Friday, April 6, 2012

Selah’s and Cooper’s Exciting News

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Selah and Cooper have some exciting news to share! 

Let’s start with Cooper:

Daddy and Mattie took Cooper to the peds orthopedist Wednesday to get Cooper’s new casts, the second set of six in the Ponseti method of repairing his bilateral clubbed feet.  The doctor had been slightly concerned that this method might not be effective for Cooper since his feet fall in the severe category and he’s almost seven years old.

But our God is such a mighty healing God, able to do all things, in all circumstances.  The doctor said Cooper’s feet have already begun adjusting, after just one week, which indicates a strong possibility that the Ponseti method of repair WILL work for Cooper!!!  Hallelujah!

We’d like to share Cooper’s excitement with you:

And now it’s Selah’s turn to share:

Yesterday, Selah had her 7-month-post-op check up with her skull reconstructive doctor and her neurosurgeon.  On August 30, 2011, Selah underwent a MAJOR skull reconstructive procedure because her brain didn’t have adequate/ideal space to grow.  In order to give Selah the best chance of brain development, the specialists recommended we allow them to reconstruct Selah’s severely misshapen head. 

Last summer, the specialists explained to us that it would be too difficult to repair Selah’s entire skull due to its severity of repair.  (Selah was born with 3 pounds of fluid in her skull, making it the largest skull the specialists had ever seen.  Then the fluid was removed via shunt, and her skull literally shrunk like a deflating balloon, into a flat, oblong, badly misshapen skull.)  We agreed to the medically necessary repairs for Selah’s skull, understanding it would take two surgeries to complete the process of repair.
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Selah at 7 weeks of age, after her skull had shrunk, leaving it flattened and oblong, to the point where she wasn’t able to lie on her back with her head facing forward (she had to always turn her head to the side because her skull was so long, so huge, and so heavy). 

Well, yesterday’s visit revealed some super exciting news!  After the specialists reviewed the results of Selah’s sedated brain and skull MRI and special CT scans, they decided to further delay the second reconstructive surgery, with hopes that she will not need it at all!!!  Hallelujah and GLORY to our mighty God!!!
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Here is Selah at age 17 months with her head in basically the same position that the above photo was taken of her at age 7 weeks, about six months after she had the back of her skull repaired.  Special note about this photo:  Selah is wearing the outfit that we originally purchased as Chrissie’s “come home from the hospital after open-heart surgery” outfit.  Chrissie never got to wear this outfit since she went to live with Jesus instead of coming home to our house from the hospital.  Chrissie was 4 years 7 months at the time of her death, and this outfit would have fit her perfectly.  It’s hard to believe it also fits Selah perfectly, at age 17 months.  Selah is BIG, Chrissie was TINY.
Here’s the deal:  We will wait and watch and pray for the remainder (front section) of Selah’s skull to repair itself.  Things that could happen that would make this second surgery medically necessary would be shunt malfunctions, brain complications, lack of development/meeting milestones, headaches/pressure, etc.  If Selah has any complications, we will need to do the second skull reconstructive surgery.  If she doesn’t have complications, we’ll reevaluate in one year!  Yippee!!!

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I think KNOW we’re as excited about this news as Selah was about digging into Sawyer’s b-day cake!  As you can see in the photo above, Selah’s skull is still narrow at her temples.  The scans show that Selah’s skull is much narrower than it should be from her temples up to the center of her skull, from ear to ear.  This is the area that would have been the second phase of her skull reconstruction.

The brain MRI showed that Selah’s brain doesn’t have as much space up front as they’d prefer, BUT because Selah is developing so miraculously, without shunt malfunctions and/or brain complications, they’re choosing to take the wait and see approach.  Incredible.

Please pray that Selah’s skull and brain would be fully repaired by our Jehovah Rapha (our healing God).  Selah is already an incredible testimony of God’s miracles, and this further healing would give even more glory to God.  None of the medical professionals can believe, until they see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears, that Selah is developing like a typical child.  The specialists are completely blown away when they see Selah doing things like climbing into the chair and sitting down by herself, climbing up onto the exam table by herself at age 18 months, walking, running, even jumping!  Then they hear her say words like, “dog, cat, horsie, go, bye-bye, yucky, hi, hello, Daddy, Momma, etc.”, and then they see her sign things like, “more eat” or “more water”, and they literally are stunned by Selah’s development.

This is completely unheard of, literally, with her condition at birth.  I need to do a separate post on this absolute miracle.  It’s such a God thing that the name He gave us for this miracle baby girl is “Selah”, which means in the original Greek translation:  “so every eye can see and every ear can hear”.  Only God.  What an incredible testimony He’s building for Selah, and I pray her story will be an encouragement for everyone who might be hesitant to adopt a child with a brain abnormality and/or hydrocephalus, as well as an encouragement for moms who are given a similar diagnosis for their baby while in utero.  I learned that close to 99% of moms whose babies are given the diagnosis of "agenesis of corpus callosum" (missing the part of the brain that connects the right and left hemispheres) in utero end up aborting them, at the doctor’s advice.  I cannot even imagine Selah being killed because the doctors felt she wouldn’t have a life worth living.  SOOOOOOOO wrong, Selah is LIVING proof.
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Selah says, “What do you think about that, Conner?”  I think the docs don’t have a clue about our Jehovah Rapha!!!  Oh, please won’t you look at me and tell me what you think!”

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