This is Ralph. I am going to keep this discrete, but give enough information to help those of you who love Mary Ruth to understand generally what has happened to her and where she is in her journey to recovery.. The specific diagnosis is necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum. First, she has struggled for quite a long time with ulcerated colitis with her gastroenterologist trying a variety of therapies. Over time, this chronic condition has allowed a bacterial population to set up in her body. The recent episode with her falling and breaking her arm served as the trigger that set off what was already a ticking time bomb. Let me be quick to praise the staff at WellStar Sylvan Grove for the care she received while in Jackson. One of the comments that was made here at Emory is that her outer looks belied just how very sick she was. She was transported Monday (8/7/17) to Emory arriving at 1:00 PM and was in the surgical suite by 6:30 PM for her first of many procedures. I hesitate to call it "surgery" because that generally means the patient is going to be cut open, something either put in or taken out, and then sutured up and sent to recovery. I am referring to her trips to the surgical suite as a "procedure." Mary Ruth has not been sutured up, but her incision is closed up with a special bandage that allows her to go back every day or two for a cleaning out of damaged tissue. The first procedure on Monday lasted until 11:00 PM. Corley was here with me when the surgeon came out and stated her prognosis of her ultimate outcome was "poor." We had already been advised that what she was facing was life threatening, so that news hit us both hard. They had wanted to go back in on Tuesday, but wanted a gynecologist and a urologist in the surgical suite to give their professional opinion with regard to the uterus and the bladder and kidneys. That pushed the second procedure off until Wednesday. That procedure indicated that there was no need for a hysterectomy and that the urinary system was in good shape in spite of a serious UTI before coming to Emory. They again aggressively removed additional infected tissue, and she continued to look good. She started opening her eyes on Wednesday, but has incubation tubes in her mouth, which are not comfortable and she has tried to pull them out!! Good sign, but bad patient!! At this point her condition was elevated from "poor" to "fair!" The third procedure was today, Friday (8/11) and they installed a modified Wound-Vac to help with the drainage. There will be no other procedure over the weekend, but most likely will resume on Monday (8/14). There is not sufficient Internet storage to share how richly God has been involved in her life over the last days and how HIS people have shaken the Gates of Heaven on her behalf!! Our family will be eternally grateful for EVERY prayer uttered on her behalf!! God opened up a spot here at Emory and her surgeon, Dr. Greene, put us on notice that she insisted on praying over her patients!! Our family came in Tuesday and it was a bit boisterous, and we left her door open so she could hear it all - just like her cooking Thanksgiving dinner with all the commotion going on in the house! NOTE: Some have asked about sending flowers, but they are not allowed in ICU. We are going to be here for 2 to 3 months after she gets in her regular room, so please hold up on your expressions of love to her. I would encourage you to send her cards to our home address (876 Park Place Drive, Jackson, GA 30233) or make a donation in lieu of flowers to the Pregnancy Center in Jackson where she serves on the Board of Directors.