Friday, February 29, 2008

Prayers For My Sister

Rhonda is out of surgery, but the doctors weren't able to do what they wanted. The cardiologists wanted to make her heart race so they could correctly identify where the problem was specifically on her heart. They even put her in a "twilight sleep" so they could raise her up and down to make her heart palpitate, but for some reason, her heart wouldn't cooperate. So after 2 hours of trying, they decided to suspend the surgery. At this point, the doctors will give her beta blockers and hope that will fix the problem for a while and will be closely watching her for more episodes. Otherwise, the doctors tell our family her heart looks good. Thank you for all of your prayers. I'm hopeful the prayers cured her problem and perhaps that's why her heart wouldn't act up. (We may need to explain that to the doctors!)

Please join me and my family in praying for my 46 year old sister Rhonda. Rhonda is married and the mother of 3 children. She had heart palpitations last weekend combined with some heart "skips". This is something she has never experienced before. Because of my brother's heart attack last summer (see August 10 blog entry) and my mother's November surgery with two stints put in her heart, Rhonda took her heart arrhythmia seriously and went to the doctor first thing Monday morning. After a series of tests on Wednesday of this week, the doctors diagnosed her with ARVD--Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia. We've never heard of this before, but it is a rare form of cardiomyopathy in which the heart muscle of the right ventricle is replaced by fat and/or fibrous tissue. This makes the right ventricle dilate and it contracts poorly which means the pumping of the blood is usually weakened. ARVD causes abnormal heart rhythms and can increase the risk of a heart attack or death. It is the main cause of sudden cardiac death in young athletes (and my sister is the athletic one of the family). Today at 11:30am, the doctors will put dye into her veins to see if she has any blockage. Assuming she doesn't have blockage, at 1pm this afternoon the doctors will go in with a heart catheter and do a procedure called "ablation", where they burn off the bad part of her heart. Once that fatty/fibrous part is burned, then her heart can heal and they normally treat the rest with some type of medication. Although she thinks about the worse case scenario, as we all do, she seems to have a peace about it all. Please pray for her well-being while on the operating table and for the Lord to give the doctors tending her knowledge about her situation and to see what they need to see so she can get back on the mend. My parents and siblings will be with her today at the Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock, but I have had to make the difficult decision to stay here. Although I have another 6 weeks before baby girl arrives, I know babies have a mind of their own and I feel the need to stick close to home. It pains me not to be there with my family for her, so I ask you to pray for Rhonda and for a successful procedure so she can get back to playing the piano at her church, teaching her Sunday School class and teaching AWANA to children at her church; not to mention, getting back to mothering her children. I'll post an update once I hear from my folks.

Here is a picture of Rhonda taken last month with the rest of my family at my grandmother's 90th birthday party. Rhonda is one wearing pink.

"I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord." Psalm 118:17


Sara said...

I will keep your sister in my prayers!

BarbC said...

Praying Barbie! Barbara Campbell

The Mommy Years said...

Praying that today ends in flying colors & that the dr's were able to repair her heart.

DMay said...

Barbie, just know we are praying for your sister and your family.

Sgt. Salt said...

hi, i was diagnosed with arvd in november and have found a lot of comfort in an online support group. please direct your sister to this yahoo! group:

this arvd support group has many members who are very active and helpful. she can ask any question and someone in the group probably has an answer or direct experience.

also, if she has a facebook account, i started a group here: