“Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.”
The depth of those words speak volumes to my heart tonight as begin to prepare to share our story. I find myself back on the floor of the hospital crying out to God to not take Matt, over and over. His promises and the truths of who He is are the only peace that we can rely on when our world seems to be falling apart. So many have asked what happened and how Matt is, and so many have reached out. I find it fitting that in time of great heartache God would use us to share His truths and His goodness.
Many of you know that baby Greta was born 5 weeks early! Of course after a crazy week of attempting to heal from major surgery and traveling to the NICU everyday, I was so excited that she would be joining us at home last Saturday. NO MORE TRAVELING!!!! Now I could heal and rest! She was meeting all her goals and had been BradyCardia free for 5 days. In the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, she decided to have a Brady and her heart rate went down to 50. She didn’t lose color or even appear to be in distress, but per regulation, her home going from the NICU was postponed. To say that we were all sad is an understatement. As a family we got up Saturday and were preparing to bring her home!! It was an exciting day in the Mitchell house. When we called to see what time we could get her and they shared the news, we were devastated. Our much anticipated day was now just another day. I couldn’t imagine what God was doing and why He would choose to keep her there and not allow her home, and even though my flesh questioned, my Spirit said there is always a reason.
We went about our day, visited her in the NICU and had lunch with my brother-in-law. During lunch Matt looked like he wasn’t feeling well. He started to break out in cold sweats and was pale. He kept saying he felt like his heart was racing. That evening I was to return to the hospital and they had set up for me to stay overnight with Greta, I was very excited! Those plans quickly changed as Matt expressed with much urgency that he wasn’t feeling well and really thought he needed to go to the ER. We quickly packed up, dropped the kids of with my brother and sister-in-law, and headed to ER. As we drove I prayed that whatever was wrong was an easy fix and we would be home before the morning. When we got there Matt’s heart was in tachycardia beating up to 159 beats per minute. They tried everything, even giving him a medicine that would stop his heart quickly and start it again to try to get his rate down. It worked for about 10 seconds. After admitting us and running a thousand test, they began a slow drip heart medicine trying to keep his heart rate down. It didn’t work. When he was laying flat on his back it was at 120, if he tried to sit 130-140 and standing …. well it wasn’t good. After 24 hours in the hospital we had no more answers. As Sunday evening approached, the nurse came in to do one more round of BP’s before calling it a night. Matt was sitting up in the bed, white as a ghost. He kept saying he didn’t feel good and was going to pass out. The nurse encouraged him to lean over. About that time, he feel backwards on the bed. I kept saying, “Matt are you ok?” Then the next moment he began vomiting massive amounts of blood and blood clots all over him, the room, everywhere and he was not responsive. I ran to him, setting him up because I didn’t want him to aspirate on his blood and I heard the nurse yell “Code Blue”…. “I need help”, “please come help”, “Code Blue”…… as doctors and nurses began to pile in the room I ran out. It was as if my world in one moment was crumbling before my eyes. I don’t remember exactly the next moments. I called my daddy and with emotions that I feel to this moment, I told him I didn’t know if Matt was going to make it, I told him everything that happened, and then as he promised he was on his way, I crumpled onto the floor and began to sob. I didn’t have words really, all I could say was “Please don’t take Him God”. I said those words over and over and over again. The thoughts that ran through my head where a simple plea to not take away my husband, my children’s father, the love of my life. I couldn’t verbally say anything, but when we are left speechless, the bible says that the Spirit makes intercession on our behalf. I have no idea how long I sat there, but a hand on my shoulder kindly told me that they where able to get him back and he was responding. She told me to give them some time to get him stable and cleaned up and I could go in. The next hours where a blur, the rushed us to ICU and called in GI, who worked overnight trying to find the cause of such an episode. After doing an endoscopy, the doctor came out to talk to me, my dad and mom. Matt had thrown up 500 cc of blood and the doctor sucked another 600 cc of blood out of his stomach. The vein that runs directly from the heart to the stomach had punctured the lining of his stomach and was pumping blood directly from the heart to his stomach. My strong husband who had tirelessly provided and taken care of my over the last several weeks, had been bleeding to death internally. The doctor informed us that he couldn’t find any active bleeding, but that they would go in again Monday and look. Matt received 4 units of blood that night, and the God of all creation showed mercy on us. The next days were long and tiring. When they went back in Monday there was nothing activity bleeding and by all appearances it had clotted on its own. The doctor informed us that it was something called a “Dielafoy Lesion” and there was no explanation of why or how it happens. They decided to keep Matt another 48 hours and watch him. On Wednesday morning, the day we were supposed to be released, Matt’s hemoglobin levels dropped again and they decided they needed to take another look. When they went back in the found that it had punctured the lining of the stomach wall again and was starting to bleed. This time, because they could see it, they were able to do surgery and cauterize it and clip it!! Another 2 units of blood and he was set up! When the doctor came out of surgery he told me that we were lucky (though I’m not a believer of luck 😉 ). Matt had received almost a complete blood transfusion from head to toe. They wouldn’t give him anymore blood and his levels are still very low, but tonight he is on the road to recovery! Tonight we are home as a family of 5 and grateful to be together!
Your grace abounds in deepest waters, Your Sovereign Hand will be my guide…. every word of that rings truth to my Spirit. Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, you’ve never failed and you won’t start now….. when I sat on that floor in the hospital, despite my heart breaking in a million pieces, I felt the hand of God, the presence of my Savior all around me. His Spirit never left my side, He was with me in that moment as He has been in so many moments of my life! His word active and alive began to speak to my heart…. Peace I leave you, my Peace I give you….. Trust in the Lord with all your heart….. there is no place your feet will go, I have not already gone…. Perfect love casts out fear….. over and over again, verses that I had memorized over the years flooded my mind…… and through His word, the Peace of God that surpasses all understanding guarded me.
To say that it’s been a crazy couple weeks in our house would be an understatement 😉 The doctors and nurses at the hospital know us well…. as I would walk from the ICU to the NICU, they would stop and ask me how the baby was and how Matt was. The staff at Baptist South cared so much for us with compassion in these last weeks. Nurses had prayer meetings for our family and compassionately loved on this momma who didn’t know if I was coming or going. When I look back I see how God ordained every step that led to today. I understand clearly why Greta came early and had to stay longer in the NICU. I see how God orchestrated events in love to simply show me that He cares, He is concerned and He is compassionate. I didn’t have to choose between my new-born and my husband, for 5 days we all stayed in the hospital together! While some of the best nurses in the world took care of my baby in the NICU, I was by the side of my husband who needed me. My mom and dad who have given so much to us in these last weeks and months have poured themselves into our boys with love and compassion. My brother and sister-in-law have given of themselves in however we have needed. The truth is that there are more people than I can name who have stepped up to love us, take care of us, pray for us and provide for us! Once again, as I have found myself on so many occasions in the last 5 1/2 years, I cannot express my thankfulness to our family, church family and friends for their love and sacrifice. I am speechless at the love that has been poured out for our family! Please continue to pray for Matt as he recovers, me as I heal, and our poor children who have two parents who aren’t 100% 😉 Please pray for my mom and dad who have sacrificed so much to take care of our boys and us over these last weeks and are still doing it! From our family to yours we humbly say thank you once again for being the hands and feet of Jesus in some very difficult days for our family!!! We love you!!
As I was sitting in the ICU Monday morning, God brought these verses to my heart! No matter what you are facing, His promises are true!! If we abide in Him, He will abide within us!!! Psalm 91:1-2 says “He that dwelt in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of Jehovah, he is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in whom I trust.”