Monday, December 22, 2008

Two Fold

This is when the kids came to see me in the regular room and only my third time to see Sarah. Holding her has been hard because the nerve endings around my scar have bothered me, but that has been getting better and I am able to hold her more. We even took a nap together the other day. It was so special to me.

What a wonderful weekend we had! Friday Luke and I took the younger girls to run some errands and it was such a beautiful day. The older kids finished this semester. And I got to visit with my college sweet-mate. Saturday was Lily’s birthday. I can remember being in the hospital and thinking there was no way they would let me out in time for that. But I was here ( a little sore) and it was great! Sunday I went to church!! It was wonderful to see everyone and to once again be in a room with a body of believers all focusing on one thing…how great a God we serve. We then ate Christmas meal at church and the ladies had an ornament exchange. I am so thankful I was able to go. We rested during the afternoon and then took the kids to TaMolly’s and the food tasted right!! (I still only managed to eat one section of me quesadilla) but it was great. Then we took the kids to look at lights. It was a wonderful weekend.



Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about  perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Romans 5:1-5

Luke preached from Romans this week and these particular verses stood out to me. I feel the need to let everyone know me version of Tuesday, October the 28th. The day started out simple enough. My dear friend Hannan agreed to come by and pick up Abigail and Lily for Bible study so Sarah and I could sleep. Luke had gone to class and was then going to pick my mother up from the airport. Sarah and I did take a nap and were refreshed by the time the two girls got home for lunch. They went down for a nap and I decided to sort through all the hospital paperwork and promotional stuff they give you till the older kids got home (a friend brought them home since Luke had the van.) He and mom got here shortly after, around 4pm. Well, I had been cramping all day, not unlike every other time I came home from delivering, only this time I didn’t have my hot water bottle, it had quit on me after Lily. So when Luke got home I asked him to run to WalMart to pick me up a heating pad. Mom had not come into the room to see me yat because she was bombarded by the other kids. The minute after Luke walked out of the door (I was on the bed holding Sarah who had just eating) I felt a wave of cold heat come over me, it was very different. I tried banging on the was behind my head (it faces the living room) and called Luke as loud as I could (our window was open) two or three times and then must have passed out for a minute. Mom came in and took Sarah, all the time calling my name (which I could hear.) I was hurting on my right side, could not breathe, and could not see. I remember slumping to my left and pointing to my side and saying “doctor,” it was all I could manage. Every now and then it felt like some giant was grabbing my side and squeezing as hard as they could, at which times I would scream uncontrollably (I hate that my kids had to hear that.) Mom called 911 but couldn’t remember my address and had to ask Hannah, who I am grateful has learned all that stuff. I don’t know how long it took the paramedics to get there but when they did, though I couldn’t see, my only concern was that I couldn’t breathe and that was all I would say “help me breathe.” It felt like they spent several minutes in the room, and then forever in the driveway. I could hear what they were saying but it was not really registering, all I could think was: if they’ll just help me breathe everything will be fine and I can go to the Dr. and see what they missed at delivery (I was certain this was just a little complication of that.) when we finally left for Greenville I remained conscious for some of the trip, but must have passed out again because I don’t remember being moved from the ambulance to the emergency room. I woke up able to see and breathe. They were giving me blood (which was helping my sight) and oxygen (which was obviously helping me breathe.) It has been explained to me since that when your body goes into shock all your organs push up around your heart in effort to protect it making it hard for me to fill my lungs and forcing me to scream as I released all the air in my lungs. It also appears that at the house all pf my blood started to pool in my abdomen, drawing away from everywhere else, which explains why they couldn’t find a vein to start and IV and why I could not see until they started the blood transfusions. In the emergency room they covered me with a foot of warm blankets because I was freezing and very thirsty (but they couldn’t give me anything to drink.) Luke was there when I woke up and I was not in as much pain. My OB came in and asked some questions and another Dr came in to consult with him. They did a sonogram to see if they could determine the source of the pain, but I never heard anything that concerned me. I was still convinced it was something simple. When they decided to do exploratory surgery I even considered asking them to go ahead and tie my tubes while they were at it but I did not think my OB would agree (he wanted me to wait two weeks to make that decision.) I was not concerned. Vicky (from church) who works at the Greenville hospital came in and prayed with me while Luke made some phone calls and then se went to relieve my mom at home so she could come to the hospital (thanks Vicky). While we waited for them to come get me for surgery they managed to get 6 units of blood into me. They had to move me from the table I was onto a mobile bed to take me to the OR and when they did the pain started back full force, and I must have been screaming because the surgeon told me to stop. I remember the anesthesiologist prepping me and then that is all I remember.

That is when I began dreaming, many very long dreams. Some where just weird, and some were horrible (nothing to do with doctors or hospitals.) I can remember thinking “I am so glad this is a dream and I can’t wait to tell Luke, that always helps me deal with my nightmares. The tough part was, between each dream I would see the same thing… a ceiling and then Luke and another person (mom, dad, Jeff, etc.) would walk up to my face and say “Hi Emily, it’s Luke and here is so and so, do you remember me?” and I wanted to say “yes I remember you silly, let me tell you about my dream.” But there was something in my mouth and I couldn’t talk. That was the longest and most frustrating dream of my life!! But I was convinced it was just that. I had forgotten at that point about the surgery.

You might be interested to know that my first memories of remembering and understanding where on the day mom claimed I was back. Even then I hallucinated often sometimes funny things (like when I shares a suite with the Obama family) and some very horrible hallucinations. The hardest part about those is that the events where taking place but I was seeing additional thing in my hallucinations that made the events feel like torture. That was by far the hardest part of this whole thing (for me.)

I want you all to know that although I may have been in pain, very frustrated, or disgusted by my ‘dreams’ I was never afraid. Even when the doctors would tell me you were dead I knew everything would me ok. God did not grant me sweet dreams as many of you prayed, but He did grant me His peace and the strength to endure. I believe I was meant to experience every single thing I experienced and nothing God allows is meaningless. He was not playing with me. Praise God! He was using me. What a privilege.

If I had not woken up I would have never known the difference and God would have been faithful to Luke and the kids, but I am grateful for the honor of being restored to my family and giving many a testimony of God’s mercy and power. I thank Him for the chance to watch my kids play another day. And I pray I will be a good steward of this awesome show of His sovereignty in all things; that I would never miss an opportunity to share him with others. Tribulation brings about  perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;…


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Field trip

Well, yesterday Luke and I decided it was time for me to get a little fresh air. Hannan had come by to take Abigail and Lily to story time and then to her house to play, so we ran some errands. Now granted I stayed in the car with Sarah for the first two stops, but then when we went to Walmart I got to ride in a scooter! Watch out worldJ. That was the most time I have spent sitting straight up though so today my ribs and stomach muscles are letting me have it. But it was still nice to get out and feel normal.

On a different note, one of the blog followers asked me this question:

“I had t been reading some columns by Ellie Lofara and she talks about preparing for trials before they happen. I would like for you to share about that spiritual part of your experience. I hope that makes sence! I think Becky shared enough about you that told me you were prepared, firm in the Word, sure of who you are in Christ, etc., could you share with us how the Lord prepared you for this season?!”

This is one of the things I really want to discuss in great detail when I m through reading the blog (I’m on November13th) but as a preview, For the past three years or so, two things have laid heavy on my heart One is to see the body of Christ be just that, united under one head-Christ, disregarding the differences we have that bear no meaning to our salvation. The second is maybe a little harder to explain, but here’s a shot.

I believe there is a great deal of confusion in today’s society as to why we are here, and what exactly our purpose is…Our identity. I think many choose a “purpose” in life and that becomes what defines them, to be a mother, a doctor, a star, whatever. But my question is what do they do if that purpose is taken from them? Why are they still here? I believe my identity and that of everyone is to be a child of God, to bring Him glory in all the tasks He entrusts me with, but not to become so obsessed with the task I forget it’s really all about Him.

Through this experience we have most definitely seen a unity of the body, praise God! And all of my “tasks” were abruptly stopped when I was in the hospital, and yet my children survived without me, my husband was a rock without me there cheering him on, my family bonded together and loved me, but not because I did anything…God did. I was unable to be aa part of Community Bible Study and yet it continued, our church survived not having me around. I am not saying I m useless or expendable, but I am saying that when I am awake God makes what I do worth while and effective, not me. And when I was not “here” God used me to minister for His glory without any help from me. It is all about Him.

I hope this helps you understand a little how I feel. I promise to write in more later.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Becky Signing Off

I just want to say what a privilege it has been for me to blog and update you on Emily's progress these past 7 weeks. It's been an amazing journey. On October 29th, a godly woman in Borger, Tx asked me to send this message to Luke:
"When Jesus heard that, He said, 'This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.'" John 11:4 And how true this Word became!

There are so many aspects to Emily's story. Emily will never know the amazing things we saw God do while she was unconscious and how we felt during that time. And we'll never know her struggle and what God has done in her heart through this process. And of course, we'll never know all the ways this has affected Luke, her husband, and the ways it has forever changed him. And then there's Janis, a mother who had to stand by and watch this crisis in her daughter's life and then her own daily struggle. Even though the children are young, I'm sure the older ones will have a story to tell some day. And it's a story that is the beginning of Sarah's life!

I know it's affected me. It's given me a new appreciation for the body of Christ and the unity that God desires so deeply for us. It's been amazing, being the blog-keeper, and seeing and hearing people come together so quickly and so dramatically for every need the Panter family had. Donations were given, meals were brought, children were cared for, prayers were prayed, cards were sent, photos were taken, gifts were given, their house was cleaned, pedicures were given---I could go on and on! THIS is what God intended for us to do and to be like all the time as the body of Christ. And what a beautiful picture for those who were watching to see! I only hope this lesson has gone deep into my soul--into all of our souls.

So...this will be my last blog. I've loved giving you a window into Emily's recovery. I've made some new friends and I have a lasting appreciation for Luke & Emily's friends. You're just some of the best people I know! May God richly bless you for all you've done for them. Just like you, I'll anxiously be waiting to hear from Emily and to know what's going on in her life. This will be my last post since Emily is able to do her own blogging now. Please don't quit praying for her and ministering to Emily and her family.

Ephesians 2:10 (Amplified)
"For we are God's [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]."

Hello World!

The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him.

Nahum 1:7

Dearest Family and Friends in Christ,

How wonderful it is to be able to write to you. I apologize it has taken this long. I am trying to read the entire blog before I really express my heart to you, but I simply could not wait. We have dial-up so you know how that is, and there is just so much to read! (I am only to November 2nd.)

You all have blessed me more than you can know and I want to thank you for all of your thoughts, kindness, generosity, and above all for your prayers. “…and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16b. I have felt your loving prayers and know that God has answered and shown Himself powerful and merciful, all for His glory. There were no circumstances or luck involved in this event, only the hand of our sovereign Father, lovingly answering the prayers of His people.

Please do not stop your prayers for me yet, as I face a long recovery and am very limited in the activities I am able to do. Pray that I am able to meet my children’s needs, and praise God for my wonderful husband who, through God’s grace, has been a rock through this whole ordeal.

I go for a follow-up cat-scan and visit with the infectious disease doctor, Dr. Spak, this Monday to see how effective the ONE antibiotic they have me on has been successesful at killing the infection in the left over liquid in my abdomen. Other than that it will just be a matter of regaining muscle tone, energy and an appetite.

Even through all the pain and frustrations, this has been a surreal and wonderful experience. What a privilege to be a tool that unites so many in one accord, agreeing in prayer. What a joy to see just how big my God is and how nothing surprises Him or can stand in His way! He has protected me and my family and touched many lives in the process. Nothing He does is without purpose, even if it does not make sense to us.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return there without watering the earth, and making it bear and sprout, and furnish seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So shall My word go forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the mater for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:8-11

I love you all and thank you again. I will write again very soon. ~Emily

P.S. I would like to thank Becky for all her hard work at keeping up this blog, It has been such a blessing, and will be a written account for my children when they are old enough to understand. Thank you, I love you.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I talked to Luke & Emily just now and they said things are going well. Emily said shes' not feeling great this morning. Her stomach seems to stay upset. They've given her some medicine to try and keep it from getting upset, but it doesn't always work. And she's trying to eat more so that she has more strength and so that it eventually helps keep her stomach where it needs to be.
The nerve endings on Emily's scar are very sensitive. She said the kids have done great with her being home, but it's hard to convince Lily not to climb into her lap! Emily said it really hurts to hold the kids---and Sarah needs constant attention---but she's unable to care for her. She can hold her a little at a time, but wears out pretty quickly.
Luke said that Mary Whitty came over yesterday and was Super Nanny! They appreciated her so much. She helped with the kids, cleaned house and even brought supper. They were very grateful for her help!!
Please continue praying for Luke, Emily & the kids and their adjustment. Thank you to everyone who is signing up to help!! It's greatly appreciated.
Emily plans on reading the blog today and then Luke & I hope to teach her how to blog. So you may begin hearing from Emily!! (They have dial-up on their computer, so it's really slow and frustrating. That's the only reason she may not blog very often right now.)

Psalm 35:9
"Then my soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Evening

Janis had talked to Luke tonight and I think their weekend went pretty smoothly. Luke preached at church today and we think Luke's parents brought the kids back and were able to stay with Emily while Luke was at church. I hated to bug them too much this weekend to get much of an update. But Janis said Luke had said they had a nice, quiet weekend.
And Janis is still trying to get well before they leave for Germany early Tuesday morning. Pray that the snow doesn't prevent them from leaving on time Tuesday!!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Quiet Weekend

I just talked to Luke and he said that all of the kids except Sarah have gone to their grandparent's house for the weekend. Luke was working on the bathroom. He's trying to hurriedly finish up the "surprise" he had for Emily. He hoped to have it finished before she got home, but didn't. So he's almost got the tile put up around the tub.
He said Emily was holding Sarah. So I know they're probably having some good bonding time. The kids will be in the country until Sunday night, so this should be a great way for Emily to re-enter family life with ease.
I know they appreciate all of the help!

Friday, December 12, 2008


If you sign up on the calendar, you will not see your post immediately. Because we've had people break into our calendar and put some ugly things on there, we're monitoring it by accepting each new addition to the calendar. So if you sign up, it will show up eventually! Or I may totally mess up and erase what you had on there! (Which I think I just did---but it was a day already gone by) So if you see something erased, try again!! I'll try to get the hang of managing it correctly!

It's Hard for Emily

Emily called me this morning and told me she is having a hard adjustment. SHE CAN DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! And this is per doctor's orders---but she also feels it. She can do nothing. They still have a huge need. Emily cannot be left alone--at all! If any of you are available to help her by coming and staying with her, helping with kids, etc.---please sign up on the calendar. (We were getting hit by spammers on the calendar, so there may be an extra step in posting on the calendar)
Please, please pray for this family's adjustment. It's a struggle right now. I'm sure the kids are so excited to have mommy home--but just don't realize mommy's still not completely well.
Thank you!

Psalm 63:7
"Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Emily has been released!! Luke is on his way to pick her up as I write this. We are so excited. But I know we need to be praying for their adjustment and needs as they get home. Please be praying!

Janis: Today's status and thanks once again.

First of importance: Emily has received approvals to leave the hospital today from all her doctors, PT,OT, etc. everyone EXCEPT her head doctor, Dr. Pearl, who is currently in surgery. He told the nurse he would come to see Emily when he's done and has read the reports from everyone else. Emily really has her hopes up, and it's already 12:27 in Texas, so she's getting antsy. I really feel that Dr. Pearl will probably go with the release since everyone else has signed off on it. By the way, I can't say enough good things about Dr. Pearl and his vascular team at Baylor. He truly is one of the best! Another of the ways we saw God's hand in all of this.

Once again, I just want to thank everone collectively for all you prayers, gifts, concern, words of encouragement and comfort, and support during these past six weeks. I want to say more, but think I need more time before I commit words to page.

We look forward to seeing Jason, Cheryl and the kids in Germany NEXT week! I still can't believe it! I'm popping Cephalexin capsules trying to get this sinus infection out of my body in time.

I would like to ask for prayer for my daughter-in-law Kim tomorrow as she undergoes another pretty involved proceedure on her back to try to help with the chronic pain she endures each day. If you've followed the blog since the beginning, you've read many of her blogs. She spent as much time as she could with Emily, pampered me, all while teaching school, caring for her boys and Jeff, always in pain with her RA and back problems.

Of course, Emily will need much help during her recovery which will be long. She is already scheduled to go back to Baylor for more scans with Dr. Spak (infectious disease) and tests in two weeks, if she gets out this week. I hope to be able to go back to Texas after we return from Germany and I recoup from jetlag! She told me she was strongly warned by the OT not to do anything at home!

Our family wishes each of you a very blessed Christmas!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I talked to EMILY!!!

Forgive me...I'm going to be emotional. I just talked to Emily for the first time over the phone. Tears are streaming down my face and all I can keep saying over and over is, "God, You're so good! You're so good!!"
The doctors are all in agreement that Emily can go home this weekend!!!!! Well, actually, she's still waiting to hear from one doctor---but he's already been leaning that way, so we're hoping it's a go! They did a cat scan on her liver yesterday and there is definitely a hematoma or it could be a walled-off infection. So they're waiting on Dr. Spock, the infectious disease dr., to look at it and see whether he wants to prescribe an antibiotic for it. It will be totally up to him. Emily said they also told her they may just want her to come back for check-ups on it. The blood count from the liver is fine and there have been no cultures growing. So the liver doctor is on board for her going home. AWESOME!!
She thinks there's been a mix-up or a lack of communication because there was an order written questioning where she'll go for therapy when she leaves. But all of the doctors have been o.k. with her going home and having physical therapy at home. So we'll just pray it's a misunderstanding somewhere!
Emily still has a headache, but she said her glasses are not working now. The prescription is way off after having Sarah. She said she was also messed up for 9 hours yesterday from taking the iodine for the cat scan.
Emily said she only has a little bandaid on her neck from her trach and only has one I.V. left. So everything is healing. She still only has a little appetite, but this afternoon her stomach actually grumbled, so she felt like that was a good sign!
Thank you, God! We have so much to be thankful for. So much. But Emily & I had a good cry together over our first phone call to one another. She was grateful for me blogging and putting the prayer requests out there so people would know how to pray. And I'm grateful she's alive.

Colossians 4:2
" Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Preparing for Emily's Homecoming

Luke told me today that some women are coming in this week to clean house before Emily comes home. Awesome! Thank you, girls! We appreciate you.
We've gotten the brand new bedding for Luke & Emily's room....and new drapes to match! How exciting!! I'm not sure if Luke has curtain rods for those 2 windows or not. It will require 2 rods per window since they have a valance.
One thing I'm hoping to get is a new king-sized memory foam mattress pad for their hand-me-down mattresses.
The bedding set we got has 4 king-sized shams and 2 European shams. And they don't have pillows to fill them. So that's something else that is needed.
If you'd like to help with any of those things, you can email me at They can be purchased in the Dallas area or you can find them online and have them shipped. We're so excited to get everything ready for Emily's homecoming!! We're hoping that her homecoming is this week!!!!
Thank you! And keep praying for her complete healing!

Psalm 42:8
"By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life."

We need liver function!

Janis called from Albuquerque and said she went from 61 degrees in Dallas to 31 with light snow in Albuquerque (so did we in the Tx. panhandle!). But she had talked to Emily and she told her that the liver doctor had come in and the antibiotics had made no difference in the liver function. So...they plan on doing another sonogram and will be looking for an abscess. If there is an abscess, they will "fix it." And if they can't find it, they will change the antibiotic once again. The infectious disease doctor told them that the liver looks fine to him. But he said that the liver doctor had probably never seen anything like Emily's case and is being extra cautious. Obviously, the fluid the liver is producing in the abdomen is infected (as well as her bladder). The liver is trying to repair itself from the crisis. So please pray that God heals Emily's liver. Pray that it quits producing this fluid in her abdomen. Pray that the infection/abscess is healed.
Emily said she's also trying not to drink as much so that she'll be hungry and eat more food! So please pray that she has an appetite.
Thank you for praying!

James 5:17
"The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]."

Greetings from Germany

This is Cheryl, Emily's sister-in-law and wife of Jason. I just wanted to say how thankful we are that Emily is doing so well and there are so many who are praying and helping Emily and Luke in this difficult time. It hasn't been easy being so far away and feeling rather helpless. It began with a phone call at 5:45 am late in October from Emily's dad. Jason was still half asleep but heard that Emily was bleeding and it was very serious. Our prayers began immediately! It was a couple days later that we heard the complete story from Janis. We have talked directly with Janis, Mike or Jeff several times, but this blog has been how we hear all the news. When you read the news, we read the news!

I want to say thank you to all that have helped out, in whatever form, whether it a meal or babysitting or prayers. We have all seen the miracle He has worked in Emily's life. I also want to thank those in advance that are and will be helping Luke and Emily during the time that Janis and Mike are here visiting us. We are so excited they are able to visit this year. It has been over 2 1/2 years since we have seen them. Our 4 children are very excited to see their "Oma and Opa"!

We wish each one of you a very merry Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior!

Monday, December 8, 2008

QUICK Answer to Prayer!

God is so good! He's heard and He's answered. The doctor came in and said that Emily does not have a staph infection. YEA!! They are still going to remove fluid from her abdomen tomorrow and test it for her liver levels, I think.
One of the doctors said that everything is looking good. He told Emily they had changed her antibiotic because your body gets immune to bacteria if you use the same one. So that's the reason she'd been changed to the one that gave her an allergic reaction. I think there were 2-3 doctors there tonight and everyone seems to be in agreement that Emily may be able to go home by the END OF THIS WEEK!! So much good news!!
Janis said Emily was in a much better emotional state after receiving all of this encouraging news. But she has asked us to pray about removing the abdominal fluid---she really hates that procedure.

Psalm 111:4
"He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate."

Prayer Needs

Janis said the endocrinologist came in and told them that her kidneys are virtually normal now. Her liver is better---the numbers have gone up. And they may drain fluid again from her abdomen to check it. The doctor said they had done a culture on the PIC line and the catheter and it showed that they were either contaminated or she has a staph infection. Another doctor had read those cultures and that's why he ordered the strong antibiotic which Emily wasn't able to tolerate or had an allergic reaction to. So please pray that if she does have a staph infection, that it's healed quickly.
Janis was leaving within the hour to go to Jeff's house. She asked us to be praying because Emily is very emotional right now. She may just not be feeling well. Or it could be the fact that Janis is leaving. (I know I always got emotional after my mom left when I'd had a baby!) Or it could be the fact that doctors are telling her it may be another week or two before she goes home. She's so ready to be home!!! And she really wants to be there before Lily's birthday on December 20. So please pray that Emily gets well quickly so she can get home!
And would you please consider signing up to stay with Emily during the daytime? Janis said there's just lots of things that can be done for her that also helps the nurses out. And Emily may just need a shoulder to cry on...or for someone to just sit quietly while she rests. But Luke isn't going to be able to be at both places at the same time. You guys have been so great already and we know it's Christmas time!! Words just can't express our gratitude!
Prayer Requests:
*Pray that Emily is healed of any staph infection
*Pray for Emily's emotions
*Pray that there are people who can help take up the slack as Janis leaves
*Pray that Emily gets to go home before Lily's birthday!
*And please pray for Janis. It's been such a struggle for her to leave when Emily isn't completely well. Pray for her emotions, as well.

Psalm 71:23
"My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I, whom you have redeemed."

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Urgent Prayer Request

Janis just called and asked me to post an urgent prayer request. They changed the antibiotic today that they were giving Emily for an infection. Apparently, she was allergic to it. She's pretty miserable. They've begun flushing it out of her system. So pray that God removes the effects of this antibiotic and that they find one that works for her.

Hannah's Snowflakes!

These are the snowflakes Hannah made and sent to us through her teacher, Mrs. Beene. She's very artistic, don't you think? We have them hanging on our Christmas tree.

Sunday with the Kids

Luke brought the kids up for Emily to see today. They had a great time. Emily held Sarah a good long time--until she began to get tired. It was the highlight of her day seeing all of her kids!
Janis said she also walked around her hall 4 times---which is really good. The doctor came in and took the bandage off the area where her trach had been and then put 2 strips over it. I'm thinking she must have meant like a butterfly bandage--and then put a bandaid over that. Her neck was getting really sore from all of the adhesives from the bandaids.
Emily has also had a headache for 3 days. She's thinking it's because her prescription from her glasses have changed. She said that after the birth of each of her children, her prescription changes.
Her white blood cell count is up and the doctor put her on a new antibiotic to treat any infections.
I could hear Emily in the background tell me that she's sleeping better. So that's good! I think Jeff had gone to "On the Border" and had gotten them some Mexican food. Emily said it wasn't as good as she remembered! ha! But she was eating--and Janis said she's eating better all the time.
So it sounds like Emily has had a good Sunday afternoon. Janis will stay with Emily until tomorrow and then she'll go stay with Jeff until Tuesday morning. Jeff will then take Janis to the airport early Tuesday morning for her flight home.
Pray that Emily is healed of her infection. Pray that her headache goes away. Pray that she regains her strength quickly. And pray for Janis--she's getting another sinus infection.

Psalm 139:14
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I Met Mrs. Beene!

What an exciting night! Hannah Panter's teacher, Mrs. Beene, contacted me and told me she was going to be in Borger tonight. So we made plans to meet up with one another. She told me she'd be wearing a "Boles" sweatshirt---and we spotted her right away. Hannah had made some snowflakes that she sent to us and we were so excited! She did a great job on them. Mrs. Beene and I decided we would be best friends if we lived near one another. She and her husband were sweet to take some things to the family for us. She also got to introduce us to Julie, who is a friend of her son and his wife. She was a surgical tech when Emily was brought in that first night. She said God was with Emily---she had the best doctors on call for the problems she had that night. It was so good to meet her and to be able to thank her for her part in saving Emily's life. She said lots of them keep up with Emily through this blog. So I just want to say, "THANK YOU" to each of you who have had a part in saving Emily's life or in ministering to her in ICU or taking care of her on any part of this journey. We appreciate you. We know you've been called to your jobs and it's evident that you take pride in your job by how well you take care of your patients. Thank you.

I just talked to Janis and she is staying with Emily tonight. The liver doctor hasn't been in yet, but the infectious disease doctor, Dr. Spock, was in and told them the report on the sonogram looked fine to him. There is a hematoma on the liver and her kidneys look like they've been through a near-death experience (which they have!), but other than that, things look good. He said that all of her organs are just going to take time to get over the shock that they've had. He told them that he thought she would be able to go home in 2 weeks. The lung doctor had come in to see Emily today and told them that he thought she'd be able to go home in 1 week. So we'll just pray that the lung doctor is right! Dr. Spock also has her on an antibiotic to get rid of her infection.
Janis also said that their neighbor straightened Hannah's curly hair today. She was so sad that Mrs. Beene wasn't here to see it and told her dad that she couldn't wash it before next Tuesday when Mrs. Beene was going to be back in the classroom! ha! Janis said you'd think Mylie Cyrus was living in the house the way Hannah was tossing her hair around. Pretty cute!!
Janis is glad to get to be spending this time with Emily before she goes home---and then goes to Germany to visit her son and his family. Please be praying that Mike, Janis, & Jonathan get rested and over all these bugs before they leave!
We've said it over and over and I got to tell Mrs. Beene in person tonight---but you guys have a wonderful community! Thank you for everyone that has reached out to the Panter family! You have blessed them--and us, Emily's family.

I Chronicles 16:34
"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."

Janis at Baylor Medical

Thank you, Brandy, for getting Janis to Baylor Medical this morning! I just talked to her and she was excited to be with Emily earlier than she expected.
She said Emily is doing fine. They did take her for a sonogram on her liver. That's the main prayer concern right now. The liver just isn't functioning correctly and they don't know why. So let's pray that the sonogram gives them some answers. Emily is snacking alot. Janis said they are hoping to stretch her stomach by all of these snacks. That's another concern---her digestive system.
So please pray that God brings order into her liver function and that her digestive system works properly.
Prayer Requests:
*For Emily's liver to function correctly
*For her digestive system to kick in
*For Janis & Emily to have a great visit together
*For Janis as she prepares to leave
*For Luke and the kids as Janis leaves

Psalm 73:23
"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand."

Friday, December 5, 2008


I talked to Luke tonight and he said that Emily had a good day. She used her walker and walked about 500 feet tonight. She's had lots of visitors and is loving seeing people she knows. She's eaten well today. She had yogurt, granola bars, Cran-Grape drink through the day and beef stew for dinner.
The doctor wanted to do a sonogram of her liver and said it may take awhile to get her liver going again---whatever that means! Luke is afraid that means she may not get to go home as soon as he hoped. Let's just pray that because Emily is eating now, that her liver numbers come up and her liver gets in on the same game plan as the rest of her body!
I hope you've seen the post that Janis needs a ride to the hospital tomorrow. She doesn't have to be there right at noon, but she does want to spend the afternoon with Emily--and Luke will need to be with the children. Her nieces are going to be visiting Emily tomorrow afternoon and Janis wants to be with all of them. I hope someone can help. We'd really appreciate it!!
Thank you!

A Ride

We are looking for someone to help out by giving Janis a ride to the hospital tomorrow. If you would be available at noon to drive Janis from Quinlan to Baylor Medical, could you please let us know by replying. Thanks!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Band-Aid Tomorrow!

I talked to Luke and he just got to the hospital to see Emily tonight. I asked him if the hole in Emily's throat had completely closed up now and he said that it hasn't. But the doctor told them that tomorrow, they'll just be applying a band-aid to it! So it's almost closed.
Emily has walked a mile today---well, not literally. But almost. Luke said she's been up and down the halls getting her exercise. Very impressive!!
She's still having trouble eating. Nothing tastes right to her---it's either too salty, too sweet or too sour. So she has no appetite. Now that's something I wish I had---no appetite! But for Emily, we need her eating so she can bust out of that joint!
I called Janis to discuss some details and she said that all that is keeping Emily from going home are the numbers on her liver and her appetite--and those 2 things are related. Her lung doctor told her today that she won't be going to rehab---she'll do her rehab at home. Amazing!
Thank you to those of you who are responding with help for the Panters. I know Luke is going to be very grateful for the help--especially after Janis leaves Tuesday. Please agree with me in prayer for Emily.

Father, would you bless Emily with a healthy appetite? Would you please make things taste right to her? Correct her taste buds and give her a hunger for food. Please bring order into her body---her liver and her appetite. Would you miraculously bring those liver numbers to where they need to be? You are so incredible and we're so grateful for all of the things you have done for Emily. Thank you for surrounding Luke & Emily with great friends who care so much about them. Bless them, God. Pour back into their lives. We love you so much! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Psalm 34:8
"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."

Posted by Debbie Jenkins on 11-25-08

I haven't visited the website in awhile and I was so sorry I hadn't when I found this post by Debbie Jenkins. I wanted to post it here also in case you haven't seen it either. It blessed my heart. This is Emily's sister-in-law, Kim's, mom. We, too, thank God for all of the special caregivers Emily has had. Thank you, Baylor Medical!! And thank you, Debbie, for taking the time to write this. Emily has come so much further since you first wrote this. Praise God!!

I stopped by the hospital today, and in addition to the precious miracle of Emily, I noticed the attention of all of her caregivers. Maybe it is just because I am a nurse, but it struck me how much Emily has touched her nurses, respiratory therapists, doctors, and other healthcare providers. I thanked her Endocrinologist for all of his kindness and he said the miracle of Emily was not his to give! When I got there two doctors were standing in line to check on her. And, that doesn't even represent the team. She has so many people watching her every breath it is unbelievable.She was moved to a private ICU room, and without exception, I think the people around her were as excited, if not more, than she was. Her new room is the size of the other room, but she is the only patient! Someone (a nurse)made a comment that now she could have her special visitors, another commented about the view of the sky and light from the windows to lift her spirits. They made a special effort to position her bed so she could see the sky. Her respiratory therapist supported and advocated for her to get moved to a private room. And because Emily felt too much was happening to fast today, the therapist and nurses stopped the commotion and reminded her that she is the reason all of them are here. Kim told me she feels her RT is the reason she is in the special room she has. That room is usually reserved for transplant patients due to their special needs. But, not this week- it is Emily's. If you could see how precious space is for that ICU, you would know what a blessing it is. She has been in a room with 3 other critically ill patients. The room is probably the size of 2 semi private regular patient rooms, without a wall to separate them for privacy. She has just had a curtain to give her individual privacy. The noises go on 24/7. Conversations take place about other patient's and even tho everyone tries to keep it as quiet as possible, medications to alleviate pain make for confusion. She has been under unbelievalbe conditions. The way that healthcare is today. there is a great need for more hospital beds, and the special people in ICU are doing the best they can to make it as good as possible. There was a special meeting to throw out the rules so Em's babies could be there. Transplant patient's are numerous in this ICU, so the patient's are very susceptible to illness. Children are little germ factories, so they usually don't allow them. I couldn't help but think that Em is reaching all of them for the Lord. If you could feel the spirit in the unit and see the looks on their faces, you would know it too!It is hard to work in the ICU and see tragedy after tragedy. Sometimes it feels that no matter what you do, the outcome is bad. And then here comes our Miracle. She has touched them all and given them encouragement that our God is bigger than any trauma or illness. His timing is perfect, down to the second! I thank God for all of them and their willingness to answer His call on their lives. I found out that a special nurse named Vandy is one of her caregivers. And... she happens to have been one of my most special nursing students. She reminded me of Kim the minute I met her 3 years ago. God started long ago laying the foundation for those that would save His Emily.So, in case any of the nurses, doctors, respiratory therapists and all of the other special healthcare providers at Baylor are reading this, THANK YOU and thank God for the special calling on your lives. Yours is a special place and it is because of your dedication that God can prove His love and devotion to all of us.Emily is making tremendous progress. She is speaking to her physicians, answering their questions and working so hard to get out of that place. She is unbelievable. She is also BEAUTIFUL. She is glowing. Her color is great, her spirit is strong. The road is still bumpy before her, but she is up to the test. To see her smile today and hear her voice was the best gift anyone could get. Thank you for letting me be part of your family. This is a blessed Thanksgiving.
Love always,
Gramme Debbie

Changes are A-Comin'

I talked to Janis and she said that Jeff (Emily's brother) had been with Emily this morning. They are saying that Emily's liver numbers are worse. They believe it is from her TPN---her intraveneous feeding tube. So they are removing it and are encouraging her to EAT! They told her that even if she'd eat a couple of bites an hour, it would help. They're not unduly worried about it, but they do need Emily to start eating. If that doesn't work, they may have to resort to the feeding tube in the nose. If the numbers don't change (and they really believe this is her problem), they will have to do a liver biopsy.
Janis said things are pretty chaotic at the house. I think Lily had a meltdown this morning. Janis said they were trying to wait for a nap until after "Barney," but she didn't make it that long. Ha! The school also called and had Luke come pick up Noah. He has a spot on his face that Janis has been trying to medicate, but they think it's a staff infection. He's had it since before Sarah was born, but he can't go back to school until the spot clears up. So Luke is going to have to take Noah & Lily to the doctor Monday---it was the first available appointment. Lily is just having a check-up, I believe.
Janis' flight arrangements have been made to go back to Albuquerque before she leaves for Germany. She will be leaving Dallas early Tuesday morning.
So...everything is about to change. Luke won't have continual help with the children. And as you can tell just from this post, things can change rather quickly---in every direction!! I know it's a busy time of year and our minds are pulled in so many different directions. But if you can help out with a meal, with childcare or with sitting with Emily, I know Luke is about to be a desperate man! If you're able to take a meal, please tell us what you'll be bringing so it's not duplicated before or behind you. And with everything, please leave your name, email address or phone number in case plans change! Thank you so much!!!
Prayer Needs:
*Emily's liver counts
*Emily being able to eat
*Noah's staff infection on his cheek
*Janis leaving
*Luke's situation

I Corinthians 1:9
"God is faithful (reliable, trustworthy, and therefore ever true to His promise, and He can be depended on); by Him you were called into companionship and participation with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Night Update

I always laugh at Luke when I call him. He usually thinks he has nothing to tell me. But as he starts talking, I find out quite a bit.
He said Emily had a restful day. They've removed her catheter, so that means she'll be up and about more, I bet. It also will help heal her infection. That's all good.
They did go ahead and remove fluid from her abdomen yesterday. But they only retrieved 1/2 liter this time. Emily was upset---so much pain for so little result! It's hard to blame her!!
They've also given her 2 units of blood tonight. She had a low blood count---but they're not worried about it. They just thought this would be a good pick-me-up for her.
The flu is making its rounds. Mike & Jonathan (Emily's dad & brother) got home to Albuquerque and both came down with the flu. Luke's mom also has the flu. She was on board to keep the kids this weekend, so they're not sure of the plans at this point. Luke said the kids are fine. Luke has been working diligently today to get the house ready for Emily's eventual homecoming.
This has nothing to do with Emily's progress, but I just think it's amazing. Hannah's teacher is coming to my little hometown this weekend---and we're going to get to meet up! I live in Borger which is about 350 miles from where she lives. And not many people know where Borger even is! I just think it's fun!
Please pray that Emily feels much better tomorrow. I'm hoping the blood she's gotten perks her up. And pray for Luke as he gets all the work done around the house. Please pray for the family to get over these bugs!!

III John 1:2
"Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit."


Luke is in need of some people who can volunteer to sit with Emily. If you can help in that way, would you go to the Calendar (on the right) and click on it. Just click on the check mark on the hour you can go and fill in that time slot (even if there is a meal or childcare going on at the same time) and put in the amount of time you'll be able to spend with Emily. This will free Luke to help take care of the sick children. Thank you so much!

Rough Night

Luke said Emily had a rough night---she didn't get any sleep. He thinks it may be from coming off of the medication she was on for her muscle spasms. But she is very tired this morning. The doctor came in and said everything looked good. They have her on antibiotics for her infection. The doctor isn't saying anything about going home yet---but of course, I'm sure he wants the infection cleared up first and they probably want to see more strength in her walking, etc.
I asked Luke if they were waiting also on the hole in her throat to close up---and he said it was already almost closed!! I had no idea! I know they said it closed up on its own fast, but I didn't know it would be that fast!! He said that even yesterday, Emily would have to put her hand over the hole to talk, but today, she wasn't even having to do that. The only way she loses air is if she's coughing. WOW!
Luke said that everyone at home was fighting an upper respiratory infection. So please pray for Luke, Janis and the kids. I know part of it is that they're all just worn out. Let's ask God to strengthen their bodies as well. Maybe we need to supply them with some Emergen-C! (I'm great at these remedies! Ha!)
Thank you, again, for hanging in there with us. The Panter family needs the prayer---and we're definitely seeing miraculous answers to those prayers!! God is just amazing, isn't He?

Deuteronomy 32:4
"He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Physical Therapy

I'm sorry I'm so late with this post today----I forgot my cell phone when I went to work and didn't have Luke or Janis' phone numbers with me all day!
Emily is doing well. She was wide-awake all morning and the only I.V. she has left is her nutrition I.V. They took her off of the muscle relaxants that were making her so sleepy and were giving her a different muscle relaxant so she could stay awake.
The physical therapists came in and were asking her some questions. She was a little sleepy still and had her eyes closed, but as they would ask her a question, she'd open her eyes and give them the correct answers. They asked her who the president was and she told them, "That's a trick question!" They told her they weren't trying to trick her---but wanted to know if she knew who the current president was. She answered, "George W. Bush." Then they asked her if she knew who the president-elect was and she muttered, "Obama." Ha! At least she knew the answer! They then asked her to add a series of small numbers and when she got that one right, they told her, "Correct! We think you're doing great!" Good deal!
They were going to do a chest x-ray today to make sure her lungs were doing o.k. without the trach. They also wanted to do a sonogram of her abdomen to check the fluid level. She wasn't happy about the prospect of that---she didn't want them removing more fluid. But Janis said the last time she was there, her abdomen didn't look nearly as distended as it had been. She also has a urinary tract infection. She's been seen by the physical therapists and the occupational therapists and they both think she's doing well. They just said she needed to regain her strength. So let's pray for that!
Prayer Requests:
*That she won't have to have fluid removed from her abdomen
*For her urinary tract infection to be healed
*That she'll regain her strength

Isaiah 40:29
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pizza Night

Emily had a restful day. Since she was having muscle spasms in her back and they had given her medication to relax them, she was "out" most of the day. But she did wake up enough to have soup for lunch and when she woke up this evening, she told Luke she wanted a pizza! So he went and got her a small one and she ate about 1/4 of it---which is really good! I think she'd been up some and seems stronger every time she gets up. They also told them that where the trach had been will heal pretty quickly. Isn't the body amazing? There's just so much to be thankful for!
Please continue praying that her muscle spasms stop and that her strength increases every day!


I just talked to Janis this morning and she said Luke had gone to the hospital early. He got to talk to the lung doctor and the lung doctor took out the trach!!! He thinks that is what is making Emily cough so bad. So she's so advanced, they skipped a whole step in removing the trach! I then called Luke to get all the scoop and he said that they've totally removed the trach and have covered the hole with a bandage and the skin will grow together on its own. Wow!!
Removing the trach has caused the coughing to stop. So apparently, that was the source of her problems. They've also put her on some pain medication because she was having muscle spasms. As a result of the pain medicine, she told Luke he needed to hurry---he was going to miss his meeting with President Bush! ha!
Because of how well Emily was doing with her walking yesterday, Luke is hopeful that Emily may even be able to skip rehab!! It's possible that within the next 2 weeks, Emily could be home. That would be incredible. Let's pray for that to happen.
Here are a couple of things we'd like to have done when Emily gets home. We'd like to get a memory foam mattress topper for Emily's king-sized bed. It's a hand-me-down set of mattresses and we'd like to make it as comfortable as possible for her when she gets home. We'd also like to get her new bedding and drapes---just to perk up her spirits! Her favorite colors are chocolate brown and mossy green. If anyone would like to take on either project, would you email me at That way, we'll know it's taken care of.
Her homecoming may be sooner than we expected! I'm so excited! God is great, isn't He???
Prayer Requests:
*Pray that the muscle spasms stop
*Pray that Emily gets stronger each day
*Pray Emily is able to skip rehab
*Pray that Emily is able to go home within the next 2 weeks!
*Pray all is ready for her homecoming!
Father, we come in agreement for Emily's complete and quick healing. Thank you that her trach was removed!! Thank you for all that you've already done in her healing. We're in awe of you!! Please strengthen Emily's muscles and cause the spasms to stop. Father, would you cause her to bypass the rehab? Thank you for magnifying your name through Emily. We love you, Daddy! In Jesus' name, Amen.

Psalm 18:30
"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him."