...That saved a wretch like me I once was lost, but now am found Was blind but now I see
When we've been here ten thousand years Bright shining as the sun We've no less days to sing God's praise Than when we'd first begun
******************************* **Update 10/1/08** Little Gracie got her angel wings this morning . While we are certainly sad for her family, we can find comfort in the fact that she will feel no more pain. She was a fighter and her story has been, and will continue to be, an inspiration to many. Please remember the Lockyer family in your prayers as they face the difficult days ahead. ********************************
Many of you have heard me talk about a beautiful little girl named Gracie. We joke about all of Jay's girlfriends and future prom dates, but Gracie was his first love. Born on the same day, both Jay & Gracie spent their first day of life with their parents, oblivious to the serious heart problems that each had. Both arrived at Duke Hospital within a few hours of each other and shared a room in the PICU.
Jay and Gracie each had heart surgery, and both surgeries went well. Jay quickly moved to a step-down room, but Gracie continued to have lingering troubles that kept her in the PICU. She has been there ever since, battling infections, fluid build-up and continuing heart disease. That is nearly 7 months in intensive care. Can you imagine what that would be like as a parent? Seven months of watching your baby get sick, get better, get sicker again. To say it's been a roller coaster ride doesn't even begin to describe what they've been through. Her mom, Amanda, has invited everyone to learn about her story.
Gracie's ordeal is all the more touching to me personally because I can't help comparing her to Jay. When he learned to laugh, Gracie was still in the PICU with a breathing tube down her throat. When Jay rolled over for the first time, Gracie was still lying in the same position in the same tiny hospital bed. When Jay growled over his first taste of green beans, Gracie was still receiving food through a tube. She's never felt the sunshine on her face or seen anything beyond the hospital walls. My heart absolutely breaks for her, for her parents, her grandparents and for her big brother, Haddon.
Amanda's unwavering faith through the entire time has been amazing. Her journal is very personal, sharing her intense faith with readers. When I would have felt doubt, she has confidence in a miracle. And the miracles have happened! Gracie has nearly died so many times I can't even keep count. But her parents keep praying for a miracle. And if ever she needed a miracle, today is the day. She's having the second of her 3 open heart surgeries, and has been given a 10% chance of surviving the surgery.
Please take a minute to remember her, and then take a minute to hug someone that you love and be grateful for the sunshine on your face.