Saturday, May 14, 2011

Danny - for those who have been praying.


Let me let you in on 2 of the craziest weeks of my life…
Some of you know my little brother, Danny. You know how he came to our family, and how much potential he has, and the smile and laugh that is extraordinary only to his personality.
You know his awesome sense of humour, and the brilliant mind he has.
And some of you don’t know him… don’t know the impact he’s always had on our family.
You don’t know… but you knew enough.
You knew something of the concept of the “6 degrees of separation”, that connect you in one way or another to the brown-eyed boy in the wheel chair.
Or maybe you didn’t even know that… maybe you’ve just heard that he needs prayer.

2 weeks ago, Danny went to the hospital. He had a twisted bowel, he had emergency surgery, and since then it’s been an up and down roller-coaster of emotions, tests, allergic reactions, and tubes… and my one brave little brother.
Reasons doctors only recently discovered.
But miracles happened.
God is greater.

Faith is a choice, my friends.
If you choose to stare at the trial God is taking you through – in this case, worry for my little bro – then that is all you can see. It’s like holding a penny straight in front of your nose and focusing on it. Try it, I dare you. You won’t be able to see anything else but the penny.
But if you choose to look at something beyond the penny, something bigger and stronger – perhaps a person… then the penny suddenly becomes non-existent. All you can see is the person beyond it.
This is what its been like for us the last couple of weeks.
If we chose to dwell on the fact that Danny was in the hospital, that was all we could think of. It tore us up… to see him go thru tests and not know what was wrong, or how it could be fixed… hardest thing ever.
It was all we could see.
But the moment we looked past the “penny”, remembered Who created Danny, and how He still has an amazing plan for his wonderful life… well then all we can see is God. And we knew it would all be ok.
God never gives up on a plan He has for someone’s life.
He is the same. Always.
But it’s still up to us to choose if we will focus on Him, or on the situation.
Let me leave you with one thought…
God is everything… the situation is just… a penny.
Focusing on Him helps put things in a perspective I never realized until this week.

So thank-you, for all who prayed for our family… all who sent e-mails, facebook messages, phone calls… or even simply a hug or understanding smile.
I, for one, couldn’t have kept perspective without the encouraging voices that surrounded me in all this.
And for those of you who don’t know us, but have been praying… we felt that too.
God is Greater.

This message was sent to my family by my wonderful, exhausted, Mother… who has never left Danny’s side. 24-7 care… sleepless nights… and Mother’s Day meal in the hospital waiting room. (she deserves an award above any other mother I know… proud she’s mine. J )
What she says sums up very well, I think… (as well as includes medical terms I never understand.)

Mom’s e-mail…
Thursday May 12, 2011:
“We now know what the problem is and why he can't take in any nutrition......he has Superior Mesenteric Artery Syndrome. This is not a complication of the surgery, but a result of him losing so ,much weight. You can Google it if you want, but simply put, there is a branch of the Aorta that crosses the small intestine (which is normal) but because there is no fat, his spine is arched, and his abs so tight, the artery is compressing the bowel and causing a blockage. So the treatment is yet to be determined, but it will either be a new tube going thru the nose, stomach, and into the intestine to bypass the compression, or a G tube inserted directly into his abdomen with a local anaesthetic. Then there will be tube feedings to give him his food until he gains what he has lost, and probably until after the next surgery.....It will hopefully be temporary. They are still planning to give him a modified version of the TPN and if there is no reaction, he is scheduled to have the Pic line put in tomorrow at 10am.
It's good to know what the problem is, but now I really don't know when we will be home....”

Mom’s e-mail…
Friday May 13, 2011
“Thanks for all the prayers.....just our family, and there are prayers coming from China, Germany, BC, Oregon, Georgia, Florida, ON of course, and who knows where else? World wide, round the clock! Thank you and to your friends too who are holding Danny up in prayer. This morning at 9am we had the tube inserted into the nose, through the stomach, the duodenum, and into the jejunum with a guiding wire and radiology to guide the doctor. A second Dr. was called in to help with the procedure, and it took a little over an hour. Danny was given a mild sedative, but what is normally given could not be scheduled on such short notice. It is a miracle that everything fell into place, but we had everyone on the team pushing to get it done before the weekend. The nurses said after it was done that they are amazed with the Dr's we got, that they even did it without the usual sedation, and to have those 2 Dr’s in the same room at the same time is unheard of. We have an awesome God to orchestrate all that happened this am! The morning was absolutely exhausting, but the feeding has just started and I am already seeing some improvement. Danny was so weak he wasn't talking much, and not even laughing while watching Corner Gas.....but now he is talking in short sentences and starting to smile. Pray he will tolerate the feeding - it is pre-digested because it is bypassing the stomach, and also so he doesn't need to work to digest anything, just absorb it. It is being started at a slow rate, and increased in 12 hrs. If all goes well, the TPN will be discontinued at 6am tomorrow.”

So yes… it’s not over yet. And we still have some recovery (including sleep for my parents!)… and Danny needs to gain back the weight he lost (I’m praying for even more… cuz he’s SO small!) before he is scheduled to have hip/leg surgery that will untwist his body – preventing another situation of twisted bowel…
So this message is to say thank-you for your prayers!
They are working!!
And please don’t stop cuz this isn’t over yet!
But I know Who I’m looking to in all this…
He is Greater, Stronger, Healer, Comforter, Encourager…
And He loves Danny SO much… as do we all.

Thanks… we’ll keep you posted somehow.
Though, I have a feeling we may not even meet some of you this side of eternity. J
If that is the case, I can’t wait for you to meet Danny one day… he is my little brother, and also yours… thanks to our Father who adopted us ALL into this great family.

 Psalm 139:13-14 (The Message)
 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
      you formed me in my mother's womb.
   I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
      Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
      I worship in adoration—what a creation!
   You know me inside and out,
      you know every bone in my body;
   You know exactly how I was made, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
   Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day.


  1. Danny--your life has been called out--special--chosen--from the very beginning. You have a GREAT purpose to live out in your life and we feel privileged to be a part of it! You are LOVED and prayed for all the time. We love you!! love, Joe, Nica, & Wes

  2. Blessed Saint,

    How great is the love of Father God that He would hand pick all of us to be before Him in ceaseless prayer on your behalf. HALLELUJAH Little Brother! HALLELUJAH TO THE LAMB OF GOD . . . And He is ever faithful in keeping us pressing in, til your return home. We love you x x x Yvonne-Nicole Betancourt and The Hiebert Family