Friday, November 30, 2007
This was received from Elliot's grandmother, Jan Hughes:
Thank you all once again for praying for our little Elliot. I will try to keep things as brief as possible:
Tuesday of this past week, Elliot received a Central Venous line (CVL -a tube out of his chest) which will allow feeding intravenously rather than through the stomach. It seems the first surgery which placed a band around the fistula failed and stomach contents came up the trachea and into the lungs causing his recent pneumonia. He cannot receive mother's milk any more until after his big surgery.
Dr. Georgeson stated he is now convinced that the upper lobe of the left lung is non-functional and will need to be removed.
They now use the stomach tube to drain by gravity the gastric juices so they cannot go into the trachea and lungs.
After the CVL was placed, Elliot became more at ease and content, not showing the signs of pain as before. We were told that what he was going through (stomach contents going into the lungs) was very painful.
He finished his antibiotics (against pneumonia) yesterday.
Weight gain - Elliot lost three ounces the other day and the doctor is concerned. He needs to gain weight so the esophagus can grow. He did gain 1.5 ounces last night and a dietician is to be called tomorrow to begin assisting the doctor with a nutrition protocol.
Pray that the intravenous feedings will not overly stress major organs especially the liver as it tries to metabolize the nutrients.
Pray the pneumonia will not come back since he is now off antibiotics.
Pray for perfect timing for the surgery - the doctor says he will not do surgery until the esophagus is long enough - he still needs about three centimeters.
- we have been so blessed to see Elliot more peaceful this week - Josh and Angie are now able to hold him which helps both parents and child. He also is now off nasal oxygen - doing fine on room air.
Continued contacts at the hospital - Buddy was able to speak to a Chinese man whose son was critically ill. "Di" really seemed to appreciate our prayers for his son - Buddy hopes to have further contact with him.
Nurses - we see such a need for circumspect nurses. We have been blessed for the most part, but it only takes one to make things go haywire. We pray also for our testimony to them and that we may speak a word in season.
Thank you all again - I could never say it enough. We thank God for each and everyone of you.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Fast Facts: Tulsa is the second largest city in the state of Oklahoma with an estimated population of 382,872. For most of the 20th century, the city held the nickname "Oil Capital of the World" as one of the most important hubs for the American oil industry. Tulsa has been credited as the birthplace of Route 66. Located near Tornado Alley, the city frequently experiences severe weather. It is situated on the Arkansas River at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in northeast Oklahoma. In 2005, the city was selected as one of "America's Most Livable Large Cities. Tulsa's economic base is in the energy, finance, aviation, telecommunications and technology sectors. The Tulsa Port of Catoosa is the most inland river port in the U.S. with access to international waterways. Oral Roberts University and the University of Tulsa are located here.
The Work: Brother Clayton Cox, with his wife and two sons, moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1927 at the request of friends to help establish a work there for the Lord. The believers began meeting in a home that year with 6 people in fellowship. Tent meetings were held and some souls were saved. In 1940, the group rented a storefront location. By 1957, numbers had increased to the point that the group felt they should acquire a building of their own. The Lord has blessed this work, and today there are over 100 in fellowship at East Tulsa Bible Chapel. The group has a nice distribution of ages, ranging from infants to dear elderly saints. The believers there have a good evangelistic work with children. They also support camps, retreats,
and conferences to encourage young people to live for the Lord.
News from Tulsa, Oklahoma:
We thank the Lord that despite delays everyone arrived safely and the team is reunited here in Tulsa after a Thanksgiving break. It's great to see each other again and prepare for a week of outreach with the saints here. Most team members arrived around 3 AM Tuesday morning, so please pray for extra strength to keep going despite the short sleep that night. Lord-willing we'll have a full week with several outreaches including some which have already occurred. Tuesday evening a couple brothers had opportunity to share at a Children's Club at the chapel and the others passed out CDs and talked with students on the Oklahoma State University - Tulsa Campus. Early Wednesday morning two of us had the wonderful opportunity of sharing the Gospel at a once a month chapel service for an entire private Christian Elementary school. Wednesday morning has begun our outreach on the Tulsa University Campus. We plan to have a book table set up in their activity center Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, while others
share the Gospel with students and pass out literature outside. Three plan to share at the prayer meeting Wednesday evening at the chapel. On Thursday two plan to continue the outreach at the TU campus and share the Gospel at an international student gathering at lunch time. Please pray that we will be able to present the Gospel clearly and have wisdom in
communicating with those who have a limited knowledge of English. Others plan to commute to Siloam Springs, Arkansas for the day, Thursday, to help a widow from the assembly and to share the Gospel with students on campus there. Thursday evening, some recreational time is planned in a rented gym.
Friday afternoon outreach will continue on the TU Campus. The Lord has opened the door for brother Jabe Nicholson to share the Gospel at a free lunch Friday which will lead up nicely to a "Stump the Preacher" event Friday evening at 6:30 PM (Central Time). During our classes at the chapel this week Jabe is teaching on the book of Genesis. Saturday morning the Broken Arrow Christmas Parade will be taking place. We hope to use the opportunity to speak with the crowds of people that will be walking the sidewalks. Sunday morning two brothers will have opportunity to share with the adult Sunday School and two others with the children.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers. The Lord gave us a beautiful day Tuesday with bright sunny skies. We'll pray this keeps up all week! The Lord continues to be at work, answering prayers, glorifying His name!
Daniel Kresina and Eric Smith for East Tulsa Bible Chapel and "Good News on the Move"
"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." (Romans 12:1 NASB)
Not for Thee my weak desires,
My poorer, baser part;
O not for Thee my fading fires,
The ashes of my heart.
O Choose me in my golden time,
In my dear joys have part;
For thee the glory of my prime,
The fullness of my heart.
(Thomas H. Gill)
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Bible Fellowship rented the main auditorium of the local science
center for an outreach a week ago with the title, "Are we Alone in the
Universe?" The invitations and advertising expanded on that title,
specifying that the evening was intended to help answer some of the crucial
questions concerning God and His plan. Jabe Nicholson was with us to bring
the message. He spoke for an hour and 15 minutes, addressing the Bible's
teaching on these issues, and that was followed by a brief break and then an
hour-long question & answer time.
We were very grateful for the turnout as approximately 100 unbelievers were
there for the evening. We were even more thankful that there was a great
deal of interest, as evidenced by their careful attention for the entire
time and also the fact that virtually nobody left early.
We would greatly value your prayers for the work of follow-up. Most of the
unbelievers who attended did so at the personal invitation of one of the
Christians, so we now have opportunity to meet and talk with them about what
they heard. This will require wisdom, grace, and boldness. Also, every
attendee received a gospel CD (Hope in the Storms of Life) and some gospel
literature. Please pray that these tools will find their way into many
Monday, November 19, 2007
I am so thankful for the opportunity to share another update concerning
Elliot. He was rushed back up to NICU last weekend with a final diagnosis by
Monday of Aspiration Pneumonia. On Tuesday, the doctor scheduled a
bronchoscope to see into his lungs and bronchi.
With much apprehension, we heard that the left upper lobe was probably not
developed and therefore could not inflate properly. This would mean probable
removal of the upper left lobe during the esophageal surgery. The doctor
assured us he would not take out the upper lobe unless he was completely
sure it was underdeveloped. Although the news wasn't good, we seemed to have
a peace about things.
The doctor also said that he was extending the esophageal surgery another
two weeks which makes things fall around Christmas rather than at Joe and
Sandy's wedding. Due to the pneumonia, Elliot will probably stay at
Children's Hospital throughout this time rather than send him home to let
the esophagus grow.
We desperately covet your prayers:
1. Elliot's surgery this week (possibly on Monday) - that they can find Dr.
Jorgenson (we hope he is not out of town). He has done the first surgery and
the bronchoscope and is more familiar with Elliot's body and mapping of
blood vessels. Also, that things will go well during surgery with
2. The esophagus to grow - it has grown at least a centimeter and needs
three more to go!
3. Josh and Angie - Josh is flying now some days as well as being a husband
and new daddy. Angie is shining as a mom and we all feel she should get her
honorary nursing degree after all this is over!
4. Grandparents and great grandparents - I think we have all put on a few
years since this has happened. We just want to be used of the Lord - Randy
and Nina and Buddy and myself. We not only are concerned for our precious
Elliot, but also for our own children, Josh and Angie, as we see them
physically drained from it all.
5. To continue to anchor our thoughts and actions in the Word of God.
6. His left lung - please pray they don't have to remove it, but that it
actually is developed correctly.
While waiting for "my turn" by Elliot's bed tonight, I pulled out my Bible
while sitting in the waiting room. I decided I needed a refresher on Hebrews
12 - to encourage me concerning the Lord's love for me even during the
discipline in my life. I pondered the thoughts of being God's own child and
being treated like a child, i.e. chastening included.Â With the thoughts of
God's love flooding my mind, I still felt that my and my families' lives
were being catapulted up and down and over cliffs and crevices.
I continued to read until the end of the chapter, when I saw what I think
God really had for me to learn. Hebrews 12:28 states: "Therefore let us be
grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us
offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a
consuming fire."Â Case closed - God is not moved because of all of this. He
is in control. May our hearts be overflowing with reverence and awe of His
might, power and unending love!
Thank you for continued prayers
Sunday, November 18, 2007
From Grandmother Hughes
Thank you so much for your concern and prayers. Elliot does have pneumonia and they are doing a bronchoscope Tuesday, the 13th, to see if the left lung is developed correctly. They had suspected this earlier and then seemed to not be concerned anymore about it saying that the lung sounded fine. Now that pneumonia has set in, they are searching deeper. Please pray the lung is okay. If it is not, they are hinting at having to remove the upper lobe when they do the esophageal surgery. Needless to say, this is not good news. Pray that there will be a normal lung with developed bronchi so that he can keep his upper lobe.
Thank you again,
From Grandmother Hughes:
Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 2:02 AM
I am sorry for not updating everyone sooner concerning Elliot's condition. Days are packed with prayer, intercessions, supplications, work, grabbing a meal, trips running back and forth to the hospital, and waiting rooms. The week began with Elliot convalescing on sixth floor neonatal intensive careâthe unit which takes care of the 'sicker' babies. We saw Elliot be taken from a heated bed to swaddled blankets, from IVs jaunting from his head to no IVs at all. He lost five ounces one night, but we had hopes of regaining that swiftly. His cardiologist counseled that the hole in the heart was not one that would mandate surgery (probably) and that he felt that he would do fine. Praise the Lord! The left lung began to open and to the best of our knowledge, he has all of his lungs working well. Another answered prayer! The orthopedist stated that it may be that they let his little thumb grow for about two years before they decide if they need to really do anything at all. The spinal ultrasound seemed okay although the column ran a little longer than usualâwatch and see in six months. Elliot had a beautiful pink color and precious eyes. We began to think that healing had truly begun although we were cautious to continue to watch for any changes. Our prayer daily was that his little esophagus would grow. We received news Thursday night that Elliot would be transferred to the third floor intensive care (a step down unit) which assured us that he was doing much better.
I had planned to take my Saturday afternoon to update by e-mail, but received a call that Elliot was not doing well. We were off to the hospital speedily to find Josh and Angie with reddened eyes and trepidation as to the recent turn of events. They had noticed some wheezing earlier as well as a pale color. After some blood tests, they discovered his white blood count was inching upwards. He was still losing weightâabout a half ounce a day. He just "looked" sick and was crying more. They moved him back to sixth floor ICU and took him off the regular feeding. They have the IV back in his head and he is back under the heat lamp. Virtually, he looks like he did a week ago. He looks pale and tired, but is still fighting like crazy. He grabs everyone's heart. We come by his bedside and talk to him and pray.
We covet your prayers. Some special things to pray for are:
1. The new "infection" will be quickly taken care of with the IV antibiotics. They should know soon what exactly the infections areâmore than likely they lean to it being respiratory.
2. He will begin to gain weight. Our goal for waiting six weeks is for the esophagus to growâhe therefore needs to grow and put on weight.
3. The esophagus will grow---the preferable surgery is to use his own esophagus since it is muscle, but it must be where it will reach to attach to the stomach.
4. Josh and Angie---needed strength, both physical and spiritualâthis is a lot for a young couple to go through---they look to their Father to help them through.
5. Hospital contactsâa wonderful place to talk of the Lordâmay God give us opportunities and may we use the time wisely for His glory.
6. Grandparents---Randy and Nina in Kansas---very hard to be long distanceâmay the Lord carry through with added strength. Buddy and Janâmay we know exactly how we can help mostâbeing sensitive to Josh and Angie's needs.
I suppose that a believer reads verses over and over in a lifetime, but it seems that when times like these happen, certain verses loom off the pages and strike right to the heart. Psalm 139:5 has been such a verse, "Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid Thine hand upon me." We know God's loving hand is upon us and upon our dear Elliot for He is working in our hearts to serve Him to the praise of His glory.
Thank you everyone,
Elliot has esophageal atresia (EA). This is when the esophagus fails to develop as a continuous passage. Instead, it ends as a blind pouch unconnected to the stomach. Elliot was transported to Children's Hospital in Birmingham for surgery. The surgery attempted to attach the esophagus to the stomach, but it was too large of a gap. Elliot also has a fistula (an abnormal passage or connection between two parts of the body) connecting the stomach to the trachea. His fistula connected where the trachea bifurcates, which is unusual. This caused added difficulty to the procedure that removed the fistula from the trachea and closed the hole left in the trachea.
With the Lord guiding the hands and minds of the doctors and nurses, the operation was successful. They also placed a feeding tube into his stomach so that he can be fed his mother's milk directly into the stomach. He is in the NICU unit on a ventilator to help him breath temporarily and to allow the incision to heal. He will now be allowed to "grow" for six weeks until they feel the esophagus is long enough to attach. Right now it isn't known when or if he will go home between the two surgeries. He's doing very well.
Things to pray for:
1. His left lung: There is some concern that the left upper lobe may be collapsed. It seems to be doing better, but if it is collapsed, there is a higher risk for pneumonia.
2. His heart: He does have a small hole in his heart, a ventricular septum defect (VSD). The ventricular septum is the wall between the left and right ventricles (lower chambers) of the heart. A hole in the ventricular septum is called a VSD. It's not life threatening at this time, but could cause major problems if not addressed in the future.
3. His left hand: There is something different with the thumb.
4. His left kidney: It's not draining as well as expected, but the doctors say this is the least of their concerns. He is voiding well.
5. Blood vessels around the trachea: The doctors think that he may have a vascular "ring" around the trachea which will have to be re-routed to prevent major complications.
6. Infection: It's always a concern after any surgical procedure. There are no signs of any infection to date.
7. Bleeding: This is another post-surgical concern. There are no signs of any bleeding so far.
8. Josh & Angie: God is gracious and holding them closely as they trust Him with their little one.
9. Randy & Nina: They are in Birmingham, a long way from Kansas.
10. Buddy & Jan and all the boys and girls. Joe & Sandy's wedding is scheduled for Dec. 15, near the time of the next surgery.
Please pray for healing and strength for Elliot's little body. And for strength, encouragement, wisdom, and knowledge for Josh & Angie.