Here are the latest updates and prayer requests regarding Dr. Jim Childs, a leading layman from the West Kittanning, Pa, Grace Brethren church, following a terrible fall last Wednesday. These excerpts are from an e-mail sent Tuesday by his daughter, Lynn:
We have experienced the most amazing outpouring of love and prayers from all over the country and quite literally all over the world. In the last few days I have received emails from more states than I can count.
My dad has also received many, many cards from all over, from our HUGE family in Christ. Again, I cannot thank you enough for your support. Our family is literally cradled in your arms, your support and your prayers and I am certain that my father is being cradled in the loving arms of Christ blanketed with your prayers.
My father had the surgery on the back of his neck on Friday. The surgery went well, considering what the surgeons had to work with. They went in with the intent to stabilize C3 – C7 with rods and screws.
Unfortunately two of the vertebrae were too crushed to repair, so they placed rods, screws and bone grafts on C3 – T1 (the two that are crushed will eventually heal into the rest of the vertebrae to make one solid mass). My dad remained stable through the surgery which is an answer to prayer.
They were able to wean him off the ventilator by Sunday, Happy Easter! What a blessing to hear his voice again! It is amazing how much the sound of someone’s voice means and how much hope just that sound can offer.
Yesterday he had a filter inserted into his leg to catch any clots that may form and that procedure went well.
He has quite a bit of excretions that he is attempted to cough up from his lungs. This wears him out greatly and also frustrates him greatly. He told us that he often feels like he is drowning and the effort is extremely exhausting. But, he must continue to bring that up so that pneumonia does not set in.
Today he is set to have shoulder surgery at 11:30. They will be going in to pin the bone back together. The surgery will be a little tricky in two regards. One, the bone broke off in the shoulder socket, which gives limited space to stabilize it and runs the risk of a non-union (does not heal together).
Two, there is a main nerve that runs down the under side of the arm that can be stretched or compromised during the surgery. Given one of the prospective outcomes, dad really needs to have both arms functioning well.He still has no feeling or movement below the level of his diaphragm at this point.
So, here is a short list of specific prayer needs:
1. That the swelling in his spine will recede quickly and completely and that the bruising will heal
2. Function and feeling will begin to return to his lower body
3. He will be able to bring up the secretions sucessfully and will have the strength to persevere through it and that pneumonia won’t set in
4. That the surgery will go well today and there would be no damage to the nerves in the arm
5. Peace and rest. He mentioned for the first time the other day how scary this really is. I simply cannot imagine.
6. For my mom–strength, rest and peace.