Well Frantina has been in the hospital since last Thursday because we had to make sure she had a bed for surgery. If we could have had a magic ball to tell us the future, we would have known that there would be several beds empty today. Then she could have just stayed home with us until today. But we didn’t know and last week, there were no beds available so her surgery could not be done!
On Sunday, a group came through the hospital giving toys and cute things to all of the kids. They gave Frantina some dolls and this cute head band which she loves! The hospital has been good to us and there are 3 other Haitian children there with their mothers! One of the mothers speaks some Spanish so that has really helped. The staff is not very happy with us that we speak no Spanish. I so wish I could speak just a little, but I know NOTHING!
Frantina has really done well in the last month. She has started to sleep better at night and not get up 4 times each night like she did when we first arrived in Santo Domingo. She also has a wonderful sense of humor and will do funny things to make us laugh. She will wiggle her eyebrows when we scold her and it is very difficult not to laugh at her!
She has really gotten strong since she has started her TB treatment. She is no longer considered contagious since she has been on medication for almost 3 months now. She can pull herself into a sitting position with the strength of her arms and back muscles! She moves her legs but due to the compression on her spinal cord, she has no strength in them.
I went last week to speak to another neurosurgeon who we had seen when we first came to Santo Domingo back in January. he trained in London and speaks excellent English. I wanted to know if this weakness in her legs would go away after surgery. he said if everything went well and the compression against her spinal cord was relived, she should be able to walk and run like any other child! She still has full movement of her legs, but can definitely tell there is some problems with movement due to the pressure on the spinal cord.
Tomorrow’s surgery is not an easy one. The doctor will start at 7 AM and he said he has no idea how long it will take. He keeps telling us this is a very serious surgery. They will go through her chest and try to remove the Tuberculosis mass pressing against her spine from the front. It is located behind her lungs and close to her heart. This will be done by the thoracic surgeon who is coming to help Dr. Sanchez. Dr. Sanchez, the pediatric neurosurgeon, will then go from the back and place some metal rods in her spine and cement them into place to replace her spinal vertebrae that have been destroyed by the TB. He will also have to try and remove any bone fragments from those vertebrae.
Frantina will be in Intensive Care after surgery and probably for about a week if she does well. I assume she will have a chest tube and be on a ventilator to help her breath. We cannot stay with her but can visit often, they tell us.
Please pray that Dr. Sanchez and the other doctor will have steady hands and that God will guide them throughout this surgery. Pray that no bone fragments cause any paralysis during surgery. Pray for Frantina’s heart and lungs to be strong and for her to come through the surgery without any complications. Pray for Vivianne, Katie, Tim, her adoptive family, and I as we wait anxiously for the surgery to be done.
Pray for God to send his angels to stand at all four corners of her surgical bed and protect her tomorrow.
It was very difficult to leave her tonight. But I have to believe that she is exactly where she is supposed to be and God is watching over her.
Posted on Tue, April 24, 2012