4 years ago today my family was sitting in the waiting room of Children's Hospital in Washington, DC, waiting for my brother's 8 1/2 hour brain surgery to be completed.
For those who don't know, I want to share this miraculous story. For those who do know, rejoice and praise God with me as we boast of His greatness and faithfulness! My older brother Zach was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis at the age of 2. This disease causes fibroid tumors all over his body, coming and going, changing frequently. Many tumors are not a problem, but when Zach was in the 7th grade (I was in the 5th and Jillian was in the 2nd), during an annual MRI, Zach's neurologist found a tumor in his brain stem. At this time, the tumor was considered inoperable and my family was at a loss of what to do. We were given the information that as long as the tumor did not grow, Zach would be ok. Well, that's exactly what happened. For 10 years, Zach's tumor lay dormant. During Zach's junior year of college at ASU, our family began to see signs of things changing. Zach's speech began to change dramatically and his fine and gross motor skills were deteriorating. At Zach's MRI over that Christmas (2004), it showed that Zach's tumor had indeed began to grow and there was major pressure on his brain stem, as well as causing fluid to form on other parts of his brain. Over the course of the next 5 months, Zach, along with my parents, began going to specialists to see what could be done. Well, God's grace and sovereinty shined through...There was now technology that would allow Zach to be operated on! Praise be to Jesus.
My parents drove Zach up to D.C. where the specialists were who could operate during this invasive procedure. On June 10, 2005, Zach went into a surgery that had NEVER been done before, on a part of the brain that is the absolute most senstive and dangerous. (For all those Grey's Anatomy Fans, you understand!) There were people from all over the world in the gallery watching the operation. After several hours of waiting and praying, the doctor came out of surgery. He told us that Zach had done well and things looked good. However, not to be surprised if Zach didn't wake up for at least 48 hours and he would not be out of ICU for a few days. Well, God didn't stop there. Within an hour, my sister and I were in the room TALKING to Zach! He was released from ICU the next day! Praise be to Jesus! He even was home, in our living room, within a WEEK! Man, God is good!
After his surgery, Zach went through an intensive 6 week bought of radiation at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem, NC. Though he struggled with lethargy, he still continued to work his summer job! Today, he is healed. Through speech and physical therapy, you wouldn't know Zach had gone through such a terrible ordeal. We serve a risen and healing God!
I share this story to emphasize the importance of prayer, family, and friends. Without these, in this order, my family would not have been able to endure this time in our lives. My brother is a strong and courageous man and I am so thankful for him in my life. My parents are true ROCKS for one another. My sister, she is my best friend. She and I always stick together. God has a mighty plan for my brother. He allowed technology to get ready for Zach, and ready it was! Thank you Father, for your healing power over my brother!
I love you Zach!
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13