Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Sunday we left our home in Petén at 5:30 to make our 7 hour drive to Guatemala City. In the words of Jonah, we were going to Guate so that "God could help a doctor fix Daddy because he's broken and has rocks in his tummy." Our mission agency graciously advanced us the money right away for Jimmy's surgery just trusting that we would be able to repay them. Each day leading up to Sunday, Jimmy made the drive to Santa Elena to withdraw the maximum daily amount allowed in order to be able to pay our hospital bill. Jimmy's pastor, Mark Hoover, spoke with him on Friday to let him know that Newspring was praying for him. It was so kind of him to reach out to us like that. We have also had several notes from others about how they were praying, many from the group that was just down here. I want to say thank you to everyone.  

We made it to our hotel about 1:30. As we pulled up Silas said, "I am SO happy." He was excited about his grandparents coming to Guatemala! We were able to ride the shuttle to pick up MaG and G from the airport. 
 Before Jimmy and I left for the hospital, they all got settled... and the big rumpus started! 
Eden gave me a big hug goodbye, like she didn't want to let go, but I'm not sure if the boys even noticed we were gone.

Jimmy and I went and got one last meal and I picked up some snacks to take with me. I had learned from our friends to not eat the hospital food because it is too expensive. Jimmy had to since you're not allowed to bring patients food. 
We got him checked in. We thought it was kind of silly that they make you show up the day before your surgery, but I guess culturally they want to have control over what people eat or drink right before their surgeries and control over people showing up on time. From that perspective I thought it was pretty responsible. 

We payed an extra $5 to get an air conditioned room this time... since it is July. This is what Jimmy slept in for the 3 nights he spent with me in the hospital: 
No one told us before that with the air unit you also get a seating upgrade:
I got to sleep on a couch! Now we know.

Jimmy's doctor ordered more tests to make sure none of the stones had moved into places that would complicate the surgery and he wanted to see how inflamed his gallbladder was. If it is too large it makes it difficult to take out. Well, the sonogram guy said that all the rocks were sitting in a pile, so he couldn't measure them because they were indistinguishable. Then Jimmy's doctor came in at 10:30 that night to say that he didn't think that we should have the surgery with his gallbladder that inflamed. Well that got us unnerved for sure. He wanted to put Jimmy on some antibiotics and then come back in 6 to 8 weeks. We had burned through a lot of cash just checking in and with all the tests and driving all the way to Guate. Plus Jimmy parents were here NOW, not later. Was it all for nothing?

He left with everything up in the air, willing to come in the next morning to do another test to see if anything had changed. From us hearing about this doctor a couple hours before Jimmy found out that he would need the surgery to everyone helping us get the money in time, to Jimmy's parents being able to fly in and watch the kids, we just felt that we were right where God wanted us to be, He had orchestrated everything. After talking to each other a bit, Jimmy called the doctor a little after 11PM and  told him that we really wanted to go through with the surgery now. We couldn't come back and we didn't want to risk an emergency in Petén. The doctor very graciously agreed to do the surgery. 
They came and got Jimmy at 7:45. The doctor only expected the surgery to last about 20 minutes. I saw his doctor in the hall about 8:00, so I figured they didn't even get started until 8:15. Snacks and crochet entertained me for almost 2 hours.
I tried to not think too hard, just pray. Well 3 hours went by and I was up and pacing by that time,  looking down the hallway hoping the doctor would come around the corner at any moment. Finally he did. He looked so solemn during his long walk to our room. Come on, shoot someone a smile or something just to calm their fears! He got to the door still straight faced and very seriously said lets go inside. WHAT?! I walked in and sat down and then finally got a smile! He said that the surgery was complicated, but it went well. Thankfully he didn't have to open Jimmy up, just 2 extra scope holes. He said that Jimmy's gallbladder was rotten, completely rotten, so he was glad that we went ahead with the surgery.

So I just want to say God worked it out in a way that we would see that He wanted us there then. Parts of Jimmy's gallbladder had died. Gangrene was setting in and it was already affecting the organs around it. If we had not had the surgery monday it would have spread even more. I am so grateful, so so grateful that God protected Jimmy. 

A nurse called my room an hour later and said that I could come see Jimmy in recovery. I was so happy to see him! His eyes looked awful. I told him about what the doctor had said. Then I asked if he would even remember this conversation and he assured me, "Yes, I am completely lucid." He doesn't remember any of it!

I saw the nurses with his records and there was a bag taped too them. It was flopping around and the contents sounded heavy. I said, "Those aren't his rocks are they?" Well they were and they gave them to me as a souvenir. I almost posted a picture of the bag full of rocks, but it's gross. There were several over 3cm and probably a dozen more beyond that. 

Jimmy had to stay another night in the hospital due to it turning into such an extensive surgery. I was glad, just because I was afraid he would try and do too much if we left. You cannot leave the hospital until you pay your bill in full. Even with the extra tests and extra night in the hospital, we had enough money advanced from Global Faith (our agency) to cover the bill. Again, very grateful!  

Overall we had a very positive experience. All the doctors and nurses were so kind to us. So many things that happened were a testimony of God's grace and love. Jimmy is on the mends. Thank you to everyone of you who were praying for him!
The boys loved seeing Daddy's bag of rocks and the holes in his tummy with the cool staples.
His doctor told him that he didn't think there was anyone in Petén with the gadget to get the staples out, but that they need to come out in 10-12 days. Jimmy said that he was sure we have some wire cutters that would do the trick!

1 comment:

  1. God answers prayers! So glad Jimmy and you came through this emergency with doctors and nurses that were able to take care of Jimmy. So glad your agency came through with the funds that you needed. Didn't know that Melissa and Larry were going but so glad they did. We will continue to pray for complete healing. In His hands, Rod and Shelia Jentzen


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