Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 31 update

May 31, Track and Field day - a date that Lydia was anticipating.  She was going to represent Baden Public School in hurdles and triple jump.  She and James had built some hurdles at home so that she could practice on the lawn.    I loved watching Lydia run, the way her long legs would stretch out. 
Today, I carried in my heart the hope that she will recover, and, in due time, leap and run again.  It reminds me of the verse in Malachi 4:2: ... the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays, and you will go out and frolic like well fed calves.  I should ask my dairy farming friends what that looks like.  I imagine vibrancy and merriment.  I imagine LIFE.  That is what we are praying for Lydia.
James was with Lydia at the hospital today.  They did a CT scan this morning, to monitor her ventricle swelling, and then they removed her ICP tube and monitor this evening. Her vitals were stable.  Her temperature rose this afternoon, and so they applied ice packs.  She battled fever for most of the afternoon.  She was coughing quite a bit, which is a good indicator of her strength, and also of the infection. 
James borrowed a guitar from the hospital, and enjoyed time with his girl, while playing and singing to her, most notably a song that he wrote for her when she was a toddler. 
Tomorrow we will take the boys to Toronto, to see the hospital, and to see Lydia.  They have not yet seen her, so please join me in prayer, that this is a helpful and healing day for them.  May the sound of their chirpy voices also encourage Lydia.  

"Faithful" - Stay Strong Lydia

Dear friends of ours have posted a video slide show celebrating Lydia.  We have linked to it here:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lydia has had a quiet day, appropriately so, for the cocoon image I hold in my heart. I am so aware that all of Lydia's needed healings are inner healings: the mending of broken bones and of her brain. As the days pass, I am able to look past all of the tubes, wires and machines, and see Lydia sleeping peacefully. The medical staff tell us that she will awaken when she is ready.
Lydia had a CT scan this am. It showed a tiny bit of ventricle swelling which is not of concern. It did lead the neurologist to decide against removing the ICP tube & monitor.
A music therapist came with her guitar to sing to Lydia today. Music is such a gift. We sang The Lord is My Shepherd together. I also played for Lydia the special voice messages recorded by her teachers and friends at school. I think she enjoyed them. The nurses remarked this as well, after looking at Lydia's vitals. I know the messages brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. Thank you all for your continued support.

The beauty of transformation revealed in the love of God.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

May 29 Progress

We are thankful for the progress of today.  Lydia's ICP tube was clamped all day, and her brain pressure only rose for a short time this evening, but not into dangerous levels.  If she has a good night, they will remove the tube tomorrow.  Another indicator of progress!  Her chest infection seems to be clearing, as her fever was low grade today, and she does not have to be suctioned as much.  Her heart rate and blood pressure were strong and steady all day.  She has had some purposeful movements today, which are also encouraging.  When she is not sedated, she moves her arms and legs, and her eyes are moving beneath the closed lids. 
Our sons miss their sister and look forward to being able to see her.  This can happen once Lydia is out of Critical Care and into Observation, so today's news offers the hope that this may happen sooner, rather than later.
Today I took some time to open mail.  Your expressions of love, and the encouragement of so many people praying, is overwhelming.  We are saving every card, poster, and note to share with Lydia when she is awake and recovering.  Thank you.  Above all, thank you for your prayers.  God is carrying us and sustaining us in this storm.  The lyrics to a familiar worship song, Still, say

When the ocean rise and thunders roar
I will soar with you above the storm
Father you are King over the flood
I will be still and know you are God

May you find some stillness of your own, to draw near and feel the presence of the Almighty.


A good, stable day!

Lydia is having an encouraging day.  Everything is stable - temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure.  Her brain pressure is  stable, and regulating on its own, even with the tube clamped. If this continues, they will look at removing the tube later tomorrow.  Thank you for your prayers. 
In a conversation with a dear friend, we likened Lydia's coma to the cocooning that happens, before the butterfly emerges.  It is quiet and still in the cocoon, but much transformation is taking place.  Praying for beautiful things for Lydia in this time.

morning update May 29

Lydia is very stable right now. She has passed large amounts of urine which is great. (Thank you God, and thank you praying friends!)  Her ICP (tube to drain excessive brain fluids) is clamped, so we will see how she does. Xray is coming to assess the position of the feeding tube. The next hurdle is to get her bowels moving, as morphine is extremely constipating.  She is getting Atavan to settle her prior to xray. All is well.

Monday, May 28, 2012

May 28

This morning before going to the hospital, we had a family business meeting. Among other things, we decided that we would be opening for the season on Tuesday June 5. As we are a family business, and the impact of Lydia's accident touches all of us, as parents, aunts and uncles, and grandparents, we are striving to work ever more closely together to take care of one another and of business. We also have an excellent and experienced staff who will readily do all they can to assist us in this upcoming season. Please pray for our family and employees in this regard.

Lydia is quiet and rests well at night, or during the day when she is not requiring care. She becomes agitated when procedures, big, such as diagnostic imaging, or small, such as bathing, collar care, suctioning, ice packing, and blood work are completed. This agitation causes her blood pressure, fever and heart rate to rise. It is as if she is saying, "I don't like this. Leave me alone!" Now I must report that the medical team that is looking after her at Sick Kids Hospital is excellent. She is in caring and professional hands.

Today, they removed her chest tube, which has been draining the blood and fluids from her internal injuries. They also removed her catheter and she will need to void independently, or they will put another one in. So pray for pee! She has had high blood pressure a lot today, so they have sedated her to calm her. Her movements were strong on her left side again today before sedation. Physiotherapy continues and Lydia responds well to it. I think she is happy to move around, even in this limited fashion of having her feet, hands and legs manually manipulated.

I'll close with a few lines from a Steve Green song, which seem apt, as each days is much like the one before. 

"When the process is long and you're losing your song in the night. You can be sure that the Lord has his hand on you, safe and secure, He will never abandon you.  You are his treasure, and he finds his pleasure in you."


Sunday, May 27, 2012

medical update May 27

Lydia had a restful night.  She has had more eye movements and stronger movements with her arms and legs.  She had a CT scan at 11:00 this morning.  Her ICP has been unclamped all day to alleviate pressure when it gets too high.  Her fever continues to be the biggest daily battle.  Her temperature was normal for most of the day, until it started to rise in the early evening.  When it is elevated, her blood pressure and heart rate are also elevated, so her nurses work to cool her with ice packs, and then slow her heart rate with morphine.  The morphine, while effective as a pain killer, is inhibitive to some of her next steps in her recovery. She continues to have an infection in her chest that they are battling with several different antibiotics.  Pray that these are effective, and that her temperature stabilizes and holds at normal.

Beautiful Things

Lydia's favourite worship song is Beautiful Things by Gungor.

The lyrics profoundly mirror the journey she is on.  I shall continue to sing it to her, and ask God to bring beauty from these ashes, and to make her new.

All this pain
I wonder if I'll even find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

All around
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You

You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
You make me new, You are making me new
You make me new, You are making me new

TD Canada Trust Account Information

The account number that has been set up for Lydia is 244-6314106.  Donations can be made from any TD Canada Trust.

sign at Waterloo Oxford District Secondary School

The roadside sign at WO, is poignant.  It has touched us deeply.  Thank you, Crusaders, for your faith.  The sign reads:
We believe.  Lydia Herrle.  Class of 2017

Message we shared at Waterloo Mennonite Brethren, our home church, this morning

On Christ, the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.  From the moment I answered my cell phone in the store, and my knees buckled beneath me when I received the news that our daughter, Lydia had been hit by a recycling truck when getting off the school bus, I have called out to Jesus to be with us in this storm.  He has beautifully and abundantly shone himself to us.  From the provision of the hands of a trusted friend and former small group member, picking me up from the floor of the store and driving me to the hospital to meet the ambulance, to all of the preparatory work in our hearts from years of following and loving Jesus, He has been our refuge and our strength.  He has knit James and I tightly together, to endure this storm together, trusting in Him and surrendering to Him. 

He speaks to us through the words of scripture:

Isaiah 43:1-3
But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

He fills our hearts with songs and praise - songs with lyrics that lift our eyes to the mountains, that extol Him as the Faithful One, that proclaim his love and his healing power.  We often sing over Lydia, in the hospital.  We take comfort in Zephaniah 3:17 - "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, ... He will rejoice over you with singing."

The presence of the Jesus is a comfort and guide to us.  He speaks to us in prayer.  He surrounds us with His love.  It says in the Psalms that "the Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit".  Jesus, himself, was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief".  He knows our pain and walks through this storm with us.

The power of the Holy Spirit to comfort us and guide us in truth, as we rely on Him, has been an overwhelming experience.  James and I have talked about the peace that passes understanding, and it is marvellous to behold.  He is sustaining us, providing for us, speaking words of love, hope and promise to us.  He is sheltering us in the shadow of his wings.  Psalm 63:7-8  "Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.  I cling to you; your right hand upholds me."

On Christ, the solid rock we stand, and we trust the divine physician for His healing.  We appreciate all of your prayers for our family, and for Lydia, and we ask you to continue.  The doctors have told us that this will be a long haul.  Malachi 4:3 has been given to us: "But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays".  We look to the Lord for healing.  We also look to Him for comfort, hope and peace.  And he abundantly and tenderly provides.  Let us worship him together this morning.  On Christ, the solid rock we stand - together.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


We have been inundated by the many who eagerly desire to donate to Lydia's long term recovery.  Thank you for your support.  From Baden Public School, to neighbourhood popsicle and lemonade stands, to lime green bracelets, ribbons and stay strong Lydia t shirt sales, to gift cards for parking, gas and food,  to volunteers and home cooked meals ... we are overwhelmed by the tangible reminders of your love for our family at this time.  Thank you.  As James and I have both experienced, it is often these gestures of kindness that undo us - that readily bring the tears to the surface.

There is a trust fund set up for Lydia at TD Canada Trust in New Hamburg, and any funds collected that she will not be needing for her medical care, will be donated to Free the Children.  Lydia is a part of Me to We at school, and she has loved her involvement there.  In her bedroom, above her magnet board, she has the quote from Gandhi posted: "Be the Change you want to see in the world".  At Christmas, she gave me the book Free the Children, because she wanted me to read it and know what was stirring her heart and inspiring her.  Yesterday at the hospital, we received a kind visit from Marc Kielburger, and his assistant, Electra, offering their support and warmest wishes for Lydia's recovery.  How excited Lydia will be, when she emerges form her coma, and we can give her a new Me to We t shirt and tell her about it. 

If you want to donate on line, you can go to, and make a donation on behalf of Lydia.  I offer this information to those who are looking for a means of donating, not as solicitation.  The Lord has provided for us, and will continue to provide for us every step of the way in this journey.  "All I have needed, thy hand hath provided, great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me."

Deep peace to you all,

this evening's update

This evening Lydia's ICP (brain pressure) has been a bit higher.  Every time they do procedures, it spikes, so the ICU Dr. and the Neuro Consult decided to unclamp the pressure tube so that Lydia will have a restful night.  She will have the CT scan in the morning to assess her brain injury.  Her vitals are stable, and her reaction to pain stimuli, and pupil dilation to light, remain the same.
Today we were blessed by willing hands, and good weather to get a lot of farm work done.  Thank you.

update on Lydia's health today

Today they clamped Lydia's ICP, so that it cannot release pressure.  They continue to monitor the pressure, but they want to see how she does without the drainage tube operational.  She is still feverish- it goes up and down, but is still a concern.  They drew cultures this morning which they are analyzing to see if perhaps another antibiotic would be more effective.  Given these conditions, they will not extubate her today.  Tomorrow they will do another CT scan of the brain to see how she has progressed.  Right now, she is laying with ice packs around her to try to cool her.  Her abrasions and her "road rash" on her lower back is healing well.  We are thankful that she had her backpack fully on both shoulders as she exited the bus, as we think this saved her back from extensive scrapes.  She has been quiet today.

Great is Thy Faithfulness

Daily, songs of worship come to me, and when I sing them, there is peace and hope.  Scriptures too, are alive and moving in my heart and mind.
Today's song is a wonderful old hymn.  Such promises!  Truly, all I have needed He has provided.  Daily, mercies are new. I will take the time to share some of them soon, although there are too many to count.  Thank you to each of you for your part in extending God's mercies to our family: through your prayers, your help, your donations, your meals, your homes adorned with green ribbons ... they all give us strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.  
Peace to you.  May you have a song to sing today as well.

  • "Great is Thy faithfulness," O God my Father,
    There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
    Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
    As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.
    • "Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
        Morning by morning new mercies I see;
      All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
          "Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!
  • Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
    Sun, moon and stars in their courses above,
    Join with all nature in manifold witness
    To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.
  • Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
    Thy own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
  • © 1923. Ren. 1951 Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188
    All rights reserved.  Used by permission.


    Friday, May 25, 2012

    Update May 25

    Welcome to our first blog.  We will try to update you regularly on this journey with Lydia. Thank you all for your prayers, and various expressions of love.  We are blessed to be surrounded by such a community of support.  
    Lydie bug, as we used to affectionately call her, has had a quiet day in her ICU room.  They cut her morphine dosage in half and she seems to be handling it well. Less sedation means more movements. This afternoon her fever went up and wouldn't come down with cooling or ice packs, and with all the shivering, her blood pressure, heart rate, and brain pressure ICP, also went up.  They gave her muscle relaxants to calm her.  Consequently,  they did not extubate her today.
    The doctor said she had her most purposeful movement yet this evening.  Hooray!  When the doctor applied pressure to the nerves in her shoulder, she localized the pain, and moved purposefully with her hand to stop the pain. 
    I spoke this morning with a good friend who specializes in rehab for children who have suffered brain injuries.  She told me that a coma is the body's natural response to severe trauma, and that when Lydia is sufficiently healed and can handle consciousness, she will emerge from the coma.  We hope she will not be comatose for long,  but she may be.  We invite you to pray for God's complete healing in her.  He created her and knit her together, so He knows best how to knit her back together again.  
    We are grateful to be able to lean on each other, and even more grateful for the peace that passes all understanding.
    James & Michelle 
    Sent from my BlackBerry® PlayBook™

    Monday, May 21, 2012

    Lydia Herrle

    We as a family are overwhelmed with the support our Community, locally and abroad, love has poured over us.

    We are remaining hopeful, faithful, and prayerful that God, in his timing will bring precious Lydia to us again.

    Your prayers of comfort and kind messages are all constantly being read, we are using those as comfort when we are feeling sad and discouraged.

    God is Sovereign, and it's His will that gets carried out.

    We ask for your prayers for our bus driver John, for comfort and peace. And for the the garbage truck driver. We don't know, nor understand the circumstances surrounding the accident, or why this happened. We must now take baby steps to get to where we need to be.

    Thank you,
    The Herrle Family
    Howard & Elsie, James & Michelle, Trevor & Joanne, Karen