Thank you for praying for us. Matthew and I are staying at a hotel near the airport in San Francisco. He and I met with the new surgeon at Stanford in Palo Alto, California, this morning. His opinion is that, in all probability, the nerves were avulsed entirely (ripped from the spinal cord) for Matthew’s hand, arm, should and upper back, and that, in all likelihood, there is no treatment that can remedy it.
He did order a special x-ray and will let us know the findings. However, those reports will only give information about Matthew’s breathing function and shed light on whether another set of nerves was damaged or whether they might be available for use in the case of a nerve transfer if that option is even still possible. He also would like to see the findings from the MRN that Matthew will have on Wednesday at UCSF.
This surgeon’s opinion is that true reimplantation of nerves into the spinal cord is not possible. He has not seen it done and is not aware of it being performed successfully in the US.
This is not the answer we wanted to hear, although it is satisfying to finally meet with another specialist and get his opinion. We had been working for a long time to find another specialist, covered by our insurance, who was available to evaluate Matthew as a candidate for further surgery.
Please pray for the MRN on Wednesday, for the doctors at UCSF as they interpret the imaging, for the surgeon at Stanford as he interprets the x-ray, and for all of us as we continue to pursue advice from these surgeons.
There is always the possibility, since there are many unknowns with nerves, that some of Matthew’s feeling or use of his arm stump would slowly return. We continue to ask you to pray for that. Until then, it looks like the best road ahead is to continue to work on getting Matthew a prosthesis that will allow him to utilize, to a limited degree, his left arm and mechanic hand or hook.
Please pray as this reality continues to sink in, and as another hoped-for door seems to have slammed closed.
Grace does not mean that everything will work out the way we had hoped or the way which we interpret as being the most beneficial or useful. Grace often means patience, peace, contentment, and an eternal perspective in the midst of the very circumstances we were praying so desperately to avoid.
Thank you for your prayers.