05 January, 2010

Miracle Number 1.

I was out in the hall when I got a call from the PICU doc
letting me know that Gavin's blood pressure was
dangerously low.

I quickly hurried in to discuss options.

when you've got a kid as sick as mine,
and your caller ID reads the number from the PICU,
your heart just about falls out from between your legs.

The Doctors felt it would be a wise decision
to attempt what would basically be considered an
experimental procedure in the treatment of Pertussis.

A plasma exchange.

Basically in a plasma exchange,
all your blood is removed from your body
and replaced with new blood.

There was ZERO guarantee this procedure would
be of ANY benefit to Gavin.
But given the severity of this condition,
the doctors felt that the potential benefit
(albeit completely unknown)
would outweigh the inherent risks associated
with the exchange.

I signed my john doe and we waited for the blood to arrive.

At this point I had a chance to let the Doctors and angels know
just how many people out there were praying for them. . .
and for my son.

It was a solemn moment for me.

When the blood arrived it was lying in bags on the table.
Richie prayed over it and blessed it to be
exactly what Gavin's body needed to stabilize itself
and work toward healing.

I looked at those bags of blood and
just felt so much peace.
I KNEW we had made the right decision.

The exchange took 2 hours.
And yes,
we watched.

It was absolutely amazing to watch them just suck out all that
nasty, poison blood and replace it with the new.

Everyone was a little excited.
NO ONE in the PICU had EVER done anything like this.
It was a first for all of us.

As soon as the exchange began,
his blood pressure began to improve!!


By the end of the exchange the improvement was significant.

It had gone over without a hitch!!
. . . well except for some trouble with the ventilator tube
which required them to bag Gavin
(basically pump air into his lungs by hand)
for the longest 5 minutes of my life.

Upon completion there was a HUGE bottle
of Gavin's old blood sitting on the table.
The mother bear in me wanted to grab it and
throw it through the window for making my boy so sick.

The hope and prayer from here is that this new blood
will help his body stabilize itself so that he
can work on healing.

As I left I asked the Doctor what we need to have happen next.

At this point our prayers are for
  • his blood pressure to stay UP
  • his urine output to increase SIGNIFICANTLY (or we're going to be facing another slew of dangerous possibilities)
  • his heart to stay strong
  • and them to be able to back off a bit from the ventilation.
I'm feeling confident.

Your prayers are giving me strength
and giving my son momentum.

I literally owe you both our lives,
because without him, I don't know how I could ever go on.

We're a VERY VERY long way from out of the woods,
but at this point if you've got any good news at all,

We've been feeling so great after this little blip of good news
that we've spent the evening telling
"yo momma" jokes.

but. . .

I have to say the highlight of the night was:
"Wait! I can't keep up! I have Pertussis!"

. . . at least I laughed at myself.
no one else seemed to think I was very funny.

God is good!!!
I'm absolutely certain that this is the first of
miracles in store for my son.

Thank you for your faith. . .
and again.
and a million more agains.

go Gavin go!!!!!!!!!!!!!


michelle said...

i don't even know how I came across this. but i did for a reason.
i'm a photog too. in australia. with two bubs.
my son who is now six months had emergency surgery when he was eigtht weeks old. my heart hurts when you write of the tubes and the tests.
and the angels.
i am spreading your prayer requests as far as i can.
our God is an awesome God.
a God of miracles xx

Frances said...

God is truly good! I pray for little Gavin's healing -- and for peace and protection over his beautiful family. I pray God will guide those in charge of his care with wisdom.

Much love and prayers -- Frances

Anonymous said...

Hi Natalie! I saw the post from Darren over on DPS, and thought I would come over here and tell you that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
I don't have any children of my own, so I could never imagine what you could be going through.


ihavemostlybeen said...

Been as close and felt the fear and the all consuming relief and joy when things finally come good and know you will have that to look forward to as well. Thinking of you and am in awe of your faith and the strength it brings you.

Asli Tur said...

Wonderful news. I stood up all night thinking and praying for Gavin. He is one brave soul and I can see why he picked you as his mom.
Things will only get better, and babies are so resilient. My baby had a minir operation at 8 wees, so Ican try and relate just a little bit.
I'm sure you do already but keep talking to him, and touching him as much as you can.
You have one special boy. And this is happening for a reason. All the best from Istanbul. I have spread the word via FB. Will keep thinking good thoughts.

TeideMike said...

Hi Natalie! Came across your story over at DPS and got really touched by it. I just want to send our best wishes to keep your spirit and hope as high as possible. Today we pray for Gavin's future and dearly hope a little miracle come along his path. Our hearts are with you. Love from Spain, Michael with family

Unknown said...

(NIV) Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

Just came across this site through a photo blog. I am greatly touched by your open-ness and faith in the Almighty. May God be glorified through your family and may He provide wisdom to your doctors.

michele said...

i'm so sorry to hear about the struggles you are facing right now. as the mother of 3 kids, i can only imagine the fear and sorrow you must be facing.
i will pray that God will give you and unending amount of peace, that the doctors will have wisdom beyond measure, and that God will see fit to heal your little sweetie.

your faith is inspiring!

i'm sure that you will be used mightily in the PICU, as another family might need God's grace as much as you do. i'm sure that your faith will be an example to someone else.

Argos said...

Encouraging news, Natalie! You and Gavin are in our thoughts & prayers...

Anonymous said...

Natalie, I read about Gavin on Photography School. Most definitely I know God is good and that He heals and will pray for Gavin. I am a pediatric nurse in Ct, and as I hold each baby today, I will remember Gavin. As I read your blog I thought of the words of a song, ..."God is too good to be unkind, to wise to be mistaken, so when you can't see His hand, trust His Heart..." Blessings and miracles to you and your little dew drop. Lorraine

Unknown said...

I'm so sorry to hear about Gavin, Natalie. I can only imagine what you're going through. I work in the Mother/Baby unit at a major hospital here in Florida and see so many sick babies. My heart goes out to each baby and mother.

My prayers are with you and Gavin and I can only hope that the blood exchange will get him well on the road to recovery.


Marie said...

Hi, Natalie
I, too, saw the post on DPS via Facebook. I just prayed for your sweet little one. I have a friend who had "plasma exchange" and he is doing so much better. I pray this procedure will be a good turning point in Gavin's illness. God will provide. I'll continue to pray for Gavin, you and his physcians here in Georgia!

Alex said...

Hi Natalie,

As a new father, I know how heart wrenching this situation must be. My wife and I will put your son Gavin in our church prayer line. God is an awesome God. Place your faith and your son in His hands and wait confidently for a miracle for He is a merciful God.

God bless,


Amico Dio said...

Hi Natalie!

Please know that we are praying for baby Gavin. I was happy to see he was doing better. Please keep us updated on the little man.

gusto photography said...

hey little gavin,
you are one tough little man already. i can imagine that when you are around 4 years old wearing a superman outfit, you might actually take off in it! keep making your mama proud. we love you dear!

i have been witness to a medical miracle. my nephew lieym was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer when he was a year and a half old. he was given a 20% chance to make it just through the treatment. it was insane, the rush of emotions, the rollercoaster, the heartache. natalie what you're going through will make most other things in life seem insignificant... remember to take care of yourself too. you're doing an awesome and inspiring thing, laying your trust in His hangs. we're storming heaven with prayers for you Gavin!
p.s. Lieym turned three the day after Christmas this year.

Sandra said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

Lainey said...

Keep it up Gavin! There are too many people praying for you and counting on you to get better for you to give up.

Natalie, keep on being brave and human and wonderful. Your faith is inspiring and uplifting. There is nothing like a mother's love or prayers.

I fell asleep last night praying for your little man and I woke up doing the same thing. Thank you for keeping us posted on his fight.

Anonymous said...

You don't know me but I was given your blog page because you need prayer and I am a prayer Warrior for Christ!! I no longer say I will prayer but I stop what I am doing and give it to God and I write the prayer out so we together can stand in one accord and pray! here is your prayer:

Dearest Most Merciful Father, We come together as sisters in Christ standing and believeing as one that you hear or prayer and that you grant our petetion! WE lift up baby Gavin to you right now, we lay him at the feet of Jesus for healing! We know that you are Almighty and Everliving God that heals His people and Gavin is such a person even as small as he is! Lord they say he needs a miracle and we know you are the only one who can do this so we rely only on you. WE ask that you give the doctors ass they need to know to help little Gavin, to make him the little boy he is suppose to be. We ask that you filter his kidneys like they are suppose to filter. We ask that his heart be made strong and beat for you. We ask that the ventilation could be lowered so that his lungs can breath room air. WE know that these things are only possible with your healing Lord and we ask for it now! Make Gavin the miracle in everyone's life. So much bad happens everyday that a miracle would be nice. We ask that you send your angels to protect Gavin while he is on this journey to health, one to the front, one to the back, one to the left and one to the right, one on top and one at his feet, let no harm come to this sweet baby of Jesus. Let only doctors and nurses that know exactly how to care for him, those that are in good health and that have been well rested and those that know you or may be lead to you through your miracle be around this baby! Let all who see him and hear about him be blessed and know that is through your son that he is healed! Lord we no longer worry because we have casted our cares upon you and you have taken them for us, just as you did when you hung on the cross for us. Thank you for your unselfish love for us! It is in your son's Mighty and Holy name we pray, the name of Jesus. AMEN!

I truly hope you pray this prayer with me. I will be praying it! You r warrior in prayer.


Anonymous said...

Amen and amen, I'm standing in prayer with you that he be strong and healed in Jesus name!! bless you!!!

Unknown said...

Olivia has been keeping us updated. Praying for Gavin's speedy recovery. God bless you all. With love, Najem Al Hasan, Scotland.

Jenny said...

Prayers for your family. And prayers of discernment for your sweet baby's doctors. I have six children and cannot image, yet a part of me does, the fear of our babies hurting. God specifically chose YOU to be Gavin's mother and only good can come from that meeting of souls. All for His glory!

Lorrin said...

We are sending our prayers your way and praying they reach Gavin and his entire family in your time of need. I pray God's healing hands will hold him tight and allow his body to heal quickly!

Karey said...

I first checked out your blog last week, following a link from DPS, and was surprised and saddened to learn of baby Gavin's illness this morning, also via DPS. Many, many prayers coming your way from the mama of a sweet boy who is currently standing on the dishwasher door, singing a song understood by only himself, and banging on the counter with a whisk. I pray that these moments are in your future with baby Gavin. Your faith is incredible! You will pull Gavin through!

test said...

I am sending the most heartfelt prayers your way. God bless you all.

Nathalie H.D. said...

Go Gavin go !

I'm not sure that there's a God up there but I believe in the power of positive spirit and human friendship and support so here's my little stone to the edifice, sending my best wishes and love to little Gavin and you and family.

Go Gavin Go !

jenifriend said...

the image is found referred me here and i wanted to extend my prayers to you and your family. god is a handy handy miracleworker and i pray he blesses gavin with a fresh start from this new blood. i pray he provides you some peace in knowing that gavin is in the palm of the most hardworking and sacrificing of hands, and are able to rely on knowing that he will always give you (and baby gavin) all that you need.

take care new friend; much love.


Marti said...

Praying that with his blood pressure up those kidney will start pumping out the urine. hang in there. the team needs to hear about the prayers. trust me, they need to hear it. It will inspire them more than you can imagine.

Abigail Joy said...

Natalie, my heart is breaking for you and your family. I cannot imagine what you are going through! Please know that I will be lifting Gavin and your family up in my prayers! We serve an awesome God and nothing is too difficult for Him!

Even tho we have never met, I wish I could give you a hug!


Regina White said...

I just found your blog link from Digital Photography School and had to come over and give you huge prayers for you, your family and especially Gavin. I have a little boy and know how much they mean to a mama. So prayers and hugs. I look forward to following your blog as often as possible.

Lillian said...

I just read about your son on the DPS email and have already said a prayer for him. Babies are so precious, I will keep you in my prayers.

gary s. chapman said...

God does use Twitter! I am praying also.

Shepherd Family ACALPM said...

I have been to your blog before long ago, dabbling in photography, but I know Rachel W. too... and followed her link to you... I am thankful for your good news, and am praying for you and your family and especially for little Gavin to have the miracles he needs...God be with you!

Suzanne said...

I just read about baby Gavin on the DPS website. I am so sorry that you're facing this. My thoughts and prayers are headed your way.

Unknown said...

Natalie and Richie,

We love you and are praying for Gavin and exercising our faith on his behalf. We believe in miracles.

Cassie Jacklin said...

Sending good vibes your way for baby Gavin. Thinking about you, Gavin and your family up here in Canada-land!

Stephanie Smith - 831 Photography said...

Amen for miracle #1!!

Will continue to pray for your little man and the Doctors. Also have many friends on my Facebook praying as well!

di said...

May God be with your little one and bring him through with no lasting ill effects. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your little one.

Anonymous said...

I have a little baby girl who is the same age as Gavin, and also 3 other children as well. As I look at her, I think about Gavin, and what you must be going through. I'm hopeful that he will be your miracle baby and that you will have many happy days together. Your story has touched me, and I will be researching the Pertussis booster, this is something I've heard nothing about. So for that, I thank you a hundred times over. Positive thoughts and prayers for Gavin and his family!

Jenny in S.C.

Kristen said...

I saw Darren's post regarding your son over at DPS. My heart breaks for you. I CAN imagine what you are going through, because I've been there with my own daughter too. Not in the same way as what your son is sick with. But my daughter was born with several birth defects that made her medically fragile and we weren't sure if she would live. She spent the first 3 weeks of her life in the NICU and had a total of 8 surgeries within 13 months. She's now a bright and happy 21 month old, a miracle, proof that prayers can help. And I am lifting your son up in prayer that he will make a full recovery and you'll once again know the comfort of being at home, all together, with all is well.

God bless you!

KArdner said...

What an amazing story.... my heart is with you and your family!

Anne said...

Sending positive thoughts and vibes in your direction. Go, Gavin!

Steve Gravano said...

I came through DPS, my prayers and with you and little Gavin. Be strong.

Jeanette said...

Go Gavin Go!! Hope he recovers soon!!

Tanya said...

I came via Twitter,praying for baby Gavin!!

Margie said...

Woke up this morning - and 1st thing went looking for a good report! I just knew you would have that miracle! Go Gavin!! Will continue to pray for you and your family!

Bob and Joan said...

We are praying in India.

mimi charmante said...

Thinking of you, praying for you, and retweeting your posts. As a mother of four boys myself, I can't even let myself imagine what you are going through.
You are incredibly strong - keep it up mama!

Unknown said...


I read Darren's post on DPS and just read yours and I find myself fighting back the tears. As a father for the second time of a 4 weeks old boy (Cristian) I'm agonizing over what you and your family and Gavin are all going through right now. I feel helpless yet hopeful that someday this will all be a highlight of will and strength through adversity in Gavin's long and properous life.

The Perez family's prayers are with yours. God Bless!

Go Gavin go!

Anonymous said...

Praying for you, your son, and your whole family from southern Texas.

Unknown said...

My wife and I became grandparents for the first time on December 26, and so I am especially moved and heartsick for you, as you struggle through every parent's worst nightmare.
I came to this through DPS this morning and so all I have read is yesterday's "good" day. I wish with all my heart that your family has a string of them now and that your son emerges safely from this horrible struggle.
I can think of no other adequate words.
Eric O'Donnell

Sarah Haddox said...

I am praying for your son. I can only imagine what this time must be like for you. I pray that God will give you strength and remind you that He loves you and your family.

Julianne and Matthew said...

You`ve never met me and probably never will- but after recieving a text last night from a dear friend, My husband and I have been paying so hard for Gavin. I`ve seen medical miracles before, and know that Heavenly Father can do anything. I`ve emailed everyone I know and asked them to pray for Gavin.

Kaity said...

I found your blog through a series of other photogs... you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I'm also encouraging EVERYONE I know with kids to get them vaccinated! It is so important. Thank you for sharing your story and I will continue to pray that your son gets better.


amandaduvall07 said...

Just want to say...I found your story on Gavin and Cried...for several reasons...Your faith is amazing and I felt God through your Blog post! I will be adding Gavin to my prayer list as well as your family. May God Continue to bless and heal your little one. In Jesus name. Amen Amen!


Kate said...

Love and prayers for your family!

JAMIE said...

Lots of prayers! I just came upon your story from a link on a sister's site. Thank you for sharing your story and your faith. You have my added prayers and good vibes.

Larry Reeves said...

Natalie, Richie and family: we are so happy to hear this little bit of good news. We'll continue to keep you all in our prayers, but especially Gavin. PEE BUDDY, PEE!!

Anonymous said...

A friend of yours told me about your little boy and your blog. I just wanted to let you know that he is in our thoughts and prayers too.

Michelle in Virginia

jennie said...

we are praying for Gavin and your family!

Brian said...

We don't know each other, but I ran across your blog from another friend who posted a link from facebook...and she said she doesn't even know you. Anyhow, I read about Gavin and wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you all. I'm amazed by the power of social media (as you mentioned before) and am also a firm believer in the power of prayer. He will get through this. You will get through this. It looks like you have a million people praying for you, and I hope my prayers will help as well.

Holly said...

Even my hair stylist (who has never heard of you) is praying for Gavin. It's going to work out.

cathy said...

praying for your son, and your whole family from NC.

Unknown said...

My sweet little children prayed for baby Gavin last night. We asked Heavenly Father to bless his doctors...and him...and you...and his papa.

We love you Natalie. I am thinking of you almost every moment. If you need me...I am just down the street!


Brady and Rachel said...

Oh Nat! What a great miracle to hear. So HAPPY for you guys and am continually praying that another miracle comes shortly if it hasn't already. Your doing AWESOME GAVIN!! Keep it up! I LOVE to know that you guys got some comic relief too, humor is so good for the soul. Good for you! Still praying, praying, praying. GO GAVIN GO!!! WE ALL KNOW YOU CAN AND WILL PULL THROUGH!!!! Love you guys!

Anonymous said...

Praise GOD! Gavin in on my mind and heavy on my heart. I find myslef praying for him all day long. GO GAVIN GO!!

Mackenzie from Canada

Lezlie Andrew said...

Gavin is on my heart and in my prayers! Praise Jesus for this 1st miracle!! Praying for constant strength and peace for you, Natalie. All of my facebook and twitter friends are interceding for you guys as well. It's so encouraging to see your faith through this trial. Our Lord is so GOOD and faithful! Keep your head up and your eyes on Him! -Lezlie

Windy Ridge said...

Praise GOD, I feel like singing!

Molly said...

yay! I'm so happy to read this. I finally forced myself to go to bed last night because I wanted to stay up until an update was posted. I got a text in the middle of the night and I jumped up, just in case it was news about little Gavin. This is great news to wake up to. Will keep you guys in my heart today. Go team Norton!

Melinda said...

I have tears of joy for you! Prayed and thought of you all last night. Go Gavin Go!

Bill said...

We're fasting for you and Gavin today and continuing our prayers. We're also thankful for the priesthood and Richie's righteous exercise of this power and for your great faith and example.
--Bill and Dianna Neal

diana palmer said...

so glad you feel our prayers. now we all must give prayers of thanks.

Doni Brinkman said...

I am a photographer and a mama to a former 25 weeker. It felt like worst case scenarios kept on with bilateral hemerrogaes resulting in the dreaded periventricular leukamalacia....

BUT we prayed our hearts out - and God choose to give our son strength. He will be SIX this month and is doing wonderfully! ALL THINGS are possible with God. Praying!

Heather Lee said...

Natalie, Heidi told me about Gavin and since then I've been following his progress. My computer is broken so I haven't been able to leave any messages until now. I was so glad to read this message and pray that things continue to improve! What a strong little baby he is! We love you guys!

Kristen said...

I've been in a similar position. The pain is real. And so are miracles.

Anonymous said...

Natalie...just wanted you to know we are praying for baby Gavin, you and your family. I've called all the temples from Utah County to Salt Lake County and added Gavin's name. I've asked my family and friends (and Facebook friends) to please pray for Gavin. I sure love your mom and dad and am praying for them to be strong as well. Keep fighting Baby Gavin!!!

Stefano said...

I am also praying for your little angel.
Fight and win Gavin, little man!!!

jenna said...

i've had a sick baby and know some of the pain you must be feeling. i admire your positive attitude, seriously impressive! you are a strong woman, that i know for sure.

we are praying for you here. xoxo.

Kjrsten said...

praying, have prayed, and will continue to pray.

GASagers said...

I have a baby about a month older than Gavin. I can only imagine what you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Kate said...

The word is out on your sweet, sweet baby boy. I am praying for your little one to go home and run around with his big brothers... so good thoughts and vibes are coming your way from my way!!! May God bless you and watch over you and your family.

Jeff A said...

My families prayers are with Gavin and your family.

May God bless you all.

Camille said...

Lots of prayers from California. Your faith is INCREDIBLE!!!! You're inspiring.

Kellene Maynard said...

Dear Lord, I pray for the speedy recover of baby Gavin. That his blood pressure would stay up, that his bodily functioning would recover and improve quickly, for his little heart to stay strong, and that the doctors can back off on the use of the ventilator. I pray that you would grant the doctors wisdom to make right decisions about Gavin's treatment and that you would help the doctors to stay focused and strong through this time of uncertainty. Please bring peace to this family during this difficult time of uncertainty and illness. I pray that you would uphold them with your everlasting love and bless them with this healing. Thank you for your love and depths of understanding.

In Jesus Name, Amen

LM Photography said...

Hey Natalie,

My prayers are with you and Gavin. I understand the pain you are going through...my daughter, also my 4th had pertussis when she was 6 weeks old. She was in the hospital for 2 weeks, touch and go. She pulled through and is an amazing, active 9 year old. I will continue to keep you in my prayers while Gavin is in this battle. Blessings to you and your family, LaurBeth

echo said...

the allreds pray for you everyday. every prayer.

Scarlett Lillian // Jacksonville Senior Photographer said...

God is so good! What a great miracle story this is going to be! Praying praying praying for you all! Big hug!

jlydia said...

this is AMAZING news!!!! my daily devotion in my email this morning is about prayer,it's powers,how we should instantly do it when we see/hear a need...PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.(so appropriate & i instantly thought of you-who i heard about last night at 1am my time!) i am praying for your baby, family,the staff at the hospital,and everyone involved-without ceasing!! i can't wait to see what God does!!! He is such an AWESOME GOD!!!

i think we all probably feel connected to you as well! and thanks for praaying for us also!! YOU are amazing!!!!

TLCbull said...

Heard you were in need of prayers while stalking at DPS. As a "prayer warrior" for children suffering from various forms of cancer, some who truly are now angels themeselves, my friends and I are used to praying for children in times of need. The prayer warriors (both here and in heaven) are on the job!
God bless Momma Bear, Pappa Bear, all the Brother Bears and the rest of your family with the peace of His love as you cope through this time. God bless Gavin with a strong heart and the will to endure just one more day. God bless the doctors to feel His spirit as He guides them to the next step in treatment.
Go Gavin go!

Summer's World said...

We prayed for your family as a family here. My 4 year old son said, "Now he won't die 'cause we prayered." And he's right. Nat, I've been praying for a miracle in my own life (of much less magnamity of course) but I told the Lord that I would gladly drop my request if he would honor yours. I'm not sure if that's how things work, but I meant it. God Bless.

Melissa Stock said...

I am blessed to be praying for you and your family right now. Prayers from strangers as well as loved ones held us up and helped to keep us going during some very traumatic moments the past few years. Remember "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble". Just keep that line of communication open to him during this. We are praying peace and comfort and strength over you. I'll be passing this along to my prayer warriors as well.

jenn said...

So so many comments, which is so wonderful! So many people are praying and loving you and your family! Add Daniel and I to the list. We will be praying and reading.

Cathy said...

I am praying for your sweet boy Gavin. Even though you are in such pain you are such an inspiration to all of us mothers. God Bless & God Speed Gavin.

Anonymous said...

Hi Natalie,

I got a post from Darren. I am an amateur photographer from Canada. I have one son and I can imagine what you guys are going through. I feel your pain and a sense of helplessness at the same time. We are all praying for Gavin. God is Great and he knows what's best for all of us. Greg

Marily said...

Just another one to add to the list of people praying for you and little Gavin. We have three little boys. Because you are sharing your story and your faith with so many you will not only see this miracle happen, but thousands of others will see it too. Thanks for strengthening my faith today.