Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hearts are Hurting XI

Sept. 28 12:25 p.m. (Mountain time)

Posted 5 hours ago

I just did an update and I think it is lost somewhere in cyberspace. When we arrived at the hospital this morning we were told that Kori suffered heart arrithymia once during the night and then again this morning. She was shocked each time to return her heart to the proper rhythm. That wasn't the news we wanted. She is still on the ventilator, but there is some hope she will get off today. She hasn't had any problem with bleeding, which was a major concern. She isn't out of the woods for bleeding problems, but it hasn't been a problem so far. Kim just came out of Kori's ICU unit (only 2 at a time, please) and said they were trying to bring her out of sedation. Every time they do that, she gets uncomfortable and her pain level increases. Her body has been through so much, 2 open heart surgeries in less than 2 weeks and various other procedures. She needs time to allow her body to recover. Please continue to pray for Kori and Doug and Kourtney. We do appreciate your comments and encouragement.

If you would like to leave a message for Kori or her family, please get me your email address (using the comment post on this update) and I can give you the info to log on to her website. A fund has also been set up for tax deductible donations for Kori at Stockton Nat'l Bank. If you wish, send them to the SNB, c/o Kori Bigge Medical Fund, PO Box 511, Stockton, KS 67669. I am in the process of setting a date for a chili luncheon the posts for more info. ~Resa

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hearts are Hurting X

Even as far away from the situation as I feel, this sure has been a day spent on edge. I cannot fathom her families' emotions as they ride this roller coaster!

Sept 26 4 p.m. (Mountain time)

Posted 2 hours ago

Kori came out of surgery at approx. 3 p.m. The surgeon said overall, it went well. They discovered a hole in Kori's heart that had to be repaired. The surgeon said that this was minor, compared to everything else. He also said that the right side of her heart, previously the healthy side, has also suffered from the strain of working so hard. Hopefully, it will recover. The surgeon seems to think that Kori doesn't have Peripartum Cardiomyopothy. He thinks she just had a major, major heart attack. He said she shouldn't have survived. It was good that it happened with a cardiologist right beside her. We can see Kori in about 15 minutes as she is now back in ICU. They are most worried about bleeding in the next few days and will probably keep her sedated through the weekend. On the other hand, they want to get her awake as soon as they can to check her cognitive function. The chance of problems there are more remote, but still are a concern.

If all goes well, Kori will probably have a transplant by the end of the year and will have to stay in Utah for another 6 months after that. For about a year, someone will have to be with her at all times. There is a remote chance (probably very remote) that her heart could recover and that she would not need a transplant. I can tell you that is what her Dad is praying for. Please contine to pray for her.

Hearts are Hurting IX

Well, I sure wish I wasn't up to the ninth post on this topic. Kori had surgery this are the details:

Sept. 25 10:10 p.m.

Posted 11 hours ago

I just prepared an update and when I attempted to post it, it disappeared.I will try again. Kori will undergo surgery at 6:30 a.m. Utah time (7:30 a.m. our time) to implant a permanent Lvad device in her chest. This device is battery operated and will allow mobility. This is deemed a "high risk" procedure. The Doctors are concerned about bleeding or a possible stroke. The plan is for her to be in intensive care for next week and then move to a regular room. At that time, she will start some type of rehab, but I am not sure exactly the nature of it at this point, She will have to stay in Salt Lake City for 60-90 days, but should be able to leave the hospital. This is all prior to any transplant.

Kori has suffered additional damage to her heart, after the heart attack on Sept. 13, evidently yesterday morning when she underwent the procedure at Hays. That may partially explain why the nurse reported that Kori was doing well and her heart was working and then 5 minutes later Dr. Benton said she needed to be transported and prepared for a transplant. There is still a possibility that Kori's heart could recover, but instead of 50% it is now less than 10%. It would be nice for some good news for a change.

Please pray for Kori; she needs your prayers now more than ever. Also, keep Doug in your thoughts and prayers. This is very difficult for him. Kourtney is with Doug's sister Beth and her family in Russell. We know she is in good hands.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hearts are Hurting VIII

Not good news this time around. My heart just weeps for Kori and her family. This post if from her dad, Tim. Her mom is Marilyn and sister is Kim, all mentioned below.

Sept. 25 11:30 a.m.

Posted 42 minutes ago

Marlyn just called from Salt Lake City. Kori had a very rough flight last night. They had to fly at a low altitude because her body wouldn't tolerate normal ones. An echocardiogram was done this morning and showed the the left ventrical wasn't working. She will have surgery tomorrow to inplant the permanent Lvad unit and they are starting the process for a transplant. Kim and I will fly from KC tomorrow. This is all too much to take in. Every time we think there is hope, we get bad news. Kori was such a strong, healthy person. How could this happen to her?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Me & My Midwives

So this post is a short break on Kori's updates, though I did see she is on the plane to Utah tonight and her family is feeling very discouraged after today. Your prayers are appreciated!

I have a predicament...first of all, being the natural gal that I am, I have been under the care of just the BEST group of midwives for the last six years. They practice with a group of physicians in Kansas City so I really get the best of both worlds. Eric appreciates that our babies have been born in hospitals (for backup emergency care) and I love their natural approach to pregnancy and childbirth.

The problem is, this time around, the midwives at this practice are no longer attending births or providing pre-natal care. Super bummer! Basically it boils down to the fact that I really, really, really like my midwife and the philosophies of midwifery and don't like the office telling me I have to see a MD instead (can you visualize the stomping of my feet?!). I actually have my second visit tomorrow (and first sono) and am deep in debate whether to stay at this practice or switch to somewhere else where I can be under the care of a CNM (Certified Nurse Midwife).

Okay, now that I type all that out, it seems obvious that I just need to put some effort into finding a new midwife (sob...I want Jeane!). The doctor they assigned me to is great and all...and probably more granola than most, but it's just not the same. I keep thinking about labor & birth and imagine having one of the other dr's that I know nothing about being on call and there for only the 5 minutes it takes...bright lights, no soft music, bossing me around. With as fast as I had Kai, they probably won't even make it to the hospital in time anyway...I'm hoping WE make it!

Okay, see...blogging is just good I know I need to start a new search for a midwife (like I really have time for all of that), but I think I'll feel much better about everything. BTW, baby is 16 weeks now...according to babycenter he/she is about the size of an avocado and I should be able to feel the flutterings anytime...I'm excited--but not about the fact that I can barely squeeze into my "big" jeans!

Hearts are Hurting VII

Sep 24 10:40 A.M.

Posted 15 minutes ago




-HOLLY (I think this is Doug's sister)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hearts are Hurting VII

Sept. 22

Posted 33 minutes ago

The test results were positive, but not quite as good as we had hoped. The left side of Kori's heart is now functioning at 30%, not the 40% we had hoped for. They didn't take her off the Lvad machine. The plan now is to try again on Wednesday. Dr. Benton said this was still encouraging. One part of the left side of her heart isn't "squeezing" as strongly as it should, but, hopefully, it will improve. This afternoon, Kori will be allowed to see Kourtney. Kourtney hasn't seen her Mom for 10 days. Please continue to pray for Kori, Doug and Kourtney.

I am...

My 15 year class reunion was this weekend. Not sure what to expect, I was pleasantly surprised by a relaxing and enjoyable time with a group of kind, funny, cheerful & laid back old friends. At almost the conclusion of our get-togethers, we were posed with the question, "So, what do you do?".

I should have expected and prepared for such an obvious question when I haven't seen people for over a decade, but I didn't...and because of the fact that I really hate that question, I fumbled my way through it with several little factoids that amount up to basically nothing. The reason I hate that question is:

1. My vocation as a wife and mother is difficult to quantify in terms of our cultures obsession with "career", and
2. The jobs I've had and degree I've earned tell very little about "who" I am.

So what would my preferred answer be? Certainly that's complicated, but here's a stab: I am a friend. As a friend, I love to show love to my family, I love to serve my husband and children and neighbors and friends and strangers. My model is Christ, who laid down his life to serve the others around him...and although I have a long way to go, it is this that drives me.

I mean, there are many other "things I do"...go garage saling, spend time in my flower gardens, way to much time on the computer, homeschool my kids, play Bunco, exercise, sew, curl up with good books, play with my kids, watch movies, bake, bake, bake, try to eat healthy, take lots of naps, clean out my paper piles every few months, on and on and on.

But as I laid in bed mulling this over (at 5:30 this morning, ugh!), being a friend is what stood out as the most obvious label. Now, whether this fits in the eyes of others or not, I'm not sure (Rustin, you better let me know if I'm self-deluded) but next time around at least I'll have an answer!

Hearts are Hurting VI

This morning, Kori was scheduled to have another echo...actually, they were hoping to be done with it by 8:30 a.m. which was half an hour ago. I'll be checking her site for updates, meanwhile, the post below is from this weekend.

Also, I just want to thank those of you who have also gone through PPCM for visiting these updates and praying for Kori. I have passed the information you shared with me on to her family and hope that your advice can help her too!

(On Monday morning) They will take Kori to the operating room and put her under and reinsert the ventilator tube so an echocardiogram can be performed. Dr. Benton said if she has shown good improvement, they will remove the Lvad machine and she will be on her own. If she hasn't shown any further improvement, they will start the preparation for a heart transplant which will necessitate a transfer, probably to Salt Lake City. Since she has done so well, we are all cautiously optimistic.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hearts are Hurting V

Here are two updates from yesterday on Kori. I'm headed out of town for the weekend, but will try to nab some computer time and add to the posts! ~Resa

Sept. 18

Posted 21 hours ago

Kori is off the ventilator. She is worn out and resting. There will be another echocardiogram, probably tomorrow. That will be an important one. Last night, before she was off the ventilator, she was writing instructions to Doug; don't forget to pay the babysitter, get the insurance forms, etc. She wanted to talk to her Mom last night. By using her hands, she asked if she had had a heart attack. She was also very concerned as to whether the ventilator was permanent. When she was assured that it wasn't, she seemed to relax. She's not in the clear yet, but she is moving in the right direction. There are not any current plans to send her on for a heart transplant.

Now that we have been able to finally take a deep breath, there are some rather ironic things that have taken place. Marlyn's sister Bev and her husband were here over the weekend. She taught at Ark City H.S. for many years. We discovered that she had the cardiac surgeon, Dr. Benton, as a student. She taught him well!

Doug's sister Beth lives in Russell with her family. She has a friend that attends a small church north of Russell. Beth's friend asked for prayers for Kori at last Sunday's service. After the service, a woman approached her and said that she was a good friend of Dr. Benton. Dr. Benton called her Saturday night (Kori's surgery was mid-day on Saturday). She said Dr. Benton was emotional and said he just needed to talk with someone. He related that he had a very rare case of a young woman, previously very healthy, that he had performed open heart surgery earlier that day. He was hopeful that he could help her and her family.

People here have been outstanding. The Doctors, nurses, Doug's family, Kori's co-workers and friends of she and Doug have gone beyond what anyone could expect. We can never thank them enough. Please continue to pray for Kori, Doug and Kourtney.

Sept 18 5:50 p.m.

Posted 16 hours ago

Doug just talked with Dr. Benton. He described Kori's progess as "wonderful." Our visits with her have been short today as she has been resting and really worn out. She has had alot of breathing exercises. She had me pinch her nose while she was doing them. You can imagine the pain and discomfort from having your chest forced and cut open just 5 days ago. Dr. Benton said that they will probably try to take her off the Lvad machine on Monday. That is the device that is working for the left side of her heart. Keep praying for her; it's working.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hearts are Hurting IV

Here's the latest encouraging news, written by Kori's father, Tim:

An echocardiogram was performed on Kori this morning and the results were very encouraging. Dr. Benton said that the function of the left side of her heart had increased to approximately 20% and that he was very pleased with her progress and how rapidly it had come. They will do another one on Friday. He wants her sedated when it is done, but they are bringing her out of sedation right now and I believe they will take her off the ventilator and get the tubes out her her throat. They will have to put her under and back on the ventilator on Friday to perform the echocardiogram, but Dr. Benton said it would be worth it to have her able to talk for the next 2 days. They did a heart biopsy yesterday, but the results of it won't be back for 2-3 more days. Dr. Benton said Kori was definitely moving in the right direction.

Even though Kori has been sedated, we are still able to communicate on a limited basis. She moves her tongue for "yes" and even though they have her paralized to restrict her movement, she can shake her head slightly for "no." She indicated that her neck hurt, so I was rubbing it. When I stopped, she said "no." Her 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. nurse that we really like was to be off for the next few days, but she cancelled all of her plans so she can continue working with Kori. She is remarkable.

Hearts are Hurting III

Yesterday, Tuesday, Kori had an echocardiogram that indicated a 10% improvement on the left side of her heart. This is good news and they will repeat the test today. In the next few days, the doctors will be deciding whether or not to move her to a location (probably Salt Lake City) to await a heart transplant.

She is still very, very ill and needs your thoughts and prayers! Thank you so much for helping support my friend in this way!

I am also planning some kind of fundraiser for her family...either a benefit BBQ & silent auction or some kind of online thing...if you have thoughts or ideas, please let me know.

Kori's family has started a website to keep friends updated on her condition. It was sweet to see pictures of her and her little ones, what a reminder of her passionate spirit. This is a photo of Doug, Kourtney (now 2 years old) and Kori.

I don't feel it appropriate to give out the log-in info here in the wide-open-blogosphere, however, I'll pass along info as I get it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Update on Kori

Here is the latest info, giving everyone a glimpse of what happened:

It is 9:45 on Monday. I recently spoke with Kim (Kori's sister). She remains the same. No change from yesterday. I found out a little more about what is going on. Kori has what is call post-partum cardiomyopathy. Basically what happens is that in pregnancy the mother's body has extra blood flow. Sometimes the mother's body cannot handle the extra flow and it over loads the mother's heart. Weakening the heart muscle. This is what happened to Kori. Her heart was unable to pump blood so it stayed in one place a formed a huge clot in the upper half of the left side of her heart (causing her to have a heart attack). It remains a waiting game. I will give daily updates and give you info as I get it. Take care.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Hearts are Hurting II

As some of you know, baby Dean's funeral was postponed when her mom, my friend Kori, suffered a heart attack Friday evening. She had surgery on Saturday and is now recovering. Here is the latest update from my friend Trisha who keeps all us Pitt State gals informed:

Hello all,
Kori is doing better than we could have imagined. They let her wake up this morning and she did pretty good. After being awake for some time, she got a little agitated so they gave her medicine to go back to sleep. She remains on a ventilator and with the heart assisted device still in. Her vital signs and labs are all okay. Her family remains close by and she knows we are all pulling for her. Dena's memorial and burial will be today. Kori understands that she will miss the services but her pastor is going to do a private memorial for her when she gets better. We all need to continue to pray for Kori and her family. The question of Kori needing a heart transplant still remains. Time will let us know. Take care.
I say once again, I am tired of bad things happening and I pray this is the last one.

Thank you all for continuing to keep her family in your prayers...again, her husband's name is Doug and their 2 year old daughter's name is Kourtney. I will post updates as I get them. Peace, Resa

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hearts are Hurting

My friend from college, Kori and her husband Doug, held their tiny preemie baby Dena as she passed away this week. Dena had been working so hard at holding on and yet her little heart could no longer battle the strain of sickness in other parts of her body. It is a sad time.

Her funeral is tomorrow, Saturday, in Plainville, Kansas, and I ask for your prayers for her family, including her big sister Kourtney who just turned 2. I don't think I have to tell you that it is hard to come up with words to say at a time like this...that little aching tug on your heart can only be a twinge of the anguish Kori and Doug have gone through the last several weeks. The only joy I can imagine is for longer having to struggle or suffer, but now being held in the hands of her Creator. The One who loves, comforts and even holds those who are now hurting and who can and will heal their hearts in time.

Friday, September 05, 2008

First Week Done

So Elena and I have survived our first week of Kindergarten at home! As I expected, this has been a learning experience for both of us. I was reminded that I have a perfectionist on my hands, and she was reminded that Mommy is in charge, not her!

We are using Sonlight for our core curriculum and A Beka for phonics, handwriting and math. The stories we are reading with Sonlight are so good! I even found myself cheating and reading ahead in the little book "The Boxcar Children" to find out what happens next.

Our most challenging subject so far is handwriting. I went ahead and chose to follow A Beka's cursive program...yes, in Kindergarten. Elena already has printing down fairly well, and after thinking and talking it over, decided it was either now or in a couple years so may as well start out with a challenge! This is really where her perfectionism is coming out. She so wanted her "i's" to be perfect on the first day! After a cry-fest and much squirming and in her chair, we quit for the day and retried the next day, going very s-l-0-w. Today was day four and she was all calm and making "i's" and "u's" very well. Yay.

Discovery Homeschool Academy starts next Tuesday, and we went to their back-to-school night last evening to meet her teacher etc. I think it is going to be the perfect compliment to our schooling and am so excited for her to meet some other homeschooled friends her age!

Oh, and not to forget about Mr. Kai. He is joining us for most of the reading and works diligently on his Winnie-the-Pooh workbooks or play-doh while we do other things. He also goes up for some room-time during handwriting and phonics so he won't be so distracting. I think he is very proud of doing school and is actually doing better at the Bible memory verse than Miss Boo!

So, though I have yet to don my home-made denim jumper dress and leave my hair a rumpled mess, I DID bake some bread in my bread machine this I guess that makes me a true-to-life homeschool mom! I think I'm going to love it!