We Are Home

The past three nights I have awoken at 2:30 a.m. with a very uneasy sense of impending doom. I kept praying, "God, if you want us to have this surgery make it clear it needs to be done. If not, close the doors to this surgery. We are just trying to do what the doctors think best."

God ordained that the surgery not proceed! The CT scan showed some technical problems with the surgery and three other neurosurgeons consulted by our neurosurgeon did not see a strong case for replacing the shunt.

So, we brought Jerard home just a few minutes ago. He will continue to get IV anti-biotics from home for the next five days and we are arranging for private duty nurses to come by the home to administer them. We also will be seeing quite a bit of the doctor over the next few weeks...but we are home!

We are not through this yet. Thank you for all of your prayers.

James on the left and Jerard on the right.

Close-up of Jerard's head -- smaller and smaller as the days go by.

Surgery Delay

Jerard's surgery has been delayed til Saturday.

Today's CT scan showed anachroid cyst in the brain.
Arachnoid cysts are sacs that are filled with cerebrospinal fluid and form in the surface region of the brain around the cranial base, or on the arachnoid membrane (one of three membranes that covers the brain and spinal cord). This is a congenital defect.

So another neurosurgeon who does endoscopic surgery is being called in to assist the neurosurgeon who will be doing the shunt replacement. The endoscopic neurosurgeon will drain the cyst.

Stay tuned and please keep praying!

Psalm 138:8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever-- do not abandon the works of your hands

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.