Ambulanced to Iowa City: Christmas Eve

Matt experienced a very serious and potentially fatal complication yesterday. But thank you to my sister, Hong, and cousin, Liyen and Joshua, who noticed, doctors intervened and he was immediately ambulanced to Iowa City.

CSF leaks are no joke — especially after a major brain surgery like Matt’s. The neurosurgeons wanted to get him into another complex surgery as soon as we arrived in Iowa City. The otolaryngology team — who were the main surgeons on Matt’s case — stepped in and evaluated the situation. After much, very long, discussion between the two teams, Dr. Ryan Smith (who sent us home the first time to enjoy the week at home with family before surgery) walked in with great news. “I can fix it right here, right now, and you can have Christmas outside of this hospital.”

Dr. S, the fellow on Matt’s case said the drainage could be stopped with a simple, local procedure and they could send us back to Des Moines! Dr. Smith, who I told and named the “Good News Doctor” was able to control the drainage; he said “redirect where it needs to go”, and sew Matt’s head back up.

The biggest thing is as he explained, “the spinal fluid should have no contact with the outside world.”

Even though the CSF leak is controlled there is still a lot we need to watch for; however, the doctors were confident that it was caught in time to prevent further, more fatal complications.

Our Christmas Miracle: Matt and I made it back late last night, and Matt is back at the rehabilitation hospital.

Please continue good thoughts and prayers this Christmas Day. Many were heard and felt last night as we were able to come back to DSM and be with our boys this Christmas.

Our boys have been troopers. Though they’ve coped in their own way, they’ve shown they are resilient and have been handling this past month as best as they can. They do cry every night because they miss their daddy at home, but they know he will be home in no time.

Many asked, if Matt got me anything before surgery. He’s a guy, so no 🤣. I wanted one thing for Christmas this year, and it was for Matt to make it through the surgery to be with us.

So, I have everything I’ve ever wanted. My family.

We are in the toughest part of Matt’s recovery, but we celebrate each day we have together. We celebrate the small victories. We overcome the obstacles that have been thrown at us. We cherish what we have. We put on a brave face, act strong and breakdown when we need. We rely on on friends and family like we never have before — and we learned we have many who are willing to drop everything to be there. We are blessed to have so many amazing people in our lives.

We look forward to the new year and we are ready to accept our to our new normal.

Merry Christmas.