Saturday, March 22, 2008

Elijah's cousin in critical danger

Today, I am using Elijah's blog to share devastating news regarding Elijah's second cousin, Gavin Smith. Gavin is the son of my cousin Stacie (Ayers) Smith. She is the daughter of my dad's twin brother and is the age of my brother. We grew up very close. I am heart sick for her. I know that you all pray for my son and your prayers are heard and felt! Please use your prayer power today and in the coming days and weeks to pray for Gavin and his parents and grandparents. Below are Stacie's words, which will break your heart.

Dear Family & Friends,

It is with extreme sadness that I write to tell you of our horrible news. We found out this "Good Friday" that our beloved Gavin has an enormous brain tumor, which they say has spread throughout his spine and is thought to be both aggressive and malignant. He presents with hydrocephalus, which has made for extreme pressure on his tiny brain. They placed a drain in his skull earlier today, which has made him less agitated and a little more talkative. The tumor, which is about 1/3 the size of his entire brain, is occluding a ventricle necessary to drain brain fluid that we normally replace 2-3 times per day. The neurosurgeons have informed us that his tumor has a number of blood vessels running through it. That, coupled with its sheer size, makes tumor removal dangerous. They plan to attempt that surgery on Monday, after we've given his brain some time to relieve a little more pressure. They also want to do this on Monday because they want all possible specialists to be available in the operating room to help with his surgery. Easter weekend doesn't make for the best time to do surgery, with so many of the specialists out of town. (What timing, I know!) If they are forced to do surgery this weekend, they said they'll try, but that it is not ideal. There is a great chance that he wouldn't make it out of surgery (even with every specialist present for the surgery) because he might bleed to death if they try to remove the entire tumor in one surgery. Two separate surgeries are an option, but also more risky. They cannot remove the spots on his spine surgically. The amount of radiation therapy that would be necessary to eradicate everything is entirely too strong for a 3 year old, so that is not a likely option. Once they remove some of the tumor and have it sent to pathology, we'll know what type of tumor it is and exactly how it could attempt to be treated. Regardless, they feel strongly that there is an extremely low chance of a cure. He is likely to die and it could be very soon.

I cannot begin to express the magnitude of sorrow that I feel at this moment. I don't feel we've been given any hope and I feel that my precious time left with sweet Gavin is fading quickly. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. I will do my best to update our blog (, but I have to admit it's difficult. I cannot log online from the ICU room and it's difficult to leave Gavin for any length of time. We need all of the prayers we can get at this time in our life. Please feel free to forward this on to others you feel would like to know.

Much love,

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