Sharlene is 37 years old. She worked as a CNA (certified nurse assistant) for 14 years with plans to go to school to become an RN. She has a 20 year old son and a 17 year old daughter who both live out of state. She married Robert in 2009 and just 8 days later she was diagnosed with scleroderma.
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease referring to hardening of the skin. It eventually leads to fibrous hardening of the internal organs as well. It is a very debilitating disease. Being in the medical field Sharlene knows exactly what a disease like this will do. After she did some explaining about her new diagnosis to Robert she then asked him what he would like to do.
His response…..”I am in it for the long haul.” She said at that moment she knew how much he truly love her. It wasn’t until 2014 that Sharlene was placed in a facility when she was no longer able to care for herself. Robert has continued to work and spends as much time as he can with her.
Over the last few years she has required a tracheostomy and has become ventilator dependent. She is however still very much an independent woman.
It was she herself who contacted us to transport her. Robert’s job had transferred him and she of course wants to be near him. She set up the entire transport herself.
As we leave Indy this morning it is overcast and in the distance we can definitely see a storm brewing on the horizon.
Climbing up to altitude we pass through several layers of clouds until at last…..there it is……dancing in and out of the clouds, casting its’ glorious beaming rays among them…..the sun. It is a great day to fly as I continue to be in awe of God’s creation and the gift of yet….. another day.
When we finally get to Sharlene’s room there are a few staff at her bedside packing up some last minute items. Sharlene is dressed in her pink slacks and a multicolor paisley top.
Her hair is neatly pulled back into a ponytail and she is ready to go as she continues to be in charge. We move her and all the things that go with her over to the cot and make sure she is comfortable then we head to the airport.
Hal has been waiting and prays over her as we place her on board Abe. She is admittedly quite nervous. We assure her it will be a very smooth flight. She did amazing as she spent some time watching out her window and then she watched a movie on the I-pad we provided. That really seemed to help her relax and pass the time.
Once we landed we took her to her new facility, ironically the same one where we had just recently picked up Miguel (mission 495 back on 8/30). Knowing she was going to that same facility I shared with her how much the staff there loved Miguel and what great care they had given to him. This made her feel a little better.
As we walked down the hall the staff there remembered me and I shared with them that Sharlene was a little nervous. I went to tell them that I had assured her what wonderful caring staff she would now have. They immediately assisted us with her and joined us in prayer prior to leaving. She wanted to sit up in a chair but they did not yet have what she would need. As I walked out I overheard them telling her that they were working on it and as soon as possible they would have her up.
THE LORD WILL GUIDE YOU ALWAYS; HE WILL SATISFY YOUR NEEDS IN A SUN-SCORCHED LAND AND WILL STRENGTHEN YOUR FRAME.
YOU WILL BE LIKE A WELL-WATERED GARDEN, LIKE A SPRING WHOSE WATERS NEVER FAIL.
Thank you to Hal, Jason and Edith for sharing this mission with me.
Shelli Engle RN