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December 15, 2008

To our family and friends,

It seem as though we start every update with an apology for not updating the website more often.  

Surgery and Recovery
Meghan received another spinal surgery in October.  The surgery was to lengthen the “growing rods” that had previously been placed on her spine.  This is necessary to allow her spine to grow with the rest of her body, while keeping the scoliosis under control.  We are happy to report that the surgery went as planned with no surprises—always a good thing!

However, the recovery has been a difficult one.  Although her back didn’t show abnormal levels of pain as she recovered, her left leg showed quite a bit of discomfort.  We took several trips to U of M Hospital to get x-rays and physician consults, but the docs could not find the source of the pain. After several weeks and numerous x-rays, a bone scan was ordered.  Within minutes of the conclusion of the bone scan, we received results of the scan.  Meghan had a broken femur that was virtually undetectable on an ordinary x-ray.  Our hearts were broken knowing that she had to endure a broken leg for several weeks because it was undetectable.  As parents, we knew something was wrong, but could not pinpoint the source of her pain.  We were comforted knowing that she had been on a pain management schedule from her back surgery that helped reduce the overall pain.  We used a full leg wrap to stabilize her leg and she is now recovering nicely from the broken leg and seldom cries from the pain.  We are not sure how this small fracture occurred, but we know that her bones are very fragile and the break occurred very near her hip.  We are currently looking at “Body Slings” to help us assist lifting Meghan to help reduce the chance of injury in the future.      

The Summer
We had a very exciting summer with all four of our children.  The summer was a little different then those in the past.  Meghan seems to be much more stable as she grows.  We celebrated family in different ways this year.  First, and most importantly, Meghan attended mass with us each and every weekend—and some daily masses!  It is such a joy (beyond what words can really express) to sit as a family to worship our Creator, the One who gave us life.  This of course will now come to an end as she will not be able to go out much in the winter, and she needs to stay clear from any one with a cold or flu.  We will have to attend Mass without our dear Meghan.  This will be a challenge for us, but not one that we have not had to face in the past.  She will be home in her warm bed, but we know that God will be at home with her and give her all the graces she needs for the hour that we are gone.  We are sure she will be in good hands with our nurse who will take care of her in our absence. 

Meghan was able to go to Greenfield Village for Memorial Day.  And yes, we had her all dressed up in red, white and blue.  She saw her first horse and loved being out in the fresh air. She went to a few outdoor neighborhood concerts, bon-fires, and to Domino's Petting Farm.  This was a real treat.  Shannon woke me up and informed me that "I have already told Meghan that we were going to the petting farm and she smiled so that means she wants to go, so, you need to get up and take us."  Well, what could a mother say to this little girl who loves her sister so much and wants to take her out to explore the world!  So, Shannon, Sheri (Meghan’s nurse), and I packed up Meghan and off we went.  As we pulled up, a gust of wind blasted the van and I thought to myself, what am I doing with a vented child at a petting farm?  Well, we unpacked all of Meghan’s gear/medical supplies and our good and protective Lord held off any additional gusts of wind so Meghan did not have a problem at all.  Shannon showed her little sister all of the animals up-close!  We had the most enjoyable day!  God blessed us immensely with a treasured day that will never be forgotten thanks to Shannon for her continuous pouring out her love for this treasured soul that she calls sister.

Meghan was able to attend most of Shannon's Divine Child home volleyball games.  We were not sure how she would handle the noise level but she indeed loved watching her sister play! And, Shannon loved showing off her sister! Meghan loved being outside and spent much time on walks, taking naps, being read to, watching the children play basketball and volleyball and praying on our back porch. She loves all the attention she receives by everyone. 

Bishop Quinn
Meghan, as well as our entire family, would like to thank Bishop John Quinn for his wonderful friendship and for all he has done for our family.  He is a beautiful, holy man with a big heart.  He has taught us much about humility, love and charity.  As you may recall, Bishop Quinn allowed Meghan to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation and gave Meghan her First Holy Communion last year.  He has been asked by the Pope to relocate to Winona, Minnesota, to replace Bishop Harrington, who is retiring in a few months.  Bishop Quinn moved to the Diocese of Winona last week and will be sorely missed—but promised that he will visit whenever he comes home to Michigan. 

Meghan still receives Holy Communion once a week from Deacon Jerry McGowan.  Meghan looks forward to this each week!  She knows when Jesus arrives at our house in the form of His Precious Blood.  She longs to receive Christ…We are blessed that Deacon Jerry is so committed to bringing Jesus to Meghan and to our entire family. 

Other Interesting News
The picture on the homepage is Meghan with her new glasses! Meghan received her first pair of eye glasses a few months ago.  It is amazing how the Ophthalmologist knew exactly the prescription that Meghan needed.  Oh, how she loves her glasses!  And her clip-on sunglasses keep her in style!  She cries when we take them off, so needless to say she almost always has them on.  It is a blessing to know that she can see.

Meghan, as you know, celebrated her 6th birthday.  Lauren, Michael and Shannon all picked out a gift for her, and wrapped it up.  They took her hands and very tenderly helped her open the treasures that they had picked out.  As we sat watching them make a big fuss over her, we felt pure joy knowing that God has touched their tender hearts.  Yes, that God hand picked this family to care for every need Meghan may have and that we get to love her every day—helps us to grow closer to Him, as well.  

We continue to pray for all of you and can't thank you enough for your love, support, and for reaching out to us.  Your encouraging cards in the mail and emails are all treasured and accepted with grateful hearts.  May you all continue to grow in faith, hope and love.  

May the Divine Child bless you today and always…Merry Christmas!

In Him,

Ellen, Mike, Lauren, Michael, Shannon and Meghan  

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