Today I celebrate because today is the 6th anniversary of my son, A.J. being released from the hospital after suffering a severe traumatic brain injury.
Those eyes. Those cheeks—that I never tired of squeezing when he was little.
A severe traumatic brain injury rocked our world and almost claimed A.J.’s life.
A.J., at age 7, was supposed to be in the P.I.C.U. for at least two weeks…whatever! He was released from the hospital on day 6! This was due to the power of prayer. I placed medical problems on Facebook or his Caringbridge page with specific prayer requests…and then I sat back and watched God answer! Requests such as:
January 1, 2012 – We are still waiting for A.J. to wake up from his surgery that went through the middle of the night to the wee morning hours. (Little did we know; his score on the coma scale was so low that he should not have awakened the same A.J. with the same mental and physical abilities.) It took a couple of days, but he woke up with the same personality and intellect as the boy we took to the New Year’s Eve party before his injury happened just before the stoke of mid-night.
10:30 a.m. January 3, 2011
Please pray for the next half hour to prepare the way for the doctors and techs who will be removing the breathing tube. Pray that the swelling is down and that AJ can breathe on his own so he won’t have to be reintubated.
11:30 a.m. Tube successfully removed
Next up: Please pray for the inter-cranial pressure monitor to be removed. This surgical procedure will take place in A.J.’s room and the environment needs to be sterile. Pray for his vital signs to remain steady and in good range.
Another answered prayer: Removal went well and A.J.’s vitals were super!
Around 2 p.m. – A.J. is crying for a drink of water but due to just having his intubation tube removed; he can’t drink anything for 1-2 days. (The doctor in the E.R. intubated with an adult size tube which did some temporary damage to A.J.’s throat; and we just noticed, knocked one of his baby teeth out.) The P.I.C.U. doctors said A.J. could asphyxiate on the water so we can only allow him to suck water off of a small sponge.
Late afternoon – A.J. talked the doctors into allowing him water. He’s now allowed sips of water. He is so grateful.
January 4, 2011 – Moved to the neurology floor.
January 4, 2011 – Speech therapist wants to begin therapy; however, A.J. can’t stay awake past the couple of bites of cereal she fed him. It take so much energy to chew. Please pray for him.
A.J. informed me that he’s ready to start back to school if I’ll take him home from the hospital. Sweet happy tears running down my face.
The physical therapist came in the room to attempt to have A.J. move around, get out of bed and walk. A.J. can’t hold his head up on his own and can’t begin to move his legs around to sit on the edge of the bed. He cannot possibly walk…yet. He needs to begin walking. Please pray about this.
P.M. A.J.’s surgeon came in and with some incentive and motivation A.J. held his head up on his own, swung his legs around to the edge of the bed, and took a walk in the hallway with his doctor who held A.J. under the arms. I could barely see through my tears. There was no explanation for this; except, God answered prayers.
January 5, 2011 – A.J. ate over 2 full bowls of Lucky Charms that his speech therapist gave to him. He was talking like normal, but she was a bit concerned about how he was rapidly changing subjects. We assured her that was perfectly normal for our talkative, verbal to the max. son.
P.M. – A.J.: “I just love talking. I’m in word heaven. I just think a word and it happens.”
January 6, 2011 – Released from the hospital to go home; at least 2 weeks earlier than what doctors anticipated.
Aspects of A.J.’s healing that should have taken weeks or months were, through the power of prayers going up and answers coming down, happening in minutes and hours. Never before had I witnessed anything like it.
I asked God to show me His glory through what He chose to do in A.J.’s life that night while A.J. was on the life flight helicopter.
And our Great Physician did!
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I’ll never tire of it.
Praising God, that is.
He has answered so many prayers in huge, glory making ways! (Original Post is here.)
God is so wise not to allow us to know our future. I cannot imagine how this child would have lived his life had I known what was in store for him. Would I have allowed him out of the house? Would I have bubble wrapped him? I most certainly would have made him wear a bike or baseball helmet AT ALL TIMES!
Today my joy abounds as I recall snapshots my heart has taken of A.J. over the last six years. Snapshots of answered prayers, therapy appointments, fun times, teachable moments, frustrating moments, caring moments, ornery moments, giggles, spiritual growth, church moments, friend moments, a deep thinker who I do not always have an immediate answer for, a boss man who has great potential as I teach him to become a servant leader, an avid debater (pros and cons), brother moments, tender moments, a young man on his way to only God knows what. My heart if full!
Our family benefited from McDonald’s charity, through the Ronald McDonald room in Children’s Hospital. A.J. ran in a 5K fund-raiser for them three years later and was able to speak to the crowd after the event.