Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Her heart

Yesterday we received a very encouraging report from one of the cardiologists.  To be honest, we still can't believe it today.  Our hopes are high, but at the same time, we continue to leave Ella in God's hands....she is His.



I was holding Ella while Erik was sitting next to me when the cardiologist called the nurse's phone to speak with us.  Erik put the phone close to both of our ears so we could hear what he had to say.  The cardiologist said that her left ventricle has shown major improvement and that he was very happy, surprised, and pleased with her echogram yesterday.  Let us explain why he was so pleased... One of the key things they have been measuring is what they call the "ejection fraction".  This is the percentage of blood contained within the ventricle that gets pumped out toward the body with every contraction.  Ella's ejection fraction was somewhere between 5%-10% when she was born (it's more of an estimate than an exact number).  To put that into perspective, a healthy number for any baby or adult is around 60%.  That's why they told us that Ella's heart was about as sick as it can get without completely failing.  Her last echogram a few days earlier showed an ejection fraction of 15% to maybe 20%, which was cause for great joy because she actually showed some improvement in the function of her heart.  But this time the cardiologist said it is now up to around 50%...  What!?!?!

We were both in tears as the cardiologist continued to talk.  Our baby girl's heart was showing this much improvement?  He said 50% as in five-oh, right?  Like it tripled its production?  And this was right after another scary night in which she had a fever of over 101, blood pressure dropped too low & kidney/urine numbers looked concerning...  I can't believe this is happening when, from the medical side of things, the longer it takes for a heart to show improvement, the less likely it is that the heart will improve.  Our God is loving and moving.  He is so alive and Ella is LIVING proof of it.



Our friends, family, and nurses continue to support us.  We are so blown away daily by the encouragement and willingness to help.  We truly feel God's hand and love in all of this through all of you.  Thank you.

37 comments:

AndiMae said...

I've been waiting all day to read this post! Ever since I talked to you last night, I have been in complete awe of what God is doing in Ella! Every time I have thought about that test yesterday or told someone about it, I have cried because it is all so so amazing and totally the Lord working in her! Love you guys so much! And praising God with you for each and every miracle! God is so so good.

Heather said...

What joyful news!!! I don't know you well personally, but I am friends with many of your friends and know your parents. I've been praying for Ella & all of you. This picture of her is absolutely precious! What a beautiful little girl the Lord has given you...I believe He loves her dearly and delights in your trust in Him as you face these painful moments...and joyful moments too! I'm so encouraged to hear that her heart is improving - may your doctors continue to watch the Lord work miracles in her! :)

Much love to you in Christ!
Heather

rhonda cyr said...

oh, christa!! we have been gone for the holidays, ... and the first thing when i got home was to go straight to my computer, to check on ella. :)

i find myself laughing to the heavens! as much as i have been praying for ellas heart to be whole, ... for God to work a miracle, .. to keep us filled with hope, and grow our faith, ..... i realize now that i had been coming to this blog with a guarded heart, ... knowing that ella is in Gods' hands no matter what, ... but perhaps wanting to protect my own heart.
our God is truly an awesome God, ... He is using your beautiful daughter, and you, ... to grow a community of His kids closer to Himself.
i sit, smiling, ... thankful for ellas improvement, ... for your willingness to let us journey this with you, ... and for the Creator of Life.
i love you guys,
still praying.

Linda said...

What an awesome God we serve - Praising Jesus with you!
I will continue to pray for your precious miracle baby.
Blessings, Andi's mom - Linda

Chelle said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! No words to say how overjoyed we are for you, hearing this wonderful news. Thanking our precious Jesus for every single, beautiful miracle He has given and the many, many ways He has been loving on that sweet pretty baby girl of yours.

We continue to lift you up to Jesus, many, many times a day. And praise him for these sweet, sweet answered prayers.xo

Amy... said...

This bottom picture of Ella looks like a girly Elijah!! What a little pumpkin! And her bow...oh my! Love ou guys!

K Lemon said...

Thank you for sharing the wonderful news. Our family has been following your sweet miracle from above and we rejoice in Ella's progress. We know that prayer and faith have power and we continue to pray that Ella can heal if it be His will. We will continue to pray for all of you.
--K.C. Lemon (Josh's sister)

Angie said...

Oh such good news. Praise God! I know you don't know me but I have been following your blog and praying for you! Thank you for the beautiful updates.

cookiemommy said...

Celebrating each victory with you guys! Much love and prayers, Robi

karene said...

There is no other answer than to say "Praise God!"

Amy and Jonathan Hook said...

Praise the Lord! That is incredible news. We are still praying for your precious little girl!

Cathy said...

We are so happy to hear this amazing news. Thanking God for this answer to so many prayers.

pwrhouse22 said...

Praise God!!!! I am just amazed!!! Praise God!!!! Wow!! Yes!!! Serious tears of joy!!!!

Amy Jo said...

Absolutey wonderful news! Hang in there. It's a grueling ride of ups and downs. Not for the faint of heart!! There is a whole community that you have never met praying for you all and your princess. I love when God uses a heart baby to make his/her doctors just shrug their shoulders and shake their heads!! Yeah Jesus!
Amy Jo LeLaCheur

Coby said...

Praise God! Crying tears of joy!!!

Ronna said...

Praying for your beautiful baby girl! Ronna Snyder, author,
Hot Flashes from Heaven

The OD's!!!! said...

Praise God! WOW! He is so GOOD!

jonesfamily said...

That is absolutely amazing news!!! God is amazing! I don't even know what else to say. We are so happy to hear the news and will keep praying for more miracles!!!!!

Julie

The Boggs Family said...

Oh you guys, that is incredible.... what a HUGE, HUGE, HUGE praise & answer to many prayers! I am overjoyed and welled up to read this update tonight - in fact, just called Ken at work in the middle of a rush to tell him because we both have Ella and your whole family on our hearts all the time! "Thank You, Lord, for continuing to heal their sweet baby girl, day by day and giving them victories and encouragement that point to You at every turn!!!!!!!!!!" We love you guys! P.S. How darn cute is that last pic?!! Oh my goodness.... :)

Meaghan said...

Her smile is radiant! Praise the Lord...I share your tears of joy. Thank you God

Rachelle said...

Praise Jesus! Oh she is just beautiful. It is amazing to watch God use such a tiny baby to draw so many to him. We will be praying for continued healing in her body and continued strength for her family. A little side story to share...over Thanksgiving I shared Ella's story with Travis' family. Five years ago this Friday Travis' cousin Jon was in a horrible car accident where odds were against him. He spent over a month in a coma at Harbor View. Jon told me, "Ella has amazing parents, she's going to fight through these odds. I would never be here today if it wasn't for my parents who were fighting with me and always by my side." God chose wonderful parents to be by her side. Praying for a peace filled week for you guys.

Kathleen Cavender said...

This is such wonderful news!!! Sending much love & continued prayers.

♥ Carrie Shan said...

Such wonderful news!! God is good!!Thank you so much for this update......continued prayers and thoughts of you and beautiful baby Ella!

Sarah said...

What a beautiful, inspiring post! He definitely is alive and moving in sweet Ella. Keep strong little one!

always praying...<3 <3 <3

bella_luna06 said...

This is wonderful news. I am smiling as I read this and loving the new pics on this post and the last one. What a precious little life! You are all constantly in my thoughts and I share the news with friends and co workers. Ella has a huge support system going for her here in AZ! With all this love, she is bound to get stronger every day!!! Lots of love to you and thank you for keeping us all updated.

Courtney said...

We are celebrating with JOYFUL Hearts! What a light in Ella's eyes as she almost is smiling in that photo! Praise Him for the miracles large and small. Shedding tears of joy today!

Love the McGarrys

The Smith's said...

Oh Christa, what FANTASTIC news! Ella is amazing and what God is doing through her even more so! So happy with you guys ...

Qui said...

Rejoicing! And her little smile is so precious. Almost like she's beaming.

Jenny said...

Wow, Christa!!! This is super-duper good news! I can see a little bit of each member of your family in that last photo of Ella. She's absolutely darling.

Jen said...

Dear Lord, Thank you!!!!!!

ps. I love her little bow! It's beyond sweet!!!

kroddel said...

What incredible news!! God is SO good and I am elated! The picture of her smiling is the most precious picture I've ever seen! Her beauty just continues to sparkle....and I love the pink bow, so precious! I haven't been able to check the blog for a few days and it has made my day! May God continue to give her strength and heal her precious heart. My eyes are full of tears as I continue to beg God to fast forward all of this waiting time to the day she gets to go home and play with sweet Elijah and Ayden...and Mommy and Daddy too, of course! I got major goosebumps when I first read and saw that you were able to hold her. What an incredible feeling that must have been after having to wait until what I'm sure felt like an eternity since she was born. I am so happy for those moments for you both, and I am sure that each time you get to hold her is like the first; priceless, unforgettable, takes your breath away...and you never want to let go. May God continue to provide those moments for each of you, over and over again; and without end. I heard one of my favorite songs today on the way home from work and immediately thought of you. You probably know it, "What Faith Can Do" by Kutless. The main chorus reads: "I've seen dreams that move the mountains, hope that doesn't ever end even when the sky is falling; I've seen miracles just happen, silent prayers get answered, broken hearts become brand new...that's what faith can do." Love you both SO much...keep hanging on and know that I pray every moment I can.

Love & Hugs,
Kristen Steinle

PS-Started a prayer chain for you here a couple weeks ago.

Linda said...

Oh Christa and Erik!!! How great is our God and his faithfulness to his children!!! Our entire church is praying for Ella and all of your family. All those prayers mingled with all the others are a fragrance of love to the Lord.
How wonderful for you to share this journey with all of us..so that we might share in your joys!!
Bless you, Love, Linda and Bob

Michelle said...

You don't know me, but we have been praying for you. Courtney Henson has been a dear friend of mine since the first grade. We live thousands of miles apart (I am in Dallas) but we talk often and seek each other's prayers all the time. She told me about your sweet little Ella right after she was born and we have been praying for her. God is SO good and works miracles every day. I am so happy to read this post and to read of God's love for us and his healing touch on your sweet baby girl. We will continue to pray for Ella and know that prayers are going up across the country and around the world for sweet little Ella!

Blessings,
Michelle Pippin and Family

JJ Dahl said...

Thinking of your family, and praying for you all as I read this:

http://jazminmag.blogspot.com/2010/12/desert.html?spref=fb

May you cherish every moment and look forward to the "season" ahead.

Chantel Monet said...

Really special post, Christa. I love it when you write because it really reveals your tender heart, so keep posting! My family and I are all praying our heads off. The latest news is so encouraging. My sister's husband and literally everyone in his family has a heart defect, and they live very productive lives. Every day she gets a little bit stronger! Love to you all and I pray that God continues to carry you through this hard time!

Anastasia said...

Thank You, Lord. I will keep praying for Ella and the rest of your family! My heart is with you. Our God is powerful, loving, and faithful!

Aminta said...

This LAST pictures has to be my favorite by far. those precious smiles. Sigh!
Loves to you each, and I am so glad you are keeping your head up!