Matthew’s surgery; discouraging news

Pam took this picture of Daniel and Ariela at SFO before they left on their flight yesterday

Today’s surgery for Matthew brought us some bad news. They went in to debride (remove) dead muscle, which had caused his skin graft to fail on part of his forearm, but they found much more dead tissue than they had expected. No skin graft can be done there until there is healthy muscle underneath, and they were unable to find health muscle there. They put the wound VAC back on the forearm.

This sets things back quite a bit. We had hoped that he would be discharged soon, but now we are unsure when. Having a wound VAC complicates things since he is always tethered to it, and it will need to be replaced every few days by a doctor. Thankfully, this can be done as an outpatient, but it is discouraging not to be as mobile as he was before.

This is also discouraging news regarding the possibility of his regaining use of his arm. It was always a very long shot, medically speaking, that he would be able to use his hand and fingers again due to the nerve avulsion, but now this is even less likely since there may be no muscle available for those nerves to activate in the forearm and the hand. This is very hard to take since Matthew was so looking forward to doing everything he could to regain the use of his hand. Please pray for grace with all the ups and downs of emotions as we take a few steps forward and then end up taking steps backward.

We don’t know yet what this means regarding keeping his forearm and hand. We are still committed to having testing done to see what type of nerve transplant can be done so he can regain as much use as possible.
He is currently back on the IV for fluids. They are giving him only oral pain medications, which is good since that is a condition for discharge. His pain was lower during the day yesterday but went very high in the middle of the night. Please pray that his pain will be low this evening and tonight, especially after his surgery this morning.

His surgery was at 7 a.m., so it was a good thing I spent the night in his hospital room since it takes a long time in traffic to get from where I am staying to the hospital.

Pamala, Daniel, and Ariela had a smooth trip and are back safe and sound in Slavonski Brod, Croatia. Pam said it was an uneventful trip, for which we are very grateful. Please pray for them as they adjust to the 9 hour time difference and also get ready to drive to Hungary without me for the annual SHARE Family Education Conference which starts Sunday.

Thank you all for your prayers,


P.S. If you would like to send mail to Matthew or me, please message me directly and I will send you the address where we will be staying in the San Francisco area. Do not use Matthew’s Oakland address since Jonathan will be moving to a new address.

2 thoughts on “Matthew’s surgery; discouraging news

  1. Dear Matthew

    I have been following the daily news your dad provided us. This turn of events is also gut wrenching to me as your sister in Christ.

    All I can utter is: wow Lord, this is frustrating!

    But I so long for you, my dear young brother, to know and see with eyes of faith that nothing much has changed for you, your identity, your security, and for your purpose in this temporary life on earth.


    Because of who God is, and because of what our great God has done for you and is doing for you through this huge trial He allowed. Even Jesus and the Holy Spirit are praying on your behalf at this time. God has you my brother! I know this from personal experience.

    God is graciously preparing you for what he has in store for you, and making you stronger in the faith. May He even fill your heart with joy at this true prospect.

    All my love

    Marinda de Villiers

    Donvale Presbyterian Church, Melbourne, Australia

    Rom 8:18-25

    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

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