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Deborah Needs Our Help!

Our sister and loved one, Deborah Pettway is a 60-year old native of Alabama who was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a serious lung disease, in the fall of 2013. There is no cure or effective treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis. Her doctors at the Methodist Hospital in Houston have told us that her only option is a life-saving lung transplant.

Updates (30)

March 13, 2018

I failed to mention in my last update that in spite of all that I’ve been through this year, I’m excited to say that my new lungs are doing very well. They are getting stronger, and in January I came off the oxygen. That is a blessing and the one thing I worked hard to achieve.
Im so thankful to God for guiding me through this journey in faith and hope for continued healing in His holy name.
I also thank my donor, Marcos and his family for their unselfish gift of life given to me.

March 13, 2018

Since my last entry, many back sets have happened sending me to the hospital for more extended care. Apparently my digestive system is not quite ready for solid food which resulted in lots of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and pain. I was admitted to Methodist around Jan. 12 for what I thought was a cold and ended up spending four weeks filled with testing of all kind. A cold was the least of my worries as the real situation was gastro related and my ability to digest food, maintain my daily feedings via the Jtube and control nausea and vomiting. I experienced some of the most excruciating vomiting episodes I’ve ever had in my life. I thought my eyeballs would pop out or my body would just fall apart from the hardness of the vomit episodes. All of my attention was focused on staying ahead of the nausea with medication. Again, the nurses and staff were remarkable. So kind, compassionate and loving. Most of them knew me from previous stays, and most of them, I don’t remember at all.
After that first stay, I returned within a week due to obstructed bowel. I spent two weeks that go round taking laxatives and having x-rays on my belly and chest. I returned home very hopeful that I could now focus on gaining weight and strengthening my body. It was not to be.
Within two weeks, I had to return again for bowel obstruction after five days of dealing with excruciating pain in my stomach, back and chest along with vomiting dry heaves of nothing because my stomach was literally empty. That is the worst type of vomiting when nothing is there to come up. Mama and Bev did all they could to treat the symptoms at home with pain patches, pain pills, enemas, heating pads, you name it, we tried it. Nothing was working so I called Methodist knowing what the ultimate response would be “get to the emergency room ASAP”.
I was so outdone. ER was the last thing I wanted to do but had no other choice. The pain had gotten so bad all I could do was cry in agony and call on the name of Jesus. We decided to use an ambulance this time in hopes of getting admitted quicker.
As we entered the ER, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Patients were lined up on both sides of the hallway waiting to go through triage or be taken to a room. It was madness to the fifth degree in the Methodist ER which is ridiculous for a hospital of that size and reputation. I lay there on that bed in the hallway moaning and crying for what seem like hours until I was finally taken into a room, hooked up for an IV, blood taken for biopsy and examination, vitals taken again, and then wait for the results. I was so glad to finally see a doctor come in and begin to examine me by first releasing some of the fluids from my stomach via the gastric tube. I begin to feel a little relief but not nearly enough to relieve the pain. I believe that the doctors and nurses were working as hard and quickly as they could and that I just had to hold on a little longer before the pain would be dealt with.
My brother Charles arrived and it felt so good to have him, Beverly and Mama there supporting me, praying with me, and assuring me that everything would be okay. They reminded me of how strong I am and that for all that I’ve been through this year and last year, how they admire my ability to stay strong, positive and resilient through it all.
After about six hours of being in ER I was finally administered a low dose 2ml of morphine. This was my first time getting morphine that I can remember and knew that it was sometimes used as a last resort for pain. Within ten to fifteen minutes, I begin to feel the pain slowly ease away. Finally, some relief after days of pain, OMG, thank you Jesus! Around 3:00 am, I was moved to a room in Dunn building tenth floor. Throughout my stay that week, I was given morphine three more times for pain. I was visited by several teams of doctors from the Gastroenterology, Vascular Surgery and Transplant teams at least twice a day. Working together, my diagnoses was determined to be and obstructive bowel, no surgery required. I was discharged Feb. 23, 2018.
As of today, I feel better each day and continue daily to focus on maintaining a regular bowel movement, being aware of any pain and treating the pain immediately instead of waiting until it’s time to take meds for the day. And most importantly, venting the gastric port often throughout the day.
Mama is in Mobile for a week while Rick and Debbie, who took her there, continues on to Miami for a 5 day cruise to Jamaica and Cayman Island. I wish them all well and enjoyment as they spend time away to rejuvenate, relax and renew their spirit. My spirit is renewed daily as I look forward to going home by June in hopes of continuing to gain strength, and begin to enjoy food that I love and breathing the breath of life that God has given me without oxygen. It’s time to live life to the fullest again and believe me, I’m ready, God’s willing.

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November 29, 2017

To My Dear Sister, Thank you for all the Love and Support you have given to so many people. It is my prayer that you prosper in Good Health, even as your soul prosper. I admonish you to keep the faith and never grow weary in doing well.

Your Sister, OES

November 28, 2017

I thank God for allowing our paths to cross. You have always been an inspiration to me from day. The vocal choir is praying and missing you. Loving you.

Sandra Stewart

November 28, 2017

Praying that all things are going well. May God continue to bless you. Keep the faith. And no we are all praying for you. To return home. One day soon .your sister in church sis Sylvia Dials.

Sylvia Dials

January 20, 2017

Wishing you much Happiness and improved health in 2017. You have always been such an inspiration to me... Keep fighting!

Kelli Dumas