PICU - Aria MacDonald


Aria is back in the PICU on the ventilator.  Unfortunately unlike last time it is suspected she has an infection in her blood rather than a sharp shift in her fluid balance like last time.

Aria’s ANC is zero, which means she has ZERO ability to fight off this infection.

Yesterday she was stable and today it appears she is making progress.

Kids in this position can often crash very fast and often there is nothing that can be done no matter how hard the team work and what drugs they give her.

Yesterday things were really really tough.  I went in at 5am at the ICU Attending was trying to get an art line in (an IV which constantly measures her BP) and as they were trying to keep her BP stable.  I knew how touch and go things were.

Over arching this situation is her long term prognosis.  There was supposed to be a meeting yesterday with the transplant team and oncology in light of her recent bone marrow biopsy and complete lack of ANC.  But that was put on hold because of this episode and our need to just focus on today.  We don’t really know what treatment options are left for Aria and how extreme they may or may not be.  It isn’t something we really want to think about or discuss on this blog or in person, we just need to get thru this event and then we will face it.  But there may be some very hard decisions in our future.

By rounds yesterday I had worked myself up into a bit of a state and then as the surgeon walked in I just burst into tears.  I was so afraid of what he was going to say.  But he was really kind and he used the words ‘recoverable’ which surprised me.  I was prepared for a grimmer message.  The message from him and other senior team members is that we are not done fighting for her.  But he would tell us when they are done and they will always respect our wishes.

Hamish and I are in constant prayer and constant discussion about God’s work and plan in Aria’s life.  We really really plea with Him that He spares Aria’s life and restores her bone marrow either thru medical intervention or a miraculous act of mercy (or a mix of both).  We plea with Him that we don’t have to make any decisions to withdraw life support or decline treatment options for her.  But we fully give her over to Him knowing fully she is heaven bound into the arms of Jesus. We plea that He makes His will crystal clear for Aria.

Before rounds yesterday I received an email into my inbox from a friend updating us on a decision she had been struggling with God to make.  She quoted this verse:

James 1:5 (New International Version)

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

This brought such comfort to my heart.  Even though we don’t want to make decisions God will give us the wisdom to do so, if we get to that point, because we ask Him.

Nana is coming tomorrow, thankfully a day early!  Asher is excited and so is Aria.  We told Asher yesterday that Aria is really sick.  He said ‘Aria on number 5?’  Number 5 is the level that the PICU is on.  He is getting more knowing.  Not sure whether to let him see her in this state or not.  Maybe not.

But for today God is healing her and she is progressing, that is all all we need for today.  Because tomorrow has enough trouble of it’s own. Matt 6:34

34 Responses to “PICU”

  1. Amy says:

    God bless you and give you peace….

  2. Rua says:

    Thinking of you. All our love and prayers.

  3. Valerie Kolb says:

    Saying prayers for Aria and your family.

  4. Karen says:

    Hamish and Anita, I am in Omaha and have heard about Aria and your family through prayer warriors that I know!! I am parent to a child with special medical needs and your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I would be happy to come pray in person if you wish! I pray that God wrap His loving arms around you and give you guidance and strength ! May Our Heavenly Father surround Aria with His healing Touch! Our hearts cry out to Him! Lord, Hear our prayer!

  5. Karen says:

    “Do not fear, for I am with you;
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “….Isaiah 41:10


  6. Cousins Kathleen & Anita says:

    “Lord right now I pray that You will send a host of angels to PICU, to stand round Aria’s bed, guarding her from all evil. And may she feel Your very presence there and know that she is not alone for one second. Invade her little body with Your presence Lord. No pain, no stress, no fear, just light and the comfort only You give. She’s Yours, and You love her so much! We trust You with our treasure.”

  7. Carolyn O'Cain says:

    Peace and grace to you all. My heart is with you and I’m praying fervently.
    In His mighty love,
    Carolyn O’Cain

  8. Joyce says:

    My heart breaks for what you are all going thru but the one thing I know is that God has you all in his arms and he will never forsake you. Lean on him and he will give you strength. You are his and he cares. Praying for you.

  9. Bracefield family says:

    Praying for you all this morning at Redeemer that God would indeed over rule and grant you all wisdom.
    In Christ

  10. Tiffany Keller says:

    Anita & Hamish, I’m praying that God spares her life, that God would give you strength, peace, and comfort during this time! I pray that God would continue to give Aria’s doctors wisdom on how to help her! Remember God is always for you, and will always love you! No matter what, keep believing! *Hugs* God Bless!

  11. H Wilkie says:

    Oh, what a hard place to be in. I will battle for you in prayer xx Love to Aria and the whanau xx

  12. chrissy Hallberg says:

    What can I say to you both except,its in Gods hands now .BE STILL AND KNOW I AM GOD.,thinking and praying for what God says is right for Aria.Chrissy

  13. EVE GILKES says:

    Dear Anita, Hamish, Aria and Asher,
    I am lost for words, but God isn’t. I felt Him give me this verse for you. Joshua 1 v 9, “This is my command – be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
    May you all be so very much aware of, and feel, the Peace and comfort of God at this time.
    There are so many of us out here lifting you all up to our heavenly Father.
    With love and prayers …… God bless you as only He can.

  14. Liz Smith says:

    I do not wish you joy without a sorrow,
    Nor endless day without the healing dark,
    Nor brilliant sun without the restful shadow,
    Nor tides that never turn against your bark.
    I wish you love, and strength, and wisdom,
    And gold enough to help some needy one,
    I wish you songs, but also blessed silence,
    And God’s sweet peace when your day is done.

  15. pippa says:

    Kia kaha. Sending our love to help you through each day.

  16. fiona says:

    My heart aches for you guys- I can’t imagine how hard it is for you- am truly glad that God Himself has you in His wonderful hands- and has had Aria in His care since before you ever knew her. Bless you bless you bless you

  17. Dawn says:

    as always we will be praying for you guys and for aria…

    I really admire your strength, your unwaivering love for God and your family and your total dedication to Aria.. and whatever happens you’ve had an amazing journey with her and think of all the joy and happiness she brings to your life, that smile, that laugh, the funny thing she says, those are what you need to hold on to at a time like this.

  18. Bland family says:

    So heartbroken for all you are going through…I put my pleas alongside yours. May His will be done and may His answers come. In His name, Amen. X

  19. Joan Marshall says:

    Don’t know what to say to you all. Such a hard place to be – the not knowing must be so difficult. Walk in God’s footprints all your way.

  20. Roberts family says:

    Because we have never had to deal with anything like this,we can only imagine what you are going through right now and our hearts weep for you. You have given Aria every chance and given her sooo much love along the way. Our prayers and thoughts are with you all every day but especially during this difficult time of her journey. xxxx

  21. Helma says:

    Praying the Aaronic blessing upon all 4 of you: “The Lord bless you and keep you;the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace”. My heart is with you and lifting you up, with lots of love.

  22. Samantha Sutherland says:

    Oh darling, my heart aches for you and you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Praying for peace in your hearts so that you can get through this ride and that Aria finds the strength and spirit to fight. I am really happy to hear that Christine will be with you soon and if you feel you should take Asher to see her then do so – he is very knowing and obviously feels the need to be near his sister, he is resiliant. Sending all my love xx

  23. Lena says:

    Dear Aria and Family,
    My heart goes out to all of you. May the Lord sustain you through your many trials. May He grant you strength, courage, patience, wisdom,and healing for Aria, but above all grace to bow under His will.

  24. lisa says:

    My heart is crying for you. I am praying and praying for Aria, for both of you as parents and for Asher. I can only imagine how hard this is for you. Know that there are so many people caring and loving all of you. Aria has been the most amazing inspiration to so many and your family one to aspire to. Stay strong. “The only courage we need is the kind that gets us from one moment to the next.” Love and prayers to all of you xoxoxoxo

  25. Rod & Margaret says:

    Our hearts ache for you all. Often in the darkest moments that is the time we are the closest to the dawn. Our prayer is exactly what Cousins Kathleen & Anita have put so well. May He strenghten you all and uphold you and makes His will crystal clear to you. Love from us both xxxx

  26. janet boyd says:

    Prayed for you tonight in church. May you know the Lords presence and peace afresh as you continue to go through another low. We love you all and wish we could be with you all at this time. Love to you all, lots of love The Boyds

  27. iliganoa says:


  28. Sheryl says:

    My heart aches for you. I’ll continue to pray for Aria and your family. For wisdom, for peace, for healing. Much love. Sheryl xxx

  29. Shirley Davy says:

    Dearest Friends, my love and prayers are with you tonight, pleading that Aria would know and sense God with her, and with Asher and with you both. We continue to ask God to be merciful to you all. With tears and heaviness of heart as we share in your sadness. Much love.

  30. Nikki says:

    Thinking of you all at this time. x

  31. iliganoa says:


  32. Jane says:

    Anita and Hamish. I send Ephesians 3 v 14-21 Be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner beings…To know His love which surpases knowledge that you will be filled with the fullness of God… who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…NIV. Love and prayers.

  33. Jan says:

    I have been in your situation in regards wondering when I would know when the fight was over. And I did know, so it is all about trusting you own instincts and Gods, I pray for you all the time. But it is all a miracle and you have the love and support that comes your way everyday. Love and strength to you all. Take Care Jan

  34. Leo Mccleveland says:

    There are some interesting closing dates on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart. There may be some validity however I’ll take hold opinion until I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”- Jeremiah 29:11