Wednesday, July 06, 2011

An Invitation in Fasting: United in One Purpose

LATEST UPDATE*** Thurs Jul 7 3:40 pm from an email from my mom:
Just got word from one of the surgery nurses that they just completed the surgery and are working to finish and close up.  She gave us a brief report that all facets of the surgery went well and that they did an echocardiogram which looked good!!!!  Woo hoo!  We are now just waiting to get the full report from the doctor in about an hour.  If the surgery wasn't scary enough, the post surgery period is even more critical according to the doctors.  Now we continue the waiting game.  So glad we cleared that on to the next!

We cannot thank everyone enough for all your love, faith and prayers!!  I will send a more detailed report soon as we hear from the doctor!

God bless you all!


IMPORTANT UPDATE*** Thurs. Jul 7th 10:55 am. The doctors just took Abigail away. The surgery will commence in about an hour and will last 4 hours. Please pray!!!!!  Thank you to all of those who have joined in our fast and prayers.

Isn't she beautiful?!!! My mother described her hair perfectly, 'silken apricot'.  I just love looking at her.  How I wish I could hold her too.  I love this photo below of Jani, her mother Kathy, and sweet baby Abigail.  Three generations of women of strength.  My mother has told me several times how Abigail possesses Jani's vibrant spirit.  I love Jani's expression in this photo.  It has been running over and over in mind.  What Jani must be feeling.   She seems to be memorizing all the intricate details of Abigail's face and delighting in her privilege of helping to bring this perfect angel into the world. 

In speaking with my mother today a couple of times, it seems to have been a very long day full of doctors and more doctors.  Many things were said to new parents that you never would envision having to hear: the statistics, the risks.  Their baby.  Her heart.  Surgery.  Three things you never want to combine in the same sentence.  Thankfully they are surrounded by an amazing support system.  We would invite you to participate in increasing their circle of support by joining us tomorrow in a very special fast for Abigail, the cardiologists, Jesse, and Jani.  For us, fasting is an added power to prayer alone.  Fasting is not to just go without food for a certain period of time, it intensifies prayers and invites the Holy Ghost into our life for the purpose of bringing ourselves and our prayers closer to God. I testify that they will feel of your faith and strength as we did when we fasted for my Daddy.  Hundreds of people united in one purpose, raising their voices to our Heavenly Father, demonstrating outwardly their recognition that all things are in His hands, all blessings come from Him.  We thank you dearly.

Here is another email from my mother sent this evening with details on the surgery tomorrow and some thoughts of gratitude and love:

Dearest Friends and Family,
We just got word from the doctor that Abigail's surgery is scheduled for tomorrow, Thurs. July 7.  Her case is second on the list so they are guessing that it will be about noon, but will know better in the morning.  It should take about 4-5 hours and will probably be about a 10-14 day recovery in the hospital at best.
Jesse and Jani have both been able to hold her which has been a tremendous blessing for them to bond with their precious little angel.  She is beautiful.  The photographs really do not do her justice.  Her hair is a silken apricot color with gorgeous full lips like her Auntie Briana and cousin Owen.  It's funny because every nurse has said that she's a little fiesty.  She must be like her mother who has a joie de vivre that exudes from her delightful spirit!  
The results of the MRI confirm pretty much what the doctors had suspected.  Her left ventricle is missing and her pulmonary artery is not functioning properly.  This is the artery that carries the "blue blood", non oxygenated blood, to the lungs.  So the plan for tomorrow is to place a shunt from an as yet undetermined artery to the pulmonary artery to allow the blood to get oxygenated in the lung. Also they will be making the hole between the atrial chambers larger.  Once they get in there they will possibly need to do a couple other things.  Her little heart is about the size of a walnut.  It's truly remarkable what these doctors can do with the advancement of medical technology!  I'm so grateful for smart people like them who dedicate their lives to healing the sick.  As well, I'm grateful to God for His healing hands and pray that they may be upon my precious little granddaughter.

It's been a long day and we're all pretty tired.  Jani's been holding the baby as much as she can since it will be awhile before she can hold her again.  I hope this email makes sense as I'm feeling super drained.
A heartfelt thanks to all of our loved ones for your love, care, concern, faith and prayers!  It is all very much appreciated!
Much love,


  1. Oh how this brings me back. We will be fasting with you tomorrow. I too know the power of fasting is very real. Sending lots of love from the Wood Family. We love you all so much. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

  2. Fasting for your sweet niece and family tomorrow. Thanks again for listening to me tonight when you have so much going on. Your faith and strength is amazing.

  3. My family and I are totally beside you through this all. What is even greater is Christ is beside Jesse, Jani and baby Abigail, as well as the cardiologists. I know I can feel of the love and strength that is only given through our Creator, as we fast and pray together. This time they've been given to spend with baby Abigail is so precious. I love Jesse and Jani's facial expressions. They truly suggest a great love for their baby. Our prayers and fast will be heard. Thanks for keeping us updated Briana.
    Much love,

  4. totally in tears as I read this post....of her holding her... gazing at her.. at how dep a moms love is.. from the get go...

    Im so blessed friend to know your heart for your family and our savior.

    Love you.

  5. My mother-in-law is in your stake and sent me your message. My 8-month-old son, Archer, was also born with a congenital heart defect, spent 7 months of his life in the ICU and has had three open heart surgeries. He just came home a little while ago. I bring this up only to express that I KNOW about the emotions you and your family are experiencing right now and to let you know that I will be praying and fasting that God will give the same miracle of perseverance that He gave my son to little Abigail, and the same guidance to the doctors and surgeons in charge of her care that Archer's team received. I believe in miracles. I have seen it in the life of my son. I know firsthand about several oranizations that help families of children with congenital heart defects and would happy to discuss this and our experience with you in more detail. You can also read Archer's CaringBridge website if that would give you comfort. It's My e-mail is annmcgraw at gmail dot com.

  6. I imagine that baby Abigail is in surgery and under the skillful hand of God and his miracle workers right now. I have been witness to many CHD babies recently. All I can say is that I am praying for God to be felt every step of the way through this unending journey. I can also say that there is a huge support network out there for CHD families. Check out my friend's network, Sisters By Heart. I will be praying that the peace of our all-knowing Father fill you beyond all understaning in these trying and inexplicable times.



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