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Sep 25, 2007 Update on Lily

We’re glad to report that Lily is feeling better and back to her old self. We are now ready to celebrate her birthday!

Lily Anne’s first-year birthday party (postponed from last Saturday) has now been rescheduled for this coming Sunday, September 30, at 6:00pm. We want to invite you to join us at Bannockburn Baptist Church in the Banquet Room of the Abington Center.

More than anything, this will be a chance for the Rush Family to express our gratitude to you for all of the prayers and encouragement you have offered on behalf of Lily Anne this past year. As we mentioned previously, we also want to take the opportunity to say thanks to the Ronald McDonald House – a wonderful charity that blessed us so much during some very difficult days. We plan to deliver a large gift basket to the House; so, in lieu of a gift for Lily, please consider bringing something to include in the gift basket. The most needed items are travel-size shampoos, conditioners, soaps, razors, shaving cream, lotions, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. Another idea is individual servings of non-perishable snack foods, such as goldfish crackers, granola bars, fruit snacks or cookies.

I recognize this is last-minute, but we hope you’ll consider being with us if you’re able. God is good!

Sep 22, 2007 Update on Lily

Dear Friends,

We regret that the birthday party scheduled for a few hours from now will have to be postponed. Lily spent the day like we have so many other days this year – trying to diagnose a medical mystery. She is covered from head to toe with big red welts, and is running a fever. So her birthday included two blood extractions, a chest x-ray, an echocardiogram, a urine catheterization, and one IV.

After all of that, we are grateful to have now ruled out endocarditis, a very dangerous bacterial infection around the heart. This is common among heart patients, and that’s what caused most of the fear today. Later this evening at Dell Children’s Hospital, our cardiologist stated that he felt confident it was something else. After three doctors have looked her over, no one knows what she has. They believe she has some strange virus – perhaps something of a “pox” strain – and they will watch her closely for the next few days.

The doctor who released us from the hospital told us that we should assume that she is contagious, and try to isolate her as much as possible. So that means no Lily at the party, and we’d rather have Lily there to show her off. The whole point of getting together was to thank all of our wonderful friends for their faithful prayers and encouragement. We still hope to make that happen, and I promise to post the time and date of our new party by Monday morning. It will most likely be some time next weekend.

Lily’s first year has been a lesson in perseverance and flexibility. Why would her first birthday celebration be any different? Tough day or not, we are very grateful that she’s with us, and grateful for friends like you. We will keep you posted.

Sep 8, 2007 Update on Lily

Dear Friends,

Lily Anne turns one on September 21. It’s hard to believe all that has happened in these twelve months, but we can’t tell you how grateful we are to get to that milestone!

We want to invite all of you to join us on Saturday, September 22 to celebrate Lily’s birthday – and all of the answered prayers.

Because of your continued prayers and support, we would like to invite you to:

Lily’s First Birthday Celebration!
When: Saturday, September 22
Time: 3 PM – 5 PM Come & Go
Where: Bannockburn Baptist Church
3rd Floor – Abington Center

We would like to use this milestone as an opportunity to say thank you to the Ronald McDonald House. We will be delivering a large gift basket to the Home from the Rush Family. So in lieu of gifts for Lily, please consider bringing something to include in our gift basket. The most needed items are travel size shampoos, conditioners, soaps, razors, shaving cream, lotions, toothpaste, and toothbrushes. Or you might choose to contribute individual servings of non-perishable snack foods, such as goldfish crackers, granola bars, fruit snacks, or cookies.

I hope you’ll join us, so that Lily can say thank you in person!

Apr 27, 2007 Update on Lily

We just returned from Boston – exhausted, but grateful. We spent yesterday at Children’s Hospital of Boston, including a long meeting with Dr. Hiep Nguyen. Dr. Nguyen is the Co-Director of Robotic Surgery and Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He specializes in kidney cases such as Lily’s, and we learned a lot. The most important news thus far is that he thinks there is a 40 to 60% chance that she could outgrow the condition. In January when she was originally diagnosed, she was given almost NO chance of outgrowing this condition!

At CHB, they maintain an enormous database of patients with Lily’s condition (over 4,000 kids). By comparing patients, they can ascertain with much more certainty what the next step should be. They gave her a DMSA (a nuclear test on her kidneys to measure effectiveness), and found that her right kidney is not functioning fully, but that the left kidney has compensated for it, and we should not anticipate future problems.

The next step is… waiting. Dr. Nguyen recommends that we wait until January 2008 – a year from the original kidney diagnosis – to test the reflux again and measure progress. By then, they will be able to know whether the body is healing on its own. If she winds up with a urinary tract infection between now and then, the plan will change, but until then we’re not doing any damage in the delay.

Lana and I left Boston with a lot more peace of mind about waiting, a better understanding of kidney reflux, a better reason to wait, and a lot of gratitude for a much better outlook and some hope for no more surgery. Thanks for all your prayers for our Lily! We’ll keep you posted!

Apr 21, 2007 Update on Lily

We would appreciate your prayers for Lily this coming week. We are headed to Boston, MA from 4/24- 4/27 to meet with a urologist there regarding Lily’s impending kidney surgery. As you know, because of kiney reflux, we have been told this is imminent. Through internet research, we found that they have been doing this procedure robotically since 2001 at Children’s Hospital of Boston. If this can work for her, it would mean only five small incisions rather than the large opening and subsequent scar we were told to expect. That, in turn would mean a less painful process of recovery and a more rapid one as well. We vote for that! I’m sure that we’ll be answering a lot of the same questions over again and probably repeating some of the same tests, but we are praying for a definitive answer. I am also hoping that the procedure could be done sooner than later. The older she is, the more she’ll be frustrated about immobility and recovery… and we’re more than ready to move on with her life.

One of the greatest blessings of watching Lily’s situation continually improve in recent months has been to hear how many little children have been drawn to prayer – fervent prayer – on a consistent basis for Lily. Testimonies of whole classrooms of children, and little ones at home every night before bed, calling out to God on Lily’s behalf. The prayers of children, I believe, are a huge part of where she is today.

Mar 23, 2007 Update on Lily

Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers, cards, notes, and… patience with us as you’ve waited on a webpage update!
Lily went to the doctor today for her six-month check-up and all is well. We have now hit the fifteen pound milestone. She still has a little bit of fluid on her right lung left over from heart surgery, but they are just monitoring that and don’t seem concerned.

Lily actually has a big weekend coming up. She is release to go to church for the first time! That also means mom is released for the first time in a long time, so we’re really thankful. Lily’s development is right on schedule, and she continues to fill our lives with joy and adventure. But for the past month, the adventure has been the fun variety. Thank you, Lord.

Feb 24, 2007 Update on Lily

Lily has had a fantastic week. She is completely free from the virus symptoms she brought home from the hospital, and the soreness from surgery seems to have passed as well.

We saw our pediatrician, Dr. Jolet, on Wednesday. Lily has actually gained two pounds since her surgery – she’s over 13 now! Those are huge steps for us.
Thanks for all the continued prayers. Every day with no events is a wonderful day, and we’re starting to string together quite a few of those.

Feb 13, 2007 Update on Lily

We’ve been home since last Friday, which has been a real blessing. Lily has had an up and down week with the virus and some soreness, but is eating great. With all of the meds and Lily’s tummy troubles, sleep has been at a premium at the Rush house. At least the precious sleep we do get is in our own bed!

I’ve posted some pictures that Lana’s mom took in the ICU, not to dwell on the gory details, but to help you understand a little of what I was trying to describe. Thanks for the continued prayers – we will be seen by Dr. Jolet – our pediatrician – next week, and Dr. Wong – our local cardiologist – next month. Hopefully by then we’ll be virus free and pain free!

Feb 9, 2007 Update on Lily

Lana and I just left the hospital, where Lily received a sedated echocardiogram and follow-up exam. She has just a little fluid left in her right lung, which the cardiologist said is not uncommon and should heal on its own. Most importantly, her heart is doing great, and she is cleared to go.
Lily is still dealing with a the effects of a virus probably thanks to two weeks in the hospital, but we can treat that no matter where we are (which, for now, means extra fluids and changing lots of diapers.) So at long last… we are free to come to Austin. I’m about to call our apartment people and un-extend our room.

Can’t wait to be home!

Feb 8, 2007 Update on Lily

We’ve managed to keep sufficient fluids in Lily, and avoided the hospital. We really don’t want her to have another IV before we go home. The girls got to escape the apartment with their Aunt Holly today, which was a bonus. We had visions of getting to “do the town” this week while we waited on clearance to go home, but that has not been the case. Lily’s recovery has, for the most part, meant a lot of TLC and sitting around. It was kind of depressing to call the apartment people and extend our stay. We are very ready to be back home in Austin and on to the next chapter in our lives – even if it’s for a few months in between surgeries.

One thing Lana didn’t mention yesterday was that during this week’s crying spells, Lily could only be consoled by being held by her daddy. There’s something about my chest and shoulder that is just the right size for her tummy trouble, apparently, but I think I’ve got mom a little jealous!

The multitude of dirty diapers continue, but hopefully if we can make it another 24 hours, we will escape another hospital stay.

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Start your faith breakthrough now!
The spiritual barriers people face are countless, but they can be categorized into Eight Primary Walls. These walls correlate with the 8 primary breakthroughs that everyone needs.
1 of 48
I have too many of my own problems to deal with the problems of others.
2 of 48
I know a lot of people, but don't feel very close to many people.
3 of 48
When bad things happen, I wonder if God can make things better.
4 of 48
I find myself drawn to things I know are bad for me.
5 of 48
I feel there is a disconnect between who I really am and how I act in front of other people.
6 of 48
I think God cares about the details of my life.
7 of 48
I feel with God's help, I can face any situation.
8 of 48
I think that God will meet all my needs.
9 of 48
I am intentionally seeking to grow in my relationships with others.
10 of 48
I observe things that make me wonder if I should believe the Bible.
11 of 48
I spend too much of my energy pursuing material things.
12 of 48
It troubles me that God has not answered my prayers.
13 of 48
I am confident God has forgiven me for my past.
14 of 48
I look forward to good things in my future.
15 of 48
I believe God is willing and able to answer my prayers.
16 of 48
I tend to expect the worst to happen.
17 of 48
I question why God allowed certain things to happen in my life.
18 of 48
I have to guard against judging people when I learn they are dealing with tough circumstances.
19 of 48
I am willing to serve others for nothing in return.
20 of 48
I am willing to sacrifice immediate gratification for something better down the road.
21 of 48
I find myself more focused on the things I don't have but wish I did.
22 of 48
When looking back on my life, I tend to focus on all of the things I did wrong.
23 of 48
I believe the Bible has answers for today's circumstances.
24 of 48
I have a hard time trusting people.
25 of 48
My faith practices are more about routine than relationship.
26 of 48
I believe God is loving and kind.
27 of 48
When I am facing a difficult situation, I feel like I can solve problems on my own.
28 of 48
I am grateful for the things I have been given.
29 of 48
It humbles me to think I can know God.
30 of 48
I worry about the problems that the future holds.
31 of 48
I feel I can turn to God for direction.
32 of 48
I believe God loves me in spite of who I am.
33 of 48
I am amazed at God's power.
34 of 48
I have witnessed things that make me wonder if God is in control.
35 of 48
I don't believe anyone can ever know what is absolutely true.
36 of 48
I worry that God is angry with me.
37 of 48
The possibility of gaining a good friend is worth the risk.
38 of 48
I feel compelled to make the world around me better.
39 of 48
People who have hurt me in the past cause me to avoid some relationships today.
40 of 48
I am so busy that I find myself ignoring the most important things in my life.
41 of 48
I believe God wants what is best for me.
42 of 48
I believe truth is the same for everyone.
43 of 48
People would describe me as a giving person.
44 of 48
I try to avoid temptations that would bring me harm.
45 of 48
I have been wronged in the past in a way I cannot get over.
46 of 48
When bad things happen, I feel like I am getting what I deserve.
47 of 48
I feel strong relationships are hard, but worth it.
48 of 48
I believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing God.
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