Book Appointment

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Last Week of June

This has been a difficult week emotionally for Abby as this is the week she was to go to Young Life camp with her friends from Ryle High School. If you know Abby, you know she lived for camp! Despite everything she is dealing with she prays for her friends at camp, especially for the ones she had convinced to go, knowing their lives will be changed. Thanks to her Young Life friends from Highlands who stepped up this week in Ryle's absence to visit her and cheer her up.

Physically, we did receive some very good news this week about her lungs. After almost five weeks of being on a ventilator and enduring four breathing treatments every day, her latest chest X-ray was normal! She is still on the ventilator but the doctors have mentioned she could possibly be weaned slowly over the next month. The breathing issues have really caused a setback to her recovery. Her trach has also not been healing as quickly, as we had been led to believe it would, and is still very painful at times. 

Abby also has not been able to sleep at night which causes her great distress. She says all she wants to do is sleep. Every sleep medication she has tried has caused either hallucinations or extreme itchiness. She still has considerable pain in her neck and hands and has been experiencing occasional painful muscle spasms throughout her entire body. On a more positive note, she was wheeled out into the sunshine for a few minutes on Tuesday. She absolutely loved that!

Thanks to everyone for your love and support, prayers, meals, gift cards, and for the encouraging cards. You cannot know until you have been in this type of tragic circumstance how very much even a simple card means to Abby and to us. Please keep the cards coming to her and please keep Facebooking her, as she always wants us to go to her Facebook and read the latest posts to her. Her spirits are high most of the time and she is clinging to the hope she has in her Lord and Savior. 

     "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."Romans 12:12

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Thank you!

Thank you to all those who came out to support Abby at the Mosh for Marsh event; whether you moshed or  watched, your donations and presence were very encouraging to Abby when she saw how many people showed up! Abby continues to be astounded at how many people are supporting her, even people that she doesn't know. The Marsh family often has to wipe her tears after showing her the love the community is pouring out for her. Thank you!
We have gotten a lot of hype about these t-shirts,
if you would like to purchase a shirt like this with another Marsh slogan on it, tell us.
The band Sea Over Comfort will continue selling band t-shirts with a percentage of proceeds going to Abby. To purchase a t-shirt contact them on their Facebook page.
Photo: Get ready boys and girls

Enjoy this video of Abby's cousin, Nate, putting carmex on her lips.
More updates on Abby's condition tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wheel Chair and Abby's first bite!

Early this week Abby had a swallow test and did a great job. The team of doctors huddled around a machine, that continuously read x-rays of her neck, as Abby chewed mac and cheese and swallowed it. According to the doctors, Abby's ability to eat has not been impaired by her injury or her surgery and she can start a diet of soft foods. Abby can't wait to get off her feeding tube but her appetite is very small, so she is only eating small amounts of food per day.
The physical therapists have seen Abby's improvement and jumped on the opportunity to make her week even better. The nurses put Abby in a giant sling chair, hoisted out her out of bed and put her into a wheel chair. Although she was in the wheel chair for just a little over an hour, she was excited to get out of that bed and in an up right position again. While she was in the chair a little boy, one room over, came to see her; it was great getting to see Abby have fun and make faces with the boy like her usual self.

Abby was super stoked to be out of the bed. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mosh for Marsh

Mosh for Marsh is today. Come out @ 6pm and support Abby!
There will be Snappy Tomato Pizza, drinks, band t-shirts, and #PrayforMarsh bracelets (with aTrauma Washington explanation) for sale.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Old room < New Room

Abby's Old Room (PICU)

Abby's Old Room (PICU)
Abby's new room in the TCC

Abby with a nurse who really took a liking to her after watching her and Nate crack it up.

Much more seating for plenty of future guests.

Happy Fathers Day

Abby gave her dad the best Father's Day present ever today! After almost four weeks of not hearing her voice, he heard her say Happy Father's Day today. Her cuff on the trach was deflated, briefly, so she could move air past her vocal cords. The doctors and nurses were very pleased that she was strong enough to push the air past her vocal cords to talk. But Abby was the most stoked of all. She smiled her beautiful smile for hours afterwards. Even the nurses were crying with us. 

Other updates:  She is on strong antibiotics to fight an infection and was feeling poorly with an upset stomach earlier this week, but she is feeling better every day. On Monday she is undergoing a swallow test to determine if she is ready to eat more solid food. Abby's had cravings for ribs and strawberries and Lay's potato chips! Her arm and wrist movements are improving but still no voluntary finger movement; she does have feeling in them and can squeeze her right hand a little bit. She has also experienced more feeling in her feet and toes in the past week. Before she could only feel positioning and firm touching, now she is feeling light touches to her. 
Her breathing has stabilized now and the respiratory therapists have decreased her oxygen concentration to 21 percent which is approximately the percentage of oxygen present in our atmosphere. She is still on the ventilator for now which is mainly for assistance in increasing her lung capacity.

Prayer requests:  Please continue to pray for complete healing. Pray for her diaphragm and lungs to strengthen and the area around the trach to heal quickly. Pray that she passes the swallow test with flying colors and that her stomach tolerates solid foods again. Pray for protection against any more infection and any more setbacks.

She received a beautiful clear cross necklace this week with a mustard seed inside. It was a wonderful reminder to us all that we need only faith as tiny as that seed to move this mountain. Matthew 17:20 - He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Great things are possible when they first start with lots of prayer and faith in your heart. It just takes a little; in fact, all you need is faith that is as small as a mustard seed.  

Thank you all so much for your love and support.  Please come out to the Mosh for Marsh concert this Tuesday (you might need to bring ear plugs depending on your age).  Abby loves you all! #PrayforMarsh bracelets will be available there.
Abby practicing her swahili,
which she uses to communicate the nurses that can't read her lips.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Skyline Night

Thanks to everyone who stormed Skyline Chili on Monday evening to support Abby. The manager of Skyline said it was one of the, if not the, best attended fundraisers they've ever had; they even had to turn people away multiple times since it was sooo packed! Thanks again for all of your support!

A couple of Abby's second cousins enjoying a cheese coney.
We love you and cherish your prayers!


More progress to report - praise the Lord! The doctors felt Abby was well enough leave ICU today. She is now in the Transitional Care Center (TCC). The TCC unit specializes in caring for patients with pulmonary problems. Her left lung and diaphragm are still weak and will take some time to strengthen. Her trach is healing slowly and she had her first trach change on Monday which went well, but it was very painful. Abby is truly scared of getting this changed as her eyes well up with tears when we tell her when it is going to happen next. Please pray that this gets easier for her.
They have also increased the frequency of her physical therapy.  She was put on a tilt table on Monday which tilted her to an almost standing position. This has now become a part of her everyday schedule.
One of Abby's Physical Therapists, Katie, strapping in Abby and
pushing the buttons that tilt and raise the table.
Stepping up the incline slowly as her blood pressure
stabilizes at each 10 degree interval.
Abby at 50 degrees, doing M.J.'s Thriller dance.
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." -2 Corinthians 12:9

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

June 4th-6th

Slow but steady is how the doctors describe Abby's progress today. The goal for the next few days is to wean Abby off the ventilator, which is a huge step on the way to recovery. She has to be off the ventilator before she can be moved to the rehab unit at Children's Hospital. Abby has been sleeping almost continually since the tracheostomy on Monday, and is still in pain from it when she is awake. It's healing slowly and helping breathe with greater ease.    
She loves the cards people have been sending and smiles (sometimes cries) when they are read to her.  
Proverbs 3: 5-6 was the scripture she asked Pastor Brad to read when he came to pray for her the other day:   "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."
Thank you all for your love,support, and prayers. Please keep praying in faith, as we do, for a full recovery and that God will be glorified through her testimony.  Please pray specifically for her lungs and diaphragm to function strongly as the doctors assess her breathing.   

Prayer Rally

A detailed post on Abby's recovery from her tracheotomy will be along shortly.
Nate and Heather Verst with Abby after her tracheotomy.

The Marsh family would like to thank everyone for coming out and praying to support Abby's healing process, here are some photos and videos that were taken during the event:

Open this link to view the video produced by channel 9 WCPO. 
Let's make Abby's story one of their most visited, click on it!!!

Praise and Worship.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday and Sunday 6/2-3

Abby spent the last two days getting stronger and increasing the volume of air her lungs can hold. She feels super excited to finally get the breathing tube out of her mouth so she can communicate with others.

Please pray that Abby's tracheostomy surgery, Monday afternoon, goes without err and for a fast recovery.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Mosh for Marsh

Mark your calendars for this event!

Friday 6/1

Lung issues still persist, today the respiratory therapist put Abby back on a percussor (CPEP) machine which pushes and pulls large volumes of air into and out of her lungs quickly (one full inhale and exhale at about once per second) through the white and blue tubes that connect at her mouth. This machine has been engineered to help the body move and breakup large secretions in the lungs. They have her on a specific schedule for this machine as well as a cough assist machine.
For several days now, Abby has been hooked up to a narrow feeding tube that travels down her nose and past her stomach to her duodenum. They put the tube past her stomach because the doctors were concerned about her throwing the food back up. Since there is nothing getting to her stomach, the doc's also needed to place an additional line through her nasal passage that would sit in her stomach and suction out the digestive enzymes and bile. Abby likes to make this cute winking face, like a bunny, and scrunches her nose when she has an itch. The tubes are taped to her right cheek and are also pulling her nostril to the right, this is what causes her to itch often.
Dan consoling and praying over Abby.
Since Abby is having such difficulty breathing on her own the doctors have consulted the Marsh family for their consent to perform a temporary tracheostomy. This will aid in her healing process and get back on the road to recovery. This surgery has been scheduled for this Monday, 6/4. It is reassuring to know that these surgeons have performed this surgery many times. Abby's new trach (trake) will give nurses, and eventually family, a quick access point to remove the obstructions to her airway. After the trach heals she will be able to communicate much easier as there will not be a need to have a breathing tube in her mouth.
Thank you for your prayers and continued support. Please pray for the mucus to break and her lungs to function back to normal.
The Marsh family would also like to thank everyone who came out Saturday morning to help with the duties that come along with living on a big piece of land in the country.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wednesday 5/30 and Thursday 5/31

The past two days have been similar, and they are well beyond the point of blending together. Abby is still having difficulty breathing autonomously and often needs suction of mucus from her throat. It is a good sign that her lungs are producing more secretions for her body to expunge. Abby is in need of more strength in her cough to get this mucus from her bronchi up her trachea (yes, I know it's Wikipedia... Deal with it). This is highly frustrating to her as the nurse needs to insert a suction tube, down within her breathing tube, in order to remove the secretions.  

Abby continues to get x-rays of her lungs, according to the doctors they look completely normal. However, the x-rays are not exactly correlating to her mucus condition because when the doctors listen to her lungs with a stethoscope they are saying the right lung is now having problems and the left lung is actually doing better. Fighting the mucus and secretions from the her lungs is a constant battle. She continually is "de-sating" meaning desaturating, where her blood oxygen levels are too low requiring the nurse and respiratory therapist to intercede with breathing machines and suctions in order to stabilize her levels. 

Abby's spirits are high and she has such faith in the Lord! She is holding fast to truth and has loved the encouraging notes she has received thus far; often asking her brothers to read them to her.  

Keep praying for strength in Abby's diaphragm as we continue to struggle through this blessing in disguise.  
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