What an awesome vivid picture of life and miracles to me! A little over a month ago, this plant was brown without a single bloom. It marks the exact spot where our recent trial began when Connor first passed out onto this plant and our ordeal of hospitals, tests, and surgeries started and we first began to realize how sick he really was.
Now, Connor is home. He is healing. He is well! Connor is a walking miracle of healing and life and a testimony of God’s amazing power and love for us. He hears our prayers and never leaves us. He comforts us through every storm and hears our every cry!
After Connor passed out that Thursday night over 6 weeks ago, we took him to the ER where he was promptly admitted for more tests because his blood counts were very low. After a CT scan of his abdomen and more bloodwork, doctors were very concerned. On Friday morning, we were told his bone marrow was not functioning properly and it could be leukemia or aplastic anemia. The doctor told us the best we should hope for is leukemia because it was treatable. Instead, we prayed. Harder than we have ever prayed and we asked our brothers and sisters to go to the Throne Room on Connor’s behalf, which they did.
Connor was transferred by ambulance to Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital in Pensacola, FL that same Friday afternoon where we spent the weekend waiting until Monday morning when he could have the bone marrow biopsy and aspiration that would hopefully give us answers. In a moment, our lives had drastically changed and we were now facing an unsure future like we could have never imagined. BUT, we knew God had a plan in all this and we clung to truth. We did not for a second (okay maybe a second, but no longer) let ourselves believe in the “what-ifs” We simply clung to the truth and prayed with praise music on in the background.
Monday morning came and his bone marrow was scheduled to be biopsied. In my pain, fear, and turmoil, our sweet Lord, gave me the most beautiful image that brought the most indescribable peace I’ve ever felt in my entire life. What should have been the scariest moment of my life became filled with beauty, peace, and above all, hope! Jesus himself was holding Connor tightly and I knew in my deepest soul that He would never leave him. He would be with him even when I couldn’t! and there was an army of angels standing guard circling his bed ready to protect him and fight for him!! Now I did not see this with my physical eyes and I was not hallucinating- but I do believe God let me “see” this in my spirit and there are no words to describe the peace and strength I felt after that!! After waiting two days for the bone marrow results, they were surprising to the doctors, but not to the many who had been praying… they were completely normal!
Normal bone marrow was one of many more miracles to come. We thanked God for His mercy and the doctors began to look at other causes of Connor’s very enlarged spleen and low blood counts. The plan was made to remove his spleen in two weeks, giving time for his body to recover from the bone marrow biopsy and allow immunizations to work in his body before removing his spleen. So we were able to come home and have 2 weeks at home to celebrate Connor’s 13th Birthday and continue praying. During this time, we were overwhelmed with the hundreds, possibly even thousands who were praying earnestly for Connor. Family and friends all over the country were putting him on prayer lists and even international prayer websites, and people were posting prayers and lifting him up without ceasing! It was amazing! God was bringing people together and increasing faith as they prayed for our sweet Connor- another miracle that God let us get a glimpse of!
The day before his surgery, we returned to the hospital for tests and to get ready for his surgery on Tuesday at 1:00pm. The surgery went well and the surgeon was pleased that the lymph nodes looked reactive rather than malignant, but we would know more in a few days when the biopsy results were in. His spleen was so large though that it had wrapped around other organs and in removing it had shredded part of his pancreas. They had to insert a drain tube until they knew the pancreas would be okay, but other than that, the surgery had gone smoothly. We did find out later that Connor’s spleen was the largest one the surgeon had ever seen! It was over 6x the size of a large adults!! Yet another miracle was revealed- Connor’s spleen was so large that even the slightest jarring or bump to his abdomen could have been fatal over the last few years- years!! He had played football, kung-fu, tackled and wrestled with his brother, and so many other countless activities that could have ruptured his spleen and would have killed him-but God had other plans and has protected him mightily- even though we had no idea! What a might awesome God we serve!! He protects us even when we don’t realize how badly we need protecting!
After surgery, Connor was in tremendous pain and was not fully conscious for awhile. We thought it was from the anesthesia, but he remained very tired and lethargic. The nurses had him up that evening sitting in a chair for a little while, but he was in terrible pain. The next day, they wanted him up walking. Connor was a soldier, he got up out of bed and walked to the corner of the hall outside his room. We were very proud of him and everyone encouraged him. But his pain was still intense. The morphine helped him rest, but he wasn’t really sleeping and couldn’t get a deep breath.
When he returned to bed after his first walk, his oxygen level wouldn’t come up above 90 and the nurse was going to check with the doctor about possible oxygen. All of a sudden, Connor’s eyes shot open and the heart rate monitor showed his heart rate to be 245! You could literally see his heart beating out of his chest. His oxygen was in the 80s and his heart rate was all over the place. Within minutes, the room was full of doctors and nurses ordering tests and working all around Connor. His hematologist/oncologist, Dr. Parmley, said that we needed to get him to ICU immediately and run some tests. Connor was rushed to ICU, and within an hour had x-rays and a CT scan with contrast. The tests did not show any internal bleeding and the ICU doctor immediately changed his pain medication. He said his pain was not controlled and his body was going into shock and shutting down. It was a very, very long night. The next day, the surgeon came in and talked with us and Connor that he needed to breathe deeply, cough, and he needed to be up moving around or he would be on a ventilator shortly.
We sent word to friends and family to pray and we believe God intervened again right there. It was as if a switch was flipped in Connor- we watched him get better right before our eyes. His color went from deathly gray to just pale, his heart rate stabilized, and his oxygen level went up. Connor opened his eyes, lifted his head off the pillow, and said “let’s go walk” The nurse just stared at him, we all just stared at him with open mouths and tears in our eyes. We helped him up and went for a walk all the way down the hall and back. And from that moment on, there was no stopping him. We had to actually tell him to slow down or wait before we would walk again! God is good beyond our understanding!!!
Connor was sent back to a regular room and the doctors and nurses were amazed. They couldn’t believe he was out of ICU much less having doctors discuss plans to go home!! The biopsy results came back normal and the doctors were again amazed! Miracle after miracle, grace upon grace!! and we came home, all together and healthy! Praise God!
Connor is recovering and getting stronger every day. He has attended his homeschool prom, gone to baseball games, and is playing with his brother and every day seems like a gift! We can’t wait to see what God has planned for him, but we know that God has some huge amazing plans! Our faith is stronger and we are looking at every day as a new opportunity to enjoy this beautiful gift of life we have been given. There is also a responsibility we have to share his story and give God the glory- He gets all the glory!
Connor is a true walking miracle. His joy and laughter and strength has encouraged us all and we are so excited to see what God has next. God has used this to strengthen faith, drive us to our knees, humble us and strengthen us. He has brought amazing friends into our lives who almost instantly became family. He has shown us the encouragement, concern, and genuine love of family, friends, and the body of Christ. He has shown us the power availiable to and through His body of believers. He has taught us and is teaching us so many lessons I can’t keep up. He has shown us His mercy, goodness, peace, power, and most of all His love and we are forever changed!
We will go back to Pensacola this week for bloodwork and we are praying for God to intervene and keep everything normal- but no matter what, God is faithful and He will never leave us!
Just as this plant that was crushed and all but dead has blossomed to life, we too are full of life and renewed energy, blossoming with God’s goodness and mercy and basking in His light! GOD IS GOOD