Thursday, February 28, 2008

2/28/08 6:20 p.m.

Well, the vent didn't happen today. But that's okay. We don't want to make him work too hard until he's ready. He has been resting a lot today which is good. I think he is planning an escape so he can make the wedding. Who knows?? Just kidding. At one time, he would have tried. Not this time though. He would have to take too many machines with him. My van isn't big enough. The anti rejection medicines which he is on is very tricky. They have to do a lot of regulating to get his doses just right. In the meantime, he can go up and down in his progress. Well, today was one of those down days so tomorrow will be better. They will try again to see where he is in the morning. They will just let him sleep tonight and get back to where he was yesterday.
It was a very quiet day. A lot of our friends are arriving tonight. We won't be able to see them until tomorrow but everyone understands. Will won't be able to have any visitors. But again, everyone understands. Everyone is helping out with the last minute arrangements. It will be great. Hopefully I will get some pictures on the web so you can see them. pray tomorrow that Will will gather his strength back and that Angel and Aaron have the most perfect wedding.

God Bless all of you

update 2/27/08 2:30 am

The evening went really well. He has just been resting. He is a little agitated so we have been trying to keep him feeling secure. So Angel and Aaron came up about 8:30 pm and stayed with him while I went home to sleep for a few hours. It felt so good to be in my bed. I came back around midnight and Will, who still has to write everything in the palm of our hands, told Angel to make sure I knew how to rub his head with a cool washrag. He doesn't remember that I have been doing it all day long. That tells me that the amnesia medicine they are giving him is working. I sure hope so. I don't want him to r.emember this at all. Even though I will be telling him of the wonderful people taking care of him, I don't want him to remember what they are doing to him. I don't think their is enough money in the bank to pay these people for the care they are giving Will.

The head lung transplant specialist came to see him today and told Will that he made an old lady of her. She is amazing, very caring. She told Will that he has finally made her relax a little bit. That's great news.

Today, our plan of action is to try to take out the vent. They will only do that if the lungs and the chest muscles are strong enough to let him breathe on thier own. They take several "trial" runs before they actually take the vent off. They will do this slowly so as not to compromise his progress. It might take all day. So we will be patient. In the meantime, we all have been sponging him off with ice cold rags because the anti rejection medicine makes his skin feel like it's on fire. He doesn't have a fever but he feels like he's burning up. The cold rags help a lot. Right now he is sleeping his first sleep since they woke him up this morning at 6:00 am. It's such a
busy day, he has got to be exhausted.
Today is Thursday. Tomorrow Will's sister is getting married. She planned this day so she made sure Will would be at the wedding. Will never lets her make any decision, even on this important day. He probably had this all planned. (just kidding) So they are coming up here in their wedding clothes so Will can see them. That will be okay. I am glad almost everything is done already.
Angel is marrying an amazing man. Aaron has been her rock through all of this and has experience every high and low of this last week with us. He has kept strong and has also kept Angel strong. She is a lucky lady to have him (but then I think he's lucky to be getting her too) He has said as many prayers and cried as many tears as all of us. He loves Will and knows how important he is to Angel. They are going to be very happy. Pray for their marraige also, would you? How blessed that they both were able to be here for this week. Their bosses are terrific to let them have the time off

Oh, by the way I forgot to write this. Will picked his head off the pillow today. This was a good step because when they get him off the vent, the drs want to put an epidural behind his neck into his spine to control the pain. This will be very, very good for Will. He doesn't like pain and he lets us know. That is hard for us to see but I just have to tell myself that he won't remember any of this.

Will is waking up so I need to go. He slept for almost one hour. that's good. So when we have any news of the vent, we will let you know. Pray for this to go smoothly. The unceasing prayers that have gone up for Will just-------------I don't have any words to describe this feeling. Your prayers have made the difference. God has answered every one. Praise the Lord.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2/27/08 6:00 p.m.

What a crazy day. It started out very peacefully but then........

At about 3:30 Kim White came up to Will's ICU room to sit with me during the long night. What a great friend. We were just visiting and watching Will sleep. The doctors came in and were disappointed that Will hadn't woke up yet. Well after trying and trying and trying to wake him up, Will wouldn't cooperate. The last dr. left about 6 a.m. thinking bad thoughts. I asked if there was anything we could do. To pacify me, she said that we could try to wake him up in another hour or so. Well, we waited exactly ten minutes. You should know that that was hard to even wait ten minutes. After praying, we each took a hand. I was yelling at him to wake up. He ignored me. Go figure. I was asking him to do things and he again ignored me. So I asked Kim to talk about something. First thing out of her mouth was "How are you?" Now to me, that was hysterical! What's he going to say? He has tubes running over every part of his body. So after I was done laughing, I told her to just talk. Well, Will's best friend is named Coach. So Kim said that she had been talking a lot every day to Coach and telling him all about everything. She said that Coach really wanted to be here but he will wait until Will wakes up and has visitors. At this time, Will's eyes opened---yes, I know. Praise God for one more miracle. It gives me goosebumps just writing about it. I think we screamed a little. We asked him to squeeze our hands and he did. They we told him to let them go and he did. We asked him to do all of the stuff the drs. told him to do and he did it. Well, guess what? The nurse (he has a one-on-one nurse) just stepped out to grab a med and he wasn't able to see it. I knew "they" wouldn't believe us. So I told him to rest because he has to perform again.
The nurse came running when he heard us yelling "Praise God!" He asked what happened. We showed him how well Will could respond. He had another nurse come in and Will had to perform again. (Can you see where this is going??) Our nurse told one of the drs. and he came in and asked him to do the same things. The head dr. came in about fifteen minutes later and asked him to do the same thing. All day people have been asking him to do the same thing. He has gotten really good at performing on command. Everyone wants to see him do this. They sure are entertained easily in this hospital. I should make a movie and sell it. We could make a fortune.
So I digress again, sorry.
The xrays showed his lungs are in perfect position and whole. I got to listen to them for the first time. It scared me because there was this loud noise. I thought it was a broken stethoscope I asked the nurse what it was, she said it was the air in the new lungs. What a wonderful sound!!!!
Because he had been paralyzed so long, he wasn't able to wake up enough to start getting his vent out. That's the machine that is breathing for him. He was pretty exhausted from the last few days and the Dr's. decided that it would be a better thing to keep it in one more day. It would be better with one day more of help breathing. So to communicate he has to write in the palm of our hands. You can imagine how much fun that we are having doing that. Will gets so frustrated. It's a good thing that he is sleeping a lot.
So he only has 11 iv's now. This room is getting so empty. They were able to bring in a chair last night. Before they couldn't fit it in. Now there is lots of room in here. Everything is finally turning around. The drs are still very pessimistic but maybe that's how they operate. He has had an amazing day and we get to testify of God's love for Will. What miracles are happening here!!!!

update 2/27/08 3:10 a.m.

The plan of action after surgery was to start taking him off of all the paralysis medicine and make his body come awake. That was the doctor's plan. Well, Will's plan was that he needed more sleep. So everybody, if you know Will, you know who one this battle. They are going to let him sleep until morning. Silly doctors

We are pleased with most of his progress and are encouraged by what this mother can see. The doctors are still not saying anything positive but maybe that's their way. The Harbison's see nothing but improvement. Once again, silly doctors. What do they know?

No, I'm just having early morning funnies. The doctors here at the University are amazing!!! He has so many that I can't even count. And I can't say enough good about them. They just don't understand who they are dealing with. Even in this deep of sleep his numbers are improving. So today we are going to try to wake him up again. I told them not to even try until after 11:00 because Will's doesn't do ANYTHING until after that.

Then when he wakes up we want those lungs to start working on their own a little bit.
By the way, I coerced the surgeon to take pictures of the surgery. I know, that's pretty sick. No, it wasn't for me. Will's friend, Brent Clark wanted to use them for his science classes. They are way cool but I don't want to publish them until Will says it's okay. It's amazing how he could even breathe with those old things. And because his chest was open, the brave ones of his family got to see his new ones sitting in his chest. Wow!!!!! Miraculous medicine.

I wanted to ask you people that are praying for Will, that you pray for these awesome nurses in this intensive care unit. They have jumped on some major problems that Will was experiencing and they even told the doctors what they think might help. The amazing part of that is the doctors even listened. You don't see that every day. These specialized nurses go to so much more schooling and they know their stuff. So pray that God continues sending us the perfect nurses to help Will through this. But there was one nurse that we had to fire. Angel and I didn't like her attitude. We said no negative people around Will. I can be pretty fierce protecting Will, but after watching Angel, I am a pussy cat.

As I sit here in the dark after three in the morning watching Will, I feel so blessed that our family has such wonderful friends to help us through this. I know all of you would do anything to help Will and right now, what he needs are your prayers. God has been granting miracle after miracle these past few days. I have faith that He will continue to do this. I am so lucky that I have belief in Him. I can't even imagine how any parent can go through this without God. Someday, with Will's permission, I will tell you of some of these miracles. But for now, just know that God is with Will and I feel His presence in this hospital room. I will continue to update throughout the day. Thank all of you that have been sending comments. Will can read them when he is awake. We love hearing from all of you. It gladdens our hearts.

I thank God for all of you in Will's life.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

one more surgery

Everybody---Will just went down for his surgery to close up his chest. The doctors didn't know if they could close the whole chest or just a part of it. They were able to get all the lungs settled in the right spots and it went well. He scared the doctors a little during surgery but he rallied and he's right back where he was when he went down to the OR. Now they will start taking him off the paralyzing drugs and let him wake up a little. Not too much yet because he's been through so much. It will be nice to have him come around. Our next BIG hurdle is getting the lungs to breathe on their own. I am going back up to his room now and check on him right now. Will let you know soon
Keep the prayers

Fourth installment-Afterwards

I suggest you read the first installments and read them in order so this makes sense.

When Will got out of surgery, he had 23 iv's going through him. They did have to keep him in an induced coma because his chest is open. They don't want him moving at all so they keep him very quiet. Many, many machines were working for him. He is on a vent that is breathing for him. The room is so full of 'stuff' it's hard to find a place to stand. We hope that he will stabilize long enough to close his chest. The surgeon will make that call this morning. They have already come a long way with him and I expect the best news soon. The doctors still aren't saying things are looking good. But after what we went through, I feel that every thing is going to be alright.
It is all in God's hands and Will is His child before he was mine. I trust Him and it's all about God's great plan for Will.

Angel and Aaron have been great help and I am soooooooo glad they were here in time. We can only have two people in Will's room at a time so we play tag team all day and night. Well, not night because I stay with him then.

On the way to the hospital, Will told us that we were to go on with the wedding. Under no circumstances were we to cancel. So we are having a wedding in three days.
Yes, the Harbison's are insane!! I think most of you all know that but I put that in here in case there were some new readers. Angel and Aaron will be married on Friday just as planned. Some of the little things won't get done, but oh well. I have all the major things already done. I am sure glad that I don't put things off. We have been having lots of family flying in to be here with us now. Kim and Richard White (our good friends and next door neighbors) have been with us this entire time. Jeff and Charyl Jester came up to sit with us during the surgery. He was the comic relief during that long night. They had to go home yesterday. And our minister from our church in Hagerman came up to give us spiritual support. How wonderful all this is.
All Tom Angel, Aaron and I want to say is that we feel very blessed to have so many people on their knees praying for Will's recovery. How wonderful everyone has been and we feel all your love. I will keep updating as much as I can. It's already 5:30 am and it's starting to get very busy. I know all of you want to be with us during this time and it's just not possible but we do carry your love with us ever time we come into Will's room. Will feels it too, trust me. He still hasn't woke up yet but we still talk to him anyway.
Just keep praying, God has already worked many, many miracles in Will's life, and he continues to do so every hour. I am sitting next to Will right now and told him that you all have sent your love. When he recovers enough, and he will, he will want to read the comments, so please leave some for him.

third installment-the lungs

If you are reading this before the other installments, you might get lost. I suggest that you start at the first installment and read up.

There is a lot of things that happened that wasn't in Will's favor and I am not going to go into the whole operation. There isn't enough space on the blog to take it all in. He had a lot of trouble because he didn't want a machine to breathe for him. He can be so stubborn. Thank God the doctors are even more stubborn. They had no trouble putting the new lungs in and they were a nice fit. Will was having a great deal of difficulty at this time.
Because of several different factors, they could not close up his chest. So at this time, Will has his new lungs and they are open for viewing, YES, I have looked at them. The site isn't pretty, but those lungs sure are. The doctors and nurses were not favoring the outcome of this transplant. They had to tell us to expect the worse. (They did tell us more, but I don't feel Will would want to share a lot of this with everyone. Just understand that he was in very bad shape.

He has been extremely critical since they brought him up to intensive care. We have been with him next to his bed the whole time. His chest is open but they hope, once they get him more stable they will take him back to surgery and close his chest up. Is everyone pretty grossed out about all of this? They have the best educated critical care nurses in the United States right here at the University Hospital. That's another thing I thank God for. They have taken very, very good care and have literally saved his life several times over the last few days. The wonderful specialists that are on Will's case have been here round the clock working on him and watching over him.

Now, I want to share a little testimony here about God's good work. I want to give Him the glory he so deserves. Our friends and family who were here on that long night, got to see an actual miracle. They were telling us that Will has been struggling a long time and we need to "prepare ourselves for the worse." Our friends put Tom, Angel, Aaron and I in a little conference room about 8:30 Sunday morning. We called our church and several people to start praying very hard. Our friends here were praying non-stop. We had many praying all night. The next time the door opened up about 11:00, the doctor stepped in and said that Will was being moved up to intensive care. All we heard was that Will was still alive. She continued on explaining what happened, but for the life of me, I couldn't tell you what else she said. Someday, when this is all over, I should ask her. What a great feeling that was. The whole room erupted in yelling. We were all praising God for the miracle we just got to witness.
The surgeon finally came in and I kept telling him thank you for continuing to work on Will and not giving up. He said he did nothing else but stand next to the operating table and watch. It was all Will's fight and Will wouldn't give up. I hope the readers of this blog know who really was doing the work here. God just wasn't done with Will here on earth yet. Our God is so great. He gave Will the power to fight so hard. Will stayed with us.

So that was on Sunday morning, it is now Tuesday morning and the doctors have told us he is still extremely critical. There is a lot going on with him, but again, I don't want to share everything with you all because I think I will wait and ask Will how much he wants known.

I will continue on the next installment

second installment-getting started

We got to the hospital and before we got out of the car, we said a prayer for what was starting to happen and we said one for the donor's family. I want to say, organ donation is a very special gift of life. More about that later.
We checked in and they put us in a room. They ran many, many tests to make sure Will didn't have any surprise bugs in his body. The surgeons came in and explained what was happening and what was about to happen. they told us Will should be taken back about 4 or 5 pm. About six, they came in and told us there would be a slight delay-that's funny too, right?
So then they said they would probably take him down about 7 to the OR. They would get everything set and put Will out and then the team that went to retrieve the donor lungs from Vegas. That's as much as info about the donor lungs they will give us. About 9:oo pm on Saturday night they took him down. We all went to the surgical waiting room and we waited. They called us about 11:00 and said they made the initial cut on Will and the lungs are good and they are in flight right then. I would have rather they waited until the lungs were here before cutting, but they didn't ask me. They told us they would give us updates every two hours. I didn't know that when they say that, they really mean three or four hours. It was a long night!!!!
Now we will go on the next installment.

first installment-the start of the journey

Many of you have been patiently waiting for more to be put up on this blog. I really appreciate all the support and prayers that have been going out for Will. I am sitting next to his bedside and this seemed like a quiet time for a few minutes to get this started. I will have to make little installments and post them one at a time. If you don't like to read much, this might not make sense to you and remember---it's almost four in the morning now, nothing makes sense. I did get a couple hours of sleep today so part of my mind is coming back now. Please make allowances for misspellings and confusion on my part. I just want to share some of this with all of you.

So I will start the journey with how he got the call.
I was talking on the phone with Angel and Will had just gotten up (for all of you who know him-it was early for him 11:00 am) He came out and was getting his cereal. We heard this funny beeping. I told Will to check my computer because I hadn't heard that noise before. He said it wasn't the computer, but that it was coming out of his bedroom. It was just a little beep, beep. I was still just talking to Angel. Will came out of his bedroom with the beeper in his hand and said the call was from the hospital and we need to call right away. Well, he just stands there forever and I YELLED at him to call. He said he would as soon as I get off his phone. That was so funny. (sometimes I will have to insert this so people know when to laugh) So I hung up on Angel and Will called. In the meantime I had called Angel back using my phone, so she was on the phone while Will was talking to the head of the transplant team. I couldn't tell what they were saying so I was whispering to Will "what, what, what" He wasn't telling me anything and Angel was yelling on her end of the phone too. Well, he hung up and just sat there for a few minutes and said they want him at the hospital to start a workup because they think they might have some good lungs. Well just imagine hearing this. Angel starting hollering that she will be right down. I started throwing things in a suitcase and Will said he was going to take a shower.
I asked him if he was crazy but he said he needed one. So now we are waiting on him to finish and it was a pretty scary ride to the hospital. We all didn't say too much. We did make it in one piece, and yes, Randy, I even remembered to put Will in the car with me. I will continue in the second installment.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The day is here!!!!!!!!

WILL HAS GOT HIS NEW LUNGS. This is so terribly exciting, but it isn't going so well. I want to have everyone reading this to pray for him. He got them on Saturday and it's Monday morning right now. I haven't been to bed since we brought him in on Saturday so I dare not even try to explain what's happening. He has a lot of complications that most lung transplants don't get. See, leave it to Will to even do this procedure "his" way. We should know by morning. If you can bear with us a while longer you will hear all about it. I just don't leave his side right now to do computer. But I wanted to take a few minutes to ask for all your prayers for him. We thank you so much and it won't be too much longer and we will let you have an update. He's tougher than even I knew.
p.s. please pray for the donor family also. This is all bitter sweet

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Quiet Here

We've had a very quiet weekend, no company or anything. Tom and I went to church this morning. Great way to start our day. Will isn't feeling too well the last few days so we are watching him closely.

Will was really proud of his Jerome Lady Tigers at state. They made it all the way to Saturday. Wow, what a feat. We couldn't get the last game on the radio/phone thing that we have set up, but we heard as soon as the game was over. Will sure wished he was there with them. He feels very close to those girls and he was very happy for them.

Will doesn't have to go to the rehab on Monday because it's a holiday, so he goes on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday this week if he feels good enough. I have just a few things left to finish the wedding preparations. So now all of you know our schedule this week. If anything exciting happens, I will let you know.

God bless you all and keep praying for us as I am praying for all of you.
Our God is an awesome God.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Lady Tigers

Good luck Lady Tigers. You leave today for State, so have a lot of fun and play hard. You've earned it, we already think of you as winners.
We are very proud of you all.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Another Great weekend, part 2

So on Friday night, Maegan and family came up. On Saturday, Billie and family came up. Will's Aunt Karen came with them. So for a while we had Maegan, Arron, Rustin, Billie, Matt (her husband and Will's other Dallas Cowboy fan) and Sadie Kay, that's our sweet little girl. She is a true sunshine maker. They picked up Angel on their way from Boise so she got to visit everyone and I got to see my girl. Boy that was a lot of people in our little apt. We had no problem with it though and it was a great time. Around noon Maegan and her family left to go back to Pocatello and then we just visited with Billie (and future Dallas fan, she's due the first of April), Matt, and Sadie, Karen and Angel. Sadie kept us on our toes with all her antics. We made a Sadie Cake and she got to frost it.

Then we all went over to their hotel and watched them swim. She was so cute. She loves the water. As you can see Aunt Angel just likes to put her feet in. Sadie wanted her to go swimming with her in the big pool. It was a sunny day so we decided to all go for a walk. It wasn't as warm as we thought so we made it a short walk. Will and Sadie wanted to go down the slide. Will doesn't fit so he just had to watch. These little play parks are in our apt. complex. Still had lots of snow.

It was a great weekend but they had to leave on Sunday early afternoon. It was so hard for us to see them leave, but Will was pretty tired by then. They took Angel home and then went back to Boise. It's a long drive but we are sure glad they came up. Thanks everyone.
Again we feel God's love and blessings because He gave us such a loving family (and a large one!).
Now it's back to wedding plans and getting through the winter driving. We want to thank every one for their prayers for the new lungs. We are all being patient and waiting for God's perfect timing. I have to keep telling myself that. Post more pictures later.

Another great weekend in SLC Part 1

Isn't he cute!!!!

We had a surprise visit from Willie's cousin, Maegan and her husband, Arron, on Friday. They decided to spend the night and so we had a little guy, Rustin, with us all night. It was so much fun. Rustin's favorite thing was to sit on cousin Will's lap and watch nursery rhymes on TV. That's what Will likes to do anyway. :) Rustin and family was like a breath of fresh air and in Salt Lake City, that's hard to find (another joke). He is just the sweetest thing. He loves to cuddle so i got in a lot of cuddling when I could pry him away from Will. But then they had to leave to go back to Pocatello on Saturday. They promised they would come back soon. We don't get to see them enough. We love company so Will's other cousin, Billie came up with her family. So on my next blog I will put up pictures of her family.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Super, super bowl

What a great game. That's what a super bowl should be. Even though the Giants took our Cowboys out, we were behind them all the way. We like to go for the underdog. We had a great time with some great people and some really, really great ribs.

The first picture is the tray of goodies that Will's cousin, Danny, had waiting for him. Everything Will could need right?

The second picture is the buddy that Will made that night while he was eating ribs. He wouldn't let Will out of his sight.
The third picture was of some of the people. Of course, look who gets the sweet, little boy on his lap. And on the other side of Tom is Danny, Will's cousin.

The last picture is what Tom and I got to play while the boring people were watching the super bowl. I know we had a lot better time than they did. So as you can see it was a great night and a good get-away for Will. Danny, thank you.

God bless all our friends and family. We are very lucky.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

All the way to State!!

Will's basketball girls made it to state!!!! It was an exciting game and we were able to listen to it. The webcast (which allows us to watch it) was broken. The girls played hard and it was a close game. Will received many texts and calls last night from the girls. He was very proud of them, and he was very, very happy. If any of you are reading this---congratulations, you've earned it.

I haven't put up our pictures from the super bowl yet. I will soon
Take care and God bless

Way to go, Lady Tigers!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Go Jerome Tigers

Will has had a good week. He seems to tire easier but it could be from the cold. It has been very chilly here in Salt Lake City, and lots of snow. We go up to the hospital three times a week for a few hours of pre-transplant rehab and then usually we just come home. But last week Will got to watch two games with his Jerome Tiger girls on the computer. It is wonderful that they webcast the games. It really means a lot for him to be able to watch the girls play. It's the next best thing from being there. They played hard and won both games. So they play on Monday night for the state berth. GO TIGERS!!!

Today, being Sunday, we are going to venture out and visit our nephew in Layton to watch the Super Bowl. Danny, our nephew, is making a big party out of it because he knows that Will doesn't get to do too much but go to the hospital and to our little apt. so he wants to make it fun. He has invited a few of his friends and made sure that nobody is coming who even has the sniffles. He is very protective of his cousin. So we are looking forward to that. I should have pictures from the day to share. Take care and be safe everyone.

Wedding stuff

We went with Angel and Aaron to do their registry at Bath, Bed and Beyond (or whatever the name). Anyway, if any of you have ever gone shopping with Aaron, I am so sorry. Any of you that haven't gone shopping with Aaron, don't. He has way too much fun. So this is a picture of him with his "dinner" plate. I really think he could use this.

This is Aaron hiding in the shower curtains. We couldn't find him for the longest time.

And this is him coming out of the stock room where it says "no admittance" But I do think they got their registry done finallly. I was laughing so hard, it made my sides hurt. It was a fun day, and we are easily amused. They did have to go home so they took off from there.