Connor’s Story

When I was 28 weeks pregnant with my first child I was referred to a specialist at Presbyterian St. Luke’s Hospital in Denver after my OB saw something strange on an ultrasound.  After an initial ultrasound at St. Luke’s, Dr. Richard Porreco, discovered a CCAM (Congenital Cystic Adenomatoid Malformation) in my son’s right lung.  The CCAM was displacing his good lung tissue and his heart leading to hydrops.  According to doctors, my son, Connor, had less than a 50% chance of being born alive.

Connor by Porreco PG 2

This is an excerpt by the doctor that was in charge of my care at Presbyterian St. Luke’s – I am the patient he is referring to in this article and that is the ultrasound of my son’s chest

As if that information wasn’t bad enough, I was immediately admitted to the hospital and put on bed rest until I gave birth. They didn’t seem to care that at this point I was only a little over halfway through my pregnancy. Little did I know, I was in for six, horrendous weeks of bed rest during which I endured endured seven, painful, in-womb surgeries involving large needles and little to no way to ease the pain in order to drain the CCAM in my son’s chest and remove excess amniotic fluid from me.

Connor by Porreco PG 3

This shows Connor’s diagnosis – Type 1 congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation with mediastinal shift causing hydrops. At 28 wks 6 days pregnant Dr. P performed a fetal thoracentesis (stuck a huge needle through my stomach into Connor’s chest to drain the cyst) and drained 80 cc of fluid off of Connor. Then again at 29 wks and 3 days they drained 88 cc of fluid. At 30 wks 5 days Dr. P drained 700 cc of amnio fluid from me as Connor was unable to swallow it like normal babies do. All in all Dr. P drained my amnio fluid twice and performed 5 in-womb surgeries on Connor. I went into labor at 34 weeks and 4 days. His apgars were terrible – basically, he was not stable and chances of survival looked grim

During that time, I was told over and over by medical staff that my son was gravely ill and that there was a very slim chance of survival for him.

Connor by Porreco PG 4

The natural history of Connor’s diagnosis is one of in utero or early neonatal death

It’s like I was being punched in the stomach every single day. I was scared, angry and overwhelmingly lonely though never alone. I spent a long time feeling sorry for myself and blaming myself for what was happening with my baby and in the beginning, I threw tantrums and fought my “jail sentence”. I wanted nothing more than to escape. I repeatedly asked to leave the hospital just to go to church or see the outside world. I think the doctors thought I was crazy. I think they were right. I didn’t fully comprehend what was happening. I was living in a nightmare that I so desperately wanted to wake up from but I never did. I questioned God and repeatedly asked him, “Why me?” At some point I made a decision to trust God and to put all of my hope in him. The truth was, I had no other hope. No other choice and I’d seen some pretty amazing healing miracles in my family already. The seed of faith was there I just had to water it. So I took control of my situation. I chose to fight. I chose to trust God in the face of death. I chose to trust Him and deny my fears and doubts. I chose to live in a realm outside of the natural. I dove head first into the unknown with God. The God of my childhood, the God of my mother, the God that would soon be my own.

I prayed God’s word over my son all day, every day. I spoke life over him. I praised God for the healing that I believed we would receive speaking what was not true as though it were true (Romans 4:17). Before every in-womb surgery I believed that the CCAM would be gone and I thanked God for Connor’s immediate healing. While that nasty thing came back every single time I didn’t lose faith and become angry with God. No. Instead, I went back to my room, my prison cell, and as I laid in bed hooked up to monitors and contracting from the recent trauma to my uterus, I thanked God. Yep. I thanked Him. I chose to praise Him I chose to praise my God in the most horrific and terrifying storm of my life because He was still God regardless of my circumstance. He was still in control. He was still good; still sovereign. My condition didn’t nullify His position. It was only meant to magnify Him more. To put His glory on display. I marched on. I didn’t curl up and die. I didn’t give up. I looked up. I kept my eyes on my Father. I looked to Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith. I endured.

Finally, after I quit fighting, after I surrendered everything to God my jail sentence ended just as suddenly as it had begun. On January 9, 2008 Nick and I would welcome our six week premature, little miracle, Connor Isaac, into the world, but not without one more fight. (tell quick story of my labor and almost dying)

The doctors warned us that Connor would not cry after delivery but he cried, PRAISE GOD! That swollen, one-eared, gravely-ill, little fighter cried. He cried the weakest cry I had ever heard but it was his and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, the evil cyst inside of my sweet boy was not gone and as Dr. Poreeco was stitching me up the nurses rushed Connor over to the corner of the room to get it drained and then they rushed Connor to the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit). Not long after he was delivered, a surgeon came to my room asking for consent to perform surgery.  She told us that Connor was not stable and the CCAM needed to be removed immediately.  She also informed us that the odds of him surviving surgery were very bad but she would do her best; as she spoke she was shaking, she radiated fear.  At that point I was especially glad that I have been redeemed, that my hope and trust are not in man, but in the one true, living God.  My husband signed the consent papers and she left.

Newborn Connor

My sweet baby boy’s newborn picture

Once again we turned to God.  We began to pray out loud in the spirit and tell the enemy that Connor was a child of God, that he could not have him, and that Connor was healed.  We called on God again and believed that Connor would live through the surgery.  Only a few minutes later the surgeon returned, and with good news!  The CCAM disappeared!!!  They did an ultrasound of Connor’s chest to determine where they would need to operate and they couldn’t find the CCAM; and better yet, Connor stabilized!  Our God is SOOO AWESOME!!!

Three days later the CCAM was back but this time Connor was stable enough for surgery.  But I was not so sure.  To me, allowing Connor to have surgery would be admitting that God was not in control, that he could not heal my baby.  But God had a plan, he made something wonderful happen.  My pastor visited me in the hospital.  He asked to pray over Connor and my husband and I heartily accepted his request.  We took him to Connor’s isolette, his temporary baby bed.  Pastor R. laid hands on our son, claiming God’s healing promises for him, calling down power from Heaven, and taking his place beside us on our battlefield for Connor’s life.  I admitted to my pastor my apprehension in regards to Connor having surgery and the blow it could issue to my faith.  He gently reminded me that God uses people and their gifts for his good.  God works through people.  Sweet relief!  I immediately felt my guilt subside; Connor would have surgery and I would still put my trust in God to bring him through.  On January 12, 2008 my precious son became the 1st  baby to undergo a laparoscopic lung surgery; 2/3 of his right lung were removed and afterward Connor spent 1 month in the NICU.

During that month my family and I prayed over him, anointed him with oil, and continued to speak in faith.  I used to anoint Psalm 145 in my Bible and read it over and over and over to Connor.  God watched over his word to perform it, his word did not and never will return void.  Connor came home on February 8, 2008; such an incredible gift from God!  The doctors said that Connor would be on oxygen for 1 year and Connor came off of oxygen just shy of 3 months old!  We were told that Connor may always have just 1/3 of a right lung but at 1 year old Connor was discharged from his lung surgeon’s care because his lung re-grew!

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Round 2

Deja vu:  “already seen”.  I’m walking a heavily trodden path; I have been here before.  The trees have been marked, the trail has been blazed.  The once distant memories are now at the forefront of my mind.  I think to myself, “Am I really here again?  Is this really happening?”  Then the sound of thunder rips me from my thoughts as a flash of lighting peals across the night sky illuminating a new path before me.  Without the flash of light I don’t know that I would have seen this path.  It is hidden away, behind a large boulder and heavily overgrown.  There are no markers on this path, no signs of travel.  As I stand staring at this newly found path it begins to rain. 

The drops are huge, heavy, wet.  My hair becomes soaked, it’s clinging to my face.  Water is pouring over me, my eyesight is muddled.  My clothes are heavy and I fall to the ground; a heap of  limbs, tangled hair, and overwhelming emotional pain.  My own, hot tears add to the moisture that is now all around me;  I am being consumed.  I must look like a swamp creature as I sit here amidst the mud and muck feeling sorry for myself.  But I can’t move.  I’m paralyzed with sadness.  I’m not sure I have the strength to fight through this tangled mess of foliage before me.  “Not your strength, but mine,” says the Lord.  This rain storm represents a new beginning, a time of refreshing from the Lord.  This is a new chapter.  I am being renewed and made whole.  It is time to pull myself together and go where I have been called.   

The first path, the one frequently travelled, has been conquered.  This new path, the road not taken presents new challenges, new trials.  Not unlike the challenges once faced.  Jesus, you led the way down the first path when it seemed hopeless and you brought me to a new beginning, into blessings.  I grew so much and I got so close to you.  I know that if I must travel this new path you will be with me again.  You will bring me through to victory.  Not my will, but yours be done.  I will follow you, and by faith, I will be victorious once more!  I will not faint or grow weary, I will run the race marked out for me; I will never give up.

Create in Him a New Heart, O God

A Heart for Mommy From Blakey 2/11

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,” Ezekiel 36:26. 

God!  Create in my son a NEW HEART, a WHOLE and HEALTHY heart!  God, I believe that you have given Blake a new heart.  A strong heart!  I claim it now!  I believe it!  My faith HAS HEALED Blake!  He is my son and I am claiming healing for him just as I claimed your healing for Connor.  You created in Connor a new lung.  You gave him life when there was only death and sickness.  You gave him health.  I believe that you have done the same for Blake!  I REFUSE to accept less!  We will see with our eyes tomorrow at the doctor what we know in our hearts to be true!  What I see in my faith, in my spirit, I will see with my eyes! 

Lord you are FAITHFUL!  You are TRUE!  You uphold ALL of your promises!  You promised life and health and that is ALL that I accept for my children, for my husband, for our family, for myself!  Sickness, imperfections, defects, diseases and death have NO place here!!  Where you are, there can be no darkness Lord!  You live in Blake!  You are Jehovah Rapha.  You are the great physician!  You have healed Blake’s heart.  He is made whole in you.  He will tell of your mighty works.  He will praise you alone, O Lord, as will Connor, Nick, and I!  Blake will tell his generation what you have done for him.  To you be all the glory!  You reign!  Glory in the highest you reign!  Every knee shall bow and every tongue proclaim that Jesus reigns!

You are mighty to save Lord.  Ventricular septal defects have NO PLACE in my son’s heart!  You have saved Blake!  We accept his healing!  I do not accept anything but the best for him!  Though the defect is not hindering his growth or causing any other problems it is not of God!  I do not accept anything for my son that is not of God.  Lord God you are exalted forever.  Your name is above all names.  Your name is POWER!  I proclaim this power to be used to heal my son’s heart and I BELIEVE that he is HEALED! 

Thank you God for a manifestation of the healing I believed for!  Thank you that you created in my son a NEW heart!  I LOVE YOU GOD!!!!

Filling my Prayer Bowl!

God,

I am praying so that my prayer bowl will overflow!  I will pray without ceasing from now on until I see Bob’s healing manifestation.  Until thunder and lightning peal across the sky in a glorious display of your awesome power!  Whether you are being obvious or hiding, God; I will recognize your movements!  You are training me and I thank you.  You are revealing yourself to me, confiding in me, you are answering my prayers. 

You are faithful to all of your promises and loving toward all you have made.  You love Bob!  You made him, Lord.  According to your word, Bob is fearfully and wonderfully made.  Cancer has no place in him, it was not a part of Bob’s design.  Root it out of his body!  It is an evil gift of the enemy.  It is a gift we do NOT accept.  We only accept gifts from you Lord, gifts of life and health!  Bob has life and health in you!  Bob is healed of cancer and he has a long life on earth ahead of him. 

God, teach Bob to seek wisdom.  Teach him to love it.  For in wisdom’s hands are LONG LIFE and riches and honor.  Give Bob a long life!  Give him wisdom and understanding so that he may live a long and fulfilled life serving you.  God, this healing is all for your glory!  Bob will tell of your mighty works!  Many will see, and fear, and put their trust in you!  Eyes will be opened and hearts will be forever changed by this.  By your might, Lord!  You are Jehovah-Nissi, God!  You are our VICTORY!  You reign!  Glory in the highest, you reign.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that you are God.  Every tongue will confess that Jesus reigns!  You are robed in majesty.  You are MIGHTY TO SAVE!  Save us Lord!  Save Bob! 

Lord, let the anointing that we perform be seen as a symbol of our faith.  Let it be seen as “setting apart for you to be used for your purpose”!  Recognize this covenant and keep it God.  We have made a covenant with you.  Make a covenant with us.  Like the smearing of blood on the door posts during the 1st Passover, we are smearing the blood of the lamb on our heads, God.  Bob is covered with the blood of the lamb!  God we are asking that the Angel of Death PASS OVER our homes, our bodies!  We are asking that Bob is passed over!  See this covenant with us and remember!  We are your children, Bob is your child; he is set apart for you.  Save him!  When cancer comes to take Bob’s life it MUST and WILL PASS OVER!!!!  Bob is YOURS!  Bob is marked with the blood of Christ.  He is marked with the “Anointed One’s” life blood, his redeeming blood.  The Messiah, the one true Christ has marked Bob for his own, to be used for his purpose.  Bob is saved!  He is saved from death.

Grow his faith, God.  Let Bob increase in wisdom, and stature, and favor with God and man.  Let him grow as Jesus did.  As he grows let him draw near to you.  Hold him.  Be his strength, be his peace.  His Elohim; his power and might!  Be his Jehovah-Rohi; lead him, good shepherd.  Be his Jehovah-Shalome, his prince of peace.  Most of all be his Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord his healer!  God I believe you will make your names known to Bob.  You will reveal yourself to Bob as all of these wonderful things.  There are so many parts of you, Lord that we have yet to grasp.  But I pray and I believe that you will reveal yourself to us.  You will confide in us.  You will show yourself to us as we continue to draw near to you.  We will continue to go where you lead.  We will always follow you. 

God, speak to my mom.  Continue to put her on the hearts of those around us.  Put her needs on the hearts of powerful intercessors, powerful prayer warriors.  Let them rise up with shields and swords.  Let them surround her.  Let them fight the good fight of faith in her stead if it is your will.  May your will be done.  Give my mom the tools to succeed, cover her in your love and be her Jehovah-Shalome.  Be real to her, be real to Bob.  Be real to me, God.  Wrap Bob in your arms.  Hide him under your wings, set his feet upon a rock.  Let your hugs be literal to Bob and my mom.  Let them truly feel your presence, Lord.  Envelope them!  Make your face shine upon them and grant them peace. 

My family needs you, God.  Be our prince of peace!!  Give us peace that surpasses all understanding.  Speak to us so we will hear you and teach us to listen.  We love you, Lord.  Love us in a tangible way.

Lord, your presence is enough to meet all of our needs.  You are always more than enough.  I believe in you, I believe in your power.  I have great faith, Lord!  Put me in the right frame of faith and the right place in my life.  Put me where you want me.  I live to serve you, Lord.  Thank you for being faithful and for revealing yourself to me!  Thank you for the healing that I know Bob has received!  I am living in thanksgiving for him!  I know our manifestation will present itself in YOUR TIME and your timing is always perfect, Heavenly Father.  You are Jehovah-Rapha and you reign!