Actually it's from Ohio to Ukraine, back to Ohio, then to China

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

we arrived home

We arrived home yesterday about 7:00pm. It was great to sleep in our own beds, but I'm sure you already knew I would say that! I'll post more once I've had a chance to rest and get some work done for work.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Wesley has NO LEAKS!!

This is just going to be a quick update, but doctors tested today and Wesley does not have any leaks in the connections for his esophagus or colon!! This means that he is able to eat and drink by mouth now. About 2 hours after the test, Wesley was given a sippy cup with Pedialyte, and he's been nursing it ever since. He isn't drinking a lot, but we are so thankful that he is drinking at all!! The rest of the tubes come out tomorrow, and God-willing, we will all be sleeping at home by Sunday night.
Thank you for the prayers. Please continue to pray that Wesley continues to improve and that he begins to love to eat and drink.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

hanging out in a hospital room (day 8)

Wesley was moved out of ICU yesterday afternoon - Praise the Lord!! He is looking and acting so much more like himself that's it isn't easy to keep him occupied. I mean - there is only so much for a two year-old to do in bed for over a week, but television seems to work wonders. Now I do feel a little bit bad about letting him watch so much television and videos, but if I were in the hospital after a major surgery, what would I do? Probably watch television, and maybe read a book. Since Wesley's reading skills are right up there with his age, we're left with tv.
Wesley was able to get out his femoral line and the right side chest drain tube today. Tomorrow he has the contrast study/dye test to determine if there are any leaks in the connections of his digestive tract. Please pray that all has healed as it should. If there are no leaks, then Wesley will slowly be able to eat and drink!!! If there are leaks, then he has to wait until those heal closed on their own. I will update as soon as I know anything.

I was able to sleep at home last night, and I feel like a new person! I had forgotten how great it was to sleep in a nice king size bed without monitors beeping and nurses coming in every hour. I felt a little guilty about leaving Wes here, but I thought it was probably best for all our sakes for me to get some decent sleep. I am back here now, and I have a feeling that the little baby across the hall crying is going to keep me up tonight (just like it kept Damon up last night)...


Yesterday afternoon I was able to meet fellow blogger Connie and her daughter Sydnee here at Cincinnati Children's. Connie and her husband adopted two children from Ukraine six years ago. They weren't able to meet Wes as he had just fallen asleep (FINALLY!), but since they come to Cincinnati often, I hope we can meet up again. Her blog is


smiling at Doda (Grandma) and Pawpaw (Grandpa)

kicked back watching Elmo

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

off the vent & doing wonderfully

Wesley was taken off the ventilator this morning and has continued to improve since then. Once they stopped the sedation medicine, it didn't take Wes long to wake up at all! He has been fighting the sedation the whole time though, so I wasn't surprised. The nurse just took off the oxygen tube in his nose, so he is very happy!
I think the doctors will probably move Wes to the floor tomorrow and out of ICU. While I prefer him to be in ICU with the wonderful, attentive nurses, I feel better about him leaving ICU this time. He is in much better shape than he was on Saturday, and I have a much better idea what to look for as far as signs of trouble or distress for him.
Thank you so much for your prayers - I know the Lord has heard and answered them! Please continue to pray for no infection, continued improvement and health.
Wesley on the ventilator and sedated (I couldn't bring myself to post a picture of him on the ventilator until he was off of it.)

Wesley just hanging out this evening - look at those beautiful blue eyes!! I don't think he wanted me to take his picture though.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

back in ICU, but doing better

Wes was moved back to ICU less than 8 hours after being sent to the floor. Long story short - the fluid on his lungs isn't permitting them to expand as they should, so he had to be put on a ventilator. This sounds bad, but it allows his incisions to heal and fluid to drain off. He has been resting comfortably since then, so we feel much safer with him in ICU than out on the floor.
Please continue to pray for Wes and his recovery. I pray that this is just a small setback and he continues to improve each day. I will update when we know more. Damon and I are doing well - we are able to rest better with him here since we can see what great care he is receiving.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

out of ICU, still doing well

Wes was taken out of ICU this afternoon. He is resting comfortably here in his "regular" room. Damon went home for the night, but so far, so good.

Thank you for your prayers!
Wesley's head is the little tan spot to the left of Elmo on the bed.
Doesn't he look so tiny and pitiful?

Friday, April 17, 2009

out of surgery & resting well

Wesley is out of surgery and resting here in ICU. He is pretty much out of it, but he calls out for "Mama" here and there. The surgery took a little more than five hours, so it was shorter than we thought it might be (we had been told five to twelve hours). According to the doctors, everything went as planned. They closed up the spit fistula, moved the g-tube to a better location (slightly lower on his abdomen), and took out a 15cm section of colon and placed that where his esophagus should be. Wes bled very little, so a blood transfusion wasn't needed. He started talking as soon as the tube was removed, so his vocal cords are okay.
The doctors said that the surgery could not have gone any better than it did, so Damon and I are so thankful!! The head doctor said that on a scale of one to ten with ten being the most difficult, Wesley's surgery was easily a one!! Wesley did not have much scaring and his tissues were all healthy with good blood flow, so that had a lot to do with the "ease" of the surgery.
Here's my first cute story about Wes from today - after he was given the sedative and taken to the intubation room (I think that's what you call is), he asked a nurse to help him sit up from lying down. She did, and Wes thanked her and kissed her hand. I am so glad to hear that he isn't just polite when I am around reminding him to say please and thank you. I will say though Wesley is quite good with his manners - he thanks people for everything and sometimes nothing at all, he just says it for no reason.
Speaking of Wesley talking...I don't know if I've mentioned this, but since coming home Wesley has become quite the talker. Sometimes when he and I are in the car and it's been a long day for me, I institute a 3 minute quiet time. It doesn't ever last the entire three minutes (unless he would happen to fall asleep which never happens anymore), but it does give me a break. Wes was brought into his room in ICU, he woke up slightly. Apparently he started calling for "Duke" (not Mom and Dad, of course). No one here knew what or who Duke was, so a nurse came out and asked us in the waiting room. Duke is our wild dog at home, but that's not what he was asking for. We wouldn't have known what Wes was asking for except that yesterday one of the nurses asked him what his blanket dog's name was, and Wes told her it was Duke. I have always just called the cute dog head blanket body "your dog" (such as "I'll get your dog"), but Wes has had a name for him all along - I just never asked. I'll have to post a picture of the newest Duke - he was a gift from one of my Mom's friends, and Wes absolutely loves him. He is always there when Wes sleeps, so he must be a comfort to him!
Thank you so much to everyone who has been reading, posting, and praying for us! Our God is a God of amazing things and answered prayers, which of themselves are amazing things. Thank you also to my parents who came here early to the hospital and also came up yesterday afternoon to visit Wes! They were such a help when Wes started to get whiny from not having food for two days (to clean out the colon for use in surgery).
I will try to post pictures later - it's amazing how many little tubes and machines Wes is hooked up to! He is resting comfortably now, so Damon and I are going to step out of his room to get something to eat.
Have a great weekend!!
Love - Staci

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

heading to the hospital tomorrow

We are all doing well - getting ready for the surgery. Really that means Damon and I are trying to get ready for the surgery, as Wes has no idea what is going on. I think he might know that something is up because he only got one can of food today. We had to stop giving his Pediasure and start Pedialyte to clean out his system (to put it kindly). We head to the hospital tomorrow morning to begin the hard-core clean out, and surgery begins Friday morning around 7:45am.
Please pray for the Wesley, the doctors and nurses, me and Damon, "the clean out", Wesley's surgery, recovery, and I am sure there are more things, but that is all I can think of right now. Thank you so much for your prayers - it means so much to us to know that others are praying on our behalf!!!
I will post an update as soon as I know anything more.

Wesley with his basket
collecting eggs in his basket

running around the yard as he collected Easter eggs
Wesley was trying to put in earrings like I do

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

8 days until the surgery

We met with the two surgeons who will be performing Wesley's surgery next Friday. Everything is ready to go. To replace Wesley's esophagus, the doctors will be using a 12 cm section of his middle colon (hence the necessity of the clean out). Wesley will have incisions around the top part of his neck, around the middle of his stomach toward his side, and down below his belly button. Hopefully the doctors will not have to move his g-tube (the tube on his belly through which he is fed), but they may to be able to position the stomach in the best possible position for the attachment.
Wesley is expected to be in ICU for three to four days, then to a "regular" room. Once a scope is done to ensure Wes has no major leaks, we start oral feedings!!! A few days later we go home, so Wes is expected to be in the hospital for about 7-10 days total.
Thank you so much for your prayers - we can feel them. We are excited and looking forward to the surgery!!
Love - Damon, Staci and Wesley
Ephesians 6:10 - "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might."

Wesley with "Doda" and "Pawpaw"

not exactly a smile, but I think he was excited about something
feeding his dog a french fry
"Why will the dog not eat this fry? The dogs at home would."
walking around in my vest
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