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January 23 , 2007

As usual, we have many things to cover in this update including Meghan’s recent illness, as well as upcoming events.  After each update that we actually complete, we vow to not let too much time slip away before completing the next update…but somehow, it always does!  Our goal is to complete updates every month…let’s see if we can reach that goal…

Pneumonia Strikes
As some of you know, Meghan was recently hospitalized due to a bout with pneumonia.  The events that led up to the hospital stay were extremely scary—to say the least.   About two weeks ago, Meghan showed us signs that she was getting sick…she had increased trach secretions, slight fevers, increased respiratory needs, etc.  This has happened a few times in the past two years, but Meghan would usually fight the virus off promptly and move back to her baseline within a few days.  That was not the case this time. 

Last Monday, one of Meghan’s nurses and I experienced a frightening episode when Meghan entered into severe respiratory distress.  It started with a slight fever, an extremely high heart rate and descending blood oxygen levels.  For what seemed like hours (but was actually around 30-40 minutes) we tried everything to help Meghan, to no avail.  We changed the trach, tested the ventilator for leaks, gave respiratory treatments, etc.  Still, Meghan’s heart continued to race, her blood oxygen levels kept slipping and her lips and fingers began turning blue, which is the scariest experience a parent can imagine.  Nothing did the trick, so, we ended up taking Meghan into the U of M emergency room.

The ER docs ran many tests to find out what was going on.  All the tests came back negative for infection.  They could find nothing that was causing this distress, so they explained that it must be a virus and sent us home.  During the next few days, Meghan calmed herself for several hours at a time, but would have similar breathing episodes periodically.   Much to our chagrin, she was not getting better, as she had in the past. 

By the time Thursday rolled around, it became very apparent that Meghan was fighting some nasty bug that was beyond our control—in spite of what the ER docs told us two days previous.  After failing to stabilize her respiratory requirements for one long stretch, again we rushed Meghan to the ER.  Finally, the docs determined what was ailing Meghan—pneumonia.  The bacteria that caused the pneumonia finally showed up in the cultures from the labs that were drawn two days previously.  The pneumonia was confirmed in an x-ray.  Pneumonia can be catastrophic to kids on ventilators, but God’s blessings were with Meghan that day.  The docs told us that this strain of bacteria that caused her pneumonia was effectively treated with antibiotics.  So, Meghan was admitted and spent the next several days in the hospital recovering from pneumonia.  She was released this past Monday to finish her recovery at home.  Going home was comforting, as there were so many viruses circulating the hospital that we wanted Meghan to avoid.  It was also a relief to leave the hospital, because being in the Pediatric ICU brought back many petrifying memories from the not too distant past—memories of Survival Flights, IV’s, Central Lines, surgeries, seizures, EEG’s, drug induced comas, etc.  Each day since we left the hospital, Meghan is moving closer and closer to her baseline…Praise God!

Sacrament of Confirmation!
Our family is so excited to announce that Meghan will be receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation on February 6, 2007!  We are honored to have two dear friends—Fr. John Riccardo and Fr. Stephen Burr—concelebrate this mass and confirm Meghan.  We are blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful, holy people that are truly grounded in their faith.  Ellen and I would like to invite everyone that reads this to share in this beautiful sacrament with Meghan on February 6th at 8:00 p.m. at Divine Child Church in Dearborn.  I promise that it will be an emotional and spiritual celebration that you will not soon forget.  Click on Photo Gallery Confirmation to view photos. 

Whether you can make it to the confirmation or not, we invite you to join us in a novena for Meghan that will begin on January 29th and will continue through Meghan’s confirmation day.  We chose the St. Therese Novena because Meghan is answering Christ’s call as St. Therese did repeatedly through her short life.  So, please say the novena for Meghan with your family during your nightly prayers.  The words to this powerful novena can be accessed by clicking on the “Confirmation” link on the homepage.  Thank you in advance for partaking in the novena.

Cana Dinner
Ellen and I will be guest speakers at the “First Annual Cana Dinner” on February 10, 2007 at Sacred Heart Church, Dearborn.  Our friend, Teresa Tomeo, and her husband, Dominic Pastore, will emcee the program.  Two other married couples (both couples are wonderful witnesses to the faith) will give their testimony, as well.  The night is sure to be a smashing success and will uplift your spirits. 

Focus on Life Dinner
Some of you may remember that Ellen and I were guest speakers at the Right to Life Dinner in Dearborn last February.  Well, this year’s RTL event, entitled “Focus on Life” will be a powerful, moving, enlightening talk…a must see!  Fr. John Riccardo will be the guest speaker.  I highly encourage everyone to register for the Focus on Life talk, as you will surely gain knowledge regarding the Church’s teachings on life issues and the dignity of every human life—from conception to natural death.  Fr. John has helped guide Ellen and me through some very turbulent times in the past few years.  So, you can contribute to an invaluable organization, while being treated to dinner and enlightened by Fr. John while attending this annual event. 

Thank you for visiting Meghan’s update page!  Don’t forget to view the new pictures in the Photo Gallery!  Please print a copy of the novena to say with your family starting on January 29th.  Thank you for remembering our family in your prayers.

God Bless You All.
Mike and Ellen Salter

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