Post date: May 8, 2012 3:03:17 PM
I am going to take some time to reflect on the miracle that is Natalie. She has overcome so much.
2 days following the transplant, she developed a clot in her hepatic artery. This one complication is alone major, yet more common in living liver donations. And due to the complexity of little Miss Natalie's liver anatomy, her surgeons (who had just done the transplant) did not think that it was reparable. At one point one of her surgeons thought that the best thing to do was to clamp the artery and lose the liver to save her life. Jason (I was still in the hospital) was told that Natalie would be relisted for a new liver - Status 1. Status 1 is given to kids with a life expectancy of 7 days. However, when they went in to operate, they were surprised to find that they could fix the problem.
Then 3 days later she had a MASSIVE bleed. She was given 3 units of blood in an hour. We sat and watched the doctors pushing Albumin into her veins as fast as they could. Nurses and doctors were everywhere. Those 30 minutes seemed like days, never had Jason and I felt so alone, so hopeless. Then they whisked her away. A short while later her surgeon (Dr. Superina) met us in the waiting room. He was scratching his head. They could not figure out where the bleeding was coming from and as they tried to operate - the bleeding stopped.
Following this, Natalie had a few minor cases of rejection and some bile duct issues (caused by damage done to the liver when the hepatic artery clotted). She also developed Rotavirus while we were in the hospital. The road that we've traveled has been bumpy to say the least. But to look at her now - she is a miracle!!!
Recently, perhaps due to the death of the Holy Father. I've begun reexamining my life as a Catholic. Reflecting on the time that I saw the Pope John Paul II in 1993 and reading about Saints. It awed me to learn that Raphael the Archangel, whose feast day (September 29) was the day that I was induced to give birth to Natalie. Raphael is also the patron saint of bodily ills, doctors, nurses, and sick people.
Here is a prayer that I found..
Prayer to Saint Raphael the Archangel
Glorious Archangel Saint Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners. I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the "medicine of God," I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities of my soul and the ills that afflict my body. I especially ask of you the favor of healing Natalie of disease and the great grace of purity of prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Saint Raphael of the glorious seven who stand before the throne of Him who lives and reigns, angel of health, the Lord has filled your hand with balm from heaven to soothe or cure our pains. Heal or cure the victim of disease, and guide our steps when doubtful of our ways.