Friday, July 28, 2006

Lewis family heart story submitted by Duane and Cheri Lewis. Story also able to be seen on http://www.caringbridge.org/tx/tate/

Tate was born on Aug.21, 2002 with a heart condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. He is the three year old son of Duane and Cheri Lewis, and the adored baby brother of Luke, Parker and Lilly. Tate had a five hour corrective surgery called the Norwood at Children's Medical Center of Dallas when he was just five days old. During Tate's Norwood, his team of surgeons created for him a functional heart that would allow him to sustain life for about six months. He came home for the first time at about 6 1/2 weeks old with an oxygen tank and feeding tube. Tate has returned to Children's Hospital for two heart catherizations, an angioplasty of his narrowed aortic arch, and a second open heart surgery at age six months. Tate underwent a final surgery to repair his aortic arch (CoA), pulmonary arteries and the final stage of his surgeries (FONTAN) during a 10 hour surgery in April of 2005 at TEXAS CHILDRENS HOSPITAL in Houston, TX. Tate was out of the hospital in Houston after only 8 days. He returned home a week later after recuperating in the Houston Ronald McDonald House. Two weeks after being home (May, 2005) he had to be care-flighted to Children's Medical Center of Dallas due to a collapsed left lung which was caused by a Caylous Effusion (drainage around his left lung post-operatively). After a 10 day stay in the hospital and an added chest tube Tate was back on the road to recovery. Unfortunately he suffered a mild stroke on August 6, 2005 as a rare post-operative complication. This situation required an MRI, heart catherization, and a 3 day stay in Medical City of Dallas. In a horrible freak accident on Oct 21, 2005, Tate was crushed under the garage door in his family’s home. His mommy was just a few steps behind as they were preparing to get into the car to run some errands together. After being under the garage for about 1 minute, Tate was eventually released after his mother ran outside to punch in the code of the garage door. Tate's mom had angels all around her that guided her in giving rescue breaths and beginning CPR on Tate. He was resuscitated and the doctors at the emergency ran all kinds of tests before determining that Tate was sore and scratched, but remarkably unharmed from this horrible accident. God obviously has big things in store for this little guy’s life!!!!
Tate faces the possibility of an eventual heart transplant; however, we pray that advances in modern technology and God's healing hand will help Tate continue to run the race.

Tate is a beautiful little guy that weighs 31 pounds and is 36 1/2 inches tall. He loves DOGS (woo woo's), any type of music, reading books, riding in his Daddy's pickup, playing outside, and holding on to Mommy & Daddy's ears whenever he's nervous, anxious, or sleepy!?!? He has big dreams to play in a "BIG BAND" some day. He also desires to be like two of his Uncle's and ride a Harley motorcycle "when he gets real big!" Tate is a curly headed, energetic, playful, FUNNY little boy that just happens to have 1/2 of a heart!

The Lewis family expresses our MOST SINCERE heartfelt thanks to those of you that have continued to remember to pray for the medical needs of Duane and Tate. The past four years have been some of the most difficult years of our lives; however, the JOY that comes from God above has caused the "SON" to shine down on us during some of our darkest moments.

Although this is NOT what we expected our lives to be like, we wouldn't change one day! We feel that these "life lessons" while still in our 30's has caused us to refocus on what things are TRULY important to us in this world that we live in. To put it simply, when the life of someone you love is threatened, your priorities in life IMMEDIATELY change! We have learned to look for the GOOD in every person we come into contact with each day, and to always find something positive in each situation that comes our way. We know that our children have become more caring and compassionate human beings from the experiences they have endured at such tender ages. Their appreciation and love for God is buried deep within their little souls. We pray that our sons will grow up to be Godly men that will openly speak out about what God has done in their lives. We pray that our daughter will be a Godly wife, friend and mother.

As we reflect on the last four years (Duane-Brain cancer & surgeries in 2000 and 2001. Tate-open heart surgeries in 2002, 2003, and 2004..... We STAND totally AMAZED at the love that our Lord Jesus has showered us with. It's because of His promise that we are able to stand. He has given us the strength which has enabled us to face each new day.

Duane promised me on July 29, 2004 (our 15th wedding anniversary) that once we get our precious baby boy through this tough surgery and home from the hospital, that "It's NOTHING but happiness and good times ahead!" How can a man that simply DOES NOT make promises assure his sometimes scared and weepy wife of this??? Simply because Duane's FAITH is amazing!! He quoted the following verse to me just 5 days after he was diagnosed with a high grade, malignant brain tumor (that just happened to be larger than the size of a lemon in the left frontal lobe of his brain)

Matt. 17:20 "If you have FAITH as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains".

God has MOVED the BIGGEST mountains for our young family...and we look forward to LOTS OF SUNSHINE and RAINBOWS in our future. To our Godly friends and prayers warriors, thank you for caring enough about us to pray for our emotional and physical needs. We treasure your friendships and feel we could never repay you enough for petitioning to God on our behalf. We love each of you! We know without even asking that your heads will be bowed for our sweet baby boy during his surgery and recovery. By the way....May all of your days be filled with peace, happiness, good health, and of course, the VERY BRIGHTEST rainbows!


Duane and Tate Lewis............Two of God's Miracles on Earth! TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Thanks be to GOD for HIS indescribable Gift!
II Corinthians 9:15


"TO THOSE THAT MUCH IS GIVEN... MUCH IS EXPECTED" Luke 12:48

Dear God,
Thank you for giving us SO MUCH....we are INDEED so blessed. Please allow YOUR love and light to shine through our faces and our lives so that we might HONOR YOU in all that we say and do.
~Amen

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