An Over-due Update..Day +2

 Friday was the big day! Day 0/transplant day. It was a day full of emotions, preparing our boy/man for surgery and excitement over the cells that would then be placed into Anna's body. We were so proud of Daniel! He was never nervous, just excited over what he was getting to do!!! We met up in Anna's room for a time of Bible reading and prayer before taking him down for surgery. One last hug from Anna before he left to give her the gift of a lifetime. Daniel went back into surgery a little after 2 p.m. and came out around 4:30. While he was in surgery, Craig and I went to the gift shop and got balloons for the entire crew. It was fun carrying so many balloons through the hospital halls! Then we decorated Anna's room with them. This made for a very festive atmosphere for a very special day!! The children came for the big event as well as a couple others. Then it came.....the cooler with Daniel's cells. As everything was being prepared, the nurses from all over came in to sing, "Happy transplant day to you!" (to the tune of Happy Birthday") Day 0 is a highly celebrated day for bone marrow transplant patients! The cells took just over 7 hours to be administered, so Anna actually became one of a few double 0 patients! This means, that since it went into Saturday, that Saturday was also day 0. Sunday was day +1, today is day +2.

Saturday, we received the disturbing news that an error had been made concerning the first 2 bags of cells. The wrong tubing had been used. The tubing that the nurse hooked up had filters and the Dr. was unsure if the stem cells had been filtered out. This was devastating! Though the good thing was that the last bag was the fullest and the amount that most transplant patients receive. Daniel had produced 3x more cells than most donors are able! Well, this didn't seem to help much in the way of encouragement to a very sick young lady who is depending on those cells! Tears were spilled and questions were asked. We know that human error is a part of life and we must be accepting of that. We all make mistakes, and God is still ultimately in control! He has a plan! Well, a couple of hours later, Dr. Woolfrey came back with some VERY good news! She had just gotten off of the phone with the head of bone marrow transplants at UW, and he said not to worry! That they actually use the filtered tubing on patients with allergies and have always seen good results. (in other words, the stem cells got through the filter and grafted into the patients) He said to go ahead and count all 3 bags as good!!  What a relief!

At this point in the transplant process, we are looking at rough days ahead. Anna will continue to get sicker. She already has mouth sores forming that go throughout her digestive tract. The nausea is increasing, but they are trying to keep it at bay with around the clock anti-nausea medication. She also has pain meds at the push of a button to keep her feeling as good as possible. I am so proud of Anna! She is doing quite well! She pushes herself to be as physically active as possible. Everyone here is pleased with how well she is doing. Keeping active will really help her recover better later. She is also being a witness at every opportunity. Today we were able to talk about her mission's trip to Uganda with her nurse and CNA. They asked what Anna and Craig had done while there, so we were able to share just what they did! They then asked if any of the younger ones had gotten to go on their trip yet, so we then shared about the situation that took place when it was Samuel's turn to go. How perfect each part was in keeping them home when we would be faced with the diagnoses of Anna's CML. The nurse was amazed at how it all worked, to which Anna replied, "It just shows the Sovereignty of God! He worked it all out!" Little things like that can plant seeds in the hearts of those we share it with. We pray those seeds will be watered, and that God will get the increase one day!!!

The longer we are here, the more families we are meeting. The other day we met a man who's wife had a baby girl named Isabella, born on the ninth of May. Their baby girl needed to have open heart surgery and was scheduled for Thursday the 16. We told him we'd be praying for his baby girl. I was really burdened all day Thursday and told Craig I truly hoped God had answered our prayers for that family! Who knew if we'd ever see them again? Craig shared with me today that he ran into the dad yesterday and so he asked how everything went. I am so blessed to say that she made it through with flying colors! She may even be going home this week!!! While we were both in Anna's room today, A code blue went over the intercom. Craig immediately stopped and prayed, "Dear God please help that child be okay!" and would you know that literally seconds later the code blue was cancelled!! To which Craig said, "Thank you God for answering our prayer so quickly!" It is so awesome to see God working in so many ways!!! I mentioned a young lady in the room next to Anna's named Lynsie. I have had the privilege of getting to meet her and chat with her on a couple of occasions. Please Pray her transplant will be successful and that she will be able to live a long and full life! Pray we can share the love of Jesus with her and her family!!! Also, please pray for a 19 year old young lady who is also on her 3rd relapse. It is very sobering to meet patients who have been down this road a number of times. We have such a burden to see them get better and we are praying for them! It is wonderful to know that the love as well as the healing hand of Jesus has no limits!!! It isn't all bad news here, though. Today we heard of a young man who is on day +21 and was getting a two hour break from the hospital! We enjoy hearing good news on occasion! Our mission field is all around us, please pray that we will take the opportunity God affords us! May we be a beacon of light to all who we meet! May they all see Christ in us no matter the situation!

Thank you all for your love, support, and esp. your prayers! It was so good to be in the House of God yesterday and to get to see many loved ones and be encouraged by them! And to those we don't get to see, we know you all are praying for us and we are encouraged by that!

Please enjoy the spattering of pictures from the special day!

The look is him watching the t.v. above him

A prayer from his Pastor/Daddy

Headed back for surgery

Balloons for the crew!

A festive room for a special day!

Little siblings who LOVE their Anna

All the nurses singing, "Happy Transplant Day!"

Daniel's cells

All hooked up and ready to go!

The cells getting started

Another prayer over Anna and the cells

Anna showing off her line

Overwhelmed with thankfulness toward her brother

A proud little girl who is touching the light on Anna's finger!

Daniel getting to come up and see Anna


  1. I pray that Anna would be reassured every moment that God is in control, and that nothing is a surprise to Him! You are never far from my thoughts, or my prayers, Anna. I love you so much!

    Praise the Lord for Daniel's love and sacrifice for Anna. It is such a blessing to see how willing, as any of her siblings would be, to do that.

    Lots of love and prayers to you all,
    Sarah S.

  2. Thank you so much for yourl update!! What a great blessing. Praying that this proceedure will have its needed results. We love each of you. Bob and Gayle McQueary, Your Workers in Western Asia

  3. Hi Anna, I'm sure you remember us! We are praying earnestly for you. Keep as active as you can and keep on telling them of our Jesus. Love, McQuearys

  4. It's so encouraging to see you, Anna, walking out your faith and trust in God. Keep on trusting in God who will never fail you or forsake you. He will keep you in his everlasting arms. I will continue to pray for you. Love you!

  5. So VERY proud of Daniel. What a gift! Praying strength and endurance over Anna for the days/weeks/months ahead! Love you all. Thanks for sharing your life with us!

    Amber Bernard

  6. We love you all! Praying for the whole Houston clan. Strength, Mercy and Joy. The Doug Hall family

  7. Please tell the boy/man that I'm very encouraged by his sacrifice. It is great to hear all the answers to prayer and the testimonies of God's goodness. I will keep praying and I love you guys!

  8. Love you Anna, I so wish I could be there in person to give you a great big hug, but alas I cannot soooo....Here is a BIG cyber hug from me (((Hugs))) !!
    Always in prayer for you

  9. Many tearful & heartfelt prayers! We love you all.

  10. What a blessing to hear that the first two bags worked after all! It was good to see you all (especially Daniel!) on Sunday. I believe the whole church was truly blessed to see you guys there so soon after the transplant! Your family's faithfulness is humbling to us all, and inspiration to be more so ourselves. Love you guys and praying fervently! Keep strong Anna! We are praying for you and thinking of you often!

    ~Gilead Rose

  11. Great testimony, your attitude toward the 'mistake'! People watch how you act in disappointment more than joy, or maybe even trials. It seems your family knows that certainly God is in control, and everything has a purpose and a reason in His timetable. Praise God for the good news and His faithfulness!

    I'm sure Jenny and Carl Bodin send their love from Boston, too.
    Paul and Nancy Carlson (Bodin & Hohenstreet friends/supporters)

  12. Praise the Lord for such a good report! It is a wonderful blessing to hear! We will continue to pray for you all here and look forward to many more good reports in the future!

  13. Kelley and I are praying for Anna! Our church prays for Anna in every service. God Bless and Keep you all.

  14. Ditto to what everyone has already said. It was good to see you Sunday, Daniel. You really are a hero! Still praying for extra comfort and strength for the next few weeks for you, Anna, as your body adjusts. Praying you will feel the many hugs we are sending you through out the day in our prayers.

    Thanks for sharing the pictures... it was good to "see" the whole family together!

    So, I hear we are suppose to change from orange to green now, is that correct?

    Hugs and Prayers, Grace

  15. Just wanted to send my Love and prayers for you all and a few tears to. Anna you are such a blessing you always have had such a loving and sweet sprit you bring a smile to my heart I love you and my prayers are with you. Daniel great job my sister Dianne did the same thing for my sister Lorriane I was not a match but I know Dianne went through a lot of pain so I am praying for you to. Love & Prayers
    Theresa Pennington

  16. Praise the Lord it is such a good and wonderful blessing to hear this good report I will continue to pray for you Anna and for you all and i look forward to many more good reports in the future! love you all
    A friend and brother in Christ

  17. Dear Anna,
    I don’t know if you remember me or not (and I certainly don’t expect you to!), but my family visited your church when we were on your side of the state for a doctor appointment. I had been told by a friend about your diagnoses early on, and I (and my family) have been faithfully praying for you ever since. It was the Sunday after Christmas that we visited your church, and I remember how excited I was to finally meet the dear girl I had been praying for. When my friend introduced me to you, you gave me, someone you didn’t even know, a big hug. That meant so much to me! I wish I could come and give you a big hug right now. At the Christian Heritage Conference, I was surprised to see you there on Thursday evening, as I had read on the blog that you would not be going this year. I didn’t come say “hi,” and have been kicking myself for not doing so ever since.:) I am hoping to see you again some day soon, but for now, I just wanted you to know that we pray for you and your entire family countless times each day.
    Hailey D. (14 years)
    P.S. My mom said it is ok for me to post a comment here. :)

  18. Houston Family, I have been following your journey and am always in awe at your true testmony of faith. Thank you for keeping us informed on all that is happening... Anna, you have always been a young lady with a sweet and gentle spirit and I believe God is using you in a mighty way. Sending much love to you & a big ole hug too... did ya feel it!
    Sally Coppinger

  19. Dear Houston Family,

    It was great to see you on Sunday. It is true that Daniel is a real HERO. Hope he "allows" himself to heal... I know it is tough for him to take it easy. Praise the Lord for the opportunity the Lord gave him to help Anna. Continuing to pray for the entire family; especially Anna that the bone marrow will be accepted and for wisdom for the doctors along with Pastor and Mrs. Houston. I agree with my wife it was encouraging to see the whole Houston family together.

    Love and much prayer,
    Rick Potvin
    Pr. 3:5-6

  20. Pilgrim Bible Church continues to pray for Anna. We rejoice in His sustaining grace and pray for healing and comfort.

    Brett McKinley


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