Well, those of you who have visited Josiah's Caring Bridge site (www.caringbridge.org/visit/josiahsnead) or my Facebook page tonight are already aware, but I had to try to put it into words on our blog tonight:
JOSIAH GETS HIS TRACH OUT ON MONDAY! Shelly received a call from Cincinnati today and was told Dr. Cotin (who invented the airway reconstructive surgery he will perform on Josiah) wants to know if we can be there on Monday (as in October 12, as in 6 days from today) for the surgery. I was in a meeting at work, but Shelly called and said she had to speak with me right away. Her sense of urgency caused concern among the individuals trying to find me, and when I called I heard her crying on the phone. Then she told me the news and I was stunned, absolutely overwhelmed. That's how I can best describe what our family is feeling tonight: we are overwhelmed in an exceedingly positive way, acutely aware of how blessed we are. This is amazing! Tonight we went to dinner at Red Lobster (Josiah's favorite non-fast-food restaurant, even though he goes for the mac-n-cheese and broccoli rather than the seafood), and several times I caught myself just staring at him, thinking that one week from today he will no longer have his trach, and listening to Silas repeatedly say how excited he is for Josiah.
I hate that I was not home when Shelly got the news...when she got off the phone she told Silas "Your brother is getting his trach out on Monday!" She said Silas got so excited he began crying tears of joy, said "This is what we've been praying for!", and ran around the house for 45 minutes (she finally sent him outside to get some exercise). As some of you know, at least 95% of the times Silas has prayed during the past 4 1/2 years (whether before meals, or at night before bed, or during the day), he asks God to help his brother get his trach out...there have been numerous times Shelly and I have been convicted that we've lacked the consistency in petitioning God for this request that our 7-year old son has had. I wish I could've seen the joy in his face and heard him say "This is what we've been praying for!" when he first heard the news today. Just another example of the huge heart Silas has for others and a glimpse of how his faith is growing.
As for Josiah, Shelly said he initially cried when he heard "surgery" but then Silas said "Josiah, when you get your trach out you'll be able to go swimming with me!" and then Josiah started getting excited about it all. Several times over the past year Josiah has said he doesn't want to get his trach out...we think it's because the only time his trach is out is when we're changing it, and he struggles to breathe during those times which is scary for him. However, he's continued to grow more excited about all the things he'll be able to do when he gets his trach out, from swimming to spending the night at people's houses to no more suctioning and trach changes, etc.
So here's the plan: Our insurance company is already working on travel and hotel plans for Shelly and Josiah. With the surgery on Monday, we don't yet know if we'll travel on Saturday or Sunday (perhaps they'll have to see him for pre-op on Sunday?), but as soon as we find out I will try to get a flight as well. The 1st week he'll be in ICU, and the 2nd week he'll be in a regular hospital room. The 3rd week they'll likely release him from the hospital but he'll have to stay in the Cincinnati area. If his recovery is "typical" (keep in mind that Josiah has never been "typical"), he'll then be able to come home for 2-4 weeks before returning to Cincinnati for a followup checkup. After that, he'll continue to return for followups, with the time between each subsequent visit generally doubling. During the two weeks Josiah is in the hospital, we'll likely stay in a downtown hotel or the Ronald McDonald house so we can be close to him. During week 3, we'll likely stay with a family in Cincinnati.
So many of you have prayed for this event, and now it appears it is almost here...please continue to pray for us as we make plans (travel plans, plans for Silas, etc.), travel, Josiah undergoes surgery and recovery, etc. Thank you!