Matthew is in a lot of pain

Please pray for Matthew. In the last few days, his pain has intensified, and today was not responding to the usual pain killers they have been giving to him, even though they have increased the dosage. His pain is very often an 8 out of 10, and sometimes spikes to a 9 out of 10. The nurses are doing what they can, but we need the doctors and the pain management team to find a solution. One of the doctors just okayed more oral nerve pain, and we would ask you to pray that it will be sufficient.

Even though he has no feeling in his left shoulder and entire arm, there is still intense phantom nerve pain there. It is also very uncomfortable and hard to sleep with the neck brace. He will have to wear it for several more weeks as they wait for his broken neck vertebra to heal on its own. Please pray for quick healing for that and that as it improves, the pinched or damaged nerves which are preventing him from having a full range of motion in his right arm will heal up.

He still has the broken rib and broken humerus in his left arm, and we ask you to pray that those will heal. The humerus was set and plated when he was at the previous hospital, John Muir.

Tomorrow they will check his skin graft, which is currently covered by a large bandage and the wound VAC. If that is healing well, they will take off the wound VAC, which would be great because now he is tethered to the VAC machine, which flushes off the fluids. This means that he cannot get up and walk to the bathroom without someone assisting him and taking the pole with him on which the wound VAC rests.

The wounds on his two upper thighs where they took the donor skin for the skin graft seem to be healing up well. Now, we need to wait for them to form full scabs, which will eventually fall off.

The next step forward will be for Matthew to be discharged from UCSF Parnassus, but before that happens, they have to find a way to manage his pain without an IV or shots so that he can only be on pills. 

We are looking for a hand therapist (occupational) who will be able to see him as an outpatient once he is discharged. I have leads on a few places in the San Francisco area, but we need to make arrangments for that treatment and start setting appointments.

We also will be making appointments for him to begin nerve treatment at UCSF Mission Bay Peripheral Nerve Center as an outpatient as soon as he is discharged from UCSF Parnassus. This nerve treatment will first involve MRIs, EMGs, and nerve conduction studies to determine where the nerves were sheered off and which nerves are still intact. After the UCSF Mission Bay Peripheral Nerve Center has conducted these tests and has more definitive test results, then Matthew will need surgery, either an exploratory surgery to see the damage more clearly, or a nerve transfer from a donor nerve from another part of his body. We are guesstimating that that process will take several weeks, possibly up to two months.

During that time, Matthew and I will need an affordable place to live near San Francisco. We have some options out there and need to find the best solution. Please pray for us in that.

The accident happened 3 1/2 weeks ago, on January 18. Good news: we’ve already hit our insurance deductible for the year! 🙂 Gotta look at the bright side of things!

Caregiver fatigue is real. Please pray for me. Those of you who know me know that I operate best on a pretty rigid schedule including lots of time at my desk and computer doing Bible translation and administration. All that has gone out the window for the moment! Pray for me to get the time I need to take care of all the administrative tasks I have which includes insurance, bookkeeping, e-mail, messaging, phone calls, reports and providing salaries and oversight to our Bible translators back in Croatia and Serbia. Please also pray for me to get the alone time I need as an introvert, which has also been severely reduced!

Pray for Pamala as well. When she returns to Croatia a week from today, she and the kids will be going to the SHARE Family Education Conference in Siofok, Hungary, where we go to each year. I will not be attending since I will still be in the US, but everyone else, including Kirsten, will go, and they are looking forward to it. Kirsten will be flying in from BFA Germany for that week. It is a very significant conference for her, since it may be the last time she is with many of her missionary kid friends. Some of them are graduating and won’t be back, but also Kirsten will be coming with us on home assignment to the States and then will stay on in the States to do Early College at Calvary University, so she will not be going back to Europe to see those friends. MK life is full of tough transitions, and this final conference is significant to our kids.

After that conference in Hungary, Pamala will have to pack up everything in Croatia for our home assignment in the States, and I won’t be able to be with her. Getting a house ready to leave for 6-12 months is always a challenge, but especially under these new circumstances when we need to get back to the States earlier than we had planned and stay longer than we had expected. She will need help in packing and taking care of Daniel and Ariela during this time. Please pray for her in all that.

Thank you for praying. We will keep you updated as we learn more and as plans progress. (BTW, if you want to read our weekly prayer updates in the future, you can go to, and if you wish to receive our weekly prayer updates by e-mail, go to


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