All of the prayers sent on Clay’s behalf certainly worked! He is doing AMAZINGLY well. Thank you to everyone who sent prayers and positive thoughts; not just thank you–SINCERE, HEART-FELT THANKS!

An update: Clay’s tumor removal surgery lasted about 7 hours on Friday, September 12th. While I didn’t see pictures, the Neurosurgeon showed the immediate family a digital image of the pinkish, fist-sized tumor lying in a surgical tray. (They DID ask to see it, BTW.) The doctor was unable to remove all of the cells due to their proximity to an important vein and had to cauterize the remaining cells. A follow-up MRI on Sunday afternoon confirmed that there were no live tumor cells remaining!

Miraculous–simply miraculous!

Clay was in recovery for several hours following the surgery and was moved to the Critical Care Unit of the hospital (Swedish Medical Center) late Friday night. After the gush of complete relief and a surge of other related emotions we all had after hearing the Neurosurgeon’s update, everyone was on pins and needles waiting to hear how Clay fared in the recovery room. Shellie was able to go back to sit with him and came out looking like a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders. Clay was actually chatting with us in sets of two by around 8 or 9pm when they moved him to the CCU! And–not just chatting–Clay was making jokes and recalling fond memories and nicknames from childhood. Again, I see this as nothing short of a miracle! Hallelujah!!

During my short stay, I was able to witness steady and tremendous progress in Clay’s recovery. What a blessing to get to observe such a miracle! I also watched Shellie stay phenomenally strong, with very little sleep–no less, and saw Jason (Clay’s youngest brother) take care of Shellie like a Mother Hen. (I mean that as a BIG compliment by the way!!) Also, thanks to the fantastic medical staff at SMC, Clay’s pain was kept tolerable for the most part (which also astounds me) and they watched all of his vital signs very close. He did have some issues with unusual blood pressure which finally resolved after the addition of 4 BP medications on Saturday. 

Of biggest concern at this point: Clay is having some numbness in his right leg. He says it feels “like a ghost leg,” and is very worried he may not get that sensation back. (This is where our prayers and positive thoughts will become useful again, I believe.) I also believe that extensive work with a Physical Therapist will work wonders, too.

Clay WAS having issues with double vision until early, early Monday morning. My prayer is that the double vision remains resolved and simply removing the tumor is all that was needed to keep his vision on track.

After I left Monday, Clay was able to move to a private room on the Neurology floor and can now begin to focus on his rehabilitation and physical therapy there. I think he probably finally got to see his sweet kiddos and niece, too, yesterday afternoon. There is nothing is quite as cheerful as a bunch of energetic, beautiful and funny tots! Brody (4 years) and Chloe (3 years), Clay’s kids, have grown into such spunky, gorgeous cherubs. Jason’s daughter, Jessica (3 1/2 years), is just as gorgeous and spunky. I enjoyed spending time with the three of them on Saturday evening. They’re certainly a “Happy Handful” and great motivation for Clay to focus on getting better!

Clay is able to receive e-mail and would love to hear from friends and family and/or anyone who has been praying for him. Go to and click on “Patient & Visitor Resources” and then “Patient E-mail Service.” Clayton Bryant is his full name (for those of you who may not know or remember) and he is in room 9-269.

I do have a couple of pictures of Clay pre- and post-surgery but haven’t had a chance to #1) download them or #2) ask for Clay’s permission to share them. If you’re interested in seeing the pix, keep checking back here every now and then . . . I have a feeling Clay will be fine with me sharing the pictures, but I feel obligated to ASK FIRST. 

Again, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to pray for my sweet cousin and his family throughout this very scary ordeal. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE let me know when I can repay the favor for you, any of your family or friends. I wholeheartedly believe in the power of prayer!

YAY FOR CLAY! Yay for Clay.

[Big, long sigh of relief.]

Love and Gratitude,


Posted by Leigh, filed under Family. Date: September 16, 2008, 8:29 am | No Comments »