Blog

5/26/17 - 7:00 a.m.

Another relatively peaceful night. Bonnie should be going for her gastric emptying study sometime this morning. It’s a relatively long assessment, the one she had in the past lasted 4 hours. This should help determine if she can resume a normal Continue Reading »

5/21/17 - Mrs. Shelia's Update

Bonnie has shown a big improvement today. She has sat up in chair for about 4 hrs, tried to walk a little and carried on a good conversation with me! And talked to her brother and Lacey! All she wanted to do yesterday was sleep, dhe is still in ICU Continue Reading »

5/25/2017 8:00 a.m.

Bonnie slept well last night. The output from the Chylous leak still seems pretty high to me... The chest tubes will stay in place until the leak is resolved. The CT scan of her bowels won't happen til tomorrow - the cardiologist wanted to let her Continue Reading »

5/24/17 - 10:43 a.m.

We just met with the surgeon, Dr Klapper. He said the surgery went well, they found the duct, and he put a number of clips on it. In theory, the leak should stop quickly. They did have to put in one more chest tube. He said the new lungs looked Continue Reading »

5/24/17 - 7:38 a.m.

The team recommended surgery. They're going to place a couple of clips on the thoracic duct. In theory, this should slow the leak and allow it to heal rapidly and stop leaking. Surgery should take 2-3 hours including sedation and recovery.

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5/24/17 - 6:32 a.m.

Headed down to pre-op... not sure what for yet. Either gastric emptying study or surgical ligation of Chylous gland. I think the decision will be made in the pre-op room. As soon as I know I will update.

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5/22/17

We had an uneventful night. Not much sleep for Bonnie but no setbacks. Hopefully today things keep moving in the right direction. I hope you all have a wonderful week,

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5/21/17

It has been a busy night – Bonnie’s latest potassium lab was within normal limits. This is a major step in the right direction. The surgeon who performed Bonnie’s transplant operation just came in and looked her over. He estimates that the Continue Reading »

5/20/17 - 2:47 a.m.

Miles’ Law states that “where you stand depends on where you sit”… and this is true for me tonight. There is nothing like adversity in life to drastically alter one’s perspective. Changing emotional states in such a rapid turn of events Continue Reading »

5/19/17 - 12:53 p.m.

She is stable and they are running tests. I'm going to sleep. Ms Sheila will update and let us know. - Nick

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5/19/17 - 11:34 a.m.

Still don't know what has happened but I am with her now. She's awake and scared. But they did not have to intubate. She's on bipap. Love y'all and I'll update later. Nick

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5/19/17 - 10:38 a.m.

I'm not sure exactly what has happened, I was on my way home and ms Sheila called and told me to come back. From what I can gather, Bonnie lost consciousness for a few moments. The nurses started code procedures and got her back alert. She was Continue Reading »

5/19/17 - 2:54 a.m.

It has been a long 48 hours. It seems like Bonnie is in a holding pattern while her team try and figure out the best plan of action moving forward. It appears that Bonnie is not responding well to one or more of her medications – and some of the Continue Reading »

5/17/17

The transplant team just came by. Imaging from last night indicate that performing a thoracic embolization would be too risky for various reasons. And, she had a sharp decrease in lymphatic fluid leaking overnight. So … the only procedure today Continue Reading »

5/16/17 - 11:04 p.m.

Update: Today we had the small swallow test victory, and started preparations for two procedures taking place tomorrow (hopefully). Bonnie still has 2 chest tubes in place, and the team explained that she shouldn’t need them any longer under Continue Reading »

5/16/17 - 9:00 a.m.

Partially passed... SLP is going to recommend to transplant team she be allowed thickened milk, yogurt, or pudding on a limited basis (small snacks)... reason being the best way to improve swallowing is to swallow. In a controlled environment with Continue Reading »

5/16/17 - 8:18 a.m.

Please stop for a second and say a prayer, the speech pathology team just got here for swallow (FEES) test. She is understandably nervous. Please Lord let her pass this test so she can start having some food

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5/13/17

Update: This week has been a struggle for us all. Bonnie’s white blood cell count is extremely high and the doctors do not understand why (even though it seems they have taken 5 gallons of blood). This has been an issue for her in the past, and I Continue Reading »

5/10/17

Update: Bonnie is doing well physically – we walked 2 laps this morning at 4 AM. Mentally and psychologically, she is struggling. She did not pass her swallow test yesterday [Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES)]. They will not Continue Reading »

5/8/17 - 1:58 p.m.

7 days in: What a week! Even after months of preparation and mandatory lectures, I was completely unprepared for the physical and mental toll this process would take on me – much less what it must be like for Bonnie. The nights are long, having to Continue Reading »

5/3/17 - 9:42 p.m.

Quick update: Bonnie got epidural, bronch, passed blood gas assessment, and had vent removed tonight. She is doing very good considering what she has been through i will put together a detailed report after swallow assessment and results tomorrow. I Continue Reading »

5/5/17 - 6:40 a.m.

2 laps this morning with no breaks... 800 feet. She was extremely tired - as you all can imagine it's hard to get consistent rest and sleep in the icu. There is a pretty good chance she will be "graduated" from the icu to the step down unit today. Continue Reading »

5/3/17 - 8:57 a.m.

Bonnie is awake but still on the vent. She does not have an epidural yet. She is tired of the tube down her throat. Everything looks really good except her coagulation. The team just drew a lab and hopefully those results will indicate she is able Continue Reading »

5/2/17 - 6:38 p.m.

Update: all functions monitored by the team are doing fine. The new lungs are efficiently removing CO2 from her body, oxygen is saturating, blood pressure is within limits. She woke up briefly and groggily and responded to questions from Sheila Continue Reading »

5/2/17 - 8:11 a.m.

It's been a long night. The sunrise was absolutely perfect at Duke West. No major complications developed overnight. For some odd reason, her blood is not coagulating well enough for the team to give her an epidural. Risk outweighing benefit Continue Reading »

5/1/17 - 5:38 p.m.

Here we go ... she's still sedated. But everything so far is "normal" for post transplant. The wake up process will hopefully begin shortly. Love y'all. Nick

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5/1/17 - 1:49 p.m.

She's out of surgery. Dr said it was successful Now we wait until they clear us to see her. Love you all. Nick

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5/1/17 - 12:53 p.m.

Update 2: still progressing. Fella at the desk said that's just a good indication that she is remaining stable during a physically demanding surgery. Please pray Dr Clapper and his team stay in a peak physical and mental state. This is their second Continue Reading »

5/1/17 - 11:11 a.m.

First update: surgery progressing. Fella said that's likely all we'll get til they call us to conference room. Trying to keep all thoughts and emotions positive. 

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5/1/17 - 8:54 a.m.

From Nick

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5/1/17 - 5:42 a.m.

Transplant coordinator just called. The lungs are good. Bonnie Griner will be getting new lungs on her birthday. They are setting up times etc now. I will do my best to keep you updated throughout this process. Thank you and love you all.

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5/1/17 - 5:07 a.m.

Still waiting to hear if lungs are viable. Thank you all for your prayers last night. I hope I can post something definitive within the hour. I hope you all have a great day! Nick

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4/30/2017 Update

We just got a call that some lungs may be available. They are high risk, and we will not know for sure if they are going to work until after 4 AM. Bonnie and I are going to the hospital to check in and prepare. Her birthday is tomorrow. Please pray Continue Reading »

Update 4/22/17

Update: It’s kind of hard to put a positive spin on waiting… but I will do my best. Basically, waiting is hard. It is hard to sleep, plan, and think about everyday tasks that need to be accomplished. I know it must be extremely difficult for Continue Reading »

4/5/17 Update

Update: Today we went to Clinic at Duke Hospital. We planned on meeting with the Infectious Disease (ID) Doctor. This was for a routine check on how Bonnie is dealing with the prescribed antibiotics that were selected for their ability to weaken Continue Reading »

4/2/17 Update

Hello everyone! Bonnie and I are somewhat settled in up here and the weather is fantastic. I have forgotten how nice cool crisp mornings are and I haven’t had to swipe at a gnat yet. Our apartment is nice, but of course it isn’t home. I think we Continue Reading »

Update 3/26/17

Bonnie and I have been blessed beyond measure. Tomorrow we make the move to Duke. Our new address is 2901 Bertland Ave #1214, Durham, NC 27705. This move would not be possible without the amazing support of our family, friends, “Bonfighters”, Continue Reading »

Media Coverage

Moultrie, Georgia -- With the cost of a transplant often exceeding $500,000, many transplant families are unable to shoulder the financial burden of such a procedure.  The Children’s Organ Transplant Association (COTA) is a national charity Continue Reading »

Update 3/8/17

Big News Today… well yesterday was the actual “yes” from Duke but today Bonnie got the assurance and affirmation she needed to make a decision. Bonnie and I have been terrified of Duke’s stance so far on her ability to participate and Continue Reading »

Duke Visit - Day 5 - 3/3/17

The tests are all complete – Bonnie has endured more poking, prodding, sticking, fasting, and waiting than a person should have to. And she has done it with a positive attitude, warrior’s spirit, and courage beyond measure. The cath team said Continue Reading »

Duke Visit - Day 4 - 3/2/17

Day four is in the books – Bonnie underwent a Barium swallow test. She said it was by far the worst one of these she has taken. The amount of Barium she had to take so they could get the prescribed number of pictures and angles was far more Continue Reading »

Duke Visit - Day 1 - 2/27/17

Checking in for first pulmonary rehab session. Please pray that Bonnie isn't to nervous and is able to do everything they ask of her 

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