February 3 , 2004

Dear All,

I want to thank you all for the kind thoughts and words of encouragement...they all mean the world to Ivy, Kathie, Chris and I .

Our day began with the trip to the hospital. Because the surgery was so risky, Chris took the day off school to be there with his sister...he and I are home now, and Kathie is with Ivy. When we were about a block from the hospital, the surgeon who was to perform the operation called Kathie's cell phone. He told us that he had just inserted Ivy's eleventh chest tube on her right side and that he wasn't going to perform the surgery yet.

We were dumbfounded. When we arrived at the hospital, Ivy's nurse for the day told us that the Doctor felt he could help Ivy's lung more by inserting another chest tube versus going through with the surgery at that time. He told us that he felt Ivy was too fragile to move to the operating room and more time to heal was in order. The pulmonary doctor, however, does not agree and was visibly disturbed at the change in plans.

As the day progressed, Ivy's Oxygen saturation once again began to slip and her ventilation settings were changed to correct the problem. Shortly afterwards, while Ivy was being turned, her saturation once again dropped and this time no matter what settings were changed, there was no improvement.

The pulmonary doctor was called in as well as the trauma surgeon and Ivy received her twelfth chest tube, this one replacing one on the left side. She is currently resting, Kathie at her side, as I try to communicate with everyone I can to let them know what is going on...(please excuse me for my quick and not very well thought e-mail, I need to get back to the hospital).

It was a miserable day for all of us, most especially Ivy...and I understand more now than ever before why this has been so hard for Kathie to endure...everyday all day at Ivy's bedside, through this constant roller coaster ride...God bless her for her strength!

The plan for now is to let Ivy rest overnight...The doctors feel that almost 100% of Ivy's breathing is being done by her left lung. They want to perform tests tomorrow to understand if she can keep her body oxygenated on just her left lung for any period of time. If they can do this, they hope to put a tube in that would use only her left lung and leave her right lung totally at rest for a period of one to two weeks to allow it time to try to heal the horrible air leaks that her ARDS has caused.

If this works, they have a chance to avoid the surgery. And if it doesn't their hope is that she will be stronger and more able to tolerate the surgery sometime in the future.

At this time, it is the doctor's opinions that her right lung will not heal without either the surgery or the rest. So we have no option other than to move forward...and to pray...a whole lot...God Bless you all for all of your support...I can't possibly thank you all enough for being there for Ivy and us all…

My Best Wishes Always,