By Travis Lane
I wrote back to some of my friends that wrote to me and wanted to share more with them about Ari's experiences. She has come so near to death, it is unbelievable, sacred, hoped-for, hoped-against, and many more emotions all rolled into one. Haley has been my rock. I watch her and cannot believe what an incredible woman and mother she is.
When you marry someone, you have no idea how this person would react during an immense trial. You're wrapped up in "being in love." I thought I was in love with Haley when I met her. I thought I knew what a great woman I was marrying. I thought she was a spiritual, faithful daughter of our Heavenly Father. The small knowledge I had then at that time in our courtship, is a tiny grain of salt compared to what I feel for her now. She has become the ultimate mother as she has carefully tended to our little angel. Not just during the hospital, but during the many months that preceded Ari's condition. Haley spent many sleepless nights holding her, giving her water, changing her diaper, and loving her as only a mother can. My respect and love for my wife has heightened to unimaginable degrees as we have held onto each other through this ordeal.
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2009 05:52:16 +0000
To: Josh and Joni
Subject: A story from the past
Thanks you guys for all of the offers. Here at the hospital they have a laundry room and a kitchen. Everyone in our area of the hospital are basically living at the hospital because most of the kids are on life support or they are in a very late stage of cancer and the odds are highly against them. So the hospital does provide good living quarters. Due to the necessity of the parents wanting and needing to be there 24 hours.
I would love to see you guys. I haven't seen Josh for so long. Right now for some reason I think a lot about when Josh and I were younger. I don't know why, its actually odd. I think I long for the days of peace and no worries. However I really am grateful for this experience Haley and I have grown so much from it in so many areas and different ways.
It truly has been a great blessing from God to allow us to have this experience. It is no doubt a challenge. For example, this morning around 2:00 a.m. She got a fever of 105 degrees due to the infection in her lungs and the virus in her liver. Unfortunately, the chemotherapy has damaged or has shut down her immune system. So she can't fight those two off and it literally starts killing her. This morning when it happened her eyes got dark circles around them. She got so weak she couldn't hold her head up she began shaking like she was in a minor seizure or convulsion. She had just drank a gallon in a half of water because of her "DI" diabetes insipidus she was literally dying of dehydration and the water she drank did nothing but go right through her. We (doctors) still haven't figured out her DI and how to accurately treat it for her.
The nurses had just checked her blood the hour prior and it was somewhat stable considering her stage of sickness. Nothing was too alarming. Her heart beat got really slow around 20 bpm and she could not breathe on her own. I told the nurses that her blood must be low or weak. The nurse told me she just checked it an hour ago and it was fine. I insisted there was something wrong. I said, "She's dying."
The nurse said "She's just sick from the fever."
I firmly replied, "No. This is like last week when we had to do an emergency blood transfusion.
She said, " I'm only supposed to check the blood every four hours and she just got a blood transfusion at 10:00 p.m."
More firmly I insisted, "We need the doctor. She is dying."
Within 5 minutes the doctor on the floor came in, immediately looked at her and ordered for blood to be transfused. The disease LCH and the fevers had attacked that blood and burnt it up within one hour. The doctor said we were within minutes of losing her. In the last month we have had 3 of those situations. Sadly, because of the virus and infection it has made it that much more of a challenge for her.
When it happened this morning, I was waiting for the doctor. I was watching the monitor that displayed her heartbeat and her oxygen intake. Her heartbeat dropped to around 20 bpm. I knew she was dying and I knew she only had minutes left.
Haley was holding her and encouraging her to fight and hold on saying that we will have help for her soon. Haley whispered to her, "We all love you. Your brother and sisters love you. We're all so proud of how strong you are and the courage you have. We love you so so much and we want you here with us. But if you have to go that is okay. We will see you again, we just want you to be peaceful and happy."
Haley tried hard to fight back the tears so that she could continue to encourage her, but the emotion was so much for her to bear. I reached down and took hold of Ari's little hand. It was very cold. I bent over and put my hand under her head and neck. I kissed my little angel goodbye. I thought we were losing her. Then I told her that I love her. At that point, they came in with the blood. Miraculously, she pulled out of it and we have another day with her.
The biggest challenge to me is wondering if God wants her back or not. Haley and I wonder at times if we encourage her to fight so hard and that is just prolonging her passing. But it is next to impossible to not fight and believe that she will recover. Haley and I have committed to have a positive attitude and to learn from this experience. We will fight and encourage all that we can. But, we put our faith in Christ and the Atonement and put our trust in God's decision. I do have to admit that at times Haley and I feel like we have it hard (well Ari has it hard), but then we meet someone else and they tell us their child's situation and their story. Then Haley and I actually feel guilty.
Thank you so much for all your offers.