Monday, January 29, 2007

Joel's Last Day

After Joel moved his foot on Monday night, he remained stable through the night. I slept until 4:00 AM and at that point his temperature was 37.2, his heartbeat was 130, and his blood pressure was 76/31. His blood oxygen level was 91%.
Tuesday was Hosanna’s birthday and Cindy had already planned to have her birthday party at the hospital so that Joel could be there.
Around 7:00 AM, Joel’s oxygen level dropped significantly and without warning. He did not seem to have much moisture that needed to be suctioned out of his tube. After working with him he seemed to come up on his counts.
Around 9:30 AM we re-inserted his port in preparation for him to go home. Shortly after that his counts dropped again, including his heartbeat, and it began to concern me. I called Cindy to encourage her to come to the hospital as soon as possible. By noon the ventilator was not giving Joel enough oxygen, so we began to manually ‘bag’ him to raise his levels.
We were encouraging him to wait on his mom and she arrived around 1:00 PM with some of the children. My mother was here and she brought the rest of the children around 2:00 PM.
Joel was still struggling and we went ahead and had Hosanna’s birthday party with Joel around 2:30 PM. We also decided to try to take Joel home in the ambulance so that he could be at home on his little farm. The hospital tried to arrange the trip home and told us that the ambulance could be there around 6:00 PM.
Joel continued to struggle and he would not do well on the ventilator. We continued to ‘bag’ him and turned up his oxygen level. He came back on his counts, but after 3:00 PM they began to gradually fall.
By the next hour his heart rate was in the 90’s and falling. We so desired and sought to trust the Lord to raise him up. It was an excruciating time for our family and the dear friends that were there. At 4:30 PM, after a long and arduous struggle, Joel breathed his last and his little heart stopped beating. He departed from this life, safe in the arms of Jesus.
Cindy held the precious body of her little child for some time and arrangements were made to have Joel’s little body taken to the funeral home in Guthrie. We all then left the hospital where we had fought so long, prayed so hard, and shed so many tears for our precious Joel.
These last few days have been difficult. Joel was so dear to our family. Our hearts are broken. Two days ago I turned to Psalm 147 and read these words:

“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”

Please pray that it may be so.


Suzanne said...

we are. we are. and we haven't stopped. we will pray it until it is so.
-matt and suzanne parker

Emma R. said...

I will pray for your family always, I can't begin to imagine the sadness you all must feel. Thank you for sharing the story of his final day with you, what a sad tale to tell. I am glad he got to be at his sister's birthday part, what a blessing that must have been. It might have been his sister's birthday but Joel got the best gift of all, he got to go be in the arms of Jesus. God Bless you all

Deborah said...

We continue to pray for your family!

In Christ,
Ken, Debbie & Lisa May Fields

Bob and Cindy Cole said...

We will never stop praying for you. What precious pictures. He was a beautiful child.

Michelle Crook said...

Praying that it will be so ... very soon.

Thank you for sharing Joel with us, I will never forget him or your family.

Love and prayers, Michelle Crook and family

Christal said...

What a special little boy he was/is. How you love him so dearly, and I am praying for broken hearts to heal, impossible though that may seem right now.Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures and his last day.
He will always remain a part of your hearts, and mine. God touched my life with your little boy.He had a special ministry that we don't quite understand now, but I pray GOd will show you more. Joel has changed residences, but he lives on! Praise God for this hope and for the promise that you will see him again - soon.
Josiah must be a comfort for you to to hold right now. Our blessings and hugs in the Lord for your precious family... you did your very best. Praying for waves of comfort and peace to wash over you.
~Love Christal and Marcus Zerr

Luke's Mom said...

I sit here in tears hearing the hurt in your words. I will continue to pray that the God of comfort will heal your deep wounds in His perfect timing.

Love in Christ,

MomtoAPKMGJL said...

Grace and peace to you and your family.

Thank you for sharing precious Joel with us. His lovely smile will remain burned in my mind's eye.

Until we hold our precious ones in heaven,

busymom3g said...

Dear Terry & Cindy,
With tears flowing and a heavy heart I urge you to keep the faith! You've both fought a hard fight but don't give up! God is real and He is there! Praying you through and loving you from Arkansas! Keep your eyes on the Lord ~ I know times are dark and your vision is gone but know you are under his wing and not in the darkness alone!
Love and Tears,

Baby Blake's Parents said...

We are praying for your familys strength in this time as we have been. You were here for us when Blake was having such a hard time. If there is any thing we can do don't think twice about asking. We can't comprehend how hard this is for you but we do have an idea from Blake's two times that he flat lined. It may be hard to see Gods plan in all of this but you have to trust him. Joels life touched so many peoples hearts, and I know he was a blessing to you. Be grateful for the times you had together and may God bless you. Jeremiah & Rebekah (PICU)

Beckaboo said...

We will continue to pray for your family.... unceasingly.

In Him, the Ebling Family

Psalm 34:18
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Matthew 5:4
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Grafted Branch said...

Weeping with you and laughing with your sweet boy at the same time. Our Savior is so kind. Surely Joel knows no pain or even sadness at this moment!

I pray Our Lord envelope you all -- each one, and all together -- with His unfailing love as you must bear the burden of being without him.

The Lord bless you in this most terrible trial.

I'm just another Sister, surfing through from Large Family Logistics' place...

Dara said...

As one of the nurses who cared for Joel, I just wanted to extend my deepest sympathy in the loss of such a precious soul. I'm so sorry you didn't get to take him home with you, but am confident that you will one day be "at home" truly with him.
I wanted so badly to attend his funeral and extend my love to your family in this difficult time, but I was scheduled to work.
I had actually come in to the unit that next Wednesday and, first thing, I asked my charge nurse if I could take care of Joel that day. I then learned he had gone to be with Jesus the previous evening.
Thank you for your godly witness and your steadfast love and grace.
You are dear people to me and I will always remember you fondly.

<3 dara

Bss said...

Praying for your family and feeling heartbroken along with you. God loves you and will continue to help you during this difficult time.

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

I can't even begin to imagine. I am so beyond sorry for your loss. I am still sending prayers...

Those are some of the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen.

Gina said...

Thank you for sharing these photos. It made me smile to see Joel in better times. He is such a beautiful child...and what a pair he and Josiah are. I know you have so many precious memories to hold forever.

I continue to pray for you all. You (and your sweet Joel) are in my heart now and always.

With love,

Teena said...

my heart hurts so deeply as I read this..... oh how I am praying for God to comfort you. I haven't been here in a few days.... but you have been heavy on my heart. I am praying for you by name... lifting you up to the Lord...

thank you for sharing Joel's Last Day with us.

continuing to pray~
Teena mom to 1/2 dozen