Wednesday, May 28, 2014

“Let the storm rage on, The cold never bothered me anyway”

Could she possibly be any more adorable? I especially love the "pssshhh" hand motion after she sings "the cold never bothered me anyway". LOL! That's our Zoey Rene! :)

As you might have imagined, the Chalk girls' favorite movie is none other then Disney's Frozen. We are frequently graced with those lyrics :) It brings me to a deeper meaning though, the storms of our life. We have all faced a storm or two in our lives, had times when life just didn’t make sense, when our problems were big and faith seemed too little, when we are utterly afraid that we would be overtaken by the raging storm whether it be emotional or physical. The Chalk family has experienced a number of those storms themselves in the last year alone. And little Zoey has fared her storm with such courage and determination.

April 2014

Zoey’s story became public when she contracted Necrotizing Fasciitis (Flesh Eating Bacteria) in May of last year. After 8 surgeries to save her leg and ultimately saving her life, she miraculously recovered when all odds were against her. But you see, even though the weeks in the hospital, afraid of losing her leg, afraid she might lose her life…. All the sleepless nights spent storming heaven’s gates pleading our merciful father for healing, for a miracle…. All the pain that Zoey suffered, and the impact her scaring still has on her life today and might for many years to come… Through all of that storm, we still see it all as a blessing in disguise. But aren’t the most beautiful testimonies paved with stormy weather? In the testing to save her life last year, another scare was discovered. A hole in Zoey’s heart. If left undiscovered, it’s possible that the condition could have eventually taken her life. We knew last year that it was going to be a surgical necessity reasonably soon, but her depleted tired body needing some time to recover from all the surgery, for her leg to heal, and to be sure that the bacteria would not continue to spread. We were told in one year they would revisit this.

Now three years old, and as we reached the one year mark of Zoey’s brave battle with Flesh Eating Bacteria, she was again within the walls of Seattle Children’s Hospital last week. Only this time it was in cardiology, hooked up to heart monitors.

The hole is causing her heart to pump so much extra blood that the right half of her heart is very enlarged. Without some kind of surgical intervention this will eventually cause complications for her. Scary stuff. The verdict of the top surgeons is this: the hole in her heart is large, so large in fact and too close to the lining of her heart that a surgery via catheterization is not an option, as it comes with too high a risk of causing damage that potentially could lead to her bleeding out. With that said, Zoey is going to be scheduled for open heart surgery sometime within the next month. She will be in the hospital for one week, then have a 6-8 week recovery at home as her sternum will be broken to perform the surgery. In the weeks leading to surgery they have her on a heart monitor to catch the abnormalities of her heart rhythm.

All things said, let the storm rage on…. The cold never bothered us anyway, right? Not when we know who goes before us, and who will keep our girl safe yet again. Zoey will fare this storm too. Our God is faithful and has never once left her side. This too shall pass and we will again glorify His mighty name! Please remember Zoey, her family, and all of the medical team at Children’s in your prayers in the weeks leading up to her open heart surgery. And again, your support and love is cherished by all of us! 

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