Sunday, May 29, 2011

A short note...

Dear, dear brothers and sisters,

We are driving home slower than the 46 hours it took to get to Ohio.  It's giving us a time to think, cry, make decisions, cry, and see God's beautiful country.   And cry a bit more.

Isn't God great no matter what the situation?

I really want to tell you about Endurance's surgery and his last morning on earth, but for now I will just let you know that we will be having a memorial service in the Seattle area, somewhere, on Saturday (June 4th).

May God receive every ounce of glory for the mighty works He has done, and is doing!!!!

Heather, for the Holston Family

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

He Ran the Race with Endurance

Dear friends of Endurance,

Endurance passed away this morning. His heart stopped and the doctors were not able to get it started again after half an hour of trying.

Thank you all for your many hours of prayers and fasting, for your visits and calls and e-mails and gifts, and countless other expressions of love, encouragement and blessings to the Holstons. I know you will continue to show your love to them in the days ahead.

Please continue to pray for the Holston family that God may uphold them in this time.

We praise God for this Beautiful Life that touched so many and give thanks to God for His will.

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Brad Petersen
For the Holston Family

Surgery updates. May 24

Update #1
Endurance went into the operating room at 7:30 est this morning.  It is now 9:10 am and we've just gotten our first update...

The anesthesiologists have given Endurance a new breathing tube in his left nostril now.  This is by request of the ICU team since the other one had been in his right nostril for over three months and kept growing colonies of bacteria.

Also, Dr. Galantowicz has opened Endurance's chest already and his heart handled it very well!  On his last surgery, as Endurance's chest was being opened, his heart stopped.  Praise God this did not happen again!!!

Update #2
Endurance's pulmonary bands are off!!!  Dr. Galantowicz is now working on Endurance's aortic arch, which is the largest part of this operation.  May God's name be glorified!!!

We had two visitors this morning who drove over three hours away from the south/east part of Ohio.  He's a preacher in West Virginia!

Update #3
Things are going quite well!  The tricuspid valve has been repaired.  They are re-warming Endurance now, which they had to completely cool him for the surgery.  This means to us (Mike and Heather) that they are almost finished!

We now ask for prayer for this.....Dr. Galantowicz will take Endurance off of his heart/lung bypass machine when he's completely finished.  This will tell the doctor if Endurance's heart will tolerate being on it's own.  If his heart doesn't accept not being off of the machine (which Seattle told us he'd never survive off of this), Dr. Galantowicz will put him back on for one hour.  If he can't come off, Endurance will basically pass away there.  He's in God's hands.  May it please Him to have Endurance survive on his own.

Update #4
At 4:15 one of Dr. Galantowicz's assistants came out and said everything seemed to be going well.  They were planning on putting a "patch" on Endurance's pulmonary artery, but it wasn't working so they were intending on putting in a stent.  He was bleeding a lot, but she said this is normal in "hybrid" babies.  She pretty much sounded like things would be almost done within the hour.  We have not heard anything else since then...

So, we are all still waiting for another update.  We still are thanking you for your continued prayers!

P.S. God has blessed us with so many visitors!  We're meeting new friends every day here it seems.

Update #5
Endurance's bleeding has decreased dramatically and his heart pacing is well under control.  The remaining challenge will be the ventilation, which needs to be reduced as soon as possible.

Endurance will be heavily sedated for a couple of days, as well as on "vec" which paralyzes him.  His crib is full of tubes, wires, and machinery, and his chest is open (covered with sterile gauze) to help quicken his recovery, yet he's alive!!!!!  God has spared his life through this surgery!

Thank you for praying throughout the day, as well as many days in the past.  Endurance will need a lot of prayer the next coming days.

Dr. Galantowicz said he'll be in everyday to check in on Endurance and us.  Thank you for praying for him too!  And yes, I gave him a huge hug when he came out of the operating room to talk to us!

 Update #6 
Please pray for Endurance! We were called in early this morning (6 am) due to complications.
Specifics will be sent later through updates.....
He just isn't doing well at all..... 

These updates were received by my mom from Aunt Heather.

Brad Petersen
for the Holston Family

Monday, May 23, 2011

Surgery tomorrow!!!

Endurance's surgery is TOMORROW (Huzzah!!!) and we're asking for prayer!  May it please the Lord to have Endurance's surgery go well!  As I write this, Endurance is having another echocardiogram so the doctors will have the most recent picture of his heart.  Also, his right lung is more "foggy" than yesterday, which could mean a lot of things (position, another infection?, he needed suctioned, etc.) so please continue to pray that his pneumonia will be completely healed!  They want his lungs to be optimum for the surgery.

If you click on this link: Comprehensive Stage II you will be able to read (page 5) about  Endurance's "Hybrid procedure" that he had back in September 2010.  Starting on page 6, it describes the comprehensive stage II, the surgery that Dr. Galantowicz will be doing tomorrow.  Endurance does not have hypoplastic left heart syndrome, but that's what he's being treated as.   His left ventricle actually works a bit.  He, as we all know, is a case of his own!  He's not the typical "hybrid" baby either.  Also, another complicated procedure the doctor will be performing on Endurance tomorrow is to repair his tricuspid valve so it doesn't leak as much.  His leaks severely.

I need to say THANK YOU to the visitors we've had already here in Ohio!  Even yesterday we had three families visit from the same church, who drove over an hour to encourage us, meet Endurance, and pray for us.  What an absolute blessing from God!  And we've had others as well!  Thank you!  We are so thankful to God for showing us how the body of Christ comes together.  I am greatly humbled.  I am excited for Heaven!

Thank you for the ecards that have been sent to Endurance.  My heart swells up with tears as I read each one and tape it up in Endurance's room.

We will post as much as possible to keep you updated on Endurance.  Oh, he will start the process of his surgery tomorrow morning around 8:00 am est (that's three hours ahead to our Washington/California brothers and sisters!!!) :), and the surgery, if all goes as planned, will begin closely to 9:00.  We will all be here.  Please pray.  Please call if you want!
The Three Blind Mice "watch him all day":)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Update for Endurance

The following post is the prayer update I just emailed our church.  One thing I need to add though is that Nationwide Children's Hospital provides the opportunity for friends and family to send ecards to patients and then they get delivered every morning in the special "mail."  Will you please send Endurance one, or many?  You can do it as often as you like!  The info that you need is his name, unit, and room number (Endurance Holston, CTICU, rm#7).  Here's the link:  send ecard  Thank you!

5-18-2011 update:

Endurance has had some setbacks this week since his arrival here in Ohio.  Endurance has pneumonia.  He was already on antibiotics for a different infection, so they've added a couple more.  Once the test comes back as to which type of pneumonia it is, they will get more specific with antibiotics and take off the unnecessary ones.  They have his crib mattress at a 30 degree angle to help his lungs.  Also he lays on his stomach for 24 hours and then on to his sides for another 24 hours, switching sides every 2 hours.  And lots of suctioning through his breathing tube!

We want to let you know that Endurance's surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday morning.  The surgery will take 6 - 8 hours.  Mike and I spoke with Dr. Galantowicz again today for quite a while.  He says that speaking to his team again (they do this daily, with more intense meetings about each cardiac patient on Wednesdays and Fridays), they are encouraged with how Endurance is doing and how the surgery will go.  Although he's had some setbacks, they really have nothing to do with his heart function which they're happy about.

Dr. Galantowicz drew out for us what Endurance's heart and lungs look like and what he will be doing.  He then explained to us that he goes over in his head, thoroughly about 10 times, how he's going to do a specific surgery on each patient.    He's said he's gone through Endurance's surgery 6 times so far and the last two have been phenomenal!  Mike and I broke out laughing when he said this.  I had to tell you.

We ask for specific prayer regarding Endurance's pneumonia to progressively get better, and for Endurance to stay stable.  On a lesser note, our van is in great need of prayer, but God got the family to Columbus!

Thank you for praying through many seasons for Endurance!  May God continue to be glorified through this little boy!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Columbus Ohio!

Whew!  It has taken me several days to post this.  We're here!  Oh thank you Lord for blessing Endurance and our family with this opportunity!

Endurance arrived safely in Columbus last Wednesday.  (I am hoping to post pictures of Endurance's learjet trip!)  They expected him to have a meltdown upon arrival to the hospital, which he did.  It took a couple of days, but he made a comeback.  Now they've been switching medications, turning some off, adding new ones.  They have been quite aggressive here, which is reassuring to Mike and I.

Endurance had a CT scan and an MRI yesterday.  They did not find anything to stop his surgery, Praise God!!!

We are presently staying at a hotel 6 miles away that accommodates the eight of us.  I figure out each morning who will go with us and who stays behind.  This hospital is a bit different with one under 12 can come into Endurance's room.  This has been quite an adjustment for David (10) and Elijah (8), who were used to coming and performing "shows" at Endurance's bedside, with his mice and other creatures.  They will not get to see him until he is well enough to go to the cardiac "floor."

Endurance has had many, many in-hospital visitors!  A speech therapist (I'll explain later), massage therapist, physical therapist, urologist, hemotologist, and a neurologist.  And that's just today!  One interesting thing that the hemotologist said, is that she is from Nigeria and the name "Endurance" is quite popular there!  Wow!

The "visitor" Mike and I have been the most grateful to meet is Dr. Galantowicz, the surgeon who will perform Endurance's surgery!  A very pleasant and humble man.  He has come by several times and has stated that his team is quite confident that Endurance's surgery will go well.  We are unsure when this surgery will be, yet the surgeon said as soon as possible.  Endurance will tell us, so to speak.

We rest in His care and are so grateful that He is in control.  Thank you for your prayers!

Monday, May 9, 2011

On to our Next Adventure!

Everything is going on so briskly around here lately!  This will be a quick update as it is 2:00am and I'm a bit tired....

Endurance has beat the odds again is is practically recovered from his virus and two infections.  He is breathing on his regular ventilator at regular settings.  All other machines and gas tanks have been put away again!!!  Thank you God!  I am at the hospital right now and just came out of his room.  He is back to holding his mouse's paw and feeling his blanket for comfort.

Columbus here we come!  As of last Friday, the ICU is setting Tuesday as the transport day to Columbus Ohio, Nationwide Children's Hospital!  Yahoo!  I will be going on the ambulance lear jet with him.  Please pray for my nervousness to subside.

It took two days, yet with very loving brothers and sisters we have emptied our home here in Seattle.  Lots of runs to the thrift store to joyfully make donations!!!  Lots of trips to a small storage unit with just bare necessaties.  And our friend will be taking one or two trips to the dump for us with the rest.  God is good!  I've seen my children grow in just this experience alone.  Their brother means more to them than their material objects.  Oh thank you Lord for this lesson.

Mike and Endurance's seven excited siblings will be leaving early tomorrow (or should I say in a couple of hours) for their trek through the northern states and Lord willing, arrive in Columbus sometime on Wednesday.  Please pray for safe travels in a very stuffed van!

We're not exactly sure about lodgings yet, and again I'm thankful that God knows exactly every detail already.

Thank you for your prayers.  I wish I could tell you all face to face how much the Holston's appreciate each one of you and your prayers.  May God bless you this week!!!!

~Heather, for the Holstons

Monday, May 2, 2011

Prayers Needed

Endurance came down with a virus last week which is a common cold to us healthy folk, yet can be tremendous to someone with a compromised immune system.  Back in isolation!!!  He also has tracheitis which was found on Friday.  His lungs stopped ventilating the CO2 out, and they had to put him on a different ventilator in order to keep him alive this weekend.  This is the last thing they said they can do to help him.  The nurses have been getting plenty of secretions out of his lungs since he's been on this new ventilator, which has helped greatly.  It's amazing to watch this machine.  It's giving him 660 breaths a minute and therefore vibrates him.  It's quite loud and sounds like a model T Ford.

This morning one of his doctors said that saying that Endurance is "stabile" is an overshot.  But he has not gotten any worse either since Saturday.  We thank God for this so much!
Please pray that we can quickly get him off of this oscillating ventilator, as Endurance has to be completely paralyzed the entire time he is on it.

On top of this, Friday and Saturday was our statewide Christian Heritage Home School - Family Discipleship Conference.  God is amazing to have made it possible for us to go to most of it.  We were truly, truly blessed by the sessions, even though we had to leave early and rush back to the hospital Saturday afternoon.  God has blessed us with amazing brothers and sisters in Christ that after finding out our situation, packed their families up (meaning leaving the conference early too), came to the hospital, blessed us with dinner and fellowship, and watched our children so we could be back with Endurance.  Thank you!!!

Our entire family is blessed by all of your prayers and encouragment as we continue on this race!