Today is a bittersweet day for me.  It is the same Tuesday that we took Ian to the ER last January.  Although it was technically the 24th, this particular Tuesday remains on my mind for several reasons.  First of all, Emma had a fever the day before so she could not go to school that day.  Second, the boys did have school that day, which made it convenient to drive Ian to the ER right after we took them to school.

At 4 am that morning Ian had gone to the bathroom.  I was half awake and he told me that there was blood in his urine.  I asked if he wanted to go in to the ER since he had also been feeling sick the day before.  I thought we could call our neighbor Teri to stay with the kids until we came home.  He said no and we went back to bed.  Fast forward 3 hours and I got up to get everyone fed, dressed, and the boys ready for school.  Ian still didn’t feel well.  He was sooooo cold.  I distinctly remember that he was wearing an undershirt, a long sleeved shirt, and an A&M hoodie.  He was laying under our comforter and he still couldn’t get warm, so he asked me for yet another thick comforter on top.  I asked him to ride with me to take the boys to school so that we could go in to see the doctor right after we dropped them off at 9am.  He again said no, that he would just wait for me to get home and then we could go.  I didn’t really like that idea, but I didn’t want to argue about it.

As I was getting the kids in the car, my phone vibrated in my back pocket.  I pulled it out and it was a text from Ian… who was still in our bedroom.  “I just threw up pink” is what it read. At this point, I didn’t really care if I had to argue and make him mad.  I was determined to get him in the car and take him in.  I remember leaving the kids in the car and walking down to our room to get him.  He was back in bed and he didn’t want to get up mostly because he was so cold.  Somehow I forced him out and carried the thick comforter to cover him up in the car.

I took the boys in and left Ian and Emma in the car.  Then we drove to the Baptist Emergency Room on 281/Thousand Oaks.  We didn’t wait too long to get a room.  When asked why he was there we told them about the little cough that he had and that he felt sooooo incredibly cold.  The only real reason we were worried was the blood in his urine and vomit.  Then the lab tests began.

They took a urine sample and tried to draw blood.  Each time they tried to draw blood, none would come.  They tried different veins and different nurses but it didn’t help.  A chest x-ray revealed the culprit.  Pneumonia.  However, the pneumonia didn’t explain all the other symptoms.  By this time, Ian’s oxygen was in the 80s and I didn’t know enough about blood pressure to remember numbers, but we were told that it was very low.  They did another test that confirmed that he had blood in his stool, too.  With all these symptoms and no real answer, they wanted to do a scan of his abdomen to see what was going on in there.

If you know Ian, you know that he is against any unnecessary tests.  We called a dr friend, and when we described Ian’s symptoms, he agreed that we should go ahead with the scan.  So we went ahead and did it. (I made arrangements for Emma to go back to our house with our babysitter so that she would not be around in case there was something not appropriate for her little ears.)

I remember sitting alone in a little dark room watching as Ian was transferred from his rolling bed to the bed for the scan.  He still had our thick comforter covering him.  Everything after that is kind of a blur…


They said it was septic shock… that they weren’t equipped to treat him there…  that he would have to be transferred by ambulance to Methodist Stone Oak… that he would be there for 6-7 days… blah blah blah..  And, just like that, our journey began.

I could go on and on about how the day went, but I can tell you, it all went downhill from there.  The bad reports started coming one after another, until finally Ian was intubated and sedated with not much hope for life.  I’m so grateful that things turned out differently!  Thank God that HE saved Ian’s life!!!

Today and the rest of the week will be hard.  I’m surprised at how sentimental I am today thinking about what happened and what could have been.  I am also happy to realize that we made it through the first year!  So much has happened this year.  I could write a novel about all the struggles and blessings that our family has endured.  My friend Amy told me that the first year after Ian’s death would have been hard.  I’m thankful that I didn’t have to go through that.  Even having lived, this first year has been hard, but she reminded me that we are going through it together.

I’m so grateful for this life that God has gifted me with.  I’m so grateful for a wonderful Godly husband with an amazing attitude and sense of humor.  I’m grateful for three wonderful children to call my own.  There are no words to describe how thankful I am.  I’m sitting in tears as I write this, overwhelmed by God’s grace and promises.  HE is so good!

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.   Ephesians 3:20-21

Please continue to pray for our family if you think of us.  Although it has been a year, our journey is not over.  Ian is still making great progress with his prosthetic legs.  The current ones are still temporary because his legs continue to change in size and shape.  We hope to have permanent legs around Spring Break.  Permanent prosthetic legs will be lighter weight and easier to put on/take off.  Ian will also begin the process of reconstruction on his hands soon.  His left hand will be done first since he has lost all of his fingers and basically has a “paddle” for a hand.  Any improvement in that hand will be better than what he has now.  Pray for Dr. Pederson to get creative and think of some wonderful ideas for Ian’s left hand.

Thank you to those of you who continue to follow our story.  We are so grateful for you.

Love, denisse


2 thoughts on “we made it through the first year.

  1. I know you wouldn’t have chosen this road, but you have traveled it nobly. Our whole family has watched and noticed how your unwavering faith has carried you through this year. Even on Sunday, I can see how very real the lyrics of the worship songs are to you as you sing. God is very, very good. Thank you for making that fact known to so many.


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