Sunday, February 16, 2014
Brother John in ICU
By Pamela Rae Schuffert presenting investigative journalim from a Biblical Christian perspective-
The time here in NC is 11:09 AM EST.
I just received a phone call 20 minutes ago from the hospital where John is now being treated in ICU. The doctor in charge of his case this morning wanted to give me the latest information concerning John's condition. He admitted that John is not doing quite as well today, as he was yesterday.
Here are the conditions that he outlined to me. He explained that John was rushed to the emergency room last Thursday due to bloodclots in his legs that traveled to his lungs, affecting both his heart and his breathing.
Damage was done to his heart as a result Thursday. Bloodclots in both legs and lungs remain a major problem, and so they have placed him on blood thinners. They even want to operate and install blood filters in his blood vessels.
His left foot, the one initially injured at his former negligent nursing home, has now developed a new bedsore and more damage to it, plus bone infection there.
Feces have somehow backed up in his intestines and are now where they should not be in his digestive system. They are trying to diagnose this problem and correct it.
Therefore John cannot eat and has to be given vitamins and supplements intravenously. He is also on drip antibiotics to combat the MRSA infection he has, and to battle pneumonia in his lungs.
They have inserted a tube into his lungs to draw out fluid and mucous build-up periodically.
Due to all of this and the breathing equipment that is sustaining him, John has been heavily sedated. He cannot communicate. And the IV sedative ran out the other day, causing John to temporarily come out from sedation. But when his eyes opened, he could not follow commands with his eyes when they spoke to him.
This indicates that either he was still too overwhelmed by the sedative, or there has been brain damage due to the heart condition arising on Thursday.
The doctor admitted to me what I already knew in my heart.
Long before I became involved in investigative journalism in 1996, I had been performing CNA-related home health care for infirmed and elderly patients since the 1970's. (This was how I raised my funds for Christian outreach and ministries.) I have taken care of patients until the hour they died, and observed the patterns in many of my former patients.
I therefore understood the typical pattern of a person's body starting to break down in multiple areas, negatively affecting their health, and usually signalling the body was giving out and being overwhelmed by various body organ failures that would eventually overpower the person and finally lead to death.
Unfortunately, at this time John's body is exhibiting all the symptoms of this gradually happening while in ICU.
The doctor said that even if John survives this episode of battling for his life, he will still be in much worse condition than he was before being admitted to the hospital last Thursday.
But, he added that they will do everything possible to help John attempt to recover at this time, and would keep me updated regularly regarding John. I must come into the hospital tomorrow morning, in fact, for a more in-depth analysis and discussion regarding John's condition.
"In all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him Who loved us."
In the midst of all this, I must say that God's faithfulness has come through marvelously for me, including the very week all these things happened to John.
A wonderful Christian friend that I had known prior to leaving the Carolinas in 1996, happened to find me last week.
Amazingly, she worked in the medical building next to John's nursing home! And when she discovered that I had been sleeping in my vehicle, including through the vicious winter storms much of America just went through, she begged me to take a break and come stay with her at her home for a while. WHAT A RELIEF and what a blessing!
And so, the very week John was rushed by ambulance to the hospital, I had been staying at her home away from the nursing home parking lot. This is why they could not contact me about John by coming out to my vehicle to tell me of his condition. Nor had they recorded my new phone number in their records.
I was physically so exhausted from sleeping in my vehicle to be close to John these past 6 months, that I spent much time simply catching up on my sleep at my friend's home.
And so all of this news about John's condition came as a terrible shock on Saturday...the very day I had been planning to come out and visit him again.
However, even in the midst of all this, I am praising God for many things.
I praise Almighty God that I could spend quality time with my brother John these past six months, ministering the word of God to him and praying with him. He reassured me that he had totally given his heart and life to Jesus Christ, and loved God with all his heart, and knew that he would go to heaven when he died.
Brother John and I spent wonderful times praying together. Sometimes his prayers were even more powerful than mine! He had a heart full of faith and optimism. He even confessed that someday he was going to walk out of that nursing home miraculously healed, and he was going to serve Jesus for the rest of his life. We only spoke in positive terms regarding his health and his future, believing God for miracles for John.
In fact, exactly one week ago, I was able to take John out through a wheelchair transportation service, to both shop and go to a restaurant for the FIRST TIME in three years! John wanted to go to WALMART to shop for his favorite cookies, and then go to the local Crackerbarrel Restaurant for a nice dinner.
John is sitting in Crackerbarrel Restaurant last Sunday,
eyes closed in bliss as he savors his first meal
in a restaurant in 3 years!
Special thanks to RON GARON of TULSA, OK,
for providing funds to pay for John's excursion.
But privately, as I have observed John slowly deteriorate over the past 6 months, my prayers have been for God in His mercy to do one of two things for His glory and for John's sake: either heal him completely and restore his health so he can be free from pain and suffering and serve God, OR in His great mercy to take John home to heaven at last.
As I watched John struggle to combat constantly recurring pain, and listened at times to his screaming in agony as they moved him, I pleaded with God to not allow him to linger in this dark netherworld of pain, suffering and uncertainty for his future.
I love my brother with all my heart. I have done what I could for him, to this very hour.
But I truly believe at this time, that if God does not choose to divinely heal him completely, the best thing for John is to be at home in heaven, free from a body of chronic pain and suffering and deterioration. I leave this decision fully in the hands of the Lord God the Almighty, for only HE can know what is best at this time.
And personally, although I will greatly miss my beloved brother and the wonderful recent times we spent together, I will rejoice if God in His mercy takes John home to be with him at last. He cannot face the harsh times coming to America soon, in his poor physical condition.
To know that John is safely in the arms of Jesus and out of this world, brings great relief and frees me to press on with the things God has given me to do for His kingdom in this urgent hour.
Staying with my Christian friend and her daughter at this time has been a wonderful blessing. They are standing with me in prayer and support now, giving me the love and encouragement I need to come through a difficult time such as this.
As I sit here typing this, I am praising God repeatedly, even through tears of sadness, for the special time He gave me with my brother this past six months. It meant so much to John at this time in his life, and so much to me as well.
John was so happy as I spent time with him.
My precious Christian mother (who died in 2006) and I would not give up on John and his salvation, from the very time he became involved in the world of drugs and alcohol and the wild "party-on dudes" lifestyle of the sixties and seventies.
We both shared Jesus with him repeatedly, prayed for him, wept over him, spent thousands of dollars trying to help him, rescued him numerous times from the consequences of his actions, and ultimately asked God to allow whatever it would take to bring him to repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, the physical conditions John has been suffering in recent years are the direct result of our prayers for his salvation. This is what it took to stop John from plunging headlong into hell from his lifestyle. But then, God did not do this to John. He simply allowed him to reap the deadly consequences of SIN AND REBELLION in his life, which is scriptural.
After abusing his body from the age of 14 with alcohol, drugs, smoking and a sinful lifestyle, his health was doomed from the beginning and destined to fail eventually.
Through God allowing suffering, pain and illness in his life, John was stopped from partying and drug dealing. He has not been a part of that world for four years now. And this is what brought him to repentance and to Jesus Christ for salvation at last.
Paul the Apostle spoke of his prayers for one particular man living in gross sin. Paul prayed that his body would be turned over to destruction, so that his spirit would be saved in the day of the Lord. In other words, through that man's pain and suffering he would finally come to repentance and salvation.
My mother and I were forced to pray this kind of prayer for both my sinful father and my brother, both of whom were clearly heading for hell at one time. My father was a NWO military satanist, and my brother was drug dealer and everything else that goes with the world of drugs. And, oh, the pain and heartache they both brought into our lives for many years. Sin always brings heartache and sorrow to innocent parties.
But we NEVER GAVE UP on them! We kept praying for them, we kept forgiving them, and trusted God to bring both to repentance and salvation at last. AND GOD DID! And this was all that really mattered in the end.
Dear readers, never give up on your loved ones who are not yet Christians! Your prayers will prevail someday, and you will never regret reaching up to God FOR A MIRACLE! His promises cannot fail.
My mother and I provided in-home hospice care for my father, caring for him until he died in 1998. He died a forgiven and saved man. And now I have been with my brother for 6 months, and it sadly appears that he might die soon as well.
But Brother John will die a saved and forgiven man as well. Halleluia! Again, this is all that really matters in the final analysis. FORGIVEN and home safely at last!
The lost sheep has been found,
and the prodigal son
has finally come home.
In closing, continue to pray from Brother John and myself. Pray for God's will to be done in his life.
Pray for strength and grace for me at this time as well.
This is a very unusual way to celebrate my birthday. But God's hidden hands and ways are in all of this, His will to perform.
God bless you all, and stay safe and warm during this chilly snow season nationwide!
-Pamela Rae Schuffert and beloved Brother John-