Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Big Boy Tray for Michael

11/11/09 3:00 p.m. Update from Tonja; Michael has been up twice in a chair and is doing his physical therapy right now....ate regular food today. The nurses said he is doing AMAZING!!!

11/11/09 1:00 p.m. Update from Riana; Tonja said Mike is doing well, sat up in chair this morning for about 1/2 hour. He was sleeping when she texted me

11/10/09 7:35 p.m. Update from Tonja; Michael finally got his food.....chicken broth, strawberry ice and grape juice. Next we move up to the big boy He is doing well, I am still amazed that just yesterday they removed his heart and put in someone elses'....CRAZY!!!!! hugs and kisses to all

Oh, for those following the adventures of Marbles, the family dog, you'll be happy to know he's been retrieved. He was found to be visiting the local pound. The day of Michael's transplant, Tonja had to make a quick trip to the pound to retrieve him. Cost her $30.00. Hopefully he will behave and stay out of doggy jail. The photo above is Marbles.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Michael's New Heart Photos

Michael after being taken off the ventilator. Taken the morning of November 10, 2009.

Michael with his children; seated next to him is Owen and Trinity. Standing directly behind his father, in the back to your left, is Alan and to your right stands, Ian. Let's see if I get ages correct; Alan 16, Ian 13, Owen 9, Trinity 8. I may be wrong on Trinity's age so please correct me. This photo was taken late on the evening of November 08, 2009, as Michael was preparing to receive his new heart. By 8:00 a.m. the next morning, Michael was in surgery.

Michael walking the halls after his shower.

Michael sitting in his chair after coming off life the life support machines. When I get a chance, I'll add the dates.

Michael in CCU at St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Missouri. Shortly after this photo was taken, Michael was medivaced to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Weaning off the Ventilator

This is Tonja. She is one amazing lady.

12:00 p.m. Update from Tonja; Okay, Michael is off the breathing machine....he is thrilled!!! When asked how it felt he said "like heaven". The next two things out of his mouth where "can I brush my teeth?" and "I want to eat, when can I get a tray"!!!! That's my boy!!!

7:30 a.m. Update From Tonja; Michael is being weaned off the breathing machine now...hopefully they will be able to completely remove it this morning. The doctors have already been in and said that he is doing really well and should continue to do really well. They said he got a really good heart!!!! Thank you all for your continued and hugs from our entire family.

A note from Michael's friends;
I've not figured out how this blogging works, please forgive the sudden changes in font. Seems it has a mind of it's own. I've also noticed funny little idea where they are coming from.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Continued from Below

10:30 p.m. Update From Tonja; okay my babyboy is in the transplant icu and he is communicating with me thru sign spelling......(he has a breathing tube so he can't talk) he did sign that this experience is amazing!!!!!! looks great, bp is wonderful and heartrate is nice and steady.

Latest News- New Heart!

Today, I'll use this entry to add updates as they come in.

Here are Tonja and Michael's address;
Tonja DuBois
2605 15th Avenue N.W.
Rochester, Minnesota - 55901

Michael DuBois
Mary Brigh 5B room 514
c/o St. Mary's Hospital
1216 Second Street Sw
Rochester, MN - 55902

The children's names are Alan, Ian, Owen, and Trinity.

Michael's room number changes, but the hospital assures they will connect him with his mail.

4:45 p.m. Additional updates on the updates from Riana; I guess I should have said that he is off of all the other machines except for the ventilator. Which is awesome. Tonja said he is doing great. God is awesome!!! Ventilator is normal after this surgery. When I went out there a couple weeks ago when he was on the by-pass that was horrible, he had all those tubes coming out of everywhere. From that to walking was a miracle in itself and now God has granted another miracle.

3:57 p.m. Further update on the update: Mike is ALREADY out of the OR and in ICU!! So much quicker than the dr's thought -- and Tonja tells me he's doing really, REALLY GREAT!!!!

2:56 p.m. UPDATE from Terri (Michael's sister): Just spoke to Tonja -- Michael's new HEART IS BEATING ON ITS OWN!!!! Thank you God! He will still be in the OR for
another few more hours (3-4?) to wean his body off the bypass machine. A little ways to go, so we're still praying..... but he's doing pretty OK right now!!!

11:30 a.m. Tonja wanted me to let you know how things transpired;
4:00 a.m. Mike was getting prepared for surgery and visiting with Tonja and his children.
6:00 a.m. Went to the Operating Room, Tonja was told no incision would be made, until they could assure the donor heart is good.
8:00 a.m. Donor heart determined viable! Thank you so very much special donor family! I so wish we could tell you ourselves, just how grateful we are to have our hugs, love, and continued prayers. Mike went on the bypass machine and the incision was made! Docs told her he will be in surgery until 1 or 2p.m.
Will post further updates as they come in. Thank you for continued prayer and support! Let's keep praying him through this as he fights with everything he has...let's all back him on this one! Hugs for each and every one of you!

On another note. When a parent is seriously ill it can be very difficult on the children. I know this from personal experience. I just found out, Owen, who is ten years old, has absolutely no playthings. Remember, they made an emergency move just a week or two ago. Owen reminds me so much of my own son, when we went through our crisis. He is gentle, kind hearted, quiet, polite, and as sweet as can be. A very special young man. If anyone can help out, he likes matchbox cars and legos. There is a way to purchase a gift online, for instance at walmart, and the recipient can go into any Walmart to pick up the gift. I can provide further details. I make this suggestion, because it's quick and easy. If you do help out, could you drop me a note so I know he has been taken care of?

9:48 a.m. Rick just spoke with Tonja. He couldn't talk, but will call back with updates. He did say, "All is well and Michael should be in surgery until 1:00 or 2:00 p.m." When he calls with further updates I'll post them.

6:04 a.m. Update from Riana: " Surgeons will remove the artificial valve along with the heart. From what I understand, it is a little more than normal, but not an abnormal situation. I just spoke to Tonja and they took him down to the Operating Room a little while ago, they are checking to make sure the new heart is good. He is not in actual surgery yet, pray that the heart is good."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Gift of Life...A Heart For Michael

9:50 p.m.
Michael has been having very bad v-tach tonight. In fact, dangerous life threatening v-tach, and the docs were at a loss. With his heart functioning at only 10%, v-tach is quite serious.

Michael called Tonja and told her she needed to wake up the kids. He said the hospital was making an exception for them to come visit their Daddy.

Michael then told her they had found a heart.

MICHAEL IS GETTING A NEW HEART, thanks to answered prayers, and the kindness of a stranger and this stranger's family. They are giving Michael the ultimate gift, a chance at life. I cannot even begin to express the gratitude I feel towards these people, and my deep sadness at their loss. Our prayers are with this family, and we hope they find some comfort knowing their loved one's heart will soon beat within him life.

Surgery is scheduled for 4:30 a.m. cst. The surgery can last anywhere from four to 12 hours.

You folks have been amazing standing by Michael, fighting for him, praying for him, walking him through this. He really needs you now. He needs your prayers and good thoughts. He needs you to be there with him through his surgery and recovery. Thank you all so much. Hugs--

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tonja's Father Passed Away

Hello folks--
Tonja's father passed away last night. She had recently been informed he was ill, but was unable to visit due to Michael being hospitalized.

Last week, Tonja drove to Missouri, packed up as many of the family's belongings as possible, and with the help of her Minister Neal and his wife, drove back to their new home in Minnesota. She's been trying to set up house, spend time with the children, get settled in a new state, and be there by her husband Michael's side. They have very little furniture and I understand they are in need of beds.

Last time I spoke with her, she was slicing fruit and packaging yogurt, to take to Michael. His physical therapy is exhausting. Remember, his heart is only working at 10%. He really needs that new heart. The entire family is under a great deal of stress and could use your prayers.

With all the stress and pressures, it's difficult for the family to keep their spirits up. This is where all of you come in...if you can, please drop a note to the family to let them know you are thinking of them and care. It would truly make a big difference in their lives. If you need contact information, feel free to contact me, or you can find their address on the previous post.

The photo above is one of Tonja's pictures!

Blessings to all of you!