Saturday, March 12, 2011

Mommy got sick- this is a LONG one!

The whole first week after bringing Eva home I wasn't feeling that great but I thought it was expected after having a c-section. The swelling was awful. I could barely walk it hurt so bad. I was told by friends that swelling was normal after having a c-section. My breathing was always labored during pregnancy and still was afterwards. I thought it was just taking time to get back to normal. On Friday I started coughing a lot and couldn't stop. That night I was up and down all night. I was coughing so hard that I started vomiting. Early Saturday morning Travis called my mom and Teresa to come stay with the kids so he could take me to the ER. At this time I felt like a huge elephant was sitting on my chest.

We arrived at the ER and Dr. C was waiting on me so they took me right back. I don't remember the ride there at all because I was so out of it. My blood pressure was sky high and I was only sating 75 in respiration (normal is in the 90's). They put me on oxygen right away. I use to work at the Med Center so I knew most of the crew that was caring for me. It took them many tries to get an IV. That was and is one of the worst parts for me. I was stuck so many times. They even tried in my neck (never again will I let them do that), it was the worst pain ever. Dr.C ordered a chest x-ray to see what was going on. They found out my lungs were filled with some type of fluid. I was admitted and taken to the 3rd floor. At this time Dr. C told me he was calling in a pulmonologists and an infection control doctor. Dr. D (pulmonologists) came and ordered several test and a lung biopsy. Many reasons were thrown out causing problems with my lungs- congested heart failure, cancer and several other things. I was on high levels of oxygen and the longer I was there the more respiratory had to up my levels of oxygen.

I was missing my babies so much and I just wanted to be home. I cried a lot when I was alone because my heart was so broken. I couldn't believe all this was happening. I remember only bits and pieces after the first 2 days. I asked my sister, Ginger and Travis to write the rest of the blog about when things went from bad to worse. My last memory I had was Pastor Dave from our church coming to pray over me and having communion. What a wonderful last memory!

This is from Ginger:

Melissa has asked me to write about her visit in ICU a week after she gave birth to her beautiful baby girl Eva Faith. So I will do my best to keep it short, to the point and to keep my wits about me as I type.

I am a little fuzzy on what brought her the hospital, so I will start with what I know. Melissa went to the hospital on Saturday, she was having trouble breathing and was put on oxygen. As many of you did too - Melissa and I text and spoke often. She was heart broken about being away from her sweet new baby Eva. I would call and check on her everyday, but on Wednesday she did not answer the phone. Tommy (Melissa's Dad) answered and said she was sent to ICU and put on a respirator. That she was not breathing on her own and needed the respirator to help her. She was put into a medically induced coma.

On Thursday I arrived to be by sisterʼs side and to be with our family. It was the worst day of my life. Our mother had to tell me that Dr. D had told them that Melissa was very, very sick and may not survive. They said that they believed she had amniotic fluid in her lungs and it was fatal. All I could think about was how Melissa and Travis just wanted to be parents. Why was all this happening to them? I thought of how much Melissa loves Van and what she went through to get Eva here. How Eva would not know her mothers voice, touch, laugh or smell. All the things that you take for granted. How Travis would handle losing Melissa- how I would or anyone would. Then, I thought, NO, NO, NO this is not happening!! Melissa WILL get better, she HAS to get better even though her lungs are full of liquid, she has a fever of 104, her white blood
count is off, her protein levels are off and she is malnourished. Her body was so full of fluid she was unrecognizable. She had a feeding tube in her nose, a machine breathing for her and a fever that would not break. It felt like a bad nightmare, but was very real once we took one look at Van sleeping with his arms wrapped tightly around his two “sleep dogs”. He was so innocent and so unaware of what was happening. While he was sleeping in the room next to me his Mom was in ICU fighting for her life.

Friday was not much better. Her lungs were still full of liquid even after they had been washed twice, she had a draining tube in her lungs and she had two lung biopsies (these things had already taken place on Wed). The only thing we could do was pray for her and keep encouraging her to fight. Melissa was non responsive to any and everything, she had been placed in a coma on Wed. Dr. Lu came by and began to ask Mom and I many questions about the sequence of events from Evaʼs birth to Melissa arriving at the hospital. Dr. Lu did not believe it was amniotic fluid (which test later that day also said there was no amniotic fluid in her lungs) she thought it could be a blood clot. She ordered a CT with contrast. It took four hours to prepare Melissa for the CT. At 11 p.m. that night we found out that there was no blood clot. We were in shock. Everyone said it had to be a blood clot and that if it was it could be treated. Once again our hearts sank. We had to go home not knowing if the phone was going to ring in the middle of the night with bad news.

I believe it was Saturday or Sunday night when Mom and I went for one last visit to say goodnight to Melissa when we got another bad scare. The nurses name was also Melissa. She was working on Melissa frantically, placing large bags of ice on Melissaʼs core body parts and turning the cooling blankets on. Melissa fever was sky high with no signs of stopping. The nurse had ordered a new antibiotic to help Melissaʼs fight to get well. This was a huge set back for us,we had been told that the top portion of Melissaʼs lungs had suddenly cleared! Which was amazing! The doctors could not explain why or what had worked. Now we had to leave for the night broken hearted. Mom and I would try to update facebook when we could. It was hard to put updates, we wanted to but struggled with what to write. We would read the caring posts that Melissaʼs friends and loved ones wrote. It helped us to know that so many people were praying for Melissa to recover.

The next morning after the ice bags and cooling blanket was nothing short of a miracle! Melissaʼs fever finally broke and her breathing was getting stronger. The doctors were able to turn the air flow down on the respirator. We were over come with joy! The swelling in her face was also gone and she was beginning to look a little like herself. As the day went on her breathing was getting better and better. So strong that it was time to let Melissa wake from her coma and see how much she had recovered. Travisʼs reaction was priceless as you can imagine. He was so determined that Melissa would be home for Christmas. That she would be their Christmas miracle. Eva was the first miracle and Melissa would be the second. Until now, the rest of us were not so sure. The doctors told us IF Melissa made it, she would be in ICU for weeks and at least a 6 month recovery after ICU.

Travis would not leave the hospital that night. He slept in the ICU waiting room. He wanted to be the first person Melissa saw when she opened her eyes. And he was! We were all so happy that Melissa was getting better. Dr. D was very shocked when he saw that Melissa was awake and breathing with oxygen- not the respirator. He was at a loss for words. He just kept saying he could not believe it. Her x-rays also showed
that her lungs had cleared. She still had a little crackle, but all was good. Over the next day, little by little, she was able to lose more tubes from her battered body. She was moved out of ICU and into the cardio unit where she had to start physical therapy.

Each day we saw Melissa getting stronger. Her will to get home to be with her new baby girl Eva, her sweet son Van and loving husband Travis was amazing. I was so happy to see her beautiful blue eyes, to see her smile and to hear her laugh, a laugh that I love so much, was the best Christmas gift EVER! At that moment I did not care that there was no explanation for what had happened to Melissa. I was just happy that she was
becoming Melissa again! She still was not 100%, but she was well on her way!

Melissa was released from the hospital on December 23, with the doctors still unaware of what had caused Melissa to become so sick.

On behalf of our family, I would like to thank everyone for praying so hard for Melissa and her family. Dwayne and Al thank you for your many prayers, Crystal and Carolyn thank you for being there, Shane
thank you for helping us understand all the many machines that Melissa was hooked up to, Josephine, Deidre, Fawn and Uvlyn thank you for the treats and magazines. Jeremy and Amy thanks for picking me up from the airport and getting me to Macon. Also thank you to all the visitors that came to show Melissa and the family your love. It really warmed our hearts to know that we were not in this fight alone.

This is after the swelling had gone down some.
I am only showing this picture just so you can see what a miracle!

From Travis:

The night Melissa was put on the ventilator I anointed her with oil and prayed over her in the Spirit. Friday they called me at work around noon and her mother told me she had a 50/50 chance of coming out of this. So I jumped in my car and headed that way. I called Dwayne, Al and Tim and told them I needed them to come to the hospital to pray over Melissa. I talked to my mom on the way there and I broke down and started crying. I told Satan that he was NOT taking my wife and she will be home for Christmas. When everyone got there including Melissa's mom- Debbie, Ginger and the nurse we all laid hands on her, anointed her in oil and began to pray. The next day her lungs began to clear a little but she kept running fevers. The doctors told us to hope for the best but to prepare for the worst.  I told Melissa's mom and dad that I didn't care what the doctors said that she WILL be home for Christmas.  Saturday night her lungs were clearing up more and the doctor told us it was a miracle and he couldn't explain what was clearing them up!

Sunday they started to wean her off the vent to see if she would wake up on her own. She didn't that day but I had a feeling she would in the morning. So I told her mom and dad I was staying the night. I wanted to see her first thing when she woke up. Sure enough 5:30 Monday morning I went into her room and her beautiful blue eyes were looking at me! She said "Hey Babe!"

Tuesday they started getting her up into a chair. It was hard for her to talk because her tongue was very swollen from the breathing tube and her tongue had been cut as well. She asked for a slushy and on my way to get one, I called everyone I knew to tell them she has asked for a slushy! On Wednesday they moved her to a room on the step down unit. They began working with her to help her walk again with a walker. Her strength and determination to get home was amazing. The Thursday BEFORE Christmas she called and told me they were sending her home late that afternoon!

So my hope to whoever is reading this will see by faith and holding onto what you know is true of God that you will never give up on what you believe no matter what other people might tell you. God comforted me and assured me that Melissa was coming home! Our little girl Eva Faith was our first Christmas miracle and Melissa was our second!

Wow! Our God is an awesome God! I am still so overwhelmed by the miracle my Father did for me. Every time I think of it (which is daily still) I think of the song "Shout unto God" it says, " the enemy has been defeated. Death couldn't hold you down. I'm going to lift our voices in victory and make our praises loud." Even though death was spoke over me, once again in our journey the enemy has been defeated!! Praise God!!

I can't tell you how thankful I am for such wonderful family and friends. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and kindness that was sent my way during such a horrible time. I know hundreds of prayers went up in my name and I thank every single one of you! You knew myself and my family were in a battle against the enemy. It says in 1 Chronicles 5 that the people cried out to God during the battle, and he answered their prayers because they trusted in him. Thank you for trusting in our God and going to him in prayer on my behalf. When I awoke from the coma I could literally feel the presence of the Lord. We laugh and say that God was tired of hearing my name so he just went ahead and healed me! I can't imagine the waves of emotions that my family and friends went through during those weeks. I am so blessed to have such great family and friends to be there for me even when I was unaware of their presence. How sweet that my Dad would always be at the 5:30 a.m visiting hour and all the others throughout the day. He never really wanted me to be alone. My mom and sister would take care of me everyday and would do whatever they could to make sure I was comfortable. My best friend Crystal came to be there for me from FL. She would talk to me and encourage me to wake up. Travis' mom, Teresa and Aunt Twila took care of my precious babies when I could not. We never had to worry about them- just miss them terribly. The names could go on forever all that helped and were there for us!

I stand here so proud of my husband for being so strong and brave during it all. He leaned on God the whole way through! So blessed to have married a God loving husband, one that will stand in the gap for me when I am unable to pray myself. So thankful he held onto and believed God's Word even though words of death were spoken over me. He stood in faith, fasted and believed I was coming home before Christmas- and I DID!! TWO days before!!! Praise God!! It brings me to tears every time I think or talk about it. Once again I am just so overwhelmed! The radio was playing in the car the other day, I wasn't really listening so I have no clue who or what the song was but one statement stood out to me and I know it was God's way of talking to me. It said "it's not what we choose but what He uses." We wouldn't have choose any of this to happen but I am so glad God is able to use us through our life journeys to honor and share about our Father's love and faithfulness! I just can't thank and praise God enough for the goodness that He has done in our lives!
On Christmas Day our family was all together!

When I arrived home I had to have 24 hour care. I was unable to walk without a walker or do anything for myself. I lost all muscle control and strength while I was in the hospital. My nick name for a week was the "paper weight"! It took everything I had just to get out of bed. I was unable to hold Eva for long periods until about the 5th or 6th day home. I was unable to carry her for the first 2 weeks. I couldn't be home alone with the kids for those weeks. I had to learn to do everything again. My brain would think I could but my body could not. Daily task like showers, fixing something to eat, and even going to the restroom were difficult. Travis and I had great bonding times that first week! For Christmas I got a walker, shower bench and a raised toilet seat!! But Praise God my recovery was quick! By the 4th week out I had stopped using all 3 of those items. To this day I am doing great! I have a minor cough but my lungs are clear!
Only God could do this kind of miracle!!


  1. Wow! Just wow! Each time I read this, I cry. Amazing story of God's goodness and provision.

  2. Melissa! I had no unearthly idea this had happened!! OMG girl! I am so glad you are okay! What a scare I know you and your family must have had! I'm only at the med about twice a month so I'm so sorry I didn't know this happened! You have such a beautiful family and I am so glad you are doing great! {{{hugs}}}

  3. What an amazing testimony.
    T - such a strong man! T told me over & over again that you'd be home for Christmas and I doubted. His faith was so strong and his trust in God was something I had never seen before. I will never forget when I walked in and saw you for the first time. Such and overwhelming feeling, memories flash before you and thoughts of so many more memories that need to be made.
    You laying in bed swollen so bad that you looked like someone else. Baby Eva at home missing her mommy's voice, heart beat, smell and touch. Van just trying to figure out what was going on.
    I refused to believe that you were going to die. When you mom told me the news I was sick to my stomach. I thought I was going to throw up. It was unbelievable. I told God, I didn't come for a funeral and he was not going to let you die. From that point on I only spoke positive, I sang to you, talked to you like you were awake and prayed over you.
    As I held Eva I had to hold back tears. It was my first time meeting her and you weren't there. I was meeting my Best Friends DREAM COME TRUE and you weren't there to show her off.
    The day we had to leave I prayed that God would let me see you awake before I had to leave. I just didn't think I could leave without some sign of you getting better. I walked in and you looked at me and just started crying..and so did I! It was an amazing experience! I felt so much joy.
    Two days later my phone rang and the Caller ID said it was you but I thought that I would be T with an update...but no, it was YOU!! We cried for the first 5 mins and spoke briefly, you were still so weak. But it made my day.
    To find out you were going home was a miracle!
    I am so that we serve such an amazing loving God that gives and gives. Even though it seems like the storms continue to come. We make it through so strong and changed people. Just like you said God uses us in so many more ways than we understand.
    You are an inspiration and I love to tell your story. I Love you!

  4. I finally read what happened after Eva was born. Awesome is all I can say. Our God is Awesome. Thankful you are such a shining star for Jesus.