Dear Friends and Family:
What a week! My mother had her cardiac catheterization on Monday and surgery was deemed necessary. At the very least, she would need her aortic valve repaired, one coronary artery bypass and an electrophysiologic procedure done (to control her atrial fibrillation). Tuesday, she went to the OR and while asleep, they did a transesophageal echocardiogram. She awoke with a new aortic valve, a repaired mitral valve, three bypasses and the Maze procedure. What a lot of surgery for an 80 year old woman!
She tolerated it amazing well but her atrial fibrillation persisted. On Saturday (yesterday), after unsuccessful trials at a pharmaceutical approach, she underwent cardioversion. She was sedated and shocked. She was one of the very unusual ones – her heart actually stopped and wouldn’t restart. They were able to pace her with an external pacemaker and afterwards she is doing well but with the pacemaker working 100% of the time. My two sisters have been staying with her and have been great about passing on information, but I have hated getting second hand information and not being there. Yesterday, they broke the rules for me and let me talk to her via cell phone from her ICU bed. She sounded great, in good spirits and just ready to get it over. If her heart doesn’t return to normal rhythm when the meds wear off or if they are concerned about a recurrent episode, she will receive a permanent pacemaker tomorrow (Monday). Thank you all for your prayers and many messages of concern and condolence.
It was hard for all of us to get back into the swing of things earlier this week after returning from 12 days in Michigan and Ohio. I had a pile of work to catch up on and added an additional lecture to bring me up to the proper point in the now very tight schedule. Sean had some tests and homework to catch up on as well and handled that more easily. Micky had also behind on some paperwork and accounting. It was hard to leave again on Wednesday night. Micky’s folks have continued their generous tradition of coming down to watch Sean while we attended the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville, KY. Since it was a long weekend off for Sean at school, they went to Myrtle Beach for the weekend after Sean was done with his classes. He loves this time with his grandparents. We celebrated a belated birthday for Micky’s father on Tuesday and then while in Louisville, Micky and I celebrated her birthday on November 8. I disremember exactly what age she has now achieved, so I will go by appearances and hazard a guess. I think it is probably her twenty-ninth.
The remainder of Saturday afternoon was a time of some rest (finally). I caught up on some things and watched Michigan beat Northwestern in overtime. By 5:00, Terry McLamb, the PAACS administrator, Micky and I were at the local church hall that we had rented for the Friend of PAACS dinner and helped set up the tables, computer and projector. I had the chance to talk with one of the PAACS Commissioners who had come early and I caught up on the recent meeting. We discussed some issues that needed action from his committee.
We have had two people, a husband and wife financial team, volunteer to take over the PAACS accounting duties for Micky, so she will have her hands full working with that transition. That is a true answer to prayer. In that same category of answered prayer, we have received word this week that an Egyptian-Canadian surgeon who is highly qualified is going to return to his home country and help Dr. Dave Thompson start a training program at a mission hospital in Egypt. Dave and Becki are moving to Egypt in five weeks to begin lessons in Arabic. Both of these physicians are 64 – it is never too late to answer God’s call on your life. Please pray with us for their replacements who need to listen to God’s call on their own lives.
Praise and Prayer:
- Please pray for my mother and her doctors during this time. Pray for strength and adequate rest during this time for my sisters who are there holding down the fort.
- Praise God for the new PAACS accounting team and the new surgeon
- Please pray for me as I study the next two weeks for my general surgery recertification exam to be taken November 26.
- Pray for God to provide financial donors for both PAACS and for our ministry (S3 Ministries).
Humbled by His love for us,
Bruce for Micky and Sean