Day 7 – post #3

Today was a relatively uneventful day, if you can say that with your grandson in Pediatric ICU on a ventilator fighting for his life. The truth is, compared to some of the battles we’ve fought the last several days, it was a welcomed change. If you remember from the earlier update, the latest MRI revealed an apparent slowing of the infection. We asked you to pray for the slowing to change to stopping and even reversing. We won’t know what is happening inside his head until later, but we’re encouraged knowing you’ve been praying for that specific need. You saw the pictures of Alyse reading your many prayers and comments. Today I gave her a hug and she said, “Dad, I know people are praying because I feel stronger today than I have the entire time.” Please don’t miss this… GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS!!! Thank-you for praying.

The doctors’ main objective today for Justus was to put him into a medically induced coma and keep him there for 48 hours. Because of the infection, his brain has been sparking and firing (obviously those aren’t the right terms) which makes healing almost impossible. So the goal of inducing a coma is to help calm his brain. It would take too long to explain exactly how they go about accomplishing it… ok let’s be honest, I couldn’t explain it if I tried. But, suffice to say, it is a process where they systematically put him into a deeper and deeper sleep, until finally the neurologists are satisfied that his brain activity is low enough to give it the rest it needs. It would appear he has just reached that level and Justus is now in a medically induced coma. Honestly I could have gone my whole life without ever having one of my grandkids in a coma of any sort, but tonight I’m grateful he is resting. But it reminds me of Justus’ birthday party.

Most of you unfortunately don’t know Justus, but Justus loves the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. His favorite used to be Leonardo because he’s the leader. Now his favorite is Donatello because he’s the brains, the one who figures out the solution to their problems. For his birthday Justus’ mom and dad made it a TMNT party. The highlight of the party was the epic battle of good versus evil. Justus along with three of his uncles were the famous turtles. His father gathered a rag tag group of whoever was left, and formed the infamous Foot clan. They set up the battle. It began in the front yard and worked it’s way through the house culminating with Donatello defeating Shredder (who looked a lot like Jason) and basking in the sounds of his family cheering him on! As we have tried to encourage Justus these last several days, many of us used the visual of this fight; encouraging Justus to fight this infection like he fought Shredder. You’ll hear us say things like, “You’re our brave boy… Keep fighting Justus… Your Donatello fighting Shredder!” Because we want him to keep fighting this infection.

Tonight the Lord has given me a different picture. Exodus 14 verse 14 says this, “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” The doctors have chosen to calm Justus’ brain. So much so, that we aren’t allowed to stimulate him at all. We can’t talk to him. We certainly can’t call him Donatello. On the surface, one might even think we’re taking a 48 hour break from the fight. But if you thought that, you’d miss one of the sweetest principles God gives us. Please pray that Justus’ brain stays asleep for 48 hours. But trust me, there will be a fight going on the entire time. When you close your eyes tonight, picture Justus sound asleep and God dressed in a Donatello outfit waging war against this virus. So many times in my life, I try so hard to win the battles I’m in and all God is saying to me is, “Just stay calm.” Because if I stay calm, then God will fight for me. God has used all of you to teach me a wonderful lesson. Instead of always thinking I need to fight harder, I first need to consider praying harder. The truth is, I can’t do it anyway, but only because of Christ in me. You all have been such an inspiration to my family and me. Will you join me these next 48 hours in asking God to fight this battle for Justus? Let’s ask God to fight this infection and to heal any injuries to his brain.

The other specific prayer requests are for Justus’ brain to stay asleep… for his blood pressure to stay up… and for his urine output to remain sufficient. You all have been so faithful. You have impacted my family and my life. More importantly, as you all have shared these updates and faithfully prayed, you have impacted thousands of other people, most who have never met Justus. Please know you are loved and appreciated. Keep praying #TeamJustus.

An optional bonus… here’s the video of that epic battle between Donatello and Shredder! EPIC BATTLE