Jeffrey J is 60 year old that decided to retire in warm sunny Tucson 3 years ago. Unfortunately he began to have health problems and his family back in Oklahoma worried that he didn’t have a support system there. He has failing kidneys and prostate cancer that has spread into his pelvic bone and colon area. 3 weeks ago he was admitted from home to the hospital for weakness and dehydration. His kidneys had stopped and his cancer has broken through to the skin-draining in 3 areas.
He lived the past 3 weeks with all his mental faculties but in a nursing home with a small room and sick elderly roommate and confused patients yelling down the hall. Knowing he was dying, his sister and brother found Grace on Wings to get him home back to Oklahoma.
Jeff didn’t want to have the huge surgery to try to debunk the cancer, nor did he want to be on dialysis machines to work as kidneys.
When we arrived, we were surprised how young and alert he appeared. He has severe pain if his left leg is moved due to the fracture of his pelvis where the diseased bone is. The wound care nurse had told him this morning that his wounds were looking much worse.
He smiled as we loaded him into the ground transportation and headed for the airport. He told our medic how his health had failed and he was happy to be able to get closer to his family. He had tears when we told him we were a Christian mission-there to show him God’s love-and that we were volunteers.
When we prayed over him at the plane, it was the first patient I’ve seen to lift his palms up to heaven. He slept during the flight and God gave us record fast speed with a huge wind pushing us.
We arrived in Oklahoma and he was so weak, we carried him to his bed (cot wouldn’t fit through doorway). I told the others to walk out while I helped his sister clean him up.
I asked him then about his pain and how far the cancer had spread and it then occurred to me that “this is it”, I’d better be sure they were prepared for his end of life. (Or it would have been easier to have just smiled and walked away) But I felt God prompting me to have a heart to heart with them-whoo out of my comfort range! With the ambulance truck waiting on me, I stopped and grabbed Jeff’s hand and asked him what he was thinking.
He said with tears that he was sorry to be a burden on his sister and that maybe he should go back and reconsider a big surgery and be hooked up on machines. I guess that would take some of the physical burden off her but I looked him in the eye and said-we have no guarantee of our days here-I could die tomorrow but I am secure in my salvation in that I’m going to heaven. Jeff nodded and agreed he is too. I told him then the choice for him seems to be quantity or quality of life. Would you be willing to endure huge surgery and suffering with no guarantee you’d survive it-only in hopes to give you a little bit more days on earth? Also I said-our God’s a big God-he can make the blind see and the lame walk and He can definitely heal you if He want’s-but it will take a miracle. Jeff nodded.
I then gathered the crew into the room and we all laid hands on him and prayed.
I mostly want him to be secure in his salvation and have relief of his worries of being a burden and have relief of his pain.
We could truly see on this mission that God had chosen Grace on Wings to show this family His compassion.
Thanks to awesome crew of Hal, Kyle and medic Todd.
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