Jon Penton

First post: Sep 1, 2021 Latest post: Nov 23, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge website.  We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your prayers, support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. (The cover photo is a sunset pic taken at my mom and dad’s home in Florida. Sunsets are God’s reminder that he is with us every day.) 

My dad has always been an early riser. Back in May, while on a early morning walk near their home in Florida, he ended up nearly passing out on the side of the road. God placed an angel walking along the other side of the road who also happened to be a nurse! She helped walk him home. He went to the doctor and was told to follow-up once he returned to Minnesota. He ended up scheduling an echocardiogram and an MRI, which unfortunately produced some bad news. 

On July 6, my dad went in for an echocardiogram. My dad met with the surgeon the next day and was told he has a severely enlarged aorta (aneurysm) that would need surgery to prevent a rupture. An MRI on July 26 revealed more bad news. In addition to the aneurysm, he has a leaking aortic valve. Treatment includes open chest surgery fixing the aneurysm (in medical speak: a hemiarch replacememt with hypothermic circulatory arrest and retrograde cerebral perfusion). Basically, during his surgery, they will cool his body down to 50 degrees and have a limited time to fix the aneurysm. Weirdly enough, however, an aneurysm had nothing to do with his fainting back in May, so his cardiologist also ordered an angiogram. On Aug. 10 after an angiogram, my dad received the news that he also has some significant arterial blockages — including the one they refer to as the "widow maker" — that will require additional bypass surgery.

After many doctor's appointments,  X-rays, dental X-rays and an endodontist appointment (to redo a root canal), Covid tests and prayer, he and my mom are ready. He is to have surgery at the University of Minnesota by Stephen Huddleston, MD. It is a 13-hour procedure and involves a whole team of people, including another cardiologist. Once out of surgery, he will be in ICU for at least 3-4 days, with an extended hospital stay for at least a week to two. He will then transfer to a transitional care before coming back to our house (Julee and Chris') to stay. My mom will be staying with us so she's not alone. We appreciate your prayers and encouragement more than you'll ever know. My dad said today he feels so loved!

My dad always has amazing words of wisdom — even in his texts. One that I want to share is this: "Don't forget to thank God for challenges in your life because they remind us who we are dependent on. God is good all the time! Thank you for your prayers. Love, Dad."

This is the verse I shared with my dad the night before his surgery: Deuteronomy 31:8 “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

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