Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A New Addition to the Blog and A New Doctor

If you look to your left you will see a DONATIONS BUTTON!!  You can click this button and use your credit card or paypal account to donate to the girls medical needs.  You may ask, what will this money be used for.  The most pressing needs now are for Olivia.   The Lord provided a dog to be trained as a seizure dog, but they now are trying to get the money together to have it trained.  The dog will go to a trainer for a period of about 6 weeks to be trained.  Also, as you read it a previous post, Olivia will be seeing a new doctor this week to determine how to treat the tumor on her brain.  The doctor they were referred to is not in their network, so their copays will go up tremendously.  These are some of the immediate needs.  If you would like to donate in person, an account has been set up at Community Bank of Texas in Crosby.  It is called Gant Girls. 

We are still awaiting test results for Samantha as well.  Please be in prayer about this and if you can help in any way it will be much appreciated.  As Kelly has always said however, your most valued gift is that of prayer.  Please be in prayer this week for the girls' doctors.  Pray for wisdom and insight in to how to treat them and pray also for Kelly and Jeff as they ultimately have the final say in how their daughters are treated.  Pray for peace and rest for Kelly, as you can imagine this is all so very overwhelming.  It is only by the grace of Almighty God that she gets through each day, and she is so thankful for all of your prayers and encouragement.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Prayers for Olivia

This week Olivia had her routine ultrasound to check the malformation in the artery in her brain.  As they were doing the ultrasound, they saw something else.  After checking from numerous angles, they discovered a benign tumor.  The tumor is located underneath the malformation in the parotid gland and is pressing on her brain, which is not good.  Dr. Lebron, Livi's neurologist said they will need to see an ENT immediately.  The ENT is necessary because the location of the tumor affects the ear, nose and throat region.  Dr. Lebron feels that surgery is VERY LIKELY at this point,  it is just a question of when and how, but as she said they will consult the ENT to make the final decisions on how to care for this tumor.  They are hoping to see the ENT Monday. 

Dr. Lebron has also decided to run a more extensive test on Olivia to try to pinpoint causes for her seizures.   Livi will be hooked up to a monitor and machines on her head 24 hours a day for a period of 3 days.  They will monitor her seizures and determine if there are certain triggers causing them. They are also trying to detemine if she is developing epilepsy from the malformation.  Upon diagnosis, the doctors told Kelly that as the malformation grew, it would be likely that Livi would develop epilepsy.  Please be in prayer for this test,  Dr. Lebron said it is hard to get approved through insurance because it requires monitoring from a nurse and doctor around the clock in the home with video cameras and EEG equipment.  As you can imagine, this testing is quite costly but she feels it is in Olivia's best interest to have it done.  Please pray it will be approved by insurance.

As you can imagine, getting this news was very frightening for Kelly.  The thought of Olivia having brain surgery is terrifying.  Please be in prayer for this family.  Pray that God will remove the tumor and surgery will not be necessary.  Pray that if that is not the case, that God will guide the doctors as they decide the best course of action for Livi.  Please pray for Kelly, for peace, for rest and for wisdom as to what to do next.  Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Prayers for Samantha

Samantha's recent checkup showed some problems that need to be addressed.  The doctors have decided to run more tests and do more extensive bloodwork so that better decisions can be made as to how to progress with her treatments, or if other avenues will need to be explored.  Please continue to lift Samantha up in your prayers.  Pray for guidance for the doctors and for Kelly and Jeff as they make important decisions for Sam's health.  Pray for strength and wisdom for Kelly as she navigates these treacherous waters and as she tries to help her daughters through it as well.  Pray that Samantha's body will strengthen and fight, but also that she might experience complete healing, as only the Lord can provide.  Please pray that through all this God will be glorified and the light of Christ will shine through the Gant family as they weather this storm.

A Call for Prayer....please Pray, Pray, Pray for these sweet girls!

As you read in previous posts, Samantha and Olivia underwent testing this week.  The news Kelly received was less than favorable.  The details are not available at this time, but it is imperative that we pray for both Sam and Livi.  Please add these sweet girls to your prayer list and lift them up to the Father.  Kelly and Jeff need your support as do all of the girls.  Kelly values and treasures you prayers more than words can say, and she is desperate for those prayers now.  Thank you in advance for you love and support, but most importantly your PRAYERS!!  Updates will be posted as soon as possible.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Pray Day for SAM....checkup at TCH

Please be in prayer tomorrow for Sam...Kelly and Sam will be spending the day at TCH getting scans done and visiting with the Dr's.  This visit will be to determine if Sam can and when she will be able to start up treatments again or what other course of action will be taken.  Sam has had somewhat of an enjoyable summer even though she hasn;t been able to get out and enjoy all the luxuries like most kids, she still remains in good spirits and loves playing with her sisters, and visiting mawmaw and pawpaw!!  It has been hard on little sam to not just get to go to the museum, chuck e cheese, the mall or places where lots gather due to the fact that she has no immune system to fight even the smallest cold.  Other than the normal boughts of vomiting/diarrhea, occasional fever, sores on her body, or loss of appetite that she deals with on a normal basis, sam has remained ok during the summer....that has been a PRAISE GOD in itself!   We know God CAN and WILL heal little sam and she will carry a great testimony through her suffering and healing.

Please pray that the doctors will be led by God's will to be done in sams life regarding treatment now and actions later.  That they will listen to and be open to God's wants and desires and not the "normal" routine that so many doctors follow for treatment of patients. 

Please pray that as the day goes on, Kelly has the strength to endure whatever the doctors have to offer about sams health, treatments and outcomes.  Give her the knowledge to know that God is with her through this and so are we as her Christian family.  God tells us that by his footprints in the sand, when the two sets became one it is because then that He carried Us....

 For I know the plans I have for you-this is the Lord's declaration-plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.    Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Supporting the Gant Family

As you can imagine, the cost of caring for Samantha and Olivia's needs can be quite extensive.  Although insurance is in place, they still do not pay for everything.  An account has been set up at Community Bank of Texas in Crosby for the girls.  The name of the account is "Gant Girls".  If you would like to send financial support, anything would be greatly appreciated.  As you know, funds are currently needed to have the wonderful dog God provided to be trained to be a seizure alert dog for Olivia.  Thank you all for your continued prayers, they mean so much to Kelly and her family, and are your greatest gift of all.  If you have any questions, please feel free to comment or contact Michelle Holloway at mholloway@fbccrosby.net or via facebook.  Thank you all!

Seek, Ask, Knock...He Provides

All that comes to mind is that little song we all heard over and over as a child.  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, Ask and it shall be given unto you, Knock and the door shall be opened unto you....What a glorious song.  Enough said.  Well the word was put out that Olivia needed a seizure dog, and as caring christians begin to read, and feel the need in their hearts, messages began to be sent out on facebook and a faithful follower of the Lord answered the call.  Through a friend, a constable with Precint 4 heard of Olivia's need and just so happened to have a 5 month old registered black lab that he was willing to donate.....Yes I said it DONATE!  This dog was a pure bred dog and runs in price anywhere from 1500-2500.  He was the last one to be sold, had other interested parties, and the Lord put it on his heart to give it to Olivia.  Yesterday, Kelly and Olivia went and met the dog, his owner and his wonderful family.  The dog has been around this officer's children and is very affectionate, very gentle and from a good bloodline so he is very intelligent.  Olivia seemed taken with the dog, he put his paws in her lap and sat as still as a mouse while she played with him.  Along with what a relief this is to have recieved the news that Kelly has a dog for Olivia comes some fears, some life changing responsibilities and situations for everyone involved.  Now the next step becomes to get with the trainer, get references to make SURE that the training this dog will need can be fulfilled and that the money that people will raise to help send this dog to training won't be wasted on what someone says they can do...

Please be in prayer that Jeff and Kelly will have the peace they need to KNOW that this is the right dog, this is the right trainer and that things will continue to fall into place and God's will ultimately be done in little Olivia's life.  This has been a very dificult time wondering as a mother for Kelly, am I doing the best for Olivia, what more can I do, am I failing by not being able to give everything that is asked of me???  We can't question God's word and His plan for us.  If we have faith, enough faith as small as a mustard seed than that's all we need to know that God WILL provide, God Will fulfill all our needs, God WILL walk beside us and carry us when we can't walk no more.  I pray that the faith in God continues to grow everyday in Kelly, Jeff and the girls.  I pray that they will begin to see the good works and have a peace that what they are doing is the best for Olivia and praying is the ultimate gift for her....God hears our thoughts, he hears our cries, he hears our prayers.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day of Rest.......

Well as you know, Olivia recieved her helmet monday a week ago and was to start a schedule and by wednesday of last week was to begin sleeping in it.  Didn't happen.  It was hours up all day, hours up all night and finally after complete exhaustion the helmet came off and Olivia slept.  Guilt riddled Kelly, am I making a bad decision, is it worth putting her into a seizure by the constant crying, if its off for 7 or 8 hours instead of 1 will this cause damage......Night two came and the same thing, screaming continued and eventually the helmet came off.  This continued until day 7.....and how ironic, the sabbath, the day the Lord declared as a day of rest, Olivia rested.  After 7 days in the helmet, fighting to pull it off, no sleeping, and constant scratching, she remained in the helmet all day and all night.  Praise God!!! Prayers really do work but you have to be totally willing to surrender......Though Olivia was up all through the night and watched several movies during her awake time, she slept in the helmet, napped in the helmet and it has gotten a little easier each day. 

We would like to continue to thank everyone for all the continued prayers and support for Olivia and the rest of the family.  This is not an easy walk that they face as a family, but having friends and family who are willing to get the word out about needs for this precious girl, and ultimately giving the best gift of all which is a simple prayer to our Lord means so much to everyone who loves this little girl and cares so deeply for her.  She has many needs that will follow, getting and training a seizure response dog, nurse help in the home and continued therapy.  Please pass this blog onto your family and friends in the hopes that when two or more join together in agreement with the Lord, we can KNOW that our prayers are not only heard but already answered and Olivia shall and will be healed in HIS name!

But may the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered awhile perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. 1 Peter 5:10

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Followup from seizures

Olivia was taken to Texas Children's for her followup tests to check for any seizure activity and damage to her brain due to the seizures she had the past weekend.  During the EEG she had a few pedi mal seizures as she slept.  The test also showed some shadowing on her right frontal lobe.  The neurosurgeon was called in to watch her during the testing and was to see Olivia afterwards.  There is damage to her little brain but to what extent and what she will encounter from this is unknown.  At this time she is still babbling, playing and showing she is as happy as can be under the circumstances.  However, she is still young to determine the severity of the damage.  The Dr. said the damage could very well be physical and motor which is an easy fix, but only time will tell.    The oncologist should be making a recommendation on a treatment plan for Olivia so she can start her radiation to keep down the swelling.  This is not at all an insurance that the malformatin will shrink, or that the seizures will stop.  Only God can insure that she be healed, and with prayers we know she will be!  The malformation seems to continue to grow which is worrysome because this can result in more problems down the line. None of which we like to think about but scary enough that we should pray for God's hand over her body to prevent the blindness, to prevent the aneurism.

We would like to thank everyone for their continued support and prayers for Olivia as well as for the rest of the family.  Please continue to pray for the girls to have peace, comfort and understanding during this time where Olivia has to adjust to not only wearing the helmet to move her skull into place, but the continued trips to the Drs and all the testing that comes with it.  It is hard for the girls to understand that today is not a day to go to the park, swim in their pool, or bake cookies, today we have to go to the dr....they have a hard time with that.  Please pray for Kelly to have the strength to continue to care daily for the girls, to be able to have peace that what she is doing is the best she can do, and to continue to look to God for wisdom, and strength and the courage to face each day with whatever obstacles arise. 

Do not be terrified...for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.  Joshua 1:9

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Helmet Woes

So Monday, Olivia received her helmet.  As you can imagine, this adds a little frustration to her life.  Although this is a necessary evil, it is bothersome to her for now.  She exhausted herself clawing at it with her arms and legs.  Please pray for this adjustment time.  Pray that she will begin to tolerate the helmet and it will just become a part of her.  Please also pray for Kelly as she must force her daughter to wear it even when it causes her stress.  Thank you in advance for your prayers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Olivia's Seizures

So the day they said might come, came yesterday.  As Olivia and her oldest sister Hannah were playing on the floor together, Livi all of the sudden went blank.  She looked like a ghost and was completely unresponsive to Hannah and Kelly for a minute or so.  Then all of the sudden she came out of it and looked and her mom and sister like, "Where did y'all come from?"  She went on playing and Kelly called Dr. LeBron.  They said to continue to monitor her and if it happened again to call.  Well around 7, they put her to bed with her bottle and walked out.  They knew Livi was drinking her bottle and watching tv and all of the sudden they heard a thud.  They ran in to find Livi laying against the crib.  One eye was open, one was closed.  The open eye was twitching.  Again she did not respond to her mommy or daddy trying to wake her.  Then all of the sudden she snapped out of it, but then just turned over and went back to sleep.  They called Dr. LeBron again and were told to bring her in.

Kelly rushed her to the ER and waited and waited. She finally consulted with neurology and they confirmed it was seizures as she had suspected. As of right now, there appears to be no damage, but doctors say it can take up to 72 hours after an episode for the damage to be seen. Therefore, Livi will have a followup cat scan and EEG next week.

Also, the malformation in her artery appears to have gotten bigger since her last CT scan. Doctors are saying it could be the cause of her seizure. At this point, they are at a loss. She is really too small to treat with seizure medications, so doctors are weighing the risks.

Please be in prayer for this little girl and her sweet family.As you can imagine the stress on Kelly and Jeff is enormous.   Hannah and Samantha were also both home to witness these seizures and are very worried about their sister.  As you can imagine, it was a very scary time.  Please pray for peace for the girls, and also that when this happens Livi won't be scared, that she will have some understanding that she is ok.  Doctors have said that these seizures will most likely continue although there is no way of predicting, when, where or how many. 

Please also be in prayer for the seizure dog. We have found a place in Houston that will train a dog in a matter of weeks. (most waiting lists are at least a year) This will be a little costly, so we plan on doing fundraising in the near future...more to come on this. Please also be on the lookout for a full bred, papered dog. It must be at least a year old and of golden retriever, labordor, or german sheperd breed. If you know anyone that would be willing to donate such an animal, please let us know. If we get a dog donated, that will reduce the costs as well.  Thank you so much and please, most importantly, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!!
  • Wednesday, August 3, 2011

    Update of Olivia

    Dr. LeBron, Olivia's neurologist, called yesterday with the information from the neurosurgeon. Surgery is definitely OUT of the question, as it is too risky at this time. Basically it will only be an option when it becomes a life and death situation. Unfortunately, there is no name or "diagnosis" so to speak for the malformation Olivia has, so there is no way to tell if it will grow, move or cause any more damage than it already has. The next step is to contact oncology. They will monitor Olivia and determine whether or not localized radiation would be a treatment for her. The goal of this treatment would be to hopefully reduce the inflammation and LESSEN the risk of more problems such as seizures, eyesight issues and regression. The doctors will not get back to us until later next week on whether or not this will be a viable treatment option. Steroids are also an option to reduce the swelling, but the side effects can often be very bad.

    Please pray for guidance for the doctors. Our prayer is that they will be led by Almighty God as they make decisions for treatment for Olivia. Pray for Kelly to have clarity and peace of mind as she will need to make decisions for Livi's treatment as well. Also please pray for physical rest for Kelly. As the threat of seizure is always present, it is very difficult to lay Livi down to sleep at night without trying to constantly watch her. Thank you for your prayers for this family and these sweet children.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011

    We Need A Dog!

    I know in the midst of everything it seems odd to ask for a dog, but that is exactly what little Miss Olivia needs. Doctors have said that due to the malformation in the artery in her brain, she could have a seizure at any time. This could happen during waking or sleeping hours, so Kelly is ALWAYS watching her and as you can imagine, worries while she sleeps as well. Livi's neurologist suggested getting her a seizure dog. As it sounds, these dogs are trained to alert those around when the patient is going into and having a seizure. This would give Kelly a great deal of peace of mind to say the least. Well, her insurance does not cover getting her this assistance animal, and that is where friends and family come in. These dogs are very expensive, but our hope is that if we get the word out, we may find someone who has a seizure dog they would like to donate to little Miss Olivia. It may also be an option to find someone willing to train a dog to be a seizure dog. (I'm not sure exactly how this works) Please be in prayer for this need and get the word out...we never know who God has prepared in advance to fulfill this need in the life of a sweet, precious baby girl.  If you have any information or questions please leave a comment here on the blog or message Kelly Gant or Michelle Holloway on facebook.  Thank you so much for your continued prayers of support.

    Pray for Hannah

    Oh how I love my hannah girl!   She has felt totally neglected, pushed aside and left out.....Words a mother never wants to hear her baby say.  This has been exceptionally hard on hannah.  She went from slumber party's, friends over for pizza, going to church, shopping at the mall, to staying inside and watching tv, playing games on computer and visits to my parents house.....BIG CHANGE  I ask for prayer for peace and understanding for her, to have unconditonal love for her sisters the way God loves us.  I struggle on a daily basis to make her feel just as important as the others, trying to give her somewhat of a normal, "everyday" life but if I do for her than sam and livi are left with my parents and they feel left out........God please help me!  I want Hannah to feel loved and known for who she is and what she has accomplished in life, not by oh youre the one with the sick sisters.....trust me that has been said!  She is a WONDERFUL young lady and I can only pray that having to live through this now will only make her stronger and hope she realizes into her adult years that God is the only Healer, that God is the only one who can fix the hurts and take the pain away.  I want to be able to hear her tell her kids one day, just pray, God will answer you

    Pray for Sam

    Sam is my 3 year old bundle of energy......I just want a little!!  Sam has been battling sickness for quite awhile.  She had osteomyletis in her ear and was hospitalized for it in October 2010.  That was the beginning of the end, or so it seemed.  She went through surgery to put tubes in ears, remove some of the bone and repair a part of the ruptured eardrum.  During the process, she was diagnosed with an immune disorder IgA and began to recieve infusions because her levels were so low.  She went from playing sun-up to sun-down and sweet and bubbly to sleeping more, repeatedly saying "Im tired" and barely eating.  I was sick.....we were told she couldn't be around others, big crowds because if she caught a cold, a simple cold she couldn't fight it.  Boy was I feeling the loneliness and the guilt of not being able to do the simple things, go to church, go to the store, take hannah to do things with friends.  This really took a toll on me.  She did several infusions and then her bones began to wear down, and she couldn't take it so the drs decided to give her a break.  During that time, her body began to break out in sores and she will go through periods where we can't get her to eat anything, those days are the worst.  She was supposed to be continuing treatment but when we went for bloodwork, she had sores on her and a fever and so they couldn't do anything until she is free of sores and fever so the bloodwork will be as accurate as it can.  We are still waiting.......Please pray that God heals her little body so we can continue on with treatment or whatever the drs seem to be fitting at this time.  All she ever asks for is a trip to ChuckE Cheese and boy do Iwant to take her!!!  Im praying things will continue to mend so I can give her a fun-filled day. 

    Pray For LIvi

    Olivia is a fun, loving 13 month old cutie.  She was born a preemie and seemed to be doing great, just growing a little slow.  At her 9 month checkup the dr noticed her head was beginning to take on a different shape.  I was told they would watch it and make necessary referrals if needed at next visit.  At her 12 month checkup, her head was even more mishapen, so we were referred to the neurologist at Texas Children's.  They ran some tests, and came to discover the her skull is fusing together in the front, so we are waiting for her helmet to come in within the next week or so and we are PRAYING that the helmet does a wonderful job of allowing the skull to move back where God intended it to be and that this problem corrects itself.  In the process of all the testing there was a vascular malformation of the main artery in the brain noticed.  We are currently waiting on word back from neurosurgeon as to what treatment can be done, but in the diagnosis she can begin to have seizures, if the malofrmation continues to grow it can push on optic nerve and she can go blind or it can even cause an aneurism.  VERY SCARY.....this has been the hardest for me to hear.  I ultimately know that God is in control and I have faith that she will be ok, but I have a hard time with wondering if I can accept what kind of "ok" will I have to settle for...