Apr 10, 2014

4th Annual "Live Day"

I woke up this morning with a very full heart. When I looked over and saw my husband asleep next to me, I silently thanked God for allowing me to witness that. Everyday for the past 4 years I have cherished every morning when I get to see his sleeping face next to mine. I'm so grateful for it because 4 years ago it was almost taken from me. Today is my 4th annual "Live Day."

4 years ago today I was given a 10% chance to live. I was not expected to make it longer than a month. I had been living for over a year with a picc line in me that gave me the basic nutrients I needed. My hair was falling out in clumps, and I hadn't swallowed anything for over a year. I had a nurse that came and administered my IV to me 3 times a week. I laid on a couch all day, and crawled to the bathroom when I needed to go. I was too weak to walk, and too nauseated to speak. Dave had to bathe me because I wasn't strong enough to do it myself. It was one of the toughest times of my life.

After 12 surgeries in one year, all without any results. An amazing doctor, Dr. McKinley, came into my room and said that I had 2 options. 1. To live until I died, which wouldn't be more than a month if I was lucky or 2. Give him a shot to do exploratory surgery to see if he could figure out why I couldn't eat. I was terrified.  He told me even with surgery, my chance of living through it was about 10% but without it I would die for sure. After praying with my husband, we knew we had to try to save my life. We decided to have the surgery.

On the morning of April 10, 2010 my family was all gathered at the hospital.  I kissed my husband goodbye, not knowing if I would ever see him again, and they wheeled me off into surgery. I was so weak I could barely speak. Dr. McKinlay came in and told me what would be happening, and I said a silent prayer asking God to spare my life. I asked him to just give me one more day with my husband.  All I wanted was one more day.

After 7 hours of surgery, Dr. McKinlay came out and told my family that I was alive and well.  He told Dave that he found 5 feet of my small bowel that had twisted, and died.  It had ulcers throughout the entire thing, and he didn't know how I had lived this long.  He said he removed the decayed bowel, and I was in recovery and doing well.

I will never forget the moment when I first saw Dave.  Tears came to my eyes, and I silently thanked God for answering my prayers.  I was expected to be in the hospital for 3 weeks, and 3 days later I walked by myself, for the first time in over 6 months, right out of that hospital.  I climbed in my car next to my husband and he drove me home.  On the way we stopped and got an ice cream. I don't think anything has ever tasted so good.

The only reason I was able to have this surgery is because of the loving and gracious support of each of you.  All of you who donated to my fund to save my life, gave me a 2nd chance. I am eternally grateful for your love, and kindness.  Please know that it will never be forgotten. I thank God for each of you daily. I'm truly blessed to have the most amazing people in the world in my corner. Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! Thank you for saving my life. Thank you for letting me live to see my 4th annual "Live Day".

2 comments:

Holly Waterfall said...

My dear friend! I didn't know your story before now, and my goodness, it has brought tears to my eyes. I am so so thankful for your live day and that you have been given the chance to experience this life and that I have begun to get to know you. So many virtual hugs on your live day!! (PS, we need to get together very soon!)

Unknown said...

Jill,
I don't know if you remember me, but I was your visiting teacher for a very short time 4 years ago. My parents live in your inlaws neighborhood. Any way, your mother inlaw told me about your blog... and I just want you to know that your words are very inspiring. Thank you for sharing your life... it helps me so much.
Hope to see you one day again!

Alicia Francom