Thursday, December 3, 2009

4 weeks post op...things are looking good

Well we are in the 4th week since Makinna's surgery, and she is doing great. She is fully active and in no pain. She just had her last packing removal yesterday 12-2-09. They had to put her to sleep since she was so badly treated by a Tampa Dr, and now she wont allow anyone that resembles medical professionals to touch her. She wont let them get near her without screaming and crying. She becomes a child I have never seen before. This never happened until her horrible experience with Dr Bartels in Tampa. We have learned so much about screening Dr's now. Just because their credentials are good, doesn't mean that they will be good with your babies. Other then her intense fear of doctors and nurses, she is wonderful. We are very pleased with the way her ear is healing, and her skin graft site is already re growing hair. I have posted pics from before and after the final packing removal. Also, today we did a little test to see if there is any more hearing on that side. I covered her other ear, and whispered very quietly in her ear to repeat a color and she shouted it right out!! I was so excited to know that she understands and could hear it. That is what we did this for...just to give her that chance of normal hearing, and it seems that its working. We wont know the exact amount yet, and with her refusal to be touched by Dr's, I'm not sure how they will measure it. We have to call the Dr. back to see what he recommends. Please keep her in your prayers that she will get over this fear soon, and forget what happened, so that the future appointments will be less stressful. We are really praying that we don't have to have her sedated for every procedure.

This was the day after Thanksgiving...she was loving the cool weather we had.

This was following the first packing removal, this was the bad day with the Dr that we wouldn't take a stray animal to. You can see the left over blood from where the sponge was ripped out of her canal and tore off all of the dried scabs. It was terrible. We had cleaned her up as much as she would let us at this point. It was much more. 11-16-09

This is shortly after the bandage fell off her head. 11-24-09 approx. You can see the canal is more narrow. We are emailing the surgeon to see if that is expected. This is before the final packing removal.

This is yesterday after the packing removal. I think it is looking great. I know it still looks scary to some people, but seeing it everyday, this looks incredible. It is so clean that you can see right to the inner section if you shine the light right. She is really such a trooper. I know that this will all be worth it in a year when she is all healed from the surgeries and she can hear as normally as possible. Thanks again for all the prayers and love. It has really helped us. Makinna will really appreciate it when she is all grown up! Like we do now!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Surgery One is Done, and God is so GOOD!!

Finally the day has come, and all of the worry and stress, and tears were worth it. Makinna went into surgery just before 8am this morning, California time, and was done by 10:40 am. She was so good, and the nurses said that she went to sleep with a smile on her face! So typical for my little sunshine. She was so funny with the meds! They give something to relax and settle them before they put them out. It was great! She didn't even notice when they took her from me. She played with us for about 20 minutes and then I peacefully placed her in the surgical nurses arms and watched as she walked away with my life in her hands! They worked so hard to make us feel safe and secure. The anaesthesiologist was incredible and really knew his stuff. He called me last night before bed to go over stuff with me.

The surgery its self wasn't really long, but it felt like an eternity!! I was so excited to see her face once they let us back. She was sleeping peacefully. The Dr. reported that everything went as well as he could have hoped. They had no problems putting her out or waking her up. They even went the extra mile and snapped some pictures in the O.R for me. I asked them to save the hair for me since Makinna has never had a first hair cut, and they brought it out to me in a little bag. I was just blown away by the staff, the Dr's and the atmosphere. They went so far beyond the call of duty.

We only stayed there about 2 hours after and the process was smooth except when she first woke up. She immediately noticed the IV in her hand and the hard board taped all around her arm and flipped out! She screamed to take it off, and they promptly did. She was calm until you did something that upset her, then she lost it! Trey was coming to quick stops, and she screeched for him to SLOW DOWN DADDY!! and TURN THAT OFF!! she was referring to the GPS, she hates to hear that woman talk..we have temporarily named her Alice. Other than that, she was very hungry and thirsty when she got back. She has laid around all day, and never complained once, but wants me within touching distance at all times. We have been careful to not upset her, so that means getting her way today..and possibly tomorrow as well.. :)

I loaded some pics for everyone. They are not very graphic, this surgery isn't as topically invasive as the next will be. I also have no idea what the skin graft will look like yet either, so I might change my mind when I see it. That part is still bandaged. She has tried to remove the wrap a few times, but has otherwise been ok with it.

These pictures go in order from arrival to this afternoon...

This is in the waiting room before we were called back.

A few minutes after the versed was given, starting to get loopy.

Really loopy..cuddly and sweet!

These are ones they took for me inside the operating room. This was after the tube was placed and her head was shaved. They really made a larger shave then i thought they would.

This is after the surgery is complete and during the dressing process. You can double click to see the larger images. The new ear will form around the new canal. That is what will take place in February.

I didn't recognize her at first. I thought they took someone else's pic with my camera by mistake. I was upset, I kept asking Trey if that was really her. This was right before they took out the tube, her eyes were still taped shut.

She was waking up now, and getting upset off and on. She liked the rub though.

This was just a few hours after the surgery, and she was eating, and smiled a little. Still groggy, but not enough to skip the meal. I was so glad to see her eat. She drank about a pint of milk without stopping. I was worried she would vomit, but i feared loosing a hand or at least a finger if I tried to take it from her!
Thanks so much for the love, support, prayers, and care you have all shown us. we have been blessed here in California so wonderfully as well. We are staying with an incredible couple who have been so kind to us. They have not only provided us with a place to stay and unbelievably, also a car to drive, but they have been feeding us outstanding meals every night! God has placed this family in our lives for a reason, and we are beyond grateful for what they have done for us. All of your prayers have helped us to make it through this process. We have waited three long years to see this day, and because of you and the love you have all shown us, and mostly because of God's unending grace, our baby girl can now hear in both ears! Your gift has deepened our faith and trust. We cannot thank you all enough. I will continue to post things while we are out here and throughout the coming weeks. We are going to relax tomorrow and let Makinna decide what she is ready for!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

9 days and counting...

Okay, so we are officially 9 days away from departure, and with Karessa's and Makinna's birthday party, Halloween, Trick or Trunk (at church), Family pics, Halloween party, and all of the other preparations, I'm sure to be busy, busy, busy!! I would rather be busy though, because it keeps my mind off of having to leave my kids behind for two whole weeks! I know they will be fine, but I have never been away from Karessa for that long before. She laid with me last night and had a good cry about it. I did too. I haven't allowed myself to be upset about it before now, because I knew this was important, and that they needed me to be strong for them. I guess with Karessa's birthday today, last night just couldn't be avoided. So with all of that, I'm glad that I will be busy this week.

Makinna is so funny, she keeps telling us that she's ready to go to California, of course it doesn't sound like that, but her way is so much cuter!! She seems excited to go somewhere with Mommy and Daddy. I am ready for Trey's vacation to start so that we can get a move on! I think he is ready too. Three years of waiting, and now its here...almost!!

Halloween will be a fun event this year I think, both of the girls are going to be princesses, so it should feel like an ordinary day in their world!! :) They are going to trick or treat several times this week!! More candy for us!!

Thanks again for keeping us in your prayers, and thoughts. We love everyone, and I will post pics of the surgery as often as I am able. Some will be graphic I'm sure, so I am sorry in advance. We will try to keep it easy. I will have some down time in Cali, so I might be able to go on every few days or so and update pics. Here are some cute ones, so that its not all writing!

Raggy Raggy with Makinna

Yummy, popcycles are my favorite!!

They all love to play with Nonny's glasses...We wont let my optician husband see this, he would be not happy!! I don't let them keep them on when i see it, but my mom snapped this pic before I could grab them!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Almost ready to go!

The countdown is on! Departure date is November 2nd. I am trying to get last minute details taken care of, but so far we have been so blessed. We have found a children's minister at a local Church of Christ who has offered us a place to stay, and has also offered us the use of his second car.!! I am overwhelmed by the love that people have inside. That takes so much of a load off of us, and makes our financial goal much more attainable. We are very grateful to this family. It finally feels a bit more real. I always knew this day would come, but now its in sight, and tickets are bought, lodging is secure, and now all we are doing is waiting. I have plenty to do between now and then though. I have booked some work for each week, and I have two birthdays to take care of before we go. Karessa turns 7 on October 24th and Makinna turns 3 the day we leave. I am deciding how and when to have their combined birthdays. I wanted to have a little get together "thank you/birthday" right before we leave, but I'm not sure I can do it so close to the date. Maybe keeping busy will keep my mind from the long airplane ride. It will be the longest I have ever flown. I am quite claustrophobic, and the idea of being stuck in something that could spontaneously combust for no good reason, in midair, at 25,000 ft, makes me a bit nervous. I think I will need a large sedative.

Anyway, everyone has been doing well, and just getting ready for fall to hurry its self up and relieve us from this heat! I hope everything is great for all our friends and family out there. Please keep the approaching date in your prayers. I will need all I can get to make it through the "getting there" part! The rest sounds easy after that. But you can pray for it all! :)

Makinna saw Karessa posing for a photo and decided she wanted in on the action. She kept shifting back and forth like a little model, she even gave us her serious face!.. They were too cute not to share!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sweet Sounds for Makinna

Makinna's Benefit Dinner and Concert was incredible. We had a great time listening to great music and eating wonderful food. There were over 300 guests at one time. Thank you to everyone who made food, or helped out in some way. We are very moved by the love and care we have been shown by our friends, family, and community. The Lakeland Ledger wrote an article about Makinna in last Saturday's paper. It was very nicely written and helped bring awareness to our Lakeland area. Below are a few pictures from Saturday's event. Thank you all again, you will never know how much your support and prayers have meant to our family. I know that one day when Makinna is older, she will feel the same way.

A big thanks to Kayla and my mom for making Makinna's board.

The Plunger's did an amazing job and many thanks to them for donating their time and talents.

All the guests in line for dinner.

It really looked great and sounded even better!

CMD performing. Everyone wanted more! The kids really got into it.

Mommy and Makinna

Thank again for all the prayers and support. We had a great time and we are very close to our goal. The surgeries feel real now, and we are less then 2 months from our departure date. Now all I have to do is get past my extreme aversion to flying. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Makinna's Benefit Concert and Dinner...

Benefit Concert and Dinner!

Makinna's benefit concert and dinner is scheduled for Saturday, August 29th. It will be held at Highlands Church of Christ in Lakeland Florida. For directions or questions you can call the church at 863-646-6228. Doors will open at 5:30pm and dinner starts at 6:00pm. CMD will be preforming as well as The Plungers. Dinner is provided and the event is free, but donations will be appreciated and accepted throughout the event. It will be a lot of fun, and I am so grateful to all the people donating their time and efforts to pull this off. For information on Makinna, or for a chance to see how you can help, you can visit Please invite your friends and family to the concert. I think it will be an incredible night!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Some New Pics!!

Well, it has been busy in the Sherwood house! We have swam, and visited family, and swam some more. Makinna loves the water, she is a fish. She keeps asking if we are going to the pool today. We got to visit the beach before Dakota left for the summer. Makinna just wanted to stand in the ocean the whole time, she wanted to be lifted up from the waves, so we got quite tired of lifting her, but she loved it so much we couldn't resist! There are also some pics from the visit to my moms house, and 4th of July. I will be posting information about the fundraising concert soon. Save the date if you can, it will be August 29th.

July 4th fashion show.

The girls used about a bottle of bubbles..

Aww, I love my sissy or "KiKi" as she says.

Our trip to the beach on Sand Key. Makinna loved the water. It really was beautiful that day!

Our family, poor Dakota had sunscreen in his eyes the whole time. It was my fault by accident. I felt really bad.

This is Logan, Makinna's betrothed future husband. I love the look he's giving..

"Honey, just ask for directions already, we are so late!"

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Results are In!!

Hey everyone,

Praise God, for He is so good!! The scoring system for the cat scan is on a 1-10 scale. Makinna scored a 9!! The only thing she lost a point for, was the outside malformation. They said that her situation was as perfect as it could be considering. They said that they have only had one surgery that was unsuccessful who had scored a 9. It will give her the highest level of possible hearing that he can provide. They said it will never be as high as her normal ear, but it would be as close as he was capable of getting it. We were so happy, yet not too surprised. I felt in my heart that it would be good news. I have always believed that she could hear at least sounds on that side. I would whisper in her ear, and she would seem to know I was saying something.

New news, the surgery date was put in wrong, so it is now November 5th instead of the 9th. That actually makes the stay shorter anyway.

Thank you all so much for the prayers about this test. Obviously prayer is powerful. We would have been thrilled with an acceptable score, but this exceeds all hopes and expectation.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Awesome Web Page!!

Thanks to Auntie Jessica,(my lifelong bf & cousin), courtesy all the way from England, We have a professionally designed web page for Makinna! We are going to keep blogging for the up to date information, but this page is incredible. Jessica is an artistic wonder. She put her whole weekend and some of her week into making this incredible gift for Makinna. Our family is so grateful, and I just wish so badly that I could jump on a plane and give her a huge hug. Please check it out, on the web at,

You will see just how much effort and love went into the page. We love you Jess, you are truly one of a kind!!

The results are.........LOST! Yes, I said lost. The office either lost them (of course, they say that's not the case) or the post office lost it. Long story short, we had to express mail it so that her results could be to us before the Dr. is out of the office again. I am positive that they are good results, it would just be nice to hear that from someone with actual medical skill, rather than an overly optimistic mommy!

Surgery #2 has an official date now, it is February 2nd, 2010. That will be the outside, and brace your selves, the surgeon called me personally! I know, I almost asked her to give me her medical license number so that I could confirm that an incredibly well known, and busy surgeon called me without me asking, to discuss a surgery that is months away, and if that wasn't enough, she emailed me complete instructions on pre/post opt, and success pictures, and theres more!, she gave me her personal cell phone number and said if it was better for me, we could talk on the weekend!!! I know, and shes from California. I almost died. The great news, she confirmed for me that there isn't another person I would let do her surgery. She was humble and kind and understanding. She told me that we have to choose which skin graft site we would use, between the head and the inside of her arm. There will be a long scar on the inside of her arm, and it will never go away. The down side to the scalp is that there may not be enough good skin, in which case, they take it from the arm anyway. The arm has far less return rate then the split graft in the scalp. The scalp, when perfect, is beautiful she said, but it has a 25% revision rate because of the thinness of the skin. So we have to really pray. She cant choose, and I don't want her to be upset that she has a large scar, yet, i want the best for her ear. I guess life is a trade off sometimes. Thankfully we have until Feb 1st to decide. She said we would make the final choice in office together. Down side to this surgery, its minimum of 8 hours long!! Someone please sedate me too!! I could use a good sleep. Well, anyway, thanks for the support in reading, and praying. I have beach pictures to come. Makinna loved the beach, the water was her favorite. She wanted to stand in the shallow water and just be lifted up when the waves came to smack her, which was about every 3.5 seconds. I think we got an arm workout for sure!

I will post results next week!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New pics, and no results :(

Well, we took a few new pictures of Makinna for some stuff coming up, and they were so cute, I couldnt help but share. Hope you enjoy. Also, our test result is in, its just not in to us, its sitting on someone's cluttered desk, someone who hasnt waiting 2 1/2 years to see the inside of their babies head! :) I guess they are overwhelmed with work, and no one really knew who had Makinna's scan, so they are in the procecss of asking Dr. Roberson if he has indeed seen it, and if he has scored it as of yet. All of that to say this, Im supposed to hear for sure on Monday! Pray they are as good as we hope! We have lots of stuff in the planning stage and in the works for Makinna right now, so check back when you can to see whats going on next.

Mommy, Daddy and Makinna. My mom took this, and if you had grown up with her you would laugh right now, because even though my husband is not vertically overbearing to say the least, she still cut off half of his head. That was the best we got. Some were missing eyes!

Once again, you can be sure my mom took this. She comes up with great little shots, but then whacks the head! still too cute to keep to myself!

Makinna getting to enjoy the swings for the first time at a new park. She really liked it.

This was my favorite! She was hushing us because she saw birdies. It was so sweet!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Our Daughter Makinna

Our Makinna! This is usually how she looks, smiling!

Our family, Trey, me, Karessa, Dakota and Makinna

Makinna is our (Trey and Stephanie) 2 and 1/2 year old daughter. She was born with an ear deformity known as Microtia and Atresia. It effects her left ear, and it is basically something that stopped her ear growth while I was carrying her. She does not have a canal on that side, or an eardrum. The outside never fully formed either. She will undergo a series of surgeries starting in November to first, open her canal and give her hearing, and then to reconstruct her outside so that her new canal can be protected and her ear can look normal. Microtia effects about 1 out of 10-20,000 live births and is 2:1 in males. It is also most common in the right side, so Makinna is unique in so many ways. When she was born we had no idea what Microtia and Atresia was, but quickly became part of a community of people who have the same struggles as we are facing. Testing is still in process at Harvard University to determine the cause of this defect, but it is assumed that many are genetically connected.

Now we are preparing for a trip to California in November for the first stage of reconstruction. We will need so many prayers for this journey. I have never been fond of flying, and we will have to be separated from two other children in the process. It is such a bitter sweet event, we are so happy to be able to give Makinna her hearing, but there is so many variables that make it hard. We trust that God will continue to protect us as He always has, and ask you for your prayers and support. We have such an incredible church family, and because of that we know our family will make it fine.

Just a little information on our sweet girl, Makinna is honestly one of the most happy, jolly and loving babies I have ever known. She is my personal little sunshine, because she radiates light. She is so easy going, and wants to love everyone. She laughs like there isn't a problem in the world. Its so easy to fall in love with this amazing little girl. She loves to have her belly and back rubbed, and is so cute how she doesn't feel the need to speak when she is ready for you to rub her legs or arms, instead she just shakes whatever body part she wants you to scratch until you comply. :) She rewards us with bountiful kisses and hugs. She sings Jesus loves me, but since she cant speak the words she just mumbles whatever she can come up with to the tune. She is delayed in her speech a bit, but she is working hard to pick words up along the way. She is making so much progress. We have been truly blessed with such wonderful kids all around.

Thank you to everyone that has been with us through this, and continues to be there for us, and those who are just joining this endeavour. We love you all and you have no idea what your support has meant to us.

In Christian Love,

Trey and Stephanie Sherwood

Her personality spills out everywhere. She was sporting her new shades on Christmas.