MISSION "NEARLY" IMPOSSIBLE!
A SORE but NOT SORRY, grateful Elder Yates & Companion!!
Hello to our amazing family and friends,
|What a way to get a day off! The public ER?|
We still can hardly believe it ourselves, but the following is a VERY TRUE story which we never expected to experience, especially on a mission! Early in July following a cold/flu illness, Elder Yates wasn't feeling very well. He wasn't able to exercise strenuously, so we took it easy. He complained mid-July of a little tightness in his chest when we took our morning walks in the forest. Thinking it was left over from his flu cough, he ignored it. Asking if we shouldn't go get it checked out, he quipped, "No, I'll be all right! I don't want to deal with an international medical bill." The same conversation was repeated with other walks where he felt slight 'tightness" in his chest with Sister Yates asking that we PLEASE go to a doctor. On July 25th just when we began our walk, he had some pretty hefty pain in his chest which scared us both! "Now will you go to the Doctor?" I begged.
|Elder Yates heads to his angiogram-- a short procedure, yes?|
Yep, we called mission doctor who ordered us to head for the nearest ER---Logan Hospital. After 12 hours and several standard tests, they concluded it was NOT a heart attack, but there had to be some reason for the pain. ER doctor hooked us up with a notable cardiologist at a private hospital and told Elder Yates to go home and take it easy and not even think of flying home! Elder Yates had a Priesthood blessing by two Senior Elders who pronounced that all would be well, he would heal, and we could finish our mission. Relief! Peace! In conferring with our experienced mission doctor, he assured us that if an angiogram was required, we could be confident Drs. here are very skilled and capable with a great cardio record. He added almost parenthetically, "And if you happen to need bypass surgery, I would trust them implicitly with that as well!" We called the next morning for Dr. Chua's next possible opening, At our Monday, 30 July appointment, the EKG (ECG here) showed a strong beating heart with no structural problems. Dr. Chua needed answers by looking inside the vessels with an angiogram, which he scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 3rd. He said we would be permitted go home if no stents were needed, and stay overnight in hospital if 1 or more stents were needed during the angiogram.
|Tim and Jen's sweet twin girls!|
August 3rd turned out to be a very paradoxical day. Our son Tim and his wife Jennifer's precious twin daughters were born healthy and happy! Joy of joys! What a relief that all is well after a tough pregnancy. Now Mom and Dad's arms are full of beautiful heavenly newborn babes that we've long awaited! Their names are Madison Amelia Yates and Adelyn Claire Yates and grandma's arms will have to wait a few months to hold these angel babies! Each child is such a sublime blessing from above, and we count these fraternal twins as evidence of Heavenly Father's love and trust that we mortals can raise His innocent and perfect children well. Now siblings Brayden, Austin, Landon and Katelyn will be extra big helpers! Adelyn and Madison are our 26th and 27th grandchildren, and it makes our arms almost ache to hold them and to give hugs all around to each one of our incredible grandchildren whom we adore!
Back to the not-so-sublime part of the day. Elder Yates was wide awake through the short angiogram and could see the stark evidence in the arteries that all was not well! The procedure was short because it was very clear that the blockages discovered were too bad to be rectified by stents, so Coronary Artery Bypass Graft surgery was needed ASAP! Shock of all shocks! Not just bypass surgery, but a triple bypass! Three important arteries were badly blocked---the left main 70%, the right coronary artery 60%, and the circumflex artery, otherwise known as the "widow-maker" was 95% blocked! The circumflex is called the widow maker because it usually gives NO SIGNS of a heart attack before doing massive damage and often causing immediate death. Doctors feel Elder Yates was fortunate because he had enough symptoms, probably due to the blockage in the other two arteries, to seek medical attention! They said he was a "walking time bomb" and we were very lucky he hadn't had a heart attack already! The nurse frankly told me, "It's not a matter of months or weeks, but of a few days or hours before the 'big one.' You should be glad he made it here in one piece!" Dr. Chua had the surgeon, Dr. Wall, come to our bedside and explain the bypass surgery. Our heads were swimming with a million thoughts! A triple bypass?! You could have knocked us both over with a feather, we were so shocked at the news! This angiogram was going to be more than a "three-hour tour," as Gilligan's Island theme song declares!
|Aug.5th, just before surgery: Butterflies in tummies, but peace filled the day! Pathway student Aggy visits us.|
|The "Dream Team" supports Sister Yates during surgery: L to R; Miss. Pres.; Clydes, Osbornes, Briggs (new mission Dr.)|
|Together, we "can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth" us! This "health mission" is possible, too!|
Elder Yates was admitted immediately into Holy Spirit Hospital and plans were made for surgery ASAP. Dr. Wall had to put a team together and book an operating theater in this premiere heart hospital. We were reassured that it was the best in Queensland, by far! Glitches popped up but Dr. Wall pulled some clout and the surgery was performed Saturday, Aug. 5th. That was about the longest 5 1/2 hours of my life, but finally came the good news from surgeon Dr. Wall that all went well. David was still unconscious and intubated, but I was able to see him briefly. By morning, they brought him out of unconsciousness and the slow recovery began. His pain was off the charts, but able to be controlled soon. Within a very few days he was only on mild Panadol. He is our champion, and a patient, tolerant patient.
|Elder Yates in ICU where he had his own nurse 24/7. Success is waking up!|
|Where does one find a good artery? In David's left arm!|
We feel so blessed to have had such marvelous doctors and nurses throughout the whole 9-day hospital stay. Though each day and each task was a challenge, small baby steps forward were observed daily! If you're squeamish, skip the next part. However, bypass surgery is NOT FOR WIMPS! Three large arteries had to be harvested from David's own body to use for the 3 bypass grafts. Since he's had trouble with his leg veins, the doctor elected to use an artery from his left arm and two from his own chest. The arm picture was what prompted one of our children to reply with the "tattoo" man.
|Amidst the tubes and hospital sterility inside, outside late winter Queensland beauty continues--a cheery azalea delight!|