was helpful to the orphanage and glorified God, but how thankful I will also be to have them home with us tomorrow night. It's been a VERY long week!

May you each consider the truths of this "Good" Friday, come closer to the foot of the Cross as Easter approaches, and each day thereafter.
Thank you dear friends, family and "heart family" for your continuing prayers and care for our family. I'll continue to post as there are changes. May everyone enjoy the gift of sweet sleep tonight.


April 14, 2006 at 10:58 AM EDT
Because there is God, there is HOPE.

Thank you for your prayers and for all the wonderful messages of encouragement. We have read many and are comforted to know we can go to this board and be reminded of God's goodness. We will read and re-read your kind words over the coming days.

Corbin is now considered "critically stable". The bleeding has diminished and he is no longer receiving constant blood products. Because he was so responsive to voices and stimuli, he is now on paralytics to allow his body to rest, to prevent his heart rate from accelerating and his blood pressure from de-celerating. He is receiving LOTS of meds and fluids but is not elimating well, so is starting to swell (common post-surgery complication) so we need to pray for fluid discharge. The fever is still dangerously high and he remains on ice. His chest x-ray is good, showing typical fluid but no clots or serious pockets of fluid or blood.

T&T are living the nightmare of the ICU (PCTU at this hospital) but are mightily serving others in need there while witnessing trauma and tragedy at every turn. Please pray for strength for them and that God will use them to comfort others yet shield them from the overwhelming horrors. Terri would like to be able to just sit with Corbin (requires that the ICU be open for her)and regain perspective. Please pray that God will grant her this desire.

The older boys are each being distracted by a variety of friends today and I am being supported by some very faithful saints.

To God be the Glory for ALL He has done and will do. Thank you for your prayers and caring. I'll post when there is more news or significant change.
We pray with thanksgiving.


April 13, 2006 at 10:38 PM EDT
Thank you for faithfully praying for Corbin and for all acts of kindness. In particular, I am aware that Amy and Becky have returned to the PCTU waiting room late this evening to support T&T -- that is huge!

Corbin is very sick. There is no other way to put it and this will be a very long night. Please, do not grow weary of praying, I humbly ask. Your messages are so helpful and encouraging and your prayers hold us up. If I go through the list of problems, drugs, treatments and hypotheses, you would only be overwhelmed. Corbin is in critical condition and many improvements need to happen quickly, but let me share his mother's words. "Corbin looks good. I feel he's getting better. He looks in my eyes and squeezes my hand and seems peaceful." Terri says she is calm and confident. God is at work for Corbin and in all things -- Travis is sitting in the waiting room comforting and praying with others. Lattany and Coach are praying in Mexico, David is praying in Ireland, around the country, around the world, let us lift up the name of the Lord, that He be glorified THIS day.

I will continue to update when there is news. It's hard being 1000 miles away, but I praise God for telephones and for those who can be there to hug T&T. Praise God for His church which has rallied in support of my family this day, so that I have not been alone and the little boys have been well cared for despite my need to be on the phone and in conversation or prayer most of the day. Praise God in ALL things!

Specific prayer requests: That Corbin's blood pressure stabilize, that his fever diminish, that no damage results, that he is comfortable, that he continues to eliminate fluids well, that the chest tubes can be unclogged without being replaced, that the blood loss will diminish, and that God will sustain him through the night with new mercies in the morning.

Love and thanks to all, GrandPenny

April 13, 2006 at 04:26 PM EDT
Let us not grow weary, but Rally to prayer!

We need to return to pray with rejoicing. Great things have been done but Corbin is struggling and we must lift him up continually for healing and strength.

There was considerable delay in "getting him up" to the PCTU but T&T were able to see Corbin very briefly before shift change. However, they are now being kept out and have found it a scarey situation, reminding them of past difficulties when they could get no news. God is in control and knows exactly what Corbin needs. May He grant Corbin healing and strength.

There is lots of bleeding, drainage from his 3 tubes and he's been given lots of blood products, platelets and near the maximum blood pressure meds.

Please continue to pray that Corbin's blood pressure would stabilize, that the bleeding would get under control and that Travis and Terri would feel the peace of the Lord. May God be Glorified in our prayers for Corbin.

Good news was that when Terri spoke to Corbin he immediately responded with lots of movement, so they had to sedate him again. His oxygen saturations are excellent but he's on full ventilation and his color is very grey.

I'll update again after T&T are allowed to see Corbin.

April 13, 2006 at 01:20 PM EDT
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is GOOD, His love endures FOREVER!

I'll have to find out where those surgical nurses were stopping on their way to give updates! Although we were told at 11:30 that Corbin was just onto the pump, with the procedures and fontan yet to begin, at 12:30 Dr. Ohye was in the waiting room and DONE! Terri says he was all smiles and says things "couldn't be better".

Specifics: They augmented the RPA, left the LPA alone, augmented the SVC stent and removed his shunt. They completed the fontan pathway and were doing an echocardiogram to check heart function. His blood pressure (BP) and heart rate were fine and Dr. O indicated they would be closing the chest (sounds confident of success).

Praise God and thanks for the prayers AND visitors! T&T had so many visitors that the time flew by and it was a treat to see so many "heart" friends.

One big hurdle is past, but the long road of observation and recovery begins. We'll update again this evening, when Corbin is into the PCTU and we know the specific needs. Short term we must pray that his body will tolerate the new circulation. Long term, we know that removing the ventilator, resolving pleural effusions, and stabilizing vital signs and meds are some of the hurdles in the road to come.

Thanks for your prayers.
Praising God for His goodness and mercy. May He be glorified THIS day!

GrandPenny (thankful for helping friends here this afternoon -- I need a nap!)

April 13, 2006 at 11:29 AM EDT
I'm thankful to have heard from T&T AND my family on mission in Mexico. My daughter, Lattany, was able to carry the good news of cath results and surgery plans back to the team prior to the end of their morning worship. I'm glad I was able to speak directly with her this morning as her daddy's transfer of information had her really confused :)! The Mexico missions team is doing well and continues to pray and rejoice with us from the orphanage where they are serving.

As of 11 am, the surgeon was just beginning to open Corbin's chest as it took a LONG time to gain IV access. Corbin's veins are never easy. After getting through the scar tissue, they will get him hooked up to the pump/bypass to begin the fontan procedure. So we still have a long way to go and it may be late afternoon before there is more news.

Thanks for your patience and prayers.
Terri and Travis have Pastor Mearl (met him at the hospital when Corbin was born) and Terri's sister, Sherri, waiting with them. They are especially thankful for Colleen S and Jennyce's goodie bags of food, since they've not been able to get out for meals at all yet. We thank God for each of you.
Keep praying and expecting miracles!



April 13, 2006 at 09:43 AM EDT
God is paving the way.

Corbin was taken back for surgery at 8:45 am, which is rather late for "first case" except that he is also Dr. Ohye's ONLY case today. It takes considerable time to get through all the scar tissue, connect him to bypass, etc, so we're not sure when we'll get an update, but Dr. O expects the surgery to take until at least 2 pm.

Dr O spoke with T&T yesterday afternoon confirming that the cath indicates perfect pressures and significant growth in the SVC and PAs -- direct and specific answers to prayer! In addition to the fontan surgery, Ohye will cut across and enlarge the stent in the SVC to accommodate the growth and may augment the RPA. He suspects that the shunt (the modification to Corbin's hemi-fontan surgery) is no longer working and may be removed, which is a big surprise.

Corbin recovered from the cath and was given a "pass" to stay at RMH last night. Just recovering completely from a cath is significant and we are so thankful! However, when he spiked a fever, they brought him back to the floor to make sure he responded to Tylenol and was observed. As I recall, Corbin always runs a fever after every procedure -- guess his body knows how to fight!

Please pray for precision and safety as they work to re-open Corbin's chest -- it takes a LONG time and is one of the trickiest parts of the whole process; that he transitions on and off of bypass safely; that Dr. Ohye has clarity and precision in his repairs and thoroughness in observation and attention; that Corbin is protected from human error and infection; and that Terri and Travis feel God's peace as they wait.

Praise God for each one who is praying on Corbin's behalf today -- especially YOU! I understand the Mexico Mission team (3 of my family are there)and the SGC Brigades have prayed corporately as well as hundreds of others around the world. Nearly 800 follow this carepage alone, plus all the family and church prayer chains throughout. We thank God for every prayer. God commands us to pray for one another and His blessings in return are immeasurable.

Please also pray for my family on the Mexico Mission. I am concerned that I have not heard from them, although they are very aware of the cath and surgery schedule. May God give them peace and contentment while they are away from the news and information regarding Corbin. I pray that God will find a way to let them contact me. We are thankful for the many who have offered support to T&T in Michigan and those helping me in Va -- including dear friends coming to be with me today -- it's so hard to wait, but God's timing is perfect!

May God be Glorified THIS Day. We praise Him for all that He has done to prepare Corbin for this surgery, recognize and rejoice in His miracles and anxiously await even more evidences of His sovereignty and grace!


April 12, 2006
God's Love Endures Forever, Sing Praise!

Ok, this is my third attempt to complete this message (I'm a technological imbicile) so I hope I get it all in again.

Corbin is safely out of the cath lab and in a room on the 5th floor. He is still asleep and may be given a pass to spend the night with his parents, unless the lines need to stay in for tomorrow's surgery. YES, surgery will proceed tomorrow. The entire cath took only 2 hours and Terri said "the doctors wore the biggest smiles. Corbin looks beautiful." No one wants to see their child go to open heart surgery, but since we know it is inevitable, for him to grow and thrive, we're rejoicing that he is ready.

Remember our prayer requests?
In order for Corbin to have this surgery he needs:
Tricuspid Valve to be working with no more than "mild to moderate" leakage. IT'S MINIMAL
Pressure in his pulmonary arteries to be lower than 15. (last check was 22 to 25!) THEY ARE 11 & 12 !
Pulmonary arteries to have grown FORGOT TO ASK, BUT ASSUMING SO
Superior vena cava to have grown to accept more blood flow. FORGOT TO ASK, BUT THE STENT WILL NEED TO BE AUGMENTED, CUT OUT OR REPLACED
To remain healthy and infection-free prior to surgery, including strong by eating well! YES, YES, YES

How kind of our God to provide evidence of His work and reassurance for the days to come. I will post as surgery proceeds tomorrow.
May God be glorified THIS day,

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

April 11, 2006

The Grace of God is with the Grabb family.

Corbin and parents had an uneventful drive to Michigan and a real treat visiting and staying over with heart friends Halle and Amy, before reporting to Mott Children’s Hospital on Monday. Halle, who had her Fontan surgery recently, was such an encouragement to Terri and Travis – hopefully to Corbin, too!

Check-in day was uneventful except “no room” at Ronald McDonald House (RMH), so they stayed in the hospital hotel, Med Inn. It’s VERY nice but far more expensive, so they were relieved to get to move to RMH this afternoon. I will apologize in advance for any errors or confusion in my messages. I will be getting the information “second hand” and trying to process it from medical to layman terms.

Today Corbin had a sedated echocardiogram, chest x-ray and blood tests. He was not happy about not being allowed to eat or drink and went from “pleading” with every sign he knows, to big sad tears, to outright anger, and was hysterical by the time they reported for the echo. How sad that they work for over a year to get him to eat, he just becomes an independent eater and then they won't let him eat! The sedatives worked, however, and he was still sleeping it off hours later.

No “official” news, but T&T watched the echo and know that bloodflow through the stent is great and there is only “minimal” tricuspid valve leakage (as opposed to moderate previously). The doctor could not get a look at the Right Pulmonary Artery (RPA) nor the shunt, so they don’t know the size or condition of the RPA, but they know by stethoscope that the shunt is open and working (and because his oxygen saturations are still low). There is a new issue and that is the inominate vein (feeds the lungs) is occluded and Corbin’s body has made “collateral” veins in order for the blood to have somewhere to go. That’s apparently why his left chest is blue, so they will do a contrast study as part of the heart catheterization (cath) to figure out where his blood is going and the condition of the vein and collaterals.

His coumadin (blood thinner) levels are optimal for tomorrow’s cath and upcoming surgery. The cath will be Wednesday, late morning (2nd case) and he may be admitted to the unit at that time to leave the lines in for Thursday’s surgery. T&T don’t expect to see Dr. Ohye (surgeon) until just before surgery and Corbin is his first and only case that day. Last May, it was 6 am when Dr. Ohye entered in his suit (not scrubs), that they first found out there would be no surgery. So they may not know the “plan” this time until the last minute. Tomorrow’s cath will determine the course of Thursday’s surgery.

Gunnar, Aiden and Brodie are doing great and we’re staying very busy from playgrounds to lessons, painting, trampoline, scooter rides, books and even learning some new handcrafts. Please refer to the earlier specific prayer requests posted and know that we sincerely appreciate your prayers for Corbin’s healing, treatment and recovery.

May God be Glorified in ALL things THIS day.
Until tomorrow,

April 9, 2006

Terri, Travis and Corbin left early this morning to drive to Ann Arbor. They hope to make the trip in one day, but that will depend upon Corbin's ability to be still!

When they dropped off the other 3 boys last night, I must say that Corbin is definitely at his best. Happy, playful, active, no oxygen, eating fully on his own, no developmental delays. As I gave him my "instructions" (to be content, but not too content -- to do his best to come home very soon), he looked at me and nodded. So very many people have prayed for him and over him in person, that I really believe he understands.

Terri and Travis have done a phenomenal job preparing for this trip, only by the grace of God. Its anticipation is overwhelming, but their strength is apparent: "for when I am weak, God is strong."

The schedule for Corbin 's Testing and Treatment is as follows:

Sunday, April 9 - Travel by car to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Monday , April 10th - Check into the Ronald Mc Donald House or MedInn, hospital paperwork, and meet with hospital Social Services.

Tuesday, April 11th - Blood work, EKG, Sedated Echocardiogram, Chest x ray , Check up with Cardiology and Gastroenterology.

Wednesday, April 12th - Heart Catherization (although Dr. Ohye is now suggesting they skip this part)

Thursday , April 13th - Open Heart Surgery (Fontan Procedure)

Our prayer requests for Corbin and family:

In order for Corbin to have this surgery he needs:
Tricuspid Valve to be working with no more than "mild to moderate" leakage.
Pressure in his pulmonary arteries to be lower than 15. (last check was 22 to 25!)
Pulmonary arteries to have grown
Superior vena cava to have grown to accept more blood flow.
To remain healthy and infection-free prior to surgery, including strong by eating well!

We ask you to Pray that:

The family travels safely, without incident, to Michigan.

That all logistical details of lodging, etc. will fall into place.

Corbin would not have difficulty coming off of the ventilator after the surgery.

He will not be frightened by the doctors, nurses and staff as he undergoes dozens of tests, blood draws, IV’s and procedures.

They are able to gain access in the only two arterial sites available for his heart catherization, without having to go through his liver, which increases the risks of infection and involves a very painful recovery.

He will not have trouble with fluid accumulation in his lungs and heart during the recovery, as he did last time.

Corbin can stay infection-free during his days in the hospital.

Corbin’s body will be able to handle the change in blood circulation by the surgery and allow the doctors to close his chest upon completion of the surgery.

Corbin is protected from human error and handled gently and skillfully by all hospital staff.

Gunnar, Aiden, and Brodie will not be fearful during this time and will feel God’s love as they are at GrandPenny's.

Penny (Travis’ mom) will not have any problems caring for the boys and her health will remain well, especially during the first week when most of her family is on a mission in Mexico. Layna will be home helping her.

Travis and Terri will feel confident in their decisions for Corbin’s care. That they will feel God’s leading in all decisions.

The many families, doctors, nurses and staff they meet will see them as a light and they will Glorify God in ALL things.

Praise God for those who've helped Terri prepare and offered to help me also.Thank you for your care and prayers! We expect many miracles.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Preparations Underway

We are all doing wonderful. Preparing for the big adventure in Michigan with Corbin. We have a duffel bag of toys packed to try to keep him happy and busy in the hospital. I made a board book for him of his family, favorite things, and his signs for him to look at and for the nurses to use as well. I also completed his medical care notebook with all his surgical history and growth history from GI as well. It has everything imaginable in it. If anyone needs suggestions about putting one together send me a note and I will help. We have the other boys all packed up and ready for Grand Penny's as well. Now, I am just staying busy to not worry about what is to come. Today I cleaned out my closet and found size 4 jeans!!! It has been YEARS since I have worn that size! Needless to say they are no longer in my closet!

We had a beautiful prayer meeting for Corbin last week. I can't thank everyone enough for their support and encouragements. We feel so blessed. Emotionally I think everyone is doing very well. At times their are moments when you get a flicker of fear but God has been so good in giving us amazing friends to hold us up and remind us to not be fearful but trust in God. For those that could not attend the prayer meeting but would still like a prayer pin please contact me through email and we will get you one.

God Bless

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