Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13, 2011 (Accessory Pathway)

This month payroll is deducting all of our benefits from our paycheck when Chris had to take unpaid leave for Jackson. With basically no paycheck coming in, literally over $3000 in medical bills due, I felt overwhelmed. Then our car broke last week. Then I received a letter that our insurance is reviewing their contractual responsibility for certain coverage for Jackson. I went from overwhelmed to exhausted to endless tears. "When can I rest God? When can I truly take a deep breath?" Then I was reminded of this:

It was September 15, 2011. It is a day I will never forget. It was nearing 5:00 am when Jackson woke up for his early morning feeding. The world was quiet below our high rise room at Texas Children's Hospital. Jackson was 8 days old. It was a Thursday and we were nearing the Friday "decision day" as to whether or not the doctors thought he would need a pacemaker. My heart was burdened beyond what I thought I could bear. I began to pray and everything in me just couldn't find the words to say. I was exhausted, I was beaten down, I was under attack. I woke Chris and said, "I just feel like Jackson's life is under attack and we need to get up now and pray."

We prayed nonstop for the next two hours. Walking around our small hospital room as Jackson's cords hung from his tiny innocent body, I wept as I cried out for a miracle. "Jesus, please heal him. Touch his body and hold his heart." 7:00 am rolled around and our nurse practitioner came in to look at Jackson. Everything seemed "normal" and she said they would be back for their normal rounds. Normal... it's almost a word that seems like a joke for Jackson. His heart is backwards, his average heart rate was in the 80's and it never had gone above 90. Jackson's EKG came at about 12:30 and that's when everything changed. The computer screen came up and his heart rate was in the 120's. The technician was confused and then excited. Holding Jackson's hand I cried. I thought for sure... "This is it, he's finally healed!" I was giddy and overcome by emotions.

It was late in the afternoon that a knock on our door brought the EKG technician into our room again. He said, "The doctor's didn't believe me that this was the right one for this baby." Sure enough, his heart was up, no sign of complete heart block. It turns out that Jackson's AV block (Complete heart block) was still there and is still currently. What they were able to find was that he has an accessory pathway in which he conducts electrical pulses through to get his heart rate up. The doctors said they were confused because he had to have been born with it, but it was unusual for him to never use it until his eighth day of life.

A mystery to them, an answered prayer to us. There is no medical answer to why these things continue to happen in Jackson's life. For 9 months in my uterus and eight days of life he functioned with no accessory pathway and yet on the very morning that I woke up and felt his very life being fought over in the spiritual realm he begins to use this miraculous fiber to keep his heart beating at a pace normal to the average baby. Since then we have ran 3 different holter (24 hour) periods in which they have not seen any periods of complete heart block. His average heart rate continues to be in the 120's.

Though even after that there ups and downs of our hospital stay including a surgery scheduled and canceled, Jackson came home with nothing but a simple medication given to him every 12 hours. On his 8th day of life, a battle was raging, a war was being fought and then as prayers were being raised, God stood glorified. Where science can not answer to these things, I know that the God that I serve can. We have yet to see just how miraculous Jackson's heart is.

So today with a heavy heart on all of the practical items of our fight for Jackson, I am reminded that God is never far. The battle is still being fought and the storm is brewing. Will I choose to stand and fight or will I keep my head buried in my tear soaked hands? The God who has faithfully carried us this far would never drop us now.

"Never give up, at your lowest moment God may be preparing you for the biggest thing you'll ever do." --Chuck Colson From today's Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast


  1. AMEN. Praise God you responded to the nudge. He has been preparing you for this- the sheep respond to the shepherd because they know the sound of his voice. I join you in your continued petitions, knowing that we're pressing in to the Father of Lights who has greater gifts for you than you could ever imagine Kathryn. A perceived "defect" in your son's heart has brought you closer than ever to His throne. You have angels surrounding each corner of your home as we speak, God's performing physical miracles in Jackson's heart and spiritual ones in yours and all of our lives. Redemption. Things we've deemed impossible, becoming possible. I'm praying over your bills for this also.
    With love,

  2. You are on our thoughts and in our prayers Elliot Family!!

  3. I got tears this morning just re-reading this to Warren after having read your update that NO surgery is needed at this time! There is nothing more to say then "we have a great God" and Jackson has a very big purpose for life. Blessings to your family.