Thursday, December 31, 2009

The long awaited road to recovery

Many thanks, once again, for your prayers, comments, letters and encouragement. This has certainly been a roller coaster ride, but it would seem God is granting us a reprieve.

Yesterday, December 30th, Christopher was again taken into the Operating Theater for a Nephrostomy procedure. This was done successfully and is now allowing the graft kidney to produce urine and function. It is a temporary drain, and the surgeons will still need to figure out how to repair the original blockage between the graft kidney and the bladder. His creatin levels plummeted within the first several hours and this means Christopher is feeling much better. So it would seem that all along, a small blockage was prohibiting the graft kidney from doing its job. We are grateful to God for allowing the Doctors to diagnose this accurately.

Christopher will be kept in the Hospital over New Years Eve, as they want to keep an eye on his electrolyte balance. He is producing more urine and therefore needs to be kept on a saline drip.

Please pray for the hands of the surgeons, as they discuss and plan a strategy for the repair of the blockage. This has been a long road for our family to journey, and we have gotten through this due to your support, prayers and encouragement. We are grateful.

At different times I have wondered why this transplant needed to be so complicated and drawn out. The best conclusion I can arrive at, is that this has given Christopher a whole new appreciation for his health, his graft kidney and indeed his life. We pray this will help him to focus on God's will for him as a young man and that he will rise to the responsibility of caring for his body and taking his life saving medication on time. He is going to need to learn to be disciplined in a way he has never had to, and perhaps this difficult and arduous road was one he needed to travel first.

At any rate, we are grateful to be in the loving hands of our Saviour and we rest in the knowledge that His plans for us are in our best interest. What hope would there be without this?

We pray your New Year celebrations will be blessed, and that He would give us all ample opportunity to contemplate how best we can serve Him in the coming year.

God bless, and again, thank you for persevering with us through this chapter of our lives.

Lenora and family

Monday, December 28, 2009

Return to the Hospital

Hello again dear friends! We trust your Christmas was a time of reflection and pause, with the chance to give thanks for all our Saviour has done for us. Ours was a time of rejoicing, in that Christopher was able to be at home with us. Although he did not feel well at all, we were grateful to have a break from the gloomy hospital corridors and wards. God is good.

Thank you, for your many emails and messages. We are humbled at the amount of prayer on Christopher's behalf. He has been admitted back to the Hospital today, as he continues to be in end-stage renal failure. His creatin levels are so high now, that they are preparing him for dialysis. At the same time, they will attempt a procedure via a scope to see if they can undue a suspected blockage. If this is successful, they are hoping the graft kidney will have the opportunity to function normally. This procedure is due to take place tomorrow, December 29th.

We thank you in advance, for your prayers. May your journey into the New Year be blessed and filled with many opportunities. Thank you for standing with us.

With love,

Lenora Hammond

Friday, December 11, 2009

Turning a Corner

Wow, what a roller coaster ride our family has been on these last couple of weeks. Thank you so much for your faithful prayers, notes and expressions of concern for Christopher and I , but also for our family.

My Nephrectomy went well, with no complications. My kidney was then transported by the main surgeon (we had visions of accidents, hi-jackings or some other malady occurring during the transport phase) to the Red Cross Children's Hospital. To get a feel for the distances here, our home is in the middle of both of these Hospitals, and it takes about 10 minutes to get to either of them from our home. 18 years ago, when we were only renting this home, the Lord already knew we would need to live this close to the nearest medical help.

Christopher's surgical team was ready and waiting, and the same surgeon who performed the Nephrectomy, also operated on Christopher. She is a very lovely young Afrikaans woman, and is exceptionally gifted at what she does. She is also the head of the Renal department at Groote Schuur Hospital. Most of you know by now that Christopher experienced a number of setbacks, including a return to the operating theater, pneumonia in one lung and thus the need to be put on oxygen. His levels are still at an all time high, but both of us have turned a corner.

Christopher is now in the General Renal Ward, and I am at home. My pain levels are still surprisingly high, but the medication is doing its job. Anyone who knows me knows, that the inability to move around and organize everything for Christmas and our daughter Andrea's return home for the Holiday Season is torture. I have to accept daily, that I need to leave the things I am unable to do, and that the time will come when I am better and stronger.

God has been gracious, and the medical procedure we have been waiting for, for 14 years has finally happened. I am so thank full that my kidney was healthy and that I was able to give our son this new lease on life. Thank you for the part you all have played in this. You have all been invaluable.

We love and gratitude,

Lenora Hammond