Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mothers, Sisters and a Miracle Open Heart Surgery

Last week was incredible! On Sunday we had a memorable Mother’s Day with the Looslis! It was an extra treat because Saren had been asked to speak in church (by her husband, the bishop). She gave an inspiring talk which included some family history about my mother that I hadn’t thought of for many years. She has such a bright mind with a great sense of what is important and powerful!  How I love that woman who also happens to be an extraordinary Mother!


For the last hour of our three hour block of church services, the bishop (guess who) and his counselors decided to have the men take over the Primary and Young Women classes and let the women just relax and chat in the cultural hal with no responsibilty for almost an hour! the “retreat” was complete with cake and ice cream. It was a delight to have time to meet some of their ward members and just “visit” which is such a rare commodity in our hustle-bustle world! 

Jared made sure the Mothers with little babies (there are no classes for babies under 18 months) had a break too. Before he was done, he found one more baby to add to this group in his arms and all four were as pleased as punch!


After spending some time helping others after church, Jared then rushed home to prepare a fabulous lunch for all of us! What a guy! 

I had taken the cute Chatbook that Shawni had sent to me for Mother’s Day packed with pictures from the kids’ childhoods on….and the book that Charity had created with pictures collected from all the participants of our fabulous MFME (Mothers and Future Mothers of Eyrealm) trip to Europe last fall. It was so fun to enjoy both trips through memory lane with the kids! What a grand memory! I had first seen this book (bleow) in London with Charity who also has a copy!


Calls and singing and Facetimeing and special messages always makes Mother’s Day such a treat!

The celebration went right on through Tuesday since it was my best sister-in-the-world’s birthday. This wonderful woman, Lenna, is also my best friend (well maybe next to Rick) in the world. She lost her husband ten years ago to cancer. He was diagnosed with stage 4 stomach cancer at 9 a.m. one morning just after Christmas and he passed away at 1 p.m. that afternoon.  She has been nothing less than heroic as she has gone through myriads of trials along with tremendous joys in the past ten years.


Our mom was married for the first time at age 38 to our dad, a widower who had lost his first wife to cancer. After two years of trying to get pregnant, they adopted a five year old and then immediately got pregnant with me and then, three months after my birth, mom was pregnant with Lenna. We are 12 1/2 months apart. Think of our valiant mom with two babies at age 42 1/2! My dad who already had two grown children, was 55!

One of the reasons she has done so well since Bruce’s death is that her seven children and their spouses have rallied around her with incredible support! Most of her kids and one of their spouses joined us for a birthday breakfast. These tremendous kids have rallied around her and have made her life full and exciting. She in turn has used her resources for family trips and has created incredible family togetherness. This family is packed with hard journeys and marvelous success stories and is full of light and love!


As we parted I solicited prayers from everyone for Noah and Krisit’s little two-year-old Mila who was due to have open heart surgery on Thursday morning.

Rick and I departed for Los Angeles at 5 a.m. that morning with great apprehension and worry about this little girl who was born with a heart defect and had surgery immediately at birth but was still having serious issues. To spare you all the details, the decision to go with the surgery now rather than later was heart wrenching, but they did it and they are so happy about the outcome which was even better than expected! Actually it was a miracle! 

Mila went from being in awe of the “fishies” at the aquarium at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital….


….to playing happily in the waiting room for almost 90 minutes before they called her in for surgery. It was 1:30 p.m. before they took her up, after not one request for food or drink (she had been fasting since the night before at 9 pm). 


Her Grandfather did a great job of keeping her distracted!


This is one worried daddy along with a marvelous mother. Although they had been through the wringer on making this decison, Kristi actually wanted to go into the room to watch the surgery! The answer was “NO!” 


Even though we were ready for a three hour surgery, the Dr. took our breath away when he walked in the waiting room door after an hour and 15 minutes. A world reknowned doctor, who was also a man of few words came in and announced with conviction: “I’ve closed the hole, I’ve carved out a lot of tissue to create space for a two ventricle heart. The valve looks good. This should be the last surgery she will have to have.”

It took our breath away!  Kristi and Noah jumped up to give him a hug which he accepted, but barely, and he was gone!  We were dumbfounded. Suddenly the plethora of our worries about about her little heart ever since the day she was born were fixed…along with that little heart… and we were overwhelmed with gratitude for the miracles of modern medicine and people who gave their lives figuring out how to make bodies, especially small bodies, work!

Still it was heart-wrenching to see this, this this one strong, brave little girl!


But as the hours went by, they pulled one tube away and then another and another. By the next day, they had her standing, walking a little the next. Five days later….she went home! It was truly a miracle for which we will always be grateful!  There is six week road of recovery ahead but with these astonishing parents, but she is on her way!



We are grateful to some many family members, friends and neighbors who fasted and prayed for this miracle! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

Next project…protecting her from her adoring siblings…namely: Bennett! Smile


charity eyre wright said...

oh man, i'm crying big (pregnancy hormones?) tears after reading this! thanks for the extra details about mila's surgery. love her so much and wish i could give her a cuddle right this second! love n&k so much too. love you so much too!! :)

Kiki Nakita said...


Prayers for Mila's recovery. Bless her heart.


L3 said...

What a miracle for your family! As a parent and a grandma, I know what this means for YOU personally.