Encouraging news. After Derek’s washout & debridement (18th surgery) yesterday, they found out that his inflammatory markers were trending down - just what we prayed for.
They also performed an angiogram to determine if all 3 of Derek’s grafts from his triple bypass last year were still working. One of the three is not working but they still considered that good news as it won’t impede next weeks major surgery. They hope to fix that if the surgery allows.
Tomorrow morning will be his 19th surgery for a washout & debridement and if everything goes well, there is a small possibility that they will allow Derek to come home for a few days to be with family before the big surgery next Wednesday. (Closely monitored, back to administering daily IV antibiotics, and carrying his wound vac with him).
We are ready for him.
Please continue to pray for Derek’s inflammatory markers to go down, pray that he can come home for a few days to lift his spirits, pray for our surgeon (Dr.Youssef) who will be performing next week’s surgery as it will be a very challenging one.
Thank you for your prayers, words of encouragement, meals, flowers and support. We are truly blessed.
God is so good.
We pray for total healing, IN JESUS NAME
blessed hands from his wonderful
Our prayers are being answered! After yesterday and this mornings washouts, no new e-coli infection has been found and Derek’s surgeon felt confident to close his chest and put his wound vac on (the wound vac helps heal from the inside out versus suturing on the top of the skin). So his sternum is now closed but his chest muscles will be worked on next week.
Today, Derek is being weaned from his meds and has started to wake up. They removed this breathing tube right away as his oxygen levels were good. He was able to squeeze my hand, focus on me when I spoke to him and even say “I love you so much” in a scratchy voice.
On Tuesday, Dr. Youssef plans another surgery (#23) to re-attach his chest muscles.
We are grateful for the prayer support around the world that has come our way. We continue to see God’s grace at work through the hands of our surgeon and the amazing staff attending to Derek.
We walk each day in hope and trust.
God is good.
On Sunday, Derek was moved off the ICU floor to the Telemetry floor as he was stable enough to move. Each day he continues to get a little stronger and more aware.
This morning Dr. Youssef did another washout surgery (#23) but did not close his chest muscles as there were slight traces of infection found.
Tomorrow they move his pick line from his arm to his chest - as a more permanent and more protected area.
Friday, Derek will have another washout and based on infection levels, they hope to close the chest muscles.
Due to Derek’s e-coli bacteria being so aggressive and resistant to most antibiotics they are being thorough and methodical with each surgery.
We are prepared for how ever many washouts are necessary. There is talk of possibly sending Derek home next week and having him come in for washout surgeries then going home the same day. We shall see.
The goal is to eradicate the e-coli from the heart area and slowly and cleanly heal the wound from the inside out so no pockets on infection can form.
Here is a video of Derek working on his leg strength with PT today.
We continue to lean on the Lord in all things. Nahum 1:7 “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.”
Yes, God is good!
Derek is home…again! Today marked surgery #25 and Dr. Youssef confirmed zero infection and approved for Derek to come home.
Our “Superman” pushed through 70 total days in the ICU and 70 total days on the telemetry floor over the last 20 months.
It’s been a marathon with Derek pretty much missing the month of August so the kids decorated the house with a finish line and gave him a winner medal.
Due to the deep chest wound, Derek will go back in to the hospital every Friday over the next 6-8 weeks for a washout surgery (light sedation) then be allowed to come back home the same day.
We thank the Lord, the giver of every good and perfect gift. And we thank you all for your continued prayers for his full healing.
GOD is GOOD!
Today marks surgery #30 for Derek. Yes 30!
Since my last update, he’s been home recovering and we’ve brought him in to the hospital for 6 more washout outpatient surgeries - all without any new infection and his deep wound is healing cleanly (albeit very slowly).
He has been cleared from OT and PT help at home as he’s able to walk around the house, dress, get ready for the day with little to no assistance. But cardiac physical therapy is on hold until his wound is healed.
Though this journey is long, and at times we question why we are still going through this, we continue to put our faith and trust in God who sustains us.
Thank you all for not forgetting to pray for us. Thank you for the many financial gifts to offset costs. Thank you to our kids & our extended families for your amazing support. Thank you to our church family, leadership and staff for your excellent support! Thank you to our dear friend Marija Johnson for your amazing weekly family meals - what a blessing!
It would be hard to imagine going through this without you all partnering with us. We thank God for you!
Through the tough times and the best times - God Is Good!
Derek Update: Are we there yet?
Another week, another surgery. Derek is getting his 60th surgery as we speak. It’s truly amazing the grit this man has.
He’s preaching, driving, and being a dad, but with limitations. With his chest still “open” he has to rest more & can’t exercise beyond normal walking. He’s connected to his Wound Vac 24/7 and I continue to give him IV antibiotics daily. It’s all become routine. At least our routine - for now.
Most days, we are moving forward and living life normally. Some days, the weight is heavy. We never thought we’d be entering our 3rd year of surgeries - starting over with insurance premiums and being limited in our choices due to doctor visits and surgeries.
That said, God often needs to gently remind me to focus on today. Be grateful in the moment. Trust Him in the journey. So, that’s my prayer for you. Put your trust in the Lord. He may not remove all our hardships but He does walk through them with us.
We thank you for your continued prayers and support. They help sustain us!
As always - God is Good!