Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update on Wiegels - Pray for Ava who is having surgery tomorrow!

Dear friends and family,

It’s been a while since I had anything to say. Life is adjusting over here in Highlands Ranch. It’s hard not to let time just slip through your fingers and you get back into the groove of things. The girls are doing well, thanks for all who have been asking about them. I played one of Madeline’s videos on the TV the other night, and about half way through the video we noticed Molly curled up on her chair and sobbing. She really misses her youngest sister and was realizing all the wonderful things she will miss about sweet little Madeline.

There have been some highlights along the way which have been great. One of those was attending Abel’s (our NICU neighbor) gone home party. I cannot express how happy I am for Abel to be home with his parents and 3 other brothers. For some reason it is very important for me to be excited for him, maybe simply because he was one that wasn’t supposed to make it, and he did. God is great! We got to see some of our nurses and doctors at that gathering. It was nice to see what people look like outside of the hospital, I hardly recognized Abel’s mom, mostly because she had real clothes on and not pajamas or lounge wear that so many often wear when we live at Children’s.

Abel’s mom made it on the radio today to talk to a local radio station (Alice 105.9) about Abel’s story. They are doing a 36 hour radiothon to raise money for the hospital. You know you want to donate, so just call in and do it. There are lots of great stories from this radiothon about the patients and people of The Children’s Hospital. Check out Alice 105.9 on Facebook for more.

Last Tuesday Lisa and I had a strange experience. We went in to get an ultrasound of the new baby. Yes, for those of you just finding this out now, we are pregnant. I had mentioned it a couple of times here before but it seems most people didn’t get that far in some of the messages to read that. I understand. So since this new baby is considered high risk and will be until everything is in the clear, we headed downtown to see specialists for the ultrasound. What a strange feeling. It was 2:30 in the afternoon and here we were standing outside the same building at the same time of day when we first found out about Madeline’s soon-to-be-hard journey. We went up the elevator to the same floor, walked into the same waiting room, were met by the same doctor and escorted to the same exam room where the same team of doctors waited for us. They had all heard of Madeline’s struggle and offered condolences before starting with the ultrasound. We waited patiently for news. “3 vessel umbilical cord” – YES! “Heart looks good” – PRAISE GOD! “Boy parts” – WHAT?!?

We soon had that familiar feeling we had when we heard the news of Madeline’s heart condition, that sort of fear and anticipation rolled into one as we thought: “What are we gonna do with a boy – we’re not ready for this.” Nonetheless we are really excited for this new addition to our family. The girls had been hoping for another sister, but are now happy to have a brother. Now to figure out paint colors….

Another really nice moment we had was when Sara (one of our primary nurses) invited us to come to church with her. It was nice visiting with her and her husband and we had a really good time going out to lunch after that, although Macy was in rare form after not getting good sleep and then too much sugar covered donuts in the morning. It was great.

On Tuesday the 15th, Lisa and I decided to go to the hospital. I called up one of my customers and he gave us a good deal on some large desert and snack trays with all kinds of wonderful arugula, cheesecake, sweets, and fancy sweet breads and we brought it up to the hospital to treat the doctors and nurses and staff of the NICU. It was very strange being back in a place that felt so far left behind and as familiar as old jeans at the same time. Lisa cried a few times on the way up but mostly did a good job. I was sad too, it was way too easy just to think we were coming to see our daughter again, and then to realize that she wasn’t there anymore was heart breaking.

Thank you to all who have contributed and continue to do so to Madeline’s fund. We are still trying to come up with the best way to use the money to bless other families. One group that had been really helpful to us, because they can relate so much, is CHD families. From what we can find there doesn’t seem to be one in Colorado, maybe we should start one. Please pray for us, for wisdom, with what to do to best honor God and Madeline , and to help others.

Another BIG prayer request. Please pray for Ava, picture attached. She is going in tomorrow for open heart surgery. She is another young fighter like Madeline who has been through a bunch already because of her heart defects. This will be a long (4-6 hours) and difficult open heart surgery on a 2 year old sweet little girl. Please keep her and her family in your prayers throughout the day.

I probably won’t be sending out too many more of these emails, I don’t want to bore you or fill up your inbox. I will continue to post updates to Facebook and to Madeline’s Blog at So please follow us there as we share our lives and the plans that God has for us with you.

Grace be with you,
Shanker & Lisa.

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