Monday, May 7, 2012

Prep, Delivery, News, and Surgery

I have enough information for 4 posts. Here's a quick summary and a lot of photos!

The Preparation:
Last week, with the help of some great volunteers, we assembled 70 bags for delivery to the Ronald McDonald House. These friends and family were among the many who helped us during Ramsey's hospital stay so it was great to have them with us while we prepared to honor him!

Artwork thanks to Reed and fellow students at Barbara Thompson!

I had a little photo shoot with Ramsey...well based on the volume of photos, I guess it wasn't exactly little. He was so cooperative and offered all sorts of unique expressions. 

The Delivery:
Today I woke up feeling almost as excited as a kid on Christmas morning. We were finally set to deliver the bags, and that just made my day! Our family made the trip along with my mom. Big brother Reed was happy to help and so excited to visit both Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Ronald McDonald House. He sees both locations as one and the same...he sees them as a happy place.  He watched in anticipation for the colored "stripes" of the hospital. It is a beautiful building inside and out and somehow, Reed looks forwarded to visiting it like it is more of an entertainment venue than a hospital. "There it is...we're here...I love Ronald McDonald", he exclaimed.

We were happy to talk to and provide the bags to the same staff that worked at RMH during our stay there. They might distribute them this summer at a Luau party on June 20. When you See the end of my post, you'll see just one of the reason that date is perfect.

The News:
Marie McCandless, news editor of our local paper, the Latrobe Bulletin, featured an article about Ramsey and the welcome bag project. I'm thrilled for the awareness that it raised!!

The Surgery:
Ramsey had a checkup with surgery today. His X-Ray looks good. He still has a curvature of his diaphragm, but the patch seems to be holding well. His doctor feels now is the time to do the surgery of his abdominal hernia. He has proven that his lungs and heart are functioning well and that the chance of any pulmonary hypertension is slim. His surgery will be June 20th (the same day as the aforementioned Luau Day at RMH). His stay will be about 3-5 days. To be clear, this does not mean he reherniated. The patch on his diaphragm is still in place. However, Ramsey has a hernia on his belly. When they repaired his diaphragm and moved his stomach and bowels where they belonged, there was essentially not enough room for everything in his tiny, once empty belly. Thus, they used a mesh patch to help. As expected, the mesh patch is no longer doing it's job. His surgeon will operate at the original incision site. Now, he has enough extra skin and room to reconnect the muscles/lining of his abdomen without the use of a patch. In essence he'll be having a little tummy tuck. The results? No more giant bulge on the left side of his belly. Hopefully greater ease with bowel movements. And quite possibly, a lesser scar than he already has. Thank God for cool surgeons!