Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Well, we got a call a couple of weeks ago from Robin, saying that they needed to find a host family for a one-year-old girl named Ruthlande who needed to come here for emergency surgery. Ruthlande has spina bifida and her sac was punctured, so she is leaking spinal fluid. They needed to arrange her surgery as quickly as possible - they had a doctor and hospital in the Chicago area that were willing to donate care, but they needed a host family.

Well, Scott and I talked it over - at first, Scott said, "I don't think I want to do that - if we're going to host her, it will only be because God tells us that's what he wants." That night, as I went to tuck Danielle in, a song was playing on her CD player - "Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red & yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the children of the world." Hmmm... thanks, God, I got it.

By the time I got to bed, Scott had also felt God talking to him and he was thinking about the "what if's" (instead of ignoring the subject completely). We talked about it and came up with a lot of questions for Robin.

The next day, Robin was getting us answers to our questions when it looked like the doctor in Chicago fell through. Apparently, once he found out that Ruthlande had a tear in her sac, he didn't want to go through with the surgery. He thought the risks were too high and that she probably wouldn't even make it to the States. We were so upset to hear that Ruthlande might not even get a chance at living.

Well, about a week later, we got another call from Robin. There was still a chance that Ruthlande might come to Chicago. Would we be interested in hosting her? I called Scott and he said "Definitely." At this point, we wanted to do anything we could for her. They still weren't sure if she would be coming here, though. There was another hospital in Virginia that was a possibility.

We found out Monday night at 9 PM that Ruthlande would be coming to Chicago yesterday (Tuesday) evening. What a whirlwind!

We picked Sara and Ruthlande up at the airport and drove them straight to the hospital. The picture is of Sara and Ruthlande. Ruthlande was such a sweetie. She still had her fever, of course, and a horrible rash, but she was here, safe and sound. The night was a hard one because they couldn't get an IV into her - they literally tried all night but couldn't find a vein (and when they did find one, it would burst). But, this morning they finally put a main line in.

Ruthlande had her surgery this afternoon. The doctor who helped with the surgery said that things went well overall. He said he's never seen the spina bifida in such a progressive stage since it would usually be taken care of shortly after birth. Ruthlande is awake and in recovery now. They didn't put in a shunt for her hydrocephalus at this point. Apparently they believe that she is probably out of danger with the pressure in her head now. Since she has been living with the pressure for so long and she hasn't shown signs of developmental delays, they believe that her brain has found a way to drain on its own. There is the possibility that since they closed off the hole in her back that she could potentially have more pressure build-up since there is no release for it now. We will have to watch her for vomiting or other signs that the hydrocephalus has advanced (we'll find out more about those signs later). He said we may not see those signs for weeks or months, though.

No comments: