Tomorrow, Caleigh will go in for her tenth bowel surgery. Eric, Caleigh and I could really use your prayers, thoughts and positive intentions tomorrow. The week ahead will be difficult and painful for our family.
As I've said before... surgically they will open Caleigh's abdomen, remove scar adhesions, lay out the entire intestines, cut out any visible narrow areas and preform scopes both upper and lower. This could be an 4-12 hour procedure. She is currently scheduled to go to pre-op at 8:30 with a 9:30 start time.
Best case scenario the narrowing is isolated, they are able to free up the area and remove it without having to free all of her intestines and adhesions. This is what we are hoping for.
The past couple of days we have been working with ChildLife and the tools they offer to prepare kids for surgery. On Saturday, Caleigh became Dr. Gray and Noel (her American Girl Doll) became the patient. By the end of the exam, Dr. Gray had decided that Noel will need the same tummy surgery, as Caleigh, on Monday. Noel isn't scared... she's brave, says Dr. Gray. Caleigh is still a little nervous. She seemed to feel better after our little pretend exercise. Noel gets the same treatments as Caleigh now. Vitals, IVs, labs, etc. It's helping a little bit. We also have a book with actual pictures of all the steps that a kid would take to get to surgery and what to expect afterwards. It's general, but I think it will help her. We'll be going over it tomorrow morning.
Since the surgery will most likely take several hours, I will update here on the blog when Caleigh is out of surgery and we have more information. For social media, I tend to post more frequently on Instagram and like that platform the best. If I post anything before the blog, it'll be there. My username is hollydgray and everywhere else. If you don't have an Instagram account you can see my posts on their website.
We've never thought to ask for anything like this before, but Caleigh would love to receive a card, letter or anything to brighten her hospital stay. We think this will be a great motivator and such a wonderful source of positivity for Caleigh. If you have any questions about this don't hesitate to send me a message. Depending on when you send mail, Caleigh will either be in the PICU or on 10 South. You can read more about sending mail to a patient on Boston Children's website.
Here is Caleigh's mailing address:
Caleigh A. Gray
PICU or 10 South (Floor Number, Unit)
Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
If you have time to share this post with your friends, loved ones and prayer groups we would truly appreciate it. There is power in numbers and we believe that. Our journey to Boston has been carried by your love. Everyone that continues to read this blog and care for our family, especially Caleigh, feels like family to us. You've been with us through 9 years of writing about the highs and lows. I've met so many of you, emailed, sent texts and talked to people that I don't believe would be in our lives without this blog. I know there are so many more that are our silent warriors and we thank you too. This community of support is breathtaking and I appreciate this with my whole heart.