Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!!!

Today, we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray that you will take the time to look at the humble way in which the Lord came to earth, born of a virgin and in a stable trough meant for animals. We have so much to be thankful for, most of all that Christ came as our gift of salvation. Please don't get wrapped up in the many gifts that you may receive but take the time to think on the gift that Jesus gives to each one of us if we choose to accept Him. Luke 2:11 says, "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." Christ came to be our Savior, to save us from our sins so that we may spend eternity with Him. As you reflect this day, think about what Christ has done and is doing for you in your lives each day. We wanted to share some pictures with you from today and also from a short trip that we took to the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, Virginia a couple of weeks ago. It is a resort that has a huge indoor water park, so even when it's cold outside it's not there. We all really enjoyed it and they had the lodge beautifully decorated for Christmas. It was nice to be able to relax a little. Today, we remember Isaac as well, knowing that he is watching us from heaven with our Savior, Jesus. Thank you all for continuing to keep us in your prayers as we continue healing through this time in our lives. We know that the Lord is comforting us through His word and His people. We appreciate all of the cards and encouragement that you have provided to us. We love all of you very much and we pray that you have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Autopsy Results

Today Lori and I met with Isaac's doctor at Georgetown Hospital in DC to go over the preliminary autopsy results. We authorized an autopsy so that maybe the doctors could learn something about his case and maybe out of curiosity for myself. I hoped that we could learn that everything was done possible to keep Isaac alive. Thankfully my prayer was answered. It appears to me, as well as the doctors, that Isaac really did not have much of a chance in this world. For that I am eternally thankful that Lori and I got to spend two weeks with him. A lot of parents don't even get that. Isaac was in such bad shape when he was born at Bethesda Naval and he probably would not have made the trip if the ECMO center was not so close at the time. Thinking back I am amazed at how God worked everything out so that we could spend time with him. Those two weeks were so full of stress but I would not trade it for anything in the world.
The results of the autopsy showed that he had a total absence of a diaphram on the left side and due to that his intestines, spleen, stomach, and partial liver were up in his chest. His left lung weighed only 11 grams while his right lung weighed 44 grams. Not much to work with on the left side but ultimately the pulminary hypertension, which kept his body from processing the oxygen that he needed, killed him. I know that God is sovereign over all of this but I can't help but be amazed that he was able to live for as long as he did. The doctors dont know why he was doing so well coming off of ECMO and then within a couple of days had died. His blood gases were so good, his oxygen requirements were limited on the jet(high frequency) ventilator, but his hypertension just came back and once you are off of ECMO you can't go back on. I could explain why but I dont exactly know all the terms but lets just say you pretty much have one shot at it. Isaac's doctor has to be one of the most wonderful human beings that Lori and I have ever met. You talk about a "bedside manner". She seemed to always be there. I know she invested (as well as the other doctors and ECMO nurses) a lot of hope, love, and care for Isaac and as she says it's not the ones that are easily cared for that you build an attachment to but it's the tough cases, the ones that don't make it, that affect you the most. Now that may sound simple but it is profound that these caretakers were affected by Isaac's death. Many of the nurses came to Isaac's funeral. We have offered to Georgetown that if in any way we can be a comfort to future families like us that they can contact us. I don't know if that will ever happen but we want to be there to answer questions, provide hope, and pray for others going through this ordeal. Please pray for a little girl that had to go on ECMO that was Isaac's roommate at Georgetown. I don't exactly know her medical status except to say that she is doing well. I hope and pray that she was able to have the corrective surgery and that her parents are being sustained by the Lord during their trial. Isaac's doctor is on the right and one of Isaac's faithful ECMO nurses (our heros) is on the left.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

God's Grace is Amazing...

Well, by God's grace we have made it through these last few difficult days. We had Isaac's funeral on Saturday and it was a blessed service. We thank all of you who were able to attend for being there to support us during that time and for those of you who sent flowers from all over, they have been a great blessing and made the house look very beautiful. We had the grave side service today at Quantico National Cemetery and it was a beautiful, crisp day. We feel honored that Isaac is buried with so many service men and women who have served this great country of ours. Thank you all again for continuing to keep us in your prayers, we know that one day we will see our son again! Praise the Lord!
The photo is of Joe's family to include Dave's (brother) family, father, and mother.

Friday, December 1, 2006

In Lieu of Flowers...

Hello Everyone, I have had several people ask me if they could make a donation to a charity instead of sending flowers. The following is a web address to the Research/Support group for children with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. This group only runs on donations, so if you would like to donate to them the instructions are on the web page. The address is as follows, We again want to say thank you to all of you over the country and the world that have prayed for us continually. We will never to be able to say thank you enough for everything everyone has done for us. Please just know how much all of you are appreciated. All of our love, Joe, Lori, Christian, and Aaron.