Tag Archives: Infection

Angel & momma time

Angel is enjoying her freedom from surgery. She has hung out with her mom all week and they have cuddled a lot. There were however fewer walks this week because Pamela developed an infection in her leg and found walking very difficult. Her leg has been swollen and hot and draining gunk and she has had a temperature. Shriner’s staff took her to a doctor and she is on antibiotics now and feeling better. Thank God for medicines and for the spirit of healing that comes from the Creative God of love.

The staff has also this week given Pamela a lesson in bathing a baby who has grafted skin and a small uncovered hole on her head. They are encouraging Pamela to take over more and more of the full care for Angel. Pamela is delighted and loves the learnings. She is always eager and grateful for learning anything new.

As these days have passed, Pamela and I have had many talks about the importance of the mother-daughter relationships. Now as I face my own mother’s illness, Pamela has been very concerned about what is happening to her. She wrote to me a few days ago this unedited message.

Hi sue iam so sorry for your mom sickeness and aiso for your schendule inconviences .iam still praying for you and your mom hoping everything will be okey.here its a special words to encourage you easpecialy like now when your undergoing through all this difficulties.”Keep your eyes on me ,not only for direction but also for emporwement .i never lead you to do something without equippping you for the task”says the lord.” Be blessed dear sue and dear sue’s mom.The lord is with you.

May we honor and be gentle with and love unconditionally all those who are put in our paths. Be assured that we are equipped for the task.

~ Sue

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Infection cleared up!!

I just had a nice long conversation with Pamela. There is mostly good news with some confusing news.

To get the confusing and more minor news out of the way, Pamela has been given (without any consultation) two new roommates. Neither of them speak English and neither seem to want to try to communicate. They want lights off at 9pm which means Pamela can’t read or talk on the phone or work on her laptop and she is pretty upset. She is also worried about the safety of her “stuff”. Though I suspect that it is safe, I understand her concern because in Kenya it would be up for grabs.

I “advised” her to talk to her care coordinator. That’s why she is there and it is good for Pamela to address these things directly. Her coordinator can explain and at least will be aware of Pamela’s feelings about all this. So it would be good if something could be changed, even if it is only to move into understanding and out of misunderstanding.

On to the really good news….the bacterial infection is gone!! They got 3 negative cultures back and Angel is pronounced clean. In fact, they allowed Pamela to put her in her stroller and walk her outside, across the street to UTMB offices to see the nutritionist. Pamela said it was wonderful to be outside walking her baby down the sidewalk just like any other mom.

And the nutritionist had some good ideas about feeding. While she was in the office, they got Angel to stop biting Pamela by taking her off the breast when she bit and giving her the pacifier. Once she spit out the pacifier, Angel was put back to the breast, and it wasn’t long before she nursed more and bit less. Smart girl, our Angel!

She also tried her on the sippy cup and she drank from that as well. They are also giving her solids and she is taking those. Definite progress. They still have her on the feeding tube but it looks like we are moving off it very soon.

Tomorrow (Friday) the surgery on the eyelids (both of them) will happen at 10:00 am. It was supposed to happen today, but the operating room schedule was too full. The surgeon explained to Pamela that Angel’s eyes are the primary concern and the other surgeries will come but it will take many months. They still can’t give us any time frame.

So we trust the expertise that is surrounding this child and mother, and we trust God who has lead us to this point and who will unquestioningly lead us on day by day. We worship a healing God who is active and at work unceasingly. There is nothing to fear and much to hope for.

Stay close and send prayers. You are with us on this journey.

~ Sue

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New bottle!

I am writing from Denver. I arrived today to visit daughter and her family. But I also called Pamela to hear about Angel. This is the first day in two weeks that I haven’t been with them.

There was good news! Pamela said the nurses went shopping to find a differently shaped bottle. The ones they had just weren’t conducive to Angel’s sucking. Instead of sucking, she has been biting the nipple and playing with it. A few drops do leak down her throat but she is not getting enough nutrients. Without the ability to be bottle fed, Angel is necessarily attached to a feeding tube. The success of her grafting is largely influenced by the amount of nutrients she takes in.

But a bottle was found and she was able to drink 3 ounces in one sitting. Major accomplishment. We hope that she can soon move into Pamela’s room and out of ICU as soon as a routine eating pattern is established.

Whether Pamela and Angel are required to stay in the room in isolation will depend on the demise of the bacterial infection. She must have three negative cultures before she is pronounced rid of the bacteria. The last two cultures were negative and if she gets a third negative, we will have side stepped isolation. That would be most wonderful because then Pamela can take Angel out and about around the hospital.

There is another thing to be grateful for. The University of Texas med students who met Pamela and Angel in Maua when they were there to study mission medicine have continued their friendship with them. They have had a fund raiser and used the monies to buy Angel a stroller and other useful baby things and clothes for Pamela. They have brought pizza and friends to the hospital just for fun. They continue to call and visit and encourage Pamela and they generously share their love with Angel. I have included a few photos of them.

Always Pamela and I are full of praise for all of you who offer your ongoing endless love and prayers and support. Your presence in these lives makes a difference. May God bless you.

~ Sue

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Infection delays Angel’s move to Pamela’s room

Good morning , caring friends. This is the day that the Lord has made and I am grateful for it.

Today is also the day that Angel was scheduled to leave the ICU and go to her Mom’s room. This has been delayed due to feeding issues, Angel has to learn to eat from a bottle. It may take a little bit of time.

It seems this bacterial infection is very stubborn and contagious. It is a hospital bacteria that seems to follow and settle upon burn patients. It is not a Kenyan germ nor a Mexican germ. Just good old USA germ, but one that is very resistant to antibiotics. Angel has it in her sputum and on her scalp where the grafting has taken place. So she will not be able to leave Pamela’s room until 3 negative cultures have been obtained (except to meet with the doctors in the TUB room). No one knows how long the bacteria will resist.

Pamela can only come out of the room if there is another person “baby sitting” Angel. Only one person is allowed in the room at a time with Angel, and Pamela can only be gone 1 hour. But that will give her time to do her wash, grab a meal in the cafeteria, walk around outside, etc.

Angel has had her first visit to the TUB room. Neither Pamela nor I were present but we were told that she had a bath and she loved it! They also took off the bandages from her head and her legs. The grafting is taking well and everyone is very pleased. And she looks so cute! There is some hair on top of her head and in the back. And the places where they removed skin from her legs are also healing well. Yesterday was a play day and she sat in Pamela’s lap and made funny noises, stared and grabbed at the toys that made noises and moved, and was a happy girl (except for the medicine thing).

I send each of you my love and I send it also on behalf of Pamela and Angel. You have given witness to the love of God in profound ways and everyone who receives your presence and your acts of kindness has received Christ. May you feel his joy within you.

~ Sue

Infection causes setback

Just an update on baby Angel as of 8/25….

It seems that the hospital staff has identified an infectious bacteria in Angel that has been causing her fever. It also seems to be resistant to most of the antibiotics that they have given her. They think they have two antibiotics identified that will fight this bug but they need to isolate Angel and Pamela. I think they will be moving both of them into Pamela’s room today or tomorrow. Once there, they are not going to be allowed out of the room until there are 3 negative cultures which they are estimating to take about 6 weeks to obtain. Pamela will take Angel only to the “tub room” once a day to meet with the doctors and then she and Angel must stay in her room. All other appointments with therapists, counselors, dietitians, child development specialists, etc. will come to her room.

When I asked Pamela how she felt about this, she said, “Sad, but I did 6 months at Maua. I can do 6 weeks here.” She then smiled and said , “At least now I have a laptop and a phone.”

Thank you to those of you who have made the laptop and phone possible. They do say that visitors from out side of the hospital (like you and me) can visit in the evenings and on Sat and Sun afternoons. I would think those visits will be especially important now. I will leave on Sat, Aug 31st and I know Pamela is worried about being lonely.

There is also this. Yesterday while we were at church, Angel had minor surgery in her room to replace two grafted patches that were not taking. They had some of her skin in the freezer and they took off the older skin and replaced it with the newer skin. Pray that this will take and her skull can begin to have healthy new skin.

And today they will have to do more work on one of the eye lids that is not grafting properly. Again it will be a small surgical procedure in her room. Again it will be a treatment that involves trauma to this baby who has had so much already and has much more ahead of her.

I am grateful to each of you and your on going presence in Pamela and Angel’s lives. God’s Grace is present and trustworthy and true even when it is hard to see.

~ Sue