30 April 2007

Accounting for Two Weeks

It's been far too long since my last post--a sign, perhaps that I've been far too busy.

I don't want to load you down with all the school projects that I've completed (school ends in just 3 1/2 weeks). As important as it seemed, it paled with the momentous events in Jenny's family. The good news is that Jenny's brother Johnathan has received a long-needed liver transplant at Vanderbilt University Hospital in Nashville!

Jenny's family has known since 1992 (the year she spent as a volunteer in Cameroon, West Africa) that Johnathan had an auto-immune disease called Primary Sclerosing Colangitis. It was a death sentence in many ways--one that could only be overcome through a liver transplant. Megan and Robyn will remember what a difficult time this was for Jenny--what a trial of faith it felt like at the time.

Johnathan went on the transplant list soon after, but he was a low priority on the list. He married in 1993 and had two kids, Ava and Nathan, who are now 8 and 4. He steadily weakened. He left work and went on disability about six years ago. In recent months he had taken a real serious turn. Spots had shown up on his liver. The concern was that they might be cancerous, which would disqualify him from transplant and serve as a death sentence at age 37. His skin became ever more jaundiced. (I snapped the picture at right with my cell phone last Sunday when we saw him in the hospital awaiting the transplant. The contrast of the yellow skin on his arm with the white sheets is not an anomaly--he was that yellow!.

Last week, his poor health raised him to the top of Vanderbilt's transplant list. It was life on a razor's edge for the family: he was sick enough to get the transplant he needed, but if he waited too long, he would be disqualified. He received the transplant late last Sunday night. His family--was either at his side or resting here at our house.

It has been an eventful week with mostly good news and some scares. Johnathan's body did show signs of rejecting the transplant a couple of times, but this was managed with medicine by the experienced medical staff there. We expect him to move out of the hospital any day now into a campus apartment, from which he can meet with his transplant doctors daily until he is completely stable with his new live.

Keep Johnathan in your prayers. It is nothing short of miraculous what has happened so far, but his continued health and his full recovery are in the able hands of Gods grace and faithfulness.


garnet said...

JD, I'm so glad to hear this! Yes, I do remember when Jenny's brother was diagnosed. I'll be praying for him and his family. Robyn

Meg said...

Good news and yes, of course I'll keep him and all of you in my prayers.

Norman McNulty said...

JD, good to hear that he got through the transplant. That's a major operation. Thankfully Vanderbilt is a great hospital, and of course, all of the prayers I'm sure made a big difference.