I spent the afternoon at the hospital on Friday. Both Christian and Stephanie are hanging in there but have a long way to go. Every day is different and it's still kind of touch and go. I was there with my sister Diane, and later my parents arrived. One of the nurses handed us a huge stack of cards and letters that had been delivered to the hospital. Most were from people who had never met Christian or Stephanie, but had been influenced by their example.
We got to visit Christian for a while but Stephanie was still in surgery where she had been all day. When she was finally returned to her room they said it would be still be over an hour until we could see her. My dad had to leave for an appointment after a little while but my mom stayed to ride home with us. We went out in the waiting room to read all the mail.
We had just finished reading all the kind well wishes from strangers when Stephanie's oldest sister Page walked in. She had just arrived from the airport (lives in Utah). Page is an RN and wanted to know all the details and had lots of medical questions to ask. It was such a wonderful bit of luck (probably not luck) that Dr. Matthews (the surgeon who had been working on Stephanie all day) happened to walk through the waiting room just then.
I was the only one of our little group sitting there who had met him (I had two good talks with him earlier during the week) so I don't think he would have stopped except that I went out of my way to make eye-contact with him and he recognized me (bless his heart) and came over. He talked with us for a good hour giving us lots of details and explaining the latest information to us. And he answered Page's questions. At the end of our conversation it was about time for Stephanie to be seen so he took her back. Jay had arrived during this time so he and I headed home.
Dr. Matthew is a quirky guy, but I really like him. He is patient and takes the time to explain things in a way that those of us with no medical background can understand. It was late in the afternoon on a Friday after he had been in surgery all day, but he didn't rush or seem put out at all. What a nice guy. He described himself as a "god-fearing man" and said he was praying for them as well.
I won't go into the details, but the bottom line is that we are grateful they have no internal problems.... all organs are functioning well. Their lungs weren't damaged and their bodies seem to be responding well so far. They have many many many more surgeries ahead and months and months and months of recovery to go but I have faith that everything will work out.
People have been so generous with their offers of help, and have been donating to the recovery fund. What a blessing! Thank you all! Jay's co-workers got together and made a nice contribution, which was really thoughtful. There are so many good people in the world. It's nice to know that.