On August 15, 2011 Grace on Wings took Jay R. from Indiana University Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Jay R. just turned 19 years old this past Thursday and graduated as Valedictorian from his high school in May 2011. Jay has distinguished honors as evidenced by his acceptance to Harvard, Yale, and Indiana University; however, he chose to attend Duke.
Jay participated as a member of the cross country, the swim team, the Brain Game team, President of Habitat for Humanity at his school and an officer for the National Honor Society. On July 17, 2011, Jay and his parents, John and Mary’s world was turned upside down due to a tragic diving accident which caused a cervical spinal cord injury which left him paralyzed and dependent on a ventilator in order to breath.
The medical team of three (physician assistant, respiratory therapist, and registered nurse / paramedic) arrived at the IU Methodist Hospital’s Neurology / Spinal Intensive Care Unit where we met a team of care providers, Mary (Jay’s mom) and other family members. We found Jay lying in bed surrounded by his family. The event was bitter sweet as you can imagine due to the fact that Jay and his family are from Indianapolis therefore going to Shepherd Center in Atlanta, GA will take him further away from his family, friends and support network.
We departed for the Indiana International Airport by the gracious support of Heartland Ambulance Service as they donate their services. We arrived at Nellie where we met up with the pilots. The family followed us to the airport and everyone prayed over Jay prior to loading him into Nellie.
During the trip, Jay was dependent upon the ventilator in order to breath. Seeing Jay on the ventilator caused me to recall of Job 33:4 which states, “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives life.” I routinely tell people, “It is a miracle that any of us are alive!” Mary accompanied Jay on the journey as John (Jay’s father) flew out commercially to meet Jay at Shepherd Center. Mary shared with us about Jay’s support group of friends who made bandana bracelets and she also gave us bracelets stating, “Pray for Jay.” During the flight, a prayer vigil occurred therefore someone was continually praying for Jay and the team as we traveled.
We arrived at the Dekalb-Peachtree airport where we met a wonderful crew from Central EMS who transported us to Shepherd Center. At Shepherd Center we met in the hospital’s foyer by the admissions coordinator who escorted us up to the Spinal Intensive Care Unit where Jay will reside during the rehabilitation phase of his recovery. Shepherd Center has specialty care for spinal injury and is rated in the Top 10 in the United States by U.S. News Best Hospital: Rehabilitation. Once Jay got settled into his new bed, the GOW team, and Shepherd’s nurse and respiratory therapist, as well has the ground EMS team all joined to pray over Jay. Mary gave the entire team hugs as we departed the unit to head home.
Jay was a cross country runner which reminds us that we are all running a race in which our fixation is on Jesus Christ who is already in heaven sitting at the right hand of God (Hebrews 12:1-2)! Jay continues on his journey of recovery and we have no idea what his outcome will be but we know that God does and we take comfort in knowing that He is in control.
We know that Jesus Himself personally prays for all believers (John 17:20-26) and that he makes intercession for us such that no believer is separated from God’s Love (Romans 8:31-39). Let us continue to be DESPERATE
We know that God has the power to heal all of us and that He will restore all of us to Himself.
Praise God that He sustains the GOW ministry. Thank you for continuing to follow His leading and supporting His ministry with the gifts He has given you as we all will continue on as servants of Jesus Christ with the gifts He has given to us such that we can continue to serve and share the gospel with all we encounter during these medical missions as He calls them to himself.
The team for Mission 142 consisted of five team members Hal Blank, Mark Summers, Tami Blank, Katie Gott and Matt Guy.
In Christ’s Love,
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