St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Friday, March 24, 2023
BettyAnn Reed’s surgery
I asked you on Sunday to pray for BettyAnn, who was in critical condition in the surgical ICU at KUMed after a previously diagnosed aortic aneurysm had suddenly expanded in size and was leaking, close to bursting. If that occurred she would die instantly.
We did pray – and I trust you also did – even if it was a simple, “God bless BettyAnn”
But she has COPD after years of smoking heavily, and was still healing after her previous abdominal surgery. And she had an extremely high white count, but no identified source of infection.
So the doctors were understandably cautious about trying to do the only life-saving surgery available – a complete aortic transplant – It is risky eve for otherwise healthy patients, but for her – downright dangerous.
I asked Father Chas Marks from St. Augustine’s to go see her, since I couldn’t get to KC. He went on Tuesday and gave her communion, and anointed her – and prayed those same ordinary prayers out of the prayer book that we always pray. I don’t know what he expected.
I talked to her Wednesday afternoon, though, and she was completely calm, anticipating a good outcome from the Thursday surgery, but content to die, if that was what would happen. She was joyful, grateful and trusting.
I got a note yesterday afternoon from her daughter, Anita, who was so excited – Her mom did well in that long, grueling surgery. They had to repair a perforated stomach ulcer as well that was the apparent source of infection. She had been placed on a ventilator and they expected she would remain on it for several days.
Nope. The excited emails and texts I got this morning indicate that she was removed from the ventilator early today, that she is breathing on her own, and that she is alert and calm –
This is how prayer is. She is calm. Alert. Trusting for her own healing. Grateful for your prayers and Chas’.
We need to begin to believe what we pray – BettyAnn does. She isn’t even surprised. Thanks be to God.