Friday, December 14, 2007
We met my parents, Beverly's sister, my nieces, and the other children at a restaurant in Memphis, and then 8 of them went to the Nutcracker at the Orpheum. My dad and I took the 3 children (two of ours and one niece) under 3 home. Delie wanted to see the Nutcracker for her birthday. The local performance in Jackson was last weekend, and Delie (and her sisters) were disappointed that we didn't go, although they didn't really show their disappointment. Then Monday night my parents gave Delie (and everyone) tickets for tonight in Memphis. I know they're having a great time. Everyone will be exhausted by the time they make it home.
In other recent news, Thomas (8 months) now has his first tooth. All of our children have gotten teeth fairly late, and Thomas continued the pattern.
And we have a new dog. Yesterday a puppy showed up by our door. He's really cute and must have been well taken care of, but none of the neighbors know where he came from. The children love him and have named him Joseph since it's Christmastime.
Thanks for praying for Delie and for all of us. Delie goes back to the doctor next week for him to check the prosthesis and make sure everything is OK. It's hard to believe that we may be finished going to Memphis for a while. This has been such a part of our lives since September 13. We're glad to have this behind us, and we thank God for carrying us through it all.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Thank you, God!
Let's give thanks to God who has given us these things:
Leaves that are a'changing and birds with spreading wings,
For leading Pilgrim fathers to the land of faith and promise,
For brothers and for sisters all the way to Baby Thomas.
For parents that are kind, faithful and true,
Thank you, God! Thank you!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Delie is scheduled to get the prosthesis on December 14. It takes all day for the ocularist to create the eye, but she should have it in by the time we go home that day.
Last week I told you that the girls had to miss dance on Wednesday because some of the children were sick. We had gotten over all of that until Wednesday morning when Georgie got sick again! At least one of the girls cried they were so disappointed about missing dance again. But George got better throughout the day, and Beverly was able to work something out so that the girls could go. When they found out they were going, at least one of the girls cried again. How sweet. Delie loved being back at dance for the first time in two months.
I mentioned our friend Callie's birthday party last week. Callie got a "Little House on the Prairie" dress and bonnet for her birthday, so we dressed up to help her celebrate. Here's a picture of some of the children that night. Samuel is the only cowboy in the picture, surrounded by his sisters and Callie and her sisters.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Our dog, Amos, came with the house when we bought it in January. He's lived here for a while, and he was nice enough to let us move in. One of his front legs got run over before we moved in, and we had to have his leg amputated, although you can't tell it in this picture. He gets around great on three legs.
We've been free of the stomach bug all weekend. We went to our friends' house Friday night to celebrate Callie's 8th birthday, and we had our church here tonight. It's great to have everyone healthy.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Monday night just after we finished supper, a storm knocked the power out. It flickered a couple of times before it went out for good, so we had time to get flashlights ready. The children thought it was great fun to light candles. We cleaned up the kitchen by candlelight and then read for a long time. We try to keep most of our evenings pretty quiet, and having the lights go out made things even quieter than usual. Fortunately the power came back on before we went to bed.
George got sick in the night again Tuesday night. Delie and Anna also got sick Wednesday morning. That was a big disappointment because Delie was planning on going to ballet class for the first time on Wednesday. Everyone was much better by Wednesday night, and no one has gotten sick today. We pray that they don't start again in the night tonight.
Other than that, not much has happened this week.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Anna's picture. She says: "These are the names of everyone in our family."
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Our next appointment is a follow-up on the surgery in two weeks. And in about 6 weeks she'll be fitted with a prosthetic eye.
Thank you for praying for us. I don't think today was as hard as we expected. Please continue to pray for Delie the next few days. She's been dizzy and nauseous since the surgery. She also says it hurts to open her eye so we've been mostly leading her around as she got ready for bed. These are normal side effects of the anesthesia and surgery, so it's nothing to worry about, but we pray she feels better tomorrow.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Delie's still doing great. She stayed up later tonight to eat "breakfast" (a bowl of cereal) since she can't eat after midnight until after the surgery tomorrow. I asked her when she went to bed if she was nervous about tomorrow. She thought for a while and said, "Ummm...not really. I've been there before so I know what to expect." I guess this may be harder on Beverly and me than it is for Delie - I hope so for her sake.
Thank you again for praying for us.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
The big news is that we have surgery scheduled for next Wednesday to either remove the eye (enucleation) or the damaged tissue in the eye (evisceration). The doctor says there's not much difference either way. The prosthesis will move with the other eye and look natural.
We wish Delie could see, and we still pray for a miracle, but we are comfortable with removing the eye now. We're really glad that we didn't have it removed 4 weeks ago (when we were expecting to) because it was so soon after the accident that I think we would have always wondered if there was something we could have done to have her vision restored. Now we know that there is nothing the doctors can do, so we are at peace and ready to move forward.
This will also be outpatient surgery at LeBonheur in Memphis.
We also went to a local optometrist (in Brownsville) today to look at frames for glasses and sports goggles. It's really important to protect her good eye, so she'll need to wear protective eyewear whenever there's a danger of her being hit, poked, etc. The optometrist recommended that she wear glasses all the time for protection even though her left eye has perfect vision. We didn't get any today, but we probably will soon. Delie found some pink frames that she liked a lot.
Delie continues to handle everything really well. And the rest of us are doing good also. We continue to appreciate your prayers.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Anna (7), Joy (10), and Delie (8).
Samuel (2), George (5), and Thomas (2 months then, 6 months now).
We go back to Dr. Fleming in Memphis on Thursday. We don't expect anything big to happen on Thursday other than making plans for the future. Dr. Fleming's office finally got the results from Birmingham, so we'll get to discuss that on Thursday. We also had the results sent to Dr. Priester (family friend and retina specialist in Jackson, TN), and we hope to talk to him on the phone sometime before Thursday.
We'll let you know what happens. Thanks again for your prayers.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
We've been wondering why lately, especially why did Delie see light and have our hopes raised only to find out that she would not regain sight in that eye? We really don't know, but we do have peace. And we have some ideas of why God has brought us down that path.
If Delie did not see light on Sept. 26, then we would have had her eye removed that day. At the time, we thought that was the right thing to do since she had not seen light. Since then we've found out that our doctors in Birmingham have had success with eyes that do not have light perception. If we had the eye removed on Sept. 26, then we would have always wondered if the Birmingham doctors would have been able to help. Now we know. Thank you, God, for sparing us from that uncertainty.
If we had not gone to Birmingham but had followed the retina specialist in Memphis, Delie would have had surgery last Friday. She possibly would have had multiple other surgeries trying to restore her sight, and who knows how long we would have held out hope for something that the doctors could not make happen. Thank you, God, for sparing Delie from unnecessary surgeries.
We went to Birmingham with great expectations and came away disappointed, but we are at peace knowing that we tried everything that we could. And we are so grateful that Delie won't be undergoing surgeries that had no chance of success. We still wonder why, but we know that God has a purpose for all things. Perharps He'll show us someday but maybe not. We are at peace knowing that He loves us and that His plans are not just for this life but for eternity.
Friday, October 12, 2007
After finding out we wouldn't have surgery, we decided to stay in Birmingham to go to the zoo today, and then we drove home afterwards. We just got home and got the kids in bed, so we're finally able to write.
We are disappointed but not despairing. We wanted Delie to be able to see with both eyes again, but now we are just back to where we were two weeks ago. We are grateful that she was not injured more severely in the accident, and we are thankful that her left eye is perfect. Delie was fine with the news - she said she is glad not to have so many surgeries. She's been without her right eye for a month now, and I guess she's found out that she will be fine with one eye.
I'll post more to our blog http://mossfarm.blogspot.com/ later, but I'll stop for tonight since it's getting so late. Thank you again for praying for us.
George and Beverly
Monday, October 8, 2007
We were strongly encouraged to go to Birmingham by a retina specialist, Brad Priester, in Jackson, TN - about 3o minutes from our house. Brad has done some work on George's father (Big George) in the past few years. Also, Brad's grandfather and George's grandfather were in medical practice together in Natchez, MS many years ago, and Big George went to high school with Brad's uncle. So Brad has been talking to Big George about Delie's case even though he hasn't seen her. He's recommended that we go to Birmingham from the beginning, and we finally decided that we should go just in case it might improve Delie's chances.
The doctors in Birmingham are Morris and Witherspoon of Retina Specialists of Alabama. We are excited and nervous as we wait to get their opinion. We continue to appreciate the prayers of so many, and we thank those who have left kind comments for us. I'm sorry we haven't been able to respond to all of the comments and email.
Thursday, October 4, 2007
This afternoon we saw the plastic surgeon (Dr. Fleming at UT Medical Group) who repaired her bones last week, and he thought everything looked good. There are other cosmetic issues that we will deal with in the future if they do not correct themselves, but nothing serious. We have a follow-up appointment with him on Oct 25.
It is hard to believe that we were prepared to have her eye removed only 8 days ago. God has been so good to us. We know that God has a plan and a purpose for all things. We believed that when Delie was about to lose her eye, and we still believe that. We intend to follow Him joyfully and submit to His will, and we pray that His gracious treatment of us will cause others to joyfully follow Him too.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
We told Delie tonight that the doctor may say
- you've got some damage, but I can operate and you'll be able to see more,
- there's not really anything I can do to improve your chances of seeing, or
- because of the risk of damaging the good eye (sympathetic opthalmia), we need to give you a plastic eye.
Delie handled this (and everything else) amazingly well. She seems content knowing that God will take care of her no matter what happens.
We'll let you know what the doctors say. Thank you again for praying for our family.
George and Beverly
P.S. Today Beverly found a story Delie wrote a while back about six orphans. The oldest orphan is about to flee from the orphanage for fear of being sold and the other orphans quote scripture to her to encourage her before she runs away. These are the verses she uses:
"May the Lord answer you when you are in trouble. May the God of Jacob keep you safe." (Psalm 20:1)
"He gives me new strength. He guides in the right paths for the honor of his name." (Psalm 23:3)
"Here is what I am commanding you to do. Be strong and brave. Do not be terrified. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go." (Joshua 1:9)
We hope these encourage you as they encourage us.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
I just had to write to tell you of the miracle we experienced today. Before taking Delie for surgery, George and Beverly asked the doctor if he would check her eye once more to be sure there was no sign of response. He said he would and went to get his light. He had Delie cover her "bad" eye and she saw the light with her good eye. Then he told her to cover her "good" eye. She put her fingers over her eye and he said, "No, I mean cover it with your palm to really cover it." She did and when he shined the light, she said "I see the light." He said, "No, I mean you really have to cover your good eye." He then covered her eye with his hand. She said, "I see the light. It's on...It's off...It's on...It's off. He turned to George and Beverly and said, "We won't be taking this eye out today!!!"
Actually he didn't say it with that much emotion. He was obviously pleased, but he told us we still have a long way to go, and there is no way of knowing yet if her eye will continue to improve or not. I'm sure the doctors would explain that the excess blood had drained from her eye allowing her to see, but we believe that it is a miracle no matter how God accomplished it. We have seen six doctors so far, and they all said that since she didn't see light immediately after the accident that she probably never would.
We still had the surgery on the bones, and the doctor said everything is lined up correctly now and the bones look good. He also said all of her nerves are there and should heal in time. There may be a need for additional plastic surgery at some point, but everything looks really good so far.
We planned to be at the hospital overnight, but they sent us home about 2 hours after the surgery. Delie is feeling good this morning, and she hasn't even needed any pain medication yet. We will see a retina specialist next week, and they will do an ultrasound on her eye to decide what the next steps will be.
Thank you so much for praying for us and for asking others to pray. We will send another update late next week.
George and Beverly
"Sometimes a thunderbolt will shoot from a clear sky; and sometimes, into the midst of a peaceful family--without warning of gathered storm above or slightest tremble of earthquake beneath--will fall a terrible fact, and from that moment everything is changed. The air is thick with cloud, and cannot weep itself clear. There may come a gorgeous sunset, though."
A dear friend shared this quote from a 18th century Scottish preacher, George MacDonald, a few days after our daughter Delie's accident. Our life together as a family has felt like quite a storm over the past 12 days, and we certainly do feel the prayers of our friends and family along with many we have never met. We are so touched by the cards, gifts, and food and are overwhelmed by the number the people who have told us that they, their family, church, Sunday school, Bible study, homeschool co-op are praying for us. We ask you to continue to pray for Delie and our family. Wednesday at 1230pm we will go to Le Bonnheur in Memphis for a second surgery for Delie--for repair of the broken bones in her face and for the removal of her eye. Removing her eye eliminates the risk of sympathetic opthalmia--the body attacking the seeing eye, and we want to do all we can to protect this eye.
God has blessed our family so much and we praise Him for the miracle of Delie's life and her steadfast faith. She is such an encouragement to all of us and we await the "gorgeous sunset" that we will see through her life. We will try to update Thursday.
George and Beverly
P.S. We've attached a picture of Delie taken this summer at ballet.
We have been boarding about 10 horses in our pasture for the past couple of months. Last Thursday, we were going out to catch one of the horses that we like to ride. Beverly, Joy, Delie, and George IV were in the pasture and had caught the horse we wanted when some of the other horses started running and bucking around. One of the horses accidentally kicked Delie (age 8) in her right eye. Anna, Samuel, Thomas, and I were watching this from the yard, and I immediately jumped the fence and ran to get her. I didn't see any big cuts, but she was covered in blood and her right eye was shut and could not open.
We loaded all the family into the van and rushed to the emergency room in Brownsville - the closest one. Delie wanted to go to sleep, but Beverly talked to her the whole way (about 15 minutes). We were encouraged that Delie made sense in her talking and had short-term memory. The Brownsville hospital is small, so they just did a CT scan and some x-rays and called for a helicopter to take her to Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis. The ER doctor said her eye was ruptured, but there wasn't any evidence of brain or spinal injury. We praised God that her injuries were not as bad as they could have been.
Beverly called her sister, Alison, who lives in Brownsville, to come get the children, and she was there within minutes. Alison and her husband, Jerry, took the children back to our house to pack some clothes for them to stay with her and for Beverly, baby Thomas, and me to stay at the hospital. Joy also had to go home to find her shoe - one of her flip-flops came off while running to the van, so she made it to the hospital with only one shoe. And we had left the crock-pot on, so Alison kept our house from burning down also.
So Delie was airlifted to Memphis while Beverly, Thomas, and I followed in the car. When we got to Le Bonheur they told us that the CD that Brownsville had sent with the images from the scan was either blank or incompatible, so they had to repeat the scan. An eye surgeon looked at the scan and checked to see if Delie could see a bright light shone into her eye. She could not see the light. He told us that there would be many surgeries (Delie also had several fractures around her eye), but there was a very good chance that she would not regain sight in that eye. The first step was to try to put the eye back together as good as possible, so they did that right away.
We stayed in the hospital all day Friday and talked to a couple of doctors from the UT Medical Center in Memphis - one an opthalmologist and one specializing in plastic surgery around the eye. They both checked for light response and didn't get positive results. They were encouraging about fixing the bones, etc so that she would look like the old Delie again, but they said we would probably need to consider a prosthetic eye.
We got to go home Friday night but had to go back to the doctor's office on Saturday. They were mostly checking for infection in the eye since it was a "dirty wound," but there was no sign of infection. Again they checked for a light response. It looked to Beverly and me like Delie could see some light occassionally, but it may be that she was just guessing when the light was on. The doctor did not seem impressed by her response to the light.
On Monday we went back to Memphis to check for infection and to talk to another plastics doctor. Again, no sign of infection and no (or questionable) response to light. Delie has fractures above, to the outside, and below her eye, and she is scheduled for surgery to repair that on Wed, Sept 26. They don't anticipate any problems or difficulties with that procedure.
They also asked us to consider removing her eye while they are doing that surgery. They say that usually if a patient cannot see light before the first surgery, that they will not regain sight. Because she still has not seen light and because of the severity of the injury, they don't believe that she ever will. The danger in leaving a non-seeing eye in place is that very rarely the body will attack the good eye. Obviously we don't want to do anything to put the good eye in jeopardy, but we haven't decided if we're ready to take that step yet.
We still hope and pray for a miracle, but we are very content with whatever God chooses to do. There are many things that we don't understand, but we know that God has a purpose for all things, and we gladly trust in Him.
We praise God that the injury was not more serious. As life-changing as this may be, at least it is not life-threatening. Delie is already smiling and laughing some (although it sometimes hurts). She seems very much like her old self in many ways.
We thank God for the tremendous support that we have received. Countless people are praying for Delie, and many people have brought us meals or plan to do so. One of the women in our church has organized meals for the next week, the girls' ballet teacher is organizing meals for us from her church, and we've had family, friends, and even neighbors we don't know bring us food and/or offer to watch the children whenever we need them.
We thank God that Delie has recovered so well already. She has a long way to go - many months - but she is doing very well. She is emotionally and spiritually very strong. She is a perfect example of "child-like faith."
We pray that God will heal her and restore her sight, but more importantly we pray that His will would be done. Please pray with us for her continued health and recovery.