Friday April 6th, Removing the Tumor

At 6:30 am in our hospital room, Ingram was already dressed for surgery and both sets of our parents and our pastor met us in our room to pray one last time as a group before we roll Ingram down to surgery. We spend about 10 minutes in prayer before we get the call that they’re ready. Our parents give Ingram hugs and we roll out in the wagon with Ingram not knowing what is about to happen to him. At 7:30 am, Craig and I were pulling his wagon and got to the double doors where we would have to let him go; that was the hardest moment that we have ever encountered including everything involved with Craig’s heart stuff in 2007. It’s one thing to let go of your husband’s hand as he’s rolled into open heart surgery, but it’s totally different when you’re letting go of your only son not know what might happen during the next few hours. We were told to expect his surgery to last anywhere from 5 to 8 hours and that we would be called each hour once surgery had started by our OR nurse with an update from the doctor. We got the first call at 8:30 saying that they were starting and that Ingram did great getting sedated and he had been happy even till that point and they reminded us that they would call in an hour with the first update. While we were waiting for the next call, the lobby of the 2nd floor was starting to fill with friends and family; the rest of the hospital was empty since it was Good Friday. About an hour later we received our next call, but this time our nurse said that the doctors wanted to meet with us in the Conference Room 1. Since we were told there would be phone calls and surgery would last 5-8 hours, you can imagine all the thoughts that were going through our heads. Craig held me as we wept and prayed and it seemed like hours until the surgeons came into the room. While we were in the little room, all of our family and friends gathered in prayer as most of them were thinking the same as we were. As both surgeons entered the room, we couldn’t see any emotion on their faces and then they sat down right across from us. One of the surgeons looked us straight in the eye and smiled as he said “Well, I think we got it all.” A flood of tears started running down our faces as the doctors continued to talk to us about how the surgery was going. Next while he was still asleep and his brain was open, they sent him through the MRI to see if they got everything. The OR nurse called back about 35 minutes later and said there were two spots they surgeons didn’t like on the MRI so they were going back in; we were on the downhill portion of the emotional roller coaster with this news. So we all gathered in prayer again as they were going back in to look at these spots. About another hour later, we got the call that they were closing Ingram up and we would be able to see him in about 15 minutes in ICU. Our nurse didn’t mention the two spots so Craig asked about them and we were told that they were nothing to worry about. What a relief we felt at that moment! Our son had survived surgery, the complete tumor was removed, and we could see him in a matter of minutes.

While Ingram was in ICU, he pretty much did two things, slept and threw up. When he was sleeping from all the medicine he would hold my finger and squeeze it while I talked to him. When he was awake, we would try to get him to eat ice chips or sip water only to have him throw it up shortly after. We were able to stay with him in ICU the whole time and Craig was able to get some good rest. With Ingram throwing up all the time, he would reach for me or squeeze my hand harder if I started to step away. One time, though, Ingram let Craig hold his hand instead of mine and that was so sweet for Daddy. Of course, he threw up again and asked for Mommy. Madison and Lindsey were able to come up and see Ingram while he was in the ICU and they even helped his nurse check his vitals and we explained with them even more. Seeing their brother and having him tell them “I love you” seemed to do wonders for all five of us.

ICU after Surgery

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