I am adding this post (it's now March 23, 2018) because I have an urgent prayer request. I am asking fellow believers to please say a prayer for my brother and sister-in-law, Brad and Jessica.
She is 29 years old and was pregnant with their third child (they have a four-year-old and two-year-old). On Monday, March 19, she had blood pressure problems due to preeclampsia (she also has type 1 diabetes and they just found out she has cardiomyopathy and an enlarged heart). They delivered the baby by C-section on Monday, three weeks early.
The baby is doing fine now (was on a feeding tube for awhile because she refused her food). But Jessica's body was so wrecked that they put her in a medically-induced coma on Tuesday to keep her stable. She has been under since then. Everytime they try to wake her a little, her oxygen drops and blood pressure shoots up. She also picked up double pneumonia and is on a breathing tube right now. She is not breathing on her own; it's all by machine. And she has a catheter in her neck to put oxygen right in her blood. And she was given a blood transfusion to make up for blood loss from the C-section.
They won't wake her up yet because they don't want her heart and lungs to get too strained. They are trying to give them time to heal.
Neither she nor my brother is a believer. But I did give him some faith books to read while he sits in the hospital, visiting his baby in one room and his unconscious wife in another.
God truly is their only/biggest hope right now. And she needs all the miracles that she can get. (When I gave my brother the books, I told him, "I believe in turning to God in times like these. If God is your biggest and only hope, you really should get to know Him.")
Please say a prayer for them, the new baby and other kids, their salvation, etc. I know prayer matters. And they could really use it.
We worship a big God who can do big things. With God, there's always the possibility for miracles, even if things look hopeless to everyone else. And that's what I am clinging to right now. I am choosing to not look with my eyes but with my heart, my faith.
Remember that even when all signs look bad, it ain't over till God says it's over. And if God says "It ain't over" then nothin' gonna make it over. (And remember that God doesn't operate according to the "signs" we think we see. He doesn't care about the odds. He does His own thing. In His own time. In His own way. Far above our understanding.)
I don't know what God will do, but I do know that we are to pray, to trust that He can do the impossible, the incredible, if He so chooses. That if we pray anything according to His Will, He will hear us and answer.
It is my prayer that His Will is to let her live, to give her another chance at life - to raise her babies and love her husband and find God. Would you please pray for her too?
Thank you. And I will post an update when there's more to know.
Update 3/24/18: My mother reported that the pneumonia got worse yesterday, but doesn't know how it is today. And they had to drain some fluid from around her lungs, which apparently is rather common for her condition. She is still knocked out, but shows signs of being feisty when she's awakened a bit. So that's good. And another positive: the doctors said her heart has gotten stronger. Over the last week, it was functioning at 25 when it came to some sort of "pumping blood out of the heart" process. The doctors say it should be at 60. So it was dangerously low. But today it's at 40. A big improvement.
3/25/18: A bit of a scare this morning when she stopped getting oxygen. They thought they might have to remove the catheter in her neck and put it in the large blood vessel in her upper thigh, but they just ended up moving it around in her neck a bit and her oxygen level went back up. She is still on a breathing tube and still deeply unconscious. Not sure how the pneumonia is going, but hope to find out soon.
3/29/18: There's been some more improvement. She's still knocked out, but her heart is now pumping blood out at 50 (should be 60, so getting closer) and her lungs have finally begun to fill with air. Two days ago, she had zero "lung volume" (my mother, a nurse, said it should be 600). Then overnight it went to 20. And today it's at 65. Slow progress, but at least they're steps in the right direction. The baby is being released tomorrow and my brother will finally spend the night in a house. Keep the prayers coming. Thank you.
4/1/18: Still slowly improving. They plan to start weening her off of the paralytics and sedatives this week so that she can wake up a bit. We'll know more once she's awake.
4/7/18: Apparently she is doing great. Her lung volume is over 320 and her heart funtion is basically normal. They took her breathing tube out yesterday and did a tracheotomy (yuck!), which is supposedly typical for the situation. And they took her off the ECMO machine (don't know what that is, but the fewer machines she's on the better). And today they are planning to let her wake up. It will be interesting to see what she thinks after being unconscious for almost three weeks and having a newborn she barely met.
4/14/18: She is still improving. They let her wake up this weekend. She is a bit confused, but basically understands what's happening. But she is a little sad and frustrated that she can't talk because of the tracheotomy. She will be moved to a different city/medical center soon where she will be fully weened from the drugs she's been on and will get rehab for the tracheotomy. And after that, it's on to another hospital for I-don't-know-what.
4/19/18: According to my brother, she is doing very well, writing messages and being able to see her kids. They were going to move her to a hospital an hour away, but they decided instead that she can be sent to one five minutes away from their house. So much closer. So she is happy. She is fully off the ventilator now and will spend time in rehab and healing from the tracheotomy.
4/28/18: It sounds like she should be able to go home next week sometime, after she finishes up physical therapy. However, she will still have her tracheotomy and will have to take care of cleaning it at home, and she has some nerve deadness/paralysis in her feet, so they might try electrical stimulation to get the feet nerves reconnected to her brain signals again. And she needs a small surgery to get rid of scar tissue around the tracheotomy (which caused her to stop breathing a couple times). But she is happy to have an end in sight. And the baby is doing great. She's five weeks old and looks healthy and adorable.
5/21/18: She has been home for awhile and feeling ok. Still has the tracheotomy and scar tissue, so she will need surgery for it sometime. And she can't really feel her feet, so she needs physical therapy to help her walk. But it's slowly getting better. Other than that, she's doing fine. And she just had her feeding tube removed, so she's thankful for that because it hurt to have in. Although, sadly, I see no sign of either of them wanting anything to do with God (not that it's not happening, just that I can't see it). And my brother smokes, but I really think he needs to stop smoking so that he can help her stay away from the cigarettes. He needs to be part of making the healthy changes that she needs in her life. God-willing, he'll figure this out before she slides back into the unhealthy things that led to this ordeal.
10/1/18: She finally got the tracheotomy out. Now they just have to watch to see if the scar tissue grows too much and impedes her breathing.
10/9/18: She died this morning. Heart failure.