Please Pray for My Bill.

On a side street in Lisbon. Photo by Emily Farran.

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. 

There's always hope!
There’s always hope!

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. 

Dinner with Abby and Emily. Photo by Emily Farran.

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.

Thank you for your prayers.

48 thoughts on “Please Pray for My Bill.

  1. So sorry to hear of this injury! May you sense God’s presence in every moment of this time. Prayers for you and love to you.

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    • Ann , Spencer shared your post with me earlier today and I read it to Mary and Margie. Then Kary and I Shared it with each other. Of course we will all be praying and believing, along with yours and Bill’s “whole known world”.
      Your thoughts and testimony on it are so faithful. You and Bill are certainly glorifying God in all this, as you always do.
      Your reference to Ps 90:12 is so powerful and consoling and helpful to me
      May God begin to show you both quickly where he is leading you And may both of you and we who watch be amazed.

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  2. Oh Ann, I cannot imagine how you feel! Not being able to be by his side! I’m soo sorry this happened and especially during this difficult time of the pandemic! I will be praying mightily for you, Bill’s medical care and peace of mind, the team, your children, and the drs. who are and will be treating him.! May God give you strength, comfort, and peace through the transition and treatment!! Psalm 90 was one we relied on during my sister-in-laws cancer journey and death. I know you have many scriptures in your heart to help you. I will be praying daily!! Love you! ❤️🙏🏼❤️🙏🏼

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  3. Oh! Ann. My heart is breaking for you. I don’t have the words to express my great sadness for you and Bill. You know all of the scriptures so will not send you any. The ones you have posted are very uplifting.
    I am so glad you are getting him back to the USA where he can get specialized care – in English! I know you are weary from writing us all with the news. We don’t need lengthy details (unless it is a good release for you) as much as we would like to know everything that is happening.
    My dear, sweet, faithful friend, I am sending prayers in flight as I type this. Your faith is so strong and I know that is of great comfort to you – certainly more than I can express.
    Heavenly Father,
    You tell us the lame shall walk.
    You are the great physician and nothing is impossible unto you. I ask Your heavenly mercy over Bill’s body, from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet. May every nerve and cell in his spinal cord awaken. May he arise and walk, whether it be instantly or gradually. We thank you in advance for Your love and healing mercy. I pray You will bless Bill and his family and restore all that has been taken from him.
    In Jesus Name, Amen
    I LOVE YOU 🙏😟❤️

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  4. I just saw this post. Prayers for Bill, you, and everyone caring for both of you. Not a good time to be in a hospital. Let us know if there is anything we can do for you here.

    Joe Hilliard

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  5. Anne. My thoughts and prayers are with Bill and the rest of your family during this time. Hopefully you will be back in the US soon
    Love. Kathy McConkie

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  6. Ann,
    Thank you for sharing this so we can pray over you, Bill and everything involved. Your faith has always amazed me, and I know it will carry through this time along with God’s mighty and capable arms. We will pray for the right people, right places, right opportunities to show up just when you need. Love you!

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  7. Have been praying for Bill and for continued progress and healing. What a blessing a personal relationship with our Father is during trying times. Continuing in prayer for strength for both of you.

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  8. Dear Ann & Bill, We just read the post. May God embrace you with His Strength, Hope and Peace.
    Love, prayers & hugs,

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    • Boyce and I will pray for healing of Bill. May your spirits be lifted as well. You know we love you dearly and our God loves you too. The great physician is in control

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  9. Ann,
    Your post took my breath away.
    I wanted to rush to your side with a big big hug. I was so excited to hear about your new retirement adventure. I’m so sorry that your plans were cut short. I hope you have safe travels returning to the US. I pray that the spinal rehab center will be the perfect fit for Bill. I will pray daily for you, Bill and the doctors. God has the healing power to restore his health and strength. Much love to you and your family from your old friend. Kathy

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  10. Bill and Ann, my wife shared your story with me and we will both be praying for you. The elders at the College Church are meeting in 45 minutes and at that time you will be prayed for by all 50 of them. May God bless both of you as you depend on Him.

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  11. I have and will continue to pray for you. I did a internet search for the best spinal cord hospitals in the USA. This is what came up

    Top 5 Best Spinal Surgery Hospitals in USA 2018 | Best Ranked Hospitals
    By Mehwish Boota -July 3, 20181
    FacebookTwitter
    Best Spinal Surgery Hospitals in USA – Offering Exceptional Services

    1. The Mayo Clinic ( phone 507 405 0312 ), 2. John Hopkins , 3. Massachusetts General Hospital, 4. Presbyterian Hospital New York, 5. UCSF Medical They are ranked number one in patient safety and have made fewer or no medical mistakes. / This was just a internet search. I will pray God directs you to our nations best doctor.

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  12. Ann and Sill, This hurts my heart. Nancy and I are praying for you as are many at Downtown and in Searcy. God bless and keep you give you peace and miraculous healing. David and Nancy Hatfield

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  13. Oh, cousin, I’m so sorry to hear. I will indeed pray and have already forwarded my own request for prayers to my fellowship’s worship leader for this Sunday. My fellowship is very generous with its prayers.
    I’m sorry, also, that you cannot be by his side. It’s certainly solace that he can use his phone.
    I wish I knew some better words to offer or advise. Certainly, if your searches for treatment or convalescence bring you to California, I’ll help in any way that I can.
    I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.
    D

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  14. Praying for you and Bill and the church that you have grown to know as family! I will also pray for guidance in Bill’s rehab and where you will go. God will be with you all every day!
    Isaiah 4:3-4 “3 “Family of Jacob, listen to me! You who are left from the family of Israel, listen! I have carried you since you left your mother’s womb. I carried you when you were born, 4 and I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. I made you, and I will carry you to safety.”

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  15. Ann, Kyle told me the news about Bill at dinner. We are both devastated and heartbroken. Please know that we love you and will be praying fervently for Bill, the physicians attending him, you, and for the rehab center Bill will go to. Your faith is very evident in your lives. I know you have blessed the Portuguese people as they have you in your short nine months there. God has Bill in the palm of His hand and He is by your side. Always. 🙏🙏❤️

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  16. My name is Angie Jackson- my husband Rob and I just started support raising, but praying Gods perfect timing for us to get to Portugal. I just wanted to message you here to let you know that I am going to the Lord on your behalf! I deal with chronic back pain, so my heart goes out to him. I’m praying that despite the suffering of this present life- that Christ will be glorified in Bills testimony to those around him.

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  17. Oh Dear Sweet Ann — we’re SO SORRY for this snag in the great start you had as you partnered with the Lisbon team. Certainly, we pray with you and for you and your Bill! Please know that you are loved by folks all over the globe, including the Rines. Blessings to you, My Friend

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  18. Ann & Bill,
    Just reading your post today and our hearts and prayers are with Bill. So very thankful you have sweet friends in Lisbon helping you and taking good care of you as you wait. We love y’all and will keep Bill in prayer for His
    Peace, Healing and Comfort and for you too as you wait and take the necessary measures to travel back to America.

    Also we may have some ideas for his rehab so I’ll get back you soon.

    God Bless You both.
    In His Love,
    Kary and Robert

    “The Lord Himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. Exodus 14:14 NLT

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  19. Dear Ann and Bill, I am deeply stirred to pray for you, knowing that God is always weaving His tapestry. Our lives are important threads that bring glory to him no matter what we face. He will be glorified in your lives whether by miraculous healing or in giving you the strength to overcome every obstacle. The Lord is with you!
    Love, Barb

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  20. Ann and Bill,
    So sorry to read this. There is a very good spinal injury rehab unit in Texas at TIRR in Houston. It’s sad that the current times won’t allow family members to be with their loved ones in the hospital. I deal with this daily. Please, know the Lisa and I will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Best wishes to you and your family.
    Don & Lisa Breech
    Victoria, TX

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  21. Hello from Jersey. Kessler is EXCELLENT. Ann, you are welcome here. I have a lot of room.
    Now, Philly is very close. Right over the bridge. The medical teams there are wonderful. If
    you could get to EINSTEIN that is tops. I saw a group from there years back. I will include
    all possible good thoughts for healing, travel, wise decisions, patience and air conditioning
    in prayers starting today.
    Peace and a long hug.

    Virginia

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  22. May the faithfulness of God continue to be your strength as your Adventure continues. Lamentations 3:22-25
    ❤️ Love and prayer 🙏
    Kathy Hartwick Roberson

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  23. Dear Ann and Bill,

    I have called out my Prayer Warriors over many states to lift you up daily to our Savior. I pray your path will be laid out clearly for you to follow and all obstacles, will simply fall away.

    My own mantra Bible verse, Psalm 46:1-3
    God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
    Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.

    You are dearly loved,
    Leah

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  24. May your decisions be blessed with strength and wisdom. May your travel be blessed with safety. May Bill’s medical care be delivered with expertise and compassion. May you be reunited with Bill very soon. May you find rest when you close your eyes so that sleep will prepare you for the next day’s demands. May you and Bill deeply feel the power of all the prayers being supplicated on your behalf this very minute. May you remember the love and respect with which Mike and I are embracing your spirits as you bravely face the journey back toward loving arms and hope fulfilled rehab. Blessings of peace for your spiritual family in Portugal as they feel your absence. Tender mercies.

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  25. Oh Ann,
    Brooks and I just prayed specifically for Bill and you . So thankful God has surrounded you with his family and you feel his presence.
    I also have been in Psalm 90 lately and I pray that He will satisfy you each morning with His unfailing love as Bill begins his healing and you make decisions.
    ‭‭ You are loved,
    Jill

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  26. Ann,My thoughts and prayers are for both you and Bill. I live here in Canada so I am not very familiar with the US health system. Nevertheless, I believe God is always there with you all in this medical journey. Keep that in mind. Take care!🙏🍁

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  27. Dear Ann,

    I am so sorry for your husband’s accident. I am glad to know you sound like you are surrounded by wonderful people there and being supported and encouraged by. I pray for the best for your husband’s recovery and rehab afterwards. When it comes to return to the US, I pray for your safety and smooth transition. I pray for you also. I cannot imagine how you are feeling now. Please keep us updated on your situation.
    Love and prayers,
    Roki Robertson

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  28. Dear Dr. Robertson and Ann,
    We are lifting you up in prayers here in the states. I worked with Dr. Robertson on 3 South. He was one of my favorites. Always pleasant and a joy to work with. I know the people you all have encountered have been blessed by you both. I pray you all get to the best place ASAP and God does a mighty healing. Love and prayers continued for you all!

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  29. Dear folks…I’m so sorry to receive this email from you. However, I will be praying for you both…The song came into my mind when reading your post….”Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares…” I’m praying for complete healing for his body and for you as well as you will be very busy, I’m sure. May God give you both comfort during this difficult time.

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  30. Ann and Bill – I have sent an e-mail, but just want to keep being in touch. I have contacted my brothers, and Heather and I keep you in prayers in our churches. Chuck and John send their support. Let us know what we can do on the homefront.

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  31. Dear Ann, Thank you for letting us know specifically what your needs are so our prayers can be specific. God knows your every need, of course, but sometimes we just need to acknowledge it and seek His positive response. May God bless you both with everything you need, both physically and mentally during this challenging time.

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  32. Praying for God’s guidance , wisdom, strength and provision for opportunities for rehab and for complete healing .

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  33. Our dear friends, we are earnestly pleading with God for direction, healing, encouragement, and heavenly compassion in addressing your every need. God has never failed. He will get you through this. Ann, he is God’s Bill, too. With both of you caring for Bill, tomorrow will be a brighter day!

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  34. Dearest Ann and Bill, You are in our thoughts and prayers as you go through each day. I know you are blessed with so many prayer warriors and are surrounded by God’s love. I pray for the best rehab facility for Bill and your safe return to the US.

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  35. Ann,

    I was devastated to hear about Bill. We are praying for all of you. I know how much going to Portugal meant to you both. Please reach out to me if there is anything I can do.

    Much love,

    Jennifer Faith

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  36. Ann, my name is Tom Cranford. I worked with Bill at the hospital for many years. He was always a joy to work with. I pray each day that God gives you clarity, comfort and direction as you make decisions coming up. Also that He wrap His reassuring arms around you both and complete healing for Bill.

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