Today is Sister McKee’s birthday (Dec.21, 2012) We have been in the ICU now for 32 days. This week Sister McKee has seen some improvement and when I talked to her about zone conferences happening this week she motioned to me to go to them. So I have been gone during the day to zone conferences and drove immediately back to her in the evenings. Jared (our son) has stayed with her during the day and is doing consistent physical therapy with her which has helped so much. The movements that he has been doing with her each day steadily builds her strength and today she was actually able to stand for a few minutes after being helped up. It was a miracle to see her supporting her own weight for a tiny minute. She was able to shuffle a few tiny steps while in the upright position.
“I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
We are experiencing a miracle today as they took the ventilator off her for over 12 hours. They capped her trach tube and she was able to talk which was a new experience. She could communicate her needs to us which was wonderful. Jared called me at the Zone conference. Of course I left quickly to answer the phone assuming that something tragic had happened. He held the phone to Sister McKee’s mouth and she said, “I love you”. Tears filled my eyes when I realized what had just happened. I love her as well especially as she fights this tremendous battle of coming back from these strokes and heart attack. Her drive is monumental and her determination so strong.
After that they brought her in a meal and tonight she ate some of her first real food. She managed very well chewing the food and swallowing it especially with the trach in place. She only ate a few spoonfuls but again it was monumental. There are many lapses in her thinking at times but it is hard to tell what is from the stroke and what is pure exhaustion. Each tiny thing that she does produces pure exhaustion .
All of the children came to the hospital tonight to host a birthday party for her. Angie brought over a key board from my office and Sister McKee actually played “happy birthday” with one hand, a monumental miracle. She also played “when the saints come marching in”. I asked her if she could remember how to play the piano and she replied, “kind of” . She could also play a scale with one hand. We will leave it here and keep it over her chair so that hopefully her music will come back to her. Jared believes that as we introduce things to her and expect her to follow through that she is learning new pathways from past information. Each day she picks up more and more. Each of these things are miracles to us an daily we are experiencing the hand of the Lord in her behalf. As we made phone calls to those of our family that are back in ID, we let Sister McKee speak to them. As they mentioned how well she had been progressing, Sister McKee said back, "That's debatable." She was speaking a lot today which was such a blessing. As Jared, Angie, and Aubrey said goodnight with one last happy birthday wish, Sister McKee replied, "Happy Birthday to you, too." Jokingly, Jared replied that it wasn't their birthdays, to which she replied, "Well let's pretend." It is so great to see her fun personality come out. We thank you each again for your love and your constant support while Sister McKee remains in the ICU still. Tonight she is having a bit of a struggle with breathing again and will need to have a treatment for her lungs but she is resting peacefully. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your constant concern, prayers and support. We love you and thank the Lord again for all who are helping and especially those who are helping to bring our adult children out here to see their mom. Thank you.
The William McKee family