Another loss

I'm at a loss right now as to what to even say. I will, at some point, explain more about Kristen's last hours. There have been some amazing "God moments" that I would like to share. My heart is too heavy right now to go there. I found out this afternoon that my mom had a heart attack yesterday and passed away. In the midst of trying to celebrate Emily's 11th birthday today, my heart is broken beyond belief.

I am thankful for the sweet angels who did so much to make Emily's birthday as special as possible. Kristen's funeral is Monday afternoon. Her obituary is here.
Kristen Elaine Eckels
May 7, 2009 - August 17, 2009

We love you so much,
Mom, Dad, Emily & Grace

Hearts are heavy

My heart is so heavy right now. Kristen handled the switchover from the oscillating ventilator to the regular one wonderfully. Once the switch was made and they were sure she was stable, they took her down for a CT scan of her brain. The images were fairly definitive that the brain had sustained too much damage during the 1 1/2 - 2 hours of chest compressions on Friday.

They've taken her off all medications that will affect her brain (paralytic, sedative and pain meds) and plan to see what happens by around noon tomorrow (24 hours). They don't expect any purposeful movement, but are giving ample time before we need to make any decisions.

We are not giving up, so please, please continue to pray! We are, however, trying to prepare ourselves for what may be ahead. It's not good, and it hurts beyond what words can express. We thank you and cherish all the many kind and encouraging words. We know that God can still, even now, restore Kristen's brain; we pray that He will.

Very small signs

Kristen's pupils have been responding to light today (they were not responding last night). She's also shown signs of trying to swallow (rudimentary, but still there) and was trying to breathe earlier. They've since put her on medication to keep her from moving as it interferes with the oscillating ventilator she's on (it keeps the lungs constantly inflated). Praise God, these are all positive signs! They are very small signs, but indications nonetheless of some brain function.

They're working to wean her from the ventilator she's on to a regular ventilator so they can see how productive her tries are at breathing on her own. We hope that will happen in the morning. Once that's done, they plan to do a CT scan to see what her brain tissue looks like.

It's been an exhausting day, but we definitely feel better tonight than we did last night. Visits from family and friends made the day much easier. Kristen's still got a very long way to go, but she's a strong girl. We thank you all for the many, many heartfelt prayers. Keep them coming!

Keep praying

No changes this morning. Kristen is still on the ventilator. Cell phone usage is difficult as there are just a few places we're allowed to use one. If you need to get in touch with us, you can call 816-234-3500 and leave a message. Kristen is in PICU Room 9.


I don't even know where to start, and I don't think I'll make it through an extensive update without falling apart. This day has certainly taken a turn we did not expect.

Kristen had a major complication during her surgery. She coded a couple of times and they performed CPR for an hour and a half. Their concern now is a lack of oxygen to her brain. We know that God can heal her and bring her back from this, we just pray with all our hearts that He will.

We thank you for the many, many prayers and just ask that you keep them coming. And please also pray for Emily and Grace. They don't yet know the extent of what's going on.

Love and thanks,

Ahead of schedule

We just got a call from the hospital. They're running a little ahead on today's schedule and want us to come in at 12:00 instead of 12:45. It looks like surgery will start earlier than 2:00.

Surgery tomorrow!

We made the trip to KC with no problems at all. Kristen slept most of the way. Aside from a couple of cries in the parking garage at Children's Mercy, we didn't hear a peep out of her!

The schedule for tomorrow has changed a bit. We check in at 12:45. Her surgery is scheduled for 2:00-5:30 p.m. The good news there is that we can sleep in. :) We'll keep you posted...

Romans 12:12

I just got Kristen to bed (we both napped a bit in the glider before I laid her down in her crib) and need to take care of a couple of things before heading to bed myself. We leave in the morning for Kansas City!

Emily & Grace are in Ness City with Grama & Grampa Eckels, having fun and making great memories. The house was very quiet today without them! I felt very unsettled much of today, anticipating the next few days, but that feeling changed to one of reassurance after church tonight. Hearing the prayers prayed over Kristen tonight helped so much, as did the many hugs. Thank you, Foundry folks. You are amazing!

God is at work here, and I'm grateful for His every provision. Thank you, Lord, for this sweet baby and for the opportunity you give me daily to "be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." Please watch over us as we travel tomorrow. Protect us and guide us. Give Emily and Grace assurance of Your presence. Thank you, Jesus.