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one GIANT LEAP back…

As you are all well aware, Gray finished his last scheduled proton therapy treatment almost two weeks ago. We enjoyed (greatly enjoyed!!) one and a half days at home and then suddenly Gray began running a fever. By the standards of Gray’s health over the past year, his fever wasn’t really all that high but it was a fever nonetheless. Sunday evening, we called Gray’s doctors and they recommended that we bring him in. When we arrived in the Emergency Room, the nurses immediately took blood from Gray for testing. They knew Gray had to have some form of an infection but just weren’t sure what infection to treat. While they waited for Gray’s cultures to come back and identify the specific bacteria that had attacked Gray’s system, they chose an antibiotic at random and began giving it to Gray. They weren’t sure what they were dealing with yet but they knew they needed to treat it right away. As we sat in the ER, waiting for whatever was coming next, Gray began shaking violently. As his parents, we both thought Gray was having a seizure but the nurses assured us that Gray was only reacting to his high fever and suffering from chills. The shaking was very intense, though, and lasted for about 20 minutes. It was very scary. Soon, we were told that Gray would be admitted. We weren’t told how long it would last or even why we were being admitted but we were moved to a room right away. Gray’s cultures eventually showed that he had three different bacteria infecting his little body. All three bacteria are ones usually picked up during hospital stays so it’s no surprise that Gray has caught them. Having spent nearly the past year in a hospital bed, the doctors and nurses were actually surprised that Gray hadn’t contracted an infection much earlier. While we’re happy that Gray didn’t catch such a serious infection any earlier in his treatment, it’s really no consolation watching him go through it now. When we first found out about the three bacteria infecting Gray’s body, the doctors thought that they would treat him with antibiotics and then release us about five days later. Unfortunately, the antibiotics didn’t seem to be helping and instead of going home on the fifth day Gray was scheduled for an emergency surgery. We learned that with so much infection inside Gray’s body that his port had now become potentially harmful to him. When someone has a foreign object under their skin, bacteria tend to colonize around it and make curing the infection much more difficult. So, Saturday morning, Gray went into surgery and doctors removed Gray’s port. As we asked the many questions running through our minds, no one seemed to be able to give us a straight answer. It was growing increasingly frustrating to not really know what was going on in your son’s body. Finally, after Gray’s surgery we were informed that a group of infectious disease doctors were looking at Gray’s medical records and would hopefully be able to give us the answers we so desperately wanted very soon. Thankfully, the answer came…but to say it was comforting is simply not true. Finally, our physicians assistant came into Gray’s room and sat down with us to go over everything they had learned and where we would go from here. While some of the  news was good, some of it was devastating to say the least. The P.A. explained that when we initially brought Gray into the ER days earlier and he was given that “anonymous” antibiotic to treat an unknown infection, it actually caused those violent “shakes” we witnessed. Now, the P.A. explained that his shaking wasn’t actually a result of his high fever but was instead a convulsion, caused by the chosen antibiotic, attacking one of the specific bacteria in Gray’s body. Then the P.A. used a phrase that you don’t often hear in the medical community…the P.A. looked at us and said “It was an act of God!” Whoa! When you hear a doctor attributing a medical success story to God, or even a “miracle”, you know that God was protecting your baby boy and your family that night. You see, when the ER nurses “randomly chose” that antibiotic given to Gray they “accidentally” chose the ONE AND ONLY antibiotic that would attack the very rare bacteria that had invaded Gray’s system! Our stomach’s literally dropped. There’s no other reason for that to happen other then God’s hand to have been directing the nurses that night. We wanted to cry at what may have happened and we wanted to jump up and down in worship to our God, our protector and healer, all at the same time. The physician’s assistant went on to explain that had that one specific antibiotic not been chosen that Sunday night, Gray may have suffered great consequences…including the possibility of him no longer being with us. We can’t allow ourselves to dwell on that fact for too long. We simply rely on the truth that we DID in fact take Gray into the emergency room and we DID in fact place our baby boy in the hands of our God and in the end God took care of us and allowed us to keep our little man with us, here. Honestly, it’s very hard to even type this out. God has very big plans for Gray!

Now, we’re still  in the hospital a week after Gray was first admitted, and over the last week we have learned that Gray has contracted yet another bacteria. He now has a total of four bacteria infecting his body. The infectious disease doctors have recommended that Gray remain admitted for another 7-10 days while they treat the most dangerous bacteria and make sure that they are responded to the antibiotics that have been prescribed.  Right now, Gray is receiving a cocktail of different antibiotics and it’s taking its toll. Gray is cranky and often doesn’t feel well. When he does feel good, though, he feels VERY good and we see the Grayson we all know and love coming through! This morning, Gray went back into surgery to have a new PICC line placed in his arm. When we are released, home health will visit us and teach us how to administer Gray’s antibiotics through his PICC line. We are hoping that that comes sooner then later. The nurses actually came in today and told us that they’re already seeing signs that Gray’s multiple infections are responding to the antibiotics AND they have found a new antibiotic that might treat more then one of Gray’s infections at a time. If all works out, we may actually get to go home as early as tomorrow…but, at this point, we’re not getting our hopes up. This past week has been a roller coaster of emotion and we’ve gotten a change in diagnosis and treatment plan daily, if not more often then that. PLEASE PRAY for simply EVERYTHING!! We desperately want to go home. We NEED to go home. Please pray that Gray will continue to respond to all of his antibiotics and that the many bacteria attacking his little body will fade. Also, please pray for all of our emotional and physical states. Being in the hospital when it’s scheduled is one thing but having to return for an undetermined amount of time at random is an entirely different experience. The waiting, the worrying, the questions…it’s tiring and emotionally draining. We will continue to keep you posted on Gray’s progress fighting this current set back. Gray is so brave and such a trooper.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

11 Responses to “one GIANT LEAP back…”

  1. Brett Nation October 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Praying for you guys to have strength and rest. Thankful for Gods protecting Gray! We live you guys very much.!

  2. greg pollard October 31, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    Your family does not know my family very well, but I think we represent a large number of people in addition to your family and your church family that pray for you daily. I know that a day does not go by without me checking the website. Every evening during family devotions my 8 year daughter and my 4 year old son want to know how Gray is doing. We agree with you that God has a special call on Gray’s life. A couple of months ago my 8 year old daughter was in the hospital for 12 days and on September 1st we were not sure that she would make it, but by God’s grace my daughter survived. While we were in the hospital our hearts were softened even more towards your family and to Gray’s ongoing battle against cancer. We knew what 12 days did to our family and we could not even imagine what more than 12 months would be like. We are so appreciative of your testimony and we know that God will receive all the glory for Gray’s complete healing. We know that God will BE your strength when you are weak and we are continually praying for you all.

    Greg and Misty Pollard

  3. Andrea Horn October 31, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    Hi Doug and Jill. I am the mom of Caleb, Seth’s friend from church. Just wanted you to know that we have been praying for Gray every day for the past week. I’m so sorry to hear about this scary infection you’ve been dealing with. I am asking for God to send his grace and strength to hold you up. Thank you for the update!

    Andrea

  4. Seth & Tammy Mathis October 31, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    We have/are and will continue to pray!

  5. Christie Jarnagin November 1, 2011 at 4:31 am #

    Praying for lil Gray!! And praying for the familiy to have strength and peace through this intense time.

  6. Angie B November 1, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    Praise be to God! So thankful that our heavenly Father knows exactly what we need, when we need it! In the midst of this storm, the miracle of the antibiotic is very encouraging news!! Continuing to pray for you guys!

  7. Jamie Fluharty November 2, 2011 at 2:41 am #

    PRAISE THE LORD!! PRAISE THE LORD!! PRAISE THE LORD!! God is good all the time and all the time God is good!! What good news to hear of how God continued and continues to have his hand on Grayson!! Thank you Lord for your continued healing in Gray’s little body! Thank you for sharing. We still continue to lift your WHOLE family up in prayer…we love you guys!!

  8. Shelly Stewart November 3, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Precious Gray,
    I am so thankful for God’s watchful care over you! I pray that someday, when you are grown, you will tell everyone about His miraculous love and care for you and your family during this dark and fearful time. FROG little man!
    For
    Everything
    Rely
    On
    God

  9. Cindy Bennett November 3, 2011 at 10:12 am #

    “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.” Psalm 107:1
    I had carried such a heavy burden for Gray several days. The burden lifted just as quickly as it came on, it was odd, as if God was saying that’s good.I had no idea what was going on with Gray until the Facebook. I then realized how serious the situation had been, but God had intervened. God’s great hand is on Grayson, no doubt. The song “He Loves Us” has been on my heart because how often are we “unaware of the afflictions eclipsed by glory.” We so often do not know how He has worked in a situation, but here it is so apparent. Praise at times just isn’t enough. In my life He has blessed me so. I am spoiled by my heavenly father who loves me so. One day in Heaven we will know the extent that God has touched us all. May the Father continue to have His hand on Gray and your family. And always remember how much God loves you and so does your Christian family.

  10. Meredith November 4, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    Dear sweet Gray,

    You were especially on my heart this morning and I wanted to check your blog for updates. I am so sorry for your infections and pray that those nasty bacteria will be gone soon so you can run and play and be silly again. I am praying you will be out of the hospital as soon as possible too. Mom and Dad and big brother I continue to think of you and pray for you! Sending you all lots of love from Texas!

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