Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No Rejection!!

Last night Lincoln's Dr's called and informed us that all biopsy specimens taken during the heart cath tested negative for rejection! There was no sign of hemo-rejection or tissue-rejection! This is a huge sigh of relief! We are not exactly sure why Lincoln's BNP was so high. Even if it was a mistake by the lab...more than one lab test showed that it was gradually increasing over the last few we are confused but very happy none the less!! Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers and emails! This was a great reminder of God's greatness to us and the power of prayer! It was also a good reminder for us of how we need to keep on top of the little things to ensure that Lincoln stays healthy! Thanks again...we love you all! J, K &L

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We're Home...Still Waiting!

Hey Everybody! We got home late last night. Lincoln’s procedure went GREAT and without any problems. He got discharged and got to go home in record time! So thank you all for the prayers of safe travel and for a great cath procedure! The lab results and echocardiogram were also better than we expected. When lab results came back for the BNP, we were all shocked when we saw a number of 36…under 50 is normal. This is quite a bit different than the 509 number we had going into the cath and in which all the Dr’s were NOT thrilled! So either something drastically happened in the last two weeks to make the BNP go down, or one of the labs made a mistake and we got false numbers, OR God did some good things!! Anyway, we are still nervous about the results of the biopsy. If a BNP of 509 is not a mistake and 36 is…than there might be some rejection. If a BNP of 36 is not a mistake and 509 is…than things should be fine. It makes sense, though, that 36 is more accurate seeing that all of the other labs and echos are great? The results should be in the next 48 hrs so we ask that you continue to pray for the results of the biopsy and that God continues to heal! We will be in touch very soon! We love you all! J,K & L

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Please Be Praying!

Hello to all of our friends and family! As you know, from our last update, Lincoln has been doing great and was scheduled to go down to UCLA on Sept. 26th for his bi-annual heart catheterization. Well, our plans have changed just a bit! Lincoln gets his lab work done once a month...and last week’s lab work revealed something not so exciting. One of the lab numbers they keep an eye on (the BNP level) was elevated 9 times the normal level. BNP is excreted by the heart when the heart muscle is being stretched. A couple of reasons the heart muscle could be stretching is: the heart is working too hard which could mean some level of rejection; too much fluid in and around the heart; or as simple as a growth spurt. We are praying for the latter...but at this point the Dr's aren't sure what it is or what it means. The rest of the labs, echocardiograms, medication levels and all around energy are great, so things aren't making too much sense at this point. All we know is that in April his BNP level was normal but it has been slowly and steadily rising. So basically this means they are bumping up his cath procedure to this Monday the 15th. They want to get in and get numbers, pressures and a biopsy as soon as possible to see if there is any rejection happening. Please be in prayer for Lincoln, his heart, the procedure and our hearts and minds as this is no doubt stressful and discouraging! Lincoln goes into cath at 7:00 AM and should last a few hours so please be in prayer! Other than that Lincoln is doing fine...he is his happy, crazy, smiley self! Hope everyone is doing well...we'll keep in touch. We love you lots! J,K&L

Thursday, September 04, 2008

No Biopsy Yet...

Hey everyone! Hope all is well with you! Lincoln is doing great. The last few weeks have been very busy and we are glad summer is coming to an end! As a lot of you were aware...Lincoln was supposed to go to UCLA on Labor Day for a biopsy. The date for his procedure has been delayed due to scheduling conflicts. We are now scheduled to have his biopsy on Sep. 26th. This will not affect any outcome or cause worry due to the delay. In fact, when Lincoln's cardiologist found out about the delay at UCLA, he made Lincoln come in for an echo and lab work…both of which turned out great! So please be praying for this trip and this procedure. Although "routine", there is never anything routine about cardiac catheterization. We will update with how everything went very soon. We love you all! J&K

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I Am 2 Years Old!

Hey everyone! Hope all is well with you…it is with us! Lincoln is doing great. The last few months have been the busiest since we’ve been home! In May we celebrated one year being home from the hospital. Yeah!! Lincoln and I were also involved in Auntie Heather and Uncle Creed’s wedding where Lincoln was the Ring Bearer…He looked adorable! Also in May, God opened the door for me to get back into law enforcement. I left for a three-week training course and left Kristen and Lincoln at home by themselves. Although it was difficult being away for so long…I think it was tough for all of us. June was an incredibly busy month as well! On June 12th we celebrated Lincoln’s 2nd birthday…what a day it was! Plus we traveled A LOT for different family occasions. We must have put thousands of miles on the vehicle. Well, here we are in July and nothing seems to be slowing down! Lincoln saw his first fireworks show on the 4th. We are also planning on going camping for the first time with Lincoln next week…it should be an interesting time trying to keep him somewhat clean! On July 9th we went to visit Papa York who had surgery to remove his right kidney due to an unexpected bout of kidney cancer. The recovery is going well and he seems to be doing great…Praise God! However, it was interesting to see Lincoln start crying when we tried to put him on Papa’s lap while he was lying in his hospital bed. Lincoln saw all of the tubes and wires and got scared…it seems incredible to think that Lincoln still has an understanding and empathy for what those things are. Lincoln is also talking a ton! He can almost say the sound each letter makes in the alphabet. He is so smart…he must get that from his mommy! He is starting to repeat words and noises he hears. Singing and dancing seem to be his favorite thing! He has great rhythm and a great ear for pitch…he must get that from his daddy! A great praise to the Lord for keeping Lincoln from getting sick through the spring, which was a huge sickness season! And so far his heart is strong, his medication levels are perfect and he is growing like a weed! You can be praying for Lincoln’s next biopsy…we head down to UCLA on Labor Day weekend. He is scheduled to go into surgery on Labor Day, Sep. 1st. This will be the biopsy that is held after a year and a half of transplant. It will be strange yet an exciting appointment because UCLA Medical Center finally moved into their new hospital across the street which was under construction during the time we were there. As I close this update…I am reminded how awesome and faithful God is! A few nights ago I was watching an episode of Hopkins on TV. They highlighted the story of a 2 yr. old boy who received a heart transplant after a bad bout of myocarditis (an acute viral infection that attacks the heart). The images and emotions that I saw seemed to transcend the small wall of glass of the TV and grab me and once again I found myself in the hospital experiencing the same thing all over again. I could hardly watch and keep the tears back knowing that Lincoln went through that experience just as that little boy did, and how fragile their lives are even now. BUT…God is good and He is perfect and He is faithful! What a great reminder to continually be thankful and to be on our knees for these little guys knowing that their health is so fragile. So Kristen and I say thank you…thank you for all of the continued prayers and support! We can’t do it without you! Have a great summer and we will see ya all next time! We love you all! J&K

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What a Year!

What a year this has been for us! In May we will celebrate a year being home from the hospital...but equally important and impressive, is that on February 16th we celebrated Lincoln's year anniversary of him receiving his new heart! On that day we went to the park with family and had a "heart birthday" party. And to make it an even better celebration...Lincoln underwent his year biopsy down at UCLA on March 4th. The report back from the Dr’s was "No Rejection!" The odds of an infant/toddler rejecting a transplant in the first year are roughly 50%. In this last year, Lincoln has only been to the hospital twice and admitted during only one of those times...both for a viral infection unrelated to his heart...Praise the Lord!! As Kristen and I look back over the year, we actually are glad and thankful that we were soooo incredibly conscious about hygiene and cleanliness for nearly drove us insane! However, it was needed and still is! Lincoln is growing by leaps and bounds! He is turning into a little man full of personality and character (as if he didn’t have enough already)! He loves to sing and dance. He has to listen to music in the car or he'll let us know about it. He loves reading books...even on his own! He loves animals and tries to imitate their noises. He likes to go outside, and he loves to throw balls. He has to blow kisses to everyone...even total strangers everywhere we go. He loves to say his name while pointing to himself (even though its just a two syllable noise that sounds like "dee-duh"). It just seems like he is growing up too fast...but I guess they do that. In a magazine that we receive about heart transplants, we read an article about a man who currently holds the record of having a heart transplant for 29 years! That is really a rare feat...but we are making it our family's personal goal for Linc to beat that record. We hope everyone had a great Easter...we did! He has truly risen indeed and reigns on high!! Thank you everyone who continually holds us up in prayer! We love you all J&K

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!

Hey everyone!! We hope everyone is well and had a great thanksgiving! It's been forever since the last update! Let's bring you up to speed. Besides Lincoln crying because we are on the computer and not paying attention to him...he is doing great! He is getting to be such a big fact Kristen calls him her "little man." Lincoln is doing so much, and he is just about caught up to where he needs to be physically according to his Physical Therapist. He tells us many things by using sign language. He babbles allot and makes animal sounds. He is getting taller by the second and is just about to break the 20-pound mark. Oh ya...he started walking this past week (although a little shaky still)!! Last time we talked we were leaving for LA to have another biopsy done. Obviously the results were great, and since then Lincoln has only battled a few colds and still is doing great! In fact, he had an echo and check-up yesterday with Dr. Caton (his cardiologist), and everything looks great! We also just got word from his cardiologist down at UCLA. He told us Lincoln won't need his next biopsy until his annual (in February), which is the year anniversary of his transplant...that will be 6 months after his last biopsy...and they don’t usually like to go that long in between them. Lincoln is eating better but nowhere near where he needs to be for his caloric intake...but he is growing and the Dr's are pleased. Lincoln finally got to celebrate some of the holidays spent inside the hospital...outside the hospital for the first time! He was a pediatric cardiologist for Halloween...which was a hit with all of the Dr's and nurses! We celebrated mommy and daddy's birthdays and Grandparents day. Our first Thanksgiving home was especially great...there was a lot to be thankful for! We just got back from LA this last weekend where we went to the UCLA annual pediatric heart transplant party. Yes...that’s Lincoln and Tom Arnold...he was at the party too. And the group pic with all the kids are all kids who have had heart transplants! Lincoln is in the upper left of the picture (the smallest kiddo there). It was great seeing our UCLA family and friends. Which reminds us...please be praying for 3 families that we know that were in the hospital the same time Lincoln was. One family lost their little 2 yr old girl due to pneumonia and another family's 3 yr old boy is currently rejecting his new heart. Both of which received new hearts while we were down there waiting with them. And the third family has a 13 yr old girl who needs a heart desperately as she is extremely sick! We also went and saw the Clovis annual Christmas parade...which was cold!! We had to leave early because the noise freaked him out! Please keep praying as Lincoln still faces the daily battle of being rejection free! Well, we hope everyone has a blessed and merry Christmas and a happy New Year! 2007 was a tough but great year for the Carter's and we can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2008! See ya then...We Love You All! J&K