Even though we’ve shared the odd comment here and there giving indicators of my daughter Eloise’s health issues, we’ve never really said anything ‘officially’. But as she’ll be going into hospital for heart surgery on Tuesday, we thought it’d be a good time to share more of what has been happening these last eight months—and seek your prayers and positive thoughts.
In short, we discovered on February 21st that Eloise has a hole in her heart that has led to her having an enlarged heart. It was, as you can imagine, a huge shock—especially coming so soon after we found out she has a ‘sub-mucous cleft palate’. (The two are actually associated.) The surgery to close up the hole will take place in Leeds and, thankfully, it will be able to be done via keyhole rather than open-heart surgery.
The procedure usually takes between one and two hours, will require an overnight stay in hospital, and hopefully just a one week recovery period. Once the operation has happened, there should be no long-term implications, her breathlessness when running around should stop, and she’ll have a heart that no longer has the risks of failure when she’s older.
Eloise has been a true little warrior with all the appointments and examinations she’s had to go through and we’ve been so proud of her. Sometimes as a parent though, we’ve had to just block out our own worries and fears to ensure Eloise doesn’t feel unnecessarily anxious. But the truth is it’s incredibly hard to see your child having to go through it all. You so want to take their place and go through it for them.
All told, Eloise is connected to six different hospital departments at the moment—heart, audiology, ENT, cleft palate, speech and language, and genetics—and you really do just wish it would all go away. The heart surgery is the most serious condition though and so we’re praying for a smooth and successful surgery on Tuesday and a speedy recovery.
To all our friends and families who have been supporting us and praying for us, we’ve really grateful. We couldn’t get through all of this without you!
This article has be transferred over to my new website. You can read the interview there.
Last week I announced via Twitter and Facebook that I would be launching a new eNewsletter called The Art of Accidental Success. There’s already been quite a lot of interest and, though it won’t launch until June, I thought I’d share some more information about what the site is all about. So here goes.
The Art of Accidental Success is a new eNewsletter that will offer exclusive, behind-the-scenes stories and insights from my journey as a Christ-follower through life, marriage, family, starting a church, and founding a non-profit.
My primary, daily website is here at KERUFF. This is where I write about and curate stories and articles related to technology, politics, culture and religion. To put it another way, it’s a site for the broad array of subjects that interest me.
So why am I starting something else?
One of the things I am acutely aware of is the fact that a lot of people are specifically interested in my journey as a follower of Jesus Christ. And beyond this, many would love to know more about the church (Mosaic) that I help oversee, and are intrigued by the non-profit (VOX) that I founded.
I am pretty deliberate in making sure that KERUFF doesn’t become a Christian or religious website and so I intentionally hold back from sharing as much as I know some of my readers would like me to. Hence my decision to create a dedicated website for those of you who are particularly interested in these specific aspects of my life.
Beyond the above reasons, I also want I give something back. So many people have invested their time and support into what we’re trying to accomplish and given us a real sense of permission to experiment and risk. I hope that this new eNewsletter might - in some small way - bring a similar sense of support to others and encourage them to step out into their own dreams and adventures in the same way that we’ve been inspired to.
I have decided to make access to this new site subscription only for several reasons.
1) I am going to share very openly and honestly about both the successes and the struggles of what’s going on with my life and with these various ventures I’m involved with. As such, I want to know who’s reading along!
2) I want this new site to be a place where people engage rather than just stumble upon the posts and lurk.
3) I hope that it will create a greater sense of both value and buy-in.
As I’ve already said, the site will feature behind-the-scenes stories and insights from my journey as a Christ-follower through life, marriage, family, starting a church, and founding a non-profit.
Specifically, they’ll be both practical and theological reflections on our journey in trying to establish a Jesus centred yet non-traditional and non-institutional church.
They’ll also be an honest look at the practicalities, implications, and motivations behind starting a not-for-profit organisation and the challenges of balancing that with also leading a church.
Further still, I’ll be delving into the realities of helping to lead a church and a non-profit all whilst still having a full-time job, trying to be good husband, raising a daughter, and maintaining meaningful friendships.
Within all of this, I hope ultimately to capture a sense of the raw, flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants feel, that has been the reality of our adventure so far. And even more importantly, I hope that it will encourage others to risk and experiment and not be afraid to pursue new dreams and opportunities of their own. I hope too that it might just save a few people from repeating some of the mistakes we’ve made!
Honestly, I struggle to go all out and say that we’ve reached a point that can truly be said to be successful. (And you’ll probably come to agree with that pretty soon if you follow along!) We have so much further to go and our impact and influence is still far from where we hope it will be.
That said, it does feel like, every so often, we’ve stumbled into doing some things right. And ‘stumbled’ is a pretty good word as, usually, when that has happened, it has felt more down to luck that judgement. But that’s the interesting thing: these ‘accidental successes’ seem to be - remarkably - quite common. So maybe, just maybe, there’s something that we’re doing that lies behind some of these small, incremental successes we’ve had along way. Who knows, there’s might even be an art to it.
This weekend has the makings of a really good one. We’ve already got to see all my family: parents, siblings, nephews and nieces. We are now at Rachel’s parents where we’ll be joined tomorrow morning by friends for the rest for the weekend.
We have another friends 30th birthday on Saturday evening and, to top it all off, England play France in the rugby and Arsenal play Birmingham in the final of the Carling Cup. Providing England and Arsenal both win, and Eloise sleeps through the night, we really could be on for a perfect weekend!