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Friday, March 26, 2010

Praise God for Taking Good Care of Tina and Ethan

Praise God! Tina and Ethan are both doing well. Ethan will be celebrating his first birthday tomorrow!

Here are some updates on Tina and Ethan. Do continue to pray for them as they face the challenges and struggles involved in the recovery process.

Tina is experiencing less pain. She has stopped taking pain killers, though she still suffers from back pains. Her post-surgery wound still hurts whenever she stretches or bends. She can walk around longer now and is able to carry Ethan on her lap. Tina continues to take supplements and antibiotics, as she rests mainly at home. She has already visited Ethan twice at the hospital. Her check-up last Monday yielded good results. Her liver is normal, and so are her other blood parameters.

Ethan's condition is generally stable. His liver function is slowly becoming more normal, as indicated by his regular blood tests. Bilirubin-jaundice is going down, and ultrasounds show that blood is flowing well through the liver. His nasogastric tube was already removed last Saturday. He now takes food and medicines orally. His appetite is good, and he is showing good, positive signs of recovery.

The first two days after his tube was taken out, Ethan's appetite for milk and solid food were very good. However, this seemed to go down the past couple of days. He has suffered from bouts of fever. The doctors took blood to detect if there's early onset of infection. Nonetheless, they started giving him antibiotics.

Please continue to pray for Ethan as he adjusts to and copes with the side effects of his medications-- headaches, a bloated stomach, weakening muscles and bones... He is unable to sleep well some nights due to air in his tummy. Yesterday's tests show that his sodium level is low, thus, sodium infusion is being administered via IV. Ethan's enzyme levels are a bit high, but not critical, according to the doctor. Please continue to pray as high enzymes might indicate liver rejection.

According to the doctors, Ethan's condition will completely stabilize in 3-4 weeks after operation. They said that the up-down experience is quite normal for transplant patients... Let's continue to pray that god's wisdom be upon his doctors & nurses, and Ethan's new liver will have no rejection and infection.

Happy first birthday, Ethan! Your uncles and aunties send you much love and prayers on this special day... Thank you for being an encouragement and and inspiration to many. May God bless you and your Daddy and Mommy even more in the coming years... May your family continue to bring glory to God's Name!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thank You!

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Road to Recovery : Life after Transplant

Some helpful information about the transplant journey and updates on Ethan and Tina.

The Patient (information below were retrieved from the website of the Asian Centre for Liver Diseases and Transplantation):

  • Immediately after surgery, the patient is placed on intensive care for 5-7 days so that there can be continual monitoring for any infection, rejection, or poor functioning of the new liver. Rejection occurs because the transplanted liver is recognized as foreign by the body. This is the body's normal reaction to any foreign substance.

  • For the rest of his life, the patient will need to take immunosuppressants to prevent rejection of the new liver. Without these medications, his body will reject the new liver and could lose it. Immunosuppressants weaken the patient’s immune system and may result in him having an increased risk of infection.

  • Once the anesthesia wears off, patients should expect some pain and discomfort but strong painkillers will be administered through the IV to relieve the pain.

  • Seven tubes will be attached to the patient while in ICU to monitor the vital signs, to administer medication and to drain some of the body wastes and unnecessary fluids.

  • The Transplant Team, led by Dr K C Tan, will continue to assess and review patient’s condition everyday on rounds to determine plans for ongoing care and to see how well the new liver is functioning.

  • Patient will continue to receive fluids, medications and nutrition intravenously, but will eventually be re-introduced to a normal diet. Blood samples will be sent to the laboratory everyday. X-rays and scans are ordered by the team, if necessary. Patient will be asked to cough (or cry for babies) regularly and to do breathing exercises in order to expand his lungs and prevent pneumonia.

  • During this recovery period, the patient will feel better on some days than on others. This is the norm. Different patients have different recovery periods, with complications playing a major role in the recuperation rate. The degree of weakness he experiences will depend upon his physical condition prior to surgery.

Update on Ethan Fajardo:

  • Praise the Lord, for Ethan is now able to breathe independently. His breathing tube was already removed yesterday. There are six more tubes attached to him. Doctors are closely monitoring Ethan’s condition. Yesterday’s liver scan showed that his new liver is functioning well. The flow of the blood through the veins is also good. The next few days and weeks are crucial in the transplant process. Immunosuppressants are being given to him to make sure his body accepts the new liver perfectly. Vitamins and other food supplements are also given so that he will be much stronger and healthier. He is able to rest and sleep well-- even with the six tubes attached to him.

The Donor (information below were retrieved from the website of the Asian Centre for Liver Diseases and Transplantation):

  • Once the donor’s condition is stabilized, she will be transferred out of the ICU to the semi- or private room in the Liver Ward and will continue to be given pain medications and fluid via IV (intravenous) drip for a short period before beginning to eat and drink.

  • Provided there is no complication, the donor is encouraged to:

    • ‘Exercise’ as in walking around, flexing and relaxing the leg muscles, to help prevent the formation of blood clots and muscle wasting;
    • Take deep breaths and cough periodically to prevent pneumonia

  • The donor usually stays in the hospital for seven to ten days after the surgery. The donor can expect to experience pain and discomfort anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks after surgery.

Update on Tina Fajardo:

  • Tina had already been transferred to a semi-private room yesterday. Doctors took out the catheter and the other machines and tubes connected to her. She was able to sit down for an hour this morning. The doctors are encouraging her to slowly start moving around and do simple exercises to ensure good blood flow. She is also doing some breathing exercises for her lungs. She is still on dextrose, but she has started following a soft diet. She still experiences some pain.

Please continue to pray for the following:

  • Complete healing and recovery for Ethan and Tina.

  • That Ethan will be much stronger and healthier.

  • Rest, strength and guidance for Geoff as he takes care of Ethan and Tina in the next few weeks.

  • That God will continue to pour His abundant provision for the after-transplant needs of the Fajardos.

Thank you so much for trusting God with us for this miracle in the lives of Geoffrey, Tina, and Ethan. May God pour more of His abundant blessings upon you.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Praise the Lord for the Successful Liver Transplant Procedure on Ethan

Praise the Lord for the successful liver transplant procedure on Ethan!!! Dr. KC Tan, the main transplant doctor, is very happy with the transplant. He told Geoff that Ethan is a strong boy. Ethan and Tina are both stable and are now in ICU. Our God is an awesome God!

Thank you for all your prayers! Please continue to pray that Ethan's body will accept the new liver perfectly, 100% and that there will be no infections and complications. Pray too for Tina's quick recovery and relief from pain. Let's continue to trust God for complete healing for both of them. Pray also for strength and good health for Geoff as he takes care of Tina and Ethan. Thank you Lord for answering our prayers!!!