Tuesday, November 20, 2007

My Mom's computer is having issues, so she hasn't been able to write another update. My Dad arrived home safely to his new hospice bed on Sunday. He is doing ok. There have been several hospice aides who have come through. My Mom is exhausted from all of the care that goes into a hospice situation.

Thank you everyone for your continued support, prayers and offers to help. My Mom will let you know when help is needed. This is definitely a stressful transitional time.



Saturday, November 17, 2007

She wrote this last night:

Bob's "peg' surgery went well. He was somewhat tired but I think he feels much better with the feeding tube out of his nose and all that tape on his face (so that he wouldn't tear the tube out) cleaned up. When I left the hospital, he was resting calmly. After 24 hours, he will be ready to leave---!!!

The hospice bed was delivered this afternoon with all the oxygen, suction pump, etc...this is going to be interesting. I was checked out on the equipment but am still a bit nervous. Thank goodness there will be a hospice attendant with me---at least at first.

It is time to go back to the hospital----will have a better update in a couple days.

Thanks again for all the prayers and good wishes.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Here is an update from my Mom:

Bob continues to stay about the same, at times he seems stronger, but with all the noise at the hospital, his sleep is constantly disturbed. He was very exhausted this morning, he coughed a lot last night and it was not until almost eight this morning that we could get respiratory to suction him deeply. Then he tried to sleep, but was constantly interrupted. I know the medical personnel are doing their job but it would be nice if they could all come at about the same time. I am able to suction him, but I don't dare go deeply for fear of dislodging the oxygen or feeding tubes.

He is still very weak. Physical and occupational therapy are working with him a little every day; he tires so easily. We are proceeding with the Home Hospice Care, and if all works out he should be home by Saturday. Then a new era begins.

Thank all of you for the prayers, good vibes and wishes and offers of food and help. At this time I am not home enough to eat, but there will be the time when I may need help, so you may be hearing from me!

Thank you again,

Saturday, November 10, 2007


My Dad continues to rest a lot. On Tuesday evening we had a scare. His airway became blocked and his blood pressure dropped to 49 over 29. We thought we would lose him. But he is resilient and bounced back once they reopened his airway and gave him some added liquids.

He has been fighting another infection. It sounds like it came from either his IV or the sore on his nose from the BiPAP mask. They are giving him antibiotics to treat that.

He is very weak and has lost a lot of muscle mass and 10 pounds since he was first admitted. At times he is more responsive than others. He can still squeeze hands most of the time and still nods to questions, although he is not as responsive as he was two days ago.

My Mom hasn't had time to write an update. She wants to be with my Dad as much as possible - and she is caring for him as only she could. I'm amazed by her strength - I know it is fueled by her deep love for my father.

United Airline Captain Molly Flannagan Littlefield, a neighbor and fellow church member, recently dedicated her flight from Chicago to Seattle to my Dad. Many of the passengers, all strangers to my Dad, wrote messages to him the airline napkins. Many signed their names with their row and seat numbers. It was amazing looking through the variety of messages from all over. As Rick said to my Mom after looking at them, "I'll never look at these airlines in the same way again." (We will scan these in and share them down the road - they are incredibly touching)

I was able to start putting together a slide show of my Dad. Many treasures have yet to be scanned in - but this is a start.

Your prayers, cards, emails, calls and visits are greatly appreciated. This has been an emotional roller coaster for us, as we approach one month of his hospitalization. Your support helps us feel grounded and connected to to greater community of family and friends - representing love and support. Thank you again.



Thursday, November 8, 2007

From Joseph Atak, from Sudan


I was caught by surprise when I was told that your dad was admitted many days in VMC intensive ward.I run there with George I called his name he open his eye to give me a signal that he recognise my voice but inside me it tore me apart.I wish I have time to talk to him,to told him how much I proud of him, for everything he did to me and for all of us,he was figure father,we prayer for him and we love him too.
with much LOVE,



Thank you for your email. These last couple weeks have been very hard for me and my family. And I consider you and George part of my family too. My Dad's health has been very unstable and knowing how much energy he used to have, it is very difficult to see him in this state. Thank you so much for your prayers and support. I know your presence in my Dad's life has meant a lot to him - and that my parents love you very much.

I've been gathering pictures of my Dad and wanted to share them with you. If you click on this link, you should be able to look at them. It is a work in progress - there are many that are not included yet. But I think you might find these interesting - especially the older ones!


With much love,



Thank you so much,Noelle I really understand the pain they whole family go throught we are really with you at this time of pain and I take a look at each picture I understand the reallity of what a momory means to you at these movement and thank you for sharing your dad photos with us.

with much

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Bob is resting peacefully, but is slowly failing---he still knows us and responds, but not quite as frequently and with less energy. I don't believe he is in any pain---at least that is what he nods to. He has lost a tremendous amount of weight---and he didn't have much to lose to begin with. Pray that he is in God's hands--it is so difficult to think of loosing him.

Thank you, all of you, for your kind and thoughtful messages, cards, etc....We do read them to him and he does respond, and of course the family appreciates everything.

Thank you, Priscilla

My Dad continues to be fading. He is very weak, but still makes eye contact and recognizes visitors. For someone who has always been in tip-top physical shape, it is difficult to see him in this state.

I'm sending out this request for photos of him. We have a lot within our family, of course - but it is always amazing what gems extended family and friends have. In order to keep things streamlined, it would be easiest for them to be in digital format only - so either from a digital camera or scanned in. Carter and I wanted to start working on a couple projects and this would help immensely. Please email them to me at this account - noelle.smithhart@gmail.com. (The benefit of gmail's huge storage capacity!)

Thank you again for all of your support. We have not been able to reply to everyone's emails and voice mails, but know that we have been reading them to him and I've been sharing your emails with the immediate family.

This has been a very difficult time for all of us. At the same time, seeing the impression my Dad has left on all of us is an amazing reflection on his character and it helps us through this time.

With Gratitude,


Saturday, November 3, 2007

I know this last week has been sketchy as far as updates.

On Monday night Bob had a massive heart attack, but was brought back after two-three minutes. He was not in good shape through Thursday, but then Friday afternoon he was breathing on his own a bit again so they took him off the BiPAP; the powerful oxygen, and on to a lesser system. He was on the least support all Friday night through noon today and they put him back on the BiPAP for about five hours, (this machine gives his lungs a rest from working so hard.) They will do this back and forth for a while. He is amazing; two Doctors have called his "recoveries" a miracle, but of course he is still in critical care and very ill. He can communicate with us through nods and hand motions and has whispered to us a few times.

A speech therapist came in to work with him for a few minutes this morning, he could cough, swallow, turn his head left and right and several other things that she asked him to do. All these signs are encouraging, but much more has to happen in order for him to have any kind of quality of life. Please keep praying.
He can have visitors for a few minutes--if he is awake, he really seems to enjoy people---probably no longer than ten or fifteen minutes or so--no flowers or cell phones--he is in Critical care room #3710---he will fall asleep on you if he is tired!

Thank you for all the e-mails, cards and messages. We tell him about them or read them to him. He smiles and I am sure would laugh if he could.

Thank you for your prayers and good wishes---they are much appreciated.


Friday, November 2, 2007

As of right now, Bob has been in the hospital twenty days, all in Critical Care (three in intermediate care and one in regular).

He was progressing slowly but well last week and then this last Monday had a heart attack and has been on high oxygen since. He is on BiPAP which forces the oxygen into the bottom of the lungs. He will not stay on this machine more than a few additional days. He recognizes all of us and tries to laugh and communicate in spite of the O2 mask. He continues to move his hands, arms, feet and legs. Once in awhile he shrugs the shoulders or an entire side.

Thank you for the messages, emails, and visits. He can have visitors and shows how delighted when he sees a familiar face. We have read many of your emails to Bob and we can tell it means a lot to him.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Dear Bob, Priscilla, and all your family,

Just wanted to share how much Jim and I have enjoyed the friendship you have shared with us. I think it first began when I got to know Nicole at Chryalis. How very proud you must be of all your children. You have done an amazing job of raising them. I know they love you both very much.

Then it was such fun to share in the caroling parities during the holidays. Some times they were quite chilly. That is why Priscilla's food was so welcome when we returned to the house. You always made everyone feel so welcome.

Then we were placed in a Dinner for 8 group together, and the boat ride one Lake Washington was one we will always remember. I think the Huskies even won that day, maybe because a boat load of Christians passed their way!

After that Priscilla, Linda, Catherine and I went to lunch in our purple and red outfits, and that began several years of good food, good laughs and good friends.
Then when we gained custody of our little guys almost 5 years ago, you were so supportive and understanding. Your kind words and prayers were always appreciated.
Lastly, you have been a shining example of true Christian servitude at Cornerstone. Always faithful and diligent in your works. Thanks for your love and friendship, you know you can call on us for any thing we can help with.

Always, Jim and Janie