Ashley's Story

She will leave fingerprints all over your heart


This is Hard

My dad had his bypass surgery this morning.  I left Longview late last night and drove to Oklahoma so that I could see him early this morning before they took him back.  I didn't think there was anyway I could make the trip.  Dave assured me there wasn't anyway I could not make this trip.  I love him for that. I'm so glad I came.

Its not that my dad needed to see me.  Its more that I needed to see my dad.

As I stood around his bedside early this morning holding hands with my siblings, my brother prayed over our  dad and I knew being there was the right decision.  The words my brother prayed ministered to my heart as we face an uncertain future once again with our sweet Ashley Kate.  How soothing it is to hear the petitions of our hearts poured out before a very loving, very merciful, Father.

I just stepped out of my dad's room.  To hold the hand of the man you have loved, respected, admired, and leaned on your entire life as he begs for help because of his pain is one of the hardest things I have ever done.  My heart broke over his fragile state.  He is the strongest man I know.  I remember so vividly the night I lay sprawled out on the floor of Ash's ICU room and poured my heart out, cried my eyes out, and fell apart with my dad on the other end of the line.  He was so strong.  I was so weak.  He was so wise.  I was hanging on to my faith by a thread.  I was angry. I was confused.  I was so desperate for her to live.  He listened.  He consoled.  He prayed.

This is the man I am sitting with tonight.  I stand by his hospital bed and hold onto his hand.  His eyes open and look at me.  He says one word, "Hurt".  Bless my precious father.  I love him so very  much.  His pain brings me to my knees as I witness the strongest man I've ever known struggle with the pain of being opened up knowing my sweet Ashley Kate has felt that very pain.  Her little body without a voice to even say to me "Hurt".  My heart aches tonight for my dad.  It aches tonight for my daughter.

The plan was to bypass three blockages.  Two in his main arteries and another in a much smaller one.  The two large were successful, but the smaller artery proved to be too much of a risk to attempt grafting and bypassing.  Therefore it was decided to leave the smaller one alone.  His heart appeared to be strong and healthy.  Huge praise.  He is at risk to continue having chest pains due to the clogged artery that remains.  He is also at risk to suffer another heart attack, but the surgeons believe the heart has enough support from the two large arteries to survive this.  He may indeed become a candidate to have a stint placed at a later time if the remaining blockage become a problem.  Overall things went very, very well.  His recovery will be difficult.  My dad is a man who can not be idle.  Rest is something he is not very good at.  We need for him to take the full 6-8 weeks to recover so that he will have his best chance at becoming well again.

Back home in Texas Ashley's labs are worsening.  As soon as I get back we will begin to tackle some very difficult questions.  The transplant team has now requested those biopsies they put off last week.  I'm dreading the whole process.  I have no idea what happened inside my sweet girl to make her liver become so sickly.  Its happened very fast.  The blessing is that my Ashley has adjusted to this dose of steroid and is coping.  She's giggling again.  I know it will be short lived as I anticipate an upcoming hospital stay and very high doses of IV steroid, but for today she's happy.

My heart aches for those I love so deeply.  Its haunting to be in the halls of a hospital again.  Almost a foreshadowing of what the future holds for us.  I will always prefer the halls of our home to a hospital.  Always fight to keep her safely tucked into her own bed.

Life is changing for us.  Again.

Thank you so very much for your prayers.  For my baby and for my dad.  Love you guys more than I can express.  Your words are an encouragement to my heart.


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