2 weeks after surgery



Please pray for our Nurse, Sue!

It’s been 2 weeks since Maria Isabella’s surgery and only 1 week since we’ve moved in to our temporary home here in Camden, New Jersey. Despite the challenges and the often “scares” associated with this recovery, we (and I speak for Cristina and little Bella) couldn’t feel more blessed. The Lord has truly been with us, every step of the way.

After a long 4 days back in New York City preparing for our 6th annual Pro-Life Congress, I was able to return on Monday and rest, knowing that I was with my beautiful girls.

Providentially, yesterday one of the pioneers in the Pro-Life movement and author of a groundbreaking book (one of the firsts of it’s time) on “Post Abortion Healing” and the psychological/spiritual needs of any post-abortive woman AND man during the healing process, Fr. Michael Mannion, came to share some of his time with us here at the Ronald McDonald House. He also happens to be close with the 2 founders of the charity, who are also devout Catholic men of God.

Overall, Cristina’s recovery (from my perspective….I obviously can’t feel what she feels) is going slowly but well. Along with the pain-medicines, which she has already begun weening herself off of, and the uterus-relaxer she takes every 6 hours, she has her occasional vomiting and stomachaches. As the Doctor’s constantly remind us, it will be a long road ahead…although they seem to be happy with how things are looking!

This morning was our second visit to CHOP post-op and it also went very well! It feels like we spend our week counting down the days until our next weekly-visit, another opportunity to see Maria Isabella and her hopeful recovery. Today was a great visit! Her heart beat is “excellent” as well as her bladder/stomach and overall pulse, according to the doctor. Praise God!

We weren’t able to notice to much of her leg movement….she’s pretty still and docile since the surgery…BUT we did notice something – last week she was moving her legs in a normal and slow walking position and today she had her legs crossed, indian-style! That definitely means that there has been some movement of her legs, which is a GREAT thing!

As this journey continues, I ask your consistent prayers, not only for Cristina and Maria Isabella but also for the other families here at the Ronald McDonald house…for their situations are all so different and some are extremely challenging. While Cristina and I sometimes worry for our financial/economic ability to get through all of this, we feel blessed that we are able to be together.

Please pray specifically for 2 young women here at the House who had undergone the same in-utero surgery for Spina Bifida repair at CHOP. One of them had the surgery the week before Cristina and as the risks were mentioned to us, she experienced global membrane-seperation (which only happens to small percentage of the women, post-op, but can still happen) and before she went in to immediate labor, had a C-Section and the 25 week baby has been in the NICU ever since. Please keep her and her family in your prayers – not only did she have one of the most intense and invasive surgeries that exists, she practically had another version of the same thing within 2 weeks! She is pretty incredible, and has a very secure Hope in God, knowing that all of this has been permitted because of a greater Plan. Her daugher, in the NICU, is also doing surprisingly well.

Also, I ask for your prayers for another woman who this morning woke up to find that her water had broken and she was also rushed to CHOP in order to be watched closely by the surgical team. She has already reached 30 weeks and although the baby will still be severely-preterm, the doctors are all very confident in the outcome of her son. Please pray for her faith and for His loving Arms to outstretch over her during this difficult time.

Of course I’d be lying if I told you that hearing these stories and seeing them close-up doesn’t freak me out. It does. But, Cristina and I made a commitment and a promise the night before the operation. We know that up until the operation, God had opened the doors-wide for us to walk through and make the decisions that we made in reference to this journey and in pursuing what we believed/believe is best for Maria Isabella. It is most definitely not the decisions for each family and is not God’s will for EVERY family that finds themselves in this situation…but for us, we were clear that it was. No matter what happens throughout this journey, we hold on to that conviction tightly and pray. We wait and pray, knowing that He is with us, no matter how that looks and despite our own expectations.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart (and on behalf of Cristina and Maria Isabella who are fast asleep as I write this) for your prayers support. Thank you for your generosity, especially those who have sent us help, who have remembered us or written us and those who have committed us in daily prayer. We love you and your support means more to us than you or we will ever understand.

In Christ,



5 responses »

  1. Estamos orando por ustedes. Ahora oraremos también por las demás familias que están en la casa. Andrew, fue una bendición verte en el Congreso y escuchar tu testimonio. Dios les bendiga!

  2. Andrew, your reflections with Cristina are awesome! Much needed for us men and married couples to see the commitment we should have towards our family, especially in these difficult times. You are amazing, and so is Cristina. Our prayers are with you 3, and may you have many many many more blessings!!!

    Juan Rodriguez “Johnny”

    P.S. Give a hug and a kiss to Cristina. Blessings to my sista who is tough as nails!

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