Annie's Transplant Update Page
Welcome to the next chapter in Annie’s post-transplant saga. It has been quite some time since the last update, rest assured no news has been good news. There have been a few ups and downs as well as some disappointments over these past several months, but Annie continues to rise above and live life to its fullest. We are all witnesses to the amazing power of prayer and know that God has a plan for Annie, He hears our prayers. The contents of the previous updates can be found by following this link. Now the update...
Howdy Folks, the normal apology for the extended lapse in updates applies again…sorry. The “no news is good news” thing has applied for the time since the last update, with one exception; Annie is doing marvelous! It is a wonderful miracle to have the old Annie back, another prayer answered. It has been exciting to see her feeling better and better at each get together we have had during the past two months. Praise the Lord! She has been insanely busy getting back into the parenting routine and scrapbooking and quilting and on and on. Hard to believe she how well she balances so much activity, I would never be able to do it all. One more bit of news to report tonight as we near the end of the year, Annie is turning 40!!! Please be sure to drop her a note and participate in the requisite humiliation that goes along with counting the tree rings on the latest member of the Over the Hill Gang. That’s it for now, my thanks to all of you for your continued prayers throughout the hard times we have endured since this all started. My prayers for peace and God’s blessings are for each of you.
Happy Monday everyone, sorry again for the long break; as they say “no news is good news”. Now there is news to report, and the news is wonderful… Annie is coming home! Praise God! She actually got the OK to leave late last week but she and Jimmy made the decision to wait until this week to hit the road. We are all anxiously awaiting their arrival. As for Annie’s health, she is doing great. She frequently exclaims that this is the best she has felt in forty years. On the subject of years, Annie will be celebrating her “Big 40” this December. I think she is one person who will not care at all about turning 40. See for yourself, she looks great!
That’s it for tonight; I have a few more pictures which I will post next time. Please pray for safe travels for them all, they’ll be home soon. God Bless.
Good evening all, just a quick update to let you know how Annie has been doing the past few days. Great would be a quick way to sum it up. She has been out of the hospital for a few days and is feeling good. Her brief stay in the hospital was unfortunately in the midst of Helen’s visit, but all were happy to be together and enjoyed some overdue family time. Annie’s stats have been very good and things are looking promising for her to be on her way home sooner rather than later. I think that’s about it for tonight, I’ll try to get more info posted after Annie’s next clinic appointment. God Bless.
Greetings, it’s been a hectic week – one fitting of ending with a Friday the thirteenth. Annie has enjoyed having the family all together as Helen flew in a couple of days ago. Unfortunately Annie has been become very sick and getting ready to be admitted to the hospital. No word yet on what is going on, but I will hopefully get some info from Jimmy later tonight. What I can tell you that she is nauseated and is not able to keep her meds down. I am sure the staff at UPMC will be all over her trying to get her back to “normal” as soon as possible. For now would you please say a prayer for the nausea to subside and for her healing, I know she will appreciate it.
Good Sunday evening, a bit of news to report tonight; Annie is out of the hospital! Thank you Lord! She called today with the good news and sounded obviously thrilled. Next step…home. Not sure when but you can bet it is at the top of Annie’s prayer list. She also got to eat a little bit of “real food” yesterday, chicken with ketchup, no surprise there. Anyhow, Annie is hoping and praying for her recovery to be quick and complete as she is very anxious to get home. Be prepared for a big bash when she gets back. If any of you are planning to use the address from the 10/3 update please check the address again as I have corrected part of it. Thanks and God Bless.
My apologies for the lack of update yesterday, just too much going on. Yesterday was pretty quiet for Annie, a few IV lines removed and quite a lot of pain left behind. Today, there is still a lot of pain and a little bit of anxiety as well. As a result of the surgery Annie’s steroid levels were all raised, now that she is in the recovery phase these levels need to come back down. Enter the anxiety, during Annie’s previous stay at UPMC it was the steroid level reduction that was causing much of the delay in her return home. As the steroid levels were reduced she would become nauseated and as a result the steroid level would be raised again. Now not only does she need to come down on the steroid, she needs to not get nauseated so that she can eat and “wake up” her bowel system. I know Annie would appreciate your prayers for her quick recovery, especially during this hard time. I have an address to share, if you would like to send them a card please address it to Annie & Jimmy Salley c/o Intown Suites 4595 McKnight Rd. #407 Pittsburgh, PA 15237. I know they would love to hear from all of us close to home or from across the globe. God Bless.
I hope everyone has had a great weekend, I suspect none has been as exciting as Annie’s. Following her surgery last Tuesday, Annie found out that her long awaited reversal had been done. Friday’s surgery included the risk of the reversal possibly being undone, which was not the case. Annie’s reversal is intact, so she now has a “normal” system again! This is truly an answered prayer for her. Annie has, of course, not allowed her life to be slowed by the time spent with her ostomy but she is really looking forward to life without it. Thank you Lord for another answered prayer!
Annie is being moved out of the ICU and onto the transplant floor tonight. No she didn’t have another transplant; this is the floor for the transplant care patients. She called today and is sounding very good though still feeling the pain and discomfort of surgery. No way to tell how long she will remain at UPMC before being release to their temporary home, but she is getting closer to that day. I will talk with her again tomorrow and get a bit more info to post. Until then please continue to pray for her recovery and quick return home.
11:00pm – Sorry about the long delay since the last posting, I am just getting home and settled in at home. Annie’s surgery went well, the leak turned out to be a tear rather than a pinhole in her small bowel. That has been repaired and Annie is again on the road to recovery. She is in a tremendous amount of pain but managed to give me a call today (despite being in ICU!) to say hi, that was a wonderful surprise to hear from her. She will have several days of hopefully uneventful steady recovery, during this time I will try my best to continue to get a daily posting done, more if there is important news. Thank you again for your continued prayers and support. God Bless.
9:00am – Annie will be going back to the operating room sometime in the next couple of hours as the leaking did not stop overnight. At this point the doctors do not know exactly where the leak is so this surgery is partially exploratory as well as for repair. Annie and Jimmy would like to request and enlist as many prayers as possible, specifically that this surgery be without complication and that the leak be quickly and completely repaired. I will let you all know as soon as I have more info available. Thanks.
September 28, 2006
Well the weekend is within sight, what a week it has been. There really isn’t much new to report at this time. The leak has not gotten worse and there has not been any scheduling of surgery that I know of so far, hopefully a sign of good things ahead. Several people have requested Annie and Jimmy’s address in Pittsburgh, as soon as I have one I will post it or send it to those who have requested it. That’s it for now, God Bless.
Noonish, a little bit of trouble to report at this time. I am posting a note from Jimmy that will fill you in. Please pass this along to others to read.
Note from Jimmy:
Annie is still in the ICU today and will remain in ICU overnight. She was originally scheduled to get out of ICU today but some bilious fluid was found in an abdominal drain. This means she may have a pinhole leak in her small bowel. Dr. Kareem is hoping it will heal on its own in the next 24 hours. If not, then he will have to go back in and fix the hole. If another surgery is required it will be scheduled for Friday a.m. Annie is still in a lot of pain and feels nauseated but this was expected due to the length and extent of the surgery on Tuesday. Please pray for healing of the leak, that her pain and nausea to diminish and for strength for the upcoming days.
We all appreciate your support and concern.
Needless to say this is a time to step up the prayers; we really do not want to see Annie undergoing another surgery for awhile. I’ll post again when I hear more.
10:00pm and all is well, my apologies for the lateness of this update but this is the first chance I have had to sit down in front of my computer. Anyhow, Annie has been doing very well today, off the vent first thing this morning and telling Jimmy to start calling people. She is having a lot of pain and discomfort as well as feeling nauseated. None of this is much of a surprise considering all she has been through, especially these past few days. Dr. Kareem has said that this was probably the most difficult surgery he had done in quite some time. As I am typing this update the Barbara Walters special about Steve Irwin is airing and his widow is talking about faith and getting through this tragedy. She commented that she believes that all things happen according to a (God’s) plan, now she must see what this plan holds for her family. Annie has also been through many trials but always comes through them, according to God’s plan. We have never known for sure what His plan for Annie is, but we all have faith and hope that this plan includes using Annie’s life story as encouragement for others. I know that when I talk with others about Annie they always are surprised that one person could endure so much and maintain their faith, but they always seem to start to understand it a bit more by the end of the story. For now please pray for Annie’s swift and full recovery, for her to return home soon, and for her faith to remain strong. Thank you.
5:00ish, Annie is out of surgery! Wow, another near-marathon session at twelve hours thirty minutes, and Dr. Kareem never left the room! Jimmy said the doctors are exhausted, but feel good about the procedures. The adhesions to a lot of time and work but the team feels that they have got her pretty well fixed up. Jimmy is waiting to be allowed to go back and see Annie, not sure when that will be but I am sure it will be sometime late this evening on the east coast. The current plan has Annie remaining on vent overnight and hopefully off first thing tomorrow. It may be tomorrow before there is more information to post but please keep checking in and praying hard. God bless.
Later yet – Just spoke with Jimmy, Annie is still in surgery but continues to be doing well. The Gyn surgeon has done his part which included a supra-hysterectomy. We had all hoped that her ovaries would not need to be removed, but due to the size of the cysts on the right one and the number of cysts and scars on the left one it was decided that it was best to remove them both now (the right one had to go to alleviate pressure on the abdomen) rather than to repeat the surgery later. That’s it for now, I’ll post again as news comes in – hopefully after surgery is over. Please keep praying, there is another recovery ahead.
Still Tuesday, just a bit later. Jimmy called and said that things are going well, still working on cleaning up the adhesions and scar tissue. The Gynecology surgeon has not started his work yet but said once he has done his part he will let Jimmy know how it went. This will be a long day for the team at UPMC as well as for Annie and Jimmy so please keep them all in your prayers throughout the day.
September 26, 2006
Tuesday morning – Spoke with Jimmy a little bit ago he says Annie was taken to surgery about 7:30 and is doing very well. The procedures will likely run a bit long then planned as they have found more adhesions then expected. This really means more work for Dr. Kareem and the surgical team as well as more time for on the table for Annie. Jimmy did get to advise the doctors a little bit, they called out to ask him where the best access for an IV would be. We really need to send that man to med school. I’ll update again as I get more info. Keep praying!
Happy Monday, the countdown is on. Annie will be reporting to UPMC at 5am Tuesday with surgery scheduled for 7:15. Annie and Jimmy have had a very busy past few days getting everything ready for surgery. Among the last of the tasks was to drop James off at the DeLancey’s home where he will be staying for the next few days. (Sorry if this comes as a surprise to any DeLancey family members!) James loves spending time with their children and the kindness of their family is greatly appreciated. I have yet to me them, but I am looking forward to that opportunity and the chance to thank them for all they have done. Annie sounded great when I spoke with her earlier this evening. Her Kreatin was at 1.4 and Prograff at 7, no signs of rejection as of her last clinic visit. Overall pretty good numbers with the big day ahead and a little bit of room left if any adjustments need to be made. I will be trying to get updates up as often and timely as I can over the next few days so please check back often and pray hard.
Hi all, things are pretty much the same as they have been for the past several weeks. Tuesday is fast approaching and Annie has asked that everyone please hit the prayer activities extra hard for the next few days. The surgery will be taking place Tuesday barring any last minute transplants or emergencies for any of the surgical team, or any changes in Annie’s overall condition. This is expected to be a fairly long procedure lasting about 8 hours depending on what decisions are made once the doctors see what is going on. Annie is feeling very good about the decisions to go to Pittsburgh and to agree to the surgery and time away from home. We know it has been very hard for them to leave Helen back home to start her first year of high school without them and to uproot James from his normal activities although he seems to have adapted very well. I, and I’m sure many others, feel a bit anxious about another surgery for Annie, but I believe that this is the course laid-out according to God’s plan. Please continue to lift Annie in prayer, especially these next few days. I will be getting updates periodically and will post them as soon as I can. If you are curious why I have not been sending out the email notices about the updates it is because the list I was using is on a hard drive that crashed some time ago. Send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be sure to let you know when the next update is available. If you know how to recover files from a really messed up hard drive…I could use some help! Pray for Annie. God Bless.
Happy Monday! In case you didn’t know it yesterday marked Annie’s 3-year lung-transplant birthday, Happy Birthday Annie! We are all grateful for the miracle of these post-transplant years and look forward to many more years ahead. Our prayers go out to the family of the lung donor; our family understands the hardship of the loss of a loved one. We are thankful for the blessing that has come from their loss. Annie continues to be doing very well, no changes to any of her stats so far. She, Jimmy and James are settling into their temporary home to wait out the days before surgery. Jimmy is helping another transplant family with their return to their home and will return in a few days having seen a bit more of America on his journey. That’s about it for now, keep the prayers coming; there is no such thing as too much prayer. God Bless.
Howdy, my apologies over the extended delay in this update; it’s just been more of “those kinds of days”. Anyhow, Annie continues to be doing extremely well. Her most recent set of tests have all been good; Her Kreatin level is at 1.4, Prograf at 9, and no signs of rejection. Additionally, Annie has been given a tentative date for surgery of September 26. This will be a fairly big deal as the plan is to do some clean up and repair work in Annie’s abdominal cavity. There will also be a GYN surgeon who will be evaluating Annie’s possible need for any sort of partial hysterectomy, and working alongside Dr. Kareem if she does. Annie and Jimmy are getting set up with a new place to temporarily call home during Annie’s recovery, many people have kindly offered to open there homes to them but they have decided to setup there own place for practical reasons. (Thank you to all of you for the offers!) I pray that on this day we all see a little bit of hope in the world around us. It has been a difficult day of remembrance for me, the replaying of the events from 5 years ago have brought many emotions close to the surface that I had only recently begun to control. We have all been changed. As we continue to pray for Annie I ask that everyone take a moment to pray for all of the families and friends affected by these events. Pray for peace for us all.
Can it really be that a week has passed by already? Wow, how time flies! Annie had a brief stay in the hospital over the weekend; not really anything major, but we certainly hope that Annie will not make a habit of that. James and Jimmy managed a trip to the Little League World Series, I have not had an opportunity to speak with either of them but I am sure they had a great time. James has enrolled in the local school and is having a great time being the new kid in town. He has been selected to play on a local soccer team as well. Annie and Jimmy had an impromptu reunion with some other transplant recipients they met during their previous stay at UPMC. You can bet that they all enjoyed seeing one another again and I am sure Annie will find a way to get a regular get together for them in the future. I have received a few pictures from Pittsburgh which I will hopefully be able to post this weekend. Not much has been happening in so far as Annie’s health care. She is doing well and waiting, still, for the surgeons at UPMC to decide what is best. Please continue praying for them. God bless.
Happy Wednesday, two days and counting “till the weekend returns; seems like a long week so far. Annie had a meeting with the OB/GYN surgeon today to evaluate her possible need for a hysterectomy, no news as to that decision yet. Annie said the doctor wants to consult further with Dr. Kareem because of the complexities of Annie’s anatomy and, I’m guessing, to weigh the risk against the gain of such a procedure. Annie and the rest of us are glad that nobody feels like jumping to conclusions regarding Annie’s health care. She is a one-of-a-kind (always has been) and as there are no precedents caution definitely is favorable. Her next appointment with Dr. Kareem is tomorrow, perhaps we will know more then. As we all continue to lift Annie in prayer, please remember to be thankful for how far God has brought her, we can all find proof of multiple miracles in Annie. She has been through so many trials and remains faithful in her knowledge that God is good, a shinning example of faith.
More good news from Pittsburgh tonight, Annie’s first appointment with Dr. Kareem went very well today. He was, of course, very happy to see Annie and is thrilled by her and Jimmy’s agreeing to return to UPMC for this necessary follow-up tweaking. We do not know how long this will take, but A & J have absolute faith that this is the right thing to do, and will stay until Dr. Kareem decides it is OK to go home. Annie’s health continues to improve, still no sign of rejection, and her kidneys are showing continued improvement as she continues her lower doses of anti-rejection meds. They will all enjoy a day of rest Friday and prepare for what will surely be another joyous reunion on Sunday at the covenant church they attended during their previous stay. Annie has several appointments, tests, and procedures next week so there may be a lack of medical updates for a few days, but I will try to keep you up to speed on other aspects of their current stay. Thank you again for your prayers and support. God Bless.
Good evening all, I know you are anxiously awaiting this update so let’s just get to it… Annie, Jimmy and James arrived in Pittsburgh last night and as you may have expected Annie was off on her first social call shortly thereafter. She has the most amazing gift for making friends and maintaining those relationships. I am sure she was back to her temporary home early to get some rest before the first of her appointments today, not likely! Today she saw the UPMC lung transplant surgeon who says all looks well. Although Annie’s lung transplant took place in Seattle, the doctors in Pittsburgh have kept a watchful eye on her during her previous and current trips there. Annie also had a biopsy today which showed no signs of rejection. Shortly before leaving Seattle the doctors here lowered the dosage of one of Annie’s anti-rejection meds so this is especially good news. Annie saw several members of the transplant team while at UPMC today, all were happy to see here and glad to see how well she looks. We all remain optimistic and believe that this trip is part of the path God has laid out for Annie. Thursday will be the first of Annie’s appointments with Dr. Kareem (small bowel transplant surgeon, in case you forgot); it will no doubt be an intense reunion and a bit nerve-racking as well. Annie is planning a rest day for Friday and I am sure after 4.5 days driving they are all ready for one. James has been enjoying getting reacquainted with his friend Logan, I am sure he is quite relieved to be out of the car. There are many appointments ahead for Annie, please keep her in your prayers.
August 11, 2006
Annie & Jimmy headed off for Pittsburgh and UPMC today. James has decided to join them for a marathon drive across our country while Helen has stayed behind in-part to keep on with her summer plans and prepare for her first days of high school. Personally, I think she stayed behind to keep Granddad company, but we may never know for sure. Moving along, Annie has been asked by Dr. Kareem (small-bowel transplant surgeon) to return to UPMC so he can work on lowering the levels of the various immunosuppressant drugs that she needs to keep her transplanted organs from being rejected by her body. There is a catch, these drugs have compromised her kidneys, enough damage has been done that she has been in renal failure three times. Dr. Kareem heads a program at UPMC that weans patients down to the lowest possible level while carefully monitoring for any signs of rejection. With the concerns over Annie’s kidney functions we all feel that this is the right thing for Annie to do. Our family’s request is simply one of prayer, lots of it. Specifically for Annie, Jimmy and James to have a safe journey across the continent; that Annie does not begin to reject the transplanted organs; for Helen who will soon walk into high school for the first time; and most of all, that God continue to place his healing hands on Annie and shower their family with miracles day in and day out. We all know first hand how far-reaching prayer can be; please, take some time each day to say a prayer for Annie. I will post again when I next talk with Annie. Thank you.