Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Meeting with Dr. Carson - Jessie's surgeon

Today, we met the surgeon that will be doing Jessie's hemispherectomy on June 11th, Dr. Ben Carson. He was a very quiet man, and a gentleman. Soft spoken, yet funny, and made us feel as comfortable as possible in this situation. There was a film crew in the conference from CBS, but it was like we didn't even know that they were there. We focused on Jessie and what had to be done. He explained most of what we already knew, but it was important that we went through the formalities, as he had no idea what we knew and that we had been researching this for so many months. I was very impressed with him, and so was Kristi.

We expected a 10 feet tall man, with a superman cape, but what we found was a humble compassionate man who only cared about our sweet little girl, and making her better. Her face twitched quite a bit today, and her speech is very slurred, but not as bad as yesterday. She seemed excited to meet him. I guess that she knew that we were as well, and maybe the excitement transferred over to her.

His entire staff treated Jessie so well, and we felt blessed to have him as Jessie's surgeon. Dr. Carson is arguably the world's leading surgeon on Hemispherectomies. He has done 65 in this lifetime, and was instrumental in making it a treatment for intractable seizures. He did not act like a world famous brain surgeon, however (whatever they act like). He was a man, talking to parents of a sick little girl.

When Jessie met him, she was on her best behavior. We were so proud of her. We had her dressed in one of the cute outfits that Melanie Adams brougt for her from some of Jessie's Angels and she was adorably pink. She looked like a little doll. Of course I'm her daddy, and she always looks like a doll to me.

She said "Nice to meet you Dr. Carson" in a slightly slurred Texas twang, when they met, and then shook his hand. Her eye's twitched, but also twinkled, because I think that she knew how important he was. I think that he might have been a bit taken aback, however, when she asked "Are you going to take out half my brain?" He paused, and thought for a minute, then responded with a question "Do you want me to?" and she quickly replied with a positive "Yes". This is from a 6 year-old. Jessie amazes me every day, with her maturity in dealing with this. She's 6 going on 40.

On the way through the hospital today, some random, but very nice lady called from across the hall. "Hi !! Are you Jessie?" She ran over and gave Kristi and Jessie a big hug and told us that she was praying for Jessie. Here we are halfway across the United States and people know Jessie's story. God, evidently decided that He needed to bring Jessie's Angels along to Baltimore in case we start feeling alone. Dr. Carson also explained to us today that prayer had been scientifically proven to help people heal faster. I'm sold !!

We check Jessie into the EMU (Epilepsy Monitoring Unit) tomorrow, and we will pray that there is no seizure activity on the left hemisphere. As soon as Dr. Vining, Jessie's Baltimore Neurologist (the leading U.S. expert on Rasmussen's) is satisfied, they will let us come home and be normal again for a while. I really just want an ice cold beer and a nice long nap.

I read that the Aledo Ladycats are headed to the Regional Semifinals in Abilene this Friday!! Great Stuff. We are cheering for those nice girls who signed the softball for Jessie. Go Ladycats!!

All Our Love,

Cris and Kristi


Anonymous said...

Hello Jessie and Chris and Kristy...Miss Megan and Miss Kim and all your friends at New RIver are praying for you guys!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thinking about you all and sending love and prayers from Virginia.

Stacy Nicholson
Cameron’s Aunt, Right Hemi June 2007

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your great blog today! I have been praying for y'all all day long, knowing that you were so nervous to meet Dr. Carson. It sounds fabulous and I am so grateful that you felt comforted and at peace with him. I know Jessie looked like a million bucks! I had to laugh about how she surprised the Doc with her comment. I do think she is a very old soul! We hope everything goes as planned so y'all can hurry on back home! The Jennings

Anonymous said...

We are thinking of you and praying for sweet Jessie! Jaxon and the rest of Miss McGaugh's class miss Jessie and can't wait to see her!

Jeff, Becca, Jaxon, & Jett Moore

H. King said...

We are all praying for you Jessie and your strong family. Cris please know that there is power in prayer.
We are putting together a "Pretty in Pink" PTO basket for Jessie- something to look forward to.
Aledo prays for ya'll (the southern word for you guys).
Cris, we will make sure we have a cold beer for on "thirsty thursday" at Railhead! Keep Strong.
Keep us informed. H.King Aledo Sports

Anonymous said...

Much love and prayers for Jessie and the entire family from Saginaw, Tx. Hoping for good news and a safe return home.

Jai said...

So glad your visit with Dr. Carson went soooo well. He IS an amazing man of God!

My family and I are continuing to pray for you. We are praying for the following:

-no paralysis (not even partial) - we pray for full use of arms/lims
-no blindness or issues with eyesight.
-no retardation
-no seizures on going forward basis after surgery
-no more multiple medications
-limited physical and occupational therapy
-no mechanical ventilator
-no more than 2 week hospital stay
-no hemorrhaging
-no blood clotting
-no brain inflamation (aseptic meringitis)
-no strokes or seizures during surgery
-no increased fluid pressure within the remaining brain tissue
-no death
-no loose of sensation or muscle control especially on left side of body but not in right side either
-keep intellict in tact and increase her in knowledge and wisdom
-no complications with surgery or hospital or rehabilitation stay
-same bright bubbly child


Mama Grizzly said...

I just saw a report on CNN about your daughter and did a search to find your blog. I am praying for Jessie and your family an dwill be following you all on her blog. May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Anonymous said...

I just discovered your blog today-I've really appreciated reading it. My son has bilateral RE, so is unable to have the surgery, but it's interesting to read Jessie's experiences. Wishing you and your family all the best and hoping Jessie's surgery goes really well.

Tannis Anderson

Parker said...

You are certainly never alone. There is a decent amount of Texas in Baltimore, even those of us that call ourselves Ledoians. We are praying for you.

Aledo High School Class of 2006
Johns Hopkins University Class of 2010

t_tomlinson said...

Hello! I have just recently learned about your situation. I am a nursing student, so I am very interested in learning more. Also, I was wondering if you have an email address or phone number where I can reach you to talk more. Please feel free to contact me at st_ttomlinso@tarleton.edu Thank you so much for your time! My family and I are keeping Jessie and your whole family in our prayers. Hoping for the best! ~Terra

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessie and Family,
We are Sydney Smith's Grandparents from Roswell, New Mexico. We came to your school when we visited in March and we met you during lunch. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being such a good friend to Sydney. Love, Nana and Papa Richards

Anonymous said...

I am a high school firend of your Wyoming grandparents. I am presently living in Mesa, Arizona. My church is praying for all of you, and I read your blog nightly. It is always great to see your smiling face, Jessie, and know what you are doing. Love to all of you. The Jones

Anonymous said...

thanking about you all and may god bless you and everyone in your familey . she is brave god bless . from baltimore