Monday, October 22, 2007

Elijah Update (October 22)

For new readers to this blog, the following update is about a strong and brave little guy named Elijah, born February 6, 2007. His mom and I worked together at Rift Valley Academy in 1996-1999. Elijah has Hemophilia B, but more importantly, he has a worldwide prayer support team! Since my initial post about Elijah and his mom's initial update the very next day, posting updates from Elijah's parents on this blog is a small way I can give support from far away and generate much-needed prayer for Elijah's continued growth and healing. So please, join the praying!

Dear friends,

Oh my! Elijah is now eight months, going on nine months, and we were never sure if he would see one month. God is good! A few nights ago Joel and I were talking about Elijah's last flight to Wichita. People had given up on him. Children's had sent us home, the hospital here in Ness City was in over their heads, our pediatrician let us know that he did not have any hope and when we were trying to get him to Wesley there were lots of conversations with doctors there, so we understood what to expect from them. It grieves me to say that I had given up hope as well. I was at my lowest point looking at him struggle to breathe. I was numb. As we look back, this was the human view of Elijah's condition. Not the view that God had.

Joel went on the flight with Elijah to Wesley, and a friend drove me the three-hour trip. Joel had to be the strong one for so many days during this time. He was on the flight, and things were not looking good for Elijah. He began to sing Jesus Loves You and started to cry. The paramedic on the flight finished it for him. The paramedic happened to be the grandson of a friend here in Ness City. When they arrived at the hospital, the security guard tried to send them to regular pediatrics, but this paramedic went straight to PICU which possibly saved his life. The nurse on duty that
night was one we had met before. She was a no-nonsense kind of nurse who took charge and made things happen.

God was always putting people in our path to help us along the way. We look back at our nurses and doctors and are so grateful for each one of them. God gave us the nurses we needed at each stage. We had nurses cry with us as we waited to see if Elijah could make it through some tough nights. We had several nurses pray and sing over Elijah, one who went into a difficult surgery with him and helped keep him from feeling pain after the surgery. We had nurses call on their days off to check on him. God was always watching out for us. Once again the details were amazing. The Ronald McDonald House was in walking distance. We had special friends who would come to visit and bring food and cookies.

Now when we sing "Jesus Loves You" to Elijah, he laughs and giggles. (Any time we mention the name Jesus, he smiles.) When Elijah was in the hospital, we changed the words a bit and sang it this way -- we still do:

Jesus loves Elijah
For the Bible tells us so
Little ones to Him belong
Elijah is weak
Yes, Jesus Loves Elijah
Yes, Jesus Loves Elijah
Yes, Jesus Loves Elijah
The Bible tells us so.

Joel asked me, "Are we ever going to stop crying?" I said, "Nope, Elijah is just an amazing miracle." Tears still come quickly for us as we watch Elijah grow. What a blessing to have him with us today. People seem amazed when they ask us how he's doing. We say GREAT and they say, "Really?" as if we are just joking.

This week was a big sale at our family furniture store. So many people told us of their prayers and concern for our little boy. We are amazed at how far and wide Elijah has gone. He has gone into prison ministry, his photo has been on the big screen at churches we do not even know and he is known in Haiti, New Zealand, Scotland, Ireland, England, all over Africa, South America, India, the United States, Canada... and I'm sure there are more. Thank you!

How is he doing now? Elijah is getting stronger, starting to put weight on his legs and stands up with help, thinks that rolling over is not all it's cracked up to be (meaning, he gets almost over and then goes back to his back and smiles), no crawling yet, but that might take time. After getting desperate for some sleep, we got a program off of the internet, and now Elijah sleeps from 6:30 pm to 7:00 am. YEAH! We highly recommend this lady if you have a baby or toddler who does not sleep through the night.

One concern we do have is that Elijah is not keeping his food down. We have been watching him and he does not have any neurological changes or anything to be concerned about, he just can't seem to keep it in his tummy. He is never upset by it, though. He eats, it comes back up and he smiles and keeps eating. The only time he seems to be able to keep the food in is during the night. His bed is dry in the morning so we do not think he continues to spit up in his bed. Please pray with us that we figure out what to do. Do we need to change formulas? Change the water we use? Is it something else?

Elijah has a scheduled CT Scan on Friday, so if there is a problem we will know then. We haven't seen any changes so aren't concerned about it. The scan is just "maintenance" for his shunt. Please also continue to pray for his veins to open up and flow properly. Pray for his lymphatic system to clear up so that the chyle can move through the proper channels and not just into his abdomen. Pray that he will put on some weight. Thank you.

On a side note... Many people have asked us to consider writing a book. I've been trying to do some research but can't seem to find what I think I want. HA! Is there anyone out there who knows the system and what we need to do to make this happen? I know several of you have written books... Are you willing to share some advice?

Thank you so much for all the prayers!
Judy, Joel II and Elijah

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