Wednesday, December 5, 2007

God's Healing Hand

I have made frequent mention on this blog about my son Bobby. He was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma this past March, underwent chemotherapy for about 2 and ½ months, and is now clear of cancer. We praise the Lord for His healing.

This was not the first medical trauma for our family. It also was not the first time God healed in a mighty way.

Along with Bobby, Alice and I have been blessed by God with two daughters. Caroline is thirteen years old, and Mary is ten. Mary has quite a story of her own.

When Mary was very young, she spiked several very high fevers that led to seizures. On at least one occasion she stopped breathing. There were trips in ambulances and visits to the emergency room. Finally, her doctor recommended that she have an MRI. I will never forget when Alice called me at work and told me that the doctor said that Mary had “an abnormality” in her brain (based on the MRI).

After an arteriogram (a picture of the blood vessels in the brain), it was clear that Mary had an aneurysm in the middle of her brain. An aneurysm is a bulging out of a vessel that causes a thinning of the vessel wall. This particular vessel should have been two millimeters in diameter. Instead, it measured nearly a centimeter (ten millimeters across).

We were told by Mary’s neurologist that when an aneurysm ruptures, the person has a 1/3 chance of dying, a 1/3 chance of becoming an invalid, and a 1/3 chance of remaining normal. We knew that God is not handcuffed by “chances,” but we also realized that we needed to get the aneurysm repaired as soon as possible.

This took place in 2000, when Mary was three.

Since we were living near Savannah at the time, we hoped that Mary could be treated in Atlanta. Her neurologist, however, suggested that we take her to Children’s Hospital in Boston. This we did.

Prior to flying to Boston, we discussed Mary’s case with one of the leading pediatric neurology specialists in the country. We were assuming that he would have to do open brain surgery to get at the aneurysm. We knew this would cause Mary all sorts of developmental setbacks, but we did not think there was any other option.

Much to our joy, we were told of a relatively new (in the year 2000) procedure that was much less invasive. Doctors could insert a catheter into Mary’s blood stream in her thigh. They would then move the catheter all the way up into her brain through her circulatory system. After reaching the aneurysm, the doctors would then insert platinum coils into the vessel to shut off blood flow. We were told that this would not cause any significant problems for Mary.

The doctors did it, and Mary is doing very well today. I still don’t understand what platinum coils are, but I’m thrilled they exist.

Alice and I give all the praise and glory to God for His healing. We realize that He could have healed Mary any way He wanted to. However, He chose to do it in a way that both magnified His glory and caused our faith to grow. Of course we thank the neurologists, but it was God who caused the technology to be invented for the surgery. It was God who gave the doctors their skills. It was God who caused the coils to work.

It was God who did the healing.

It is God who heals.

We praise Him for His generous blessings of healing upon our family.


Alan said...

It has been interesting to learn of your unique story. I praise God for what He has put you through as a family because 1)He knows you can handle it and 2)It brings glory to His name. Stay strong and know that you and yours have been added to my prayers.

In Christ

Eric said...


Thank you so much for your prayers.

We try to remain encouraged during this time. We are so thankful to God for both drawing us closer to Him, and for healing both kids.


Brian said...

That's an awesome story - seems like God has something going on in your family to display his glory! You are blessed!

Eric said...


Thanks for your comments. We look forward to how God will use us. It is always interesting to see how God carves out different experiences in different peoples' lives to advance His glory.