To all of Peter’s faithful prayer warriors: Two days after his sister Beth’s wedding, Peter was admitted to the rehabiliation program of a Dallas hospital to focus on getting his trach out, with the goal of longer term rehab options.
While there, we have learned more about why it has taken so long to get Peter’s trach out and why he has faced so many obstacles preventing its removal, as well as so many associated problems that have made his respiratory care more difficult. The short explanation is that the trach was originally placed in the wrong position during his first operation (it was inserted it a few days after his accident). The original surgery placed it directly through cartilage in his trachea, destroying that part of the structure of his airway. Now the plastic trach tube has become, defacto, a part of the structure of his airway. Without it his airway would collapse in on itself.
To correct this initial mistake, the doctor has recommended to us that Peter undergo a series of reconstructive surgeries to potentially repair his airway, with the goal of eventual trach removal. We have been told that this procedure has only a 2 out of 3 success rate, due to the unpredictable nature of how cartilage repairs. (It has no blood supply and therefore heals very tenuously).
This reconstructive surgery is a several step process that could take up to a few months. It is also a very painful one, as the surgeon would remove a part of Peter’s rib cartilage to graft into his trachea, making Peter feel the same pain as a broken rib would cause.
After much discussion with the doctor and prayer, we feel that Peter’s longer term comfort, care and health would be facilitated better with the proposed surgery. Peter still has yet to make the leap of progress that would make rehabilitative treatment most effective. There is still very little he can do on a consistent basis.
1. That the Lord will open up the way for Peter to get this surgery.
2. That the surgery won’t set back his long term progress and recovery because of the weeks of recuperation and pain control.
3. That the surgery will allow him to regain more control of his upper airway, opening the possibility for Peter to regain skills of speaking and eating if he continues to recover brain function.
4. That the surgery’s rate of success would be determined more by the Lord’s favor than by the chances expressed to us.
Our hearts continually ache for Peter, who has had to face so much suffering these past two years. Doug encouraged me and our children a few nights ago, with the thought that God has chosen that Christians face in this world all the same struggles and heartaches that people of the world face, so that it may clearly be seen the difference in the attitude of the response. He does not always choose to protect us from suffering, just to give us grace to walk through it. If Peter has to suffer so much, please pray that he and his family will know the presence and sustaining power of the Lord in this arduous journey.