Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Promise

Overwhelmed with God's goodness!
These are the brochures, pamphlets and drawings that Chrissie's cardiac surgeon gave to us today.

First of all, let me just announce that Chrissie's open-heart surgery will be Monday, February 22.  Second of all, let me announce that we'll be going to Disney World Feb. 11-17, compliments of Make-A-Wish.  Third of all, let me announce that I am SO GRATEFUL that God is my Hero!!!

Without God, none of this would be possible.  His timing is perfect.  His grace is sufficient.  His goodness is abundant.  We are blessed.

Chrissie had her pre-op appointment with her cardiac surgeon, Dr. Kupferschmid, today.  We were told that the homograft they received is a good match, so her surgery has been scheduled for Feb. 22.  This was our first time to meet the cardiac surgeon, and we feel so blessed and quite frankly, flat relieved that God chose him to do the surgery.  (In case you're new to the blog, God led Chrissie's cardiologist, Dr. Porisch, to us, and she works alongside Dr. Kupferschmid, who are both Christians who do medical missions to repair little hearts in a variety of third world countries.)  Dr. K (easier to type) spent over two hours with us today!!!  Let me just say, "WOW!"  That WOW covers a lot of emotion.  Dr. K not only explained everything that will occur with Chrissie's surgery, but he spent over an hour just explaining Chrissie's heart to us (yes, it's that complex)!!!  We are in total awe that this precious girl is alive, and we're in more awe that Dr. K will be able to "fix" her "broken heart".  WOW.  WOW.  WOW.

I don't have a lot of experience with heart stuff (other than my mom's open-heart surgery), but I just had no idea what all is involved with our hearts.  Dr. K spent an hour showing us photos from the heart catheterization procedure.  These photos are amazing.  I'm amazed that we have the technology to view with precision and accuracy and amazingly "real" images of our little girl's heart and pulmonary system.  The photos gave us the opportunity to stare a a real-life broken heart.  Shattered.

Oh how my heart aches to see so many things wrong with our precious Chrissie's heart.  There's so much to repair.  I can't even fathom how this is possible.  I cannot believe our daughter is alive.  It's all God.  To Him be ALL of the glory.  She is TRULY a miracle. 

I can't even begin to describe with words all that is wrong wtih Chrissie's heart.  Words cannot do justice compared to the pictures.  We knew she didn't have a pulmonary artery or valves.  We knew she had a large hole in her heart.  We knew she had no blood flow from her heart to her lungs.  We knew her "normal, at-rest" oxygen sats are around 78%.  We knew God had a plan to repair her heart.

What we didn't know was how hard it would be to see the photos, hear the complexities, witness even more things that are wrong with her heart than we ever fathomed, hear many of the possible complications, and conceptualize just what all will need to be done to repair Chrissie's precious heart.

But God is good.  He is faithful.  He is mighty to save. 

God sent us a Christian cardiac surgeon and a Christian cardiologist who will be His hands to heal Chrissie's broken heart.  God put Chrissie in a country that has miraculous technology to not only accurately view all that is wrong, but also provide all of the tools to repair it.  This would be absolutely IMPOSSIBLE in most other countries.  Maybe in ALL other countries, I don't know. 

The entire cardiac team has met THREE times to discuss Chrissie's case and come up with a plan to fix all that's wrong.  It's THAT complicated!!!  There are so many issues and what-if's that they have to plan for in advance.  We were told today with much compassion that after the surgery, "Chrissie will be a very sick, sick girl."  (This is, of course, until her heart heals and then she'll perk up and be a healed girl who can run and play and swim and dance and sing without danger of having a heart attack!)  The most important chamber of our heart, the one that does the pumping, doesn't even pump in Chrissie's heart. Then there's this really big hole between those two lower chambers that should be closed, but since the one chamber has never pumped, it may not know what to do with the blood when it is finally repaired, and then it could fill up with so much blood that the heart would explode.  But, the surgeon has planned to install a "pop-off-patch" over that hole that will literally pop off if the left ventricle fills with too much blood and doesn't pump it out properly.  (See what I mean by how they've planned for everything?!?)  The homograft (cadaver pulmonary artery) will last around 8 years or so, and then she'll have to have another one "installed".  Dr. Porisch will have to fix some other areas at a later date with balloons and stents because they're inaccessible areas to the cardiac surgeon.  They'll have to use the heart cath procedure to try to repair those vessels that are deeper in the lungs than the surgeon can access.  There are so many areas of narrowing and kinks in Chrissie's pulmonary vessels, veins and arteries that it's just overwhelming to imagine.

This is not a routine heart surgery.

This is not a simple fix.


Our God is not a routine and simple god.  He is our Jehovah Rapha Father, the Lord our Healer.

As I was driving home this afternoon from the doctor's visit, I was explaining everything to my amazing friend, Stephanie.  She listened intently and cried on and off as I explained the complexities of this surgery.  It all seems humanly impossible.

Then, as I was driving and talking (in the middle of a dreary, wet, stormy day with total black skies), straight in front of me, right in front of my eyes, the black clouds parted right down the center of my viewing area, and what to my wondering eyes did appear?!?


"And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."  Genesis 9:12-13

Stephanie and I cried as God reminded us of His promise.

The sky was totally black.  No sunlight anywhere.  The black clouds parted like the Red Sea as I drove into them.  The rainbow shone brightly, with a divine distinction of every color.  Stephanie and I cried as God gave us His billboard of His faithfulness and His unbroken promise.  And as quickly as the rainbow appeared, it disappeared.  The black clouds pulled back together like a magnet and the rainbow was gone.

But God's face continues to shine brightly in my mind.

And His peace, the peace that surpasses all understanding, continues to fill my heart.

And hope abounds because we have our Jehovah Rapha. 

And He is mighty to save.

Thank you, God, is just not enough.

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds."  Psalm 147:3

Here are the surgeon's drawings of a "normal" heart (Left) and Chrissie's heart (Right).
This is just a fraction of what's wrong with Chrissie's heart.
Most of it can't even be shown in a's impossible.

1 comment:

Megan said...

Wow - overwhelmed by your testimony of God's faithfulness today. Praying for you all, rejoicing with you, and trusting God together with you for His sovereign plan!

blog comments powered by Disqus