Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Family Day and Please Pray

Thank you all for your prayers. Today has gone well. The boys were in a great mood and super excited to see their mom and dad. Kathryn and I were both anxious this morning about how everything would go. We knew that it would be good for them, but I was concerned about how Kathryn and I would hold up. We wanted this to be a fun and memorable day for them. It was clearly good for them to see Samuel and to have some time with us. In the end, I think that it was also good for us to spend some time with our healthy children (while still being near Samuel) and to re-enter their worlds for a little bit.

Once again, God went before us and provided all we needed. Cami, the photographer, was great with the boys; she actually used to be a child life specialist herself. Having seen some of her work, I am excited to get our pictures back ( She does some of her work with a non-profit called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep (NILMDTS) that photographs critically ill children free of charge. What a blessing! The photos will be cherished. Stephanie, the staff child life specialist, was also great with the boys. Before we went back to the CICU, she showed Caleb and Joel a doll that had some of the wires, probes, lines, and tubes that Samuel has. She brought doctors’ toys and the boys were able to use the stethoscope, take the blood pressure of whatever they could get the cuff around, give medicine through the IV line, etc. They thought that it was grand. They each walked away with a mask, a surgeon’s gown and hat, and a plastic syringe (not sharp… don’t worry).

Stephanie and some of the folks on the CICU floor paved the way for us. It was one thing to obtain approval for the boys to come in, but another thing to have a photographer. The hospital’s risk management was not excited, but Cami had been to Egleston many times before. Whatever conversations were had and whatever strings were pulled all happened apart from us knowing it. Also, while we were there as a family several other staff (nurses, secretaries, and respiratory therapists) who we have gotten to know came over to say ‘hi’ and meet the boys. One of them brought the boys some treats. We felt very well cared for by the staff. We are blessed.

Our time in the CICU was precious, chaotic, wonderful, painful, fun, a bit stressful, and very good. Earlier in the morning, when I told Caleb that he would get to see Samuel today, he was so thrilled. Caleb and Joel each got to hold Samuel’s hand, kiss his head, rub and kiss his leg and foot, and whisper in his ear. The boys wanted to know what all the meds were on Samuel’s medicine tree (the stand that holds all of his pumps and drips). We got all three boys’ hand prints on one sheet, and Samuel’s hand and foot prints on another.

Samuel has had a couple pretty stable days. In fact, Dr. Cuadrado – Samuel’s primary attending cardiologist – just told us that Samuel has actually approved a hair over the last day. He then reminded us that while sick kids can go downhill in a moment, they take a long time to get better. Too true. It is a sad but true reality of our fallen, human state that it always takes longer to build than to destroy.

The paragraphs above were written earlier today and I had intended to write more, but we just got back in to see Samuel after the shift change and he has a couple of numbers that are frighteningly low. They don’t seem to have great answers for how to help him given how much support he is already on. Meanwhile, right next to us, S – whose parents C & M we just spent 3 hours with – is in really bad shape as well. Please pray for Samuel and S. This is a very stressful place right now. The presence of God is needed here.


  1. I will be praying for both of the families in need right now. May you feel God in every corner of the room in and in your hearts!

    Love To You All,

  2. May the Holy Spirit flood the CICU with love, grace, hope and healing!

    May Aamuel and S. be blanketed by the warmth of human hearts, and angels blowing softly over them, whispering, "Grow, grow, grow..."

    May the red thread of Christ's perfectly human and Sacred Heart and His shed Blood flow over them and wash them to safe harbor in His Arms and the arms of their parents, in the promise of fulfilled earthly life and of life eternal.

    God blesses you,

  3. Lord,
    Fill that room with your mighty power, abounding love, ultimate healing, and unending grace. Grant parents peace and hope; children comfort and strength. We love you and praise you for never leaving our sides and carrying us when we are weary. Bless these families. Provide rest for them this night, refresh and renew them.

  4. From Isaiah 43
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
    When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
    and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
    When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
    Do not be afraid, for I am with you;

    Fahter cover their weary bodies, minds and spirits. Strengthen them and refresh them. Thank you for the preciousness of this day. Thank you that they do not walk this road alone. Thank you that you are with them as their provider giving them everything they need. Come in your power in the CICU to minister to all those there. Show yourself strong.

  5. your strength, courage, and faith through all of this is a testimony to each and every one of us! it is a privilege and honor to pray for your family during this time. we love and care for all of you deeply!

  6. Thank you Mary for painting that beautiful picture. I am picturing the angels blowing softly over Samuel and the other sweet babies as I write this. And I am repeating Marta's prayer which puts into words my heart's cry. Thank you Jesus for giving the Apinis family this special day.

  7. K and B- Thanking God for His provision for you today and the sweet family time that you were able to spend with all three of your boys. Praying that both of you and Samuel would sense the nearness of God tonight and be comforted by His presence. Jennifer and Jason

  8. Thank God for surrounding you with people who could help you make this a memorable day. Your boys are darling! Continuted prayer for Samuel and S. May you all be filled with His amazing grace.

  9. I was praying with my mom just now, and she saw Jesus holding Samuel and smiling, and saw two of you smiling as well. We continue to pray.
    -Trish & Nate Hendon

  10. Praying for you, praying for Samuel and S. So thankful and rejoicing in this morning you had with all 3 boys.
    -Joe and Emily

  11. Praying, praying, praying right now. Courageously, boldly, humbly, brokenly praying for all of you.

  12. Continuing to pray for peace, courage and a sense of Jesus' presence bearing your pain, sorrow and hope. Grateful for child life specialists and compassionate medical staff...and praying for patience for those that are not as gentle with your family. Also praying for continued emotional protection of Joel and Caleb as they cope with all these changes.