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Heartache

Today was probably the hardest day that we have had since we began this journey almost two weeks ago. We were awoken with a phone call this morning from my mother telling us that the nurses said that we needed to get up to the PICU immediately. With a pit in our stomachs, we hurried over to find out that Cora had had a rough night, and that they needed to put her on a more aggresive type of ventilator. Her lungs were collapsed enough that the ventilator that she was on was not getting enough oxygen to her body. As a result her blood oxygen levels had dipped down into the 20’s several times over night. For those of you who do not know, (as I did not a few days ago) that is really low. Normally it should be 95-100. Something had to be done to help her, and the doctors felt that this was the first thing that she needed.

However, before they put her on the machine they had to do several other things that were not possible once she was hooked up to it. One of those being an echocardiogram. On the x-ray taken this morning, her heart appeared to be enlarged. So, they decided to make sure that her heart was functioning properly before anything else. It turns out that there was fluid surrounding her heart and thus was giving the impression that it was enlarged. We were so relieved to hear that it was functioning properly though. The doctors also decided to put in an additional line so that they would have more IV access. By the time that all of this was done the doctors felt that Cora had improved enough to not be put on the other ventilator.(PRAISE GOD!!!) She continued to be stable and showed some very small improvements the rest of the day. My sister, who is an ICU nurse, said that it is a miracle that Cora is in the condition that she is tonight. When she arrived this morning she did not hold very high hopes for the day, and was actually very nervous about the whole situation. Tonight we are praising God for bringing Cora this far. We are also praising God for the thousands who prayed for her last night and throughout the day today. We know that God heard our prayers, and that they were answered.

So, where do we stand now? As I mentioned above, Cora has a lot of fluid in the cavity around her heart. Therefore, she is scheduled to have surgery at 8:30 tomorrow morning to drain that cavity, and hopefully bring some relief to her heart and lung functions. It does not seem to be a major deal, but when ever your baby goes off to surgery it makes us as parents quite nervous. If you think of us in the morning please pray.

Days like today are not easy on parents. It was just yesterday morning that the doctors said they were encouraged with Cora’s condition. That was quite an upper for both of us. Today, Jess and I felt as though our hearts were being ripped out of our chests each time we turned around. The emotional exhaustion of the day has definately taken its toll on both of us and we are weary. Please pray for rest, and that God would continue to sustain us throughout the coming days.

The scripture that I have written below is kind of long, but it really describes our day quite well. It talks about the many doubts that we were having, and the feeling of abandonment that we experienced. However, if you read on you will find that we serve a god, who is bigger than any of our problems here on earth. Tonight as we go to bed that is the truth that we are holding on to.

Psalm 77

I cried out to God for help; I cried out to God to hear me. When I was in distress I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands and my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered you O God and I groaned I mused , and my spirit grew faint. You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak. I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; I remembered my songs in the night. My heart mused and my spirit inquired; Will the Lord reject forever? Will he never show his favor again? Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in ager withheld his compassion? Then I thought “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deed. Your ways, O God are holy. What god is so great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph. The waters saw you. O God, the waters saw you and writhed; the very depths were convulsed. The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; your arrows flashed back and forth. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind. your lightning lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked. Your path led through the sea, your way through the mighty waters, though your footprints were not seen. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Praise
-For the improvement that we saw in Cora today
-For the very skilled team of doctors and nurses that are caring for her
-That today is over

Prayer
-For Cora’s surgery in the morning.
-For strength in the next few days
-For wisdom for the doctors as they treat Cora
-For continued healing for Cora
-For a better day tomorrow

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  • Anonymous - ….I’ll just keep praying–ceaselessly.
    For those of you on Facebook, please join the “cause” Prayers For Cora….
    Love you allReplyCancel

  • The Boccias - Know that so many people will be praying tomorrow. I’m so happy that her heart is working okay and that she didn’t need the other ventilator for her breathing. I’ve never heard of O2 levels being as low as the 20s. Praise God for the improvement she made there! We’ll be praying for the Pediatric Trifecta πŸ™‚ and that they will know how best to help Cora. Your sentence about having your hearts ripped out of your chests every time you turned around was so hard to read. Praying that you get to hold Cora and take her home soon. Love you guys.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - You are on my mind so often. I look at many of my students… who loved you so much… and I know their little hearts would be so sad for you. As much as I hated to see you leave SC, I am so glad you decided to stay home with Cora this year. We love you so much and we are praying so hard. Stay strong.ReplyCancel

  • Katy - I just want to let you know that I will be keeping Cora and you all in my prayers. I’m so sorry that she’s going through this, I’m sorry for all of you. I have posted about Cora on my blog and have asked my readers to please pray for her. Hug your sweet child from the Baker Family in Oklahoma. God BlessReplyCancel

  • Misty - I think about you precious little girl and pray for her nightly. Keep up your faith, God is with you…You guys try to get some rest, she needs rested parents by her side. I will check back tomorrow and hopefully it will be better than today. I will be thinking and praying for her around 8:30 Thursday morning.ReplyCancel

  • Sheryl - You amaze me. I know that’s not what you’re looking for but I have to say it. Loved that scripture. I am sure many will take comfort from that in their own situations. Thanks for sharing it – I know that I needed it as well.

    Praying that tomorrow brings visible signs of God’s healing hand.ReplyCancel

  • blessedmomto7 - As I head to bed tonight-I will be covering you all in prayer and praying for rest and strength for your family too.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I could not sleep until I read about your day. I am so happy that the doctor’s feel that tomorrow’s surgery is “not major” (Even though I know it is to your family) Praise God for small improvements. Praise God for THOUSANDS praying. PRAISE God for good Doctors. PRAISE God for Cora’s heart functioning properly. PRAISE God for choosing people to spread the word of Cora and the word of GOD. Praise God for people like you all.
    Still praying for a better day tomorrow. FOr strength and healing.ReplyCancel

  • heather spratt - My thoughts & prayers continue to be with you all. Praising God for the miracle he performed today. May He be glorified through this trial and may you hang onto Him.

    I will be joining the Facebook “cause” Prayers For Cora and passing it along!

    Much Love,
    HeatherReplyCancel

  • Elaine - Lifting you all in prayer. My heart just aches for you. I know we serve an awesome God and I pray you are filled with his strength and wisdom. I pray that your sweet little angel is comfortable and on the road to a complete healing.ReplyCancel

  • The Franklin's - Hello, I do not know you or your family, but was sent a link to your blog from a friend of mine. Your faith amazes me. I pray that God will give each and every one of your family members strength to get through this fight, and of course a speacial prayer for a supernatural healing in Cora. I know that whatevers happens, God will get the glory. Be blessed!ReplyCancel

  • Megs - I am praying that angels wrap their wings around you and your precious baby so that all of you may have rest and healing of your hearts. Hang in there. You are doing an incredible job. Thank you for allowing us to walk with you and help carry your burden. Many hugs and love,
    M in TNReplyCancel

  • tiff - Continuing to pray, pray, pray!
    Tiff ClassenReplyCancel

  • Jill (Sneaky Momma) - praying for you and your sweet girl…ReplyCancel

  • Correnta - Praying praying praying for your precious Cora and for you both. Thank you for the updates even when I’m sure you are so tired.

    Heather Contrera WomackReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Found Cora’s story via another blog here in Florida. I am praying for your precious angel and for you, Mom and Dad. Please get rest when you can.ReplyCancel

  • The Moffats - SO many were praying today – amazing to watch the Lord answer our prayers!! Hang in there and know that you are OH SO LOVED! I will be up and praying for Cora’s surgery tomorrow morning. Hugs and lots of love. Laura, Michael, and HunterReplyCancel

  • Cathy - I am in awe of your strength and faith. There is power is what you are doing here. “Wherever two or more are gathered in his name…”
    God is blessing Cora daily as he gave her parents who saw the signs of her illness and got her help.
    I will pray with out ceasingReplyCancel

  • Melissa - I am praying for dear sweet Cora that God will hold her in His hands tomorrow during her surgery and that you guys will find some peace and rest tonight and in the days to come.

    Thank you for keeping your blog so well updated!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa Spence - Hi!
    I do not know your family but read on a friends facebook status about her praying for your family and recieved the link to this blog. I just finished reading all about your situation and crying myself through your experiences.
    I am so amazed by the strength you have shown in your faith and all the scripture you have been meditating on. What an ecouragemnt, thank you for sharing.
    I will be praying for Cora, you both, your families, and the doctors as you go through this difficult time. I am so thankful to know that you are trusting in our faithful and mercyful God. May the Lord continue to shine his face down upon you and encourage you though this time. Love and hugs.
    Lisa Spence
    Houston, BC, CANADAReplyCancel

  • Cousin Kelli - Joel and Jess – It’s way past my bedtime but I can’t sleep so am up praying for you and sweet baby Cora (as Hannah calls her). I was reading in the Psalms, actually Psalm 46. I know you know the verses but I just had a note written in my Bible by this chapter that these were some verses that Grandma Mary
    loved while she was in Omaha in the hospital fighting her brain tumor. My study notes at the bottom of the page describe this as “a triumphant confession of fearless trust in God” despite great upheaval. I am praying that God will sustain and refresh you all moment by moment. Love you, Cousin KelliReplyCancel

  • dolcechic - I’m praying for you! I was linked here by another blog. I am so sorry your daughter and the rest of your family are going through so much. I hope your daughter will be okay. She’s just gorgeous!ReplyCancel

  • Jackietex - My heart is breaking for you. I will continue to lean on His understanding and lift you and Cora in my prayers.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - you are in my prayers…you have been and your little girl!!!ReplyCancel

  • Shannon - I am praying with you and for your family and Cora. My heart aches for you, as I am a new Mommy myself, I cannot imagine all that you have been going through these last few weeks. I will continue to pray and read your requests. Know that God is with all of you, and everyone is praying for that beautiful little doll face. Hugs to you and your family. -ShannonReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Jer 29:13 “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”
    The Lord is definately working in and through you, don’t give up. I was asleep already and my youngest a 10 month old girl, woke up at 12:45 am which is unusual for her. But I decided to check a blog while nursing her. Through various links I read about your family and I thought I would let you know that I’m praying for you too. I’m from Manitoba, Canada and it sounds like you have people all over the woeld praying. You are not alone. I don’t know what you are going through, but Jesus does and He can be trusted.ReplyCancel

  • bethany actually - Got here from Meg Duerksen’s site. I read back through all the entries from the day the cancer was diagnosed with a lump in my throat, imagining my daughter in Cora’s place. Please know that I am praying for you and your daughter and will continue to do so.

    Praise God for your faith and the grace and strength He is lavishing on you and Cora!ReplyCancel

  • BreezieGirl - Just learned of Baby Cora… praying.

    -BreezieGirl
    http://bleach226.wordpress.comReplyCancel

  • the sweet life with olives - continuing to pray pray prayReplyCancel

  • Steve and Debbie Cowles - yes, Joel, England is praying–and praying and weeping w/ you. We love you, Steve and DebReplyCancel

  • laney - dear Jesus we praise you for all you have done in the life of this sweet little one…she is so small to face such big battles…but we know that she does not face them alone…we marvel at all the prayers warriors she has!….we praise You again for Yur faithfulness and wisdom in directing her parents to the right physcians and caregiers…as she goes into surgery this morning we know that You are there before her…direct the hands of the surgeons…bless all those in the room who call upon Your name…comfort cora’s mommy and daddy as they wait…remind them again of Your great love for cora and for them… amen long ago moses instructed joshua to go into battle…aaron and hur went up to the top of the hill with moses to watch the battle…as long a moses held up his arms holding the stick that God had given him …joshua was triumphant….as moses’s arms grew weary … aaron and hur brought a stone for him to sit on and they stood beside moses and held his arms up…they did this until the sun went down…the enemy was defeated!…today you will be held up by many many people who love you…perhaps thousands!…most of whom you do not know and will never know…all because the Lord Himself placed a little child in their hearts…just think…in the midst of all that is happening in the world…Gods stops and acts just for cora…that is Love…ReplyCancel

  • i love plum - Praying will never stop for you, Jess and Cora. I check on you every night before bed and first thing in the morning. This morning I will pray LOUD and HARD while I know Cora is in surgery. I think I’ve got all of New England praying for you as I spread your message as far as I can (even to India). xoReplyCancel

  • Momma_Hug - My thoughts and prayers are with you both and precious Cora. She is a very strong little girl and I’m learning that she has received that strength from her mom and dad and will continue to. Stay strong my friends.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I got here through Meg Duerksen’s blog as well. I have been praying for sweet little Cora and her family. Ill keep praying.ReplyCancel

  • The Sweigart Family - tears are streaming down my face. I am so sorry that you had to go through all of that yesterday. I am so sorry that you have to go through any of this these last two weeks. Cora is so lucky to have you two as parents. Keep leaning on Him for strength. Only in Him will you find it. We continue to pray for strength, comfort, healing.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - Jess and Joel,

    There are several people that I have been continuing to hear about Cora at church and school who are praying for you guys! We prayed at my small group last night and then one of my roommates and I prayed last night again before bed. You guys are seeking Jesus and going to Him for your strength in the battle. How fitting that Psalm was.

    I will tell my class of this update and we will be praying for that little heart this a.m.

    Much love!
    HeatherReplyCancel

  • vickisherbert - May the Lord cradle you in His arms today.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace - We are praying…we’ll keep on praying…our hearts ache with and for you. We are crying out to the Lord on behalf of Cora…and all of you.

    In His Grace,
    Kelly Gerken
    Sufficient Grace MinistriesReplyCancel

  • Joanne (The Simple Wife) - Praying for sweet Cora’s surgery this morning. And for you both.

    Joanne
    Denver, COReplyCancel

  • Beth - Psalm 10:17

    You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.ReplyCancel

  • Hays Family 5 - Peace be with you. We are all praying for Cora.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Iam praying faithfully for Cora and for you as parents. The verses you share are great and to see you leaning on the Lord in your weariness is a testimony to me. I care.ReplyCancel

  • Heather - I’m praying my heart out for Cora’s swift healing. I have no words….. I’m so sorry you are going through this πŸ™
    Hugs and prayers,
    Heather~ On the HomefrontReplyCancel

  • Beth Ann - I don’t know your family or can I even begin to say I know what it feels like to be you right now, I can only imagine the heartache you are feeling as each time I read your blog my heart hurts for both you and Cora. Praying for your little familyReplyCancel

  • Stephanie Holzwarth - Joel & Jess, thanks for keeping us updated. We are praying for you guys!!ReplyCancel

  • Scarlet O'Kara - Please hear our prayers for this precious angel of yours…guide the doctors hands as they work on her today…comfort her loved ones while they wait…and let this little lamb start back on her road to full recovery…ReplyCancel

  • Darby - i am praying for sweet cora in alabama.

    please, lord jesus, guide the doctors this morning as they remove the fluid from her chest. may it bring relief to her and may she show signs of healing. please be with these sweet parents who love her so deeply and put their trust in you. we love you lord, and we ask all of these things in your precious name!ReplyCancel

  • Megan (mommyesquire) - Lifting constant prayers to God for Cora.ReplyCancel

  • ~Cherie - May blessings shower you. May God strengthen you and your precious baby. I will continue to pray.ReplyCancel

  • creativecarryout - Your little Cora is touching lives everywhere. I am praying for her every day.
    God bless your family.ReplyCancel

  • PamperingBeki - Your blog is now the way I start and end my day. Of course I pray throughout the day too, but The Macs and prayer are the beginning and end of my day.

    We’ll be praying for Cora today at exactly 8:30.

    Your faith is inspiring and a blessing to so very many people!

    I woke up this morning to the song by Jeremy Camp and instantly thought of you. There is hope for the helpless, rest for the weary…. Cry out to Jesus.

    He is hearing you.
    Love you guys!ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - I will lift you, your little girl, and the rest of you family up in prayer for sure! God is such an amazing God, and I am sure that he has great and wonderful things in store for your sweet Cora! Keep your head up, and know that God is with you!ReplyCancel

  • Marla Taviano - Praying for your beautiful little girl. My heart aches for you. Praying for a HUGE hug from God today that you can physically feel.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I too have come across Cora’s story via another blog. I will be praying for her health and your strength.ReplyCancel

  • Heather C - Blanketing you all in prayer throughout this entire day… and those to come.ReplyCancel

  • The Schilling's from PICU - Our hearts sank as we read the blog from last night! I can only imagine your fears and concerns!

    We are praying so hard to get you through all of this! We love you and hope that today is better!

    love to all!

    AMIEReplyCancel

  • erikmelissa - Your daughter is so beautiful! I am praying for her! Love in Christ~Melissa in MNReplyCancel

  • megan - I found your blog through Angie…And I wanted to let you know that your family and Daughter Cora are in my prayers. I pray for the Doctors and nurses that are taking care of your daughter and that GOD will see a full healing on this gift of life he gave you. Blessings MeganReplyCancel

  • Livesays - JEss & Joel,
    I’m so sorry about the day you and Cora ahd yesterday. We continue to pray and think of you often. We will pray fervently today that God brings Cora safely through this surgery and that she can recover quickly and have an easier time breathing. Be strong and take comfort and rest in the multitude of prayers and well wishes that are being sent to God today for Cora and both of you. My heart aches for you and your family. Take care!ReplyCancel

  • Nan - We are praying for sweet little Cora and for all of these things… Grace and peace be yours in abundance even as you wait and leave your sweet girl in God’s trustworthy hands.ReplyCancel

  • Megan Barber - Glad I checked your blog when I did this morning…I am at work and will pray, pray, pray about the surgery this morning… May God wrap his loving arms around your whole family.ReplyCancel

  • Cristy - Praying and praying….Thank God for a new day today. I am praying for a better day for Cora and some rest for you both.

    Sending hugs….

    CristyReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - praying right nowReplyCancel

  • Cherry Tree Lane - I check in each day, several times….praying for you all. Praying that today is an “easier” day. Lord, please heal Cora Paige….ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Praying for you so much and especially now as sweet Cora is in surgery. You are a huge testimony to so many all over the world! Praying for a good day, for rest, strength, healing, wisdom and comfort for all of you and your families. For the Doctors as they have big decisions to make day by day, also. God Bless you all!ReplyCancel

  • Jenni - I happened upon your blog through a friend and just wanted you to know that I am praying for you all this morning and will continue to lift you up in prayer in the future.ReplyCancel

  • Jeanie - I linked to your blog through some other blog that I look at all the time. Don’t know you but noticed that you are a Wesley in Wichita. I live in Wichita and not very far from Wesley. I’ve read a little of your story…my prayers are with you and sweet little Cora, our Jesus is a healer and I’m praying his healing on your little sweetheart. Do you need anything while in Wichita? Just e-mail and let me know. I’d love to help.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Father God, I pray this morning that you continue to guide Cora’s doctor’s through yet another procedure and that Cora continues to have the strength to endure. I pray that through Your grace and mercy, Cora’s treatments will show positive results. Father I ask that Cora receive peaceful rest after this surgery that will allow her precious little body to heal. Father, I also ask that Cora’s family receive encouraging results today and that they also receive much needed rest and hope. It’s in Your Holy name – Amen.ReplyCancel

  • Amy - ….I am lifting you up in prayer right now, and am praying for you to feel His presence while precious Cora in is surgery. That scripture was amazing.
    Much love and constant prayers for you, AmyReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Joel, Jess and family
    You are constantly in our thoughts. We are praying specifically right now for Cora…praying for healing, for peace that is beyond comprehension, wisom for the doctors. Praying that you will sense God’s presence today. Blessings to you today. We love you all…
    Roger and PattyReplyCancel

  • my3sons - Still praying for sweet Cora…ReplyCancel

  • Marie - What a beautiful scripture. God will never abandon you. I’ll keep praying!ReplyCancel

  • The Morris Family - Your scripture is one to hang on to, remember all that He has done in the past, He has not changed!!! Praying for you all!!
    Cindy (mommy to a neuroblastoma little boy)ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - We are friends of Al and Marilee Kruse in Sterling and have been receiving updates on Cora. Your family has been on my mind and I pray for you throughout the day. God bless you all!ReplyCancel

  • Kerri - I am still praying for your sweet little girl. Stay positive.ReplyCancel

  • Angie C in Wichita - I’m praying my heart out for this sweet baby and you as parents… prayed with some friends at church last night, and sent prayer requests to my mommy’s group and most everyone in my email box. You are lifted up! I prayed that God will touch his healing hands to Cora and miraculously heal her- to be a testament to everyone how Big and Awesome He is and that Miracles do indeed happen!ReplyCancel

  • Esther - I just heard from my Mom about your sweet little Cora. As a parent, my heart aches for you, I can only imagine how difficult these days have been for you. You will be in my prayers today and continually.
    Esther Harder Braithwaite (Dan’s sister)ReplyCancel

  • becky - praying for that angel girl!ReplyCancel

  • Maureen - I went to bed last night with nothing but your family on my mind. Thank you for updating us as how to pray. Know that your little girl has stole my heart and that I am lifting you up to Jesus!

    Prayers from Washington,
    MaureenReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - I pray for your daughter continually! The Lord has placed her on my mind for the past three days non-stop, and I simply cannot stop praying for her.

    A verse of encouragement for you parents: JEREMIAH 32:27 and also JEREMIAH 31:25.

    May the Lord bless and keep you in His unfailing love.ReplyCancel

  • Susie (So Blessed) - Pour out your hearts like water in the presence of the Lord…for the lives of your children.

    Lamentations 2:19

    I am joining you, and so many others, as I pour out my heart to the Lord for little Cora.ReplyCancel

  • Bobbi - It is 9:35 AM mountain time and I am praying!ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - Lifting baby Cora up in prauer right now! May God encourage you throughout the day today and have His ever-loving arms around you.ReplyCancel

  • Anonymous - We are praying for you day and night. Jesus We Trust in You.ReplyCancel

  • meg duerksen - loving you today.
    i woke up at 6:30 and opened my eyes and the first thought i had there in the dark was cora. πŸ™‚
    so i prayed before my head even lifted from the pillow that today would be better…she’d improve..you’d feel hopeful…encouraged…strong.ReplyCancel

  • mommaof4wife2r - i pray for peace and that your rest be multiplied as you continue on this journey with sweet cora. i pray for a healing of cora as well. still praying.ReplyCancel

  • Chris - I am so sorry you are going throught this painful journey , keep strong ,
    you are constantly in my thoughts .ReplyCancel

  • avtcoach - This blog family is an amazing community. You have so many people praying for you who do not even know you but feel they do know you through your blog. The word goes out when one of us is in need of prayer and through your wonderful blog you get to hear about all of the good people in the world who care. Blessings on you and all of your family as you support each other in the care of little Cora.
    My prayer is that she will heal and recover, and have many precious days of joy with your family.ReplyCancel