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Patt's Perspective

April 27, 2012

Before Surgery                                 After Surgery

 

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, the anticipated/worried-over/trusting God surgery is finally over and Luke is now in intensive care after successful surgery!  Praise the Lord!  JL and I got home from the hospital a bit too late last night to send out a report.  So here goes...

But before the successful surgery part, Jonathan and Julie, and at times the extended family, met and listened to surgeons, etc., make the final explanations and answer any questions.  As Luke was being rolled down the hall, the ENT surgeon said to Julie and Jonathan, "This is the hardest part for you – waiting.  And this is the best part for me, doing what I love to do and helping people get well!"  What a great way to talk to VERY concerned (but calm) parents!

Midway through the surgery, we received a call from the anesthesiologist that there had been a complication that was going to slow down the surgery time.  The surgeons found that the encephalocele had encroached into the nasal cavity more than had been thought.  It was also much larger than anticipated and had attached itself to the boney edges of the orbit (eye socket), pressing slightly on the eye itself.  And one more alarming bit of news for us was they thought that that part of the brain was not viable, had been that way for a long time, probably since the accident, and would have to be removed.  Time slowly moved along for what seemed like days until the ENT surgeon came into the waiting room for a family consultation.  I don't know when we started breathing again, but it wasn't long because of the big smile on his face.

He was so gracious to start out with how well he thought the surgery went, that it should solve the problem that had progressed since the accident 3 years ago and that Luke had gone through it all just great!  (The parents and grandparents' normal breathing returns.)  The encephalocele did indeed have to be dissected (removed, cauterized) up to the "native" brain, and not pushed back up into the brain itself as previous planned.  Some reconstruction work had to be done between the brain lining and the orbit using collagen (I didn't quite understand the technicalities of that because he used some big words).  A flap from the septum to seal off the brain from the sinus cavity worked perfectly.  He used some packing sponges rather than a nasal Foley (sp?) because children seem to tolerate them better.

The complications also might delay his getting home because he's already staying in the PICU for 1 or 2 days more for observation and to ensure the packing stays in place.  He was being kept lightly sedated because of nausea and some agitation when he was awake, but he’s eating very well now! And in NO pain and not on any medicine for that!  His recovery time will be longer too, maybe up to 10 weeks. During that time he is not to blow his nose and has to sneeze with an open mouth.

Having said all of the above, our joy is beyond measure to realize he is expected to fully recover and ultimately resume his very active pre-adolescent life of school, sports and family activities.  We are profoundly thankful for God's grace that was freshly manifested in this situation.  We will realize that not all parents and grandparents get this positive report and result.  So we are both humbled and thankful.  

Jonathan has set up a 'Caring Bridge' site for you to follow as you have time: (http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/lukeadenwilliams)

JL & I again thank all of you, our family, friends and partners in America and all around the world for your intense prayers and intercession for Luke in his recovery, for Jonathan, Julie, Owen, Joy Yael and our extended family. 

More in the days ahead.  

Patt

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