Please pray for my Bill.
Friday morning he went to the school—GLCA—to do some power washing on the outside.
The short story is he fell off a ledge about six feet. I’ll share more details later when time allows. Two hospitals later, with a surgery late Friday night, we were told the surgeon put a plate with screws in his mid-back. All we know is he has a broken vertebrae—L1,T12—and some broken ribs. Later we found out part of his spinal cord was cut, part compressed, so a partial transection.
I haven’t seen him since Friday. They did let me send up his cell phone, glasses and then later a cell charger and ear buds. That’s it. We can talk by phone now.
Bill finally spoke to the doctor Monday night, Dr. Pedro Fernandes. The doctor did not give him any hope in walking again, but we never give up on praying through God’s perfect for each one of our lives. That’s where I need your prayers, Daniel prayers that are strong in battle until God’s perfect will is done.
He was tested for the coronavirus, and they never got back to him or separated him from others. He is in a room with three others, so we assume he was negative. So far his bloodwork is good. Before Friday, he didn’t even take an aspirin for pain. His physical body, mind and spirit are strong.
The doctor has not been back to see him since. Through God’s way of connecting, a student’s parent had their doctor friend check on him. The doctor visited with Dr. Fernandes at lunch today, since this is Dr. Fernandes surgery day. Dr. Fernandes said he is writing the medical report in English soon, so we can send them to the rehab center in the US.
Today, Wednesday, now updated to 18:00 Lisbon time, we have many questions unanswered. I keep holding off so that I’ll have more to share with you. I don’t mean to be sketchy. We read every message late at night, and they warm us, connect us. The scriptures possess us by all God promises. He is true to His promises. I have a lifetime of kept promises.
We still don’t know when Bill can travel safely.
Please pray that God will open and close doors for where and when Bill needs to be to get the best treatment fit for his individual case. Son Nick has spent two days calling spinal cord rehab centers for us. We have several that fit. They are listed in the top 14 of the world and US spinal cord rehab centers. One is in Chicago, another Philadelphia, Atlanta and then Kessler in NJ. They do take Medicare and BCBS. They will help us with the medical evacuation. They also have a place for me while he is in their care. If any of you have any input about any of these, we are interested.
Because of the pandemic and the hospital where Bill is presently, we believe he needs to be moved to a spinal rehab facility asap. The hospitals are overrun with patients. In the US rehab system, they can be more attentive to his care, being turned properly as well as realizing his initial rehab. All of this can make a difference in his ultimate life and limbs. Air conditioning would be nice too since it has been in the high 90s here.
When I opened my Bible this morning, it fell open to Isaiah 50:4b. I glanced at the highlighted verse:
He awakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.
This verse has layers of meaning for me. I took a photograph of our first granddaughter when she was four. She was looking out the window from the second floor guest room at the baby cave swallows, getting ready to fly. That day this verse came to mind. I had always planned to paint it one day because this photo of Libby so portrays the childlike spirit I want to keep in hearing God’s instructions, always I thought, but especially now.
The Portugal Team has been and continues to be our new family. I’ll share more about them later, but I’ve learned to accept help. Very humbling. Melissa Gibson has either been by my side driving me, interpreting for me or on the phone finagling the many things that need to be done. Her husband Adam is one of our pastors and with ABWE. Please add a prayer for them.
This is not what I had planned to share with you about our move to Lisbon. Maybe another time I can convey how this place has become our home. The people are beautiful—those on our Portugal team, in the school, neighborhood and our church. From the many countries some came, we joined with them. I wish you all could move to Portugal and meet them, get to know them, be changed in their midst.
We moved here less than nine months ago to help them. Now they are helping us. Wherever we have to move for Bill’s rehab, even though we won’t have them near, they are. Hopefully Bill and I can adequately share a part of them—their generosity of love and Spirit of Christ, authenticity, and loss of love for the material world but not the world in which we live.
Please pray for Bill’s healing, his continued strength in body, mind and spirit, where he needs to go and when. Right now, your love and prayers are received. I feel so connected to the Lord, Bill and you. How will God use this opportunity? How can God use this as an opportunity to share LIFE in a time of crisis and death?
So many verses like the lyrics of a song, play through. Right now it’s in Psalm 90: Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Bill and I had just been talking about that Thursday night, the night before his accident.
Savor your days with goodness and the people in it. Don’t let them slip away.