Miracle Upon Miracle

Miracle Upon Miracle

In 2009, my then 45 year old nephew, an electrician, started having
increased back pain and numbness in his legs. As the months passed, the
pain and numbness got worse. He was starting to fall, unable to stand on
ladders, nor some days function well. He told his boss he needed to go
part time. He didn’t tell his boss or his family, spread across the
U.S, what was going on. He finally got bad enough, he had to quit his
job. His boss instead placed him on disability and encouraged him to see
the doctor.

Richard hadn’t been earlier as he had no insurance coverage but
now agreed to see his doctor. After several tests, the doctor told him they
found a tumor growing IN his spine on the vertebrae and wrapped around
his spinal cord. He was sent to see specialist. After much testing, and
colleague consults, the doctors, agreed they could do the surgery and
remove most of the tumor. The doctor told Richard he had never seen a tumor
like this. He could barely walk by this time and even medications were
not controlling the pain.

Several weeks later surgery was scheduled, The doctors spent many hours
removing all the tumor they could get and placing rods and screws above
and below where the tumor was to support the area. After the swelling
was down he had lots of physical and occupational therapy, and many
rounds of chemotherapy. The tumor was benign but the doctors
couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t grow again.  After many months he was
able to return to work part time and life returned to normal.

Richard came to visit in 2011, and we wore each other out touring
the Island. Things I couldn’t do, he did on his own. He climbed Diamond Head and Koko Head and walked sometimes for hours.  He thought I did more than I could or should, but I had no ill effects, and loved being with him.

While talking on the phone last October Richard told me he he was
having lots of pain again and thought he could feel the bottom rods in
his back when he walked. He thought he was going to have to stop working
again. After talking, we prayed and I told him to call the doctor the next
day. When he saw the specialist weeks later, he was told the tumor had
grown back, this time covering a larger area. The doctor told him he
couldn’t work or go home and had to stay off his feet.  Yes, he was feeling
the rods, as the vertebrae they were attached to had deteriorated and
there was nothing holding them in place. On his follow up appointment, the doctor
first comment was “son, your screwed”. We are willing to do the surgery
but there’s a probability you’ll be paralyzed from the waist down after
surgery. They then discussed what would be involved and the doctors would
do two surgeries several days apart. Rick stayed optimistic about the outcome, leaving it in God’s hands.

As the time and pain wore on the devil planted seeds of doubt, and Rick became depressed.
His family and friends prayed for and with him frequently, rebuking the devil and finally the devil left him alone. He again put his future in God’s hands. There were many delays in scheduling the surgery, as there were three teams of surgeons to deal with.

Feb. 11, 2013, Richard had his first surgery on his back. After eleven hours on the table they had removed part of the tumor, dead and damaged
tissue, and bone. Reconstructed new bone, and placed long rods and many
pins in his spine. Without closing him up, they placed heavy dressings to the site, and admitted him to the hospital. He was heavily sedated, but two
days later they got him up in a chair and he could walk. Praise God! Another miracle had happened.

Feb 15 they did the second surgery. This was opening his chest from
his sternum to his navel. After 5 hrs. they had removed all the tumor
they could get, dead tissue and placing what Rick calls a mesh cage
around his spinal column for added support.

Feb 22, he was taken by ambulance to the rehab hospital, and the next
day (Saturday) they started his physical therapy. On Sunday he had a relapse, but Monday he was back at P/T. By the weeks end he was riding a stationary bike, walking up and down stairs as well as his strengthening exercises.

At rehab his room was set up like an appartment and he was expected to do things on his own. There was a nurses station, but no call button in his room. He was now able to get around with just a walker. The doctors
discharged him home March 8. They told him walking was his best
exercise. His brother was there to help and support him. On March 20,
he had an appointment with the surgeon, using only a cane. The doctor couldn’t believe he was walking. He walks daily 1/2 mile or more, is off almost all his pain medicine and feels great. He can hardly wait to get back to Hawaii. The doctor says not yet.

We all thank God daily for Richard’s renewed life. We have seen
miracle upon miracle and faith has carried  him far. God has great plans
for Richard now and in the future. Thanks to everyone who prayed for him
and special thanks to Donna for keeping me sane during his surgeries.

May God’s Blessings  be upon each of you.

Posted by admin in Newsletters on March 27, 2013