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Archive for October, 2010

10.25.10 – Update

October 25, 2010 2 comments

It has been so nice to have Peter home with us. We have put Peter’s hospital bed in the living room so that he can be apart of our family activities and hear familiar sounds that might stimulate brain activity. Just this past week we celebrated Caleb’s birthday, and we will be celebrating two more birthdays this week there in the living room with him.

Recently we received great encouragement from a story we heard about a young man who ran into a wall at 100 mph on a motorcycle. Almost all he could do for a year was look around with his eyes, but after that year he became ready for rehab. He is now walking short distances, talking some, texting, has a facebook, and more recovery is happening currently. We were told by a doctor that that they are already seeing more responsiveness in Peter than they did with that young man at the same point. It gave us a lot of hope.

Since being home, Peter has been able to follow objects with his eyes more (although not consistently), and has been doing better with his oral secretions by swallowing more. We try to utilize the things we learned at Baylor by doing things with Pete that will stimulate his brain. When we do actions with him that simulate what used to be familiar body movements, it is supposed to help his brain make new connections and, in time, send those signals on its own.

We still have a long road ahead of us, but we are so thankful for God’s grace and the encouragement and prayers you all have given us. Thank you to everyone who has been helping in various ways and even brought meals to us since we’ve been home. They have been such a blessing.

Here are the things you can pray for:

1) Continue to pray for healing in Peter’s brain and that he would be able to come to the next level of consciousness where he is able to respond consistently to simple commands.

2) Pray that God would protect Pete from infection or pneumonia.

3) Pray that we would have the energy and ability to apply all that we learned at Baylor.

4) Pray that Peter’s secretions would clear up. He still has the trach, and the congestion makes it more difficult to care for him and increases the risk of infection when we suction the trach.

5) Along with the prayer request above, you can also pray that soon Pete will be trach free. It would be a great blessing and so much more comfortable for Pete!

6) Pray for the family as we care for Peter 24/7. We need strength, good health, and good rest.

For the family,
Hope

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A Message from Mom

October 23, 2010 Leave a comment

“Why would the Lord allow a Godly young man to be ‘knocked out of commission’ when there are already so few of them?” An honest question, asked by a young father who came to visit Peter in the hospital during the early weeks of his coma.
I’m sure many in Fort Worth were asking the very question three weeks ago when another 17-year old young man, Daniel Heinrich, was struck and killed by a drunk driver while on his way home from sharing the gospel in downtown Fort Worth on a Sunday night. This was a great blow to our sister churches in Fort Worth: two Godly young men, Daniel and Peter, felled as they traveled toward ministry. Though Daniel and Peter did not know each other personally, they had many mutual friends among our community of believers – teenagers who marveled and grieved at the two events, so close together.

I can’t say that I know all the reasons the Lord would allow these two accidents to happen, both so near in vicinity and timing and circumstances to the other. But I call to mind a story that gives me great hope. In Through Gates of Splendor, Elisabeth Elliot tells of the martyrdom of five godly young men on the same day, her husband Jim Elliott and four other missionaries who were speared to death along the banks of the Curaray River, deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle. What a loss to the kingdom! Had they been protected from harm, one wonders, what amount of good might they have done for the cause of missions, the kingdom of God, and for their own children and grandchildren?

But events of the past fifty years may help us not to second guess the Lord on such matters. Ask almost any retired missionary if he or anyone on his field of service landed there because of the influence of these five men. In the aftermath of Elliot’s martyrdom, thousands of young people, now elderly and in retirement, were inspired to join him and his friends in the cause of Christ, adding their own sacrificial labor the collective centuries of service to the Lord. Even in the present generation, no small number serve Christ on the mission field in part because of the sacrifice made by Elliot and his friends. Heaven only will reveal the fruit that multiplied throughout history from their deaths.

For the Godly man, neither his life, nor his life circumstances are ever “wasted.” Not for Peter, and certainly not for Daniel. May the young people who have known these two be inspired to life-long service by their examples!

Further, think of the comfort to us parents, knowing that these two young men belong undoubtedly to Christ. Without a doubt, these two have lived more abundantly in the 17 or 18 years they’ve been given than many do in 70 years and more.  Life must be lived well, every moment we are given, because no one knows how long he or she will have. How could this be shown any more clearly than through these circumstances?
Finally, as my dear husband reminds me, no matter how long we have to go without Peter’s smile and fellowship, no matter how long life’s sufferings last, if we stay the course and trust and obey God in the old-fashioned way, Heaven will open to us as an eternal, beautiful day. On that day, our suffering will only seem to have lasted five minutes.

“When we shall come home and enter to the possession of our Brother’s fair kingdom, and when our heads shall find the weight of the eternal crown of glory, and when we shall look back to pains and sufferings, then shall we see life and sorrow to be less than one step or stride from a prison to glory; and that our little inch of time—suffering is not worthy of our first night’s welcome home to heaven.” ~Samuel Rutherford, “The Loveliness of Christ”

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”  John 12:24

Selah

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10.14.10 – Update

October 14, 2010 1 comment

As of Monday Peter was moved home after his two week stay at Baylor. Baylor is one of the top 20 rehabilitation programs in the country, and we received a lot of training from the specialists there. The head of the program, Dr. Mary Carlile, was truly a gift from God. She has great skill and knowledge combined with a great amount of compassion and personal devotion to each of her patients.

Because of Dr. Carlile’s dedication to Peter as her patient, the Lord opened the way for unanticipated provisions beyond what we were expecting.  Peter’s neck was restricted because of muscle tension/contracting and Dr. Carlile facilitated Pete receiving valuable and injections for both his neck and his legs/ankles (which are also turning inward).

While Peter was at Baylor, he was given various neurostimulants to help him progress toward fully waking up. His ability to track movement with his eyes improved substantially, but we are eager for the rest of his body to follow commands. When Pete can consistently follow commands and track with his eyes, he should be ready for rehab.

Now that Peter is home, we have had a blessed but busy two days. Yesterday six loving people worked full time to get Peter’s home care off the ground.  The doctor was very hopeful that being at home could give him further comfort and stimulation that he needs for becoming more conscious.  He needs to smell the frying of Dad’s eggs and bacon in the mornings and to hear the cling of Scout’s dog tag on her collar.  He seemed really relaxed and comfortable all day yesterday.

Here is what you can pray for:

1) Continue to pray for healing in Peter’s brain and that he would be able to come to the next level of consciousness where he is able to respond consistently to simple commands.

2) Pray that God would protect Pete from infection or pneumonia.

3) Pray that we would retain and apply creatively all that we have learned over the past two weeks.

4) Pray that Peter’s secretions would clear up. He still has the trach, and the congestion makes it more difficult to care for him and increases the risk of infection when we suction the trach.

5) Along with the prayer request above, you can also pray that soon Pete will be trach free. It would be a great blessing and so much more comfortable for Pete!

6) Pray for the family as we adjust to having Peter home with us needing 24/7 care. Things are going well so far.

For the family,
Hope

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10.05.10 – Members of One Another

October 6, 2010 1 comment

I love the Lord’s people. Peter’s injury has
truly shaken our world and has been draining and
grueling, but we’ve found immense comfort in the family
of the Lord. Let me share with you just a tiny handful of
the blessings we’ve received.

One godly gentleman arrived at the hospital a little more than a week ago, having just arrived from Virginia. (We are in Texas.) He and his wife talked with Doug and me in the hospital waiting
room for a bit, then he asked to go back and pray for Peter
in his room. After he’d knelt and asked the Lord to heal
our son, he stood and said to Peter, “Peter, we
traveled all this way so that I could come in here and pray
with you.”

Believers we have never met have written us the
most beautiful cards and notes describing their urgent and
frequent prayers for our son. They saturate their cards with
Scripture and hymns that breathe life to our souls.

One man posted on the group wall: “Peter
and family, you now have some really fine people in Mexico
City who are praying for you – young Mexican nationals who
are dedicated, serving Christians. I pray that some day soon
you will all get to visit together because I know you will
love each other! May God grant it.”

One young woman told us that she was
pretty sure almost the whole state of Arizona was praying
for Peter. Another woman I hadn’t seen in forty
years (I knew her in my childhood) traveled to the
hospital from out of town to reassure us of her prayers for
Peter. I’ve had several Christian moms tell me that
their three-year-olds remind them throughout the day to pray
for Peter.

Doug cashed a check at a local bank last week.  A
man came out and introduced himself as the president of the
bank and asked, “Are you Pastor Helms?”  Doug
said he was, and the man told him that everyone at that
bank was praying for Peter. Of many instances I could
mention, these are only a sampling.

The really deep chord that sounds in all this is an
amazing harmony among God’s people because His Spirit
indwells us. We love each other and pray for each other
because of that Spirit we all share.  We see His life
in each other, and it makes us happy and attached to one
another. It strikes me forcefully that it is the Lord who
lays individual, hurting believers on our hearts for
prayer. And if the Lord has laid Peter on the hearts of all
of you, it is to reveal that He loves Peter and is working
for his good. It comforts me tremendously to know that He is
urging you precious believers to pray for our son. What a
great revelation of His love for Peter!

But Peter’s situation isn’t unique in all
this. These are only noteworthy instances of what happens
any time we sense that another believer has walked into the
room, bringing with him a grace and a oneness that
allows us to recognize the Spirit of Christ. We feel a
kinship with him (just like you feel with Peter), and we
want to respond to him and pray for his
needs. (Perhaps it’s a bit like the two disciples
felt on the road to Emmaus when their hearts leapt
within them, even though they thought they were speaking to
an ordinary man.) It’s the Spirit of the Lord
recognizing and loving the Spirit of the Lord. How the Lord
is glorified when we love each other: there is a unity of
communion within His own character and presence.

It’s a great comfort to walk through life with the
Lord’s people . . . who become His vessels to spill onto
each other His own Spirit.

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant
you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with
Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify
the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Romans 15:5,6

Selah

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10.03.10 – Update from Dallas

October 4, 2010 1 comment
On Monday Peter was moved from JPS to Baylor in Dallas so that our family could undergo some intensive training from the rehab specialists there on his home care. Right now Peter is not ready for the rehab program, so we will be working with him at home on the things the specialists have been teaching us. We have received great training from Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech Therapists, and a Neuro Psychologist. We hope to bring Peter home in a week or so when we are done with our training.

It is easy to be impatient that Pete “wake up” completely. But we are learning that consciousness is a lot more complicated than we first thought. It is not always a matter of being awake or in a coma. It’s easier when explaining Peter’s situation, to think of consciousness as a scale with the left of the scale being unresponsiveness, and on the other end normal function.

Right now Pete has some responsiveness and we are hopeful that it will increase as the weeks and months pass, but the responsiveness is still pretty minimal and there is no way of knowing if it was intentional until he can communicate with us. Right now we are working with him on basic responses, such as trying to get him to swallow so he can manage his secretions and doing anything we can that might stimulate his body to remember the things he used to do.

When Peter was moved to Dallas, they were able to give him a new trach, and we think we have finally found the right fit for him. It is a silicone trach and much gentler on him. With all of the activity Pete has been receiving over the last week, they have not done much by the way of capping trials to wean him from the trach, but that is still a goal.

Here are the things you can pray for:

1) Continue to pray that Peter’s body would heal and that his brain would make new connections and respond to the stimuli we are trying to give him.

2) Continue to pray that Peter would not get any serious infections.

3) Pray for the health of the family. Now that we are bringing Peter home soon, it is crucial that our health stay strong so that there will be as many available family members to care for Pete 24/7.

4) Continue to pray that Peter will be trach free as soon as possible and that the secretions in his lungs would clear up.

5) Pray that our family would be able to take in all of the information we are receiving from the specialists at Baylor so that we can help Peter at home.

Thank you for all of the continued prayers and encouraging comments! They mean more to us than you could know.

For the family,
Hope

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