Friday, February 10, 2006

The Cleveland Clinic Redux:

We're back at the Cleveland Clinic where I'm typing these words from The Cleveland Clinic Alumni Library. (BTW, Ohioans seem to like the article "The" in front of their favorite institutions, witness the Clinic and The Ohio State University).

But to the point of the post: I have good news to report, and I'll use John's words to Chris and Hal Nungester in Haiti, who were anxiously awaiting news of Emmanual's surgery, to relay it:

"Would you like some good news today (Feb 8) ?? Emmanuel did GREAT in surgery!! Is that good enough for you?? He smoked through it. They got the hole patched with a dacron patch and his pulmonary pressures came down immediately which is great. His hematocrit is 35!! His preop CXR yesterday is improved and he continues on the the TB meds.

"You guys gave him the big chance that this dude needed. You fed him and hospitalized him and held him and brought him to Ohio, and he knew he was somebody. He would be dead without you.

"If you had a tough day today, which you probably did, think about Emmanuel surrounded by ICU nurses and three sets of families fawning over him and the entire Cleveland Clinic nursing staff loving him. And now he has a chance....Your work in Haiti is extremely hard...but the differences you make will go on for generations after you are gone. Your work is affecting many more lives than just the Haitian kids you take in. Everyone who comes into contact with these kids who have been deprived of things that all kids should have, are changed forever."

Chris and Hal run an orphanage in Port-au-Prince and do heroic work on behalf of the children in their care.

Emmanual is recovering nicely. He had a little temp and a little fluid on his lungs the day after surgery, but these conditions are improving today. He has two wonderful host families in the Cleveland area and a wonderful adoptive family in Washington state.

Dr. Brian Duncan, the surgeon and Dr. Geoff Rosenthal, the cardiologist were practically skipping through the halls today, they are so pleased with how Emmanual did during surgery. Since the time Emmanual came to Cleveland on December 17, he was treated for TB, and he put on three pounds, more than a third of his body weight. He is a very charismatic baby and people are practically fighting over him. John thinks that now, with his heart repaired, he will be eating everything in sight. Everyone will need to guard their plates!

My happiness for Emmanual is somewhat tempered by my black-Irish-thoughts-of-adversity-will-sustain-us-in-these-happy-times kind of thoughts that Jackson would have smoked through surgery too. But perhaps Jackson is doing more than we realize from heaven.

We have two more children who have been accepted by Cleveland Clinic, and we can't wait to get them here.

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