I do not know blog etiquette, when I should stop Endurance's blog. If anyone does, feel free to comment.
I had said previously that I would tell you about the passing of Endurance. I'll do my best, in the short time I have...
The morning of Endurance's surgery was exciting! We spoke again with Dr. Galantowicz, and then prayed for him. Endurance was awake and ready! I held his little hands which both had splints on them holding in IV lines. I put my forehead on his and told him I loved him and that he was going to do great! I told him I loved him...
That day we had so many visitors I am still thanking God for all of the brothers and sisters that took their time to drive to Columbus just for our family! We were truly blessed by all of the fellowship.
Endurance's surgery went quite well. It took longer than expected, as Dr. Galantowicz had to put a stent in Endurance's pulmonary artery, but everything went well. Dr. Galantowicz came out and saw me first, away from the rest of our group, smiled, put his arm around me and said "let's go!" He told us all how the surgery went. He told us that Endurance "flew off the heart-lung bypass machine" (he knew we were told he'd never get off of it, so he made sure we knew Endurance had with flying colors!!) He gave us pictures. Wow! What a difference of before and after the surgery! God is amazing how He has given certain people this gift. He said we needed to watch out for the next 24 hours, as they are the worst...
Once Endurance was back in his room, Mike and I zoomed up to see him. Most people new to looking at post-op patients might think what we saw was gruesome. But I didn't. Yes, Endurance's chest was open, yet covered with gauze. There was a lot of blood, wires, tubing, and so much more, but Endurance had made it through! He was alive! He was at a point where the surgeon in Seattle said he would never get to. I just stood there in amazement to see where God had us. Thank you God!!!
Mike went and got some of our visitors, now close friends, to see Endurance and pray for him. After they were gone, I went back one more time to kiss him goodnight and tell him that he made it, he did such a good job, and that I was so proud of him!! That I loved him.
Mike took us home and then went back to the hospital for the night. He said the doctors would call Dr. Galantowicz with updates and concerns. Around 3:30 am Dr. Galantowicz came to the hospital to tend to Endurance himself. He talked to Mike quite a bit. He said they might have to put Endurance on the ECMO machine, which we all had agreed not to put him on directly after his surgery. Dr. Galantowicz said that this was different. Endurance was spiraling down, and he said that if Endurance was put on ECMO, even for just a day or two to give his heart a break, he should pull out of this. Dr. Galantowicz said Endurance was okay for the time being, that they would continue checking his gases every thirty minutes. Mike called me at about 5:30 am to say he was coming to pick me up and bring me to the hospital. He'd told me some of what they've spoken about. I was in full agreement with whatever the doctor said.
Mike called from the cell on our way back to the hospital at 6:30am to check on Endurance and they said he was stable still. We walked in at 6:51 am and they were in the middle of giving Endurance chest compressions, bagging air into his breathing tube, giving him a lot of different drugs, and taking lab tests. They said they'd been doing it for the past 5 or 10 minutes. What? Dr. Galantowicz came over and said that Endurance went downhill quite quickly. There had been no time for the ECMO.
Endurance's room was FULL of doctors and nurses. They had opened his room's huge sliding door. The outside of his room was full of doctors and nurses. I stood outside his room, and a sweet nurse named Nikalia came and put her arm around me and asked if there was anything she could do. I said "pray." She told me she was. Mike motioned for me to come into Endurance's room and stand with him and Dr. Galantowicz. Everyone was working so hard on Endurance. Taking turns compressing his chest. This was hard work they were doing. A cardiologist would take a turn, then a nurse, followed by an interventionalist. Everyone was doing their absolute best for Endurance. Dr. Galantowicz was in complete charge of everyone there. Like a captain of a ship. It was amazing to watch. At one point, Dr. Galantowicz's eyes were closed and I truly believe even he was praying. I was praying that God's will would be done and that no matter what, He would be glorified.
We talked to Dr. Galantowicz again. Mike said he wished he would've just told him to put Endurance on ECMO right then, before he left the hospital to pick me up. Second guessing decisions, etc. What Dr. Galantowicz said is exactly what we needed to hear..."Don't beat yourself up. There's a higher force at work here than us." Yes God, we surrender to you again.
As the minutes passed, Dr. Galantowicz turned to us and said they'd try one more "circuit" of meds, labs, and compressions. After that, the doctor had everyone stop. They watched for a minute to see if Endurance's heart would kick in on its own. I really thought this would be when God would show everyone in that room how powerful He is, you know, last minute when everyone else says it's impossible, and God brings Endurance around to "stable" again. No, this time Dr. Galantowicz turned around to us and put his arms around Mike and I and said that he was sorry. Just like that. That was at 7:15 am. Endurance passed onto a better life.
The machines were turned off. The noises stopped. People started leaving Endurance's room. His nurse for the day, Sarah, came over and gave me a hug. She was wonderful in the short time Endurance had her. She went to bat for him every time he was her patient. I'm glad she was there the last day. Then Sarah and another nurse cleaned up the huge mess of mess. They clean Endurance's bed. They clean Endurance's body. She wrapped him in his blanket and let me hold him. For the first time since he was one day old, I got to hold Endurance in a quiet room, with no tubing, machinery, and the like. I looked at Mike and in loud tears, I said, "I'm holding his body. He's in Heaven." What a strange joy I felt. I cannot explain it.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
So, now our family is temporarily living in a house in a small town called Steilacoom, WA. We don't know where God is going to lead us on our next adventure. We've gotten rid of most of our belongings, but still need to get rid of more. Material items just don't mean as much as they used to, even when they didn't seem to mean that much.
We've really appreciated all of your prayers, encouraging words and comments. People we don't even know (yet!) have let us know they've prayed for Endurance and our family. God, again, is just so good.
I hope this wasn't inappropriate to write in this blog. I can say a whole lot more, but I really just want to say that this is God's will and although it hurts terribly that Endurance is no longer here, God's will was for him to be with Him. I'm assured of this. Again, I'm not sure how and if I should end this blog. But, maybe I'll just put pictures of Endurance and our family a couple more times? I'm unsure at the moment :)
Monday, June 13, 2011
Here is the bulletin from Endurance's memorial. Here's something amazing.....when the printers saw what the bulletin was for, they didn't charge for the printing! God is so good!! I'm sorry if it's small. If you click on the picture, I'm told it will enlarge. I will put some pictures from the memorial if you don't mind on another posting. God bless!!
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Two slideshows were played at Endurance's memorial today, as well as a video. The slideshows can be viewed here, and here.
Here is a link to the memorial video, thanks to Sam Young for editing and posting it.
Here is a link to the memorial video, thanks to Sam Young for editing and posting it.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Dear Friends and Family,
Tomorrow we will celebrate Endurance's journey to be with our Lord Jesus. Please join us from 12 - 3pm at Evergreen Bible Chapel in Federal Way. Here's the tentative schedule:
12:00-1:00 Memorial Service
1:00-2:30 Reception, with plenty of refreshments. There will be an open mic if you'd like to share something.
2:30-3:00 Clean Up
3:30 A short graveside service at Evergreen Memorial Park in Enumclaw. Directions will be provided at the memorial.
All are welcome to come. The Holstons look forward to seeing you all and appreciate your prayers, calls and love.
Letricia Hatch for the Holstons