Hospital Update

Jerard is sleeping as I write this. His hemoglobin is low again so he needs another transfusion. Fortunately, when I went to the Red Cross to get the blood they had AB+ packed in stock -- no donor needed this time. That is a blessing since AB+ is rare here in the Philippines.

What they have determined so far is that Jerard has a urinary tract infection and a fungal infection. His bowels are distended by gas most likely due to the infections. This gas is very painful for him and this causes him to cry a lot and not sleep well. His appetite is still not very strong.

The plan is to let the medications run their course over the next day or two and see how he does. We pray that his appetite returns, that his bowel pains subsides, that his hemoglobin recover, and most of all, that all of these infections are healed.

Jerard is Back in the Hospital

Over the weekend Beth and I noticed that Jerard's appetite was significantly reduced. On Monday (today) Beth took him to see three doctors -- his pediatric pulmonologist and then his neurosurgeon who recommended that he see a pediatric infectious disease doctor. After that, all three concurred that a stay in the hospital was needed so today Jerald is back in the hospital.

I just came home from the hospital; Beth will spend the night there with Jerard and I will stay with the other kids at home. Jerard has an IV and is on a stronger anti-biotic. The thought is that there is a persistent infection that needs a strong anti-biotic to treat.

As always, your prayers are appreciated for our little Jerard. It seems that in his short little life he has had more hardship than many who are much older.

Family Happenings

Just wanted to share some pics with you from other events happening around here!

A few weeks ago there was a talent show at school. Kirsten's 4th grade class performed as a praise band. Kirsten played keyboard. They played "Father, I adore You" with guitar, keyboard, bells, violins, was very pretty music.

Kirsten continues to excel in her studies. She is a big help with the babies too.

Kirsten at keyboard

The 4th grade Praise Band

Kirsten and James having fun

Ben has started t-ball. He really enjoys sports!
He also really enjoys being a big brother. Kuya Ben! 'Kuya' is Cebuano for 'older brother'.

Ben, James, Kurt

Ben hitting a three-base run

Ben and James

Mikayla has been busy with her studies and helping out with babies at the house.

The middle school is getting ready to leave this Sunday to go to Taal, a volcano in Northern Philippines, for a week-long Outdoor Education program. The middle school does this every year. It is an out door ed and spiritual retreat week. Last year Mikayla went to Corrigador, a WW II site.
Mikayla is looking forward to the trip. Pray for her and the whole middle school group and sponsors to have a spiritually enriching time; a fun, educational time exploring the volcano; and a safe trip.

Mikayla and Ben helping with James and Jerard

A scene from Corrigador; last year's OE trip


A scene from Corrigador; last year's OE trip

James and Jerard - Jerard is looking better

Post-Surgery Update

Jerard's head is a full two inches smaller than it had been a week ago. Last Wednesday, prior to surgery, his head circumference was 19 inches. Today, at his one week post-op check up, it measured 17 inches!

Next Wednesday his bandages and sutures will be removed!

He picked up a urinary tract infection while in the hospital which is being treated. Please pray he heals well from that.

Things You Find on a Birth Certificate!

Here in the Philippines, if you don't pay your hospital bill for a birth, then the hospital may not release your birth certificate. We received the boys when they were about two months old but the hospital had not released the birth certificates yet so we had never seen them either.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has since obtained the birth certificates from the hospital and we just received our copies today.

The most striking thing is that Jerald is not Jerald but Jerard! I suspect that he has not learned his name yet but we sure are going to have a hard time relearning it!

Jerard was born first on October 26th weighing 1936 grams (4 pounds 4 ounces). James was born a minute later weighing 1800 grams (3 pounds 15 ounces). They were the 8th and 9th children of the family.