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    Update Seven

    June 18, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    Dear Family and Friends,

    Today was a mixed bag, but mostly good.

    I’ll get the bad part out of the way: Si is still thirsty, hungry, and having technicians miss when they draw blood. All of these things should be resolved soon, however. And, of course, he still requires healing in his brain, liver, and especially kidneys.

    The day was good, though. His nurse had mercy on him and didn’t use the ice blanket when he had a mild temperature. I was there for three hours in a row, and he slept for two of them, which tells me he is much more comfortable than his previous days. Plasmapheresis was not so horrible, and a couple warm blankets kept him comfortable {he usually requires NINE}.

    The infectious disease specialist officially declared he would be reporting this as HUS-TTP resulting from E.Coli 0157 infection. He sounded the “all clear” and lifted the contact isolation, meaning that we no longer have to gown up and scrub in and out of the room.

    He was so well oxygenated over the night that he did NOT require draining of the left lung as had been planned for him. He DID, however, end up having dialysis after all.

    Keep praying, my friends. I am slightly ill this evening and so tomorrow will be the first time I will not be able to sit with Si at the hospital. It grieves me not to be there! But I know I must protect him by being away. Please pray for the health of our entire family as we go through this. I never considered that if another of us became ill it would further complicate this situation.

    Thank you for your prayers, your faithful meal delivery, your kind emails and cards and gifts. You are all such a blessing to our family.


    Dear Family and Friends,

    Because I was sick last night, I took the day off from the hospital. This means that everything in this update is hearsay. But what I’ve been told is all good. He expressed interest in taking a real shower, did physical therapy, and ate his first real meal. His mind is still jumbled up from the medications, and he was transfused a lot today, but his move toward more normal life was very encouraging.

    Speaking of encouraging, this city has just been amazing to our family. This has been our family’s darkest hour, and yet God’s goodness and provision has been so evident and so abundant. The people here have literally carried us through this.

    It is so easy to watch or read too much “news” and think that the world is in a hand basket going in the wrong direction fast. But here in this city, there are still many noble souls, practicing the simple virtues of caring for their neighbors.

    I am still trying to read through David Hicks’ Norms and Nobility while I watch my husband sleep. Hicks says that virtue has to do with how someone spends their leisure hours, their spare time. I have never seen so many people spend their leisure hours in acts of love and kindness. Going through this trial has assured me that all is not lost in our culture, that the virtues of love and generosity are still alive and well, that God still works in the hearts of man. I knew intellectually that these things were true, but it is another thing altogether to witness it firsthand.

    In the late hours of the night, it is easy for me to begin to get fearful about the details of recovery: how long it will take, how hard it will be. But I have only to look at the past three weeks to regain my confidence that the God who has cared for us thus far will care for us farther still.

    I love you all.

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  • Reply Claire June 19, 2009 at 2:03 am

    You don’t know me – but I am a “sister” – and here in SC I have been praying for you all as I go through my day – the Lord has kept you on our hearts – and I have asked my daughters and friends to be praying for your family.

    May the Lord bless you and keep you and may you be His light in the midst of all this.


  • Reply Kristie June 18, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Your last update gave me chills–the good kind. =) I’m SO glad that you are able to see something positive in this “darkest hour.” I pray this will continue. Also, as an out-of-towner, it is encouraging to hear that so many nearby are caring for your family. It’s always good to hear a positive report of God’s hands and feet….

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