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The unexpected path I never saw coming.. 

 My faith is something I hold strong within my heart.  It is what gets me through times where I cannot find strength.  Yet, three weeks ago my faith dropped me to my knees in a way I never saw coming.

Three weeks ago I had taken a last minute trip upstate with my Mom and boys to visit my Aunt because it was Memorial Day weekend.  I had cancelled my photo sessions for the weekend due to a small rash on my side.  I thought it would be an amazing way to spend time with my Mom and boys and enjoy the scenery of the mountains and my husband can enjoy some R&R without us at home.  Maybe he can get a few rounds of golf in with his friends.

On Friday night my husband said he had a headache and that he was going to bed.  We texted our good nights to each other and I snuggled to sleep with my boys.  On Saturday morning, I called to see how he was feeling and I kept getting voice mail so I figured he was already out golfing.  I called four times in a matter of three hours and nothing, which is weird for him not to answer but I didn't think anything of it because he was probably busy. 

At noon my Mother-In-Law called to say that she was at the hospital with Don (my husband) and they transporting him by ambulance to another hospital because he went to the hosptial because he thought he had a migraine but it turns out he has blood on his brain.  It is an aneurysm.

I asked her if she was kidding.  Because she had to be kidding.

She wasn't. 

I asked her to speak to Don and she said I couldn't because she was outside. 

I thought my husband was dead.  {HOW CAN GOD BE DOING THIS MY MIND SCREAMED!!}

I don't remember clearly what I did next, I just remember crying.  I don't remember hanging up, or packing, or getting the kids and my Mom in the car to go home.

After getting myself together, I called my Mother-in-Law back and she said hold on, what she did next is what got me through at three hour and forty five minute drive down the mountain; she passed the phone to my husband and let me speak to him.  I heard his voice.  He was alive. 

Saturday night was a blur.  The details of having to watch my boys kiss their Dad goodbye in the ER are so painful, that it feels like someone is stabbing me when I recall them.  All we knew was that Sunday morning Don would have surgery to try to stop the aneurysm from bursting.  We had the Chief of the Neuro department on his case and he told us that his team of doctors would "get it".

I spent the night on a small chair next to Don's hospital bed praying.  I didn't sleep at all that night.  When the doctors arrived to go over the plan it sounded routine, almost a walk in the park.  They told my husband they would do an angiogram, map out the aneurysm decide what the best route was to take and in a few hours the aneurysm would be gone. 

There was almost a sense of relief on my end that the Doctor was so confident that he would get it that I was NOT prepared for what happened next.  Thank the heavens my sister-in-law and brother-in-law where there with me.

After Don was rolled in to be prepend for the angiogram, the Chief of Neuro came out to the waiting room to speak to me about his procedure. 

"Your husband is going to be operated on with what we see as an extremely complicated aneurysm.  Because it branches and wraps itself (the aneurysm) around a vital part of the right lobe it triples the risks.  There is a 50% chance he will die on the operating table because it ruptures or something goes wrong while I am clipping them and if he does survive there is a strong chance he will be left with a disability.  If we are able to get the complete clip, then the risk of him having a stroke after the procedure is extremely high and common.  We are going to do our best to get him back to you better than ever and I am confident I will get the job done, but you need to know what your in for, I have not told Don any of this because I need his anxiety level down, and his hopes high. I need you to come with me now, kiss him, look him in the eyes and tell him that everything will be okay."

I turned to my sister-in-law who was hysterical, and my brother-in-law was shaking the doctors hand to say thank you for letting us know and I stood there, with a quivering lip looking for someone to tell me it was going to be okay.  But my person who does that for me is getting ready for the fight of his life. 

I felt like I was a seven year old, in a grown up body.  I was being told this, this was happening to us.  To us.  How is the happening to us?  HOW?

I hated God.  I hated him because how can he take my husband, especially when he knows my Mom is dying of a terminal illness? HOW CAN HE DO THIS TO ME?  WHAT HAVE I DONE TO DESERVE THIS?

Selfishness is not pretty.  And after I sobbed heavier than I have ever cried before I sat in a waiting room, in a corner by myself and prayed.

I asked for forgiveness for my thoughts of hate.
I asked for forgiveness for my thoughts of selfishness.
And I prayed hard for God to please bring my family home.  Together.
To allow my boys NOT to know this kind of pain so early on in their life.
I prayed.
And then six hours later the doctor came to me and said, "we got the entire aneurysm, it is gone, we did it. He is being wheeled to recovery know you can see him in about an hour.  But what you need to know is that it is a miracle he pulled through, he ruptured on the table and we were still able to clip the entire aneurysm".

15 minutes later the nurse came to get me and they brought me into the ICU where Don was because as she said "Don asked to see you right now". 

I walked in, scared, so so scared, but the moment I grabbed his hand, and looked into his eyes I could see he was there looking back at me.  And when he spoke he made me realize that God knows the love we have for one another, because God brought him back to me.

On May 29th, I was completely surrounded by love.  There is not a doubt in my mind that the brilliant hands of Dr. Chalif and a miracle delivered by God that has allowed my family to be home today, together.

The road following the surgery was not easy.  It was hard to watch my husband suffer in pain from the surgery and for me to be so helpless with his fight.  There were many dark days where I fought hard within myself to remain positive, reminding myself that God has shown us a miracle and that I need to stop being so selfish again.

Even to this day, almost three weeks since this started and ONE full week since he has been home, that I am starting to feel okay sharing his story through my eyes.  I didn't want to share it, because it is not my story to tell.  This happened to him, it was so personal to him that I will never, ever understand how he feels. 

Yet, the reason I am sharing now is because this did happen to us, our family.  It did happen to me, I was there with him, everyday, supporting his fight, reminding him how lucky I am that he came back to me, and our boys.

Our story continues.


Don had his first post op visit today, and the surgeon reminded us again how lucky we are that Don survived something like this, and that he is on the road to a full recovery.  He said it is a million to one how this all turned out.  I will say it over, and over again, that without Dr. Chalif,  God and the prayers sent by our family and friends that we would not be here with this amazing ending to a terrible beginning.

There are so many people that have touched my heart during all of this that it is hard to really say how amazed I am by the light that surrounds me. To my family, my friends, my sons teachers, and to the doctors and nurses, THANK YOU.  I am eternally grateful for the prayers and support.  With the help of all of you my husband is home, and our boys have their Dad.  I have cancelled my photography appointments for June and July to spend time home with my family while my husband recovers.  I am thankful for my clients that have been so understanding. 

And to Don, 3325.

I declare today that I cannot be defeated, discouraged, depressed or disappointed (Phil 4:13)

Reader Comments (10)

Oh Kim. I just sobbed for you. My heart dropped reading how scared you were, and I only wish I could have been there holding your hand. You're so brave and so blessed. I don't even have to tell you that, you know it's very true.

I am so happy you have your husband back with you, that the boys have their daddy. I'm thinking of you often.


Thu, June 16 | Unregistered CommenterMiss

You are blessed. All of you. I want nothing more than this healing path to continue for you all.

I am SO SO glad to read the story had the ending I was hoping for. Big amounts of love to all of you.

Fri, June 17 | Unregistered CommenterHockeymandad

This is wonderful news. I am so glad Don is recovering so well. Best wishes for continued good health.

Fri, June 17 | Unregistered CommenterTara R.

Kim. I just read your post and sat here with tears in my eyes scared to read each line leading to the outcome and now crying for joy for your husband whom I've never met and for you who we just know as an amazing artist and person. We are so happy that Don is well on his way to recovery and we will keep you and your family in our prayers. Your story touched me as well because the words you heard from your Doctor I heard to the tee from my Moms doctor when she had an aneurysm 8 years ago. Unfortunatly my Mom did not survive. That alone makes me so happy to hear how well your husband is doing because it shows that prayers do get answered, miracles do happen, Doctors are skilled and do give hope , and love can see us the anything...even a fight for our lives. Keep us posted...we will be thinking of you. Xoxox

Fri, June 17 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle

Continued prayers for healing, coming your way... ((HUGS))

Mon, June 20 | Unregistered CommenterMishi

Oh Kim, I just cried and rejoiced and got scared and prayed all while reading this.

Love and prayers to you and no, you cannot be defeated xoxoxoox

Tue, June 21 | Unregistered Commenterrachel

I found your blog on Pinterest - someone pinned you up talking about what an inspiring photographer you are. I too am a photographer and LOVE LOVE LOVE to find other photographers to connect with... so I clicked over. I read this with my heart heavy almost dreading to read on for the dreadful outcome I thought it would have.... but no... a miracle and a smiling heart from a stranger <3

Your husband will be in my prayers :)

Hi Kim,
since you and I last touch basis you & your family have been on my mind. It was on my heart to be praying for you and now I know why. In every trial there is a lesson. And I am grateful that you were confident enough to share what you and your family have gone through. Thank you for your testimony. I can't begin to tell you how THRILLED I am to know you hubby is home. God Bless!! I will keep you & yours in my prayers.

Thu, June 23 | Unregistered CommenterTaj

kim!!! omg. i am thinking of you and your husband. xoxoxoxox

Mon, July 25 | Unregistered Commentermelissa

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