Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Daniel's story and Divine Guidance

I've posted the news stories about Daniel but what the family has been through goes far beyond what a story in the news can convey. I knew something was wrong when Mike picked up the phone Friday night as I was getting ready for work. All I could hear was him quietly repeating, "Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh." Then he told me that Daniel had fallen and hit his head, couldn't move the right side of his body and couldn't speak. I was devastated. I went to work and could not work all night. It took me a full 12 hours to chart on just three mother/baby couplets. I couldn't focus. I couldn't finish a thought. Several times nurses asked me if I needed to leave. But I knew there would be nothing for me to do but sit at home and worry. I got phone updates from Mike all night.

Apparently there is some confusion (well, more accurately, two versions of the story likely) about what happened when the EMTs arrived at Mike's parents' house. The story we are getting is that the paramedics declared him "okay". They said his vital signs looked fine and that there was no real reason to take him to the hospital. I don't understand how that is possible. If someone can't speak and can't move the entire right side of their body, how can they be declared okay? But supposedly that is what happened. Eventually, Roy (grandpa) put Daniel in the car and drove him to the hospital himself. He was taken to Valley where they transported him to Harborview Medical Center.

Late Friday night, he went into surgery for roughly four hours and had his head opened and a huge clot removed from his brain. Following that, he was in the pediatric ICU (where he remains). I will post pictures in a separate post. He's been on a ventilator and had been unable to move any part of his body, despite minimal anesthesia. On Sunday night, he almost went back to surgery for persistently increasing intracranial pressure. Thankfully, it calmed down and stayed down and no further surgery is needed for right now. On Monday he made some progress with regard to movement. He was able to show a grasp in his left hand, he was blinking his eyes a little more deliberately, and he was twitching the left side of his body. The right side was affected and I don't really expect much from that side of his body for a long time. But the fact that he was showing movement on the left was good... really good.

Cynthia is holding up as well as can be expected for someone whose 10-year-old son is in a bed, on a ventilator, with a hose sticking out of the top of his head. I can't imagine. I look at my sweet Ethan... he'll be ten in just four short years. It breaks my heart.

Hopefully David will be home sometime tomorrow or Thursday. I know that Daniel will do better with his dad there. What boy wouldn't? I'm so relieved for David as well. I just can't fathom being thousands of miles and an ocean away from my child ever, let alone in that condition. I wouldn't be able to think or do my job. I am glad that he will be able to put down the responsibilities of his job and just simply focus on his family.

As a side note...

I subscribe to a service through the church's website called "LDS Daily Gems". Each and every day, they send out a little gem... a snippet of a talk usually... or a scripture or part of a hymn or poem... something inspirational. It really helps me frame my day to read these. Yesterday's daily gem could not have been more accurate, poignant, and on target for the Harris family. It said:

Daily Gems
The Power of Divine Guidance

"Though the task seems large, we are strengthened by the truth:
'The greatest force in this world today is the power of God as it works
through man.' If we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to
the Lord's help. That divine help, however, is predicated upon our
worthiness. To sail safely the seas of mortality, to perform a human rescue
mission, we need the guidance of that eternal mariner--even the
great Jehovah. We look up, we reach out to obtain heavenly

Topic: Guidance

(Thomas S. Monson, "The Call for Courage," Ensign, May 2004, 57)

Could that be any more perfect? Indeed we have seen miracles already. "...the power of God as it works through man." Oh yes indeed! So very many people from all faiths and backgrounds are praying. Prayers are continuing to go up heavenward and they are being heard. Daniel is improving and David is coming home. It's what we have been praying for. How blessed we are.

Ethan is such a sweetheart. Before bed last night as I tucked him in, he said, "Oh mom! We forgot to pray for our cousin Daniel!" And he promptly folded his arms and quietly pleaded with the Lord to "Please help our cousin Daniel get better." What an example my sweet 6-year-old is to me. His undying and unquestioning faith is something I need to incorporate into my own life more fully.

Today, he wanted to make "get well" cards and pictures for Daniel. He is so selfless and such an example. I often do not feel worthy to be the mother of such an amazing little man. My heart is full.

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