Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Defying the Odds

Our little fighter is still going strong! I will have to say, we believe it has a lot to do with the amount of support we are receiving through hope and prayer. Drake is receiving this from family, friends, and a worldwide network of complete strangers. Drake has an amount of strength that I cannot explain which leads me even deeper into my beliefs that the great almighty is in complete control.

Drake's update is a replica of this mornings report. He has still not had any urine output, is receiving heavy levels of antibiotics to keep the infection from flaring up, and getting exhausting quantities of painful heel sticks for blood. I can tell you, the nurses and staff are doing their best to make sure he does not have to feel pain. They take extra care to make sure he has had sedation and something for pain any time they are going to move him or even change his diaper, even though it is void of the urine we are all hoping and praying for.

Kennedy on the brighter note is a hoot. She is such a wiggle worm that I actually get to laugh during these painfully emotional times. She was switched to the conventional ventilator, which is a giant leap forward, and doing very well on it. Her feedings are are up and it is good to see that we can have some sort of focus on nutrition with her.

I want to personally thank everyone out there that is supporting Drake, Kennedy and us. We read every comment that you make and we read your comments to Drake when you are speaking directly to him.

One of the comments of the day was for us to take Drake's first book and get his footprints and handprints inside of it so we could see how tiny he was when we read the book again when he gets bigger. We did that and are so happy that the individual that thought of that shared the idea with us.

Pictures: Book with Drakes prints, Kennedy saying it is too bright.

44 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the update! I've been praying all day for Drake and will continue.

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  2. Jannah InnerarityJuly 11, 2012 at 10:41 PM

    Still praying for the wonderful Gilstrap family! I love the prints! Stay strong Annie and Brian. You've already shown Drake and Kennedy how strong you too our and your love for each other. My heart is touched by you too along with your little joys.

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  3. Sweet Drake, this message is for u. Stay strong baby. Ur mommy, daddy and sister need u. We are all praying for u and are proud of how hard u are fighting. God bless u baby and hang in there!

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  4. I have been anxiously checking today to hear good news. I am amazed at this little guy's strength and determination and so thankful that he is surrounded by so much love! Prayers continue ! !!!

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    1. This is Allen and Karen. Will get name on the correct one next time

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  5. Thank you for taking the time to update. I have had all of your family on my prayer list and have been thinking of each of you many times today. I admire your strength and I pray God works his love through the Doctors hands. Two of my four children have been in the NICU at Presby Dallas, and I can testify that the hospital is staffed with angels. I will continue to pray for you and you babies. Blessings. Xoxo

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  6. Failed to add name... It's from Allen and Karen above

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  7. What a wonderful keepsake and an adorable picture. We are continuing to pray for your family.

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  8. Drake! You are a tough little man! I know your momma can't wait to see those muddy little footprints all over the house! Hang in there buddy and stay strong! We love you!

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  9. My husband and I have been thinking and praying for you all day. Drake hang in there and keep fighting strong!!

    I love the hand and footprint idea. Months down the road and the whole family is home you will forget he was this tiny.

    We continue prayers for both your little ones and you as well.

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  10. Amazing kiddos you have there! Living proof that miracles come in all sizes. Great work is being done in all of us just by hearing their story-- I am in awe of Drake and Kennedy, and inspired by their mommy and daddy.

    Praying continuously

    Ps: see if you can find something to cover the ink of the prints...my daughters faded bc of time and wear...

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  11. I am in awe of Drake's strength and determination. God definitely has a plan for his life. Kennedy is just as amazing! I know you are proud of your sweet little ones. Brian, thank you for your heartfelt posts. I know it must be hard to write when you are so physically and emotionally drained, but it means so much to everyone following this amazing journey.

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  12. Praying praying praying for your sweet babies. Especially little Drake. He has been in my thoughts and prayers all day.

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  13. Hang in there Drake! You can do it! You're in our prayers! I'm a surviving twin. I lost my twin in infancy! Stay Strong!
    Greg Ripley

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  14. Thank you Heavenly Father for providing the Gilstrap family with your strength and love! Thank you for your presence in their life. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank you for the wise and caring medical staff that surrounds this family. Thank you for Drake's fighting spirit! Thank you for Kennedy's good day and her growth! Thank you for bringing us all together in faith for these precious babies and their parents! Thank you for showing us your faithfulness and that you are in control! Thank you for reminding us to pray without ceasing!

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  15. Go Drake Go! You are a fighter and a warrior! Kennedy, so glad you are bringing smiles to your mommy and daddy. Little girls know how to bring sweetness into the family and you are proof. Brian and Annie, your strength amazes me. Praying throughout the day everyday for your family. Thank you for sharing your journey. God has you wrapped in His arms.

    Cristi. (my Kennedy is praying too. She loves her some Mrs. Gilstrap!)

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  16. Hang in there buddy

    Bill W

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  17. May God hold you all in His loving hands, and bless and protect you! Thank you so much for keeping us updated - I am constantly checking the blog for news, praying that your precious babies - true gifts from God - are improving and getting stronger each and every minute! Love and prayers from everyone in the Parker family.

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  18. Brian and Annie you two are an inspiration to me. Stay strong and may God give you the strength to get through the tough road that lies ahead. I am glad to hear Kennedy is doing well. Little Drake is a fighter. Thanks for the update, as you guys have been on my mind all day.

    Drake, you are such an adorable little guy. Keep on fighting. God will give you the strength. You have a wonderful family and an outpouring of love and support from all over.

    Kennedy, you a a precious little girl. So glad to hear you are doing better. You and your family are in my prayers.

    As always, thoughts and prayers to you and yours,

    The Dillingers (Mercer, PA)

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  19. Drake, many prayers for you and your family tonight. I am saying your name and calling on the Lord to be with you and your family through this. Stay strong, little man. Many of us from all over are praying for you to overcome the obstacles you are facing. GO DRAKE GO!!!!

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  20. Jennifer BlankenshipJuly 11, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    Glad to see Drake is such a strong fighter- he's practicing his role as the big brother already! And Kennedy, growing like a weed and growing stronger each day! You two are amazing babies, that's for sure! You certainly have amazing parents as well! Thank you so much for keeping us all updated - I know it cant be easy. We will definitely continue our prayers for your family and share your story so that others will join in this fight! You have touched the lives of so many and have given strength to others! Know that we are behind you and lifting you up so that you will not fall but continue to stay strong. Love you guys!!

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  21. Thank you so much for the update. I'm so happy to hear of Kennedy's progress and that Drake continues to show you how strong he really is. That picture of Kennedy is too cute! The picture of Drake's hand and foot is precious! I will continue to keep Drake, Kennedy and the two on you in my thoughts.

    Jana

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  22. Still sending prayers from Seattle. Go drake go! Hang in the little man! Lord strengthen this family, fortify their souls and replenish them. Please lord make those kidneys work!

    I am pulling for you all.

    Amanda Mathes

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  23. I am keeping your family in my prayers! I am truely inspired of the strength your family has continued to have, however it just reinforces that if you trust in the Lord, he will provide.

    To Drake: You are an amazing child of God! Please continue to fight, and the Lord will be by your side.,We all love you and are continuing to pray for you!

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  24. I look so forward to your updates each day - thank you for keeping everyone up to date. Every time Syd goes to soccer I share Drakes updates with my soccer mom friends and I always start with "The little fighter is still going strong." Drake is a fighter and such a blessing. We continue to pray for all of you many times a day and night. Keep growing strong Kennedy and keep fighting Drake - you have so touched so many lives.

    Yvonne and Sydney

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  25. We are so happy to see this update! Many prayers your way! Prayers for continued improvement to Drake and Kennedy's health, prayers for strength of all types (for the little ones, for you as parents, for the doctors, nurses and other staff), for wisdom for the doctors, comfort for the family... The list goes on.

    God bless,
    Shelly (Rogers) Eckenrode

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  26. I am amazed at what a fighter Drake is and his parents! God is being glorified through this journey. Thank you for your courage to share. I will keep praying.

    Greg

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  27. Thank you so much for the update. I am Praying for you all! Glad to hear about Kennedy and the progress she is making. Drake is fighter and his strength encourages me. God has you all in His hand and is watching over you. I will continue praying for you all!! Drake and Kennedy are so blessed to have such sweet and loving parents!

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  28. Continuing to pray for a miracle for Drake and for Kennedy to continue in her growth and doing so well - asking God's will be done. For our precious Heavenly Father to wrap his arms around mom & dad and give you the strength you need to get through each day. There are so many people praying for all of you and thinking of you every day. What a testimony you have to share. May your Faith never waiver. What wonderful parents Drake and Kennedy are blessed to have. Drake - you are a fighter, keep fighting baby boy. God Bless you all!

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  29. Keep fighting baby Drake, we are in your corner buddy !!! Like I said before.....way too much Tuttle in him to give up this easy, he will win this battle !!! Praying for healing for Drake and that Kennedy continues her growth and to keep doing well. Stay strong and may God give you the strength to get through the tough road that lies ahead. Love ya !!!

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  30. Praying for changes in Drake's kidney issues. He is giving it his best and is still hanging on which is all we can ask for. May God give each of you and your family the strength you need to get good rest and continue your faith. We serve a mighty God, and He is always in control. The updates you send are very uplifting, and I know they have got to be difficult. You are all being troopers, and I pray for bigger and better things in the days to come. I am grateful that Kennedy is better, and may she continue to improve day by day.

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  31. Good morning precious Drake and sweet Kennedy! I can't wait to hear all about your day! You and your amazing parents have inspired me in so many ways! I love you both and can't wait to meet you! You are in my thoughts, my heart, and my prayers all day long!

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  32. Drake - When you are older, you can tell all of your friends that you are known all over the world and are famous. You are truly loved and we are all praying for you. Stay strong little man.
    Annie and Brian, We are all praying for you during this time. We love you guys.
    Holly and Chris

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  33. GO DRAKE GO! Don't listen to any of those doctors telling you anything, just keep listening to the best doctor of all, God. Team Drake!

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  34. Wow! Just read through the blog and Drake and Kennedy are such little miracles! They are absolutely beautiful. Hoping that Kennedy gets stronger and that Drake's condition improves quickly! Hugs and prayers to you and your new family ~ Autumn

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  35. Hi Brian and Annie. I'm a friend of Matt's from high school and just wanted to let you know that our Mothers of Preschoolers group is pryaing for you and your sweet babies. Hang in there.

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  36. What a joy to read about Drake this morning and how hard he is fighting. God's strength is so apparent in all of you. We will continue to pray for those kidneys to start doing their job. The Lord puts you all on my mind all throughout the day, so the prayers are constant! Kennedy looks amazing and already so much bigger and stronger. Thanks for te updates.

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  37. Your family has been in our thoughts and prayers since little Drake and Kennedy were born. I pray that God wraps his strong loving arms around all of you but especially Drake right now. He feels your amazing strength Mommy and Daddy - keep it up!
    Alycia and Travis Trotter

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  38. Continuing to pray for you all! Praise the Lord for how well Kennedy is doing! Drake is such a fighter and you can tell that the Lord is by his side. Hang in there, Drake! You have a lot of people praying for you to overcome all obstacles. You are a great testament to God's love!

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  39. I am thinking about and praying for you guys! I'm so happy to hear that Drake is still fighting and you are finding moments of joy with Kennedy! Remember you are not alone and God has you and your little ones in his hands.
    Laura Rackley

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  40. Alright Mr. Drake, you are an amazing little baby! We are cheering for you! We can't wait to meet you and your sister. Stay strong and God will bring your strong little body peace with his healing hands. One day soon you are going to be a fat, happy little boy complete with lots of smiles, giggles, and drool! We love you and your sister so much and are praying for you every time you cross our minds. God is with you little one :)

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  41. Brian, I've been constantly thinking about you and your family!! I’m praying that you and the babies have peace in the midst of this storm and that God's hands are laid upon all four of you. Drake has proved to be such a strong fighter in that little body of his. It’s obvious that you have prayers coming from around the world and rest assure that God does hear all of them and know that God's will is going to be seen through. Godspeed!

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  42. Annie, I have been overwhelmed with joy as I read your post just now. I could not stop crying and sobbing obviously with happiness. Our God is a good God. Bris and I pray and think about you all day long. We are so happy Kennedy is doing so well, she reminds me so much of Bris when she was in NICU!! So happy to hear she is doing great. We are still praying for you and like I said before, we will not stop. Drake you are super wonderful!!!

    Love you guys,
    hugs
    Yesenia

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  43. Hi Drake! You don't know me, but I had the privilege of teaching fourth grade with your sweet mother for 2 years. Not only is she cute as a bug, but she is one great teacher. She's like dynamite in a small package. She never gives up on her students and always goes the extra mile for all of them. I could tell you story after story of ways she loved and helped her students. More than anything though, she wanted to be a mother. And now she is standing by your side not giving up. You can be so proud of her. I have only met your daddy briefly one time, but I feel like I know him because he is doing one terrific job of writing about you and your sissy. Oh, my goodness! Your mommy didn't tell me what an awesome writer he is because she knew I would have had him in my classroom helping me conference with my students on their writing!! It is obvious to see that you are your mommy's and daddy's son because you are not giving up either. You remind me of David in the Bible. When he was a little boy he killed a giant with a slingshot? That is my prayer for you, little warrior, that God would enable you to slay the "Goliath" that is making you sick. Just like people have learned from the story of David, people all over the world are learning from you and united in prayer because of you and Kennedy. Thank you, little Drake, for the impact you are already having on the world. I love you sooooooo much!
    "Aunt Becky"

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