Sheriff Sarah

Sheriff Sarah

Monday, January 19, 2009

Returning Home and Time to Ramp up the Prayers!

Patty and Sarah returned home this evening. We are encouraged to learn that all her important readings from her liver panel - bilirubin, AST, ALT, GGT - are continuing to drop into the normal range. Patty learned some interesting things from Dr. Christie during her stay and she may share some of her reflections later in the week. 

First and foremost in need of prayer is the blood flow through Sarah's kidney to her heart. As it was explained to Patty, blood flows from the spleen and intestines up through the liver into the heart. At this point in time while the pathway to the liver is fine, due to the scar tissue from the Kasai procedure, it is slow going for the blood into the liver. Things are complicated by what Dr. Christie referred to as "bile lakes" inside the liver which make it tougher for the blood to quickly flow through the liver. We need prayer that the scar tissue around the area connected directly to the intestines will heal, allowing a better flow of blood.

Dr. Christie has recommended ultrasounds every three months to monitor the blood flow as that is the only way to accurately track it. What they don't want to see happen is the liver continue to have issues pumping blood through. This can lead to the blood backing up the spleen and enlarging it. The spleen then makes its own "alternate route" for the blood, sending it back up the esophagus to the heart. This can cause some damage to the esophagus and enlarge the spleen.

Looks like we have to ramp up the prayers for Sarah. While a transplant is likely in well over 50% of biliary atresia cases, we are still believing God can completely heal her. 

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Infections and Cholangitis

Patty and Sarah will be staying at Children's until Tuesday. Dr. Christie, the GI doctor on duty has said it is a precaution to insure Sarah does not have cholangitis. This can cause damage to the liver and is one of the reasons they like to monitor a patient anytime they have a fever that pops out of nowhere like Sarah's did on Friday. She hasn't had a fever in over 24 hours so praise God. Dr. Christie also wanted to insure enough of the 2nd antibiotic (she already takes one on a daily basis) had worked into her system that the cholangitis would not be an issue that pops up once we return home. Since the liver is not working at its optimum level, any infection but especially cholangitis can prevent a problem so it is essential we are vigilant (and constantly in prayer!).

We have said this before but we are so very blessed to have a Children's Hospital so close to our home, and to have so many liver experts readily available. More good news is that Sarah's bilirubin has improved even more than the Thursday appointment! We just need to keep our eyes open for any more fevers and any signs of jaundice.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sarah Ann

Sarah back at Children's

Patty had planned an overnighter with some girlfriends weeks ago and no sooner had she arrived last night for some games and fellowship then Sarah became fussy. At one point she had a 102 degree fever. After consulting with the on-call pediatrician from our clinic, Patty and our good friend, Kim, went to Children's about 10pm. I just learned that Sarah will have to stay there until at least Monday morning. They need to determine WHY she has such a high fever because of her liver issues. Please keep her in your prayers. Patty seems to be doing pretty well because she is at Children's.  :o)    They should have some type of "frequent visitors" reward program in place for us!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Good Report

We had our first meeting with Dr. Healey since Sarah's surgery on November 17.  We had been looking forward to speaking with him for some time. We are praising God for the report we received today.

Dr. Healey provided a tremendous amount of encouragement. First and foremost regarding her labs, her bilirubin has returned to normal which is outstanding. He then explained the other significant factors included in the labs. AST and ALT are enzymes that the liver cells create. As with the other counts, the lower these are the better. The ALT is completely within the normal range and the AST is on its way there. The GGT, which are enzymes the bile ducts create, is trending towards normal but has some way to go. It needs to reach about 55 to become normal and is currently at 465. That may seem high but compared to where the counts were before it is excellent.

Dr. Healey is very pleased with Sarah's progress and noted that she is improving as fast as can be expected. If those blood counts were not continuing to decrease there would be some concern. While her belly is still quite bloated and obviously retaining fluid, Dr. Healey said that based on her gaining some chub on her arms and legs he is not concerned about her nutrition. He reminded us this is not a speedy process and to be patient.

Thanks for your continued prayers. We know God is doing a mighty work within Sarah. As a bonus, Patty even got to share on the air with Spirit105.3 today and they prayed for her while on the radio!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Some of our Favorite People

I know we have mentioned some of the fine doctors that have helped Sarah at Children's Hospital but there is a long list of those other tireless workers: nurses. 

We are especially grateful to Jenine in the first floor Train section during our pre-op stay and to the long list of those who loved on our little one in the Giraffe 3 section post-op: Liz, Tim, Natalie, Julie, Daniel, Teresa, and Zusi.

Additionally there are those who showed special care toward Sarah and our family and we are so thankful for them - Rachel and Beth, Charlotte and Carah, Spencer, Rochelle and Meggie. 

None of you will soon be forgotten!