Oct 17, 2017 Latest post:
Nov 16, 2017
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.
Calling all Prayer Warriors and Friends,
My son, Drew Stephens and his girlfriend, Gretchen Staley are expecting a son, Sawyer in early to mid-December. A few weeks ago, she had an ultrasound, which revealed a large growth had developed on Sawyer. They were referred to Grady Memorial Hospital and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (Egleston). September 26th I traveled with them for these appointments. Our day began early at 6:00 a.m. and we arrived back home around 9:30 that night. SO much happened during that time frame. We went to Grady first where Gretchen had another ultrasound with a technician, OB/GYN doc, a radiologist and an ENT doc. Drew and I were present as well. Within 20 minutes after the procedure, the room quickly filled with all of those, us and a another team of neonatal physicians from Emory Hospital. They believed from the ultrasound that Sawyer had a Lymphangioma, which is a fancy term for a cyst that forms in the lymphatic system due to a blockage. The cyst measured 6x8x7, which was larger than his head. From there we were referred to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta along with the ultrasound results where they were scheduled to perform an MRI. We met with yet another set of 4 doctors at Egleston: 2 ENTs and 2 Pediatric Surgeons. What was originally thought to be a cyst is now determined to be a Cystic Teratoma (Tumor). It is growing from the floor of Sawyer’s mouth out, over and through his chin down to his upper chest. It is quite large in comparison to his tiny little head. He weighs roughly 3 lbs right now. We are asking for as many as we know to begin praying for divine intervention in Saywer’s, Gretchen’s and Drew’s lives. The plan will be to monitor Sawyer on a weekly basis with ultrasounds for now and wait. The doctors have told us that it is best that he stay in the womb as long as possible, because he is receiving all of his oxygen and nutrients from Gretchen and that is the best place for him to be. If nothing changes outside of what is expected now, a few weeks prior to Gretchen’s due date, she will go to Atlanta for another MRI to see where things are at that point. They will schedule her for a controlled C-section and deliver Sawyer over a slow period of time. Initially bringing him from the womb to see if he can breathe on his own. If he cannot, they will do an EXIT procedure, which will allow them to insert a means for him to breathe prior to cutting the umbilical cord. Once they establish airway compression has been relieved, they will cut the cord and transfer him from Grady to Egleston via ambulance. They will determine at that time whether or not surgery needs to be done immediately or whether it can be postponed for a day or two to allow him time to adjust from the birthing process. Either way, surgery will be performed to remove the tumor. They will also do a biopsy at that time to determine if the tumor is benign or malignant. This is a lot for any individual to comprehend and wrap their head around, much less our family, especially Gretchen and Drew.
We know we serve a mighty God that still performs miracles every day and we are believing with everything in our being that he can turn Sawyer into a miracle of sorts! We are entrusting all of you as servants of God to pray and believe this with us.
My mother, Janice Odum was reading her morning bible study Wednesday, the 27th the day after we received the news and this was the message that we pray for Sawyer:
“For You created Sawyer’s inmost being, You knit him in his mother’s womb. We praise You, because he is fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful. His frame was not hidden from You when he was made, when he was woven together. Your eyes see his body; all the days of his life were written in Your book before one of them came to be.”
This in itself is evidence that God is in control. He delivered this message the exact moment we needed to hear it. God Bless you all and thank you in advance for all your prayers. We know without a shadow of a doubt, they will not be in vain.