Thursday, June 18, 2009



I think I would have to call this one not really a closed door or an open door. Maybe. . . a cracked one. An extremely nice guy who agreed that Ethan is definitely a miracle. He agreed to be part of a team and is referring us to two different doctors. God is worthy of my praise. Regardless.


When Ethan was in the ICU in Gainesville, one of the hospital's chaplains was a guy named Rick. The first time Rick came into Ethan's room to pray with us and for Ethan, he cried. I remember thinking that Rick must have had a very compassionate, kind heart. Now I know that what I saw that day was nothing less than the heart of Jesus.

I never knew where Rick went to church or what denomination he considered himself to be. I never asked Rick what he believed. We never talked about if he believed that all spiritual gifts were given today or how people should worship. We never talked about predestination or how he thinks Jesus will return. We definitely didn't talk about politics or if he was a republican or a democrat.

Although Rick shared with us a little about his past life, we really didn't know much about him. To be honest, if I passed Rick while walking through the mall today, five and a half years later, I'm not sure I would recognize him.

I couldn't really tell you what he looked like.

Eyes back then were tired and weak from many tears and little sleep.

Yet, there was an intimacy between Rick and our family that was undeniable.

He loved us and he loved Ethan.

I have no doubt that Jesus was loving us through this man named Rick.

Rick left Gainesville to go on a scheduled cruise with friends a couple of days before Ethan was transferred to a hospital back home. He told us he hated to leave us. He left us a letter in an envelope with our names written on the front. I can't put my hands on it right now. It is in a large box full of prayers, letters and cards that people sent to us during those first few months after Ethan was hurt.

Rick told us in that very brief letter that whenever he thought of us, the following verse always came to mind:

"Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you."
Matthew 7:7

Rick told us that He believed God wanted us to know that we were going to have to knock for Ethan. That we were going to have to keep knocking. That we were going to have to seek for Ethan and continue to seek. He told us we were going to have to ask for Ethan. . . regardless.

At the time, the doctors and hospital administrators felt like they had done all they could do for Ethan. They wanted him transferred to another hospital or preferably to a nursing facility. They basically just wanted him gone. He was taking up space and they must have been worried about the insurance continuing to pay for an ICU room.

Don't get me wrong. God blessed us beyond belief while we were in Alachua General Hospital. I can't even begin to tell of the goodness, amazing medical care and support we received there.

But, it was time for a change.

In one of our discussions with the hospital social worker who was responsible for Ethan's discharge or transfer, I heard the words: rehabilitation centers. I grabbed on to those words. They were hope.

Imagine my disappointment when the social worker came into Ethan's room and gave me a list of nursing homes in our area with the understanding that these nursing homes would not take Ethan as long as he was on a ventilator. However, she did tell me about a nursing home in South Florida that would take him. It was a nursing home that only took patients who were in a persistent vegetative state on ventilators.

I don't remember who all was in Ethan's room during that meeting. I remember that one of Ethan's special nurses, Eileen, was there. I remember her telling the social worker to get out of the room as I lost it and began to scream. I don't know if Rick was there or not.

But, I do know he had grave concerns about the fact that too many doctors had given up on Ethan and that they were willing to accept the prognosis of a persistent vegetative state.

The verse he gave us was the result of his belief that we were going to have to fight the medical community and tradition and the mind of man, for Ethan. That we were going to have to fight it with everything we had in us and all that God cold give us.

Rick was right.

We have had to seek, to knock and to ask.

We have had more doors shut in our faces than we would like to remember. Jim has spent hours on rabbit trails that led no where. We have felt so beaten up by disappointment after disappointment that we have wondered how we would get up and face another day.

But, every once in a while, the door opens. And standing in the doorway is someone that God has placed there. Like Robin, his physical therapist. Or Tammy, his occupational therapist. When our family doctor moved to Colorado, God provided us with a general practitioner that knows he is way out of his league when it comes to Ethan's care, but he is willing to write prescriptions for all of Ethan's medical supplies and equipment. He is willing to help us any way he can. God provided a kind, experienced urologist for Ethan when he needed help for kidney stones.

Over and over again, God has provided.

Sometimes what feels like a shot in the dark, is a door opening.

Over and over again there have been "other Rick's" in our lives.

From the hospital worker that stayed on the phone with us as we drove to the hospital the day Ethan was hurt, to the young lifeguards that help us with the equipment used to get Ethan in and out of the pool out on base, we have seen Jesus.

Just last month, God provided through this cousin and another cousin, the game system Wii to help develop and strengthen Ethan's upper body and arms. Right now, Jim and I couldn't provide this for Ethan. They did.

Today, we are knocking again.

We need a doctor experienced with brain injury to coordinate Ethan's medical concerns. We need a doctor who isn't overwhelmed by Ethan's disability. We need a doctor to see the potential. . . the possibilities that we see when we see Ethan.

We need. . .

Ethan needs. . .

So we are knocking and asking.

Ethan has a doctor's appointment today with a new doctor. We know nothing about him except what we have read on the internet and from the brief conversation that Jim had with his nurse.

Who knows?

An open door or another closed one?

Regardless, Jim and I have already decided this morning that we are going to believe.

To believe God, no matter what.

And, if this doctor isn't the one, there will be one.

We will keep seeking, knocking and asking.

Today as we get ready to drive the hour and a half to his appointment, we rejoice that Ethan is with us. We rejoice that we have a God that reminds us in the verses following the one Rick gave us, "that a good father would never give his son a stone when he asked for bread. Nor that a good father would give his son a serpent when asked for a fish". We rejoice that we have a Father that knows how much we love Ethan and that He tells us He loves us so much more.

If you have time to pray for us, pray that we believe.



  1. Great. To God be the Glory. MaryLois

  2. I am praying and thanking God for what He has done and what He is going to do!!! Amen and Amen