Family and Friends,
Thank you for all your prayers, support and encouragement. This is Smitty sending an email through our home computer to obtain the group mailing.
Greg is well and recouperating from his surgery today. He is doing just fine, under the circumstances. Unfortunately, it was determined once the surgeon had opened his chest (and consulted a number of other cardiology specialist doctors) that the anticipated problem with the pericardial sack around his heart is not, in fact, Greg's real problem. Greg's heart muscle itself is not in a good condition. The team of doctors are certain now that Greg will need a heart transplant. As such, they closed his chest without stripping the pericardium, and we are beginning the process of hopefully obtaining a heart transplant.
Your prayers have helped to place us in the very capable hands of an outstanding team of professionals that will now help Greg, Elise and our family walk through the "marathon" (as it was described to us) process of a heart transplant. We met with a transplant social worker from the hospital, as an initial step in this process, after talking with a team of five doctors after the surgery. Although there is a process, it seems to be one that is unique and individualized, and takes shape as you wolk through the process. Questions like "When will he have the transplant surgery?" don't have an accurate answer. So much will depend on his condition and individual situation, let alone the uncertainty of a donor. We will work towards "getting on the list" over an undetermined period of time.
Please pray for Greg (and his Elise) as we have not yet been able to share the news of the needed transplant with him yet, and I anticipate this will be difficult for him to hear. We are so very grateful for your prayers and support, and the Lord's favor in all of this. A special thank you is in order to our beloved Pastor and friend, Pastor John Jefferis, who comforted my Mom and three sons in my absence. And my Mom has also been a tremendous blessing to me during my absence from home.
I now understand the depth of how much my son has struggled and suffered over recent months. Heart failure has many physical and emotional challenges, particularly when you're 24 and married for only two and a half years. I also have an even higher opinion (if that would be possible) of the angel and sheer blessing our daughter-in-law, Elise, truly is. And I know Who our God is, and am profoundly grateful for all He has done in carrying us. Our Lord has taught us much, and none of this has escaped His attention or kind mercy and love. He has surrounded us and blessed us with such loving family and friends, like you.
Thank you for your willingness to support and encourage us in this season of life,
Smitty and Family