Thursday, January 16, 2014

Today's Update On My Sister; January 16, 2014

My favorite song on Christian radio today is called “Help Me Find It” by a group called the Sidewalk Prophets.

It was really a joy to hear Waverly sing it on her last Sunday before she left to go to Liberty University in August.

The song is about us letting go as believers and allowing God to handle things in our life and lead us in the direction He wants us to go – or to follow his perfect will.

It struck a note with me on the drive home from the hospital a short while ago in that it is what we can ask God to continue to lead the doctors and the nurses in finding out what in my sister’s body is resisting everyone’s best efforts to help her.

I don’t know where to go from here
As long as I know that You are near
I’m done fighting
I’m finally letting go

Even if her body would stop fighting, there’s still a period of time that is needed for her lungs to get stronger so she can come off the ventilator.

Right now, she’s getting 100% oxygen through the ventilator.

That needs to get down to 60% before the doctor can do something different, is what my brother-in-law shared with me this evening.

Her applied PEEP (positive end-expiratory pressure), which is set on the ventilator, needs to come down to 5.  It has been down as low as 10 for a period of time, but when I left this evening it was at 16.

My brother-in-law said that earlier they’ve tried different combinations of oxygen rate and PEEP settings to see if there’s something that her body will handle satisfactorily.

So, basically, the values of 60% and 5 need to occur together for her to attempt to come off the ventilator and breathe under her own power.

Whenever they attempt to move her in any significant manner, her vitals continue to go all over the place.  Heart rate shoots to the 130 bpm range, saturation level drops and she also continues to run a fever from time to time.

When I got there this evening after work, she was running a 102 fever.  It is my understanding that when you have a fever that your body requires more oxygen.

Additionally, the infectious disease doctor is changing up the antibiotics to keep her body from accepting one and therefore inhibiting the suppression and elimination of the infection that’s been in her lungs, which created the pneumonia.

Even when it hurts, You’ll have Your way
Even in the valley I will say
With every breath
You’ve never let me go

We certainly believe that God hasn’t let her go at all.  He’s still working.

My brother-in-law also shared with me this evening that the head nurse during the day told him that she’s been doing research on her own to see if there’s something that they may be missing from an antibiotic that may help my sister.

Still her organs are good and strong although the doctor told my Dad that he was going to begin to get a little bit more aggressive and that he basically wanted her to pee – well – like a horse.  

There was also some discussion to see if they could bring a mobile CT scan into the room, but my brother-in-law hadn’t heard if that is something that they’re still going to try and do – since he doesn’t want to move her.

And I believe that I heard that there were some concerns of the quality of the image in how she is positioned.

So basically a lot is still up in the air.

As I shared in how the doctor communicated with my parents and my brother-in-law, I wish that I had better news to share with you.

My prayer is and will continue to be that God will reveal to the doctors and the nurses the answer to unlock the mystery of what seems to be keeping my sister from getting over the proverbial hump.

We know that a lot of you have shared that these updates are very important to you.

My objective is to give you the information necessary to pray to God for His guidance and direction.

And, of course, our families know that you all would be at the hospital if there were reasons that we couldn’t be there.

I don’t think there’s been a time that my sister has been left unattended since she went into the MICU.

My brother-in-law is spending the night tonight.

His stepmother will be pulling her second night tomorrow evening.  We really appreciate that – and her willingness to help my parents and my brother-in-law out.

As I referenced yesterday, I posted a prayer request on KSBJ’s web site.  This is what I shared:

Last Sunday, January 5, my sister, who is in her very early 40s, entered the hospital with pneumonia and was rushed to MICU late the next evening when her lungs filled with fluid from the infection. She is intubated and in her 9th day today in the MICU while the physicians continue to find the right combination of paralytics and antibiotics to allow her body to rest and allow the ventilator to do its job. We know that God is in complete control of the situation and we would simply ask for continued prayer for the doctors, nurses and clinicians to do all that they've been trained and have experience to do as well as for my brother-in-law, two nieces (freshman in high school and the third grade) and parents as their hearts - along with many friends and other family - are heavy for my sister to get well. Thank you in advance for stopping and taking the time to pray for my sister and her family.

There was probably another half dozen people who clicked on a link to let me know that they have prayed specifically for my sister.

However, I received an actual note from someone.  It went as follows:

I have been praying for God's healing hands upon your sister. She is in my daily prayers. Even though I do not know her personally, I definitely know who she is from Spring High. I know she's a wonderful person. Just know many are praying for <name removed> and her entire family!

As you can see from above, I really didn’t give any identifying information, but they knew exactly who it was.  This is why I haven’t given up hope.

Here’s also another specific prayer request.

It was shared with my Dad that the lower part of her lungs are becoming “leathery”.  I’m thinking that this will restrict her lung’s ability to process oxygen, but I’m not totally sure.  Therefore, we need to fully understand it.

I think this is all I can communicate this evening.

Our administrative friend, who is the CEO of another hospital in the system, stopped by to visit earlier today after making a call to the administrative team at the hospital where she's at.  Yesterday, the COO (Chief Operating Officer) had stopped in to check on things and spoke to my Mom while she was there with my sister.

Thanks again for everything – your prayers and thoughts toward everyone involved.



  1. Still praying for you and her, Jon. Be strong and trust Him always. Big hugs from Alabama.

  2. I only know Holly through her loving sister in law. I have been in constant prayer for her full recoverly. May Gods grace and mercy touch each and everyone in her family. May he send his healing touch to all the medical team and place a hedge of protection and healing around Holly, in Jesus name Amen.

  3. We are still praying for your family. Anything we can do please let us know. - Pastor Randy (and North Park)

  4. Have the doctors said anything about placing her on ECMO? It is a machine that allows the lungs to rest and heal. Being on 100% oxygen and increased peep for long periods of time can damage the lungs.

  5. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. I will continue to pray for you all. God bless Holly & may she rest in peace