Friday, May 4, 2012

Nora Pearl

Sweet Nora Pearl is the daughter of Brad and Keelin Smith. She was born on December 12th, 2011 and she's been fighting for her life ever since.

On January 20th Brad and Keelin checked her into Riley Children's Hospital because doctors found hemangiomas on her liver. Normally, hemangiomas are little, red, raised birthmarks found on the skin that naturally shrink and disappear with age. Nora's internal hemangiomas would also naturally shrink--her doctor wasn't concerned--but they also made her liver extra large which was squishing her other organs. Because of this the doctors prescribed an oral medication to shrink them at a faster rate and it was working.

But since then, she's dealt with numerous complications. She had an RSV infection (a respiratory virus that is dangerous to infants), ulcers, infections, water retention (up to five pounds of water), a growth on her heart (that thankfully disappeared), emergency surgeries, lots of meds, and lots of time spent on a ventilator. Her liver is still the root problem and so her doctors have put her on the liver transplant list.

Nora is basically second in line to receive a new liver--she waits only behind those in acute liver failure. Normally, someone in her position would receive a liver in about a week. However, since this liver needs to be small, it could take two to three weeks to find a perfect match.

I spoke to Keelin this morning and despite everything, she's holding on to hope. Putting Nora on the transplant list wasn't easy. It's a risky surgery that, at best, only has a 50% survival rate. And yet, she said it feels as though a burden has been lifted from their shoulders.

Nora is not even five months old and she has fought more battles than some adults face in a lifetime. Would you fill those golden bowls and flood heaven with your prayers for Nora? Pray that God would heal her! Pray peace would fill Brad and Keelin's hearts and minds. Pray for the Smiths' extended family as they process what is happening to their granddaughter, niece, cousin. Pray for the doctors performing the surgery. Pray her lungs would continue to strengthen. Pray for Nora Pearl's mind and physical development despite these harrowing months. Pray for a new liver. And would you join Brad and Keelin and begin praying for the family from which this little liver will be coming from?

I'm so sorry some of these posts of late have been so sad. Deeply sad. I know some of you have been weeping with us all. But I know we're called to carry each others' burdens. Something supernatural happens when we share the hard stuff with each other. Somehow the deeply sad doesn't carry as much power. Somehow the frightening doesn't isolate us and crush us under its weight. Let's do this for Brad, Keelin, and sweet Nora Pearl.

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