Sunday, June 8, 2014

Prayers for Phin

Today's blog post will have a different focus. In the 8 months we've been going to the NICU, we start to recognize faces of other parents. The "regulars" will start to become familiar because we'll see them in the same room, hallway, waiting area, or training class. As time goes on, these faces become more familiar and we eventually figure that they are in the same long-term NICU boat that we are.

Over the past several months, Alisha has developed a friendship with one NICU mom in particular named Lori. They met because Lori's baby (Phin) was also a long-term NICU baby and had struggled with some of the same issues that Roscoe struggled with. Lori and Alisha will often go to lunch and swap stories about recent baby developments or NICU follies. With this blog post, we'd like to introduce you to Phin:

Phin was born in November 2013 with a due date only a few days removed from Roscoe's. Both Phin and Roscoe struggle with breathing issues and feeding issues, as you may have presumed from the nasal cannula and feeding tube in the picture above. Like Roscoe, Phin has also had surgery postponed and delayed, causing Lori and Jeff (Phin's parents) much stress. To add to the difficulties, both Lori and Jeff work full-time and live a few hours away, compared to Alisha and I who live only 15 minutes from the hospital.

Alisha and I wanted to ask all of our loving blog readers to pray for Phin tomorrow. Surgery is scheduled for Monday to remove a growing mass from Phin's upper spine, close to the brain stem. This growing mass (called a syrinx) has confused the doctors because they can't quite figure out what it is or why it is growing. Luckily the syrinx isn't attached to Phin's brain stem. The doctors are so perplexed by it that they sent out information for peer review and no other doctors could identify it either. Two high-level neurosurgeons will be in the operating room with Phin on Monday so that they can make collaborative decisions based on what they find. The neurosurgeons said that they won't know until they see the syrinx directly whether it can be removed cleanly, so the surgery will take anywhere from 30 minutes to half a day. Prior to the neurosurgery, Phin will get an fMRI (at 7am) and a broviac catheter (at 8am).

Some of the risks that Phin will face in this surgery are a risk of paralysis or the risk that the syrinx is too dangerous to remove. This obviously causes a great deal of stress for Phin's parents, being unable to control or even know the outcome. We'd like you to pray earnestly that Phin's surgery goes smoothly and successfully. Please ask God to give the surgeons skill and wisdom as they make decisions and take action in the operating room, so that Phin can pass safely through this tribulation and continue growing and developing to be the joyful child that God created.

"Be joyful in hope,
patient in affliction,
faithful in prayer."
- Romans 12:12


  1. Praying for Phin, Phin's parents, and all involved : )

  2. I will pray for Phin, the surgical team, and Jeff & Lori as they had into this uncharted territory.

    Shaun, I love how you can look at their situation and it allows you to count your blessings of living closer by and having Alisha's job right now staying there with Roscoe. It is so true that if you think you have it bad, take a look around and you are always able to find someone who has it worse. Your positive attitude is refreshing!

  3. Jeff, Lori, and Phin...our family has been praying for you and for Phin's surgery/surgeries.

  4. Our little bug is a great big trooper and is recovering tonight after a full day of surgeries. Though not every question has been answered, our prayers surely have - Phin is already moving her fingers and footsies. The next 48-hours are critical, but the team has every confidence that Phin will make a full and speedy recovery. Tonight we share our optimism and love with Alisha, Shaun and little Roscoe, as they prepare for tomorrow's marathon. We look forward to more good news for our little ones in the coming days and weeks. We thank you so much for your kind words, thoughts and prayers.