A regular Saturday morning. A husband, a wife, their daughter, and son enjoying a morning at home.
Until my 3 year old son fell down the stairs carrying a riding toy. We live in a quad level…. it was only 6 stairs. We didn’t see it happen, but we heard the fall. We all ran to see Jonah laying on the bottom of the stairs crying. We picked him up and tried to get him to stop crying. Usually he is “little mister tough guy”, but he cried for quite awhile. We finally got him settled down, but something didn’t seem right. He was acting sleepy and was still in pain.
We weren’t for sure what to do, so we thought we’d take him to the ER just in case. I held him on the way there and he threw up all over the van. We got to the ER in our small neighboring town. They did a CT scan. He was really quiet and still which is pretty unusual for someone nicknamed “Jornado”.
The doctor showed us the CT scan and it showed bleeding Jonah’s brain. He was a little concerned, they called the ambulance to take him to St. Francis to watch him. We called my sister in law and she came and picked up Aliya before things took a horrible turn for the worse. I’m so thankful God worked it out that my sister in law was close by and could pick up Aliya so she did not have to see Jonah’s condition deteriorate.
He threw up 3 more times. All of a sudden, his eye dilated , he was really sweaty, and very limp. The doctor yelling my son’s name “JONAH! JONAH!” to try and get him to respond is something I will never forget. It seemed like forever for the ambulance to arrive.
The ambulance arrived and the wonderful doctor, who was concerned for my son, rode along to take care of him. They had to “bag him” (help him breath) because he was in a slight coma and not breathing. Matt rode in the ambulance, and I rode with my mother in law to the hospital. I was in shock. I looked out the van window on the way to the hospital and I saw a lone yellow balloon in the sky and I just had this feeling that Jonah had died. I couldn’t believe this was happening to us. How many times do kids everywhere fall down the stairs? If only, If only…….
Thanks to my mother in laws break-neck speed , we arrived right after the ambulance. My mother in law sent a prayer request through our church prayer chain. They immediately wheeled my son to the ER where immediately he was surrounded by a swarm of doctors and nurses, rushing around. We were ushered down the hallway and a chaplain prayed with us and for our son. To say it was a scary time is an understatement. I did feel God’s presence. I knew He was there. I knew He was in control. I knew He was with my son even though I could not be. (I had read “Heaven is For Real” a few months earlier, and I thought back to that book many times throughout the day as it was a such a comfort). It was so hard to not be with Jonah and not know for sure, if he was alive, dead, or what was going on. But, what better hands could I want my son’s to be in, if not God’s? I also kept thinking, how do people make it without God as their hope, their Savior at times like these?
A little while later, someone came and told us our son was already in surgery. They were extremely fast and efficient. They said our son had bleeding on the brain, he had a clot and and they needed to perform surgery to cut the skull to relieve the pressure that had been building from the bleeding, to remove the clot and blood. By then, my sister, and father in law came and waited with us. We headed up to the surgery waiting room to wait. And think. And pray. And wait. And worry. I looked up to see a picture on the wall saying, Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…psalm 37:7
God was with us! And God was with our son even though we could not be. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. Isaiah 43:2
A million thoughts going through your head. What if he dies? What if he is brain damaged? What if …. What if….. God HELP my son! God heard our cries In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Psalm 18:6 and His presence was there, a constant comfort in a time of horrible waiting and stress. Three of our ministers came to support and pray. More of my family came to support us and friends. God bless them.
Waiting. More waiting. More praying. More thoughts. More of God’s comfort. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort. Corinthians 1:3
Dr. K came through the doors. What……. “Surgery went OK. When your son arrived, it was a matter of life and death. We don’t know long term effects this will have on him. We will just watch him.”
“Thank you. Thank you so much” we said through tears. What do you say to the man that just saved your son’s life?
It was a long time before we got to go to Peds ICU, but once we did, it didn’t seem real. My son was hooked up to a breathing tube and a zillion wires and other tubes and his room was filled with a bunch of machines. He had a huge U shaped cut into his head with stitches totaling 58 (where they had cut about a 2-3 inch circle in his skull to go inside). He seemed so small and still in that hospital bed. Friends and family came to see us and him. Only 2 were allowed at a time in the room.
The first night was rough, he woke up a lot, machines were beeping like crazy and he reaaaaaaally wanted his breathing tube out. Every time he woke up, he tried to pull it out and was kicking the nurses because his hands were tied to the bed. The doctor decided it was ok to remove the breathing tube. Jonah started talking in a really small, raspy voice. He saw the little fishes that were carved on the ceiling and said, “I want those and one for Aliya.” (Later we told Aliya this and she thought it was the sweetest thing ever, she started crying) He would wake up and cry “Mommy.” He even said to me about the nurse, “I want she out.” She laughed and said “I’ve never been kicked out of a room by a 3 year old before!!”
Very good signs-talking, kicking, wanting the breathing tube out, etc.
A miracle was unfolding!!
Each day He improves. He swelled up a lot and his eye swelled shut. He didn’t look like himself for about 4 days. His cousin came to see him and Jonah said, “I have a big head.”
On Monday, we helped him start to walk. He visited the playroom a few times.
We were able to come home on that Tuesday. The whole way home, he was so excited. Chattering and rasping, “L is for Lightning and M is for Mater. Look at the trees! Yellow! Red!” I could not believe it. I told Matt that we could have been leaving the hospital with an empty carseat, but instead he is sitting behind us chattering away.
We are so grateful to God for healing our son and for all the prayers that were sent up to God on our family’s behalf. The visits, words of encouragement, cards, gifts, gifts of money, meals, mowing our yard, cleaning our house, watching Aliya. I even heard something in our backyard and saw someone from church spraying our weeds!! My mom, my mother in law, sisters, sister in laws, family, church, friends have helped so much. We are forever grateful and cannot thank everyone enough. Many tears were shed in the hospital for our son and as I was touched by the kindness, thoughtfulness, and compassion of others during Jonah’s recovery. We are so thankful to all be home as a family of 4.
While we are rejoicing that God has healed our son by His awesome power, we know that sometimes God heals someone by taking them Home to Heaven instead. We will be praying for the family members left behind on earth, that they can rely on God’s comfort until they see their loved one again.
We thanked Jonah’s neurosurgeon again and again for saving our son’s life and he said “I give all the glory to God. I was just glad to be a part of it.”
Glory to God for his miracle of healing in our son. AMEN.
So, cherish the time you have here on earth. Redeem the time!! Live each day like its your last, as it very well could be. By God’s grace, be all that He wants you to be. Don’t take for granted the blessings of loved ones God has given you.
The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27
Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee:
Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,
Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings:
Which hast set signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even unto this day, and in Israel, and among other men; and hast made thee a name, as at this day.. Jeremiah 32:17-20
Update: August 22, 2014. Jonah is doing great! Whenever he gets hurt, all the memories flood back and I pretty scared inside. I still get teary eyed remembering everything. God is here with me, calming my heart. Jonah is in God’s hands. He does get bad headaches from the scar tissue, but he is usually good to go after Tylenol. Still Praising God!