Saturday, January 13, 2007

Our precious Joel continues to cling to life. This morning his heart rate is 97, his blood pressure is 79/36, but we do not know his hemoglobin as of this morning. We do have a new doctor, but we are still hoping to find a way to take Joel out of this hospital. He has taken his first night of feedings well.

Psalm 13, written down so long ago in God’s precious word, is so close to the cry of our hearts this morning:

‘How long wilt thou forget me O Lord? For ever? How long wilt thou hide thy face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten my eyes lest I sleep the sleep of death; Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved. But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.’

The reality of our situation is that these physicians do not see Joel as a person who is living. This makes it extremely difficult to care for him here. The nurses are continuing to provide care, and we really appreciate that fact. Please pray for us to endure this situation with Godly patience and love even when it is difficult.

Through some research I have found some material that really speaks to where we are. I do not have the documentation for this quote, but it came off of a discussion on a medical web site. It states some truth relevant to our situation. We know that Joel is alive. The issue for some is his ‘quality of life’. As with any of man’s words, this is not considered infallible, but I think he has many good insights.

I am quoting, “What bothers me about most discussions of brain death is that the arguments many people use are based upon what they ‘feel’ is right, upon what medical science can observe about the brain, or upon appeals to ‘quality of life’ or to the necessity of using those organs to help others who need them. These arguments all beg the question: what is death? This can only be answered by a right philosophy, not by science. Science can only portray the physical evidence; it is doctors and ethicists who have made the determination of death based upon that evidence. The medical evidence says nothing except that there is no apparent functioning in the brain; this upon its own does not say whether or not it is death of the person. This is a definition based upon a person's judgment of these facts. Medical ethicists, who admittedly have a vested interest in this, due to the possibility of harvesting organs, have taken over the job of defining death and life. This is not something that should be taken lightly.
“To those who argue based upon the fact that they ‘feel’ it is right: one's subjective feelings about something, even though his/her conviction may be very strong, is never a valid basis for truth, unless it is backed up by something objectively right. If there is any question at all, one's feelings may not suffice to provide direction. Especially in matters of life and death, this should NOT be any kind of green light to go ahead.
“To those who argue that the benefits of organ harvesting are enough to justify brain death as death of the person: One may not use a relativistic argument that assumes that one person's life is more important than another. Just because you know that a person, because of his medical condition, has little or no chance of living a normal life, and may even die soon, does not make that person's life any less valuable. That person deserves to be nurtured and cared for, until the very end, and the end may not be hastened by well-meaning attempts to help others. Otherwise, human beings play God and decide that this or that person is expendable, because of X,Y, & Z. Where does that end? ….. Life (ALL life) is precious and sacred, and it must be cherished and respected at every stage, from conception until natural death; otherwise, NO human's life is sacred. The same arguments that are used to justify this situation, as well as many more such current issues in medical ethics, can be used either for or against anyone, according to whoever is making the rules.
“What strikes me is that many people, in saying that brain death is ‘real’ death, often contradict themselves by stating that it is cruel to keep someone here on earth indefinitely. The person is either here or not; if dead, the life support machines are not prolonging anything. One thing I hear often when people say brain death is real death, is that the person's soul is no longer there, just the body. While I agree that humans have a spiritual soul, the body and soul are not separate. We are ‘embodied souls’; the body and soul are intrinsically united. How can the body continue to breathe, the heart beat, and blood flow to the organs, keeping them healthy, if the person is not alive? Machines cannot do all this work: they can pump air into the person and can stimulate the heart to beat, but they cannot cause the exchange of oxygen to happen at the tissue level. Eventually, when the person does die, no machine in the world can keep this process going. Does this not tell us that there is something more to death than mere ‘brain death’?
“I realize that there are still many more questions, and that this does not sufficiently cover all the grounds. But, my point was to at least emphasize that it is CRITICAL what methods we use to justify such an argument. Our culture is so used to using faulty logic to arrive at the conclusions that we do. Only a solid foundation in morality and good philosophical reasoning, based upon objective truth, will suffice to even discuss this question.” - Unknown Author

If I can find the reference for this quote I will add it later. The one most powerful sentence to me is this, “Life (ALL life) is precious and sacred, and it must be cherished and respected at every stage, from conception until natural death; otherwise, NO human's life is sacred.” God is the creator, He is the giver of life. We look to Him to help us in this struggle. May God grant a mighty work in Joel’s life to show, for the glory of the living God, that He is still the God of Elijah, and he can still answer with fire from Heaven and show that He is God. We trust that God is going to raise Joel up as a testimony of His mighty power. Please join us in that prayer.


Janne said...

I just wanted to let you know that we (the Lefebvre family in Florida) are continuing to lift your precious family up in prayer, and will spread the word about Joel's situation so that still others may pray.

In Him,

Mike Southerland said...

Terry, we are praying for Joel and the rest of your family everyday. I want to mention that I admire your courageous stance. At times the pressure must seem insurmountable. Yet God is strengthening you to stand through it all. Your actions are an encouragement to other fathers facing the same thing. Through your example, you will surely save other lives by encouraging those men to protect their own families in the way that you are gallantly protecting Joel. May God enable you to preservere. God bless you brother.

Emma R. said...

My prayers are still going out to Joel and your family. I know everyone is tired, I know at times thinks look very dark but I truly believe God will take care of this for you. Hang in there and tell Joel to keep up the fight, that he has many people praying for him

~JavaMama~ said...

Joel and your family will be lifted up in our daily prayers.


Carmichael Family said...

We are praying for your family. Have you looked into Loma Linda University Hospital in California? As a Christian institution I think that this facility would be more likely to agree with the important of the sanctity of life...

Teena said...

Just checking in.... read two updates as we were not online last night. I am so thankful that Joel is holding his own, and for the baby steps .... God is a God of miracles and that is what we are praying for. We will continue to pray for Joel, for Cindy and Terry and ALL the children. Your strength is a testimony to us all... the faith you have in our Father.... is a testimony to all of us.

Continuing to talk to the Lord about Joel.

Teena wife to Billy 26yr
mom to 1/2 dozen

Ronnie said...

Terry & Cindy,

Our family will be praying you yours. We will pray the physicians will be touch by God, and know with Him all things are possible.

Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:30-31

Ronnie & Maria Beasley

Conchita & Sammy Diaz said...

Just read your last update on Joel's condition and we want you and your family to know that we are praying for Joel and all of you. You have a beautiful family and you all will be in God's hands throught this situation. May our Loving Father blessed Joel,his parents and siblings.

Wes said...

Terry & Cindy,
Dana and I will be praying for you and little Joel, We hope for the best for your family.
Wes & Dana

Lonnie said...

Terry and Cindy and Carolyn and Jay,
My thoughts and prayers are with you in this very difficult and trying times. Our entire Sunday School Class will be praying for Joel. When times like this come upon all of us (and they certainly will), it is very important to keep our eyes on the Lord and I know you all are doing just that. Your strength to get through this is from God and no one else. I pray for your whole family.

In Him,