Today the Lord has introduced us to Ned and his family. What an amazing introduction this was! As we entered the hospital room, we were surprised and delighted to see this enthusiastic young man’s smile as he greeted us!
Immediately we were reminded that God has orchestrated this day and that He is the Great Physician. Ned’s father explained, with just as much excitement as Ned‘s displayed, that the improvements in his son’s medical condition over the course of the last couple of days have been both amazing and unexpected. NP’s outgoing and positive personality was inspiring, also likely the reason he not only had his father and girlfriend at his bedside, but also other friends from his nearby college campus that have been visiting and supporting him regularly.
Ned was hospitalized in Chicago, near the University of Chicago campus where he is a student. He was initially brought to the ER unresponsive, suffering from repeated and prolonged seizures, which weren’t responding adequately to standard treatment. It was at that time, he was diagnosed with a seizure disorder called status epilepticus.
His hospital course has been long and complicated, beginning with his initial treatment of being chemically induced into a coma to stop his seizures, resulting in his needing ventilator support to breathe, and a trach due to the extended time on the ventilator. Almost two months after his initial admission to the hospital, Ned’s condition has improved significantly; his doctors now feel comfortable enough to release him for transport to his hometown of Baltimore, MD.
He will still require close medical monitoring due to his medication regimen, and his high risk of refractory seizures, which would require aggressive treatment and ventilator support again. This will require air medical transport, which has led Ned’s father to contact Grace on Wings. In Baltimore his treatment can be continued and his loving family can be together with him. Ned’s mother and father have been taking turns traveling between Chicago and Baltimore to be near their son, to love him, and support him.
This has not only led to financial hardship for the family, but has also created extended family separation. After preparing Ned for today’s flight, getting updated reports from the doctors and nurses, and acquiring the medications he will need during the flight, we were ready. First however, we paused just outside of the room as care providers from University of Chicago Medical Center lined up to say goodbye to Ned. This young man is a friend to all, he greeted each healthcare professional by name, and thanked them for the care they provided him. His infectious personality obviously touched a lot of people at the hospital in Chicago, and we could definitely see why!
Psalm 94:18-19 – When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
Ned and his father met Nellie at Chicago Midway Airport. The flight crew, family, and paramedics gathered around Ned as Hal prayed over him. During the flight we learned allot about Ned. He is a baseball fan, attending many games with his father. His favorite team of course, is the Baltimore Orioles. Anytime we inquired how he was feeling, he responded with a smile and gestured with a “thumbs up”. Getting closer to Baltimore, Ned demonstrated excitement and hometown pride by educating the crew on all of the local details…where to eat, what to eat, where to visit, also pointing out landmarks and ball fields as we flew over.
Welcome home Ned! His response, again, was a big “thumbs up”. Once Ned was transferred and comfortable in his bed the flight crew, his dad, and his new nurses gathered around Ned as we prayed over him. As we said our goodbyes and exited his room, Ned was still holding on proudly to his cross and bible that we gave him, and he thanked us with a smile so bright it lit up the room.
Then as we were gathering our equipment to return to the airport, I heard someone say, “excuse me”, then as I looked over, she continued, “I believe that you just brought my son here from Chicago”. I responded, “I believe we did, and he is doing great!”.
Then Lisa, and I introduced ourselves, and with tears in her eyes she thanked us and warmly hugged us both. Her eyes conveyed a look of relief that her son finally home! I recalled her husband telling us that while he was in Chicago, he and his wife would take turns flying there, spending only a day or two with each other until the other would return home to Baltimore.
His wife hadn‘t seen their son since his recent improvement. We remembered this as she hugged us, and Lisa said to her, “I‘m sure you have waited long enough to see him already and he is doing so well, so we don‘t want to keep you from him for another minute, he‘s right around the corner”. She looked pretty happy as she rushed in to see him, and we were so thankful we were able to meet her just before we left.
Serving with me on this mission: Lisa, Chet, and Hal.