One family's trial becomes a shared blessing for many who serve, love, and bear each other's burdens.
We'd just barely moved to Seattle. I mean we were only in the area for a few months, I guess four, five months before Annie became ill.
When I was looking at her I could see yellow around the edges of her eyes, and I thought oh, maybe she's getting sick. Friday, the 29th, Annie had her biopsy, and they still, after weeks of testing, they still didn't know what was going on but it was getting worse.
We did more labs on Monday and Dr. Murray noticed that Annie had a little bit of encephalopathy where she was becoming a little less focused. She sat me down and said, "I'm going to admit her into ICU."
Then I got the phone call from Joe that they wanted me to come over because it was likely that she'd be getting a transplant.
I remember when I got a phone call from Michele saying that she was in the hospital.
She organized many of our neighbors to bring us dinners, and she really let the community know what was going on with our family and that we just had moved here.
I know we spent some time together there in the hospital. It was a good bonding experience. It was a good chance for us to get to know each other a little better.
I even called in to see if it was possible that I would be a candidate for a transplant.
News travels fast on a cul-de-sac like ours, and when somebody's struggling we hear about it pretty quickly.
I went over there right away and babysat until maybe 1:00 in the morning.
My wife and I came up with the idea that we'd do the garage sale for Annie.
We approached them with the opportunity of selling caramel apples. It turned out to be a great success.
People in the ward who didn't know this family just gave of their time, their talents, and even offered themselves as service.
I've shot some video for just small litt.e projects. Michele really knew about those, and so she had asked if I could put together a video talking about Annie and her story. Since that has been released and been shown, it's raised about $10,000.
The idea came up of making her a blanket that would be soft and snuggly. It has a pocket in the center where we put some things for her, and where she could put things.
[? Laska Whitaker ?] sewed a little tiara for her, a little crown. and sent it over in the care package. Annie just put it on and she just felt so happy. It was just really cute and really thoughtful.
People I'd never met were fasting for my daughter, were praying for my daughter, and praying for our family. And I literally felt that strength. I don't know how to describe it. I remember the morning that I went into the hospital and Doctor Healy, her surgeon was there and explained to me that a deceased donor had provided a liver for Annie, and that it was a perfect match, and that she would be receiving this transplant just in time.
As our little girl's running around, you'd never know she had ever been ill. It's by the sacrifices and by the love of so many people that really carried this burden.
For the Master I extend thanks for your work to serve the children of our Heavenly Father. He knows you. He sees your effort, diligence, and sacrifice. I pray that he will grant you the blessing of seeing the fruit of your labors in the happiness of those you have helped.