A couple of hours ago, we received a copy of Bowen’s blood tests and vitals.  Sarah and the doctor joked that we should “frame it, because it doesn’t get much better than that.” His body is doing very well off of life support.

Thank you for all your prayers! We ask that you continue to pray for Bowen because we have been told, and have now experienced first hand, that his condition will make for a bumpy road with unexpected turns.

Upon receiving some good news, I feel that it’s easier to share the details of what happened yesterday morning when Bowen crashed. I’ve put together excerpts from my journal and have taken down Sarah’s perspective in hopes of giving you a glimpse of what we actually went through. I have also posted some photos and another song demo that holds new meaning to me. I had to compress the song demo to a low quality for my blog, but I still wanted you to hear it. I also want to warn you that one of the photos may seem shocking to some of you, but we want you to grasp the reality of what we experienced over the past two days…

On the morning of September 14th, at 2:13 am, Sarah received a phone call from the hospital. Bowen’s nurse exclaimed, “We’re starting compression, please come quickly!”

Sarah yelled for me to get out of bed. I jumped up as fast as I could and we raced to the hospital. We took the elevator to the fifth floor and ran down the hallway to the PCTU. After passing through the double doors to his unit, we turned the corner to see Bowen’s seemingly lifeless body being resuscitated. The nurse had her fingers between the walls of his chest, pumping his little heart, switching her hands every few minutes from fatigue. I was shocked that saving someone’s life could look so violent. They rushed us to his side to be near him in, what could have been, his final moments. All Sarah could do was stare down at the bed sheets, hold Bowen’s toes, and pull his blanket close to her face. I cradled her and wept into the back of her sweatshirt as I held Bowen’s hand and prayed. We were frozen in that moment while people all around us were shouting numbers, calling out orders, and working together  to save Bowen’s life. It was like a scene from a movie. My iPod was still on repeat near his bed from earlier, and was playing loudly through a pair of speakers. As the words “I am restless ‘til I rest in You” washed over us, we knew that God was either ushering Bowen out, or ushering in a miracle. When the song “Restless” began to fade, I reached to put on the song “All of Me” that I posted the lyrics to on August 22nd. After almost forty minutes had past, Sarah and I were waiting for them to call out a time of death. Instead, they pulled us into another room so they could start the process of putting him on life support. We honestly thought it was a last ditch effort to save his life, and that he was already gone. For the next half-hour, we struggled to accept, and began to grieve, what we thought was the loss of our precious baby boy. At one point, I remember praying, “Father, if this is even a fraction of the pain that you felt when you gave us Your only Son…we thank You for letting Jesus die on the cross. Put into motion the redemptive and healing power of Your Son’s death to spare the life of ours.”

Shortly after we prayed, a nurse entered the room and told us what we never expected to hear.  She said he was alive and he had been successfully placed on life support, or ECMO. Sarah remained in the other room while I returned to where Bowen was. From a distance, I watched as the surgeon reached into my son’s chest to look for what may have gone wrong. After he was finished, he covered Bowen’s chest, looked up at me with smiling eyes and said, “Hey Dad, you still have a kid in there.”

Before I finish this post, I want to share some photos and the worktape for the song “All of Me”.  The first song that was playing when we got to hospital was “Restless” by Audrey Assad.

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Nothing could have prepared us for what was around the corner

Bowen right after he was put on life support (ECMO)

Dr. Daniel DiBarnio trying to find the problem

If you look closely, you can see a picture of Emmy and Claire above his bed

Weaning him off ECMO to see if his body will sustain. Anxiously watching his vitals.

Opening his eyes after the doctor handed Sarah a copy of an almost perfect blood test and vitals report.

And yes, we’re going to frame it.

After learning that our boy was not only alive, but also stable, we were overwhelmed by, what felt like, a second chance. We still don’t know why Bowen arrested. To be honest, it makes it hard to trust that he’ll be ok. However, we will continue to put our trust in God and will cling to our faith in Him no matter what happens. He is the only sure thing.

I also want to say that we are so grateful for the group of people at U of M that are working so hard to take care of Bowen.  We thank God daily for these people and pray that, somehow, in some way, they will also be blessed by Bowen’s stay at their hospital. Please keep them in your prayers as well.