Thursday, June 19, 2008

In it to Win It

Warning Grammar probably stinks, I am exhausted so please bear with me.

That is the saying that our surgeon repeats often and right now that is what we are living by. Let's go on and get the day's news out of the way, Baby Cate is still on the machine, there were improvements, her "squeeze" or the pumping of her heart was better today than yesterday, but her volume of blood was not that great. The problem that still remains is the thickness of her septum wall, which is the wall of muscle in between the two ventricles is very thick, due to its thickness it still remains stiff from the surgery. The cardiologist, Dr. Dreyver, who was in the room today with our surgeon Dr. Salazar said that the stiffness is the last thing to work itself out. He is very hopeful that Cate can kick this on her own, which is very good news, and we are grateful for good news, I told Dr. Salazar as long as she is improving I want to continue with this course of action. The main concern is that she has been on Echmo for six full days now, and although Cate has been compliant for the most part it still is not good for her to be on a machine and so many medicines. They will try again tomorrow morning to ween her off the machine and I ask for hard core prayers, harder than ever before. The reason why I ask for a more intensified prayer is that the clock is starting to run out on us unfortunately. There is only so long that they are comfortable with a baby being on the Echmo machine due to the high risk of strokes, brain bleeds, and complications with her other major organs. Baby Cate's Surgeon and the Cardiologist that was in the room today are still optimistic that she can do this on her own, but the window is beginning to close, BUT THERE IS STILL TIME, and I told both of them that I believe in two things 1) my daughter, she is a Cantrell, so she is a bit stubborn and she will fight like hell before she throws in the towel and 2)I believe in a God who is bigger than all of us and bigger than any medical complication, so I know that He could literally just pass his hand over Baby Cate and she would be healed, to which they both agreed. Now, Ali and I have talked about this for the past couple of days and have decided its time to share it with all of you, our spiritual family. The cardiologist who was in Baby Cate's room this morning was Dr. Dreyver, he is the head of the Transplant Team at Texas Children's Hospital. He was there to take a look at Cate and her heart and to see what the likelyhood of her being a potential Transplant receipiant. We knew that the possibilty of this was coming and have just been pondering it in our hearts. We cannot wait until Cate's heart is not working anymore to start this process. The other issue is right now her brain is good, her lungs are good, her liver is good, her kidneys are good, if something goes wrong on the Echmo, the chances of her being a transplant recepient drop dramatically. So, we must start now, remember the hurricane analogy, well we are at home depot loading up on supplies. Now, with that being said Dr. Drevyer was very encouraged by what he saw Baby Cate's heart doing today and is not giving up on the fact that she may pull through this on her own. He said the best transplant there is today, is the one we never do. As parents, guardians, and decision makers for our sweet little girl we must start looking ahead in the event that her little heart just cannot function on its on. So we met with Dr. Drevyer for over an hour this afternoon, just learning all about heart transplants, what to expect and how drastically our life will be different if this is the road we must walk down. There are alot of issues that go with heart transplants, time of stay in Houston, family seperation, financial issues, rejection of the transplant heart, the possiblity of Cate's life being much shorter than the average kids, things that we never thought we would be facing, but we must, and we are, with hope. I do not want to go into all that transplants entail right now, because honestly we are focused on tomorrow, we are focused on praying for Baby Cate and that she has a full recovery and never has to endure all that comes with a transplant. The reason Ali and I felt like we needed to go to share this with all of you is that if this situation comes to be, I want you praying NOW for a new heart to be made available quickly and a good heart too, not a mean angry heart. If we must cross that bridge I will share more at that time, but for now Ali and I want to concentrate our prayers and attention on the next seventy-two hours, that is what we need. I know that all of you have been faithful to us and to our family and I ask that once again you kick it up a notch, we are now down to the wire and I believe that we can and will be faithful to the call that God has so so deeply place in so many peoples hearts to pray unceasingly for our Baby Cate. Let's make sure that Cate doesn't have to have a transplant, we believe in the God of Hope and Faitfulness and we stand firm in that belief and ask that you stand with us. The operation to ween her off should begin around 8:00am tomorrow morning and will be a couple of hours. As soon as I know something I will let you know. We love you guys very much!


Megan Perkins said...

Continuing to be your prayer warriors and asking God for the miracle we are certain is coming.

Megan, Jason, Hayes, Mary Elizabeth and Samuel Perkins

Ana said...

Cate, Ali and Charlie,

You continue to be in my prayers and in the prayers of my family and the rest of my community.

God Bless,
Laura, Alan, Christopher and Ana Black, and Claudia Celis.

Bartas in Texas said...

Once again I just reiterate that we are all there, standing behind you. You are right that God can do all things. Prayers will be overflowing like that stinkin geyser, appropriately named Old Faithful.

Jeremy & Courtney

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali,
Thank you for the update, we will pray that Baby Cate's precious heart will be perfect tomorrow and the Echmo will be a thing of the past. As always you are in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.

Sheilah & Ms. Mattie

The Hickman Six said...

right there with you guys. not letting up. not relenting. we love you.

Anonymous said...

Jamie and I are on top of that prayer chain. In fact, I don't think we have ever prayed so hard for anything else. She will make it. We have faith. I know God is using this child to bring us all genuinely back Home. She will be lifted up at Stuebenville this weekend.
With love,
Jamie, Rebecca, and Orillion Fam

Kayla said...

Hi Cantrells -
I'll make sure to get the 4000+ teens at Steubenville South this weekend to storm Heaven with prayers for your precious baby as well as for you two and your other two children! Our prayers will continue as long as you guys need! I also emailed a few Australian volunteer coordinators of World Youth Day to get their people praying too! The world is behind you lifting you up!

Kayla Gaspard

Lynn Gallagher said...

Dear Charlie and Ali,
Prayers and novenas are being said round the clock. God be with you, as I know He is. Again, if there is anything we can do let Claire know.

Anonymous said...

I am there for you! I believe, too!
Marie Duplechin

Cheree said...

I was very nervously awaiting your news tonight. As I said before, Cate and your family have consumed all of my prayers this week. I intentionally laid aside my own insignificant requests and have given all of my time with God to you during this time (except for thanking God more deeply than ever for my own children's lives). The small improvements each day are good news, God is allowing her all the time she needs to rest and heal.
Remaining in prayer with you,

aimee landreneau said...

Praying with confidence and expectancy! We serve a mighy God!

Anonymous said...

I will offer up everything I can for your family!! I do so believe that God can just go in there and heal her heart tonight while she rests and as I fall asleep that is what I will pray for!!

Teresa Clark

Anonymous said...

You got it, guys! Prayer, hope, grace, trust - on we go.

"The Light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it...." Ever.

Love you,
Aaron and Kate and little Peeps

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali,
SEth and I have made it to Bosnia. WE are at a Carmelite Monastery in Zidine. We are praying for you and Ali and Baby Cate. We head to Medjugorje tomorrow.

Love, Laura

maureen said...

We will NOT give up!
We will not waiver!!!

Prayers of intercession continue to rise up as strongholds of love, support and protection. We are with you. God is with you. Love, maureen

Team Pisano said...

We have been praying and will continue to pray even harder for God to go in and heal Baby Cate's heart so that she can kick this on her own.

May God bless all of you.

The Pisano's

Anonymous said...

To anyone from around Baby Cate's hometown of Rayne, LA:

A rosary will be held in Baby Cate's honor tomorrow morning at 11:30 in the chapel of Notre Dame High School in Crowley, LA. Everyone is invited to please attend if possible!!!

Ali and Charlie, you and your family are in my prayers and in the prayers of the ND students traveling to Steubenville this weekend.
Love, Ellen Ware

Claire said...

Don't know what else to say except "I BELIEVE!"

Love yall, and STILL PRAYING of course!!

Anonymous said...


ever praying for you all,
the bermans

CAMERON said...

Whom have I in Heaven but you?
there is nothing on earth
I desire besides you..
my heart and my flesh,
many times they fail..
but there is one truth
that always will prevail...
God is the strength of my heart..
God is the strength of my heart
and my portion,
for-ev-ev-er, forever.
Psalm 73

Praying for her heart and y'alls!!
The Fradd's

Beth said...

We love you and are our constant prayer for Cate is for her complete and speedy healing today.

May our Lord grant you and Ali His peace which surpasses all understanding.

We are with you!
Much love,
Beth and GT

Jeremiah 32:17

Anonymous said...

Praying. Brenda Verret

Anonymous said...


Today Uncle Bill is celebrating his 95th birthday, along with Billy, David, Phil, Winnie & the rest of the ANGELS in heaven! The celebration will include prayers for Cate and the rest of your family! There will be such JOY, with Uncle Bill leading the way!!

We are praying along with all of them in HEAVEN for our "BABY CATE"!

We love you. The Laughlin Fly.

Darcy said...

Praying. Praying. Praying!!!!!!!! She will be in our prayers throughout the day today, especially this morning as will the rest of you and your family!
God bless,
Morgan and Darcy

Jenny said...

We are not going to stop praying for you, Ali, and your beautiful baby girl. Yall are with us 24 hours a day. We love yall.

Jenny Menard and family

Anonymous said...

There are lots of prayers headed your way from Georgia, including a friend of mine who had two daughters born with the same defect and go through the same surgery and fears you are experiencing. She is mobilizing all of her prayer warriors for the Cantrells! Every little thing we can offer up is being done so for you and baby Cate.

Anonymous said...

Ali & Charlie,
I am praying for Baby Cate all day, are my friends and family. You guys have become such a big part of my life since I heard about your precious baby. I will never stop praying for her and believing in her and in the God that heals.
Stephanie Johnson

Anonymous said...

relentless prayer from the Muncy clan...

Mimi said...

Oh my gosh! After waiting anxiously for news and going to bed without knowing the next step, I am so glad that they are trying again this AM. I thought yesterday would have been counted as day seven! Hold on-gotta dry my eyes here-Baby Cate is one heck of a fighting Cantrell. Ali, I don't know you as well as Charlie-did you know the stubborn gene is a very strong one? I have several of those at my house!!! Prayers are continuing. Take care-God Bless You!

marsha said...

Charlie & Ali, I truly believe in miracles just as I know that you do. Do not stop believing...not even for one second. We are praying for Cate today with all of our strength. Even begging and pleading just a little bit. I love both of you so much. Marsha

Gretchen said...

We are praying fervently and with hopeful expectation! Lord, breathe your Spirit so baby Cate's heart can have life! Come Holy Spirit, come!!!

"The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles' wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint." Isaiah 40: 28-31

We love y'all! Onward, precious soldiers!!!

Anonymous said...

Ya'll are in our prayers continuously. May God give you peace and strength.

Brent, Elizabeth, Claire and Mia Coleman

Anonymous said...

Charlie, Ali and Family

My heart truly goes out to y'all for what you are going through. As I read the posts and replies, tears flow down my face because I know what a TREMENDOUS challenge and physical, emotional, and spiritual drain this is for everyone in the family. Please know that Kristin and I are praying with intent for the entire family.

Bryan Boudreaux

Lila Lambert said...

Breathe on Cate, breath of God,
Fill her heart with life anew,
That she may love what thou dost love, and do what thou wouldst do...God of mercy and compassion, you brought about our salvation, have mercy on Cate and grant her family courage to get through the valley until they reach the mountain that You desire of us...Where our treasure is, there also is our heart, and we treasure Cate and place her in Your hands...

Paul said...

Bones, Thugs 'n Ali,

Thanks for being so faithful. It's a real testament to God's power for the rest of us. I also believe that God is lovingly watching over your little one. Call me crazy, redundant, or crazundant, but I really do feel that His hand is at work in the midst of this terrible time for Cate and your family.


Ann said...

Charlie & Ali -
We believe in the power of prayer! We will continue to pray for healing for Baby Cate.
Much love and PRAYERS,
Mike and Anna

Anonymous said...

Cate, Ali and Charlie
you have been in our constant thoughts and prayers throughout every single day. Our hearts are with you all
God Bless
emily, tony, lily, jim and pam

the perrys said...

Charlie, Ali and Baby Cate,
We continue our prayers for Cate to be healed. We love you all.
"Be full of strength and courage. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged. I will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Chris and Denise Perry

Julie said...

Ali, Charlie, Cate, and family,

I will be going to my hour of devotion this afternoon and will leave a message for all who come in to pray for ya'll. I am still praying and ask all I see to pray also for ya'll. Just remember God answers all prayers in His own time.


Anonymous said...

"Dearest Mother,how helpless I feel in the presence of my ailing labor of my hands, or sacrifice of my energy can restore her quickly to health...and yet my heart yearns to do something for Cate. So I turn to you, your loving protection once more and intercede for Cate now that God may restore her health of body...Mary, Mother of Christians...Pray for us!"

My prayers remain contant and my faith is strong in the power of the Lord!
Breyan (Lambert) Freeman

Anonymous said...

"Dearest Mother,how helpless I feel in the presence of my ailing labor of my hands, or sacrifice of my energy can restore her quickly to health...and yet my heart yearns to do something for Cate. So I turn to you, your loving protection once more and intercede for Cate now that God may restore her health of body...Mary, Mother of Christians...Pray for us!"

My prayers remain contant and my faith is strong in the power of the Lord!
Breyan (Lambert) Freeman

Cinco Owens said...

Good morning, I thank God for being able to pray again today for Cate's healing. I pray for His strength and stamina to come upon you as you continue this marathon. We continue to pray for Baby Cate and for the two of you. May His Mercy flow down upon you. God Bless.

glenda said...




jennifer swanson said...

It's 6:34 in AZ and we're praying...
Jenn Swanson

emily vanderlick said...

I just landed in Dallas...prayed for y'all while we were up in the air..figured it couldn't hurt to send a few words out while I was a little closer to heaven :)


Anonymous said...

It's Friday morning and I hope and pray right now Cates heart is beating a sigh of relief without the help of a will... We love you..Kibodeauxs

Marin said...

Continuing to pray for all of you. We have faith that her little heart will continue to improve. In my training to become a pediatrician, I have witnessed miracles so we just need to continue praying and believing in Him. Our hearts are with you.
Love, Marin, Kyle and Kaylin

Anonymous said...

well we keep praying and wont stop.. eric is on his way for a long weekend in Steubenville. So you will have all of those prayers also...

Love the Blythes

Anonymous said...

"A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." (Eccl 4:12)

Baby Cate has a cord braided not of two or three, but of thousands...standing in agreement together...praying for full recovery.

Bless your and your family,

Shannon ...a member of the Petra Church prayer chain in Hammond, Louisiana

Anonymous said...

"A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken." (Eccl 4:12)

Baby Cate has a cord braided not of two or three, but of thousands...standing in agreement together...praying for full recovery.

Bless your and your family,

Shannon ...a member of the Petra Church prayer chain in Hammond, Louisiana

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali,
We have been praying for you with every thought of the day. We have absolutely no idea what you are truly going through, but admire your faith and love for each other & your baby girl. We will continue to pray & anxiously await the good news that another miracle has been given to all of us through Baby Cate. Always remember that God never gives you anything you can't handle. You are stronger than you are capable of realizing right now, but it is so evident to those of us who read your amazing journals.
With Love,
Jessica, Benji, & Mia Kate Guillot

Anonymous said...


I was on the Pere Menard cannoe trip since Monday and didnt get the chace to see what was new, but you guys were in our prayers on the entire trip.

Alex Gaudet

Anonymous said...

Praying...Jeremiah 29:11-14 is echoing in my head. We are praying.
Hugs--Betsy, Trey, and Fenton Perryman

Anna said...

The Kedingers are praying hard for you guys!

Anonymous said...

I don't know you, but I received your prayer request from a friend. Cate was born just 15 days after my son. I will keep you and your daughter in family in my thoughts and prayers.


Ashley Lowe said...

I am praying and rooting for you Baby Cate!

Jamie said...

how true is it when they say it is all in God's time and in God's will. It's humbling and tough to swollow especially in this situation. OUr prayers are with you always and we know cate will pull through. Lots of love and prayers!

Anonymous said...

The Light of God surrounds her.
The Love of God enfolds her.
The Power of God protects her.
The Presence of God watches over her.
Wherever you are, God is.

Praying for you all in Harrison City, PA.
Elisa Kent

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali,

I am Lanie Stelly's cousin. She asked that I pray for Baby Cate and your family. I have been praying, along with many others that I have asked. I have also been keeping up with the news on your blog. Today during prayer the Lord gave me 2 scriptures that I feel I should share.

Galatians 4:14 Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if i were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself.

How appropriate! The love and dedication that you have for your precious little girl is so profound in your writing. The Love of Christ is so beautiful!

The second scripture was:
Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

How appropriate again! Just when we could start wavering in our prayers thinking time is getting short...The Lord says to wait on Him! Our God is an on time God!

May the Holy Spirit rest upon you and your family during this time of waiting. Know that heaven is being flooded with prayers. Be confident in the Lord, he hears the cries of his people. He is the shield around you and he will bestow glory upon you and your family.

Praise the Lord & God Bless,

Jennifer Dautreuil

Erin said...

Headed to St. Ed's after work today. My heart feels so deeply for you both. I cannot tell you how convicted I am to pray for your little girl. Like Rebecca said, I do not know that I have ever prayed this hard about anything.

- Thinking of you all the time,
Erin Hawkins

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali:

Our prayer group spent the morning in the light of the holy spirit asking for intercession. Can't stop thinking about you all and baby Cate. Canceling my golf game to spend the rest of the day in prayer for your family sending you all the energy I can pull together. I know Jesus is present in this moment, I can see his soft hands protecting Cate's heart.


Anonymous said...

praying...praying ms. connie

april said...

Ali, Cate and Charlie
You all continue to be in our family's thoughts and prayers. Please don't hesitate to ask for anything you need.
april, malyse, conner and david

Brett Broussard said...

I am Bill and Cheryl's financial advisor and met you guys and your beautiful daughter at the wedding party for Adam and Jamie. You've just picked up a few more people praying for everyone! Good luck and keep strong!

Brett Broussard

Anonymous said...

You are in our prayers as well.

River Bauers said...

We believe that our awewome God wants to bring each person back to Him. Whatever that takes, He will do. Cate and her family are mighty instruments totally in God's hands. "Even greater things you will see."
Our prayers are with you for all the faith, hope and love needed to continue the miracle already in progress. J & I Bauer

Anonymous said...

To our unknown friends,

I use the term unknown friends because I doubt we will ever meet, however, I pray for you as if I you were a child of mine. I imagine that at this moment your mind is filled with so many different emotions. That being said, know that your baby girl has, at her young age, done more so far in her little life than most of us ever will. She has united the people in God around the WORLD, literally! Imagine that, a world of people united on thier knees, candles lit, in prayer for Cate, that is truly AMAZING. He must have BIG things in store for her, as her suffering has brought so many to Christ our Lord. When the dust settles and the clouds clear, Cate will read all of this, and if she is a teenager at the time, she will probably act embarrased, but in her heart she will know that people around the globe united in thier Faith for her recovery. I have sent this blog to many people of many Faiths, and so many people stand united behind your precious girl. God is hearing our prayers and your little leader is in SOO many people's prayers!

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,

We are praying for you, just as so many other people around the world are. I can't even begin to imagine what you and your family are going through. My heart is filled with such sorrow that this is happening. You have given such hope and inspiration to so many people. Miracles really do happen! May you continue to have strength and courage. I admire your bravery and faith. I have never witnessed a couple so strong and courageous as you two are! I pray for you all and will continue to ask others to do the same.