Micah’s Journey – The Day the Earth Stood Still

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Update on Micah

This is one of those updates due to possible status change. Micah has been doing well and did okay overnight, but the doctors and nurses were still thinking Friday or Saturday to close his chest.

Dr. Tam saw him on rounds at nine and said he was ready now and he wanted to do it this morning. If it happens, this will be surgery, they have to remove the mesh that is covering his chest cavity and then sow his chest closed. It usually takes about one to two hours.

I’m not absolutely sure it will happen. I am praying that this is the right move. I don’t want him to be closed up too soon, but this is a step in the direction we are going. Dr. Tam is an amazing surgeon so I trust his judgement, but I still worry.

On top of that, I am in Rockwall. Since we didn’t think anything was going to happen today I took Maria to her preschool. So it’s just Janel at the hospital right now.

Thank you all for your continued prayers and support, #TeamMicah

Update on Micah

Micah is in surgery now. It usually takes about 1 to 2 hours.


Update on Micah

He was out of surgery but he took a really bad turn. He is back in surgery and they are re-opening his chest. Please keep praying.


My Thoughts

“He was out of surgery but he took a really bad turn.” That kind of says it right there. The shock that accompanied that situation was a feeling I’d never really felt before, but I think to play it out right I have to explain more about the day and how it had gone up to that point, or at least up to the point where his heart stopped.

We had been in the hospital for about a week and a half at this point. Clothing was starting to run low again. My daughter had been missing her preschool classes. The dogs hadn’t seen us since November. Micah was in the CICU in recovery mode. He was stable and no one had mentioned during the previous day of there being a possibility of closing his chest cavity. In fact, everyone was saying things like, “a couple of days at the minimum” and “sometimes as long as a week.” Therefore I opted to go with my mom and daughter back home, roughly an hour away from the hospital, in order to take her to school and take care of some stuff around the house. We dropped my wife at the hospital on our way back to the house.

Little did I know that his chest closure was going to be that day, little did my wife know. She called me sometime after I had gotten back to Rockwall and told me. Maria was already at school and my mom and I were home. I decided to stay there instead of heading back to the hospital. Chest closure was supposed to be low key surgery, nothing big, nothing flashy, they don’t even take the kids out of the CICU to do it, they just kick all the parents and visitors out then do the closure right there in the room. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried, but I also trusted his surgical team, they had gotten him this far. At home I got some laundry going and then my mom offered to keep things moving if I wanted to take a nap, so I did.

I woke up a little before we had to go pick up my daughter from school. My wife let me know that the chest closure was done and everything seemed okay. We headed to pick my daughter up from school and she was excited to see us picking her up. We had a short talk with her teacher during which my phone rang. It was my wife so I answered, but the connection wasn’t great in the church where my daughter’s school was so I walked down the hallway toward the front doors. Then I heard what my wife was saying.

I can’t remember her exact words, but they were along the lines of “Micah’s blood pressure dropped off and they are reopening his chest and everyone has been kicked out of the CICU and I don’t really know what is going on but it seems bad.” Something to consider at this point is my wife’s tone of voice. My wife doesn’t freak-out out loud. She freaks out quietly, internally, and only shows mild discomfort on the surface. Having spent the better part of a decade married to her I can pick up on that, at least to a certain extent. This was one of the times that it was coming through loud and clear. My wife was scared.

I had to sit down for a second when I understood what she said. I quietly cursed the fact that I was a city and a half away from her and my son. I told her where I was and that we were gonna pack everyone into the car and head her way. I hung up the phone and then anxiously grabbed mom and my daughter and get everyone in the car. I was probably not very friendly to her teacher but my mind was single purposed at that point: get to the hospital. I forgot my jacket on the bench I had sat down on.

Mom graciously offered to drive and I accepted assuming that I would be too distracted to drive and likely too aggressive as well. I called my wife back. We didn’t honestly have much to say, which happens to us on the phone on a regular basis. We don’t have anything to say, but we don’t necessarily want to hang up either. We went over what had happened that morning. When had they decided to close his chest: that morning on rounds. Why had they decided to close it so soon: I don’t know. Who had made the decision: Dr. Tam had decided to. Why didn’t they wait longer: I don’t know. When did they do the closure: around 10am. Where there any problems then: not that anyone mentioned. What happened before they kicked everyone out: his blood pressure dropped, his nurse started working on him, and then a lot of nurses and doctors started working on him and then they cleared out the CICU. What was happening now: I don’t know. There were a lot of don’t knows.

I talked to my father, who thankfully was at the hospital that morning, and was there with my wife. He told me the same story. I still had another 45 minutes of driving to go before I made it to the hospital.