Make Sure Blake Is Not Alone This Holiday Season

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Blake’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.

Latest Journal Update

New surgery scheduled

December 10. That is the day that Blake will go in for his aneurysm repair at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. We were really hoping that the surgeons could do it intravascularly with the coiling technique, but that option is forever out. In order for that lessor invasive technique to be done, Blake would have to have another angiogram as part of the procedure. The angiogram was what led to Blake having a tiny stroke in the most unfortunate area of the brain--a place that threw him into continual seizures that required a near drug coma to stop them. Now the only other option is the much more invasive open brain surgery to fix the aneurysm.

Blake is resilient, though.

As always, we must look at the positive side of things. Blake's surgeon is the Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Vandy. He spent his training at Duke where he said they did this surgery all of the time before the intravascular coiling procedure was done. He took us through some scenarios which tells me he is confident--not only in plan A, but plan B, C, and D if necessary. The best case scenario is that the surgeon will enter Blake's right side of his skull just over his ear. A "window" will be made into his skull in order to access the parietal lobe of the brain. Once the brain is lifted upwards, he feels that the artery with the aneurysm will present itself. Ideally, there will not be any other blood vessel attached to the actual aneurysm nor will the aneurysm be stuck to any other structure. In the ideal circumstance, he will then place a clip at the base (much like a grape attached to the stem) and call it a day. No complications are expected from this. If, however, there is a blood vessel attached to the aneurysm, then it will have to be clipped as well which will cause a stroke to the area of brain that it supplies blood to. In this case, a stroke would be considered very minimal with very limited side effects. The scary potential is if the aneurysm is stuck to surrounding brain tissue. When the brain is lifted off of the aneurysm, the stuck portion may tear and bleeding would occur. Naturally they would be prepared for this, but the only way to safely stop the bleeding would be to clip, not the aneurysm, but the "stem" or blood vessel that it is attached to. This would cause a larger area of stroke. Because of the area of brain that this blood vessel supplies, Blake could lose his left peripheral fields of vision in both eyes. According to the doctor, this scenario is about 25%. The surgery will likely last 4-5 hours.

So, the odds are still in Blake's favor. Actually they have always been in his favor.

If everything goes well, Blake will likely stay in the ICU for 1 to a few days and likely home a few days later. Barring any other issues, the surgeon said that kids are typically back in school in 2 weeks and back in P.E. in 6 weeks. Fortunately, Blake will have the Christmas break to recuperate. 

So there you go. It was not what we were hoping to write about, but it is what it is. God has pulled us through numerous times, and we humbly ask for His continued strength and guidance through this upcoming time. As you can tell, this was very detailed, and it is all the information that we have or are able to give. To our church family, we love you very much for taking care of us, and we will make a formal announcement as the date approaches. We are still protecting Blake's innocence as much as we can. He's a smart kid, and knows a surgery is ahead of him; just not the significance.

Thank you for your support, but most of all for your prayers. There is no greater gift than for one to walk boldly into the throne room of God on Blake's behalf.

11 people hearted this



mark moore
By mark moore
I will be praying for Blake and you as well. Katrena is not doing good. i do not give her any news as she cannot handle it. She loves little Blake so much and if she could she would be right there for him. God bless you and Blake.
Teresa Pirtle
By Teresa Pirtle and Madelyn
Madelyn and I are praying for Blake, you his parents, Juliet and that God will guide the hands of the surgeon.
Angela Hinton
By Angela Hinton
I have one words to say. Praying!!!
Barbara Rader
By Barbara Rader
My heart breaks for Blake and for you and Connie as you have yet another serious surgery to face. I don't understand why terrible things happen to good people, but I do know that God has everything under control and that He will use this to show His awesome power ! As Blake's grandmother and your mother, I feel so helpless in all this. One thing I can do is to just keep on doing what I do every single day already; pray with all my might ! I am so thankful that God gives us permission to come BOLDLY before His throne to petition His help with our needs. That is truly a wonderful blessing. I still have people asking me about Blake every single day. They want to make sure that you and Connie know that they still pray for Blake and the entire family. I hope you all can be strengthened by the multitude of prayers being lifted up. I love you all very much ! Tell Mr. B and Juliet that I will see them in a couple of weeks.
Love to all from Grammie
1 person hearted this
kathleen matthews
By Kathleen Matthews
Prayers continue for your entire family. I also have added Blake to my church prayer list.
My heart is hurting for you, and I continue to pray for both of you to have strength to be the parents of this incredible young man.
Let me know if you want to talk about how to get Blake on "homebound status" for school. Hugs, kathleen
1 person hearted this
Jennifer Wright
By Jennifer Wright
I wish you all the best. Your positive attitude is to be praised. God is with you and you are all loved. Prayer is the the least we do but the most we do. Love,
1 person hearted this
Dwina Willis
By Dwina Willis
You have been in my thoughts and prayers all last week knowing this was when Blake was supposed to have the scans. Please know that the Henderson church family and the FHU family will be lifting up Blake, the surgical team, and you between now and then. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving between now and then. Love you all! Psalm 66:5 was part of my daily reading this morning. Maybe it will help bring peace and comfort to you.
1 person hearted this
Alison Witt
By Alison Witt
Praying that Blake's upcoming surgery will go well. Your faith is amazing and I admire your strength & courage during these difficult times. Love you all.
1 person hearted this