my little brother.

Friday, July 23, 2010


the past four months of my life have been one giant roller coaster ride. since april, my brother, who just turned 20 a couple months ago, has been in and out of the hospital because of the disease (that we now know is) Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PCS). sadly, to this day we have no idea what caused him to get this disease.

by the time my brother was diagnosed with PCS the disease was so far advanced that the doctors told us that he was going to need a liver transplant. at that point the transplant was not an emergency, it was just something that was going to be needed sometime during his lifetime. this was very encouraging because they also told us that it is extremely hard to get a liver in the sate of california. 

unfortunately his "non-emergency" status didn't last very long. his condition continued to worsen and his need for a liver was becoming more and more urgent. 

to help make an incredibly long story a little shorter, flash forward to june 15th. my brother was admitted to the ICU. his blood pressure dropped, he had multiple infections, kidney failure and the bottom line was that he wasn't doing well at all. all of these things caused his place on the transplant list to be suspended temporarily because he was not stable enough to handle a transplant. 

after only a couple of days in the ICU his condition took a small, yet quick turn for the better. the doctors and nurses were able to stabilize his blood pressure and his body was miraculously able to fight off the infections in a short amount of time! the transplant clinic immediately reinstated his spot on the transplant list and within 15 minutes of doing so a possible liver match was found! there is no doubt in my mind that God was answering every single one of our prayers! there is no possible way that a liver that was the same blood type, size & age as my brother's could have been found at the exact moment he needed it, only an hour away without God having something to do with it. 

the moment the liver arrived at the hospital he was wheeled down to the operating room for the surgery to begin. it was a long, meticulous surgery that lasted close to 18 hours. those 18 hours were the longest, most nerve racking hours of my life. 

afterwards the doctor told us that the surgery was the hardest one he had ever performed in his entire career. you see, this is because not only was his liver in terrible condition, but he also has Pancreatitis which means that his pancreas isn't in the best of conditions. this caused things to be a lot more complicated. 

as of right now the liver is doing extremely well in his body and he is stable. which is absolutely the best news i could possibly ask for. unfortunately, we are nowhere near out of the woods yet.  the liver hasn't fully "woken up" yet, so he is still being heavily, medically managed. he has a looong way to go and we're still waiting to hear what is going to be done about his Pancreatitis. 

as i continue to pray i am constantly thanking and praising God for His love and incredible answers to prayer. throughout this trying time i've had soo many people surrounding me and my family with prayer, love, genuine concern and support. without every single one of you, my family and i would not be holding up as well as we are. each phone call, email, text & prayer you send up means so much. each time you ask if we need anything or offer to bring us dinner a little stress is relieved. so from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! i truly do love every single one of you!

my family and i continue our best to stay positive and we have hope and faith that brighter and happier times lay ahead. a text my mom received from a colleague and dear family friend summed up this week perfectly, i thought... 

"Life is a miracle. Survival is a biological gift. Medical science is amazing. God is good and it appears that our prayers are being answered. This is a good day!"


NUNZ said...

aaaw tawns
this is beauitfully written
and i cant stop crying...
i love you homie


Erica said...

beautifully written... by a beautiful sister... <3 u.

ashley said...

oh tawny, i am sorry for all the hardships you and your family have been facing! i'm glad things are going the way they are now...we will be praying!

ellen said...

oh tawny...matthew filled me in. i can't imagine what you're feeling.

your faith in God through out is inspiring.


Debora said...

tawny - glad to have stumbled upon your blog. powerful testimony. thanks for sharing. what a poignant reminder of God's hand in all that life brings. stay faithful. keep well.

love to you,
debora (debbie) sandiford
-if your memory is playing tricks on ya, ask our dear friend JP for a hint to remember ;)

jefferyjustin said...

keeping your brother, you and your family in prayer.

take care,

Allison said...

Tawny! You are such a loving and strong big sister to Dustin! He'll be in my prayers, for sure!


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