Thursday 3rd June 2010

Well this is my final comments for the journey that has been recorded on the website over the last 15 months. First of all Lyn & I would like to thank my brother Colin and son Nicholas for coming up with the idea of this website for making it easier for family and friends to follow my progress daily.

I am still making a good recovery and nearly back to normal It has been truly amazing how many have been interested enough to pray/visit the hospital/send cards and leave comments of encouragement. The Medical profession have been marvelous, and are outstanding in their unique gift of caring for those of us in need.

We appreciate you all so much and your care has certainly contributed to a wonderful outcome. I do want to thank God who controls the breath we breath for His gift of life, and that it has been spared for this day.

Every moment is very important to us both and we want to use our lives for the time we have left, in serving God and people in our community...and our desire is to give glory to God.

I am so glad to have had the experience of facing death, and to have the peace of knowing I was secure in God... that if my time on earth was finished, heaven was where I was headed.

This was not because of anything good or bad that I had done, but because I believed in Jesus who made the ultimate sacrifice and took my punishment on a cross resulting in me being accepted now, and then heaven in the future.

Thanks again sincerely to you all and may God bless you, and be encouraged to be thankful for what you have, and keep communicating with Him no matter what you are faced with this day.

Ken/Lyn and family




Monday 3rd May, 4.15pm

Another month has passed and this means another year older for Ken during April just gone.  You will notice in the photo he was not aware in 2009 to celebrate but a very different story this year in 2010.  He is continually improving to the point there is not too much wrong anymore PTL!  Maybe up top not so good, but that has always been the case ….

We will have one more update on Tuesday 1st June.. and then we will close off as no doubt you have other people to care /pray for and show interest in….

Thanks again for your continued interest & prayers…and lets all remember it is God who has given us life today and He wants us to live for Him.




Monday 5th April, 3.15pm

The month of March has been great for Ken even though the 14th March was a reminder it is 12 months since he was hospitalized. However he has been taken off 16 tablets daily, slightly improved walking, loving food again but still gaining weight which he now hopes will remain as is!

Community nurses were coming to the home every second day, but of last week that has now ceased!  So thank you for being a part in his recovery.

You will never know what it has meant to experience such love & concern by so many people, your praying has not been in vain. We thank God for you all and the part you played and may you appreciate the life we have all been given by God this day!




Monday 1st March, 9:00pm

Ken is still improving daily and has continued to increase his weight during February.

An appointment last Friday to visit his surgeon and the staff of ICU in the LGH hospital was an exciting time as they had the opportunity to see the huge change in him.

Ken was reminded again from his surgeon, that he was the first person he had seen live in his medical career, given the condition of his pancreas…. and in the rest of Australia there are only 5% who survive acute pancreatitis....a humbling thought. After 11 months on antibiotic tablets he is now able to cease taking them, and a drainage point from his stomach is no longer required along with a feeding tube he had directly into his bowel for 8 months was removed.  So things are certainly becoming normal again for which we thank the Lord and for your interest,  comments and prayers….Thank You!

 




Monday 1st February, 10:00am

Another month has passed and Ken is still making good progress!  Weighed this morning, has put on 4kg in this last month.  Appetite is still great!  He drove 2 1/2 hours to Strahan on the West Coast on the weekend.  He is now able to walk with one crutch and sometimes around the house without any aid!  He still has a drainage bag on the side of his stomach but hopefully he will no longer need it soon.  Ken says it is a wonderful thing to have God as the source of his strength in all of life's circumstances, good or bad.  Thank you for your continued interest and prayer support.  He is making good recovery daily!




Monday 4th January, 12:00pm

Ken has made good progress this last month.  Due to the fact that his appetite is improving, he is eating and enjoying food much better which has resulted in putting on 1kg this last week which makes him now a whole 79kg (better than 105kg)!  He is walking with two crutch sticks now and no longer needs the frame.  His biggest milestone is that last week he was given approval by the Doctor to drive again!  Now we can't keep him off the road!  He is very happy about having some independence back.  Dad enjoyed Christmas dinner and particularly sharing time with his 10 grandchildren and especially the 3 new additions in the last few months.




Monday 7th December, 9:30am

Dad is still making progress even though it is slow, he can sense improvement.  Yesterday he went to church for the first time in 9 months then to Justin & Naomi's for lunch and handled the day well!  His eating is improving slightly and he is looking forward to putting on some weight rather than losing it!  Has been going to the Dr fortnightly for check ups and his blood counts are good.  A community nurse comes 3 times a week to change dressings and they are happy with his progress.  Thank you again for your interest and prayers and we look forward to giving you are more positive update on Monday 5th January 2010.  Have a Christmas!




Monday 9th November, 7:15pm

 

HOME AT LAST

 

It’s been great to be home this last week after nearly 8 months in hospital.  As you would understand it is a bit difficult to personally talk with you all but I want to THANK YOU sincerely for all the love, care, support, prayers, visits to the hospital, cards and messages on the website etc.  I have read many of them but still have a few more to go yet.  I have found it amazing that you have all been interested enough to follow my progress for 8 months.

 

Unfortunately I still have a way to go but I will do all I can to aid my recovery, relying on God to see me through.  I am so grateful to Him that at this point he has spared my life and given me the strength to help me through this very difficult time.  I have had to learn patience, perseverance and realize that my life belongs to God.  We don’t choose how or when we die but we can choose how we live!

 

Thank you again for the time and interest you have shown in my life, it has been a great encouragement to me. 

 

I also want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and all the best for 2010!

 

Kind Regards

 

Ken

 

PLEASE NOTE: FROM NOW ON THIS WEBSITE WILL BE UPDATED ON THE FIRST MONDAY OF THE MONTH.

 

 




Monday 2nd November, 8.35pm

He's home!  for good!  Dad was discharged from hospital on Friday, and subject to him going well over the weekend, he was to phone them today and say he's staying home - which he did.  So, after nearly 8 months, he's back home in more familiar surroundings again.  We hope and pray this will aid his recovery.

The bleeding has settled down.  He seems to be getting better with his eating as well.  The medical team have estimated a 6 to 12 month journey from here.  In saying that, we still believe God can miraculously heal him at any time. 

Without me saying anymore tonight, watch this space next week! SURPRISE! SURPRISE!




Monday 26th October, 7.45pm

As some of you may already be aware, Dad didn't make it home this weekend afterall.  Unfortunately, it was discovered during in the week that his hemoglobin reading was very low, meaning he was losing blood/bleeding somewhere internally. 

After consideration, the doctors decided not to go in again and have a look inside (you might remember last time this resulted in the bursting of a blood clot with Dad landing himself back in ICU).  Instead, they have given him 4 litres of blood and other medication to stop the bleeding.  They believe the bleeding is coming from a pseudo-cist on his pancreas (what's left of it).

This slowed him up for a few days, but it's amazing what a bit of blood will do for someone!  He has gained more colour and life back again.  Life certainly is in the blood (the Bible has something to say about that!).

As we stand today, we don't know when he will be discharged for home.  They are not giving us any indication as yet.  Hopefully it won't be too far away.  The procedure he had to stitch up the hole in his neck went very well.  Thanks to those who prayed.

Hopefully next Monday night we will have some more positive news and he'll be closer to home.

Blessings to you all.




Monday 19th October, 5.30pm

Dad came home again over this last weekend, and got on well.  Today he was to have a procedure under general anaesthetic to sow up the hole in his neck from the tracheotomy, from the inside.  It has never healed over properly.  However, it didn't happen today and is now due to happen tomorrow.  He is concerned about any complications arising, so your prayers would be appreciated.

On the home front, following a meeting with the medical team last week, the plan is to discharge Dad from hospital permanently this Friday!  He is now ready also in himself to come home, and hopefully it will be a real step forward in his recovery.  Obviously he has a way to go, and will continue with physio, regular checkups with his GP, and reviews with the surgical team from time to time.  We are trusting from here the pace of his recovery will pick up.

We will do an update again next Monday evening, and from there, will revert to updates once a month.  Also I think Dad is wanting to do an update himself once he comes home, so lookout for that one...it could well be next Monday...




Monday 12th October, 7pm

As you can see from the photos - Dad finally made it home!  7 months to the day since it all began. 

Arriving at the hospital early Saturday morning to collect him, he was a bit emotional, and also not sure how he would go.  All the family (including grandkids) were waiting on the balcony when we drove around the home straight, which again caused the tears to flow.

He stayed 2 nights and went back to the LGH this afternoon.  It was a strange feeling for him.  He managed very well, and didn't really want to go back to the hospital.  But it has made him realise that perhaps he's not quite ready for home permanently yet.  We will see how things go over the next couple of weeks.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and follow Dad's journey.  For all of you who have prayed faithfully throughout this 7 months, thanks very much.  If you have it on your heart to continue praying for him, that too would be much appreciated.  I hope you all have a great week.

 




Monday 5th October, 7.30pm

We have some fantastic news for you tonight.  Dad could be home for good in 2-3 weeks.  He was going to come out for the day on Saturday (just gone), however due to a minor issue with one of his tubes was not able too.  However, this Saturday, we are planning to bring him home for the day and probably to stay for the night.  He is very much looking forward to coming home!  The following weekend he will come home for the weekend, and if all goes well, he will most likely be discharged from hospital after that.  It's seven months on Saturday since it all began.

Since last Thursday, we've taken him for a few rides in the car - out to Grindelwald, George Town etc.  He's enjoyed getting out of the hospital and seeing some of the real world again.  Now he can look forward to coming home on Saturday.  While he still has a fair way to go in recovery, getting him home to his own surroundings (and out of the hospital!) can only aid his recovery.  He also had another CT scan on Friday.  The results didn't show any real improvement nor did they show things any worse.

We are all looking forward to Saturday, and we thank God that Dad has come this far and this day has come.




 Mon 28th September, 8:45pm

Today dad went to the gym for the first time and was able to walk up and down 6 steps.  He is also now able to get in and out of bed himself.  They are talking about allowing him to have a day out which he is looking forward too.  His stomach is not as swollen as it has been.  As you can see from above, he/we all have a lot to be thankful for.

Have a great week...

 

Monday 21st September, 6.45pm

Today we've had some positive news.  Dad moved back to rehab last week, and they've told him today they're happy with his blood tests, and the various things they measure and test as a result.  The doctor feels that he might actually be making some positive progress and steps forward which is very good news.  Late last week his temperature was up again, but it seems to have settled down again now.

For all your prayers, thank you so much.  We really do hope he continues moving forward now until he's able to come home, without any further setbacks.

Have a great week...




Monday 14th September, 6.45pm

Here we go again... 

Dad is travelling quite well at the moment.  I personally think he's in the best place I've seen him 'in himself', and I think he is starting to slowly feel better which is increasing his motivation to do the hard work and 'get out of there'.  It's been 6 months now!  One of the ICU consultants came to see Dad today and remarked 'what's it been now Ken, 3 months?' - he was surprised at how fast the time had gone.  It does seem incredible that it's 6 months, but I'm sure it feels every bit that long to Dad.

Tomorrow he will move down to Rehab ward again which is good.  He is now walking 3-4 times a day, and spending most of the day out of bed.  While he is still technically probably not 'out of the woods', we are seeing some slow, but positive signs of improvement, and hope he will be able to come home soon. Have a great week, and we hope we can report more positive progress next Monday.

 




Monday 7th September, 8.00pm

Good evening.  Unfortunately Dad has landed himself back on antibiotics and 'back upstairs' out of the Rehab ward (which he moved to last Monday), as after being off antibiotics for a few days some of the bugs resurfaced.  However the good news is they don't seem to be the bad ones that require masking up and isolation etc.  Also another CT scan has revealed an increase in collections of fluid.  But on reflection the doctors have decided not to do anything, and just allow the body to take care of them over time.  He is slowly gaining more strength and also more motivation to rebuild his physical strength.

A highlight for him yesterday was being wheeled down to the cafeteria to find all of us (his kids & grandkids) waiting with a 'Father's Day Afternoon Tea'.  It really lifted his spirits which was great.

They told us from the very first few days it will be a year out of his life, and its certainly looking that way!  A couple of people have suggested we have a day of prayer and fasting for Dad's healing which we are happy to do.  For those of you who pray and would like to join in this, we thought we'd set aside this coming Friday 11th September, and really seek the Lord, asking that in His grace and power He might restore Dad to full health and strength.  For those of you who will participate in this, thank you in advance.

And thank you again to all of you for your love and support through this ongoing journey...




Monday 31st August, 7:30pm

 

NO BUGS!  -  NO MASKS!  -  NO ANTIBIOTICS!

 

We are pleased to let you know that Dad now has been told there are no bugs (infections), therefore he doesn’t need antibiotics and we no longer need to wear masks, etc!  Dad still has a way to go but is slowly getting stronger.

He has still got issues internally that need healing.

 

Thanks for your continued interest and prayers.




Monday 24th August, 7:30pm

Good Evening!  Dad's diet has now advanced to normal food but he still doesn't have much of an appetite and is still receiving a feed into his stomach everyday as he is only eating small amounts of food.  He has had a good day today as he has done his longest walk yet on the frame.  Dad's stomach is still very distended due to swollen intestines and fluid.  Please continue praying for him as he is finding this journey very difficult the longer it continues - as are we all!   




Monday 17th August, 7.30pm

Hello again.  Dad remains much the same as this time last week.  Although he has enjoyed a couple of trips in the wheelchair down to the cafe in the hospital.  This helps him feel a little more normal.  And today, he spent his first time outside in the sun for 5 months!  Talk about enjoy the simple pleasures of life and creation...

Thankfully there have not been any further issues with the internal bleeding.  The doctors suspect this came from a cist on the end of the pancreas that is left.  The issues with the swelling, fluid and infection remain.  We would love to see a major breakthrough soon - it feels like a bit of a stalemate at the moment.  Due to his infections, Dad is not able to see his daughter-in-laws or his grandchildren, so you can imagine how that makes him feel!  We continue trusting the Lord and hope that He restores Dad and heals his body soon.  




Monday 10th August, 7:47pm

Over the weekend dad was stablised and on sunday afternoon was transfered to  ward 5B (A regular ward).  We are thankful that his bleeding has stopped ,but obviously this is something that they will continue to monitor.  Dad seems to be in reasonable good spirits, and will have to continue to work on building his strength up again.  Please pray for him as the journey continues that he will have the strength he needs for each day.

 




Friday 7th August, 9.45pm

This evening we have found out a little more information.  During the endoscopy on Wednesday, they didn't find any bleeding initially.  However when they were removing the light they noticed his stomach fillling up with fresh blood.  They acted quickly to prevent the blood from going into his lungs, hence the need for putting him back on the ventilator etc.  They weren't sure if the bleeding would stop, however it has which is great. 

Yesterday they gave him an angiography to try and find whether there was still any internal bleeding, and if so, where it was coming from.  They didn't find any source of bleeding, so if there is, it is not acute which is great.  They have been giving him more blood again, and he is quite stable at the moment.  However there is still an issue with the collections of fluid, temperatures and so on.  Tonight on leaving him he was in good spirits and looking quite good.

We hope to find out some further information from the right people tomorrow.  At this stage I will update again on Monday night, unless he deteriorates or things change for the worse in the meantime.  Thanks.




Wednesday 4th August, 9.00pm

Unfortunately, Dad is in a critical condition again, but stable.  He is on full life support.  During the endoscomy this afternoon, they discovered a source of bleeing with puss coming out.  While in the middle of this procedure he started to bleed further and deteriorated very quickly, and ICU were called in to stabilise him.

They believe they have contained or stopped the bleed in his stomach, but don't know what's going on outside his stomach, so currently they are preparing him for a CT scan.  Following that the surgeon will call to discuss the situation and whether or not they recommend any surgery.

In one sense this is hard to believe, and feels like we're back at the start again.  Your prayer would be appreciated, particularly for strength and peace for Mum.  We're thankful we can continue trusting God through this, even though we don't know what tomorrow will bring.




Wednesday 5th August, 8.15pm

We've just had news from the hospital that Dad had complications this afternoon during his procedures, causing a bleed in his stomach.  All we know at the moment is that the collections of fluid outside his stomach have broken through the wall of the stomach and may have formed a blood clot which they've caused to bleed.

He is now back in ICU on the ventilator again.  We don't have any more information at this stage but we are awaiting a call from the doctors shortly.  Once we know more, I will post further information again tonight.




Tuesday 4th August, 6.00pm

Sorry folks, but the tests were postponed today, and we now expect them to be tomorrow morning.  So on that note, I will update again tomorrow night.

Thanks




Monday 3rd August, 7.15pm

Good evening everyone.  Another week has passed.  Over the weekend Dad has passed a lot of blood, as well as coughing a small amount up.  This has caused the doctors and surgical team to assess him today to try and ascertain where the bleeding is coming from.  Internal bleeding can be serious of course.  His hemoglobin readings were also quite low yesterday resulting in a blood transfusion last night.  We anticipated they would do tests today, however they will now take place tomorrow.  They will do a test down through his mouth initially, and perhaps through his bowel at some stage.  So at this stage we don't know what it is, and it might also be that it has, or will, take care of itself.  If it is major bleeding then surgery will most likely be necessary.  In the meantime, the uncertainty is not much fun - for Dad in particular.

We're aware that in the photos on this site Dad looks pretty good, and if you saw him in person you would probably think the same.  But to be truthful, he is not as good as he looks!  He is not out of the woods, he is weak, and he is battling.  I say this to be real with you all, and also to encourage you to continue praying.  There is still no light at the end of the tunnel, humanly speaking its a case of "how long's a piece of string" as to how long it will take Dad to recover.  If you're still praying after all this time, that is amazing!  And we are very grateful as a family.  If you're not, I fully understand that too - it's been a long time!  However if you could pray over the next 24 hours with regards to his bleeding and for wisdom for the doctors as they seek to find the source, we would be very thankful.

Given the circumstances, I will update this site again tomorrow night with the results of the tests tomorrow.




Monday 27th July, 4.30pm

Another week has passed, and unfortunately progress continues to be very slow.  It's fair to say that we haven't really seen any real progress since Dad came out of ICU some weeks ago.

Late last week we discovered that he has a nasty hospital bug (similar to golden staph).  While we were aware he had a bug when he left ICU we didn't realise it was this nasty.  I think this is probably the reason we're not seeing a lot of progress.  He's been battling high temperatures again recently too, which is a sign of infection.  Last week the nurse manager said he is 'not out of the woods yet'. 

Can I ask you to pray for these bugs and infections to disappear.  Rehab is not able to progress much while he continues to battle high temperatures and bugs of this kind.  And no doubt his immune system has been shot to pieces with all these antibiotics he's been on for so long.  Please pray for his emotional well-being too as it's hard for him to see a light at the end of the tunnel at this rate.  He is trusting the Lord for his recovery...but also longs for it to be over.  I said to my wife only yesterday that even though it's been such a long journey already, we must never forget that "with God all things are possible."  We still believe God can heal Dad instantly should He decide too, and should He choose not too, we are thankful that He journey's through this with us, and we can trust Him regardless.

 




Monday 20th July, 7.00pm

Today another step in the right direction - Dad was moved to the rehab ward.  Now the hard work really begins!  A few of us are not sure if Dad is really up to it yet, but we'll see how he goes in the next few days.  This may make it a little more difficult for visitors given that much of his time may be spent doing his rehab.  Given that we're not sure of what the routine will be, feel free to continue visiting at this time, however we will update this website once we have more information.

We don't notice or see a lot of change in Dad from day to day, or even week to week at the moment - the doctors were right in saying it will be a long road home.  He's had another drain in over the past week to drain more fluid from his stomach, and also had a bit of trouble with his heart-rate, but things seem to have settled again.

Please pray for Dad during this season of rehab - it's going to be very hard for him, and he will need motivation and a positive frame of mind to push himself.  Thanks.




Monday 13th July, 7:00pm

Well another weekend has passed and really not a lot has changed since the update on Friday.  Rather than repeat was what said on Friday, I will just say that Dad still continues to need our prayer as he needs strength to get through each day

Please refer to last update as you will see that this will now only be updated once per week...Have a great evening




Friday 10th July, 7.00pm

PLEASE NOTE: from tonight, we will be doing updates just ONCE per week, on a MONDAY night.  As you're aware, progress is very slow and the updates will be of more value to you if we now update once a week, instead of 3 times. 

The doctors continue to be happy with Dad, encouraging him not to have too high expectations of the speed of his progress.  Dad is wanting significant progress each day (as we all would!).  In saying that, they will assess him again for rehab on Mon/Tue next week.  He has another chest infection at the moment being treated by antibiotics, but they don't seem too concerned about it.

Thank you to those who've been visiting, and thanks for your continued prayer.  The irony is that suffering of this nature helps you see so many things clearly in life.  It is challenging, and at times it seems so surreal, but it is real, and it is long.  Much can be learned through these times about ourselves, about God, as our character and perspective is tested.  I think its fair to say we don't really grow much in times of prosperity - it's in the difficult times.  A leader in the Bible was praying about the challenges facing his people, and he asked God to "teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom."  I'm realising more and more that it's only as we come to terms with the brevity of this life, that we realise it's ultimately about the next...and only then can we truly live this one with wisdom.  We've still got so much to learn from Dad's journey...but still hope God might decide to heal him completely - quickly.

Have a great weekend.




Wednesday 8th July, 8:15pm

Good Evening, the last few days have been much the same.  Today, Nick was able to take Dad to the Hospital Cafeteria in a wheelchair where he was able to enjoy his first cappuccino in 4 months (unfortunately it didn't stay down long), it was a bit overwhelming for him being in such a busy environment.  That's all till Friday.




Monday 6th July, 7.45pm

Over the weekend, the doctor told me they were happy with how Dad was going.  The CT scan last week showed a lot of the inflammation is gone, and while the pockets of fluid are still there, they are much smaller than they were.  The expectation was he might be moved to rehab today or tomorrow.  However, today the rehab people came to assess him, and don't believe he's ready for it yet.  They work them 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon - he's definitely not ready!  So we're not sure how long now before he moves to rehab.

Thank you for your prayers, and if I may I ask that you continue praying for Dad's healing.  Just now they've measured his temperature and it's high again.  He's got a long way to go, and I know he'd really appreciate being raised up quickly.  The hard work in front of him is quite daunting.  Either way, God will give him strength and he will accept the road assigned to him.

Thanks again to all of you who have visited Dad.  He really does appreciate visitors.  Visitors are welcome anytime between 12pm & 8pm, so feel free to come between those hours, however if it does suit you to come of an evening then please do, as a majority of visitors come during the day - and the nights are long for him.

Thanks.




Friday 3rd July, 6.45pm

Tomorrow morning marks 4 months since this journey began.  I think we're over half way now, given that Dad will still have another 2-3 months to go in hospital, and there could be even more time once he gets home.  We know God can speed things up should He choose too, but that's in His hands.  In the meantime, we must all value each day, which is all any of us have.

According to the information we have to date, the CT scan showed some slight improvement in Dad's condition, which is encouraging.  We're yet to talk with doctors about the detail, but hopefully that will happen over the weekend.  Thank you to those of you who have visited Dad.  He does enjoy visitors as his days are long, and he's got plenty of time!  For now, I hope you have a great weekend.




Wednesday 1st July, 7.00pm

Later this afternoon, Dad had another CT scan to check things out.  We won't know the results until tomorrow, but hope they show an improvement inside his abdomen etc.  It's probably fair to say that Dad hasn't really progressed much over the past week.  At one stage his bloodcount was low and his temperature high, so it will be interesting to see the results of the scan.

Yesterday on his rounds, the surgeon told Dad that he's never seen anyone survive who was as sick as Dad was - he's the first person!  It seems it's miraculous that Dad is alive. For those of you who've been praying, we again thank you and trust this gives you great encouragement.

That's all for tonight.  We will have the results of the CT scan for you on Friday's update...




Monday 29th June 8:15pm

Hope you have all had a great weekend!  As we have often said, there has not been a lot of change over the weekend. Dad has been quite tired today, mum said he pretty well slept on and off most of the day.  We ask that you continue to pray for dad as he is finding it quite hard at the moment having been in hospital so long. He has enjoyed a number of visitors as this certainly breaks his long days.




Friday 26th June, 7.15pm

A new milestone today...Dad had his first shower!  And yes, he has been washed before!!  His walking and physio is still going well too.  That's about it for tonight, enjoy your weekend. 




Wednesday 24th June, 7.45pm

Good evening.  I've just returned from Launceston and Dad is going well.  He's tired, and it continues to be challenging on a daily basis, but he is grateful.  He is now in a room on his own - much quieter than all the activity and care in Intensive Care!  Once he's off feeding through the tube into his stomach, they will move him into rehab which will be another positive step forward.  It seems the surgical team are happy with where he's at for the moment. 

For anybody planning to visit, it's important for you to be aware that visiting hours on the ward are between 12pm & 8pm.




Monday 22nd June, 4.15pm

Today, Dad's recent progress has culminated in him being moved out of ICU and into a ward!  You will know from the recent updates that he has been progressing very well, particularly over the past week or so.  Yesterday when I arrived to see him, his tracheotomy was out!  And so he was breathing completely by himself.  All the nurses raced over the cheer him on - he's part of the furniture there now.  At 3pm he enjoyed roast turkey.  And this afternoon, they moved him onto a ward.

At this point, I want to sincerely thank those of you who have been praying.  Dad has also asked me to do this.  The surgeon came to see him and said that he'd expected Dad to have another month yet in ICU, and so we praise God for the progress in his recovery over the past week or two.  Recent x-rays have shown significant improvement in his chest/lungs, and obviously this is confirmed by him now breathing alone.  Your continued prayers are appreciated as it's not over yet.  But this is a significant milestone, after 3 and a half months, for which we are very grateful and excited.




Friday 19th June, 8:45pm

Well another weekend has arrived and as Nick said on Wed, Dad is ceratinly moving forward but fairly slowly.  He had an xray of his chest today which has improved mainly due to the amount of walking that he has been doing.  Dad was able to eat a plate of food today which I believe he enjoyed, they will also take him of the ventilator for a while tonight which is positive.  He still remains in good spirits and is ultimately resting (As we all are) in the fact that God is in control, His soverign plan and purposes for each of our lives will always prevail.

Have a great weekend...

 




Wednesday 17th June, 5.00pm

Dad continues on quite well.  He's had a temperature the last couple of days, but thankfully the last reading this afternoon was a perfect reading for which we are thankful.  He has walked even further again today than yesterday on the walking frame, so things continue to be positive...slow...but moving in the right direction. 




Monday 15th June, 7.30pm

We are thankful for the weekend.  Dad seems to be moving forward again as you've probably picked up from the last few reports.  He is doing well at physio, and now coming off the ventilator a couple of times a day for up to 3-4 hours.  He walked further today than he has done in 13 weeks (I should tell you it was only a few metres!).  But it all seems to be heading in the right direction again which is great. 

We are truly amazed that you're still hanging in there with us, and checking the updates, it means a lot to us and to Dad. 




Friday 12th June, 7:45pm

Dad's last couple of days have been quite good,  as part of his physio he sat in a chair for a few hrs and today he even managed to take a couple of steps with a walking frame. Having said this though, dad has asked that we pray for him as he learns to walk again and cope with the physio (He is often quite warn out after it). The latest scan has not shown any further detioration which is great news. He is also still on the ventilator 90% of the time which obviously aids his breathing.

Will leave at that tonight, thanks once again for the thoughts and prayers...Have a great weekend

 




Wednesday 10th June, 7.30pm

Unfortunately not a lot of change to report.  Dad underwent a CT scan again at 4pm this afternoon.  We are yet to get the official results, but over the phone the doctor said there didn't appear to be "anything untoward".  We will have more information tomorrow morning.  Tonight we are all together for a family tea, and when Dad heard, he shed a few tears.  It's very hard for him to be stuck in there when he'd love nothing more than to have dinner with his whole family.  The journey continues...and we appreciate your ongoing prayer for him.




Monday 8th June, 7.45pm

Good evening everyone.  Dad continues on much the same over the weekend.  He is calm and peaceful, not in pain except when he is moved, and very accepting of his circumstances.  We would ask you though to continue praying for his abdomen and all the surrounding issues resulting from that.  Dad still has pockets of fluid in places that are awkward to get at.  Pussy stuff is still coming out the drain in his side.  The surgeons don't want to go in because of how difficult the surgery is and therefore the high risk involved.  Dad is on 4 different lots of anti-biotics, and wouldn't have much good bacteria left to fight infection.  Please pray he doesn't get an pneumonia, and that these pockets of fluid will heal up.  The reality is things could still go either way, but we continue to put our hope in God and His purpose.  For a couple of weeks there Dad seemed to be heading forward in leaps and bounds, but has not improved now really for close to two weeks.  God knows, He cares, and we will continue praying for Dad, asking for his healing and restoration back to full health and strength, but realising that God is God and Dad's future is in His hands.  Just a day or two ago, a 30 year old man passed away in the bed next to Dad.  We can be thankful for each day, because none of us know when it will be our last...




Friday 5th June, 7.30pm

Dad remains stable, and is travelling quite well.  Our understanding is that the doctors hope to take him off the ventilator tomorrow for a short time to see how he goes again. The pressure in his stomach seems to have lessened a bit which is good.  All up, I think they are happy with how he is going at the moment.  Sorry we don't have more to communicate...everything happens at snail pace in this game...

Have a great weekend, and hopefully by Monday we will have some progress to communicate in terms of his breathing.




Wednesday 3rd June, 6.45pm

Having just returned from L'ton, Dad had a good day.  His breathing seems to have improved slightly (after some challenging moments yesterday), however he remains on the ventilator permanently and unable to talk.  He is communicating with us through mouthing words and writing questions down.  It's looking like he could be on the ventilator for some days yet. 

They think the challenge with his breathing is to do with the inflammation inside putting pressure on the lungs, as we've said before.  Other than that they say he is doing quite well, getting stronger through physio etc. 

Just a reminder that this website is now being updated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only.  Thank you




Monday 1st June, 7:30pm

Dad has now moved for logistical reasons back into the main section of ICU (out of his own room). He continues to be on the ventilator, having real trouble breathing without it.

He was told yesterday he could have up to a 6 month journey in front of him which was disheartening. We know God has a purpose in all this and that He is with Dad through it all, but its a difficult journey for him. We were reminded yesterday of the love God has for Dad (and all of us), which we see demonstrated in what Jesus suffered on the cross for us - He understands. We are grateful for the strength and peace He gives. And we are grateful for your continued love and support.




Friday 29th May, 5.30pm

Good evening.  Please note this will be the last update until Monday night.  Also, from today on, we will update this site on Monday, Wednesday & Friday only each week, having a break on weekends.  As it's been and continues to be a long journey, this will pace things and make it a little easier from our perspective, while still giving regular updates.  We are so grateful to you all for your notes of support and encouragement, and most of all your prayer.  Mum read some of the entries below to Dad today, and he was most encouraged by them!

Today has been another challenging day for Dad as he again struggled with his breathing this morning.  So much so he again felt he couldn't take another breath during his rehab (a bit of a scare for him I think).  He did very well with his rehab, but please keep praying for his breathing.  He is currently back on the ventilator again so not able to talk at the moment.  He is so weak, including his breathing muscles, and has such a long way to go. 

Have a great weekend, and we'll be back on Monday night!




Thursday 28th May, 6.00pm

Today has been another exciting day.  From last night, Dad's breathing has vastly improved which is fantastic.  I noticed an incredible difference from yesterday to today.  Also, today for the first time in almost 11 weeks, he ventured outside of ICU and down the hospital corridor in a chair!  He was able to look out the window and see some of Launceston and the beauty of God's creation.  It was a strange feeling for him.  He seems to be stronger in himself, so thank you for your prayer, and we hope we can continue to update you with good news and progress like this regularly.




Wednesday 27th May, 6.15pm

Good evening.  When I arrived this morning to see Dad, he was struggling with his breathing again but they didn't think it was fluid and were a bit puzzled as to the issue.  However later this afternoon they did an ultrasound and now believe there is some fluid there that may need drainage, but we're yet to have confirmation of any necessary action by the doctors.  So in terms of something to continue praying about, it would be for his breathing.  The doctor feels he has gone downhill with his breathing over the past week or so.

Tonight they will be sedating him again when he goes back on the ventilator to give his body a good rest.




Tuesday 26 May, 7.15pm

They were planning on doing the ultrasound and draining fluid off the left lung early this afternoon then decided that it wasn't necessary due to finding only a small amount of fluid, so Dad was relieved.  This morning he sat on the side of the bed and tried to lift himself off it with help but his legs just felt so weak.  Dad would like prayer specifically for strength to enable him to stand and eventually to be able to walk.




Monday 25th May, 7.45pm

This morning the doctors decided to undertake a procedure to drain fluid from his lungs.  Unfortunately they didn't get much, so they will be doing an ultrasound tomorrow and trying to get the drain in the right place.  In the meantime, they have sent a sample of what they drained to the lab to see if it's infected.  So things remain much the same.   Your continued interest and prayer is appreciated.  The physio is starting to make Dad realise how far he's got to travel, and some days he wonders if he can make it.




Sunday 24th May, 6.45pm

Dad had a pretty good day today...they had him standing up this morning (with assistance) for the first time in 10 weeks which is positive.   It is very good for his lungs because it creates more space for them, and so they've decided to try and get him up quite regularly.  They will be doing it again at 7pm tonight. 




Saturday 23rd May, 7.30pm

Today has been another good day for dad, and although the procedure went well, the reality of what has happened over the past 10 weeks and the long slow road to recovery that is ahead has really hit dad.

He asked that we pray for his lungs as he is struggling with shortness of breath at times during the day
.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend



Friday 22nd May, 7.15pm

Dad had the procedure late this afternoon to insert the drain for the fluid around the pelvic area as mentioned last night.  About an hour ago he was still downstairs, apparently it's a 2-3 hour procedure.  So unfortunately I'm not able to update you any further at this stage.  I may update this entry later tonight.




Thursday 21st May, 7.45pm

I've just returned home from Launceston.  When I arrived this morning, Dad was a little emotional.  He hasn't had a good cry since it all started, but this morning he fought the tears back (and let a few flow) as he said "it's a hard road."  He is doing amazingly well and has a great attitude of acceptance, but experiencing the daily challenges of suffering like this. 

We had a good chat about the journey so far.  He shared with me that on the night he arrived at Launceston ICU, while the doctors were setting up the ventilator, he took what he thought was his last breath.  He clearly remembers getting to the point where he just couldn't take another breath (he'd been battling to breath for 4 days), and he said to those around his bed "I'm sorry, it's all over".  They must have acted quickly.  They told us a few weeks back that he went down hill very quickly that night.  So, he is fortunate to be where he is today, and we are all grateful.

This afternoon the physios had him up on a "tilt table" which he coped with very well.  Also late this afternoon, the doctors have decided it's time to start draining the fluid from around his pelvis as I think it's likely to be infected.  This is a procedure which will be undertaken tomorrow morning, through inserting a drain.  This is a much lower risk procedure than surgery as the surgeons have said they will not go in to where this is.  Your prayers that all will go well would be appreciated.  Thanks.




Wednesday 20th May, 7.30pm

We have good news today!  The scan revealed that the bloating of Dads stomach is caused by gas - remedy is to get him up and moving as soon as possible.  The abcess in his pelvis will be drained if it liquifies, meaning at the moment there will be no operation or drainage required.  As you can imagine Dad was very happy with that news, as are we and we praise the Lord for this outcome!  Thank you all for your prayers.




Tuesday 19th May, 7.15pm

Good Evening!  Unfortunately the CT scanning machine broke down this morning, so there are no results tonight. Scan should be done tomorrow instead, so will update you then.  The Doctors are a bit worried as Dad's abdomen is getting a bit more distended.  Mum is coping well physically but emotionally finding it more difficult as it continues to be an up and down journey.




Monday 18th May, 7.30pm

Today Dad has continued to travel well.  The ventilator is now out of his room!  And the plan is to try and have him out of ICU by the end of the week.  Tomorrow he will undergo this CT scan re the pockets of fluid.  Again, we'd appreciate your prayer that the scan won't find any fluid!  We will have the results for you tomorrow night...Thanks




Sunday 17th May, 7.30pm

Dad continues to travel well.  Last night was his first night off the ventilator, and all his readings remained constant which is fantastic!  He's enjoying some food, and juice and cordials and so on.  It was also encouraging yesterday to hear that the pockets of fluid that are cause for concern may not be infected (no sign of that currently), and so while that's the case there is no need to operate.  Of course their concern is they might become infected.  On this note, the CT scan is booked (not sure if it's tomorrow or Tues), so we continue to pray that they won't find any!  The other good news is that their's no fluid left on his lungs which is great.




Friday 15th May, 8.00pm

Good evening.   Dad had another good day today.  We continue to pray for him and ask that he might be spared the inevitability (humanly speaking) of surgery.  The doctors confirmed again today from their point of view that he hasn't really improved or deteriorated in the past 2 weeks, and they will continue to postpone surgery as long as possible.  Please pray it may not be necessary. 

***Please note*** there will not be another update now until Sunday night.  Have a great weekend!




Thursday 14th May, 7.00pm

Today the doctors told Dad about his pockets of fluid and that surgery (a risky procedure) will be necessary at some point (short of a miracle).  This shocked him a bit initially as he thought he was doing quite well.  Over the following hours he came to terms with it...and said to Mum, "I'm trusting in the Lord."  He is very aware of his mortality.  Mum read him some verses from the Bible, including Psalm 139 which is a great passage about God's love for us individually and his activity and presence in our lives.  I read this a number of times myself in the early stages of Dad's illness.

Please continue to pray for the pockets of fluid and that Dad would know the peace of God that transcends all understanding - with God all things are possible.  The plan is to do another CT scan early next week and see how they are...it would be fantastic if they don't find anything!




Wednesday 13th May, 8.15pm

Another good day today for Dad, he has been very awake and talkative.  Dad asked specifically for people to pray for him through the rehabilitation as he is finding the physio very hard.  Please pray that the collections of fluid will disappear because we have been told the risk of mortality will be higher than during the first operation if another operation is required.  Thanks and goodnight!




Tuesday 12th May, 7.15pm

I have just arrived home from spending the afternoon with Dad.  He is looking great, and today they have taken the tubes out of his nose.  He is in good spirits, and on the whole going quite well.  We chatted about a lot of things, and he started to get emotional as he said none of us know what's around the corner.  He said something today which I believe is very profound, and true.  So here goes, a famous quote from Ken Overton! - "It's the things you don't choose, that God can use."  His attitude and acceptance of his situation is fantastic, nothwithstanding the fact he'd love to be out of there!

Can I ask you to continue to pray for something specifically.  You've been fantastic and we so appreciate all your prayer and love.  The CT scan yesterday revealed pockets of fluid in a number of different places, including around the pancreas that is left as far as they can tell.  They are giving him antibiotics, but it sounds like the only way to deal with it if they don't work is through surgery.  They are not going to do that at this stage because the risk of bleeding is too high.  However, if Dad deteriorates, they will have no choice but to operate, as before.  Therefore, we would really appreciate your prayer for healing of these fluid collections so that he doesn't require surgery.

The other great news, is that what remains of his pancreas is producing perfect levels of insulin meaning he won't be a diabetic - for this we thank and praise God.  It's great to have conversations with him, and we hope soon he can move to the ward as he continues to recover. 

We showed him this website and some of the comments tonight on a small laptop - he is amazed by it, by the number of hits, by all the comments, and by the fact people would check everyday to see how he's doing - so, on his behalf and that of all the family - THANK YOU SO MUCH!  Hopefully it won't be long before he can start reading the comments etc.  Almost time for the budget - betta go and see just how much debt we and our children will have to spend the rest of our lives repaying!?!

 




Monday 11th May, 7.00pm

Dad drank his first clear broth today, also eating a little jelly and loves lemonade icy poles!  The intensivist came around today and answered a few of Dad's questions and also told him that he has overcome two major hurdles and is doing well.  They decided to take him for a CT scan just to see how things were going.  The results of the CT scan showed that the fluid around the spleen has almost disappeared and the fluid around the lungs is minimal.  It also showed a new collection of fluid has formed behind the pelvis and they are yet to consult with the surgeons as to the best way of removing it.  As the Doctors told us at the beginning, "It's not over till it's all over"!  As Lyn & Vanessa were driving home tonight we listened to a song of which the following words are part of......We thank You for grace in our yesterdays, we thank You for peace in our hearts today, we thank You our joy as tomorrow comes, we will trust in You our God!




Sunday 10th May, 7.45pm

Well, I've just returned again from seeing Dad, and he is doing really well.  He's a little tired, but talking away again and seems to be quite on the ball.  He was a bit emotional this afternoon when we arrived, and also when he prayed for his daughters-in-law.  We think they're pretty good too!  On a medical front, they haven't been giving him insulin for a week or two, so his body must be producing it itself (ie. the pancreas that is left) which will be fantastic going forward if he is not insulin dependant.  All is still progressing forward.




Saturday 9th May, 7.15pm

Good evening once again. Dad is doing well and had another good day.  The doctor has said today he could be out of ICU and on a ward in 3-4 days which is great news.  He's been talking away again and quite coherent, so all the signs are good.  We'd appreciate your continued prayers for him as he recovers, that he will have the patience to persevere with the rehab.  Good night...




Friday 8th May 2009, 7.45pm

Dad had another good day today.  He's been talking a lot and very coherently, as they've had him on a different type of breathing machine which allows him to talk without a cap on the tracheotomy.  The doctor said he may remain on this different machine overnight which is another step forward. 

He prayed with Mum tonight, thanking the Lord for bringing him through and praying for us as a family...then asking for his Bible.  Mum then read some verses to him.  He certainly has his eyes on and trust in the Lord, and seems very accepting of his situation.  He also asked for the TV and watched "deal or no deal" and the news.  They said today he will have another 2 months in hospital...slowly...slowly...of course God can speed that up should he want too.

Thanks once again for your interest, and I hope you all have a great weekend.




Thursday 7th May, 7.15pm

Good evening.  Another brief update.  Dad had another good day.  Continued on the ventilator to support his breathing, as the infected fluid being drained from around his spleen has caused his temperature to rise again, and he doses on and off.  Physios worked with him again this morning.  He said today he "feels like an old man."  It's hard work and tiring for him.  Hopefully the infection will settle down and he will continue moving forward.




Wednesday 6th May, 6.15pm

This morning when I arrived to see Dad, I told him he looked tired and asked if he slept well through the night, he replied back that he's had plenty of sleep!  Yesterday when someone said they'd go and let him rest, he said he'd had "bucket loads of that".  However, he has slept a lot today.  Following the procedure yesterday afternoon to drain fluid (drain is still in and draining fluid) and the last few days with considerable time off the ventilator, he has been very tired all day, and remained on the ventilator to allow him to rest.  Therefore we haven't been able to hear him speak today.  Hopefully tomorrow he will be rested enough to spend some more time off the ventilator.

He is in good spirits at the moment.  One staff member commented to me today that "he hasn't once complained," and he does seem to be accepting things remarkably well and remaining fairly calm and peaceful through it all at the moment. 

We are grateful to God that he continues on the whole to move forward, and continue trusting Him for the future.  Have a great night.




Tuesday 5 May, 7:10pm

 

After the CT scan yesterday, Dad was much more coherent with his speech today and was able to relate to everyday events.

 

This afternoon he had a procedure to drain the fluid from around the spleen.  We praise God that this was done in a timely fashion as the fluid showed signs of infection and it is better out than in.

 

After they needed to sedate Dad a little yesterday, he was determined that this would not happen again, but because his blood pressure went up, they gave him a small dose of sedation to help him relax during the procedure.




Monday 4th May, 8.00pm

I've just got off the phone from Vanessa who's still in Launceston with the results of a CT scan Dad had at 4pm this afternoon.  This morning, they moved Dad across the other side of the ICU into a cardiac room, where he is on his own (still with a full-time nurse) and can see outside etc.  This morning and x-ray revealed fluid around the lungs again, and the CT scan has confirmed this but they are saying its to be expected and ok for now.  What they did find was a collection of fluid around his spleen.  It's a medium-sized collection, and the doctors are awaiting the advice of the surgeons.  It's unlikely they will operate, but we're yet to talk with the surgeons.

All this has been a reminder to us that Dad is not out of the woods yet, and we need to continue praying for him.  You have been so faithful in prayer and we are so grateful, and would really appreciate you continuing to pray.  Pancreatitis is one of those illnesses where it's not over until it's over.  It seems likely Dad may have some (probably very small) of his pancreas left, and so I guess (this is my wisdom!) while ever that's the case, then there are still risks.  He also had some food today, but yes...it came back up again!

I think there's still some confusion there.  Last night he wanted to know if "that breathing machine was for you (Nick) or for me?"  When Mum arrived a bit later, he said, "I just want to get on with life"

The doctors remain positive and he continues to head in the right direction.  I saw him last night for the first time since he's been talking, and he said again that he is "thankful to the Lord" for pulling him through.  He saw some photos of how he's been, and couldn't believe it.  He said the only place to be is "in the shelter of the wings of the Father," and something along the lines of "when everything else fails, that's where the peace comes from".  It's been encouraging to hear him say things like that, his faith is strong, and as right at the start of this ordeal, the presence of the Lord very real.

Blessings to you all




Sunday 3rd May, 7.30pm

We have a lot to be thankful for once again this weekend!  Due to how well Dad has coped with his new talking technique, they are pretty well leaving him to talk most of the day. 

This morning he was a little disorientated and confused according to the nurses, but after a visit from Mum and Vanessa he seemed to become more settled and coherent.  We are very thankful that Dad is now able to talk as it enables us to understand better what is and has been going on in his mind.  He has expressed numerous times that he had no idea how serious his condition had been, later saying "God has been very gracious to me, and the only place to be is in the shelter of the wings of our Father."

Apart from that he remains stable




Saturday 2nd May 7:10pm

 

Well what an interesting day giving us a few things to smile about!

 

This morning the nursing staff were able to take him off the respirator and just have a single tube of air going into his tractotomy allowing him to speak verbally, although very quite and not his normal voice.  Apparently the first words he spoke was “it’s amazing” as he heard his own voice and thought that the doctor who invented the tractotomy was doing the procedure.  Later he asked Andrew to get the “inventor doctor” and have his picture taken with him!

 

Also we do not really know what Dad has been up to these last 7 weeks, but he said “I should have not bought that car”.  When quizzed a little further, he replied “the Audi”, but little did he realise, there is no Audi in our family!

 

He was making sure that Mum had taken her correct medication and asked her if she had taken “the blood clots”!

 

He asked Andrew what had happened to him and after hearing some of the ordeal, he replied that “the Lord had been very gracious to him”

 

They are intending to put him back on the respirator tonight so that his body has some more much needed rest and relaxation to continue the healing process.

 

As we look at the massive improvement over the last 10 days, we would have to say that the prayers of many people have and are being answered.  Thank you and praise God for His mercy and grace.




Friday 1st May, 7.45pm

Good evening.  Once again today has been positive.  The big news for today is that they've had Dad on a "tilt table" which assists him to stand upright, or at least for his body to be upright, and this apparently went quite well.  So each day there continues to be slight improvement.  The short-term goal still remains to get him off the ventilator, at least for a few hours at a time.  He's not there yet, but certainly still heading in that direction.  He also seems to be starting to take more of an interest in everyday, natural things which I think is a good sign.

Have a great weekend, and I'll touch base again tomorrow night...




Thursday 30th April, 7:30pm

Dad had another good day.  Continues on much the same.  They had him sitting up on the edge of the bed this morning for about 10 minutes with assistance.  They continue working towards getting him off the ventilator but that could be a week or two yet. 




Wednesday 29th April, 6.30pm

Today there is not a lot of change to report.  I haven't seen Dad since Sunday night, and he's definitely looking as good as we've seen him at the moment.  He is now pronouncing his words better (silently of course), but I'll tell you what these lip readers are worth their money!  We've got buckley's hope and none most of the time trying to work out what he's saying.  You can imagine how frustrating that is.  Earlier today they had him sitting on the edge of the bed again with the assistance of 4 people.  The medical staff continue to be fantastic and the nurses are great.  So all in all, things continue to progress slowly, and we are thankful.  





Tuesday 28th April, 7.20pm

Tonight's report will be brief.  Dad continues slowly heading in the right direction, with the surgeon this morning confirming it will be a "long, slow road".  The physios have been working with him again today, leaving us exercises to perform with him when we visit.  Your prayer for Dad as he comes to terms with his current condition and all the frustrations that go with that would be very much appreciated.  Thank you.

 




Monday 27th April, 8:05pm

Today was another positive day with the physio getting him into the sitting position with his feet on the ground for a couple of minutes.  While he is still not able to talk as the tractotomy is still assisting his breathing, he is now attempting to mouth words without us being able to understand, although we think he wanted ice in his mouth.

We are thankful to God for His healing hand so far and trust Him for the future.




Sunday 26th April, 7.45pm

I have literally just returned home from Launceston, and I think Dad looks the best we've seen him for about 5 and a half weeks.  He's tired, and dosing in and out, but certainly still heading forward.  He tried to watch the news, but to be honest I don't think he could really be bothered - too weak and too tired.

The last 6 weeks seem surreal in some ways, but we continue to be grateful for his improvement and trust we will see more over the coming days.  We will still be restricting visitors for the time being as he's not quite up to it yet.  As you know, it will be quite a road for him to regain strength, but the good news is the physiotherapists will be starting to work with him tomorrow morning.  All the signs continue to be positive, but as they said to me last night 'it's not over until it's over'.  We are all looking forward to him being able to talk again, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Have a great day tomorrow, and don't take it for granted!

 

 




Saturday 25th April, 7:30pm

Today has been a really encouraging day for us all as we were able to see Dad the most awake he has probably been since this all began.  He is now starting to move again 'slightly' which is good to see.  It was great to hear that the doctors believe he seems to be heading in the right direction which is very positive news.

Enjoy the remainder of your weekend and thanks once again for your continued prayer and support. 

 




Friday 24th April, 7:30pm

There has been little change in Dad today.  He remains off the sedation and awake, still only able to communicate with his eyes.  His breathing and blood pressure remain stable for which we are thankful.

We are all looking forward to spending some time with him over the weekend.




Thursday 23rd April, 8.00pm

Today has continued to be another positive day.  Dad is quite awake, but incredibly weak and decondidtioned.  He is unable to move, at all.  The only things he can move are his eyes.  This is what happens when you're lying around for so long of course, and reinforces how long the road home is - short of a miracle of course.

Andrew has enjoyed communicating with him today, through his eyes, even though Dad is not able to even use facial expressions at the moment.  So we are thankful that things seem to be continuing in the right direction, and pray he gains more and more strength as the days progress.  Please continue to pray for his strength and healing, and for his patience as he slowly becomes more awake.




Wednesday 22nd April, 7.30pm

Today I have spent the day in Launceston with Dad.  Things appear to be continuing to head in the right direction.  The sedation has been dramatically reduced, although it could take a few days for him to come around.  His eyes are currently mostly open (at least half way anyway), he yawns occasionally, but things still may not be registering at this stage.  He's also off dialysis and they seem to be reasonably happy with his kidney function at the moment. He continues to receive antibiotics to fight the infections.  The swelling and the fluid have definitely significantly reduced - and he certainly won't have to lose any weight for a long long time!

Cutting to the chase, the plan is still to have him slowly wake up, and see how he goes from there.  Thanks and good night.




Tuesday 21st April, 8:15pm

Dad continues to remain stable.  Tomorrow they are planning to slowly wake him up and it will probably take a few days for the sedation to wear off.  That's all for tonight, thanks for your continued encouragement!




Monday 20th April, 7.45pm

Hi everyone.  Today we heard some positive news with the leading consultant intensivist saying, "Ken's got a long way to go but he's heading in the right direction."   This is very encouraging and we praise God.  He also said he anticipated he would have another month in ICU.  This too is positive.  In addition to this, he is now off dialysis which has caused his temperature to go up again, though not as high as before.  So all in all we are thankful for this positive news.




Sunday 19th April, 7.45pm

Well folks, progress is slow.  Dad continues to be stable and his temperature down for which we are thankful.  We were told today that he did have an infection in or around the pancreas, and is being treated for that now.  We are yet to speak with the consultants to obtain some more detail on this.  It sounds like they are talking about taking him of the dialysis machine too for a few days to see how he goes.  Things scale back of a weekend at the hospital, so we might have some more information to share with you tomorrow night, as a new consultant will come on and decide treatment for the next few days.

During our church service this morning, many of the songs focussed on how great and powerful God is, and I was encouraged again that for God to heal Dad would be like you and I taking a walk in the park on a pleasant summers day - no effort at all!  And so again, as we were singing I asked God to heal Dad and restore him back to health and strength.  At the same time, I was reminded that God may have a plan and purpose in all this that we may never understand in this life, and so again I ended up realising that the only place to be is surrendered to His plan and purpose.  We continue to trust in a God who is good, who loves Dad far more than any of us do, who holds Dad's life and future (in fact the whole universe!) in His hand.  The uncertainty is difficult at times, and it's hard to continually see Dad in this state without improvement - but again all we can do is walk one day at a time.

We're amazed that many of you still check in every day to see how Dad is going, and I know he will be too when he finds out.  Your love and concern is appreciated, and again we say thank you!




Saturday, 18th April 7:00pm

There is no real change with Dad today, but his temperature has returned to normal over the last 72 hours.  He still remains sedated and restful.  Thanks for your continued prayer and support.  Hope you are all having a great weekend!




Friday 17th April, 7.45pm

Unfortunately I don't have much to update you on this evening.  Dad continues to remain stable, but is still not making any real progress.  As we've been told often and constantly said, it's a slow road, one day at a time.  We'd love for him to be healed and recover quickly, it gets harder the longer it goes on to see him in this state - your continued prayers are greatly appreciated.  Good night.




Thursday 16th April, 7.15pm

Dad has remained stable and sedated today following some instability during the night in terms of his oxygen levels. 

They have been supporting his blood pressure with medication since surgery, and won't take him off sedation until his blood pressure doesn't need any support.  He's also been put onto a picco machine today which measures the fluid in his body and where it's going - he has too much fluid in his tissues and not enough in his blood vessels.  The purpose of this monitoring is to avoid too much pressure on his lungs, and ensure his heart gets sufficient fluid.  He will also continue on dialysis for some weeks.  Another day to be thankful.

That's all folks!




Wednesday 15th April, 7.30pm

Firstly, thank you all so much for praying.  We are very thankful that Dad has pulled through the operation, and as far as we know to this point it went "reasonably well".  They have discovered that his pancreas is pretty much all dead, but we're yet to confirm how much of it they managed to scoop out.  For that which is left, a tube has been inserted to drain it over time into the stomach which will then pass out of the body.  In addition to this, there are a couple of drains around the liver area to drain fluid.  Samples of the fluid and the pancreas have been taken to test for infection, but the results may not be available for a couple of days.  They drained 2-3 litres of fluid during surgery, and of course there remains significant inflammation.

Dad is still under heavy sedation, and being heavily supported.  The body is probably in shock following surgery manifesting itself with shaking, so they are monitoring him at present.  He is on dialysis for his kidneys, and will remain heavily sedated for the next 3-4 days at this stage.  As reported earlier, Dad remains seriously ill with a mortality rate of greater than 50%, and so we continue a day at a time, and hope and pray that his body and the inflammation starts to settle down and begin to recover.  At this stage, there are no plans for further surgery, depending on how he goes over the coming days.

Thanks again for your ongoing interest, and your concern for Dad through all this.  It's been a long road so far, but there's still a long road to travel yet - we continue relying on God's grace and strength for the days ahead.




Wednesday 15 April, 12:05pm

 

Praise God that the surgery went for just under three hours and they are fairly happy with the outcome with him now being back in ICU.

 

They have removed where reasonably possible the dead pancreas which according to what they can see is now all dead.  They have placed a tube from the remaining dead pancreas into the stomach so that this will come out through his stomach eventually.  They have removed his gall bladder which always would need to be done sometime in the future now that his pancreas is gone.  The surgeon said there was and continues to be much inflammation in the stomach and there may be no further surgery required at this time.

 

They have warned the family that there is still a greater than 50% chance of mortality, so we all need not to give up praying and thanking God for His touch this far.

 

Nick will update this site again later in the day as more details come to hand.  Thank you for your prayers, support and love shown to us all.




Tuesday 14th April, 6.00pm

Well, it's all been happening this afternoon.  We were called to a meeting with a surgical registrar of the surgical team at 3pm.  The purpose of the meeting was to inform us that the surgical team and consultant intensivists believe that the time is right and necessary to operate to remove the neucrotic pancreas.  And so the operation will be first thing tomorrow morning.

Dad deteriorated over the weekend, with further damage to his lungs and needing a lot of support as you know.  He has improved a bit now, but a CT scan again today (similiar to the one a few days ago) confirmed that the inflamation of the pancreas and the fluid around it has increased quite a lot in the last 12 days.  Surgery (short of a miracle) was always inevitable, and they now believe it is technically possible.  Coupled with this is their desire to operate while Dad is relatively stable (although all his organs are struggling) rather than take the risk of waiting longer and him deteriorating further leading to emergency surgery. 

The plan is to remove the dead part of the pancreas (which is most if not all of it), and also his gall bladder if he is stable enough.  They will check his colon and depending on its condition he may need a bag.  However this could be the start of many operations depending on how it goes tomorrow.  Dad will need a lot of support following surgery - so still a long road ahead.  There is a risk of course as there is with all surgery.  It would be unusual for someone in Dad's condition not to pull through, but they have lost people.  The risk is with unstoppable bleeding as there are large blood vessels across the top and bottom of the pancreas.  The surgery will take between 3 to 6 hours.

Please pray for Dad, and for wisdom and skill for the surgeons.  Pray that there will not be life-threatening bleeding.  Please also pray for Mum.  This is naturally a difficult time for her and in fact all the family.  It's at these times that the possibility of death comes to the fore again.

Our trust is in God.  He knows what He's doing, and He has a plan for Dad.  We are also comforted by the fact that if Dad wasn't to pull through (of course we really hope he does), he knows where he's going - into the presence of His Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Not because he's a great bloke (which we think he is), but because he's placed his faith and trust in what Jesus has done for him.

Thank you for your prayer and love.  I hope this time tomorrow, or earlier, I can update you with good news.  We'd love as many people as possible to be praying for tomorrow, so if you could let any of your friends know who know Dad, we'd appreciate it.  Thanks.

 




Tuesday, 14 April 4:45pm

Please be praying for direction with Ken and check back later when Nick has had an opportunity to update this site with all the details




Monday 13th April, 8.30pm

Today has been another day of much the same.  Dad continues to be sedated, allowing the machine to breathe for him, and taking nitric oxide to assist the oxygen flow in the blood. 

Early this afternoon it was indicated that his kidneys might not be holding up so well.  Accordingly, it's possible he may need to be on a dialysis machine for a couple of days.  Unfortunately this is all I can report at this stage and no doubt we'll have more information on this tomorrow.  I'll look forward to updating you further then.




Sunday 12th April 8:15pm

Tonight's update will be brief.  There has been no change in Dad or his treatment today.  The plan is to continue keeping him sedated for now, and we are not sure for how long at this stage.  That's about it tonight, bye for now.




Saturday 11th April, 7.45pm

As per the report last night, Dad has remained heavily sedated today, his birthday.  Early this morning they decided to do another CT scan.  This showed there is still fluid on his lungs which they are ok with at the moment.  Also it revealed a significant increase in fluid around the pancreas, which they say is to be expected.  They are also now measuring the pressure in his abdomen.  If it gets to bad, an operation may be necessary to decompress it. 

To summarise, the doctors remain concerned about the pressure in his abdomen, and also will keep an eye on the fluid around the pancreas in terms of infection.  The nurse also said tonight that the stuff he is coffing up could be an indication of an infection, so they are watching that closely.  All this to say that the consultant did indicate this morning that he may have slightly improved.

So we would appreciate your prayer that Dad doesn't develop an infection.  Thank you and good night.




Friday 10th April, 2009

Hope you've all had a great day today.  This morning we spent some time with Dad again.  He was still very awake, but clearly tired and breathing very fast.  They had the TV on with the news this morning, but I don't think he's well enough to focus or be interested yet.

Liam (his only grandson) saw him for the first time this morning which was great.  Dad exerts himself for his grandchildren and it wears him out!  He also does this for visitors, which is why we feel it necessary to continue restricting visitations for the time being.  Around lunch time the doctors became concerned with his breathing.  He was breathing at 55 breaths p/minute (try it - you and I breathe somewhere between 8 & 16) and becoming unstable.  It took a little while for them to stabilise him again, and unfortunately they had to sedate him heavily to do so.  So heavily in fact that he is no longer breathing on his own, the machine is now breathing for him.  Based on what we've been told, I think this is the first time since Dad became sick that he hasn't taken his own breaths.  Until now he's always taken his own breaths, and the ventilator has assisted him.  It should only be a short-term measure, but means he'll be sedated for a day or two.

This will give his body a rest and is clearly the best thing for him right now.  It's a shame it came right now as it's his 58th birthday tomorrow and we were hoping to celebrate it with him.  It takes us back in time a bit, but this is part of the way this illness goes.  Your continued prayer is greatly appreciated. 

Have a great night, and continue enjoying and celebrating Easter.

 




Thursday 9th April, 6.15pm

Today has turned into a very encouraging day.  Dad has been quite awake since we first saw him this morning, and seems to have become even more alert as the day has progressed.  It's the most awake he's been while also remaining calm and peaceful.  Of course it remains very frustrating for him not being able to talk, but he tries hard at times!  He's also not yet able to write things down on paper.  So we all get frustrated as he tries to communicate,  but that will be par for the course for a while, until he's off the ventilator.

While his chances of recovery are 50/50, one of the head ICU consultants encouraged us yesterday to see the glass "half full" rather than "half empty".  He said based on what he's seen of Dad (not having seen him for 4 or 5 days) he'd be surprised if he didn't pull through.  Also in speaking with other professionals they say it's positive that he's made it this far.  So we are very grateful, and continue to hope he will make a full recovery.

From all the family - Happy Easter!  We trust you all enjoy a break and take some time to reflect on who and what it's all about.  This verse from the Bible sums it up succinctly: "Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said."

Oh, and don't eat too much chocolate!  (I've already started!)




Wednesday 8th April, 7:30pm.

Dad has remained under a certain level of sedation and is quite restful, there is really no change to report on his condition today.

We thankyou once again for your thoughts and prayers as we continue on this journey.




Tuesday 7th April, 8.00pm

This morning we had a family meeting with the surgeon and ICU doctors looking after Dad.  This meeting has been very helpful in confirming the reality of the situation, and aided us in our decision making on a few matters.  The surgeon has said it's possible the pancreatitis could have been triggered by a gall stone blocking the bile duct into the pancreas, and then it passed through so it hasn't been detected.  One of their reasons for suggesting this is that the first ultrasound did reveal stones in the gall bladder.

They informed us that in the first 48 hours of Dad's illness, he ticked all the boxes to be in a category of 30-70% risk of dying.  Even now, they say it is still 50/50.  He experienced initial kidney failure but they seem to be travelling ok at the moment along with the rest of his organs, but his lungs continuing to need support as mentioned last night.  The length of time for Dad to travel was stressed again, with the possibility of him being on a ventilator for weeks and possibly months.  The surgeon has previously had a patient in ICU with pancreatitis for 9 months!  Then 6-12 months rehab following!  We hope Dad's recovery will be much quicker. 

It seems clear at this point that the risk of operating to remove the dead part of the pancreas (which is most of it) outweighs the potential benefits.  Not only is there a high risk of mortality with surgery, but once they start it usually means a number of operations over a period of time.  Currrently we are in the process of obtaining a second opinion.

Coming from our meeting with doctors we visited Dad and he was the most awake he's been for a few days now, in fact probably the most awake full stop.  But I have to say he didn't look at ease, as the surgeons and doctors were surrounding his bed and then we all walked in behind them.  But he soon seemed to enjoy our company, responding with facial expressions as best he could.

I have been telling him that many many people around the world are praying for him, and of the number of hits on this website.  We started to read some of the comments from the site to him, but he's probably not quite ready to take all that in yet.  As soon as we think he is up to it, we want to read to him your thoughts and comments below.

Thank you again for all the love you've shown during this time.  I'll say goodnight as I'm going in to see him before heading home for a day.




Monday 6th April, 7.30pm

Today has been a tough day.  Dad is remaining comfortable and calm on a low level sedation, and is wakable (but very drowsy) at us talking to him.

But this afternoon, we discovered the doctors were suspecting an abscess or infection on the pancreas, after looking at the scan results from Friday again this morning.  The consultant's first words to me were "Ken is not doing too well."  This surprised me a bit, and started another roller coaster ride.  They were saying they were going to do some tests to see if there was an infection, and at that stage it seemed surgery was inevitable.  Surgery is high risk and apparently a small chance of survival.  Then earlier tonight we discover they've decided not to test for infection, as the surgeon won't operate at this stage either way.  Dad also has fluid on his left lung again, and so they will be draining it tonight the same way they drained his left one a couple of weeks ago.  They've said previously for Dad to breathe is like you and I trying to breathe with someone sitting on our stomach.

To be honest, it's difficult right now.  We're looking at some options which I won't elaborate on at this stage.  Emotions are very real right now, and Mum and Vanessa are really missing being able to hear Dad's voice.  It's getting harder every day for us all to see him in this condition.  It's just plain sad to see Dad like this.  Thank you again so much for your prayer and support.  Thankfully God is with us through it all.  Please pray God will give us wisdom as we look at some options over the next day or so.

Good night for now.




Sunday 5th April, 8.00pm

Hi there.  Dad has had another relatively stable day today.  Being under some level of sedation, he has been drowsy and coming in and out of sleep.  Late this afternoon some close friends visited him and he responded very well, putting out his hand to shake theirs, smiling, and winking quite a bit.  Not long after, he was asleep again!  Occasionally he's opening his eyes, but right now he's asleep.

Yesterday, Chloe (one of his granddaughters) said "I love you Pa", and he immediately smiled to her great delight!  We look forward to many more moments like that. 

Today is also 5 years to the day since Mum collapsed and her journey started, and we are grateful to have her with us these years on.   We'd appreciate your continued prayer for her as she's now the one sitting beside the bed and patiently waiting, hoping and praying.




Saturday 4th April, 7.30pm

This morning we arrived at the hospital to discover that Dad didn't have a good night.  And as a result they decided to give him another small dosage of sedation.  It is common when people are in ICU for a long period, to go through stages of "low spirits, depression, feelings of futility, anxiety, aggression etc etc."  While not specifying the details of how Dad went through the night, the doctors comment this morning was that "he was not himself" and "he had a bad night", with high heart-rate and blood pressure, and still battling high temperatures as well.

This of course was a little disappointing, particularly for our wives and kids who haven't seem him as awake as he has been during the week.  But, it's whatever is best for Dad right now, and this seems to be the best thing.  They have also had to cut back his feeds, as his body is not absorbing or keeping much down. 

While we are always hopeful of a more speedy recovery and will continue praying for one, I think the reality of the longevity of Dad's illness is starting to set in.  Humanly speaking, it's going to be a very long road it seems, and certainly that's what the medical staff continue to tell us.  The other thing that we hear regularly and understand is, "there is nothing we can do, but wait."  All of this reinforces to us as a family that we must "wait on the Lord" and keep our eyes on Him.  He will (and already has) give us the strength to continue walking this road, and we will continue looking to Him for help. 

While the doctors and staff can't do anymore than they are doing, God can!  However, we also submit to His purpose and will in and through this situation, and we don't know what that is, other than the fact that He will be glorified.  And we pray we are all starkly reminded of our total dependence on God for not only physical life and health, but most importantly, spiritual life and health through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross for us.  I hope we all come to know personally 'life that is truly life'.  This would be Dad's desire as well.

I've just had word from Andrew & Stephanie that they have started reducing the sedation again, and he is 'quite awake and responsive' again now.  When they left, his face dropped!  As you know, he loves company - so I'd better get off here and go and see him.

Blessings to you all, and good night.

 

 




Friday 3rd April, 7.45pm

Good evening everyone.  Today is another day we are thankful for.  Dad has been more sleepy and not quite as awake today as other days.  He didn't sleep much last night.  This morning he woke up with a rash on his arms, and so they've given him a small level of sedation to assist him to cope with that as it's apparently quite itchy!  This has also caused him to spend much of the day dozing in and out.  I'm about to go in and see him shortly, and hoping he might be more awake.

There is no real change in his treatment today, regardless of the results of the scan yesterday.  It's really more of the same at this stage.  Nothing they can do! The doctors and consultants have told us from day one that things could get worse before they get better, and so perhaps he's going through some of that now.  It's par for the course with severe pancreatitis, and as I said last night we still are very grateful that the rest of his organs are holding up quite well.

A couple of times he's wanted to write on paper, but just doesn't have the coordination yet.  It's all very frustrating for him, and also for us.  Late this afternoon most of his grandchildren have arrived for the weekend.  My three s saw him earlier, and Chloe has just told Aunite Vanessa that Pa smiled at her when she said hello!  He was not as 'with it' as yesterday, but they are glad to see him awake at least for a few minutes (as Pa's been asleep for a long time!)

That's about it for another day, and again we are grateful for your empathy through this slow journey, in particluar your concern and intercession for Dad.  I hope you all have a relaxed and enjoyable weekend with your families or whatever it holds for you.  I'll see you back here same time (roughly) tomorrow night!

 




Thursday 2nd April, 7.45pm

Today has been another good day on the whole.  We have spent some time communicating with Dad, particularly this morning, and he was reasonably restful.  It is certainly frustrating for both him and us, because we can't understand most of what he's trying to say.  He asked for a pen to write, and so we got one, but he's just not up to it at the moment. 

At 1pm this afternoon, they did another CT scan.  Unfortunately this showed that things have got a bit worse, not better.  The inflammation of the pancreas seems to be a bit greater, and it's possible more of it may have died.  He has fluid around his lungs, liver, intestines and so on, and his stomach is quite large (the reason they decided to do the scan).  We're not sure what all this means yet in terms of treatment, the surgeon will be around tomorrow morning. 

The good news is that his other organs are holding up quite well.  We are and can be very thankful for that.  You might remember that their concern with neurcrotic pancreatitis is multi-organ failure.  So far he's doing well in this department.

So I guess the bottom line is, it's a long way from over, and he remains a very sick man.  Please keep praying for him, for peace, for patience, and for healing and recovery.  Reports such as this are a reminder there is still much praying and trusting each day.   Good night for now.




Thursday 2nd April 8:45am

Good Morning.  From today, we will post just one update per day, in the evening.  As you are aware, dad's progress is very slow, and short of a miracle we are in for a long haul.  Often there is little to report first thing in the morning, and so we will update you at the end of each day.  Thank you for your ongoing interest in dad's illness, the response to this website has been amazing, and continues to be a great source of encouragement and blessing to us all.

I forgot to mention last night that during the previous night when dad was somewhat awake he asked the where Mum was or something along those lines.  The nurses were able to pick that up from lip reading.  And then early last night, he told the nurse he wanted to go home!  So your prayer for patience and peace for dad would be greatly appreciated.

Have a great day and make it one that counts for the people you love, you never know what's around the corner...




Wednesday 1st April 6:30 pm

Tonight we have great news.  We discovered this morning that dad had been off the sedation for 24hrs, and so he has been quite awake most of the day, the most awake he has been in two weeks since going into the induced coma.  We have been able to talk and communicate with him, even though he has not been able to talk to us.  He has frustratingly tried, including using all sorts of animated facial expressions.  He seems confused and disoriented, but coping reasonably well.

The plan going forward is to keep him awake, and get his body back into a day/night pattern.  Unfortunately he remains very sick and his temperature is still consistantly high.  It has been great for us a a family to experience today and we a grateful that he is now able to be more awake.  Thank you again for your prayers and please keep praying. 




Wednesday 1st April 8.15am

The report from the hospital this morning is that Dad continues to remain stable.  During the night he had some stomach cramps, and our understanding is that he is laying there with his eyes open quite a lot.  However even though his eyes are open he doesn't seem to be registering or focussing on people around him.  Andrew & I are heading back to Launceston now after a couple of days in Devonport catching up on some work.  We look forward to seeing Dad again. 

Please continue praying that he will improve, and be free of pain and anxiety as and when he comes around, and that he will not develop any infections or an abscus (sorry haven't got time to check spelling!)  We have no idea yet when he will be well enough to be more awake...still one day at a time. 




Tuesday March 31st 6:30pm

 

Today has been an interesting day for Lyn and Vanessa as he appears to be awake at times, although nothing really seems to be registering with him except for a few funny faces.  His condition has not changed much in that he still has the high temperature and fast heart rate, possibly due to being a little more alert.  He has also at times been moving his legs and arms a little.

 

Thanks for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.




Tuesday March 31st 10.00am

Unfortunately we are not able to update you yet today, as the nurses have been busy this morning and the doctors are currently at Dad's bedside.  Each morning we ring in as they prefer visitors to wait until after 11am, so we are awaiting their call when they're free.




Monday 30th March 9.30pm

Good evening and sorry for posting this so late.  Mum and Vanessa have been in to see Dad tonight and he again opened his eyes a little.  However he continues to remain too unwell to be more awake, or awake more often as previously mentioned.  While Dad has not deteriorated any further, he also is still not getting any better.  We are of course thankful he's not getting any worse.

The doctors informed Mum tonight that at about the 3 week mark there is a risk of developing an abcus (spelling?) on the pancreas.  Please pray this doesn't happen as Dad is approaching the 3 week mark.  It continues to be a waiting game while his body rides the storm out.  I wish I had more to say to you tonight, but for today, this is about it. 




Monday 30th March 9.00am

As is often the case, Dad had another stable night.  There is usually little change overnight as they continue to monitor him and let him rest, then the doctors do their rounds during the morning to decide the course of trearment for that day.  Have a great day, and we'll update things here again later in the day.




Sunday 29th March 8.15pm

Well, not a lot has changed since the update earlier this afternoon.  Dad remains sedated and not well enough to come around yet.  It affects his blood pressure, and heart-rate too much at this stage.  However, occasionally he still opens his eyes briefly.

I did want to tell you all that earlier today when his eyes were open and he was quite animated, I told him that people were praying for him all over Australia and around the world, and his face "lit up". It seemed like he tried to smile or speak or something...maybe he wasn't sure why...I don't really know.  However, on behalf of the family I just want to say THANK YOU for all your prayer, and also your kind and heartfelt thoughts and comments posted on this website.  All of us are very encouraged each day as we read the latest comments posted, and it's so comforting to know so many people are praying.  As I've said to a few people, if things take a turn for the worst, it won't be through shortage of prayer!!

Please continue praying for Dad's healing, and that he wouldn't develop any infections, and from here he would begin improving.  We know that God loves and cares for Dad even more than we do.  He's in good hands.  You become very aware in situations like this that you can't put your trust in doctors (as brilliant as they are and as grateful as we are for them and their hard work!), you can only trust the One who holds not only the world in His hand, but also our next breath.

Blessings to you all




Sunday 29th March 1.25pm

Ken had a good night rest and was on no sedation this morning. He attempted some facial expressions with Nick and Andrew late this morning; however they needed to give him some more sedation along with some extra blood.  Really at this stage they feel he is too sick to be too awake.




Saturday 28th March 8.00pm

I have just come down stairs to post this update, after witnessing the most exciting thing since last Tuesday week ago.  Mum, myself, Andrew & Vaness just experienced Dad with his eyes open for a few minutes, trying to talk to us (of course discovering and being told by the nurse he couldn't), and raising his eyebrows in a very familiar fashion.  Prior to my entering ICU, he also half-smiled to the others twice!  Earlier this afternoon he was also opening his eyes and moving his head from side to side.  So he is slowly, and it will be slow perhaps for a few days yet, dosing in and out of sleep, but of course still very groggy and no doubt disoriented.

We thank God for this, and would ask you to pray that God will give Dad peace as he slowly comes around.  Naturally, he could be quite anxious and confused, and knowing Dad will want to try and communicate and know everything that's been happening asap!!!  It's been a slow process because of the increase in his heart rate, erratic breathing and higher temperatures and blood pressure.  So tonight was very encouraging and we pray he will be able to continue slowly rousing over the coming days as the sedation continues wearing off.

Finally, earlier today they gave him a small blood transfusion as his levels were down a little.  Another matter for prayer too is that they don't want him to get any infections, anywhere, from here.  Please pray this doesn't happen.

Thanks again for your prayer and concern, and your interest in following this journey of Dad's with us.  Enjoy the rest of your weekend!




Saturday 28th March 8.55am

It is hard to believe that it is now two weeks since Dad called the ambulance with extreme pain in his stomach.  What a rollercoaster ride of changes in his healing process and an emotional ride for the family.  Please continue to pray for strength for each day.

Overnight they again attempted to reduce his sedation but due to a natural reaction from the way God made us, his heart rate and respiratory functions changes so that the sedation needs to be returned.  He needs to be as comfortable as possible to allow the body to continue healing.




Friday 27th March 8.15pm

Dad has had another restful and stable day.  As you might be aware from this morning's update, there has been some action taken to help his breathing, due to a fast heart-rate and abnormal patterns of breathing.  It seems to have stabilised out now, and he is not on any sedation that will keep him asleep.  So as the sedation gets out of his system, he may start to rouse some more.  Certainly this afternoon he was moving his head a bit, seemingly in response to voices talking to him.

The consultant intensivist said this afternoon this is an illness that the body is not designed to survive.  Hence all the support they have been giving him.  As one doctor said today, "he's got a fire in his belly."  As I said yesterday, this has started to break out of his skin on his back.  Pancreatitis affects all the other organs, and so each day they may change their focus depending on which organ is needing support and attention at that time.  So again he remains very sick but quite stable, and things seem to be looking as good as possible right now.  Until tomorrow...




Friday 27th March 8.30am

Overnight, Ken's respiratory breathing pace increased to the extent that they needed to increase the sedation although it is a fasting acting medication, so they will be able to bring him off it fairly quickly when best.  They are concerned about his breathing pattern overnight.

The Doctors will visit him later this morning but at this stage they believe he is not ready to wake up, so please Keep Praying.




Thursday 26th March 8.10pm

Well, another day to be thankful for.  This morning the feeding tube was inserted to allow direct access to his intestine.  Due to inflamation on his back (last day or so it has been extremely red from heat and inflamation starting to break out) increasing overnight, this afternoon they took him off for another CT scan.  Thankfully, there is no real change, and he doesn't need surgery at this stage.  It seems they were concerned there could have been infection of the pancreas or changes that may have required surgery.

Right now he is slowly coming around.  They have taken him off sedation and morphine, and as this leaves his system he should wake more and more.  Today was an emotional time for Mum as he responded to her talking and half-opened his eyes.  He has done this a few times tonight.  They say he wouldn't yet be aware of what is happening and is not responding to commands, but seems to coming around.

Driving to the hospital tonight I (Nick) was listening to a song, and was uplifted by the truth of the words, "All of my life, in every season, You are still God, I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship."  Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt, - it does - but often it's in the pain and challenges of life that we truly experience the peace, strength and presence of God.  No matter what happens in life, we have a reason to rejoice in and worship Jesus, the giver of life and hope.




Thursday 26th March 8.30am

Dad had another stable night.  The sedation has been turned off, and so it's now a matter of time to see how he goes coming around.  this could take some time.  The big thing is whether or not he will be able to cope with the pain.  At 10am this morning, they are also going to insert a feeding tube straight into his intestine as his body (stomach) is not really accepting his current feeds.

Thanks for your continued prayer.  Can I ask you to particularly pray for Mum this day, that she will know God's presence and strength with her.  She is doing amazingly well, but I know it's difficult for her to see.




Wednesday 25th March 5.45pm

Unfortunately they could not bring Dad around today.  As they started to reduce the sedation, it set off his blood pressure and his breathing became faster, so they decided to let him settle, and increase his pain relief.   Late this afternoon they have decided to again reduce the sedation slowly, hoping for him to be comfortable but also able to wake up with us talking to him and so on.  Dosing in and out of sleep.  So, maybe tomorrow?!? 

We continue to take one day at a time, trusting God for strength and patience, knowing that "with God all things are possible."  It helps to remember that this is about Dad and not us, and it's in his best interests to remain sedated until he is able to be awake.  Thank you again for your care, concern, prayer and love at this time from all the family.




Wednesday 25th March 8.30am

Dad remains stable.  High temperatures are still an issue.  Still hoping he might be awake enough to communicate with us later today.




Tuesday 24th March 9.30pm

They began slowly reducing the sedation at 2pm this afternoon.  They say it will take 24hrs for Dad to wake, and even then may take some more time for him to fully wake.  We are now very much looking forward to communicating with him again.  No doubt it will be a surprise for him to find out he's been asleep for 7.5 days, given the original plan was only 3 days.  Otherwise, he remains stable and is now taking feeds through a tube into his stomach.  Your continued prayers are appreciated.  His life is in God's hands, and we are thankful he continues to be stable.




Tuesday 24th March 3.30pm

Dad had the tracheotomy procedure done this morning, and remains relatively stable.  The plan at this stage is to start reducing the sedation slowly this afternoon, however they are concerned about his level of pain.  Hopefully if he can cope with this, we may be able to communicate with him (all though he won't be able to talk - and for those of you who know Dad this will be very frustrating for him!) later tonight or tomorrow.  We'll keep you posted.




Tuesday 24th March 9.00am

Ken had a reasonably good night again.  Still having high temperatures.  He has neucrotic pancreatitis (see last update - basically the term when part of the pancreas has died), and the doctors are concerned about him in the short term, as this can lead to multi-organ failure.  This is why there's a high risk of mortality at the moment.  So far his organs seem to be doing ok, with his lungs needing support. Your continued prayers are appreciated.




Monday 23rd March 2009 4.55pm

We have just heard some bad news.  A doctor has just informed us that the Scan on Friday revealed they can only see 1/3 of Dad's pancreas, meaning 2/3rds is dead.  We don't know if this has happened in the last week or if this was the case initially, but either way it is not good.  The doctor has stressed that Dad is very very sick.  We were told on Friday by medical staff (not a doctor) that there was no change, and so this has come as a real shock to us.

Please pray!  A person can live with less than 1/3 of their pancreas, however this increases the risk of mortality.  The plan is to do a "tracheotomy" tomorrow, and also to bring Dad off the sedation.  We are very much looking forward to speaking with him again, even though he won't be able to talk.  However we are saddened by this latest news. 

Thank you so much for your prayer and your support, and all your encouraging words below, they mean a lot to us during this difficult time.  Whatever happens from here, God is still God, and He is able to restore Dad to full health and strength if He chooses.  We continue praying for his healing.




Monday 23rd March 08:40am

 

Ken had a good night and is remaining stable.  They are still concerned with his high temperature.  The doctors will make their normal rounds later this morning to check on his progress and the next course of treatment.




Sunday 22nd March 1.00pm

The doctors are planning to do a "tracheotomy" on either Monday or Tuesday this week, which will enable Dad to continue receiving oxygen and breathing support, while enabling him to be awake and more comfortable.  There is 1 in 1,000 chance of an infection developing in the chest cavity resulting from this procedure.  We know they are small odds, but we'd appreciate you praying that an infection does not result, and this procedure will aid Dad's recovery.  Thank you




Sunday 22 March 08:05am

 

He had a fairly restful night although he is still having some higher temperatures to keep under control as well as needing to increase the oxygen level slightly.




Friday 20th March 9.00am

The plan was to slowly reduce the sedation this morning, but following a night of high temperature and needing more oxygen they decided not to.




Saturday 21 March 02:15pm

 

He continues to remain stable under sedation and rest peacefully at this time.




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