Update on Jerard

Jerard continues to improve. Tests show that he no longer has any active infections. We have scheduled the shunt replacement to be done on Friday of this week. He is having another cat scan tomorrow in preparation for the surgery. The old shunt will be removed and a new one put in, most likely located on the other side of the head.

We decided to have this done because it is the most recommended approach to take. Often shunts can harbor an infection long after the infection has been overcome in the rest of the body. Weeks later, the infection can reappear because the shunt has served as a place for the infection to grow. That would most likely result in another lengthy hospital stay, etc. Apparently anti-biotics are not very effective in defeating infections within shunts because the shunts are not a part of the blood stream. Therefore, shunts are replaced after serious infections such as this one affecting the brain fluid.

After the surgery is completed, Jerard will most likely have yet another week in the hospital on a course of IV anti-biotics. So, we are looking at about another 9 or more days in the hospital at this point.

Please pray for us. This hospitalization is very draining in many ways: emotionally, physically, and financially. We are feeling the stress of both of these hospital stays on ourselves and our family very much. In the 46 days since we began caring for Jerard, we have spent 20 of them in the hospital with him. Your prayers are appreciated.

The Heavens Declare

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands" Psalm 19:1

Sunset on Taal...photo taken by Mikayla ...

Mikayla Teaches How to Kill a Chicken

Mikayla and the rest of the middle school went on their yearly outdoor education trip. This time they went to Taal, a volcano in the Northern Philippines. While there, they were taught how to properly kill a chicken (which they later ate). Here Mikayla shares this valuable knowledge with you in easy to follow steps should you ever find yourself in need of killing a chicken for dinner.

First, you grab the chicken by the feet ...

and swing it round and round in order to get it dizzy.

Then you lay the chicken on the ground and put a metal bar over it's neck.

You then place both your feet on the bar while still holding the chicken's feet...

Then you simply jerk the chicken up by the feet to cleanly separate the chicken's head from it's body.

Now you know how to kill a chicken.

A word from Jerard

Hi All,

I can't thank you enough for all your prayers.

I am sleeping and eating better though not as good as my brother.
But the doctors are really pleased with how much my head has gone down and that I am starting to gain some weight.

The nurses weighed me yesterday and I am 4.2 kilos, which in pounds equals 9.24 pounds.

A close up of my head....my Mom and Dad call my head a 'shape shifter'...compare my head to the picture from 5 days ago; it's changed a lot!!!!

Me in bed with Tweety and Bear

Please keep praying; not just for me, but for my brother who has a fever and sounds like he's coming down with bronchitis, for my Mom and Dad to stay healthy, and for my Ates Mikayla and Kirsten, and Kuya Ben.

Pray also for wisdom for the doctors and my Mom and Dad. Since I have a shunt in my head and am being treated for meningitis, I need to have my shunt replaced. I guess the bad germs like to hide out in the tubing away from the antibiotics and could make me sick all over again...yuck. So, a second surgery for me is probably coming up pretty soon.

A message from James

I just wanted to let you know I am 23 inches long and weigh 4.4 kilos - which in pounds equals 9.7 pounds. I weighed about 4 pounds when I was born. So did my brother.

I like to smile a lot. I also like to be on my tummy and try to push with my arms. My parents have a big pillow I lay on and often times I push myself off that pillow. Soon I'll be rolling!!!!

While my brother is in the hospital, I spend my days with my 'Aunt' Louise and her two kids, Ewan and Lydia. I like the toys at her house!

This is Lydia and I

This is me playing with toys at Aunt Louise's house

Thanks for all your prayers for me and my brother.