I was able to speak with Helen Cepero late this afternoon. They spent most of the day getting a tour of the hospital and being made aware of what the procedure will be like, and what recovery will look like and where.
Max and Helen will arrive at the hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) morning at 5:30 am and surgery is scheduled for 7:30. The operating room is reserved for seven and a half hours, but they expect the surgery will take between 4-6 hours - likely around 5. Max is having 4 bypasses done, but Helen was reassured by the doctors that the number of bypasses and the length of time does not make it a lot more or less serious. The serious nature to the surgery is that it is thoracic surgery and once they have access to his chest cavity, the major trauma is over and they are able to work freely. He will of course be on a ventilator, so even once the surgery is finished, it will be hours before Max is awake again and even once he is, he will be transferred to ICU for a day or two, where only family will be allowed to visit and even that will be limited.
After ICU he will be moved to progressive care - a place where visitation will be much easier. As far as tomorrow is concerned, Helen will not be alone during the surgery. Max and Helen's son, Chris will be with her and there are some who are planning to visit during the procedure to sit with them for a while. If you are considering going to the hospital tomorrow to visit Helen and Chris while they are waiting during surgery, I'd like to ask you to call me on my cell phone to determine if that's appropriate. They would prefer not to have a constant stream of people during that time as I am sure you can understand and they do already have a few who are planning to stop by for support.
Your prayers are very much appreciated and I'd ask that you lift up our pastor as well as his surgeons to the Lord throughout the day as you are mindful of him. This blog will continue to be updated as information becomes available, but please understand that there may not be an update until late afternoon, once the procedure is finished. Feel free to check back often to see if we've had a chance to make an update. If you'd like, you are welcome to call me at the church and ask for updates, but I assure you that once I hang up the phone with Helen tomorrow, I will immediately post an update.
Grace and peace to you all. Thank you for your prayers and support in this time of need.
We hope we'll have many contributors from our congregation. I imagine we will have regular and occasional contributors. If you'd like to contribute a poem, a photo, a devotion or anything that you believe enhances our life together, please contact pastor Phil to learn about posting.