Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Surgery Day

UPDATE #4 4:12 p.m. We have been sitting with Chloe for over two hours now. She is not awake yet and is still on the breathing tube. Her color is good and she does not look swollen at all. Of course, she has many tubes coming from her all doing different things, but we know what these are doing for her. And to make it even better, Chloe's nurse in the ICU is Jeff's cousin. How comforting and reassuring that is! Her doctors are pleased with her numbers and are carefully monitoring her. They plan for the breathing tube to come out some time this evening, so that will be the next step in her recovery. We will continue to update on her progress, along with any specific prayer requests that come up. For now, we thank God this day has gone so well. We can't wait for Chloe to be able to read all the loving and supporting comments and emails! THANK YOU!

UPDATE #3 11:53 a.m. God provided an amazing surgeon for Chloe. We just received an update from him about Chloe's surgery. He told us that her valve is quite deformed and at first he wasn't even sure he could repair it. After stitching for a while, he realized that wasn't going to work. After pondering it, he got an idea, something he hadn't tried before (he's been a surgeon for 30 years!). So he took his previous stitching out, re-did his repair, and was pleased with the results. Of course, the valve is not perfect, and we knew that, but it is good enough for now. It might, and most likely will, have problems later but for now, it is an answer to prayer. And we are so unbelievably grateful. We will update again after we get to see Chloe. Your prayers are helping us through!

UPDATE #2 11:25 a.m. Praise God! The surgeon has repaired her valve and is happy with the outcome. No replacement valve! Right now they are closing her chest. They left her chest open while they watched her repaired valve work using the Echo. Since they were satisfied with how it looked, they will now close her chest and bring her up to ICU. We will meet with the surgeon in about half an hour and then see Chloe after the nurses get her settled in ICU, in maybe two hours. Thank you, thank you for your prayers. Thank you God, for a successful surgery. More updates later...

UPDATE #1 10:45 a.m.We received an update from someone on the nedical team caring for Chloe. She is on bypass, her chest is open and the surgeon is looking at her valve. We are a little concerned because we were under the impression that he felt confident he could repair the valve rather than replace it. Without going into too much detail right now, valve repair is a much better alternative to replacement. MUCH. But we were told there is some skepticism about being able to do a good repair. Please, please pray that a repair is possible. We know God is in control, we know Chloe is in God's hands. We know if the valve gets replaced, that is God's will. But we boldly ask that God will enable her valve to be repaired and that God will give us His perfect peace no matter what the outcome.

It is 9:30 Tuesday morning. Chloe's dad and mom are sitting in the ICU waiting room. Two hours ago we watched a team of doctors and nurses wheel Chloe away for surgery. We have not received any updates yet, but we were told it would be a couple of hours before we heard anything. So we wait. We pray, we drink our coffee, we talk, laugh and cry. We are comforted by the prayers we know are being said for Chloe all morning, we are comforted by God's word, and we are comforted by the comments and emails left for Chloe. We even had the privilege to pray with a single mom whose son is having heart surgery today. She was here all by herself, sending her son off to surgery with no friends or family to walk her through this. We asked if she wanted to pray with us, so she sat with us and we prayed for Chloe and her son. We are so blessed by the love and support of friends and family and were happy to be able to share that with her. So far, no news is supposed to mean good news. We will update whenever we hear something.

Another "God is here" moment - yesterday we were able to get a room at the Ronald McDonald house. It is 2 blocks away from the hospital. They do not take reservations because they never know when a child will be discharged and a family will leave. We called Monday morning and they still had no room. In the afternoon, we were speaking with the cardiology department social worker about lodging, and she said she would call and check again for us. A few minutes later she came out of her office and said, "Guess what! A room JUST opened up and I grabbed it for you." I (Chloe's mom) said to Chloe, "Wow! Isn't that amazing!" And Chloe said, "No, Mom. That's God." Indeed, it is!

Chloe at the Rondald McDonald house early this morning. Good morning Sunshine!

Just minutes before Chloe was wheeled away for surgery. Look at her sweet smile, even with mom crying by her side! What an amazingly brave girl.


  1. A co-worker/friend (who goes to our church) and I are praying for you this morning, Chloe. You are such a brave girl. May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

  2. Praying and crying along with Chloes mom (and I've never even met you). Praying though. What a brave little girl. God has great plans for her, I'm sure!

  3. That tattered, well-loved blanket is making me cry. Don't all our kids hang onto those (my brother took his to Calvin by the way :)Praying for you, Chloe, your family, the other little boy with a surgery, and the whole team of medical staff who will be helping you today.

  4. Crying along with you, Charity. We prayed for you all at MIT this morning. Love the pictures of Chloe and her sweet smile. Praise God that you were able to get into the RM house.

    Jill Edstrom

  5. Thanks for the pictures and the report of what is happening. You are in my prayers all morning and we anticipate another God moment as Chloe is in His Almighty hand.

    Jon Kroeze

  6. Hello,

    Prayed for you all this morning. Chloe you are an amazingly brave girl. We will continue to check your blog for updates.

    Mike and Rachael Segard (Went on a trip with your dad.)

  7. Chloe is such a brave girl, and so are her parents! Praying with you this morning.

  8. Just read the update! I am praying! Love you!

  9. I just read the 11:25 update and am flooded with relief and joy for you with the report that the valve was repaired. I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I am so grateful with you and empathize with you, Jeff and Charity, as Chloe's parents. I can only imagine the praise in your hearts. I will keep praying for God's hand of protection and healing. Praise God you are this far!

  10. I am checking the blog contantly & am so grateful for the 11:25 update!!

  11. Thinking of you and praying all day. My second graders are praying also. Love and prayers to you all!

  12. Chloe you are continually in our prayers. Uncle Chris has been calling this morning from school to ask about your progress! We love you!

  13. I just got in from work to check your update, praise God from whom all blessing flow! I am so thankful for your surgeon and the wisdom God gave him and all of the ways that God has shown himself to you! Love to you all. G. A. Judy

  14. Thank you so much for the updates. We have been praying all morning. Sounds like things are going just right.
    Sandy Bouwer

  15. Thank you Father for the steady hands and wisdom of the surgeon! Please allow CHloe to have a speedy recovery!
    You are good. ALL the time.

  16. Following you closely via Twitter updates from @charlesfmiller! My thoughts and prayers are with you all!

    Pediatric Perfusionist
    San Antonio, Texas

  17. I'm sitting here crying, praying, and thanking God for a successful surgery. we love you\, Chloe, and will continue to pray! My whole bible study stopped this morning for a few minutes to pray together while you were in surgery. We praise God for the good report!


    Aunt Alison and family

  18. Many tears! Tears of understanding, of joy and of thankfulness. Praising God wth you that Chloe's surgery went well!!!! Continuing to pray for speedy recovery and no "speed bumps" along the way! :) Hang in there!!!!!!!!!
    Cheryl S

  19. When I saw Chloe's beautiful smile on your udpate I was amazed. I shouldn't have been though. When I looked at the picture again I saw God's love just beaming through her.

    I can't wait to hang out with you again soon over a cup of coffe and hear about all the "God moments" you've experienced!

  20. I am crying with tears of thankfulness that surgery went well. (Actually I didn't really cry until I saw the picture of Charity crying.) Praise God. I have been praying all day with a confidence that God will do a good work here and He never lets us down, does He?
    Say hi to Chloe for us all!
    Rod and Nancy Genzink, Nick, Kennedy and Keagan

  21. What an answer to prayer!!! Chloe, you are an amazing young girl. I can see God's love flowing from you in your smile in the pictures posted. We pray now that you experience minimal pain and quick healing. Jeff and Charity, Chloe is lucky to have such wonderful parents. We pray that God will sustain you and give you strength now to care for Chloe. Thanks so much for the updates! We will continue to pray for you all!

    With our love,
    Mark, Shelly, Matthew, Katie & Rylan Prins

  22. Yeah! Go God!
    Rejoicing with you!
    U-paul, A-Grace and "boyz" :)VL

  23. Praise God for another successful outcome! We have been thinking about you all day yesterday and today. Malachi has also been very interested in your progress. We are continually praying for you and your recovery. You are so strong in your faith and we are very thankful to have you as our niece/cousin.

  24. My 4th grade class at Rose Park prayed for Chloe several times today. We are so grateful that the surgery went well and that God is holding Chloe in his hand!

  25. I'm so glad your surgery went well! Praise God!! you are such a brave girl and God has wonderful plans for you!

  26. I have goose bumps and chills as I read all that has been going on today. Thank you Lord for your steady hand on Chloe's doctors and for the progress she has made so far!

  27. Praise God for the work he has done through the surgeons hands!!! Continually praying for Chloe's recovery!!! What a wonderfully and beautifully made girl Chloe is!!!

  28. Thanks for the update again. I have "Chloe" written on a sheet by me while I'm doing my household chores, laundry, etc. Everytime I read her name, I say a little prayer for whatever is going on at that moment for her mom, dad and Chloe herself. I pray she's resting and having good comforting dreams while her body adjusts to this new plan.

  29. Praise God for answered prayer re. the surgery!
    We were blessed by your updates through the day.

  30. I just want to say GO GOD!! I continue to pray for sweet Chloe

    (I am a friends of Lisa F)

  31. Blessed are you Lord for intervening on the surgeon's behalf and enlightening him on the way you wanted her surgery to go! For a surgeon to up and do something he has never done before sounds like a true God moment to me. I would say Jesus took the wheel at that point!Chloe are prayers and hope for a safe and healthy recovery are with you.

    Uncle Chris

  32. We are rejoicing with you that the valve was repaired and not replaced. We are asking our Father in heaven to stand by your sides the rest of your journey and see you through as only He can do. Praising Him for His presence!
    Mike and Brenda Perton

  33. Hi Chloe! I am so glad your surgery went well! I have been praying for you a lot. You have much more courage than I would have if I were going through what you are! When I read the blog today, I got goosebumps. Wow, you are an amazing girl. God has big plans for you!(I am one of Clayton's friends).

  34. chloe
    i love you are you happy?
    beautiful heart of chloe

  35. Chloe...glad your surgery went well. Will keep praying for you. I hope you feel better soon so you can come back to school and PLAY!!!!!!! Miss you tons!
    LOVE, Gretchen

  36. Hey Chloe!!!
    I'm glad your surgery went well!
    You are such a brave girl :)
    Hope you get out and about soon!!
    Michelle Busscher

  37. Chloe,

    What a strong, brave girl you are. I'm so glad your surgery was a success. My daugher is 2 and just had her 3rd heart surgery in June. You girls are amazing! I'm sure the Good Lord has quite a lovely plan for you guys :)

    Jen Wright

  38. Chloe
    Been thinking about you all day! So glad to hear that everything went well. We will keep praying for you and your family.

    Loved reading the blog and looking at the pictures--your parents did a great job!

    Dave, Sue, Stephen, Michelle and Joshua

  39. Chloe vanderlaan
    go home love lydia !!!

  40. Chloe,
    I am glad your surgery went well. We will see you back at school
    We were praying for you in our class and we will keep praying for
    Lauren Veldboom

  41. Chloe,
    It was my pleasure and my honor to help take care of you today. You are so brave and and patient with all the things we had to do to help you get better! My prayers now are for a restful night of recovery and a smooth road out of the ICU! You are so strong!!

  42. Chloe, you have such a beautiful smile and heart!! We are covering you all in prayer and our thoughts have been with you. We are so thankful for the updates, picts, and of course great reports of what God has done! We are praising Him with you!

  43. That is AMAZING! God is really watching over Chloe! Praise be to him! I hope Chloe continues to feel better!
    - Clara Dreyer

  44. Chloe,
    You are a very brave girl! I hope your recovery keeps on going smoothly and I am still praying for you! God has big plans for you!
    Remember, God is ALWAYS watching over you and taking care of you!
    Hope you feel better soon!
    p.s. I'm one of Clayton's friends.

  45. Hi Chloe,
    As others have said, you are a brave girl! My son is almost 13, but had his second open heart surgery at the same age that you are now. He also loves to read and is a volunteer video camera operator at our church, where one of his favorite songs is (like you) "Mighty to Save". I'm going to show your website to him in the morning, and he and I will be praying for you.

  46. Chloe,
    I have been praying for you every day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I miss you very much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your website is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have a awesome HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a brave girl!!!!!!!!!!!

  47. Hope Frieling said...
    I hope you are doing better we have been praying for you! Hopefully you will be able to come back to school soon! Read lot's of books while you are recovering! You are very brave! We will still pray for you and I hope you have a good day! God will never leave you! Bye! (I am Clayton's friend)
    From Hope