We are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love from all the corners of the globe. Thank you for praying for us, bringing meals, giving financially, and showing such love and concern. Matthew is very grateful and has been deeply touched by the generosity and encouragement of so many people.
Matthew’s surgical team has agreed that the best next step is for him to be transferred out of John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, CA, to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center (UCSF) in San Francisco, CA, so that he can be seen by a specialist who works with Matthew’s type of injury. UCSF is about 30 miles (one hour) away from John Muir, where he is currently. The plan, Lord willing, is for Matthew to be transferred to UCSF, where they will do exploratory surgery to see the extent of the nerve damage. If the condition of his nerves shows that it is possible, they will then attempt to do a nerve graft or reimplantation to restore feeling and movement to his arm.
They are honest that, humanly speaking, the chances of his nerves being repaired are very low. They will not know until they do surgery to find out how close to the spine the nerves were avulsed and what remains of his brachial plexus nerves. Again, in reality, Matthew’s left arm was ripped from his body (nerves, arteries, muscles, and ligaments) and was only held on by the skin and his scapula.
If he is a candidate for nerve repair treatment, then they will do so, and then pursue muscle and ligament repair, etc. If the nerves can be reimplanted or grafted, it is a long shot that they would reinnervate his arm to the extent that he could move and have feeling in that arm.
Please pray as this looks like it will be a very long, painful, and expensive road ahead. Here are our current prayer requests. Please pray for:
- Matthew to have a robust, dynamic, and growing trust in Jesus.
- Grace, courage, strength, peace, and clear thinking for Matthew in handling all that has come his way.
- Wisdom for Matthew as he has to choose between options and make many hard decisions about treatment for his arm.
- Our insurance to quickly approve a transfer to UCSF and to approve his treatment there. This includes the extra costs of an ambulance transfer because of Matthew’s condition
- That a bed will open up at UCSF since they are all full at the moment.
- Wisdom for Dr. Terry and team at UCSF as they decide what treatment is best for Matthew.
- That the insurance and hospital approval and transfer will not be delayed because of it being the weekend.
- Safety for Matthew as he will need at least two more operations if not many more.
- Medical insurance to cover Matthew’s treatments.
- Matthew to receive disability benefits.
- Wisdom and help in navigating the labyrinth of benefits, insurance, etc.
- Forbearance for his school loan so that it can delayed until we know the next steps for his schooling
- Housing for Elizabeth and Todd to stay in San Francisco near UCSF, and that it would have some privacy as well as a kitchenette so we can make our own meals.
- Longer-term housing for Todd as he will be staying with Matthew quite a bit longer.
- Technical difficulties, which are keeping us from getting the GoFundMe withdrawals sent to our bank, to be resolved ASAP.
- Strength for Todd and Elizabeth to be there for Matthew while also needing to do work, schooling, and tons of medical/insurance paperwork, phone calls, etc.
- Extra time to become available so Todd and Elizabeth can keep up with work, school, and other obligations.
- Wisdom and the provision of airfare and logistics for bringing Pam and the kids to San Francisco from Croatia to see Matthew for several days.
- Wisdom for Todd and Pam to know where we should be geographically for the time being. We had planned to be on furlough in Kansas City July 10, 2020, until mid-January 2021, and speaking and reporting to our supporters. We are not sure if that is still a good idea or whether we should move that furlough to begin earlier, and to extend it longer. We do not know where we will be living on that furlough since it very much depends on Matthew’s needs at that time. We did not have housing lined up in KC for that period, which is not all bad since the dates may be different now, and Matthew might be living with us. There are many unknowns.
- Help and wisdom for Todd, for our Roma Bible translators, our consultant, and funders at The Seed Company of how to keep everything going forward with the Bible translations in the 5 Roma languages. We had a translation consultant workshop planned to take place in Croatia February 4-16, which we have canceled. The next workshop is scheduled for early May in Croatia. If we stay longer in the US (rather than just the six months we had planned), it will be more challenging logistically with all the details of running the translation project). We need wisdom. Also, Todd has been doing most of the work himself, and help from more people (Roma, national or international) would be extremely helpful.
Here are some current praises and answers to prayer:
- Matthew’s arm is still alive (viable) with proper blood flow, color, and warmth.
- Matthew has a fantastic attitude. All the medical staff caring for him have been amazed at his positive attitude. He even asks the nurses and therapists how THEY are doing and what he can do to make their job easier.
- We have enjoyed the Psalms together as a family as well as some very encouraging songs (Desert Song by Hillsong, Champion by the Torwalts, Whatever Comes by Rend Collective, and many more).
- We have enjoyed some very deep, soul searching conversations with as a family.
- Matthew’s siblings have been amazing and have lent incredible support to him.
- Jonathan’s employer (quizlet.com) has been very generous in giving Jonathan time off to care for Matthew.
- Elizabeth is scheduled to start a new job, and the employer pushed back her start date so she could be here with Matthew for two extra weeks. She also just started her Master’s Degree in Social Work and has been able to keep up with her online classes.
- Pam is fantastic in being such support from Croatia. Pray as she is getting very little sleep because of doing all she needs to do in the Croatian timezone while still keeping up with everyone in the California timezone, which is 9 hours later.
You all are amazing.
Todd for all the Prices
P.S. Please let me know if you know of housing or a car that might be available for us to use in San Francisco.