My dear friend since college, Rebecca, has a 2 month old daughter, Lydia. Lydia is going through some major medical procedures with her eyes and vision. Her parents can better describe her situation than I can. Below is the email communication from them. I know it is a lot to read, but please do so. I'm asking you to lift Lydia and her soon to be cousin, Evie, up in prayer along with their parents. Thank you bloggy friends! I can't wait to tell you the testimony of God's great work and the answered prayers in Lydia and Evie!
Dear Friends and Family,
As many of you may already know, this past week our daughter Lydia was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. We had some concerns about her vision so we ended up at an ophthalmologist in Fayetteville on Tuesday. He informed us that Lydia had bilateral cataracts that needed to be removed ASAP. Unfortunately there is really only one doctor in Arkansas at the Childrens Hospital who does these frequently enough for us to feel comfortable. But, with Christmas coming up he was going to be gone for 2 weeks. I spoke with him on the phone Thursday and he told me he thought that it would be fine to wait that long and he would take care of them when he returned from vacation. Everything we had read and heard from the doctor in Fayetteville, however, is that the sooner these come out the better her odds of having good vision. So, he suggested we try Dallas as there was really no one else even in Oklahoma that he thought would do a good enough job. So, I spent all day on Thursday on the phone and praying for God to let us find someone that might be able to do it before Christmas or least the week after. I was able to find a physician, in Dallas that said she would squeeze Lydia in Friday morning to examine her if we could get to Dallas in time.
She told us that she would then try and work it out to remove one of them on the Tuesday before Christmas and the other one the Tuesday after Christmas, but she could not promise anything. So, we headed to Tulsa that evening and spent the night at my parents home. Together we left at 4:30 am to be on time for our appointment at Children's Hospital. She was a gift from God and saw the immediate need to remove Lydia's cataracts. She called the hospital and had them add Lydia to the schedule that afternoon! (Even though she was scheduled to be off all afternoon) She then even met us on Saturday morning (again her day off) for Lydia's follow up exam. She also spoke with her partner to perform Lydia's second surgery (she is out of town Christmas week) this coming Monday. (Again, he did not have any openings but stated he would work her in) This truly is a miracle.
Rebecca's father came down Saturday and brought clothes for all of us since we had not planned to stay even one night, let alone 4 nights. We have wonderful parents and families that have all helped us in every way. We were praying that God would lead us to the right doctor and that she would receive the surgeries as quickly as possible. Never could we have imagined that He would be this faithful to us. We truly do serve an amazing and faithful Father.
Lydia was so brave and had such a peace. God was talking to her the entire time. The surgery went as well as it could. Currently, Lydia needs two different eye drops every two hours and two ointments needed twice a day. She wears a patch at night which is proving to be a challenge as she tries to knock it off. She did have some difficulty coming out of the anesthesia, but eventually started feeling better and is doing fine now. Lydia will also require an additional surgery between the ages of 2-4 to have an artificial lens placed in her eyes. It will be some time before we will know the ultimate outcome and how Lydia's vision will be affected by all of this. We do know that the best case scenario is that she will have 20/20 vision with the aid of contacts and/or glasses, but again it will be some time before we know if this is the case. We pray God will continue to bless Lydia as she heals and restore her vision to the best case possible.
We feel so blessed to have such amazing family and friends and we thank you for your prayers and ask that you continue to pray for our sweet little girl. Please know we have felt you lifting us up to God and He has given us strength to face each minute. We thank you for also asking your friends, families, and churches to pray for our daughter. Thank you for blessing us. We know that none of this would have been possible without God. Please pass this information on to anyone we may have missed. We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.
Dustin and Rebecca
Dear Friends and Family,
We just wanted to update everyone on Lydia.
Lydia had her second surgery the Monday before Christmas. They admitted her for several hours after the surgery as a precaution since she had such a hard time after the first surgery. Fortunately, she did much better after the second surgery and we were able to take her back to the hotel with us that night which made things much easier on all of us. We met the doctor the following morning and he gave us the ok to take her back to Arkansas. She had to wear patches on both of her eyes for several nights and one patch during the day for the following four days. Lydia also required drops in both of her eyes every two hours, which proved quite difficult on a two-month old. Rebecca and I got back to our home at midnight on Christmas Eve and were thankful to be home.
We headed back down to Dallas on Sunday for Lydia's check up with the doctor for her Monday morning appointment. Sadly Lydia had started to form membranes in both of her eyes. The membranes start to form a coating where the cataracts once were present. We are currently giving Lydia drops every hour (sometime up to to three different medications in each eye). We are hopeful that the drops will remove the membranes, otherwise Lydia will require two more surgeries to remove this new development. Lydia did receive her first set of contacts on Monday which we will be able to leave in a week at a time. They will take them out Monday at her appointment and possibly replace them with a stronger pair. She is currently in the second strongest contacts that are made so there really isn't much room to go up.
Now it is time to wait and see how Lydia's vision develops. Her brain now has to learn how to process the images that it is receiving. This is a critical time as you never now how her brain will respond to the new stimulus and this will be what determines her ultimate visual acuity. It can be anything from 20/20 with correction to very poor with correction or even blindness. We are hopeful and can't wait for the moment our precious daughter is able to look us in the eye. I have now been able to go back to work and Vick (Rebecca's dad) has come to help administer the drops every hour while I am gone as this is definitely a two man job. We are thankful for his help.
We are so appreciative of your tireless love and support these past couple of weeks. We have been so amazed at how quickly prayers for our daughter have spread and to even so many strangers that we will never even know. We are truly blessed by such an amazing Christian family. We believe in the power of prayer and have truly seen God's mighty hand in all of this. We would humbly ask that you continue to pray for our family: safe travel as we go back and forth to Dallas, guidance for the doctors taking care of her, that the membranes will have regressed with the drops so she will not have to undergo further surgery, and for the restoration of her sight. Also we would ask that as you lift Lydia up in prayer you remember her cousin Evie who is due in April. Doctors have found multiple cysts or her brain via ultrasound and it is likely she will require surgery immediately upon her birth. This is Beth (Rebecca's sister) and Steve's first child. Please ask God to be with these two precious little girls.
Please continue to share this with anyone you can think of and we thank you for your love, prayers, and support.
We love you all.
Dustin, Rebecca, and Lydia.
We do serve a big God and he is faithful. Thanks again for your prayers!
Also, if you would like please let your readers, family and friends know about Lydia & Evie so they can be praying as well.
UPDATE FROM 1/11/09