February 14, 2013
Around 10:45 pm as Bruce and I were digesting our Valentine’s Day dinner from Texas Roadhouse, Bruce gets a phone call. He looks at the display and sees it’s from Provo. We don’t know anyone from Provo. “Uh oh, this can’t be good” he says out loud. “Hello, Mr. Fivas, this is Dr. Craig Cook calling from the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo. We have your son here and he would like you to know he is about to go into surgery for an emergency appendectomy.” Our prime rib dinner threatens to come up.
On Tuesday, Feb. 12th, Brayden and his companion Elder Graf go to the “Cold Clinic” at the MTC for mild cold symptoms. “Oh, and by the way, I kinda have this pain here” says Brayden pointing to his lower right abdomen. The MTC doctor say’s “Well, it could be gas, or something you ate, or it could be your appendix. Let’s do this simple test.” He then has Brayden bounce on his toes to see if the pain gets worse. “Let’s send you over to BYU’s Student Health Services to see what they say.” So Elders Fivas and Graf walk over and Brayden hears the same thing. “It could be gas, or something you ate, but it could also be your appendix. Let’s do some blood tests.” So after blood work, Elders Fivas and Graf make their way back to the MTC. In the meantime, the pain level is getting higher. Just before lights out, Brayden has his companion give him a blessing. Elders Petersen and Johnson, the other companionship they room with joined in. By the next morning, the pain did ease up a little. For how long, I don’t know. Brayden didn’t really say how much pain he was in.
After dinner, on Thursday, Feb. 14th the front desk called down to Brayden’s room to see if he was there. He was. They asked him to call the front desk personally. “The lab results came in, and we're sending Security to escort you and Elder Graf to the hospital to have your appendix removed”.
Dr. Cook called us back a second time about an hour after the first call. “The surgery was a success. The appendix needed to come out. Its very fortunate that Brayden had it checked out. If it had gone another day it could have ruptured.” The doctor told us it would be appropriate if we wanted to come see him in the morning and we didn't necessarily need to come down that night since he would be sleeping off the anesthesia.
Bruce, Kelsey, and I made it down to the hospital about 9:00 am the following morning, Friday, Feb 15 to find Brayden in his room sitting in a recliner in a hospital gown hooked up to an IV. He looked tired and pale, but was feeling great. We were able to spend most of the day keeping him company. Brayden had sent Elder Graf back to the MTC after his surgery the night before to sleep in his own bed. We did have the pleasure of meeting Elder Graf and another companionship from his District when they brought Brayden some study material he requested.
Because Brayden wouldn't be returning home to the care of mom and dad, Dr. Cook had him stay a second night in the hospital for good measure. (He was bummed he'd be missing the Friday night Papa John’s Pizza dinner the MTC serves. The liquid diet he was on wasn't helping.)
The next morning Dr. Cook was happy with Brayden’s recovery and said he could go back to the MTC that afternoon as long as he didn't participate in basketball for a while. He was also told he needed to stay on a “soft-food” diet for a week or two.
We feel so blessed this emergency happened while he was at the MTC and not necessarily in Ohio. The fact he had access to an on-site “cold clinic” may have saved a lot of time. We are very thankful the MTC doctors took his pain seriously and had Brayden get some blood tests. Dr. Craig Cook, who was the actual surgeon, and who called us not once, but twice, has the best “bed-side” manner we've ever seen. Bruce and I couldn't have been happier with the service Utah Valley Regional Medical Center provided our son.