I wrestled a bit with writing this update, but I find it necessary and important to communicate. As you know, my son Malachi experienced what the neurologist classified as a severe traumatic brain injury. I can’t express the horror that came over me when I was sitting in the ER with my son and hearing a brain surgeon download to me the possibilities of what to expect. Praise God that Malachi didn’t take a turn for the worst and that God’s grace protected his brain! Erin and I were also overwhelmed with the hundreds of people (and that’s not an exaggeration) from all over the world who reached out to us to let us know that they were praying. I also got dozens upon dozens of messages from my pastor friends from all over the world letting me know that they are getting their congregations to pray. It was really remarkable, once Malachi was able to focus, to go over all of the text messages and phone calls with him. He was overwhelmed with the number of people that he never knew who were praying for him. It was a cool discipleship moment where I got to show him what the Body of Christ was supposed to look like.
It has now been three weeks since Malachi’s accident and he is doing well. The headaches are very mild and are becoming rarer. He can, little-by-little, start focusing on schoolwork without getting dizzy or coming down with a headache. He is still not out of the woods. He has another couple of months before the doctors release him to do any real type of physical activity. In the meantime, he still needs to be extremely cautious as even a mild head injury could be life-threatening. Also, and this is something you can pray for, he still hasn’t got his sense of smell back. Pray that this is not a permanent condition.
As parents, Erin and I are still in need of your prayer too. My anxiety level peaks each time he sneezes or if he plops down on a chair and comes close to bonking his head on a wall. Most nights, I wake up with flashbacks of seeing him lying in the middle of the street or hearing the ER doctor give me little to no hope or thinking that he was stroking out on me when he went limp in the shower. I know that on the outside, we appear normal. But on the inside, Erin and I are dealing with the uncertain realities of life. We also know that in the end, Malachi is still here and that he is doing exceptionally well. We also know and rejoice in the fact that God’s favor has been upon our family every moment.
We could also use your prayer and support as we navigate the future. Obviously, this accident was unexpected. But we are so grateful that we live in a place where I had Malachi in an ER 15 minutes after his accident, and then 10 minutes later, he was getting a CT scan. We are grateful that we had a fantastic team of pediatric neurologists and nurses available who monitored Malachi 24/7. We are also thankful for the medical insurance Calvary Chapel Saving Grace provides for my family and for the investment CCSG makes, along with my family, into a Health Savings Account that we were able to pull from during this emergency. God’s favor is so overwhelming! We also wanted to let you know how grateful we are for you and your prayers and for all those people who brought us food and coffee.
Lastly, I wanted to put one more need out to you all. Our insurance covered a tremendous amount of Malachi’s medical bills (over $13K). However, we have been left with a $4,000 medical bill that is due at the beginning of February. The actual out-of-pocket expenses were $6,000, but we have already paid $2,000. We also still have some money in our HSA to cover most of the remaining bills, which will completely drain the account and we’ll still owe over $1,000. Plus, next week, he has another appointment with the neurologist and probably another CT scan, which will be an additional (estimated) $1,500 out-of-pocket.
As you know, for the past 15 years we have served as stateside missionaries and half of our income is from missionary support. It is always a humbling thing as a missionary to be exposed and vulnerable like this. But again, I know that my family and friends, and the broader Body of Christ, want to know and be equipped to pray and support. If you would like to donate, please click on the button below.
Pastor Mike & Family