An Overdue Update

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Hi everyone,

My apologies for the lack of update about Bryce these last few days. Here on the Kuenster farm, life threw us for another loop on Sunday when our dad and Bryce’s papa, Tom, ended up having an emergency open-heart surgery (triple bypass). A more detailed explanation of how this all came to be is below. Thankfully, Papa Tom is doing well three days post-op, but it’s been a hectic few days. A big thank you to everyone who’s also been keeping him in your prayers.

Bryce-man had a good weekend here on the farm. They arrived here Saturday morning, and we all just spent the day cuddling and playing with him. He got in lots of quality time with cousins Maddy and Elizabeth; Maddy is especially fond of kissing her cousin on the head and randomly will just swing by for a quick one before heading back to play with her horses.

Saturday evening, Jenna and Kyle had Bryce baptized at our family’s church in Glen Haven (where they were married). I’m so proud to be his auntie and Godmother! He wasn’t a big fan of getting the water poured over his head, but he was a trooper throughout, as he has been through this whole ordeal. We then had a little gathering at Papa and Grandma’s to celebrate. Bryce received many sweet gifts from family members, including a Prayer Bear, Baby’s First Bible, and music box, to name a few.

Sunday: Kyle took Bryce to his Uncle Pat’s cabin in Eastman, where Grandpa Bart and Uncle Kole were hunting. We don’t know what happened there because, as Kyle has said numerous times since: “What happens at deer camp stays at deer camp.” Jenna keeps asking Bryce to tell her, but he’s staying mum.

That afternoon and evening, in light of Papa Tom being in surgery, Bryce got lots of quality time with his auntie, uncles, cousins, and Mommy and Daddy. Because making sure Bryce is eating enough is a top priority (he needs to stay well hydrated), we all decided to wait for news about Papa Tom here together so Jenna and Kyle wouldn’t miss any feedings. That night, Bryce ate an ounce or two more than his average for the past week. YAY, Bryce!!

Monday: Bryce got more quality time with his cousins and Grandma Sue as everyone else headed to Dubuque to see Papa. It was a rather uneventful day — thank goodness, after the last few days we’d had — and Bryce once again exceeded his daily average of ounces.

Tuesday: Jenna, Kyle and Bryce were on the road bright and early for a trip to see cousin and chiropractor Steffanie Nemitz and then a quick stop at their clinic in Dodgeville for another lab visit. They took a little more blood from Bryce to round out the tests that Dr. Flynn, the functional medicine doctor in Green Bay, requested. We’re all so excited for him to get his hands on the tests so he can finalize his plan of action for Bryce. Crossing our fingers and saying prayers that today will be the day Jenna and Kyle talk to Dr. Flynn.

Wednesday: Bryce gets to stay nice and cozy here at the farm for another day. We’re expecting a few visitors, but the goal, as always, is just to keep him eating, laughing and smiling. I, for one, have made more animal sounds than I can count these last few days: Bryce especially loves when we whinny at him like a horse — he breaks out in a big smile and even laughs a little bit. We LOVE it, too.

Tomorrow, Thanksgiving: the Heckendorf crew will be heading to Lodi to spend the day with Kyle’s family. They’re looking forward to seeing everyone and celebrating their little turkey’s first Thanksgiving.

Wishing all of you a beautiful Thanksgiving with your families and friends. We have much to be thankful for this year, first and foremost being together, and having so many wonderful people in our lives who have shown more love and support than we could ever have imagined.

God bless each and everyone of you! —Auntie Jamie

An update on Dad, as posted by Mom (Sue) on Facebook Sunday evening: 
Some may have heard by now that Tom had to have bypass surgery today. Was hunting this morning, and shot a buck. Came back to farm to get Jake and son-in-laws to help get out of woods. Became very winded and coughed up some blood. Felt like he had pneumonia in chest. We called and went to walk-in at about noon. Iniatial exam showed hear irregularities. Rescue squad ride to Dubugue, in surgery by 5:35 p.m.

Now about 10 pm, Tom out of surgery, spoke with Dr. He had 3 bypasses and surgery went very well. In ICU for next 2 days then hospital for probably a week. Will have 2 tie him down for next two months as he cannot lift over 10 lbs. and must heal sternum. He was one lucky guy as he was having a heart attack this morning and they were able to get in there before any real damage done to his heart. He had one artery 100% blocked and another 99% blocked. He hadn’t told anyone he had been feeling this in his chest for about a week, but we were so busy with Jenna and her little one, he didn’t pay much attention to the warnings. I guess we caught one lucky break from all our praying. I’m hanging in there, but totally exhausted!!! ( P.S. He had to go and register his deer before he could go to walk-in care this morning…imagine that!) I’m hanging in there…just exhausted.


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