God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, Karlene, and two great kids, Tara and Zac. All of them are precious gifts from God – and I’m sure, better than I deserve. The youngest is my son, Zac. He was born in 1993 -- with a myriad of issues. For starters with the following: Microdeletion-22, PPD-NOS (Autism), Cleft Palate, and missing part of his abdominal muscle. There is more, but you get the picture.
A few days ago, Zachary had his 7th surgery overall and 2nd this year. I must admit that I am amazed by his incredible courage. He is quite the trooper. He seems to be able to manage the difficult hand that he has been dealt with much fortitude – it’s admirable, really.
As he was being prepped for his surgery, something out-of-the-ordinary – for us, anyway -- happened as Zac had an allergic reaction to some meds that they put in his IV. He started itching and freaking-out, which, in turn, caused Karlene and I to freak-out. Fortunately, his Anesthesiologist was right there with his two nurses and they were able to give him something that counteracted the allergic reaction and calmed Zac down. Karlene asked if they had a little of that to spare, they could also give some to us!
Dr. Pianim, (Zac's surgeon), then came in and reassured Zachary and ourselves that everything was going to be fine. We said our “good-byes” to Zac and they wheeled him down the hall and through the doors into the Operating Room. We went out to the lobby where our support team (Karlene’s parents and my mother) was waiting and gathered them to go get lunch while we waited for it to be over.
The surgery went well -- even though it ended up being more extensive than the good doctor had expected – and we were able to bring Zachary back home late that afternoon to his makeshift recovery room in the back of the house.
The surgery has left Zachary with a surgical wound that is about 3” long, 1” wide and 1” deep. That wound has to be packed and dressed a couple of times each day. I have attempted to help my wife with the process, but am almost useless when it comes down to it. She does an incredible job of cleaning, dressing and packing the wound. Zac willingly endures the painful procedure dutifully and without much complaint. I tend to get nauseous and have to leave the room.
We are blessed with family, both naturally and spiritually. For the first several days after the surgery, Karlene’s mother, (a retired nurse), stayed with us to help out with whatever was needed. We also were blessed with the expert care of Kelly, another nurse who is a member of our church, who dropped-in to provide competent help and encouragement the first few days that Zac was home from the hospital. Then there have been the meals, the calls, the cards, the prayers and well wishes from our loving family at Cornerstone and even from friends all around the world!
So far, Zachary is doing well in his recovery. We are one week out from his surgery. We will see the surgeon, Dr. Pianim, on Monday, August 3rd, to officially see where he stands. There is not a whole lot that Zachary can physically do right now. He is mobile, though and they recommend that he can be somewhat active -- he just needs to be careful. Therefore, he has to take it easy for the next several weeks’ (the healing/recovery process is about 8 weeks). So he is doing pretty much what he really likes doing… playing video games.
Zac loves the thoughts, cards, balloons and the attention that is coming his way as a result of the surgery. He can’t wait to be able to get out of the house so that he can share the latest chapter of his story with whoever will be willing to hear it.
Thanks for the prayers.