Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Update On My Sister Leah's Condition

Hello All,

For those of you who have not heard, my sister Leah is in the hospital, having suffered initially from a condition called a "Thyroid Storm." I had never heard of it before it hit Leah, but the gist of it is that the thyroid over produces and blitzes the senses of the body. At present, she is in critical condition in the ICU of a hospital near our family home in Colton. Her prognosis is not good and we continue to ask for prayer through every outlet possible.

We learned of Leah's condition as we were leaving from Family Camp just 10 days ago. She had been admitted to the hospital the Thursday prior, 2 days before. When we got to the hospital, we assumed that she was suffering from an advanced form of the flu and would simply need a few days to recover. Immediately upon getting to the hospital, the severity of what had come upon Leah began to dawn upon us. She was lucid, but definitely not right. She was dizzy and a bit disoriented and had a fever that had not abated for several days. We were worried, but did not consider this to be life threatening until later that day.

The words "Thyroid Storm" had been uttered by one of the nurses during our visit. We came home and Googled it. The alarming statistic that jumped off of the page was that those who did not catch this in time had a 90 percent mortality rate! From this point on, we wondered if Leah had caught this in time. Shortly after our visit, Leah was put under sedation and put on a ventilator to help facilitate her breathing, which a nasty cough had begun to interrupt.

From where we have been standing, this was done to help fight off the infection that was present in her body and to allow her to heal. Unfortunately, at some point, this became more than a preventative measure and has now become full life support.

In the middle of this, Leah suffered a massive ischemic stroke. Just this past Sunday, I went to see my sister and was completely overwhelmed at her condition. Monday, I was called and told about the extent of the stroke. Tuesday I was again called and invited to a meeting with the doctors to discuss how our family would like to proceed in light of Leah's condition. I returned Wednesday to attend the meeting with the Doctors. Leah was given a 10% chance of survival and if she does, only a 10% chance that she will ever exist out of a vegetative state. Today, I go in to see my sister, perhaps for the last time on Earth.

This journey has been surreal and absolutely bizarre. For many of you who are aware of loss and how it affects you, I don't need to tell you about the feelings. Some days, in this situation, there have been causes for hope and then just as quickly causes for dread. It's amazing to me that I can carry on a conversation, or play with my kids and completely get swept away in that. And then, immediately after completing either the conversation or the playing, my mind and heart race back toward thoughts and prayers for my sister. I go to sleep praying for her and the second that I wake up, that conversation continues as if it hadn't stopped. I alternate between the good memories of 25 years and the deep sadness that there is in the awareness that there may not even be 25 more hours!

Thankfully, I do not grieve without hope. Our family is strong in it's belief that Leah is in the hands of Jesus Christ and that when she dies, she will immediately be comforted for eternity in the arms of her Savior. She loves the Lord and will soon be with her. I have confronted the same questions that everyone does and am thankful that the Lord has answered them to my heart's satisfaction. He has met me in my laughter and now, He has met me in my grief.

We ask for your prayers, first, that the Lord would deal mercifully with Leah. Second, for our family, as we deal with the potential loss of a treasured family member. But most importantly, pray for the glory of God that WILL shine through, either through miraculous intervention or by godly testimony.

Thank you for all your prayers and support. It has meant a great deal to us.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

26 comments:

Carrie said...

Sanchez's - I am so so sorry. I love you guys, and I am praying for you.

kindra said...

Definitely praying and I have passed this on to so many people asking for their prayers as well. Love you guys.

JoJo said...

I'm praying for you guys and especially for leah.

jo said...

The Lord is good and His mercies are never ceasing! We are praying for perfect peace for you all.

Jeff and Aimee said...

Oh, Sanchezes--We will be praying for you all, especially for Maria. May God's presence be very tangible to you at this time.

Deron & Christy: said...

you all are in are prayers. i had just heard this past week. thank you for the update. we pray that the Lord will work in everyone's lives and bring everyone the peace that is needed, no matter what. God bless you all!

The Thompson Family said...

My heart broke reading this! I knew of what was going on..but reading it from Frank's thoughts was much harder to take in!
We love the Sanchez' and are praying for all of you! For peace and comfort and incomprehensible love!
-The Thompson's

threelil1s said...

We have been praying for Leah and your family. We are so sorry that Leah and your family are going through this. We continue to pray for healing in Leah's life and Gods will be done. We continue to pray that the Lord pour out his comfort, peace, and wisdom upon your family. And again are so sorry you are going through this.
Love Andrew and Sarah Amento

Joanna said...

Kindra directed me to your blog to read about your sister. You have my prayers.

sotelloohana said...

Pastor, I as well as my family are saddened to hear about the condition of your sister. Our heart aches deep within and we share your families sorrow because she was indeed a sister in Christ along side of us. Psalm-91 has been laid heavily on my heart to share along with your family. God does answer prayers, and in this case has without our true understanding. Feel confident that we all, sisters and brothers united by Jesus will be reunited with Leah again soon caught up in the clouds when the trumpet is heard. Stand strong Sanchez family, Our savior has broken the bond of death and our sister will soon be with him! In Him,
The Sotello's

Stacy Y said...

praying for peace and comfort for the family at this time and that God would be in the midst ..Stacy (Gillman)

Cowen Family said...

Can't wait for her miracle! Hurting, praying, hoping. We love you ALL.

LuvToRekord said...

Laura and I are absolutely shocked at how quickly this whole situation has developed to the point that it is now. To all the Sanchez's: our heart breaks for you during this time. If there is ANYTHING at all that we can do for any of you please don't hesitate to ask. It's not too late for a miracle and that's our prayer for her now. God bless you all. Brad and Laura

Melz said...

I love youuuu. Praying for you and your family.

JamieB said...

i'm praying for you all, too.

Sharon said...

Frank & Lela, Please know I am praying that God in His infinite mercy grants you peace. Knowing that all things are possible, I still pray for a miracle for your sister's recovery. May He wrap you all in His loving care and bring you through this storm.

fatnomore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Johannah Hale said...

I can only say that tears stream down my face as I read this...I pray for a miracle and for God's overwhelming comfort and peace...know that there are many going to sleep praying and waking up praying. Love you guys.

Savannah said...

We will all be praying for you and your family !!!! And Leah!!!!!

mmoore said...

We are praying for you and your family! Please let us know if there is anything we can do. If you need help with the kids or meals or whatever. We live so close and would love to help in any way.

Mimi Trementozzi said...

Dear Frank,

My heart aches for you and your family as I read your update on Leah.
Please know that we are asking the Lord to answer prayers for your sister in a miraculous way. We are praying that Jesus will extend His healing hand and touch her. We are also praying for God's comfort, strength, wisdom and will.
Give Him all your worries and anxieties in exchange for His perfect peace that passes all understanding.
We may be broken hearted but we are not without hope.
God bless.
Mimi and Mike Trementozzi

Patty said...

We love you guys. We're praying morning, noon, and night. Lord, please move quickly with your healing hand on Auntie Woods. May Your will be done, Lord.

Lori Fender said...

Frank & Lela,

Our hearts goes out to you and your family. We have been praying non-stop for God's will to be done. We pray that you find strength in His loving arms and that He grants you a peace that only He can give. Know you are all loved!

In Him,
Lori & Richie Fender

Mel (AKA Dad, Grampa) said...

Oh Frankie and Lela, please know that we are praying for you and your parents. Mel and Paulette

Jeff Lindeman said...

I am so sorry you and your family are going through this right now. What a sweetheart Leah is... I can't imagine having to watch your sister go through this. Knowing you and your family, Frank, you're being strong and staying focused on the fact that God is in complete control...but for those times when you are at your lowest and just missing your sister, just know that you (and Lela, your kids, and your parents and brothers) are constantly on our minds and we're praying for God to give you exactly what you need to get through this. Love ya, buddy!
Jeff

clayton said...

Mike I love you and your family, God bless you all. We do not sorrow as those who have no hope. I am praying for a peace for you and your family, a peace that passes all understanding....