Saturday, September 10, 2011

Happy 34th Anniversary!

Surely each of those 34 years has been easy, right? 

Saturday mom and dad started off the celebration with a trip Brookshire, followed by lunch at a real restaurant, and finished it off with a movie date in Ganado.  That’s quite a bit of activity – all of which is outside of the house! Smile Happy Anniversary to both of you!

Last week dad had another Dr.’s appointment which included a CT-scan, and everything looked good. He’s actually doing so well, that he’s going to get 1 free day each week where he does not have to be on TPN at night.  He used his “free night” on Saturday for his date!  SmileThe blog posts have been MIA, but he’s still recovering well.

photo (2)  photo (3)photo

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


They made it home today.  We are so grateful for what Dr. Saggi and Dr. Hall were able to do for him; and thankfully healing can continue in El Campo.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

THE FINAL LAP By: Marilyn Goerig

Help us to be grateful
Each day in our prayer.
Before we speak our petitions,
Let gratitude bring us there.

We say “In God’s Time”;
But we usually want more.
Our plans don’t always match
What God has in store.

Louie is improving
In all aspects of his care.
There is talk of going home;
To Louie an answered prayer.

His improvement is bittersweet;
It is difficult to rejoice
When they will no longer hear
Dr. Saggi’s reassuring voice.

Yes, Dr. Saggi is leaving
No doubt he will make history;
As a valued addition
At Tulane University.

Let us remember who’s really in charge
And let Him provide the map.
God has brought Louie this far;
He will manage his final lap.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

So much has happened this week! The fever has subsided , Louie got 2 units of blood that definitely gave him a bit more zip, the wound vac is out and he's eating a bit of pureed(yum yum) food. The CT scan showed the abcess to be getting smaller and no new worrisome details were apparent. We are moving toward the door once again! The saddest bit of news, however, is that Dr. Saggi is leaving to go to Tulane in New Orleans. We are truly upset about this as he was the the perfect "fit" for us. He is a surgeon with tremendous gastrointestinal experience. We felt we had the best with Dr. Duke, who in turn recommended the best for the next phase, Dr. Saggi. We will definitely be looking to Dr. Saggi to recommend our next physician choice. We are doing fine, but long for El Campo more each and every day. In the words of one of our favorites, Dorothy, from the Wizard of Oz, "there's no place like home". (geez, where's a good pair of ruby slippers when you need them?). Thanks once again for all the prayers and support -----Love, Ruthie

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Good, The Bad, and The Grateful

The Good --Friday started off really well with Louie putting on real clothes in Occupational Therapy and venturing out of the room.  He looked so handsome!  Also, floor employees came around passing out Bingo cards. Patients were going to be playing Bingo at noon over the intercom.  They asked if we wanted to play--I quickly answered "of course we would!!!" ( Good thing I was there, right?   Louie may not have REALIZED  he wanted to play bingo)  They handed out the daubers at noon and the playing began.  Louie did well the first game needing only 1 number right away.  He didn't win but it really was a nice diversion. What does one win in a hospital bingo game?????  Your hospital stay is free?  Somehow I doubt it, but it was fun nevertheless.
The Bad--Louie had been having fever off and on . Dr. Saggi ordered blood cultures of the lines and a CT scan.  Saturday afternoon we got the news that there was something on the scan and we were moving back to the 9th floor.  We later learned that the scan revealed an abscess in the abdomen by the colon.  After another move, we arrived at 917. Honestly, in our almost 34 years of marriage we have lived in 2 places. That’s it-2!    During this 4 week hospital stay we have been in 6 rooms.  It  helps for keeping the clutter down but truly I think we enjoy a little more stability.
To assist in healing, a drain was placed by Interventional Radiology on Sunday.  We are not going home on Tuesday.  A real disappointment!!!!   Dr Saggi did say that the liver looks great.  Lets hear it for the liver --it seems to have gotten the memo that we want to go home and has not been acting up or causing trouble like some of the other parts of the body.
The Grateful---We have been really down by this recent turn of events.  In reality we know that this visit has not been THAT long and things could be so very much worse, but but we so looked forward to going home Tuesday.  We were on the Rehab floor---the last step before the car door!!  You know, Adios Hermann,  Hello El Campo.  We were out of sorts, praying for healing but not really having a good spirit. Depressed and irritated.  Today, however, I read in one of my books that Jesus says "your praise and thanksgiving are distinctly audible in heaven. Your petitions are also heard but it is your gratitude that clears the way to My heart. Practice praising and thanking Me continually throughout this day."  Hmm…  this is a good idea.  I remember Father Gary speaking once of adopting an "attitude of gratitude", choosing 10 things a day and thanking God for them.  Anyway to make a long story short (oops, it's too late for that) today we only want to speak of the many wonderful things we have to be grateful for.  The success of the surgery,  the possibility of Louie eating normally again,  Dr. Saggi. Dr. Hall, etc.  It will take us all day,  but I can't think of a better way to spend it.  Have a Happy 4th of July!!!
With gratitude to each of you---Ruthie

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Could it be?

It's been mentioned that Mom and Dad may go home next Tuesday (4 weeks after surgery).  How awesome that would be if it proved to be true!  Dad would go home on TPN and continue to do rehab in El Campo.  Hopefully they will not go home on antibiotics or with a wound vac.  The wound vac appears to not be putting out anything!  Could it be that this fistula is actually healing (or already healed)?    Today he was able to start eating a couple of things- flavored ice and jello.  Continue to pray that all goes well; the prayers are working!  Another great day in Room 460.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Moving Forward
First full day on the rehab floor.!!! (Saturday is a light day and Sunday a day of rest.)The schedule includes 3 hours of physical/occupational therapy --about 2 hours in the morning and an hour in the afternoon. With help I will also get him up to the chair this evening.  So far so good---he is understandably tired but working hard to meet the challenges. They constantly include family members as we will be going home with the patient.  It's all very interesting. We saw Dr. Saggi on the weekend and he continues to say the fistula will heal.  In his words "It's just 4 steps forward and 1 step back".  When we think of it in those terms it helps us remember the very successful outcome of the surgery. We are blessed with wonderful doctors!!! 
Love to all

Visiting Pawpaw

Dad got moved to the rehab floor on Friday evening and started his "work outs" on Saturday morning.  He and mom are now residing in room 460.  Rehab is tough, but he's doing great!  They work with him 3 hours a day 6 days a week (Sunday is a day of rest).  He has a busy schedule, but luckily he was able to fit in a visit from the grandkids between occupational and physical therapy. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The NG Tube’s History - Check out that handsome face!

photo (10)

Yesterday was a “test”.  The NG tube (the tube in his nose that pumps bile and such out of his stomach) was clamped off.  If the fistula did not leak much in the following 24 hours they would remove the tube.  Dad passed his test and the tube was removed this morning.  Dad never really liked the NG (possibly because his nostril formed a permanent crease in its place after having the tube there for so long in 2009).  This time the tube had fallen into that same familiar crease.  Now the tube its gone.  It’s amazing how much more photogenic one looks without a long straw sticking out of one’s nostril and a bandaid covering one’s nose.

photo (9)

Mom and Dad


Bonnie and Dad

A tentative plan for tomorrow – MOVE TO THE REHAB floor!  Cross your fingers (or better yet say a little prayer).  - Tracy

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Patience 201 By: Marilyn Goerig

Enough already!
Is Louie’s cry I’m sure.
The thought of one more setback
Is extremely hard to endure.

For over two years now,
We’ve learned and practiced patience.
As far as content mastery goes,
Louis achieved all “A’s”.

When his present surgery went so well;
He began to see the light.
Could there maybe be
An attainable goal in sight?

No doubt that end is still there,
With total healing achieved.
God is only testing us
To see if we still believe.

“In God’s Time” is very hard,
When you are ready to be done.
We will continue to pray
And study Patience 201

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The cause of the intermitten fever has been diagnosed. One of the central lines is infected.  This was not immedately evident but "grew out" over days.  To remedy this,  Louie made a trip to Interventional Radiology this afternoon where a PICC line was inserted in his arm and the infected line removed.. 
Dr. Hall came by today and took the staples out of Louie's leg. This area was the donor site of a "flap"  of skin, fat, and muscle that became the cover for the previously open abdomen.  As you can imagine, that leg is very painful because of the deep section that was removed.  It looks wonderful, and the doctors are very pleased. He also took the staples out of another area on his side--this patch was covered with a muscle flap---it also looks good. The stiches  of the larger abdomen area will stay in longer but it is amazing. Dr. Hall confessed to putting much thought all hours of the day and night into this procedure.  We essentially presented him with an open area  with three mounds of  leaking intstines outside his body and looked for answers.  It was nothing that either he nor his asociate expected calling it a "plastic surgeons nightmare". The morning of the surgery he outlined Plan A, Plan B, or Plan C.  We joined hands and prayed the Our Father togerther.  I am so impressed with these surgeons who use their skills acknowledging that it only comes from God.  He was able to put Plan A into effect with great results.
Louie was also begun evaluation to be consided for the rehab floor.. You must be able to tolerate 3 hours of therapy per day and meet other medical criteria.  We hope that this move will be in his future.
     As Tracy indicated,  we were stunned on Sunday to hear the word fistula from Dr. Saggi . After he said that word I don't think we heard anything else.  Our eperience with fistulas is so extreme!  Since then we have been able to process that it is small, it should close by itself ( really? really?--we do not have the capacity to understand this) and he is doing well. 
The NG tube in his nose will stay in for now, and the wound vac-these will both decrease the fluid of the fistula.  Still no food or drink.   He is hanging in there and I am really proud of him.  We have a plaque at home that states "Faith makes things possible, not easy". How true! 
Thanks for your continued healing prayers---Ruthie

Sunday, June 19, 2011

First and foremost, Happy Father’s Day!  Bonnie, Suzanne and I have been blessed with such an amazing father.  We are so grateful for all that he’s always done for us and continues to do.  Even the day after this surgery when he was able to tell me to “be careful on my drive home and call someone when I got there”.  I guess even when you’re still a little “loopy” from anesthesia you still don’t lose the dad in you.

As happy as we are to have such a great dad, we still did not have the joyous Father’s Day that we’d hoped for.  Sunday morning Mom and Dad were told that Dad has developed a small fistula.  FISTULA – oh how we HATE that word!  This is a devastating blow!  Fistulas are what he had before and what we wanted more than anything to eliminate.  It’s thought to be very small and Dr. Saggi feels like it could heal on its own in 3-4 weeks.  That is our ultimate prayer right now.  Please continue to pray for the healing of this fistula.  - Tracy

Friday, June 17, 2011

The cause of the fever has not yet been determined.  New antibiotics have begun and yesterday Louie had a CT scan to check the appearance of the bowel. There is some leakage, however,we hope this has nothing to do with the intestines or anything major but rather may have another origin.  Dr. Saggi ordered a wound vac to draw out the fluid. The CT scan I believe showed nothing negative but was inconclusive. Today he went to Nuclear  Medicine for a HIDA scan.  This lasts for an hour in a tube like apparatus. . Louie was wrapped up in this velcro binder thing which made him feel in his words like a "burrito". Not fun, but done.
We will keep you posted if we find out anything.  Dr. Saggi has surgery now and a transplant later so it is a busy day for him . He is really fabulous and takes good care of Louie. Our prayer now is for the bowel to be doing well and the leaking to be a fixable issue.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The good and the not so good...

The Good
Currently mom and dad have a new "home".  He's been transferred out of ICU/IMU and to a regular room (RM 923).  This certainly means progress and I'm amazed at how quickly things are moving this time around.  I say "mom and dad have a new home", because this also means that Mom and Aunt Rose aren't sleeping in the waiting room anymore. :)  Dad was able to sit in a chair yesterday for 2 hours (not a regular guest chair, a neurochair).  It wasn't comfortable (and was painful), but he did it! 

Not So Good
Okay guys, your prayers worked wonders on the swollen arm so I'm coming here with another request.  This morning he has fever.  I guess this is his next hurdle, so whatever prayers you sent up earlier this week please send them again.  Maybe this has something to do with the central line, but hopefully it is doesn't mean that infections are setting into any of his surgicial sites.  Until later. - Tracy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The ultrasound showed a superficial vessel that may cause the swelling. This is not harmful, so no additional care is needed other than possibly a bit if heat. Thank you again for your continued prayers.

Bump in the Road

Hopefully this is just a small bump and not truly a setback.  Dad's right arm is swollen.  He will be taken for an ultrasound this morning to check for a blood clot or a problem with the central line.  A better case scenario would be fluid build up. Dad's really worried about this, so please pray that they determine the cause (and are able to fix it) soon. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Touched By An Angel

Yesterday I started the day in the most wonderful way. I looked across the waiting room to see my dear friend, Judith. We hugged and greeted each other joyously. It was again more than a coincidence to see her because Judith was scheduled for housekeeping on the 8th floor. When she came in, her supervisor oddly sent her to Hermann 3--ICU.  If you don't remember Judith , I can only describe her as an angel sent to me at the most unusual times. She would comfort and reassure me when I was afraid and later celebrate with me when I was most hopeful. She confidently told me that Louie would indeed wake up (even though much time had passed with no signs of this). I only saw her a handful of times but she seemed to "know" things. Yesterday she reminded me that God always has a plan laid out for us. Sometimes we must wait paitiently to see that plan (as in our case) but it's always in place. I told her how much her kindnes and faith meant to me in those chance encounters. I called her my angel. She said that we all have someone in time of need that God,in his goodness, sends to us.

This may be difficult for some people to understand. You may not believe the odd circumstances that caused me to see Judith at random times in our previous 9 months at Hermann and again now. It doesn't really matter if you believe her to be an angel, as I do, or not. If we could all be a little more like her the world would be a better place. I'll tell you why I think this to be true. When I look into those beautiful brown eyes I see deep faith, love and acceptance. No matter what you believe, know this---------JESUS shines through Judith.

Blessing to you all, Ruthie
All continues to go very well. Dad said yesterday, "if visitors come tell them to wake me up; I don't want to miss seeing anyone."  We laugh at this, because back in the early part of 2009 hundreds of visitors came and he wasn't awake to see any of them!  We are just so thankful to be having such a different ICU experience.  I could go on an on about how different it is.  First and foremost he's awake!  He's not telling mom "to go get his other wife".  He's not insisting that the nurses are all drug dealers who stash weapons in his bedding.  He knows who all of us are and he speaks coherently! 
He's been watching TV and flipping channels.  His only complaint is that he doesn't get the channels that play "westerns" all day.  I personally don't even remember them having a TV in their previous ICU rooms.  I hear that they did, but it never once was turned on.  I guess  I didn't realize that people back there actually watched TV.  I thought everyone was in "our boat"; making brief visits with little activity.  He's asked to have his cell phone at his bedside, but apparently that's against the rules.  He has many friends that he's ready to call!
They've spoke about trying to get him out of bed sometime toward the end of this week.  Undoubtedly this will be painful, but its progress that far supercedes the timeline I had in mind.  Recovery is off to a great start!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Another good day
Today Louie reunited with a very dear friend-----the remote control.  He sleeps a lot but like most men happily flips the stations during his awake moments.  This is somenthing we women will never understand but I have to say, today I love it, because it looks so NORMAL.
    Yesterday he said he felt like an old dog--that had been run over. Today he expressed feelings akin to a butchered chicken.  These men with country roots certainly have colorful ways to express themselves!  The main thing is the pain is tolerable, his sense of humor is in place, and the doctors are happy.
With thanks to God, so are we................
Blessings to all of you,   Ruthie

Friday, June 10, 2011

The good news continues. He had a great night. We knew he would be weaned from the vent today, but were very surprised that he was already off this morning. He's groggy and sleeping most of the time, but he has opened his eyes and talked a little bit. To answer most questions he just nods, but it's easy to tell that he's coherent. It's so nice to have him already awake today. He squeezed my hand when I asked, and wow he's stronger than I remember! Mom is back visiting with him now. Unlike in the first go round, he does remember that he's married to her. :) Life is good!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


"Behold, behold the mighty one has done great things for me."

Surgery is complete, healing has begun!!! I have cried this evening; tears of pure thankful JOY! To each of you who prayed, lifting Louie up - please know how powerful your prayers are. I feel as if ALL of you were here in this waiting room with us. Your love and devotion to Louie is unmeasurable.
We will continue to ask God to protect him from infection or leaking intestine, but this leg of the relay race is moving closer to the finish line.

Friends, family, and even strangers - You are our companions on the journey and with all our hearts we thank you!
The book of Mark says if you ask for anything in faith, and truly believe, you will receive it.

We believe with all our hearts... We believe.

God's blessings,
Ruthie, Tracy, Bonnie, and Suzanne
Dr. Saggi has been to meet with us and his words things are going "better than best case scenario". Plastics are not finished but should be shortly. He will then be moved to transplant ICU. We are waiting patiently in the same waiting room where we waited on January 28,2009. Today's updates have all been great news. We've heard that things are wrapping up and he should be out of surgery soon.
We hear that the doctors will be able to use a flap from the left leg to cover the abdomen. This is preferable to using skin from a donor (which was a possibility). They have not yet done the flaps, but they've reported that he is doing well and the surgery should last another 4-5 hours (if this is the case it will be much shorter than the original estimate). Thanks so much for your prayers. God continues to hold Louie in his hands.
The latest report says that Dr. Saggi has finished his part. Ten additional centimeters were removed however he must have had more small intestine than they originally thought. He still has ~75 centimeters remaining. This is 15cm more that we even thought he had. Now plastic surgeons are beginning their part with Dr. Saggi assisting.
We thank you for your continued prayers!
Update: going well, Dr. Saggi is still working on the reconnection and plastics has not started yet. Dad is tolerating it well but they said it will be very long. Things started late this morning and we just learned they actually didn't start the operation until 10:37.

In surgery

Things got started a bit late this morning, but they took him back a little while ago. I will post updates that we get during the day. Please keep him and the surgeons in prayer. We know he is in the best of hands. - Tracy

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Healing By: Marilyn Goerig

In the beginning we feared the worst
As Louie fought for his life;
We prayed and begged God for healing
If he could only survive.

Many months of struggles
To manage all of the problems;
It seemed like every step was uphill
On a steep and rocky mountain.

Louie did survive the trauma,
God answered many prayers;
We began to rejoice in the thought
All this was leading somewhere.

This time as we pray for healing
Please give his doctors the skills;
To bring Louie all the way back
From his disabling ills.

Return him to health and wellness
In life as he knew it before;
Put him on the path to recovery
And open every door.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

To our Companions on the Journey:

Once again I find myself reaching out to each of you! Louie will definitely be having the surgery to reconnect his intestines and remove the fistulas that are outside his body. Plastic surgeons will then cover all of this with blood supply and skin to protect the abdominal area.We will go in to Hermann Memorial on the June 8th with surgery performed on the morning ofJune 9th They predict it will be long--15 -18 hours. He is really frightened of this and tears up often about it. His fears seem to come from the length of the surgery, the deep areas that they will take off his legs to cover the abdomen and maybe the possibility of dying. Truthfully I cry with him at times as we anticipate an opportunity to possibly to live more normally, or things not working out and infection and more fistulas developing. Dr. Saggi and the 2 other surgeons feel he is mentally and physically ready but fear is still real. Talking to Tracy, we have organized a "reaching out" for friends and family to send him notes of support BEFORE the surgery. These can be mailed to our home (2105 Kirby Dr.) emailed to or just dropped off at the library or our house. Recently, Father Gary had a most poignant sermon about a marathon in which he participated . Overwhelmed by the fatigue he felt he could go no farther on his 'cement' legs, The people lining the course who cheered him were critical . When he felt absolutely exhausted in the last of the 26 miles, he came upon parishioners shouting words of encouragement and promising to "see him at the finish line". He went on to finish the race. What a great parallel this story is for the difficult times in life. A kind word or spoken prayer can go a long way. If you could find a moment to write Louie a note of support it would mean so much. Also a prayer service will be held on Monday June 6th at 6:30 pm. He will be annointed again at this time. There is such power in" two or more gathered in His name". I long for that kind of intercession for Louie. Marilyn Goerig is also organizing volunteers to cover him with prayer constantly during the surgery. Finally, I want to thank all of you!!! You have been a tremendous source of love and encouragement in our 2 1/2 year marathon.We are so grateful to have you run what we hope will be this last leg of the race with us and ultimately we pray to rejoice with each of you "at the finish line."

Love to you all,


Wednesday, May 18, 2011


By: Marilyn Goerig

Bonnie’s wedding day is done;
It’s now a lifetime memory.
From the dress, to the flowers, to the “I do’s”;
With hundreds of friends and family.
The wedding date was moved;
So Louie could do his part.
Moving the wedding for Bonnie was easy;
It was only a matter of the heart.

Louie wore a tuxedo;
He was quite a handsome sight.
He walked Bonnie down the aisle;
In church, there was not a dry eye.

Louie needs our prayers again;
He is hoping for a brand new start.
With a little Faith, it will be easy;
It is only a matter of the heart.

We are still waiting on the surgery.  Last week it was decided that a third surgeon would be be included in what is expected to be a quite lengthy procedure (15-18 hrs).  The good news the surgeons are wonderful and a game plan is definitely in place.  The bad news is: due to the coordination of their schedules it definitely will not be this week or next week.  There will be another meeting this week, and hopefully THEN we will finally have a date.  Until then we're just waiting...

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Daddy's Wish, A Daughter's Love

“I won’t have the wedding without you, Dad”. “Don’t worry, Bonnie, I’ll be there”. A recent exchange between Bonnie and Louie revealed that the wonderful wedding that Bonnie had carefully planned might now conflict with the opportunity for Louie to have the long awaited surgery to reconnect his intestines. This surgery combined with the skill of a plastic surgeon to cover and protect the intestines would be very serious. Recovery time could be extensive. This was the opportunity for her dad to eat regularly, eliminate the leaking bag, and possibly move forward to a new “normal” in his life. She \planned the wedding so far out with a 14 month engagement only to have the surgery now appear to collide with the wedding . Bonnie, however, never looked back in her joyous encouragement to have the surgery as soon as possible. There were worries about whether dad would be recovered enough to attend the June 25th wedding. If complications occurred she could not fathom having the wedding without him there. No, answers, no promises… Hospital stays can be unpredictable as we learned in the past. Uncharted territory can sometimes have roadblocks. ….Bonnie , with Michael’s blessing started a ball rolling that took her entire June 25th wedding --church, civic center, caterer , florist, photographer etc. etc EVERY DETAIL to early May. She literally “picked up” the whole wedding and moved to a week before the surgery. Truly God had a hand in this.
In summary, on May 7th, 2011, Louie will proudly walk Bonnie down the aisle of St. Philip Church to marry Michael Kaspar. It will be a joyous and proud moment as we are surrounded by family and friends. I have learned much from this experience---Life doesn’t always conform to our carefully planned agenda, however, with God anything is possible.  Most of all I’ve learned that the most precious gift doesn’t come wrapped in shiny paper.There may be no beautiful bow or glittery ribbon. You might not even be able to unwrap the tissue and tape. Why? Because sometimes the most precious gift is the gift of love.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


"I know the plans I have for you", says the Lord,  "plans to prosper and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

 Message from Ruthie:

Our visit to Dr. Saggi was a good one, for many changes are in the works.  First of all, Louie will begin immediately to have "Vital", a shake-like supplement 3 times a day.  It comes in FLAVORS!  Hopefully it will be very tasty.  We also found out that his liver is not permanently damaged, and possibly can be improved by this introduction to food that will cause it to work a bit. 

He has very little small intestine (approximately 60-70 cm) compared to what most of us have ~700 cm .  The large intestine is shortened as well, however  Dr. Saggi feels that these amounts are still ENOUGH to attempt to reconnect him. Bonnie, Louie and I all had tears of joy!  This event could be soon.  We will return in two weeks to see what effect the supplement is having on him and make further plans from there.

Although it has been our prayer for so long, and that of so many prayer warriors who speak to God on Louie's behalf, it is a bit scary.    We do know from past experience however, that if God brings you to it, He will bring  you through it.  He has given us all of the tools needed on this long journey starting with a wonderful EMS crew, Dr. Red Duke, supportive family and friends, cooperative workplaces, to finally Dr. Saggi (a reputable specialist referred to us by Dr. Duke). 

Thank you, thank you, for your prayers.  You are all our campanions on the journey.  Although we know that unexpected things can always happen, we constantly remind ourselves of those words that mean so much.  God has plans for Louie's future, plans to prosper and not to harm him.  We gratefully hold on to this new gift, the gift of HOPE.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Prayers for the Liver

Today Mom and Dad headed back to Hermann for Dad's liver biopsy.  His liver has not be functioning well, and this is will help determine the next move.  We pray that the damage is not permanent.  Next Tuesday they will meet with Dr. Saggi again to go over all the results. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Louie!

Today my old man turns 57.  Two years ago, things were more bleak, and we compiled a very long list of our favorite things in honor of his 55th birthday.  Last year we were were so thankful to be able to celebrate with one heck of a party!  Today on his 57th birthday he headed off to his exercise class this morning and he'll probably mill around town later today.  Tomorrow is a big day for him; he and mom will  head to Houston and meet with Dr. Saggi (the transplant surgeon that Dr. Duke recommended).  We hope that this may be an answer to our prayers.  Happy Birthday Dad!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Appointment 2/7/11

Yesterday Dad returned to see Dr. Duke. The wait was long (Duke's a busy man), but thankfully he was ready to discuss the questions mom had compiled. Questions about the dreaded central line in his neck,  line infections and difficulty inserting new lines, alternative bandages, and most importantly - WHAT'S NEXT?  
Duke is concerned that there is not enough small intestine left (with removal of the fistulas), because so much was removed in the first few weeks following the accident.  We do know however that the amount of large bowel remaining is adequate.  Therefore Dr. Duke is referring Dad to a fellow surgeon, Dr. Bob Saggi. He's already spoken to this surgeon, and he will make an appointment for Dad to see him. Dr. Saggi will then determine if dad is a candidate for a small bowel transplant.

We having been looking for a door to open; to know what to do next? We pray that this is it. If he is not a candidate, then maybe there is something else for him. He desperately wants to one day be able to eat something again, and regain enough strength to hold his grandkids.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Dad will go back to see Dr. Duke on Monday, and we are asking for additional prayers.  Unfortunately the central line did end up in his neck last week; so he's trying to get used to that. 

The following was written by Marilyn Goerig for my mom and dad. 


I’ve never been a patient person;

My husband would be first to agree.
But over the years I’ve improved;
When I let go, let God, not me.
Louie, on the other hand,
Is the most patient person I know.
Even before this terrible event,
He seemed to go with the flow.

The last two years have been traumatic;
A hardship to say the least.
The pain, the weakness, the bandages;
And missing each family feast.

He has been an inspiration,
Strengthening everyone’s Faith.
The Bible tells us be patient;
For all good things we wait.

We’ve been less persistent in our prayers;
As we beg for Louie’s recovery.
It’s time for a renewed fervor;
With each petition and plea.

In a renewed cry for healing,
We’ll join together as before;
To lift our hearts and voices,
And storm heaven’s gates once more.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Another Test of Patience - Waiting

As usual things don't follow our plan, and again we are waiting (trying to be patient).  Friday marked two years, but Friday evening Dad developed a fever (reaching 103), and he wound up back in the hospital.  It's been determined that he has a line infection, but we are also "patiently waiting" to see what else the culture might grow.  His appointment with Dr. Duke will have to be rescheduled for a later date while the issue at hand is taken care of.  We know that Tuesday he will have to get a new line.  With Dr. Duke's appointment postponed, we have a new prayer request.  These lines have proven to be very difficult to insert.  It seems that he has run out of veins to use.  We pray that they are able to find a vein on his upper shoulder to insert the line; so he can be as comfortable as possible.  He once had to have one of these lines in his neck and it was terrible!

Friday, January 28, 2011


2 years, my gosh was it really 2 years ago that so much changed?  2 years ago, we all went off to work as usual, and that evening things quickly spiraled beyond our control.  Whoever would have thought that that cold night in January would be able to be replayed so vividly 2 years later. 

The message below was written by Mom and Dad's friend Donna, and it truly touch both their hearts.  Sometimes living in the here and now and taking each day as it comes can be difficult; but for that we pray!

Hi all, well it has been nice to not have any crisis involving Louie lately isn't it? He has been doing well but is not done yet. It will be 2 years on Friday since the accident. He is mobile and drives himself to exercise and various places. He has had several episodes of pancreatitis but has dealt with them admirably here locally without a trip to Houston. But Monday he will be going in for a check up with Dr. Red.
I guess the purpose of this email is to ask that we all continue to pray for Louie. While he is maintaining his lifestyle and health, he is not done. He still deals with the fistulas, leaking and bandaging and not eating. He still hasn't regained his stamina and endurance which has hopes will return with the final surgery. He wants to be done with the drainage and get on with his life. Even if things do not go as planned with surgery, if he could just get closed up to be able to function without that bandage. Ruthie and I often talk about how much the prayers did for him in the beginning. How prayer truly saved his life.
We both believe the power of prayer is what guided each of the steps between Jan. 28 2009 and today.
I guess what I am saying is that I am as guilty as the rest of not perhaps praying with the intensity I should for Louie, though pray I do. He truly needs our prayers to complete this journey - to pass the finish line and resume his life as normally as possible. So please pray, pray for a good appointment, for some closure possibly and for the strenghth and patience to do it all in God's time. thank you for always being there.