FIRST 10 DAYS OUT
Wednesday, April 17th, at 7 am they started moving
Florentin's bed through an underground tunnel to the main hospital
next to the children's hospital. I did not leave his side as we
walked and walked and arrived at the operating room
where I had to say "see you later". I was sent home and
told I'd be called afterwards, between 12 and 1 pm.
1:45 pm - after 45 anxious minutes - the doctor called to tell me
that everything had gone as planned. Praise God!
And thanks to all of you who prayed! What they actually did was
to remove his pulmonary heart valve (smaller, with
less pressure at its position), placing it in a prothesis that they
then put in the position of the shriveled mitral heart valve. They
used human tissue to replace the pulmonary heart valve with. The
doctor said that he had NEVER before seen a child
with a heart valve like that and that it was amazing it was doing
its job at all. Also, that it was the result of an untreated angina
when Florentin was small.
was told that they kept him sleeping longer and that there was no
point coming in the same day. Thursday morning (picture) I came
in right away and was amazed at the shape Florentin was
in; as if nothing had occured the day before. Later in
the day things caught up with his body though.
Day 2 after the operation they moved Flo back to
the children's hospital, to the intensive
care unit there (picture). They had to turn on the external
pacemaker for a while, which is totally normal. They also
had to put in a second drainage to relieve his lung pressure. So
he had two big tubes coming out of his body, a catheter and the
cables going to his heart.
Day 3 Florentin scared me big time. He was doing
really well, and his surgeon came by saying that they could remove
the drainages. Since that is very painful, they put him
to sleep. I was allowed to stay, but chose to look away as I faint
at the sight of blood. (In total I nearly fainted 3 times during
Flo's stay at the hospital, one of the times that day.) They pulled
the tubes out, and then suddenly his heart pressure shot
up. It had been 160/50 since the operation, but now it
was at 260/50. The surgeon's comment was, "If
his new heart valve can take that kind of pressure, I've done a
good job." It seemed to take forever before they gave
him medication to bring the pressure down, and he continued taking
that medication for a few days.
4 (Sunday) was the only day I could not see Florentin as
I was preaching in another town, and I felt bad for it. Thankfully
there were a few other significant people that visited him regularly.
Monday I was back, and Florentin's constant impatience
was very obvious as all he wanted was to get out of intensive care.
He was still getting oxygen at times to help his
blood's saturation, but he was sitting up and had actually already
gotten up once.
Day 6 he showed off his ability to stand, and was
overjoyed when he was informed that the time to move to
a regular room had come. He also told me to ask everyone
to pray that he'd be released before Saturday which was the day
I was scheduled to leave town. At first we were told that's impossible,
then someone said maybe.
Day 7 Florentin took this picture of his scar himself,
after they had FINALLY removed the external pacemaker
which he had impatiently been waiting for, and which is very painful.
Isn't his scar beautiful! This was also the day when he was informed
that his prayers were answered - he'd be leaving the hospital the
following afternoon. Instead of two weeks as scheduled, he'd be
out only 8 days after his operation.
8 was long, as there were final tests to wait for, and
we ended up leaving 3 hours later than told. In our final conversation,
I was told that his medication dosage prescribed in Mali had been
way too high causing his vomiting and stomach problems.
They could not find anything wrong with his digestive system. Already
while in the hospital, he was eating way more than before his operation.
the hospital, all he wanted was to have pizza. We returned home
to where I was staying and walked up the two flights of stairs.
Florentin was amazed that it felt "like 3 steps"
when he before he was out of breath walking up there. As
for me, I was amazed at how well he was doing, as if nothing had
happened, and at his ability to eat multiple times the quantities
he used to eat. By the way, he gained 2.5 kilos
the first week after leaving hospital! (That's nearly 5 pounds.)
first night out, Florentin talked to Paul on skype
for a long time, and both him and Paul had tears of gratefulness
in their eyes for all God had done for Flo. As for me, I was listening
to Florentin's side of the conversation, and even though I did not
understand everything, I was also touched at all that Florentin
said. It seems that my being at his side all day long whenever I
could had had a deep impact on him.
one night, it was time for Florentin to move in with his
host family. I'm so blown away by the amazing,
just PERFECT, family God provided for him! That Friday,
Flo was not doing so well, being tired and weak; but it was only
to be that one day.
we arrived at the family's house, he loved it! And then it was time
for him to fulfill a long life dream: hit a soccer
ball with his foot. I had to stop him from overdoing it.
was hard having to say good-bye but I knew that he was in good hands.
10 DAYS OUT
Florentin has been enjoying his time with the host family, and has
been doing amazingly well. Except for an incident yesterday when
he scared us all.
he brought up that he has toothache, and we discovered
that he urgently needs dental care. His family ended up taking him
to a dental emergency room where they started a
root canal. Next week they should be finishing it somewhere, once
we've figured out who could do it for free.
big shock was the price of one of his medications
that he needs to reduce his still elevated lung pressure. A box
lasting one month costs 800€, i.e. $1,050,
and he needs 4 boxes. Please pray we can find a way or someone to
cover the expense.
a few days he will return to hospital one more time for a final
evaluation. They will check his liver again since it's
been working hard to compensate for the over-medication and the
strain from the heart. They will also decide how much longer he
will have to take the other medications he is taking besides the
pray Florentin continues to recover
well. Since he's doing so well, I have decided to take
him with me on a ministry trip to France as well as the south of
past month has not just been busy with me being at Florentin's side,
but I have also been ministering in between. There have been awesome
times of ministry where God was speaking and touching His
people, bringing healing and restoration, as well as salvation to
the lost. And there is much more ministry ahead. Please pray for
me, especially as I'm feeling pretty exhausted physically.
on the left and on our CALENDAR
page to find out when I'm ministering where.
- I'm so grateful for how God has taken care of me and Florentin.
I had a place to stay, a car to drive, and Flo found the perfect
family. I want to specifially thank Florentin's sponsor,
a lady who has been sponsoring him for years and who was excited
to finally meet him in person and has treated him as if he was
her son. Thank you!
Birthday - On May 14th I'm celebrating
my 40th birthday in Vienna. I'd love to see those of you on our
mailing list who can come. Email me for location and time.
in Mali - A few days ago they arrested 15 people of a
terrorist cell in our old neighborhood where
Paul's family still lives. They had planned to do terrorist attacks
in the capital. Thank God for bringing this to light, and protecting
our city, as well as us!
in Mali - Please pray for Paul and the
kids during the next few weeks while I'm gone.
- Rebuilding the walls has finished.
- We need volunteers in Mali who can stay a few months
or more. If you'd like to come help us, please contact me.
am the Lord who heals you. (Ex