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Slater youngster struggles to overcome serious conditions | Benefit Dinner for John Hass will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 19 in Slater

Monday, December 13, 2010

John Hass
(Contributed photo)
For seven-year-old John Hass, today's birthday will be difficult.

For his parents, it is another day they get to spend with him.

John was born pre-maturely at 33 weeks. Since that day he has fought gastroschisis and Prune Belly Syndrome -- both serious medical conditions that are frequently fatal --and the other conditions that came about because of those conditions.

Despite the dire predictions, John came home at 12 weeks old.

In January 2010, John was again evaluated for transplant.

"Mark and I were both terrified of this," wrote John's Mom Gina online, "but at some point the only option is try transplant or say good-bye and there is just no way that we could not try."

John underwent a triple transplant surgery Nov. 15 in Omaha, Neb.

John's troubles started with gastroschisis, a condition where he was born with the intestines outside the body. The simultanious diagnoise of Prune Belly Syndrome, which is a birth defect that affects the kidneys, ureters and leaves no stomach muscles. In the operation to repair the gastroschisis, Hass was left with short bowel syndrome, which are intestines that are too short to absorb enough nutrients.

The transplant surgery provided John with a new liver, pancreas and small bowel.

"Many are following John's progress on Facebook or through e-mail groups or friends or family, John has a huge battle to fight to stay in this life, his lungs and heart are being compressed by the fluid that is building up in his body because of sepsis (bacteria infection in the blood), his body is trying to adapt to new organs and new medicines and all this at the same time," Gina wrote.

"Surrounding him is an amazing team of doctors and nurses, they work with efficiency and care and often we can tell by the speed of their hands or the relief in their faces if the battle is going forward a few steps or taking a few back. John has now been in surgery 3 times and while we think that is the last we are not sure, he is in a fight for his life. More than the medical team surrounds John though, there is what the pastor who visited us today called the A Team, the pastors, friends, family, friends of friends and people from everywhere praying for John, praying for these doctors and nurses and praying and supporting us as we sit by John's side, holding on each minute to the promises given in John's baptism and hoping with all our hearts that we see him once more zooming around the place in his power chair with that silly little mischievous grin on his face and the light of love and glee in his eyes."

John's father, Mark, is pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Slater and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Saline City.

Through Gina's postings on Facebook and reflected on http://simuljustisetpecatur.blogspot.com, the trials and strain and joy of caring for a child embattled with health issues comes through.

"It's a very hard lesson for a mommy to learn that I can't fix the owies and I can't stop things from hurting John. This morning early I was going through morning prayer with him and as I stood here doing my best to speak the words without too many tears I found myself choking on trust...," Gina wrote on Friday, Nov. 19, just four days after John's transplant and after the third surgery.

As John claws his way through the setbacks, he has endured dialysis and infection.

At 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 5, a single sentence spells the fear: "Sepsis. Kyrie eleison." And another 24-hour battle to save John began.

Through the late hours of Sunday night, John battled the sepsis. During the early hours of Monday, Dec. 6, it began to look like the sepsis was surging. Gina wrote, "A long night, much blood on ways and from places and in amounts that are unfathomable to my mommy brain. John is chemically paralyzed, heavily sedated and being held on his tightrope by God through the hands of many dedicated professionals who have worked tirelessly through the night. Lord have mercy!"

The day was spent battling bleeding that stopped and started. And John returned to surgery to see if the bleeding was into his brian or somewhere else.

"We were all delighted when Dr. Fisher came in with a huge grin to tell us that it was a bleeding ulcer and they have a medicine plan and 2 back up plans to care for it so that John will get to use his new intestines. John is still septic, there is still quite the battle ahead but for the moment while yet perched on the tightrope it does seem that he is not dangling so precariously over the edge," Gina wrote.

Today is John Hass' birthday.

He is 7 years old.

A Ham and Bean Benefit Dinner for John Hass will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 19 at Peace Lutheran Church in Slater.

The Amigos de Cristo's "Faith in Action" kids will present their Christmas program.

Contact Pat Nolan at pnolan@marshallnews.com

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John and his family will be in my prayers!

-- Posted by MBGAL on Tue, Dec 14, 2010, at 10:57 AM

Prayers are flowing from the country side of Orearville for little John. If any of you on here have not had the opportunity to meet John and his parents personally you need to somehow. They are awesome people.

-- Posted by the26er on Tue, Dec 14, 2010, at 10:00 AM


-- Posted by EiEiO on Mon, Dec 13, 2010, at 10:45 PM

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