(Dear friends and family, this page contains the full update, you may wish to start at the bottom for a sequential reading).
Saturday Nov 28th
Today was a very tough day for us. The doctor called and said that though she has stabilized, our darling Caroline’s kidneys are not improving and he is concerned that there is permanent damage to them. Due to her heart condition he said she may not be a candidate for a kidney transplant. They are increasing her medicine to see if she will respond. He also confirmed that the MRI did show some brain damage that was caused when her blood supply stopped due to her hypoplastic aorta. However, he said that they they don’t know yet if it’s permanent or recoverable. Kidneys can recover naturally; or supernaturally if God wills.
As you can see our optimism suffers compared to the last update. We do know she is the Lord’s and His to take to heaven whenever it is her time, we know that as with Paul and King David, sometimes the Lord chooses not to heal according to his Sovereign will. Yet please pray with us for a miracle of healing. We have seen the Lord act supernaturally before in our life with Mary-Katherine (ask me about this sometime); and pray for Him to do so again if He wills. We have been given so much and don’t deserve Caroline, or anything for that matter, but selfishly would like more time to know and love her and see her grow up to be a powerful force in ministry and apologetics (of course).
As I write this we are here at Stanford Medical at the NICU, she is sedated and sleeps so peacefully. We love her so dearly. It’s tough for me as an engineer as I can’t “FIX” it. But she is first and foremost the Lord’s not mine. Not ours.
Frankly this is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to faith, doesn’t it.
God exists, I can prove that to be reasonable and factual using science and logic.
Christ physically died and rose from the dead, I can prove that to be reasonable and factual with a case that could stand up in a court of Law. (If you haven’t heard me talk about this, ask me for my scientific and historical and logical evidence).
So if Christ rose from the dead, the accounts of His ability to heal then fall in place naturally. More so His promise of our resurrection. Faith must be based on truth and facts. Our Apologetics (the evidence for the faith) proves our Theology, our Theology strengthens and verifies our Hope and our Hope leads our Emotions. That way when trials come we can be assured and we can say: Sickness has no chance if He wills us to be healed. And if not to be healed, we can truly say: Oh Death where is your victory? O Grave where is your sting? In that glorious day God will dry the tears from our eyes, pain will end and we will never die.
In my discussion with my atheist friends they have looked at pain and said: How can God exist if there is so much pain and suffering?
I look at pain and say: Thank You God, that You do exist and provably so.
For without a God, pain and suffering would be a cruel heartless cold ending. For how can my atheist friend truly comfort anyone? In his worldview it is all for naught. There is no happy ending.
In the same way, my friends who do not know, or blindly hope, or only guess what maybe beyond our limited physical and natural four dimensions, can only wish that what is out there really exists and “will” themselves to believe that perhaps it is better than what we have here. But what if they are wrong? Where is their assurance? What is their hope based on? Facts or feelings?
Yet, I know emotionally and can prove intellectually that nothing can stop me from spending eternity enjoying Caroline as much as I enjoy Mary-Katherine, her big sister. The only question is if we have to wait a few years to start spending time with Caroline. At this point in her frailness, we pray we don’t.
The battle is not over. Keep praying. God exists and He is able. We now pray that His Sovereign Will is to heal her.
Please forward this to family and friends not on the list.
We are keeping people updated on Facebook.
On Thursday Nov 26, 2009, at 11:54 AM, Neil Mammen wrote:
Hi family and friends,
Baby Caroline is getting more stable by the hour. She’s on morphine so she’s out of pain and sleeping steadily.
All vital signs have stabilized or seem to be getting there.
They confirmed that there was some liver damage and some kidney damage when she had a short supply of blood/oxygen. But they said these are usually all reversible and that’s what they are working on. All other scans showed there was no genetic issues with her organs or brain. They are doing a few more tests. We are praying that baby Caroline had no brain damage either. Normally the body maintains supply to the brain at the expense of the other organs so please pray that there is no damage there. The nurse said “We see a lot of babies with lack of oxygen here and usually they recover quite well.”
We are praying that they can do the heart surgery next week as that indicates that she’s strong enough and well on her way to recovery.
Do keep praying. We are thankful for you, your prayers, emails of encouragement and all the blessings we have this Thanksgiving.
Neil and Anna
Wed, November 25, 2009 1:43:53 AM
Caroline is at Stanford/Packard Children’s Hospital, they are stabilizing her and trying to bring her back to fully normal before any surgery is done. It may be a few days. The doctor confirmed that my research was correct, it’s either an interrupted aortic arch or a “skinny” aorta (I haven’t found any info on the latter yet). They will confirm after all the tests are run tonight and tomorrow.
The biggest prayer need now is to pray that that there was no long term damage done during the time when her blood was not flowing fully. There are lots of things that could have been damaged. Keep praying please and thank you all so much for all your responses. Keep them coming. While we many not be able to respond individually, each one has been a great encouragement.
On Tue, Nov 24, 2009, at 7:10 PM, Neil Mammen wrote:
Thank you all, and praise God. Caroline is looking much better. She’s pink again (sorry Indian relatives, another very un-Indian looking baby Mammen – but she does have black black hair so far). The medicine they gave her is working. From my limited understanding it seems to confirm the problem is what they suspected. As we speak the EMT’s are here getting her ready to move to Stanford. It takes quite a while. So she’s out of danger as much as we can tell. PTL. I will go with her to Stanford and will follow with more info at some point.
Meanwhile here’s a website that tells you what I think is happening. I have not talked to the doctor so this is just my own research. It looks very promising but as we all know the problems are the ones that we don’t anticipate like side effects, infections etc. So please do not stop praying. Caroline is a trooper and will give her older sister a run for her money we pray.
On Tue Nov 24, 2009, at 5:58 PM, Neil Mammen wrote:
Hi family and friends an urgent prayer request.
Our second daughter Caroline Lois Mammen was born this past Sunday, Nov. 22 at 10:40 am. She was 7lbs 3oz and 20 inches.
However, she was immediately admitted into the NICU as they found that she had a small hole in the roof of her mouth and two holes in her heart. Normally this is not a problem and can easily be treated. However after 2 days she was not thriving, today she “crashed,” they think she may have an aorta that is too small and is unable to provide enough oxygen for her. They’ve given her some medicine that will alleviate the problem. If it does not work she’ll be taken to Stanford Medical at Stanford University to a cardiologist for immediate surgery. If it does work she’ll still go there but it won’t be as critical.
There’s lots of good news in this. First if this is the actual problem, it can be treated and the operation itself is relatively simple. Second, I’m glad we don’t have socialized healthcare and as a result have some of the worlds most advanced (and expensive) medical services. Third I’ve always wanted my kids to go to Stanford, all expenses paid. But most of all we are reminded that God is able and He is in control.
Please be praying that the medicine works to remove the urgency and after that she survives the trip there, that she does not catch any infection (hospitals are notorious for that) and that she has no other problems i.e. no development problems. She is also learning to suck/eat with a special bottle to compensate for the hole in the roof of her mouth, which has proven difficult for her. We serve a mighty God and whatever He wills is fine with us at the end of the day of course our heart’s desire is for a full and quick recovery.
Please forward this to family and friends. We will start updating people on facebook shortly.
Anil (Neil) and Anna Mammen
Bimal Sangari said:
Neil and Anna,
thank you for updating me in the developments that you have recently been through. I admire the courage that you have shown throughout this episode. My thoughts are with you both. I know that you have the courage and resolve to get past this tough time.
Carl & Joyce Whitaker said:
God never allows the trials of this life, without a purpose!!! We’ve learned that over a period of fifty years…! Losing our precious son at the age of thirty, and then now with the Cancer that Carl is enduring. Just know, HE is using you in the lives of others…..and that is what matters…..He is preparing us for “Heaven”!!! Praise HIS HOLY NAME!!!
Our prayers continue on your behalf Neil and Anna, along with your entire family.
Carl & Joyce