Surgery Rescheduled to Wednesday

We just found out this afternoon that Jerard's surgery has been put off by another day because the doctors were not satisfied with some of his electrolytes. He is on a special IV to help get them into balance. We are hoping that the surgery will take place on Wednesday.

In other developments, Jerard has acquired an amoeba infection so he is on medicine for that. He is pretty uncomfortable right now. It appears that he is bothered in his stomach or bowels.

We are on day 8 of this hospital stay so far. We would really like to be getting out of the hospital toward the end of this week after a successful surgery. That would be a prayer request. Thanks to everyone who is praying for Jerard and us. We are very grateful for you and how God is sustaining us by your prayers.

Surgery Scheduled

Jerard had a CT scan done this morning.

The good news:
His ventricals are re-opening. The fluid pockets with the drains are smaller.

The bad news:
Other smaller fluid pockets have developed.
But the most disconcerting finding is that the arachnoid cyst continues to grow larger. This cyst can cause the other problems (i.e. fluid pockets, down-turned eyes, etc...)

Jerard will have surgery on Tuesday to drain the cyst.
It will be done through an endoscope and will involve putting a shunt drain in from the cyst to the ventrical so that the CFS fluid building up inside the cyst can continually drain.

Jerard, overall, is in a healthy state. He has a slight fever but is on antibiotics and antifungal medications for the UTI he has.

Pray for Jerard to tolerate and come through the surgery well.

Pray for our finances as Philippine hospitals are cash-based.

Pray for our neurosurgeon and his colleagues assisting with the surgery. He and they are very caring, highly skilled men and we have complete confidence in their skills.

Pray for our family.

Thanks.

Update on Jerard

Jerard started running a fever last night and is on medicine for a urinary tract infection and a fungal infection.

He had a cranial ultrasound yesterday which shows that the pockets of fluid between his brain and skull are shrinking but the ventricals are not refilling as they should. It appears all the CSF is collecting in the areas between the brain and skull. These areas are drained by the external drains temporarily in place.

A CT scan will be done Saturday to get a clearer picture of what is going on in Jerard's skull.

He will probably have another surgery on Tuesday to put in an internal drainage from the pockets of fluid to his abdomen.

The external drainage system can only be in place up to 10 days. Beyond that the risk of systemic infection from the external drains gets very high.

Keep him and us in your prayers. Thanks.

After Surgery Update

Jerard just came back to the room after surgery and the recovery room 30 minutes ago. Surgery went well and as planned. The cerebral fluid was not clear (it appeared to have blood in it) but we won't find out what that means until a culture is completed within a couple days. It might just be that there was some slight bleeding when the brain had shifted due to different fluid pressures. The doctor explained that that happens sometimes and he didn't seem to concerned about it. If the culture shows an infection, then that is the much greater issue. We will see in a couple days.

As of right now, Jerard is awake, attentive and hungry. The doctor has not cleared him to drink milk yet but hopefully soon.

Thank you for your prayers. We are pleased with how the surgery went. Now we will wait to see if the brain shifts into the proper position over the next couple days.

Latest Update on Jerard

We met with the neurosurgeon today to review the results of yesterday's cat scan. There is some sad news. The back part of Jerard's brain has moved all the way to the front of the brain.

If you recall, Jerard's brain only exists as a relatively thin layer of brain matter around the inside of the skull with a large amount of fluid in the center of the skull. A number of weeks ago the situation was complicated by pockets of fluid between the skull and the brain at the back of his head and a cyst in the center of the brain cavity.

Now the cat scan shows that the fluid has increased at the back of the skull forcing the brain that was at the back of the head all the way across the brain cavity to settle against the brain matter at the front of the head. What this means is that we are going to have surgery on Monday to do a couple things.

  1. Temporarily stop the shunt from flowing.
  2. Install two more shunts at the back of the head that will drain into an external bag.

After a few days, hopefully the brain matter that has shifted will go back to it's proper position. If that occurs then the two additional shunts can be removed (along with the external drainage bag) and the shunt released to flow again all without an operation (which is good news).

Why are we doing this? Because we want to give the brain the best chance to keep on growing and it is very important that the brain be in the proper position for that to happen. If Jerard's brain can keep on growing there is still a very real possibility that Jerard will grow up with a normal IQ.

Well, hopefully you have enough to pray for. As always, thank you for your prayers. Pray also for Beth and I and the rest of the family because hospital stays are very stressful for the whole family. Please pray for our finances too since hospitals here in the Philippines require cash up front for everything.