Monday, May 31, 2010

A Day to Remember

I hope you have all had a wonderful Memorial Day full of fun family time and making memories!

We have had an uneventful day thank you Lord!

However I do want to remember a day that was quite eventful.

April 30, 2010:

Kevin had a horrible night. Gagging and coughing every 20-30 minutes. In pain. Screaming. Clutching his chest. After he threw up the first time, I called the doctor, but it was early evening and Kevin was not too bad at that point. The doc didn't think we needed to come in. Neither did I, frankly. I thought maybe the high dosage of aspirin was hurting his tummy. By 8:30 a.m. the next morning, I decided I needed to just drive him into the cardiologist office at UAB hospital. I got Katie Lyn to sit beside him while I took the fastest shower ever. I was scared, but calm. I wanted someone to go with me to the doctor, Rob had a big presentation at work, and so I recruited Colby and Clay, our 12 and 10 yr. old.

It only takes about 40 minutes to get to UAB from our little town, but half-way there we had to stop because Kevin had another coughing/gagging fit. I pulled over on the side of the road and crawled over my seat to help him. Meanwhile the highway helper truck man ( I can't remember the official name of these guys) stopped to see if we needed assistance. After seeing Kevin and my brief explanation of what was going on, he offered to call an ambulance. Since we only had a short distance to go, I declined.

As soon as we got to the cardiologist, the "front desk ladies" took one look at us and sent us straight back. After Dr. Romp did an echo on Kevin's heart, he knew Kevin would need to have the fluid that was around his heart drained....TODAY.

Immediately a succession of events occurred and my memory is a little blurred. I remember him asking when was the last time Kevin ate or drank. Then we went to a private little room to wait for a bed to open up in CICU. Four different nurses checked in on us while we were in that room (during just a 20 minute time span). I sensed they were very anxious about his condition. By this time Kevin was lethargic in my arms.

They had said we would head over to CICU about noon. It was 10:30 a.m. when they wheeled us over. Immediately the doctors and nurses surrounded Kevin, trying to find veins for an IV, connecting him to monitors. Kevin was not fighting one bit. In fact, he was unresponsive.

(Sweet Blair, the Child Life Specialist, took Colby and Clay to the 5th floor playroom so they could play the WII during all this.)

After several unsuccessful tries at finding a good vein, they resorted to the vein in his neck. He squirmed and cried, but not much. I remember the nurse's hands were shaking. There were five people surrounding Kevin. I was praying hard she could get that IV. As soon as she got the IV in, the CICU doctor (Dr. Santiago was his name...I will never forget it.) said to me in a a very rushed, quite harried voice: "Mom, we need a verbal consent to do an emergency sedation, just say yes or no."

Then came my standard deer in headlights look. A nurse got in my face and said "SAY YES!" I stuttered out yes and then maybe said "do whatever you need to do" or something like that. I remember asking should I leave now? One of the doctors walked me to a private waiting room.

It was 11:00 a.m. I was by myself. Except God. Immediately I started crying, letting all the tension of the night before and the events of the morning just spill out. It was almost like I HEARD GOD speak to me "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house there are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me, that you may also be where I am."

Do not let your heart be troubled, do not let your heart be troubled, do not let your heart be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. I just kept saying it over and over. By the grace and direction of God, I had grabbed my Bible on the way out of the door and stuck it in my purse. There is no explanation why I did this because my Bible is BIG and HEAVY and I NEVER put it in my purse. But this day, God knew I would need it.

I opened it up and asked God "Where is it? Where does it say this?" Because my kiddos have been in Awana for years, I memorize verses with them. I remembered it was in John 14!

I read the whole chapter out loud, crying it out to God.

Look at the nuggets in John 14! God ministered to me through His Word!

6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really knew me, you would knowb]">[b] my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him."

12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it

16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bec]">[c] in you. 18I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Only God.

Only His Word could bring me that peace. And It did.

At 11:20 one of the docs came in to tell me that they drained the fluid successfully, that it was a LOT of fluid, that they didn't have to do chest compressions or anything like that. (Insert me sucking in my breath when I heard that...thinking "HUH? CHEST COMPRESSIONS? Seriously? He was THAT SICK?")

Rob had called earlier before we went to CICU to tell me that he was skipping his presentation and coming to the hospital. At this point I really wanted to call him but there was no cell reception in this part of the hospital. So I just sat in that room and waited a bit more. By 11:30 Rob arrived and found where I was. As soon as he walked in, I explained the crisis, informed him it was over now, and how glad I was that he was here now!

Then the cardiologist who performed the drain came in to tell us how much fluid he had drained off (almost a coke can full!). He sat down and explained the fluid around Kevin's heart. He likened it to someone walking on a cliff. He said "The closer you get to the edge of the cliff, the more dangerous it is, right? Well, Kevin was on the edge of the cliff. He came very close to cardiac arrest."


The doc then said the person we really needed to give a big hug was Ashley, the nurse practitioner who found the vein for the sedation. Oh I definitely intended on doing that!

By 11:45 we were back in CICU as Kevin woke up. He looked like a different child. His color was back, his legs weren't mottled, he even wanted to eat and drink immediately!

When Ashley came by, I hugged her. She was still shaken up a bit by the emergency, as were all those involved. Ashley said if we had waited three more hours, it would have been "bad", as she put it.

Dr. Santiago kept a close eye on our little guy for a long time that afternoon. He would be taking care of a patient across the CICU, but I could see his eyes roaming over to look at Kevin's monitors. SO SWEET! Shalita came to get our boys, and she came in the CICU to see me and Kevin. I was SO happy to see her sweet face! We just hugged and cried. Dr. Santiago came over while she was there. He commented on what a close call our little guy had. He also said how thankful he was that Kevin was here, home, and not still in China. We are thankful too, Dr. Santiago...very thankful!

Thus that day, April 30, began an 11 day stay involving fluid and staph and iv's and such. Thank you Lord for 11 days. I know it could have been much much longer, with a much different outcome.

Kevin has not been the same little Kevin since April 30.

But today, May 31, we've seem some glimpses of the ol' spitfire little Kevin. And that has done our hearts some REAL GOOD! (see post below!)


mabrynelson said...

I'm soooo glad to see that sweet smile! And what a great testimony to our Awesome Healer! I just want you to know that there are people in China and all over Mississippi praying for sweet Kevin! I love you, Ferrills! I hope to see you sometime soon!

Our Journey to China said...

Praise the Lord for Kevin, God's grace and all of you as HIS arms are wrapped around you all! Praise the Lord for the sweet smile on Kevin's sweet face today - and thank you for sharing it with us!!!!! Love to you all!! :0)

Alycia said...


how glad i am that i had to print some final papers for our trip! i always check the blog before i go to bed, and boy! am i glad i did! :)
Thank you for sharing about your sweet little Kevin. How hard April 30th must have been for you, how wonderfully amazing that God was right there with you!
SO glad to see your sweet Kevin smiling!
Love you all!

MamaHen said...

I bet you are thrilled with that smile! We are!

The Byrd's Nest said...

Oh my sweet heart was racing through this post. Oh I wish somehow the Lord would have let me know that I needed to be on my knees during this time for you. But HE was there with you....and that was all you needed. You hid His word in your heart and He revealed it to you right when you needed it. It is wonderful to see his little smile again. I love you.

Mike and Barb said...

Oh, that little smile warms my heart, and the words God spoke to you in the hospital have just ministered to me BIG TIME! Oh, has my heart been troubled....
My little 7 year old just prays and prays for little Kevin, it's precious. He prays for his surgery, and he says "and if he has to have it (the heart surgery) again, you WILL be with him, because you're always with us". Makes me want to cry every time.
Much love, Barb
(and yes, I will post again - someday *haha*)