Paul T. Leidy *UPDATED
Please pray for my grandson, Caleb Koppel, who was born on February 19th with the condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. As a result of the condition, Caleb had open heart surgery on February 25th at Children's Hospital - Washington, DC. Caleb is a fraternal twin, and his brother Jonah is doing well. Please pray for Caleb, his parents - Ryan and Kristen Koppel, and Jonah, that the Lord continues to lift them up and provide his healing hands and grace on them. Additionally, pray for Ryan and my wife Mary Leidy, as they also use this opportunity to share the Gospel with other families in crisis, as well as the entire medical staff supporting Caleb. It is truly amazing what God can do through trials in our lives. Ryan provides updates, which I will post here for additional prayer and support - this is the update received on Friday February 28th: Good morning family, Caleb had another good night last night, praise The Lord. They have taken him off the nitrous oxide which was supporting his breathing. They have also reduced the amount of oxygen through the breathing machine to 50 percent (normal air is about 21 percent), so he is getting closer to being able to breathe without a breathing machine. His swelling has reduced a great deal. He is peeing a good amount which means that the heart is pumping enough blood to the kidneys. He also has had a couple bowel movements which is a good sign. All of the doctors continue to be amazed with his recovery. He will remain basically paralyzed until they close his chest back up, which is a 2 part process. Part 1 is this morning around 9am when the surgical team will come in for a 30-45 minute window to remove the arch that they put over his heart to let it swell. Then part 2 will be in the next 1-2 days where they will close the chest. Please pray for this to go smoothly and pray for wisdom for the surgeon and supporting doctors. Please pray for a sterile environment and that no infection would be allowed near his body. The nurses say that even in this state, he can hear us and recognize voices so I sleep at the hospital with him so I can talk to him, pray over him etc. Kristen and Jonah have been at Ronald McDonald house. I usually hang out with them during the middle of the day. We thank The Lord that both Kristen and Jonah are very healthy.
Praise and Prayer Update for Caleb 3/10 - 3/11 - Thanks for your continued prayers and the lifting up of Caleb to our heavenly Father, who hears His children and provides comfort and healing in accordance with His plan! 3/10 Evening: They have decided to prepare for a weaning attempt from ECMO to begin at about 2am. They will decrease the use of the machine bit by bit every 2 hours (assuming all goes well) until 10 am when they would make the decision to "clamp" or to ramp back up with the machine. If they decide to clamp, they take him off of the machine for 30 minutes and see how he does on his own. If he does well, they surgically take the ECMO tubes out of his neck. If he doesn't do well they put him back on the machine. They said its worth seeing how he reacts because he can always go back on it and they can try again Wednesday morning. They feel right now they are at the point where they are not sure if the benefits of ECMO outweigh the negatives of ECMO (seizures, purple foot). The heart and making sure it functions properly are priority number one, but if he is strong enough to get off the machine, there is no sense in having the other side effects with it. Please pray that this process goes better than expected, that Caleb's heart is strong enough to do the work on its own, that the doctors continue to have wisdom and precision in all they do, pray for his purple right foot, and for the seizures activity to cease for good. 3/11 Early AM: Doctor just came in super happy and said this the best wean she has ever seen. Because usually they load with blood pressure medicine but they didn't want to do that bc I think it could hurt circulation to his foot, and they were getting concerned about it so basically he has been so strong he didn't need that. Praying for a strong finish! 3/11 AM: Just had medical rounds for Caleb and 20 people were there which is a new record. It lasted about 20 minutes. They discussed the process of "clamping" and "decanting". The clamping is shifting him off of ECMO and letting him do a 30 minute to one hour trial run on his own and the totally taking him off for good. Assuming that goes well, a few hours later (they are thinking 1:30pm or so) they will do the "decanting" which is more of a surgical procedure of taking the tubes needed for ECMO out of Caleb's neck and re-fusing the blood vessels that were disconnected for the tubes to be in place. Please pray for wisdom and precision in every step for the doctors, nurses, and surgeons in this complex process. Also please pray for Caleb to continue to show the strength he has in the weaning off ECMO process. I'm comforted that we serve a God of the most minute details and confident in His perfect plan for His beloved Caleb. We lean not on our own strength! God bless you!
Update for Monday March 10th: Monday Caleb update - If there is one thing we know about Caleb, he will probably like roller coaster rides when he is older. Yesterday evening the doctors discovered on a neurological report that Caleb was having small, 30 second seizures in his brain every 3 minutes since 4am Sunday. The seizures were not big enough to be obviously detected, thus they went unnoticed for quite a while. They all were isolated to one particular spot in the brain, which is better than having them everywhere. The seizures are a possible side effect of Caleb being on the ECMO machine, which is helping his heart and lungs function. Obviously no parent wants to hear that there child has been having seizures for roughly 14 hours straight, but the doctors said many kids have had similar issues and have no long term damage. After we found out the details of the seizures, I immediately sent a text message out to my 20 or so dedicated prayer warriors who I know will drop everything and pray in an instant. I sent a message out to them at 6:21pm to pray to Jesus for the seizures to stop. The doctors called me during their rounds at about 1030pm and said that all seizures had stopped sometime roughly around 7pm. We praise God for answering that prayer. We also praise God that although there have certainly been some low points in Caleb's battle, we have cried out in prayer and Jesus has been faithful every time in the darkest hour. There were no seizures again until Caleb had one more at 2am. He has been seizure free since. Today and tomorrow are big days as they will attempt to wean Caleb off of the ECMO machine and let him do more of the heart pumping and lung work on his own. Please pray specifically for that process to go much better than expected. Caleb's swelling has reduced significantly but please pray for that to continue and his blood pressure to remain high so they can wean him from ECMO. Please also pray that he would remain seizure free from this point forward and there would be no long term damage from the seizures that he has had. Please pray for strength for Caleb and wisdom for everybody involved in making decisions for him this week. Above all, please pray that God get his full glory in and through Caleb. Let us approach God with our prayer requests in humble adoration and respect, but also with the confidence spoken of in God's word below. Confidence not in ourselves, but in He who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine. Hebrews 4:14-16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Thanks to all who have faithfully been praying for our Caleb ... we consider you all part of "Team Caleb" and continue to covet your prayers. Enclosed are the updates from the weekend and this morning. Saturday 3/8: Good morning all, today I woke up with psalm 118:24 on my mind and am so thankful to God for another day of life and especially that He carried Caleb through the last few days. Now that Caleb is on the echmo machine, his body can begin to heal from all the recent trauma. He had a good night where they were able to reduce some of his meds. He is obviously still on a lot of medication but the fact that he doesn't have to work so hard right now allows the doctors and nurses to reduce and even stop some meds temporarily. They want his swelling to reduce and expect that to happen over the next couple days. The current plan is to keep him on the machine until at least Monday and possibly longer if needed but on Monday they will try to wean him off of it and see how he does. The complexity of the surgeries, brilliance of the staff, and the technology of some of these machines amazes me and I am so thankful for them. At the same time, the complexity of the procedures shows me how intricately and incredibly detailed God designed us. The brilliance of the staff is amazing but of the things they know and have discovered, there are endless amounts that they have not discovered, again pointing to the brilliance of our great Creator. I'm so thankful that he has given us minds that seek to discover hidden treasure after hidden treasure of his amazing design work. I am so thankful for the machines that people have used their God given brains to create. The theme here is that medicine and God do not fight against one another. Medicine points to the glory and brilliance of our designer. As I sit and look at all of the machines and medications needed to keep Caleb's life in balance, I think of the miracle of the millions of things that have to go right in my body every single second to have life. Everything points to God. So today I am thanking God for the very breath I breathe and the true miracle it is that we can even function this way. All praise to you Lord Jesus, author of life. James 1:17 "every good and perfect gift is from above" Sunday 3/9: Good morning team Caleb. I pray today is a blessed day for each of you. As you know Caleb is on the echmo machine to help with his breathing and heart function while he heals. Yesterday we were told that the machine is doing 43 percent of the work, while he is doing 57 percent of it. They have been successful in reducing a good amount of swelling in his body and that is today's goal as well. Tomorrow they may try to slowly take him off of the machine to see how he does. Since he is relatively stable while he is on the machine, the staff encouraged us to get some rest since things would pick back up tomorrow. As a result, we were able to sneak home for a night (the first time so far in this journey). Please pray for a day of continued reduced swelling as they help get fluid off of Caleb and just continued overall healing and strength for when he gets back off of the machine. Pray that tomorrow when they attempt to slowly take him off, all goes well. Thanks you brothers and sisters!
PTL as the Lord continues to hear our prayers and we lift our thanks to the Lord who provides for all his children. Please find enclosed an update from last night and the one from this morning. We continue to thank all that are praying for our little warrior Caleb. UPDATE from my son Ryan from 3/5 late and 3/6: Sorry for the late text all but I just have to say thank you for stopping and praying when you did after my last text. When I got the phone call to say some levels had dropped, right after that and about the time I texted you he really wasn't doing well and most of the CICU staff was at his room figuring out what to do. There was even talk of putting him on the "echmo" machine which is a total assist for pumping the heart and breathing which is a last resort and obviously not a good place to be. The good news is he rebounded just when he needed to and his numbers tonight are back in a really good place right now. Pray that continues. Thanks for helping carry this load. You praying is not insignificant. It is very very impactful and I know Christ hears our requests. Update from 3/6: Good morning, thanks for the continued prayers throughout the night. After the scare yesterday evening, Caleb had a very strong night, we thank Jesus for hearing our heartfelt prayers. His vitals this am are strong. They want to continue to manage him in a way to keep the vitals where they are all day today. Stability is the goal for the day and I believe that after another stable day, then they will set some new goals which we can pray specifically for. Thanks again from Caleb and our whole family. May your day be blessed and filled with the love of our Lord Jesus.
This is the update from my son Ryan, afternoon of March 5th ... God is SO good and we continue to covet your prayers: Lift up praise to the Lord team Caleb, his chest is closed. They had to close it the nonconventional way so they didn't push him too much. The bone at the top of the sternum was wired together across the top and rather than connect all of the rest of the sternum they stretched his skin together and stitched the rest of the chest together. The remaining sternum bones that are not connected will grow together between now and the second surgery (4-6 months). The surgeon said his vital signs didn't flinch during the procedure which is great. Things to pray for...the next 12-24 hours are important as they watch to see if his body reacts to what was just done. So pray for stability. Also, the shunt from the big surgery sits a little funny in Caleb's chest so they need to make sure blood flows through it properly, and it isn't squished, so please pray for good blood flow. Please pray that the stitches in the skin hold without issue, as this is something that they will be watching closely. Overall, this is a big day! Psalm 145:1-3
Please find enclosed the daily update from my son, Ryan: Good morning team Caleb. Caleb had a bit of a delayed reaction to yesterday's procedure where some of his signs dropped a bit, but he regained lost ground overnight and seems stable again. It's almost like he lets everybody know that he doesn't enjoy being messed with. But we give The Lord thanks for him getting back to a good place. The surgeon came in this morning and was pleased with where he is this am and said they may look at doing the next procedure to potentially close the chest later today or tomorrow morning. So please continue to pray for the perfect timing of the closure, reduction in swelling to heart and body, wisdom for the staff here, and that Caleb allows them to close without major changes in his vital signs. Also, I previously mentioned our neighbor here, a little boy named Ronin and some of you have been praying for him and his family. It looks like he will be stepped down to the regular NICU. Praise God for that. Pray for continued open doors for ministry opportunities. God bless you and keep you today. Thank you for your prayerful support
Happy snowy Monday. Caleb had a solid day yesterday in terms of his vitals further stabilizing. He did receive another blood transfusion to boost him a bit (which is normal). He had a strong night last night with the vitals improving even more. They wanted this because they are going to remove the current sponge in his chest and evaluate how things look and either put a smaller sponge back in for the next couple days or if things look really good and the swelling is reduced in the heart, possibly close the chest. They want to make sure that when they do close the chest, Caleb will tolerate it, so they are not rushing him. Please pray today for a germ free environment as they open the wound. Please pray for Jesus to direct the hands of the doctors in all that they do and for wisdom for all involved to make the right decisions. Please pray for Caleb's vitals to remain very stable during and after the procedure. Please pray for Kristen and I to continue to trust God with his perfect timing with all of this and for us I be available to other things He is showing us through this process. God bless you all! UPDATE: They are performing the sponge procedure this morning, as I type this ... please pray for healing, no infection, and no complications.
Update from Ryan: Good morning, praise the Lord Caleb had a very stable night last night. His nurses were able to find him a special wound pad to lay on which makes it so they don't have to pick him all the way up to rotate him (to prevent bedsores) all the time. There is only one of these in the entire hospital and it is a very expensive piece of equipment so we count it a blessing that he has it because otherwise it can be risky every time he is picked up with all the cords in and an open wound in the chest still. The sponge vacuum system in his chest seems to be slowly pulling the edges closer together and, he is tolerating it for the most part. The plan for today or tomorrow is to take out the current vacuum sponge and replace it with a smaller one to continue to pull the walls of the chest closer. Please pray specifically for this process and for his heart swelling to continue to reduce. Also please pray for all vital signs to remain very stable today and a decrease in the amount of medicine needed to keep them there. Please also pray specifically for Caleb's neighbor Ronin who has hypo plastic right heart, a very serious condition. I have had a chance to spend a lot of time getting to know his family. Also for little Joey across the hall and all of the other 20 or so kids and their families that call the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit their temporary home. Many of them take on this battle without knowing Christ as their Lord and Savior which I simply cannot imagine.
We continue to covet your prayers for sweet Caleb as he is not quite yet ready to have his chest cavity closed on Monday, as planned. It will now be anywhere from 4 - 6 days before they are able to close his chest cavity. He is improving daily, God be praised, so please continue to pray for God's healing hands and providing discernment to the round the clock medical staff that are caring for Caleb.
UPDATE: Please add special prayers for Caleb so that the medical team is able to close his chest cavity through a smaller surgery on Monday, March 3rd. This is just one of the continuing steps towards his recovery, by God's will. Thank you to all who have prayed and will continue to pray for our little "warrior", Caleb.
PTL ... good news on Caleb the Warrior - we contInue to covet your prayers and marvel at the power of prayer and all as evidence of the glory of God, and our savior Jesus Christ! 3/11 Afternoon Update from Ryan: I do have good news regarding Caleb. The surgical procedure to remove the wire from his sternum worked and although his sternum is not connected at the bone any more (by 1 cm at the top), they were able to stitch his skin back together. What's better is they were able to pull him off of the ECMO machine without his blood pressure or pulse dropping. They let his heart pump on its own for 45 minutes and felt that was enough to permanently keep him off ECMO and they then closed the wound in his neck. Getting him off of ECMO should help him stop having seizures (we pray) and should increase his blood flow to help his foot that was turning purple. The timetable for his recovery continues to be delayed with the wire coming out of the sternum but frankly we are just very thankful to God that He carried Caleb through another risky procedure. Because the sternum is not connected, Caleb will have to stay on a ventilator to help with his breathing. The surgeon said it could be another 7-10 days until he can get off of this. Thank you again for joining us in prayer yesterday and all day today. Things to continue to pray for: 1) A stable next 12 hours after surgery 2) swelling reduction tomorrow (as his swelling decreases, more room is created in his chest cavity and then they may be able to close the sternum properly) 3) continued weaning of medication 4) Endurance for us and opportunities to share Christ with families and staff, 5) Pray for the family that lost a child on ECMO in our unit today. Kristen and I love each of you. May God's grace and peace in Christ Jesus be with you.
Please pray for my brother’s wife, she has small nodules in the breast that may subside without any treatment.
Please ask God to mortify the rebellion in my son's heart and to replace it with genuine humility and care. And please pray that God graces us everyday with His wisdom so that we only can steer our son into God's loving and safe arms.
Please pray for my coworker's son, Derek. He's 15 and recently had a heart procedure. The procedure did not fully repair the problem, but the doctors are hopeful that medication will resolve the remaining heart beat problem. On top of all that, his mother is dealing with insurance coverage issues which is proving to be very aggravating. I ask that the Lord use the medication to cure Derek completely and that the insurance coverage battle ends quickly and happily for my coworker.
Please keep on praying for Larissa's top colleges acceptance Which will be released in a 2-3 weeks. And please pray for her to be a witness of God at the campus. Thank you very much for your prayer.
Dear friends, I am praying today for healing, with my memory, comprehension, focus, strength in The Lord, to be living in humility, to be content no matter the situation for my name is written in the Book of Life. Jesus I pray for healing in my heart, mind and soul for strength to stand upright in the presence of the tempter and to not be afraid, ashamed or embarrassed of the gospel of Christ who died for our sins. I pray for strength in The Lord to resist and sanctify myself from sexual immorality, to be free of adulterous thoughts. I pray to be of one mind Lord so I may stand firm like a rock in your presence Lord. Jesus and if it be your will to send forth the woman you have chose to be in my life so that we may strengthen and walk hand in hand sharing and living your good news of forgiveness, grace, mercy and paying the debt of sin we had with your blood. If it be your will Jesus I pray these things in Jesus name and if it be against your will Jesus I pray to be gently corrected. In Jesus holy name I pray. Amen
I am asking for prayer for my #1 Son Ambrose was born with Sickle Cell Disease SC. He is in the hospital right now, he went in on 2/28/14. Ambrose is such a beautiful person inside and out, right now he is having a sickle cell crisis, very bad pain in his back and legs. I remember the doctors telling me my son would not make it to see his 6th birthday, or his 18th birthday and that he would never be able to have any kids. I am happy to say that he has to lived to see 30 years now and he is happily married and has 2 children. God is able, all powerful and all knowing. I know that my son is a living and walking testimony, please pray for his speedy recovery, and return home soon, please pray for his wife and family to give them Strength, Peace and Patience. Thank you, His Mom
Please pray for my father Alvin who has been battling depression and anxiety for several years. The doctors have tried many different medications and none seem to help. Now he also has an intestinal blockage and the treatment has made him very weak. Pray for mental and physical healing. Thanks, LeAnn
Mark and Jodi *UPDATED
Please pray for our family. We have 3 children. Our 7 year old has a seizure disorder. Our 5 year old had Type 1 diabetes. Our 22 month old was born with a condition which requires daily bowl intervention. We have had 7 cases of strep run through all 3 since September (overlapping so each instance lasts about 2- 3 weeks from first kid to last). Each time they're sick it affects their conditions and requires more monitoring, more intervention. God is faithful and has provided wonderful doctors and moments of joy and strength when we had none of our own left. But caring for 3 kids is hard, caring for our 3 kids is exhausting and isolating. Add to that work and the financial stress that comes with chronic health. Even attending church or a multiply group is difficult. Please pray for us. Whatever God puts on your heart is great and the beauty of God's Spirit in community. You can pray for what we can't even think of. Peace, Rest, Strength, and Health are at the top of our list. Thank you.
Thank you, church family, for all of your prayers. Life continues at a very hectic pace, but there is a lighter spirit. Mark's work, although even more busy, is going well. The biggest improvement has been little our one's tummy. She has not needed invasive intervention and has been regular for almost a week. This is a first since starting solids and simplifies our family routine hugely. Prayer is so powerful. Please continue to pray for her tummy and Mark's work. Also, please pray for our oldest as he is struggling with anxiety - an affect of his previous anti-convulsants and our middle one, who handles her diabetes very well, but is increasingly voicing her frustration with the shots and blood sugar tests and the effect on her day-to-day life. And please pray for my health and patience and wisdom and grace and that our home is a place of joy and peace and love. Your prayers are such an encouragement and the so needed vehicle of God's grace in our lives. Thank you.