As you may have noticed, I've taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging recently. Over the past couple of months, I've mentioned that my 18 year old sister, Corrie, has been in the hospital. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may already know that she gave us all quite a scare and took a serious turn for the worse last week. She is currently stable in ICU and we believe that a little bit of mail would brighten her day! Keep reading for more information.
Corrie Haynes graduated earlier this year from Calvary Baptist Day School in Winston-Salem and planned to begin her freshman year at Appalachian State University this semester. On the day she was supposed to move into her dorm (August 16), she was diagnosed with severe ulcerative colitis – a disease that affects the colon – and admitted to the hospital. While 90% of individuals with ulcerative colitis respond to medical treatment, Corrie's condition continued to worsen. She was transferred 80 miles east to North Carolina Memorial Hospital (UNC-Chapel Hill) on September 21 and had surgery to remove her colon two days later.
We were told that most patients who undergo the same surgery are discharged from the hospital in five to seven days. However, Corrie managed to suffer from nearly every surgical complication possible: uncontrollable nausea, pneumonia, and even multiple abscesses/infection that required an additional procedure. On October 6 (day #13 of post-surgery, day #44 in the hospital), things got significantly worse.
Despite receiving four injections of anticoagulant medication every day for two weeks, a pulmonary embolism went from my sister's lung to her heart and caused her to go into acute cardiac arrest. In the most horrifying moment of my life and a scene I will never be able to get out of my head, her heart stopped beating for more than fifteen minutes. It took an incredible medical team five sets of two-minute chest compressions (and the good Lord Himself!) to bring her back. Since then, Corrie has remained in ICU and had multiple procedures to drain fluid from her lungs, drain infection from her abdomen, and insert a central line. One of her lungs partially collapsed on October 9, causing her to be placed back on a ventilator for four days.
We are so incredibly grateful that Corrie is alive, as we know this story very well could have ended on October 6. During this time, we have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from so many family and friends (and friends of friends), and we feel so blessed to belong to such a strong Christian community. My sweet sister still has a lot working against her and faces a very, very long road to recovery, but we have faith that she will be exploring the mountains of Boone (and exploiting this situation to get a puppy) in no time.
As Corrie continues to progress, we know that fewer things would make her smile more than opening an insane amount of mail. If you'd like to send Corrie a card, please mail it to the following address and we will make sure she gets it:
1232 Essex Forest Drive
Cary, NC 27518
A few quick notes:
To those of you who have prayed for Corrie and my family at any point during all of this, your love and support have gotten us to where we are today. So many people have asked what they can do for my family during this time, and truly, the answer is just pray. Almost everything has been out of our hands throughout this entire situation, but we rest assured in Whose hands they are in.
To those of you who specifically signed up to pray for Corrie and my family during last Friday's 24-hour prayer vigil, you have no idea how incredibly moving it was to pull up the list in ICU and know exactly who was praying in that moment. My family looked at it all day long, and while we've known that so many people have been praying throughout all of this, it was so touching to know who was on their knees for Corrie at that exact minute.
To those of you who have sent cards, letters, flowers, and packages to Corrie at any point in the past two months (as well as snacks, puzzles/books, and vending machine dollar bills – genius – to my family), please know how much we appreciate your kindness and generosity! Sister has already received cards from all over the country: an entire elementary school in Virginia, a sweet blogger friend in Nebraska, and dozens of churches who don't even know her! An additional thank you to our Calvary Baptist Day School family and our Fraternity Church family who absolutely showered us with love last week – such an unexpected blessing!
And lastly, to those of you who have texted, emailed, messaged, commented, posted, etc., during this time, please know that even though it will take us weeks to respond to your outpouring of love, we are reading every single word! Thank you for continuing to let us know that you are remembering our family or praying for Corrie, even when we aren't able to respond right away. It means more than you'll ever know. I printed out 25 pages worth of comments this week to share with my (Facebook-less) parents, and we look forward to reading them to Corrie in the weeks ahead.
So from the bottom of my heart... thank you. Thank you for taking the time to share this story and thank you for helping us shower our miracle girl with love. She's the bravest, toughest, most deserving girl I know, and she could most certainly use some smiles after the journey she's been on.
We want nothing more than to see Corrie happy and healthy again, and we can't thank you enough for joining us as we cheer her on to a full recovery.