Posted on April 9, 2018
April 5th Evening Update
Whew! Whatta day! Today we headed back to Peoria for the 2nd time this week; this time, was to get his much needed change of the gtube. Both Annie and I were trained on how to change it out (every 3-4 months) and what to do if it “pops out”. After changing out the catheter a few times, this seemed like child’s play. Caleb got through it, we got through it, and everything went well with no issues. After that appointment, we had the pleasure to attend a recognition service for the staff at OSF who was involved in Caleb’s repair, recovery, and rehabilitation. Most of the staff that we met along the way was there, and let me tell you… it was very emotional. We walked (I don’t say that lightly. Caleb WALKED) into an auditorium full of staff (followed by most of Caleb’s care team) and was welcomed with applause. After a few words, I was able to read my letter of thanks that I wrote a while back (I’m attaching to the end of this little update). It was very heartwarming to see everyone that we spent our darkest hours with again. It was also heartwarming to see the joy and happy tears on everyone’s cheeks, just letting them see how well he’s doing and hear his laughter. It meant a lot for those, who the last time they saw Caleb, was in a hospital bed, not talking or even responding much, to see this boy walk into a room, smile on his face and talking up a storm. I have said it before, God is good all the time, and I thank him for the miracles he has done through our son. Tomorrow, we will head back to Peoria for a 3rd time this week, to go see a neuro psych councilor, to do an evaluation and see where he is mentally and possibly come up with a game plan on schooling and therapy. Please pray for a successful evaluation for the doctor to get a good idea on where he’s at and safe travels to our destination. If our praises weren’t obvious enough,,, Praise God for everything he has done in Caleb’s life, the people he has placed in his and our life and what he is going to do in Caleb’s life. Also an additional praise, we met a wonderful family while we were in the PICU. Their little girl named Molly was transferred to Chicago to be referred for a heart transplant. While we were in Chicago and had that 4 day detour (getting Caleb’s gtube replaced) we were able to visit with Molly’s mother. We just got word yesterday, that Molly received her new heart!!! Surgery went well and she is doing great!! Please pray for her and her family for a smooth recovery and a quick road to getting back home.
The following is the thank you letter I wrote a back in November and had the privilege to read to the OSF staff today:
I would like to take the time to say thank you to all of those who helped save Caleb’s life through all of this. If you look up “what is an angel?” you will find these definitions:
1. A spiritual being believed to act as an attendant, agent, or messenger of God, conventionally represented in human form with wings and a long robe.
2. A person of exemplary conduct or virtue
Even though I haven’t seen anyone with wings and robes, I have seen plenty with stethoscopes and scrubs or lab coats. Every last one of you is doing things to change the world and God has chosen you to do so. Whether it has been just a calling that he placed in your life to drive you to do so or a life experience that you have gone through to want to help others, no matter what it is, God has chosen you. On the day of Caleb’s accident God was there in every step of the way, guiding the hands and path of everyone involved.
To the driver and those who were first on sight, I want to thank you for using your previous EMT skills and for comforting Caleb talking him through the scariest part of his life and for praying with him asking God to watch over Caleb and to do a miracle letting him live.
To the first responders, thank you for your professionalism and skill, saving my son’s life. Thank you for your quick decision to just take Caleb to the hospital rather than meeting life flight at the scene. That swift decision saved my son’s life. Had he been taken by helicopter straight to OSF, they would have not had the needed blood on board to transfuse into Caleb.
To the ER staff at Perry Memorial Hospital, thank you for your skill and professionalism as well. Thank you for praying with Caleb and comforting Annie and I through this. Thank you for the job you did resuscitating Caleb bringing him back to us. Thank you for all that you have done.
To life flight, thank you to the pilot and nurses on board watching over our Caleb on the flight to OSF. Thank you for reaching out to Annie and I through this and showing your compassion and love. Thank you for all that you do.
To the entire staff at OSF, thank you for making this hospital what it is today. The ER staff, the trauma team, those who work behind the scene, the surgeons, the doctor’s thank you so much for your knowledge on how to analyze and take action in every situation, not once did I see panic or worry or frustration. Your calming, reassuring words to both Annie and I in the dark days helped us get through what seemed impossible to get through. I cannot thank you enough and am forever indebted to you for saving our son’s life.
To the entire PICU team… oh the PICU, thank you so much for doing what you do on a daily basis and keeping that floor the number 1 place in the state of Illinois. I cannot even begin to imagine how you get through each day. It was hard to see other families go through their dark time and tragedies, just as a guest alone, I cannot even begin to fathom doing that as a job. But each and every one of you are miracle workers. Thank you for including us in your daily morning rounds. Without that, I’d be clueless on to what was going on… well I was still clueless in all of your “doctor language”, but you patiently interpreted it to me and by the way you talked about Caleb, was reassuring to me that everything was alright. Thank you to the PICU nurses and PTCs, for your late night talks with Annie and I, you made it feel like we were talking to a friend, and we are now friends because of that. In fact you are like family to us, with what we’ve experienced together through this tough time with Caleb. But through that friendship, thank you for keeping your bearings on what the mission was and what to do when we were scared out of our minds. I know God has given me strength through all of this and through your professionalism, kindness and skill, you helped sustain that strength by openly expressing your excitement on how well Caleb has been doing and for your random visits. We cannot say enough to truly express our gratitude through all of this.
To the general pediatrics nurses and PTCs, even though we haven’t had a lot of bonding time and met on the upside of our stay. Thank you for all that you have done to keep Caleb comfortable as he transitions from recovery to rehabilitation.
To PT, OT, & ST thank you for your patients and encouragement to Caleb during this time. I truly believe that he has boosted his progress because of you and your selfless service to helping Caleb get his life back.
And to anybody in between that I may have missed. Thank you for saving my son’s life. Through all of this, no matter how big or how small you have impacted our lives through this, I truly mean from the very bottom of my heart, Thank you for what you did, are doing, and will do to keep those in traumatic times safe and being tools for God saving children. Thank you!