Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shepherd Jeremiah Joyner

This is Shep before he started get treatment for jaundice. You can see his face a little better than the other pics





The ones with a blue light are because of the bili lights to treat him for jaundice. He has to have the cool sunglasses to protect his eyes from the rays



I know everyone is wondering how our little one is doing. We will be trying to keep everyone updated through the blog right now. So here it goes.
Shep is here in the PICU for a couple of reasons. One is for what is called Coarctation of the Aorta and the other is a Ventricular Septal Defect. You can go to www.pted.org and click on anatomy to see great descriptions of both of these things. They are pretty much a narrowing of the aorta and a small hole in his heart. One of the little miracles that started all this is the fact that a specialist happened to look over Shep at Rex after he was born and hear a very faint heart murmur. A number of doctors and nurses had already done extensive examinations of him and heard nothing. With the way his heart is malformed, you really only have a good chance of surviving as a newborn if it is found within the first few days of life. If she had not heard it we would have been sent home the very next day with a very sick little boy and no idea. So we praise God for the sensitive hearing of that sweet nurse.
We have seen tons of doctors today and feel like we have a pretty good idea of where Shep stands. It looks like his surgery will be planned for Thursday to give him one more day to stabilize. So far he has been stable. Only in the past couple of hours has he had a couple cases of delayed breathing, which is a by product of the medication he is on. This is being closely monitored, though. Today, he has seen a cardiologist, kidney specialist, surgeons, and geneticists. At the end of the day, they were all very encouraging. His pelvic kidney (something we have known about for a couple of months) will not be directly dealt with for a couple months. The doctor wants to get him through his heart surgery before they deal with all of the kidney stuff, especially because it is not as urgent. So, for the kidney, they will simply treat him with antibiotics through the next little while. One of our little miracle does involve the kidney specialist visit, though. We had decided not to get Shepherd his Hep B shot in the hospital, before we knew he was sick. And since everything has happened so fast, we never thought about it again. Nor has anyone else mentioned it to us. She happened to see some information and realized this fact and alerted us and the other doctors to this. She flat out told us that she probably just saved our babies life. With all of his procedures and especially considering surgery and the possibility of a blood transfusion, she was confident that if he weren't protected against hep B, it might very well have been fatal. Apparantly she was not even supposed to be working today but came in anyway and in her words "I think someone is watching over your baby." We agree.
As far as the geneticists, they are waiting on more tests to come back but as far as her initial assessment of Shepherd, she saw no physical abnormalities to cause her to think there was a gentic disorder involved. She DID say he was exceptionally cute, though. We will get most of those tests back within the week, but she saw no reason for the other docs to wait on the surgery because of gentic concerns.
The cardiologist helped us to feel confident about the procedure that shepherd will have. They will most likely go through his chest, move ribs, and cut out the narrow part of his aorta and suture together the normal parts of the valve. Because of his age, the recovery time will be longer- they think about 2 weeks in ICU. It is also a very painful procedure and he will need a lot of pain management. But we will have the best doctors and they preform this procedure often.

We have also jsut arrived tonight at the Ronal Mcdonald House and we have had our minds blown. We cannot believe that we get to be blessed by this beautiful ministry. What a picture of God's provision. We will be here until Shep goes home. It is 5 minutes from the hospital.We will even be able to have the boys with us often here. There are playgrounds for them, an entire stocked kitchen where we can make our own food. They serve free dinner every night. They literally make it their job to provide everything a family would need in this kind of a situation. The fact that we will be so well taken care of and also able to have a little sense of normalcy for the boys and us is wonderful. And best of all the house is set up so that familys can interact in a sense of community, so we should be able to love on and encourage a number of hurting families. We are so excited for this blessing and opportunity.
So for right now we are just going to be loving on our little boy and praying hard. There is no possible way we would have been able to be with him and care for him so much during this time without the selfless care of so many. We will be updating the blog and letting you know how you can be praying as Thursday approaches. I hope this answers more questions, instead of giving you more questions. It's what we know and want to make sure you all know how to pray. Thank you so much. We see God's love for us through you.
The Joyners

Hopefully I will get a slideshow up soon of when the boys met Shepherd. Enjoy

20 comments:

Sarah said...

We are praying and praying. My mom's Bible study is praying for him today.
Thank you for updating your blog, I've been checking several times a day!
You are covered in prayer, my friend.

Melissa said...

Hey!
We were in a small group with your sister Miranda and my husband and I had a few classes with Noah. We just wanted to let you know we are praying for y'all.

Charity said...

I will definitely be praying for you guys and Shepherd this week! I was born 2 months early with two small ventricular holes, and my parents and I would both say that God moved in incredible ways through our doctors to heal me; you'll be on my heart often. -A random NorthWake member you've never met :)

Anonymous said...

Sweet Stephanie,

How I long to hug you and bring any comfort that I can. I know that I can through prayer, and that's what I've been doing. Thank you so much for posting pictures. He is beyond gorgeous and he reminds me so much of Aslan. What a cutie!! I love you SO much and I will be on here often (no pressure) stalking..oh, I mean, checking in. Hugs and kisses. - Carolina

Anonymous said...

He is such a precious little baby! We are praying hard for you guys, and it sounds like God is answering a lot of those prayers through wise doctors and the Ronald Mcdonald house too...I know what it's like to be waiting around the PICU at UNC...I spent a lot of my childhood there, so I am praying for you guys in so many ways. We love you and can't wait to meet Shepherd so we can love on him too.
-Kelly and Nathan

Dan said...

Noah and Stephanie,

Our hearts long for the healing of your son,as we know yours does all the more. We are interceding for you and asking gods grace to be poured out upon you! We know your church family is surrounding you in this time but would like to come and sit with you if we could. We love you all.

Dan and Casey Chappell

Anonymous said...

Hi!!! it's Rachael Basham!!

I have been praying for your family ever sense I heard that Shepherd was born small...... so I will keep on praying and so keep Trusting in the Lord and Have Faith!!

P.S. Missed Haddon at church (cause I work where his sunday school is)!!

Anonymous said...

Sending prayers your way... from GA. Got here from Angie's blog.

Diana

Leah said...

Please know that the Finns are actively praying for Shepherd's healing and for God's glory. Thank you for sharing with us, and for the witness you already are to those around you.

Ana Lisa said...

Steph,
We have been praying for you and will continue to. I must say, the nurse was spot on, commenting on Shepherd's good looks!! He certainly is a handsome boy! I am sending you all my love, I only wish I could be there to hug you, and kiss his sweet face. I am so thankful for all the Lord has done to comfort and protect you all. Love you!

Anonymous said...

I am praying for Shepherd and you as well! Our miracle baby with similar heart problems is now 16 and 6 feet tall, but your story brings it all back clearly. Our God is mighty to save and holds you all in His hands!

Kelly Robinson said...

Our 15 month old son had surgery last june to repair his coarctation. I am praying for you and am available anytime day or night if you'd like to talk about the procedures or recovery. my email is writingwork@aol.com
If you email, I will send you my phone number or send me your number and a good time to call. I will keep blessed Shepherd in my prayers and pray that God gives you comfort during this time. Be bold in your belief. God is mighty to heal.
Blessings, Kelly Robinson

Larissa said...

Noah and Stephanie-

Miranda let us know about your sweet new addition! We and our church are in prayer for you all, as a family and individually! The Lord is so good to His children and even in these little miracles of His mercy you have shared! we are just loving his sweet and beautiful face!! He is ADORABLE!!

Many Blessings and Much Hope!!
Will and Larissa Douglas

Stephanie said...

I'm new here. I just wanted for you to know that I'm praying for your precious little boy. He is absolutely adorable!

Mom2Valerie said...

I just found your blog through Angie (Bring the Rain) and wanted to let you know I am praying for your family. I also had coarctation of the aorta, but it wasn't diagnosed until I was 12. Amazingly, my body wasn't affected by it until it started to hit puberty. My doctor caught it at a yearly physical! It was a good thing too, because within the next year, I started to have problems with high and low blood pressure and was very tired all the time. I finally had surgery at 13 and today am healthy as can be. My parents were able to stay at RMH too, which was such a blessing. Praying you and your husband have peace and comfort as your little one goes into surgery, that the doctors have wisdom and are able to heal your little one, and that your little one heals and recovers well. God bless you all!

ChristophersHeart said...

I stumbled upon your blog today and wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you. My son has CoA and VSD, ASD, BAV and a few other things. We didn't learn of his heart defects until we were home with him, 8 days old he went into heart failure and we nearly lost him. I am so happy to hear that your little guy's heart troubles were discovered in the safety of the hospital. Our son came through the surgery with no troubles and we were home after about a week or so.

((hugs)) from one heart momma to another. Hoping all goes smoothly.
Wendy

Stacy said...

Praying for your sweet baby boy...

Anonymous said...

Dearest little Shepherd...Welcome to God's great big, beautiful world.We've all been waiting for you and who could know how special you would be. You won't remember any of this but one day you will see the testimony of your wonderful parents and the faithfulness of another amazing Good Shepherd, Jesus. We are praying that every hand that touches you will be filled with healing and love...for strength and encouragement for your Mom and Dad and brothers and family..for your healing daily as needed in each part of your precious body. You are a gift little fellow and we love you already. Can't wait to meet you. Grantie Gail Houston - Tucson

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