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God is Able // Esther Allison

God is AbleKaycie Vanden TopComment

Hello Folks! I am so excited that God is Able is back and we have a great testimony for you on this lovely November Friday! You are about to meet Esther who has an incredible story to share with you about her son, Jett. Read on to hear all about it! 

The surgery was taking too long. We were supposed to be in the recovery room with our eight year old son when he woke up. They do this type of heart surgery "all the time" they said. It was a "simple" procedure they said. We were supposed to feed him a cherry popsicle and go home. Something was wrong. As only a mother can...I knew it.

After at least 2 hours of waiting (which felt like days) the surgeon came out to speak to us in the waiting room. He told us that the device went into Jett's heart successfully but had caused him to go into Cardiac Block (which meant his heart didn't have rhythm). 

I felt my own heart sink in my chest. He tried to assure us he was in no "immediate danger". I'm not a cardiologist but seriously... I thought rhythm was pretty important! He said if his rhythm didn't return within 48 hours they would need to perform open heart surgery to remove the device and repair the hole manually.

Not the news we were hoping for. At all.

So Jett was admitted to the pediatric cardiac unit and we were left hoping and praying that his heart would regain rhythm.   But after two days of waiting, the doctor came in and told us more news we did NOT want to hear. Jett's rhythm was not returning. They were afraid that the device they'd placed in his heart was interfering with his heart rhythm. If they didn't get the device out quickly they were concerned his heart would have permanent damage and he'd need a pacemaker for the rest of his life (which would involve an ADDITIONAL open heart surgery in a matter of days!)

Not the news we were hoping for. At all.

A heart surgeon met with us to tell us all about open heart surgery. I don't remember half of what he said. All I heard was, "Risk factors: Death. Stroke....blah, blah, blah...". I was in shock that his was happening. I couldn't take it in. We weren't supposed to be that rare statistic when things go wrong. These things don't happen to US!

I could not believe this was happening...but it was.

This is a picture of me with my “game face” on. Looking back, it’s miraculous to me that I could even fake a smile that day. Sometimes motherhood requires strength and courage that does not come naturally.

It all happened so fast. We signed a waiver. Jett was wheeled to the OR and I was left with a box of kleenex in a puddle tears in the waiting room with my husband.

The fear of other anxious parents in the waiting room, heightened my own fear, so we went up to wait in his hospital room.. 

I remember walking into his empty hospital room and seeing his little super-hero pajamas folded neatly on top of his hospital bedsheets and a box of his favourite candies left on his bedside table. I wished so badly he was still wearing those pj's and was well enough to enjoy those candies as he had so many times before. I felt helpless and afraid. His life and his very heart were literally in the hands of a surgeon who I'd only met moments before. 

I was overwhelmed.

My husband went down to the waiting room after about 2 hours, just as the surgeon came out of Jett's surgery. Everything had gone well he said. The hole was sutured and the device was removed.

But there was still no rhythm in his heart.

He had no rhythm and now he was in excruciating pain as well. He woke up in ICU and was conversational and didn't look as bad as they'd warned us he might. But he could barely shift in his bed without screaming in pain.

We sat and watched monitors, hoping and praying that his rhythm would come back. Two days passed and we were all fit-to-be-tied. Jett screamed as he walked to the bathroom and then began vomiting from the pain and as a reaction to the morphine he was taking. But for the most part, he sat motionless in his bed with a pained, vacant, highly medicated, zombie-like stare. 

I couldn't handle the intensity of his hospital room anymore.

I stepped out into the hall to have a "moment" and updated my Facebook status, desperately needing some encouragement. Seconds later, words of encouragement and offers of prayer from so many of my friends filled my Facebook page. I sat crying in the hall as I read every comment and encouraging word.  It was a Sunday morning and entire church congregations were praying for Jett. I can't explain how comforting it was knowing that so many were praying for him. We were not alone.

When I returned to the room, the cardiologist came by and said Jett had developed a "jet rhythm" (a medical term for a type of heart rhythm). When I heard that he had a "jet-rhythm", I felt such peace. What are the chances that there is a heart rhythm with the same name as my son? I felt like God was telling me that he was going to be okay. She took him off of morphine, told him to go for walks and said she thought he'd be out of here in a couple of days. I was encouraged by her report but at the same time, wondered if we were talking about the same boy?!

As the day unfolded, I felt I was watching a miracle in front of my eyes.

Within hours, he was walking in minimal pain. He was up and down to the bathroom. He even began playing the Wii again! By the end of Sunday, he had made a dramatic turn around. He was so much better than he'd been! We were thankful to God and believed our prayers had been answered.

But then Monday morning came.

Further tests were run we were told Jett's heart had no rhythm. Again. Complete cardiac-block. Again. Fear took over. Again.

Negative thoughts began flooding my mind. Did I just make that stuff about "jet-rhythm"? Was it really God speaking to me? Or was it wishful thinking? 

I was texting my dad about all of this and he texted me this: "My sheep know my voice".

Those are Jesus's words. Did I know his voice? I thought I did, but that day it was getting a little hard to hear over the fears screaming in my head. I thought he said Jett was going to be okay, but not having rhythm in his heart was not okay and the thought of facing another open heart surgery to give him a pacemaker was overwhelming.

I tried to remind myself about the peace I felt when they told me he had "jet-rhythm" the Snow birds flew over the hospital. The Snow Birds?!? The Snow Birds are jets! Once again, I felt like God reminding me that Jett was going to be okay. (I know that might sound weird, but that's how God speaks to me ;) I was still freaked out, but deep inside I knew God had spoken to me. Jett was going to get better despite how things looked right now.

That night as we were trying to go to sleep the nurse ran in to our room. She'd been watching his heart monitor from another room. She told us his heart was beating slower now, just 40 beats per minute. That's when I lost it. I texted a friend who texted more friends asking people to please pray for Jett and then I curled up under my sheet, and closed my eyes. The only word I could say was, "Jesus". Needless to say we had a long, sleepless night.

We sat and watched our son and the monitors through the night. My husband and I are not experts at reading heart monitors, but we did gain a little experience that week. As we watched the monitors, my husband said he thought it looked like the squiggly lines on the screen were gaining some order and rhythm. I didn't want to get my hopes up, but I was hoping he was right.

In the morning the doctor came in. He smiled and said, "Jett has a normal, sinus rhythm". The news was so great, I couldn't take it in. I needed him to repeat it. It had been such a grueling week that I could barely accept good news. It took a few hours for me to let myself believe it, but thankfully it was true.

He was released from the hospital the very next day and has been experiencing perfect rhythm ever since.

I'm forever grateful to God for hearing and answering prayers. I'm eternally thankful to so many people who prayed for our son during that time. 

And I am convinced that God still speaks, even though it's sometimes hard to hear him over the stress and details of a situation. I can't deny that it's sometimes hard to trust God when I cannot see or understand what he's doing but I believe he still answers prayers, even though it's not always as quick as I'd like. And I believe he still heals, and sometimes he uses doctors.

Here is a recent picture of Jett and I together.

Love, Esther