I think that’s the best word to describe the past two weeks.  We headed for home from a family vacation on Monday, August 5th.  In the process of coming home, we had to stop in southern Kentucky to get our truck fixed.  After several hours and nearly $600, we got back on the road and made it home safely.  This was just the beginning of our week.

We had already scheduled an ultrasound for Thursday, August 8th before we left.  Back on July 11th, our first ultrasound indicated a potential problem with the baby’s umbilical cord and possibly her heart.  We were told that they simply “couldn’t see” the things they needed to see, so they scheduled another one for after our vacation.

During the second ultrasound, the problem was discovered.  Unfortunately, I was not mentally or emotionally prepared for that piece of news.  At the first ultrasound, while they knew there was actually serious problems, they downplayed it.  This meant that I was totally blindsided when the bad news came in that ultrasound room.  I don’t state that as a criticism per se, more as a matter of fact.

The whole second ultrasound was weird.  About three quarters of the way through the ultrasound, the power went out.  This meant that the ultrasound was over, so the tech took the printed images she had to the doctor.  When the doctor came in to see us, she started with some small talk and tried to power on the machine again.  My guess is that she wanted to have a look for herself.  Unfortunately, that never happened.

After the pleasantries, she somewhat blindly delivered the news.  She said that she didn’t think it was fatal, but she would refer us immediately to a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor in Indianapolis.  Then after a few questions, she walked out.  I was devastated.  We didn’t even make it through check-out before I started crying.  I was simply overcome with emotion.

We got in the truck, and Lori immediately wanted to seek prayer with our pastor.  We tracked down our pastor and in the process found Terri, an experienced RN and Sonographer who agreed to take another look.  We then went with Terri and had another look.  In that ultrasound, we were able to gain valuable insight into her condition.  What Terri shared with us did allow us to have some peace about the situation.  Thankfully, my mom was also available to be a part of that second ultrasound.

Equipped with some knowledge, we headed for home and I went back to work.  Then later that evening, our first floor toilet overflowed – flooding our first floor.  This also sent water pouring into the basement on top of Lori’s jewelry making workshop.  Just as we’re thinking, “God, we can’t handle this!”, he says, “Oh really?”  The clean up continues, but it could have been much, much worse.

Fast forward to Wednesday, August 14th.  That morning we were scheduled to see the Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor and have the baby’s first echocardiogram by a pediatric cardiologist.  Unfortunately, this appointment didn’t go that well.  The personal interaction with the MFM was rude at best, and the pediatric cardiologist couldn’t actually figure out what was actually wrong with Savannah’s heart.  We wrapped up that appointment and headed home.

On the way home, we called Terri to let her know how it went.  Given the outcome, she called a friend of hers, Dr. Tim Cordes.  See, our RN & sonographer friend, Terri, just so happened to previously work for Dr. Cordes and had his cell number.  Dr. Tim Cordes is one of the best pediatric cardiologists in the state.  He’s been at Riley for years and teaches at IU Medical School.  After a few calls with Terri, Dr. Cordes’ staff from Riley called us and set an appointment for that afternoon.

Since I had to go back to work, Lori’s mom drove with her down to the second appointment at Riley.  At that appointment, Dr. Cordes did an extensive echocardiogram that went almost an hour.  Then he spent another hour merely answering questions.  Needless to say, Dr. Cordes is now Savannah’s pediatric cardiologist and not who we were originally referred to by Lori’s doctor.  With the fact that my daughter’s life is on the line, I want no one other than the best!  I feel like we now have the best.

Yup, overwhelming.  Overwhelmed with thankfulness for friends, family and doctors.  Overwhelmed with fear of the unknown.  Overwhelmed with thoughts of medical bills.  Overwhelmed with all of it.


  1. Cindy says:

    Sounds to me like God was working to put you in the hands of just the right doctor! What a story you are going to be able to tell Savannah about how God put her into the hands of the doctor HE chose for her!

  2. Ahm says:

    Ryan this was so beautifully written. I praise God for giving Savannah Joy the perfect daddy and the perfect mommy for her. Thank you for sharing your story. God will use it in a mighty way!

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