Yes, a Miracle Can Happen
This is first a story of two people, Amy and Jeff. They are friends, lovers, athletes. One of those couples that seem perfect together, have so much fun, are so caught us with each other, yet at the same time are kind, wonderful friends to everybody. They are triathletes (yes, ironmen), so Alan sees them more than I, but when I bump into Amy or Jeff while riding or around town, I am always greeted like the closest of friends.
I want to tell you the story of a miracle. It will be a little disjointed, as I have pieced it together from what Alan has told me, and from posts on facebook. Amy has given me permission to tell their story, and I hope that other friends that read this will add their perspective as well.
On Thursday, a little over a week ago, I came home to see Alan, looking serious. He told me that our friend Jeff had complained about a headache, had seen the doctor, and they had found a large, malignant brain tumor. (Amy told me later that Jeff had actually gone from headache, to nap, to coma at their house. She called 911 and they got him to the hospital, where a neurosurgeon was called. He arrived within 15 minutes, drilled a hole in Jeff’s head to release pressure and found that his brain stem had been crushed. An MRI revealed the tumor.) He was scheduled for surgery on Friday. Apparently, the tumor was so fast growing that Jeff had no idea that anything was wrong.
After Amy’s announcement, there followed a huge outpouring of love, prayers, support, and memories from friends and family. The community was in action. A facebook page was started, where friends could log in for news, to share photos and memories, and to offer support. Friend after friend stopped by, anxious for information, each sharing words of love and support.
A Brain Tumor
On Friday, Jeff had surgery and his doctors removed 80% of the tumor. One report claimed that the tumor was half the size of his brain. I don’t know if that is true, but I know it was huge. (Amy told me later that Jeff’s whole brain had shifted to the right.) The doctors warned Amy not to hold out too much hope. Chances were that Jeff would never wake up, over one in a million in fact. They expected him to stay in a vegetative state.
Alan and I went to bed Friday night feeling very sad. The thought that our friend, with his vibrant personality, might not make it was so very disheartening. Our hearts went out to Amy and the rest of his family. Then, when I woke up on Saturday morning, I read this:
Okay, this was early on Saturday morning, barely hours after his surgery, and Jeff was responding! While Amy tried to play it down, everyone, all Jeff and Amy’s friends were excited and hopeful. He had already proven that he was one in a million. What else? Apparently a lot more.
By Sunday morning, Amy posted that Jeff was talking and laughing and cracking jokes. His first words were, “No f….ing way!” They took out the breathing tube and he was breathing on his own. Even the surgeons were using the “M” word: Miracle.
By Monday, a friend reported that he was out of bed and walking. We finally got to see a picture.
While hopes were high and the news seemed to be so good, Amy reminded us that this was a brain tumor after all, and the future was still uncertain. She said this to remind us to embrace every moment that we have, just as she and Jeff were doing.
But the news just kept getting better. Joking and laughing, he was moved out of ICU and into a private room. More pictures showed a smiling and happy Jeff who was ready to start the next part of the recovery process. This is Wednesday, just five days after surgery.
And finally Friday, just a week after surgery (less time than it has taken my cold to go away), the words we’ve been waiting for, Jeff is going home. He has a long, arduous road ahead, but he is alive, surround by loved ones, with a new realization of how precious life is.
This morning, Amy posted a picture of Jeff and the family, saying, “Best night of our lives.” I believe it and I wish them many more just like it.
Want To Help?
If you read this story and feel like you want to do something to help, there are several ways. First, your prayers and good thoughts are wonderful. If you believe in miracles, and after reading this story, how can you not, you know the power of community, the strength of our hope, prayers, good will, whatever you want to call it, coming together as a force to contend with.
If you live locally, a group of people are volunteering to help with bringing meals in to help with the load. If you leave a comment I can connect you with the right people.
Finally, a fund has been started to help with the huge bills that are already starting to roll in. Jeff’s Road to Recovery Fund is set up to take donations from $5 and up. You can click the button below to be taken to the FundRazr page.
I also hope that this story will remind you of just how fragile life is. You need to soak up every moment, every experience, and enjoy every second of this short time that we are given. Please take time today to hug your spouse, children, and friends. Tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you. I know that is what Jeff and Amy are doing.