Wednesday, June 20, 2012

emma: {update}

There are so many wonderful things going on around us these days that I've written multiple posts in my mind.  If only I could get on here and type away as much as I'd like to.  Just know that I yearn to share what's happening with y'all, I just simply can't seem to find the margin to do so.

One of the most amazing updates I must share is about Emma.  Many of you have asked over the months, so here's a much overdue update (with permission from my dear friend, Amy, Emma's mom).

Many of you may remember my plea for prayer several months ago when Emma awoke one morning with her brain bleeding.  I don't think I shared a lot of details about this situation because we just didn't know them.  But now we know more.

I could sit here all day and night typing and listing all the ways that God moved through that horrible time.  Oh how I want to.  But let's just say that from the very millisecond that Emma's brain began to bleed, He was intimately near and orchestrating every minute detail of the events that followed.  From the nursing and medical staff God arranged to be working at that two hospitals that Emma went to, to a critically-timed helicopter ride, to a protocol-breaking neurosurgeon who listened to God's quiet voice in the night and chose to be aggressive in his treatment, to the multitudes of people who prayed nonstop for days, weeks and months.  I am so very grateful to be living and witnessing miracles in front of my eyes.  And Emma's recovery is definitely one of them!

Let me give you a little of the story so you can appreciate all God's done!

Emma woke up earlier than normal on February 23rd.  Her mom went into Emma's room and found her complaining of a splitting headache.  When Amy came back from getting Emma some Tylenol, she found Emma's speech impaired.  She started asking Emma questions and quickly learned that Emma was confused and disoriented.  Amy and her husband rushed Emma to the hospital where she was very quickly flown to another hospital across town.

Emma was almost immediately placed in a medically induced coma and many, many tests and scans were performed.  All the while, her brain continued to bleed profusely.  

The prognosis was grim.  There were moments of hope, but statements like this were said, 'If Emma makes it then...'.  It was terrifying for us as friends to watch.  I can only imagine how terrifying it was for Amy and Chris to live.

Generally, patients like Emma are in the hospital for months (sometimes as many as six months) with in-patient rehab to follow.  There is usually the goal of performing brain surgery once the bleeding subsides (normally many weeks after the incident).  Full recovery can take years, if ever.

Here are some photos of Emma (and other sweet friends!) before the incident:

Sleepovers are the best!

Really?  They can put two bodies on one swing?!

As if we didn't already love Emma enough, she encouraged Payton to accept Christ as her Savior on the night this photo was taken.  It was P's 10th birthday.  Payton had been stirring for some time, but Emma encouraged her to go for it, so she did!  What a pal!  When Payton told us the next morning, I told her (over my snorting and sniffling tears back at my girl's sweet decision) that she just gave herself the best birthday present she could ever have!  

Love little girls!  

Emma had surgery one week after the bleeding started (which was caused by a rupture in her brain -- very uncommon in children).  She was moved to in-patient rehab just two weeks later.  And was home just a month after the incident.  

Our first visit together after Emma and James came home!

Sweet friends reunited.

James, right smack-dab in the middle of the girls!

I've saved the best for last to demonstrate just how powerfully God is using Emma's life.  Not only was it uncertain whether this precious child would live, but it was uncertain what at all she'd be able to do (walk, talk, write, read, etc).  Check this out!

If you've never heard this song ('The Hurt and The Healer' by MercyMe), then go here and listen to the words.  It's incredible.  And to hear Emma sing it made us all bawl.  By the way, the woman who was announcing the talent show could not get her composure back to carry on with the show after Emma left the stage.  A very long, long moment passed before she could introduce the next act.  The whole room was a sniffing, eye-wiping mess!  It was amazing.  

We love you, Emma!  We're so proud of how hard you've been working.  You keep on fighting!  We'll buy tickets to your concerts one day to come hear you sing -- think you can throw in a backstage pass or two?  :)  You're one incredible little girl and God has big, huge, monstrous plans for your life!  

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