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Journal

April
2
2019

April 1, 2019

We are so cared for. Thank you to everyone who has expressed their concern and love for Norah and our family. Her hospital room wall is being covered with notes, pictures, and beautifully colored pages from coloring books. We haven't had the emotional bandwidth to respond to all of the wonderful sentiments that you have expressed, but know that we read them and are comforted. 

Norah's injuries are serious, but we are beginning to see a path forward. On Wednesday Norah's condition was worsening by the minute, and when we arrived at the UVA pediatric intensive care unit she had just received CPR. She was given a broad spectrum of antibiotics to cover whatever bacteria was infecting her blood and putting her into septic shock.  It was apparent that in order to save her life she would need to be placed on an ecmo machine. The ecmo circulates blood through her body, maintaining her blood pressure and oxygenating her blood. The doctors did everything possible to protect her organs and allow her body to fight the infection. We were told that there could be complications with the procedure and due to the positioning of the ecmo cannulations, or hoses, her left leg would be at risk of decreased blood flow. On Thursday morning Norah went into surgery to move the ecmo cannulation from her leg to her heart. She was in surgery for 6 or 7 hours, and in the course of the surgery it was determined that her leg could not be saved and was amputated at the knee. As I write this, I mourn for Norah and all that she will have to endure. But we as a family have also promised her to be relentlessly and ceaselessly positive. We will love her for all that she has been, all that she is, and all that she will be. If and when we are asked if a full recovery is possible, our answer will be an emphatic yes. She is a whole person, and we know that every one of the beautiful people in her life will treat her as such. Norah will in time be able to shape her own narrative, but for now we will focus on her tenacious spirit and wholeheartedly cheer her every tiny victory.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday were filled with long hours where we couldn't even dare to hope. Norah still has so far to go. This is a parent's worst nightmare but we are holding on dearly to all the love and support we feel from our family, friends, and community.

Eric, Peggy, and Lydia

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Comments

  • Jane Kropf : We were getting updates through Jon's mom last week, and would gather the children around to pray whenever we heard how critical it was. Liesel (Norah's second cousin) has been especially concerned, asking to pray for her at night before she goes to sleep. She will soon be 10 herself. May God give special grace to Lydia during this time as well. We love all of you! Jon & Jane, Hudson, Riley, Liesel, & Tyndale
    4/3/19
  • Thea Litchfield Campbell : “We as a family have promised her to be relentlessly and ceaselessly positive.” How powerful. And we as your community, promise to also relentlessly and ceaselessly provide support for those times when positivity does not come easy.
    4/3/19
  • Katya Koubek : Peggy, As unimaginable as it can be for me as a mom of an almost 10-year-old child, I salute you for being so inspirational and positive in spite of everything what you and your family have been going through. My heart weeps as I read your journal about Norah's struggle for survival,. A child should not be going though this ordeal, and yet here she is, fighting for her life. What could have been a great relaxing break ended up as a nightmare, which none of you would ever forget. The journey to recovery is a long one; however, with you and your family by Norah's side, I am certain that she would come out of this ordeal as a hero. She is my inspiration and reminder that when you think you had it bad, think twice and remember Norah. I've shared Norah's story with all my students and colleagues at JMU, and we all keep you and your family in our thoughts and hearts. Stay strong as Norah needs to see strong support by hew side. Remember that we are here to support you and your family. Love, Katya Koubek
    4/3/19
  • Ken Gonyer : Your statements of hope are an inspiration. We're with you. The staff at Choice Books in Harrisonburg are praying for your whole family.
    4/3/19
  • Vonya Womack : I was made aware of Nora's situation from my parents Don and Rita Steiner. All of you are being lifted up in prayer from the missionary sisters of Cabrini University along with students, faculty, and staff at this most trying time.
    4/2/19
  • Cody N Lorenda Stolz : We’re praying for you all, especially Nora during this difficult time. May the Lord bless, strengthen, and encourage you in Christ Jesus. May He keep you in perfect peace as you keep your minds on Him.
    4/2/19
  • Rita Steiner : Our love to Nora and her family. Our prayers for Norah that her body continues healing and you her family remain encouraged and strong through this very difficult time. Don and Rita Steiner
    4/2/19
  • Rachel Weaver : Dear Eric & Peggy & Lydia - You have been and will continue to be in our prayers through this journey. Our daughter Julie was born in 2001 with meconium aspiration at RMH and was quickly sent to the NICU at UVA because of her severe condition. They turned on the ECMO machine before she left RMH so it would be ready when she got there. She spent 3 weeks in the hospital and I saved every email that people sent to us and created a book out of them called, "Dear Julie Letters" I am so grateful you can press into the Lord to carry you through this difficult time. He is right there with you holding your hand and won't let go. Hold on to Joshua 1:5 - I will never leave you nor forsake you.
    4/2/19
  • Linda Wood : Peggy, Eric and Lydia, Woodie and I have been praying fervently for Norah since last Thursday when we heard she was so very ill - just two of so many who are praying for her recovery and restoration to her family and friends. Please know that the prayers continue, for Norah, and for the two of you and sweet Lydia. Love, Linda and Woodie Wood Westminster, MD
    4/2/19
  • Barbara Fast : Eric and Peggy, thank you for keeping us in touch as you can. Our hearts are heavy with you. We can only barely imagine your pain but so admire your steadfast hope that we share too. We're grateful for all who surround you and add our love and concern along with so many others. Barbara and John Fast
    4/2/19
  • mary kauffman : So thankful that you are taking energy to share your painful journal with so many that care. We empathize with you, having experienced our traumatic joirney 6 years ago. Remaining positive, no matter what the circumstances, will carry you through. Our love and prayers continue to surround you as you navigate forward. Mary and Glenn Kauffman
    4/2/19
  • Tracy Zinn : Sending you so much love
    4/2/19
  • Cory Leckrone : Lots of love and prayers from all the Leckrone family! Annelie remembers sitting next to Norah in Treble choir in the past and is heart broken for her, but so thankful for her brave spirit and loving family! God be with you all and continue to carry you through this time! 🌷🌷🌷
    4/2/19
  • Jill Maynard : Oh Eric and Peggy, Jesse and I were out of communication for a week and just learned of Norah. I can’t imagine any of what you are going through. We are wrapping your family in love and light and praying for your dear Norah. Our hearts are with you four and will be as your strong and sweet girl climbs out of this.
    4/2/19
  • jim stucky : Love and prayers to and for you!!
    4/2/19
  • Barbara & Joe Beal : We just wanted you to know that you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers as all of you make this difficult journey together.
    4/2/19
  • Tara Davis : Thank you for your continued updates. Norah and your family have been constantly on my mind and in my heart. We lifted Norah up in prayer at Sunday School on Sunday and will continue to keep her and your family in our prayers , thoughts and hearts.
    4/2/19
  • LuAnn Hiner : Thank you for your updates. I share tears of sadness, grief, joy and praises. God is so good! Norah has a long road ahead of her and she is so blessed to have so many beautiful people lifting her in prayers and cheering her along as her body heals. You are all continuously in my thoughts and prayers. May God continue to give you strength and healing. Prayers also for the staff of doctors and nurses caring for Norah. Love and prayers LuAnn Hiner
    4/2/19
  • Rich and Jen Yoder : Your family is on our minds and in our hearts . . . praying for all of you!
    4/2/19
  • Christina Laprad : My family has not stopped thinking about your family. You are continually in our thoughts and conversations. My heart hurts for you - but I am encouraged by your beautiful support system. You guys are so loved and cared for. It can't be easy to write the updates. I imagine with every word written, you are hit with raw reality. We are so grateful for your words though - to know that Norah continues to fight and you are fighting right alongside her. She is blessed to call you both her parents. Stay strong. Wrapping you in love, Christina, Luke, Lucy, and Hannah.
    4/2/19
  • Joann Henderson : We appreciate the updates in the midst of your sorrow and terror and are glad to hear about the bits of Norah's tenacious spirit breaking through. We are holding the image of her dancing at the International Festival a few years ago in our hearts and minds and trusting the outpouring of love helps carry her and you through these trying days. We are thinking of each of you individually and as a family and sending so much love. Praying for strength, courage, healing, and loving care.
    4/2/19
  • Lisa Goad : Praying for Norah and for your family. I’m so sorry for this trial. Praying Christ’s comforting presence and sustaining power carries each of you through this time.
    4/2/19
  • Monica Compagnari : You have been in my thoughts and prayers frequently since last week. I have been praying that you will find moments of rest even in the midst of constant worry, that you will be held together by the love of family and friends, and that Norah will feel the tangible presence of God.
    4/2/19
  • Fangfang Liao : Peggy, Eric and the family, I am so heart-broken to hear that Norah has lost a leg. How courageous, little Norah! Will keep praying for her.
    4/2/19
  • Sara Nafziger : Oh Peggy, Eric, Norah and Lydia... All four of you are in our prayers. We are mourning with you for the loss of Norah's left leg, and also praying for the little victories of improvement that you seem to share you have seen. Please know we care so deeply. May you each feel Jesus's arms holding you, when you are too weak to stand. We love you.
    4/2/19
  • Morgan Whetzel : Your family has been in my thoughts constantly. You are so loved at MVES and all of our hopes and love are with you. Your bravery and positivity will carry you through these times of hardship and we are all here to lift your family up in support. Sweet Norah will continue to fight.
    4/2/19
  • Jessica Peachey : We are praying for little Norah as well as our entire church body (Grace Mennonite Fellowship). Her struggle was announced on Sunday and we are just so heartbroken to hear of the loss of her leg, but encouraged that her body is fighting. We will continue to lift her up. We pray that you can feel the comfort of His loving arms holding you close with every one of them.
    4/2/19
  • Gen Moyer-Groff : Healer of our every ill, Light of each tomorrow, Give us peace beyond our fear and hope beyond our sorrow.
    4/2/19
  • Monica Rhodes : We are continuing to pray for your sweet family. Norah has a strong spirit and you all are surrounding her with incredible support! Sending much love, hope and continued prayers!
    4/2/19
  • Pat Martin : Peggy and Eric, your faces, your courage, your faith have inspired me this past week. Until Sunday, when I was able to talk with Chris Reimer Wagler, I didn't know what had happened to Norah since you brushed her forehead with your hands as she was being wheeled out to the waiting helicopter. Chris told me about this Caring Bridge site and I'm grateful for this way of keeping in touch with your journey. Just know that Norah, you, and your families are being held in the Light by so many of us. We so long for that "full recovery" that you seem to know will come for Norah. May blessings of peace and love hold you tight!
    4/2/19
  • Jessica Seibert : Our hearts ache for Norah and for you all on this uncertain journey. We lift you up continuously in our thoughts and prayers. May the path forward contain more hope and light.
    4/2/19
  • Erin Nofziger : Continuing to pray for all of you as you walk this difficult road together. May you feel God’s sustaining presence in each moment. Mattea’s heart especially goes out to Norah. Much love to you from Ohio.
    4/2/19
  • Phil Kniss : Thank you so much for this beautifully candid, raw, yet hopeful update. We are holding you all in prayer, moment by moment. Much love to everyone!
    4/2/19
  • Merietta Lambert : Dear Peggy and Family, I am sorry that I just found this tonight! I had no idea of your situation. We work together at MVES, and with spring break last week, I had not heard. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you go through this! I know from personal experience the nightmare you are going through!! Maybe someday I can share my own story with you, but until then just know that I understand!! Hugs
    4/2/19
  • Stephanie Wasta : Please know that we are surrounding you with our love. We will continue to hold Norah and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
    4/2/19
  • Melodie Stutzman : We love you guys and have been praying continually for you!
    4/2/19
  • Maria Yoder : It was so good to hear all the love and positive thoughts the kids had to share for Norah today. She is so loved! I think of her and you all so often. Continued prayers for strength and healing. Maria Swartzentruber
    4/2/19
  • Diane Arbutis : I am so very sorry that Norah and your family are experiencing this. Your faith and strength will get you through. Prayers for all of you.
    4/2/19
  • Melissa Sikes : Thinking of your strong girl and sending so much love to your family.
    4/2/19
  • Cheryl Wideman : My heart is so full right now! Full of prayers. Full of tears. Full of gratitude that Norah has s loving family surrounding her.
    4/2/19
  • Cheryl Wine : Thank you for the updates. I am praying for Norah and every member of your family ceaselessly.
    4/2/19
  • Karen Thomsen : I'm continuing to send prayers of hope, strength and love to all of you. Please remember to also take care of yourselves as you care for Norah.
    4/2/19
  • Melissa Long : Your family remains on our minds and in our hearts. You are an amazing family with an amazing little fighter. God is going to use her in a very significant way through this situation. Continued prayers for hope, healing and total restoration.
    4/2/19
  • Alison Trost : Prayers upon prayers upon prayers for you all!!
    4/2/19
  • Debbie Turner : We send love and prayers . May the good Lord give you strength and hope as you face each day.
    4/2/19
  • Lynette Miller : Know that you all are being prayed for by many including my church family and we will continue to do so. Praying God's strength and peace over you, your family and young Norah.
    4/2/19
  • Christy Lam : We are continually lifting her + your entire family up in prayer!!! Declaring healing to every part of her body, soul + spirit!
    4/2/19
  • Jessica Lapp : We are sending every ounce of positivity, resilience, strength, and love that we have to sweet Norah. All of you are constantly on our minds and in our hearts.
    4/2/19
  • Cristin Iwanicki : We are praying, praying, praying for Norah and for the rest of you, for knowledge and guidance for the doctors and nurses, and for healing. We are deeply saddened that this is happening to your family.
    4/2/19
  • Lindsey Shantz : Holding your family close in prayer! Your MVES family sends its love. Your words convey your deep faith and love for Norah.
    4/2/19
  • Lowell Herr : Hearts are broken out here on the West Coast for your daughter. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay strong. Lowell
    4/2/19
  • Clyde Kratz : Be assured of our prayers for you during this time of medical crisis.
    4/2/19
  • Jamie Byboth : Still keeping Norah and the whole family in our thoughts. Norah has a strong spirit and we'll keep sending positive healing vibes her way! ((HUGS)) David & Jamie
    4/2/19
  • Heather Cherry : My heart breaks for all that your family is going through! I've been thinking about you all constantly and continue to send prayers for peace, comfort, and healing. Norah's Challenge friends at LEES send much love and positive thoughts. Holding you all close!
    4/2/19
  • Obe Hostetter : Our hearts cry out to God for Nora and your family. We can’t imagine what you are feeling. Hugs and prayers.
    4/2/19
  • Donna Heatwole : We are continuing to pray for all of you. May you feel the love and caring that we have for all of you.
    4/2/19
  • Hunter Messick : I’ve been thinking of you all often. My heart hurts for everything you are going through.
    4/2/19
  • Debra Ellis : Continued prayers and positive thoughts.
    4/2/19
  • Heather Benin : I remember most about Norah, her great joy, spirit and excitement. She could never be anything but whole.
    4/2/19
  • Leslie Kapuchuck : I am praying for all of you and sweet Norah. You all inspire me with your words and bravery at such an unimaginable time. Everyone at Mountain View is praying so hard for your family. Peggy is loved so much at Mountain View. We are here for all of you in any way you need it. Sending love and prayers. ❤️
    4/2/19
  • Loren Horst : We are crying, and grieving, and praying, and hoping. Your heart is evident in your journal entry. Norah is so loved!
    4/2/19
  • Jill Hostetter : We ache for you and this journey you are enduring. May you know a peace that passeth understanding.
    4/2/19
  • Jana Beyer : We will continue to lift Norah and family up in prayer. May you feel God's strength and courage as you face the days ahead. May God's healing hands touch Norah's body and His wisdom guide you all. Blessings and Peace, Dexter, Jana, Meg and James Beyer
    4/2/19
  • Jen Dove : Continuing to keep Norah and the whole family in my thoughts and prayers daily! ❤️
    4/2/19
  • Sandy Wenger : Sending so much love to you all.
    4/2/19
  • Merrie Burruss : I cannot begin to imagine what you all are going through. I do know just from reading your entries that you are so blessed to have such awesome support through your community, family, school home, friends, and people who are just hearing of Norah’s journey. You are continually in my prayers, Brubaker family. May God pour his strength and mercy on you. 💕
    4/2/19
  • Deb Huffman : You are all continually on my mind, in my heart. Sending healing, loving energy your way.
    4/2/19
  • Evelyn McPhee : We are so sorry that Norah (and all of you) have to endure this. May God's love overwhelm you.
    4/2/19
  • Anita Stalter : Sending love, prayers and positive thoughts your way - for Norah, Peggy, Eric and Lydia.
    4/2/19
  • Julie Lehman : We love you guys and are pulling so hard for each of you. Praying for whole spirits and courage and unfailing strength when you need it.
    4/2/19
  • Tara Bell (Halkowich) : Prayers for Norah! Thoughts and love for your whole family.
    4/2/19
  • JoAnne Kreider : You don’t know us but I wanted to tell you that George’s church in Westminster Maryland is praying for Norah Grace. We send updates about her progress when we hear from George. Please know that we are all deeply concerned for her and are praying hard, trusting that God’s healing power will bring her to full health. Your family is in our prayers as well. Blessings from all of us at Church of the Ascension. 🙏
    4/2/19
  • Amy Painter : Thank you for using this platform to inform us of progress. Please know that Norah and the family are continuously in our thoughts and prayers. There is lots of love for all flowing from LEES.
    4/2/19