Thursday, 23 July 2015

7 months later, 16 July 2015

Seven months have flown by since Daryl’s surgery. Needless to say, we were all eager to walk into Prof. Kwan’s office to hear his thoughts on Daryl’s progress. It was a less busy day at the hospital, so things went smoothly and quickly. All is well – Prof. Kwan is extremely pleased with Daryl’s recovery and basically said, “We’re done.” Life goes back to normal for Daryl and he can resume his active lifestyle again. Sports that engage in extreme physical contact is a no-no, and doing sit-ups is a no-no too! Besides that, it’s all good.
In these past few months, we have come across a number of cases reported in the newspapers regarding scoliosis surgeries that had gone horribly wrong, rendering the patient a tetraplegic. Our hearts skip a beat every time and three things happen – firstly, the thought that it could have been Daryl; secondly, our hearts overflow with praise and thanksgiving to God and to Prof. Kwan’s medical team for the success of Daryl’s surgery, and thirdly, we say a prayer for that patient and his/her family.
Even though Daryl’s journey has not been easy, we can say beyond a shadow of doubt that we have been blessed. We did not walk it alone – we neither cried nor rejoiced on our own – we have a community spread all around the globe that took every step with us; and a Lord and Saviour who gave us unceasing strength and grace for the journey. All praise and glory to God from whom all blessings flow.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

1 Month Later, 13 Jan 2015

We made it! One month after Daryl’s scoliosis surgery, we were on the plane back to Papua. The journey back was quite a challenge, but the anticipation of being home gave Daryl the additional strength and energy he needed to pull through.

First, a 3hr drive from Ipoh to Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2.


After 1.5hrs, a 2hr flight from Kuala Lumpur to Jakarta.

 After a 4hr break, a 5.5hr flight from Jakarta to Sentani.

After resting for 1.5hrs at home, it was back to school!

It seems quite unbelievable that after such a major surgery, Daryl is more or less back in the swing of things. There are still certain limitations, of course, but it’s great to be home. Some restrictions that Daryl needs to adhere to are as follows:
       -  Not to carry anything more than 2kgs for the next 6 months
       -   Not to engage in physical exercise or PE classes for 6 months
       -   Not to engage in competitive contact sports for at least 1 year

Thank you dear family and friends for your love, support and prayers. The journey has been a wonderful one for we have had so many of you come alongside to walk it with us. We have witnessed Christ’s love in so many ways through all of you. We are truly blessed to be a part of this very special community. Shalom…

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Post Surgery Day 23, 7 Jan 2015

Happy New Year! The first week of 2015 was busy with family get-togethers and celebrations. Amidst the busyness, we were also anticpating the follow-up check that was scheduled with Prof. Kwan. The time in his office was brief but thorough; but most important of all, we were given the green light to return to Indonesia the following week! This was good news indeed - Daryl was pretty much ready to get back home to Papua...

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Post Surgery Day 14, 29 Dec 2014

It is hard to believe that it was only 2 weeks ago that Daryl had his surgery. We made sure we had little milestones or celebrations to cheer him on his way. We told him we could watch the third Hobbit movie, but only IF he could sit up for such a long stretch of time - needless to say, we made it to the movies soon enough!

A movie treat on 26 Dec, thanks to our dear friends, the Rowlands  

The next milestone was the removal of his dressing. For this, we went to our family GP, Dr. Su. We watched with eager anticipation as he slowly peeled away the dressing. It was a wonderful sight to behold -  as you can see, the wound is healing beautifully...

So, as we rejoice with every milestone, we remember with grateful hearts that many of our family and friends have continued to pray faithfully for Daryl - to each and every one of you, you have our heartfelt thanks!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Christmas Day

Our family in September 2014

Merry Christmas! For Daryl, the scoliosis surgery is the most memorable Christmas present thus far... We see daily improvement and rejoice that he is recovering so well. On Christmas morning, we had a quick breakfast and headed to church to attend the Christmas service. Although we would have liked to have stayed for the entire service, he felt quite tired midway, so we headed home after an hour or so.

After having a quiet lunch at home and opening his Christmas presents with Hannah, some friends from youth group dropped in to bring some Christmas cheer to Daryl. We were so blessed to see so many bright and smiling faces come by to just hang out with him. Daryl, as always, enjoyed the friendly banter, chuckling quietly to himself ever so often, even though he rarely contributed to the conversation.

By the time the guests left, he took some time to rest, watch a movie, and then it was off to a Christmas dinner party. We noted a hearty appetite and the effort he made to join in some of the games. Three hours later, we headed home - the longest time he has had out-and-about.

It is remarkable to think that 10 days ago, he was lying flat on his back after surgery, and it was a tremendous effort for him to make even the slightest move. The truth of Jesus being Emmanuel, God with us, comes to us again and again as we see Him walking with Daryl on this journey. Thank you for your ongoing prayers for his recovery. We are witnessing daily the answer to those prayers!

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Post Surgery Day 4, 19 Dec 2014

It took some juggling and some pretty awesome packing skills on the part of Peter, but we finally figured out how to put in 2 big suitcases, 3 mid-sized suitcases, and numerous bits and pieces into the boot/trunk of the car. For the recuperating patient, we reclined the front passenger seat to the maximum, put a pillow to make the seat as level as possible, and bought a neck cushion for support; as for Hannah and Mum, well…, they were tucked in the back seat amidst a pillow, shoes, backpacks, foodstuff, etc. - and ta daaa… we were more or less ready for the trip back to Ipoh.

We left Kuala Lumpur around 6pm, and it took us about 45mins to get out of the city. We had a pit-stop in Sungai Buloh and enjoyed some burger and fries, before embarking on the drive back to Ipoh. It took us a little more than 2 hours, but we made it. If Daryl could have leapt to his feet and dashed into the house, he would have gladly done so… We could tell he’d just about had it… J As it was, after some tricky manoeuvring out of the car with the help of his father, he shuffled as quickly as he could into the house and made it onto his bed with a great sigh of relief.

So, we made it… Daryl will spend the next 2.5 weeks convalescing. We continue to covet your prayers for his healing. He is still fighting pain in varying degrees here and there, but the progress is ongoing – praise God! We look forward to a quiet family Christmas, remembering the goodness of God in our lives and the precious gift of His Son, Jesus, our Saviour.  

Friday, 19 December 2014

Post Surgery Day 3, 18 Dec 2014

Believe it or not, Daryl has been discharged from the hospital... We weren't too sure for a while if today would be the day, but he's home with us now! There's still a lot of pain and discomfort - the walk from the hospital to car, the drive back to the apartment in the car, and walk from the car to the apartment - was almost beyond what he could bear, yet he mustered enough strength to pull through. 

While initially it was the muscle pain that bothered him, today it was the gas in his stomach that was bothering him - a common occurrence for most patients after having gone through an operation under general anaesthesia. One can feel quite helpless watching a child struggle to cope with so much pain and discomfort, and while we do feel sorry for him, a pity party was not the order of the day. We felt it was more important to get his eyes focused on the goal, and to rally up a fighting spirit. So, in as many ways as was possible, we tried to get the message across to Daryl - if you want to get out of the hospital, then you'll have to work at it; so let's get up and walk! And as you can surmise, it worked - but the whole family is feeling pretty tired! 

When Prof. Kwan finally came in the evening and gave Daryl the green light to be discharged, he shared a before/after photo with us that caused us to again well up in praise to God for His goodness, and for bringing us to this excellent medical team under Prof. Kwan's leadership. 

There is a big board in the ward on the 9th floor of the East Tower at University Malaya Specialist Centre, and it is filled with photos of scoliosis patients who have been given a better quality of life because of this medical team. Every few months, the photos are updated because more and more people have come, and are coming, under their care. The team's skill and dedication is deeply heartwarming and encouraging - thank you, Prof. Kwan, Prof. Chris Chan, Dr. Shahnaz and the rest of the medical team whom we may never know by name - you have blessed Daryl beyond measure.