This is a report for Mission 407 by Grace on Wings.
Departure: Nashville, Tennessee
Arrival: Malvern, Pennsylvania
Date: June 23, 2016
Today we will be transporting 24 year old K. to a rehab facility to be near his family. As we exit the elevator onto his unit we are greeted by his mom who has been at his bedside since he was hospitalized in midMay. She escorts us to his room where he is surrounded by staff who have cared for him during his stay and as they step back allowing us to approach his bedside one of them comments, “Isn’t he handsome, he looks like he should be on the cover a magazine.”
She was so right he had a thick head of blond hair, beautiful clear skin, intense steel blue eyes and a well sculptured jaw, definitely “model” material. He made eye contact immediately and gave his best effort to smile as we closed the gap between the door and his bedside. I had spoken with his stepfather a few days prior to the flight and his final words to me were, “take care of my boy.” Those words still resignated with me as I was finally meeting this family in person.
We arrived at the airport and after Hal prayed for K. and his mom we all climbed aboard Nellie. Our flight was uneventful and K. did very well as he gazed out the window.
His mom described him as a “thrill seeker” enjoying many things from skateboarding to skydiving. She is a 7th grade math teacher and his stepfather is an athletic director. K. is their only child had moved to Tennessee in November to get a fresh start with his life.
The circumstance of this particular transport is much different from many others we have been blessed to do and I am compelled to share his story, at least what I know. You see, the reason for this young man’s hospitalization is a heroin overdose.
He lost his father when he was 15 years old and began experimenting with marijuana and it escalated from there to much harder drugs. This is the 6th time that he has overdosed on drugs of some sort. This is a young man with hard working, middle class, loving Christian parents.
It seems like there is this stigma in our society that these type of things only happen to people who live in certain areas of town, or possibly have low income, or people living on or begging on our the street corners, etc . We need to wake up!!! Heroin abuse is a huge epidemic in our country and it does not care about our socioeconomic background. It doesn’t care about the color of our skin, our race, how educated we are or how much money we make.
It is robbing us of not only our youth but in many cases parents as well. It continues to rip families apart and we are the only ones who can put a stop to it. These addicts are if nothing else someone’s child, each and everyone of us have parents at the very least. This young man could just as easily be our son, brother or father. This problem does not belong to those who it directly affects but to each and everyone of us.
1 CORINTHIANS 12:12-27 (UNITY AND DIVERSITY IN THE BODY): this covers several verses that I would encourage you to not only read but also ask God for His discernment and then to pray about what our individual role, as a part of the whole body looks like.
K. has definitely proven to be a miracle, as his initial MRI indicated extensive damage to his brain. Although he is currently unable to speak, he is tracking with his eyes and during our flight he was able to move his lips appropriately during our conversation. This is huge and all glory can only go to God. His family has seen God’s hand in this from the beginning. First with the recovery that he is making thus far, secondly one of the nurses who cared for him in Tennessee had first hand experience with this with her own son and was able to encourage share with K.’s mom from her own experience.
Also through this, his mom has started a blog and was contacted by someone she had gone to school with many years ago whom had shared this with her son and after doing so he came to his mom and told her that he too needed help. Most recently when K.’s stepfather was at the receiving facility waiting on our arrival, when given the room number K. would be going to the girl behind the desk jumped up and said, “that was my old room number, they healed me and they will help heal your son.”
As God carried us along through the clouds during our flight one of my favorite Christian songs played into my headset, simply titled, “Blessings,” and how appropriate these words:
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while,
You hear each spoken need
You hear each desperate plea and long that we’d have faith to believe
What if trials of this life are
Your mercies in disguise
My prayer during this time was for K. to recognize God’s mercies and this gift of a second chance that He has given him and that he will be able to someday use it to help others.
I have included the blog site if you so wish to read and share it or simply to be an encouragement to this family and so many others who find themselves walking this same path. www.caringbridge.org/visit/kyleharman
Thank you to Hal and Jason for sharing this mission with me. May the God of peace and mercy be with you.