Archive for March, 2006

3/26/06 10:00 pm

We are told that Mike has had a more restful day today, after a morning meeting with one of his neurosurgeons at which Mike made an immediate response to a request that he "show us two fingers."  Mike quickly and fully extended the index fingers on both hands. 

One of Mike's surgeons, Dr. Brayton, met with Mike and some family members for some time this morning.  As you might expect, this was a sobering discussion, but he did share with us that he did not expect Mike to have progressed as quickly as he has, following surgery.  Of course, he was also clear about the severity of the injury, but added that the surgical procedure itself went perfectly.  (Not an exact quote, but Mike's surgeon used the word "perfectly" and that is a beautiful word.) 

Relating to Mike's efforts to "track" with his eyes, Dr. Brayton commented that he believes that, for now, Mike is likely tracking sound, and not tracking objects in his field of vision.  (Something specific to continue to pray about.)

Mike may undergo a CT scan tomorrow, and maybe some other testing as well. 

Mike's brothers had to travel with their families back to their homes today, in order to return to work, and with hopes of returning next weekend.  Related to that, if information on the site slows, or is less specific at times, please don't take that to be meaningful in and of itself.  As you know, the site's primary purpose is to equip everyone who wishes to pray for Mike's recovery, and we will get out information to serve that purpose, and to encourage all. 

Finally, many have requested to know how they can make a contribution to assist Mike and Michelle with expenses associated with Mike's surgery, ongoing medical care, and related matters.  These issues are being attended to, and information will be posted in the coming days.

March 26, 2006 at 10:42 pm 6 comments

3/26/06 2:39 am

Mike is working very hard, and he continues to strive to respond to verbal commands.  Upon a verbal request, he has been able to tighten his grip on another's hand.  His right hand grip response to that request has been a bit more consistent and a bit stronger than his left.  Mike has also shown that he has regained some ability to move his eyes, left and right, and in correct response to a specific verbal direction that he look one way or another.  We have so much to be thankful for, and to keep praying for.  It is very late, but I wanted everyone to have this information available before Sunday worship services.  These things have been wonderful to witness today, and I know that it will be exciting news to share.  May God bless you all for your fervent prayer, without which this progress simply could not be happening.  

March 26, 2006 at 4:01 am 31 comments

3/25/06 9:45 p.m.

Today has been exciting with some new responses that Mike has been able to show us.  As described earlier, Mike's responsive movements seem to be improving, as we see more instances of flexion, which appear purposeful.  Today, we have seen instances of what appears to be an effort to respond to verbal commands.  Also, Mike's right eye movement has improved.  We may pray that he is beginning to "track" with his right eye, though we must be cautious as to whether we are really observing this — yet. 

Please pray that Mike will be able to consistently show positive response, and that further improvement will be built upon this consistency.

I want to pass on to everyone that your outpouring of prayer and support has been an inspiration not only to Mike and his family, but to the medical professionals at the ICU who care for Mike around the clock.  Many of Mike's nurses have commented to me that it is clear to them that Mike is loved and supported in a very special way, and that it really inspires them.  At one nurse's request, some photos of Mike were placed in his room, for the medical staff, so that they could see Mike with Michelle and his children, and "meet" the person that we see and know when we look at him.  (Some of those photos are on this site.)  Needless to say, Mike's wonderful personality is evident even in photos, and the medical staff has really been able to see what an incredible person he is.  Your generous outpouring of love and support has made this possible, as many of Mike's nurses have visited this site.  Thank you (again and again).  Please note that there is not a one-post limit in place.  Please keep sharing with Mike and Michelle. 

We will be with Mike late tonight.  If there is more good news to share, you will have it by sunrise.  Please be aware that some of Mike's family must soon be traveling back to their homes, with the intention of returning next weekend, and as often as possible. Please pray for safe travel, and please maintain your prayer support, since it will soon not be possible for some of Mike's family to be with him daily.

March 25, 2006 at 11:26 pm 4 comments

3/25/06 2:08 pm

Mike has had a positive morning, and we would ask that your prayers be as fervent and as continual as ever.  We believe that Christ is at work in Mike’s body, in response to your prayer.  Mike continues to respond to touch sensations with motion that appears to be purposeful, though inconsistent at this time.  We may also have seen this morning some purposeful response to verbal commands, though we cannot be absolutely sure.  Obviously, we will be with Mike all day and watching him very closely.

Please have faith that your prayer is powerful and effective, and please continue to offer prayer steadfastly.  Truly, we still cannot know what these observations mean, neurologically, for Mike.  We can believe that Mike is making progress, but  please be cautioned against drawing any farther-reaching conclusions from these observations.   Michelle and all of Mike’s family want this site to provide information to encourage everyone in their prayer, and to best equip everyone for that purpose.  And we want you to have important information as quickly as we know that you desire it.  Still, of course, the very last thing that anyone wants is to mislead, or to create false expectations.  Just keep praying.  And God bless you for doing so.

We will try to update again later today — at least once.  Rest assured that the most important news will reach this site as soon as we can get it here.

March 25, 2006 at 3:49 pm 11 comments

3.25.06, 10:30 a.m.

Kevin posting:  Dan (Zegarski) noted that any organized prayer vigils are welcome.  It is likely that, as it is, there is a constant prayer coverage right now informally because of the generous outpouring of concern as news spreads about Mike’s condition.  That said, God encourages us to pray specifically and at all times, and if people want to commit to praying at certain periods, we will certainly endeavor to keep the latest requests updates so that we are going to God with exactly what we want to ask of Him. 

For example, Dan’s posted messages yesterday and Thursday about observing Mike’s movements and praying for specific types of movement.  These movements are crucial right now, as doctors are examining those movements because they are indicative of his brain activity. 

Dan will post this weekend as any news comes, but in the meantime, please keep up the prayers and have the courage and persistence to ask of God with the faith that He will give us what we are asking for. 

 

March 25, 2006 at 10:37 am 6 comments

3.24.06 9:30 pm EST

If you are wishing for a very specific thing to pray for, you might start with this: pray that Mike begins to show consistent flexion in his arms as part of his responsiveness. Flexion movements represent a “higher” kind of movement, neurologically, than he has been able to cosistently show us to this point– though we believe we may be seeing the beginnings of this. I have told Mike that he needs to begin thinking about closing / flexing his arms, that he needs to work on this, and find a way. I pray that the seed is planted in his mind, and that it can take root. Please pray for this. Thanks. More soon.

March 24, 2006 at 9:42 pm 4 comments

3.23.06, 10 p.m.

New post received from Mike's family. . . 

Loved Ones and Friends,

In the morning, while at home, on Tuesday, March 21st, Mike suffered a hemorrhage in the left side of his brain, in the temporal lobe (near his left temple). The hemorrhaging occurred at the site of an AVM (arterio-venous malformation) which had been discovered several months ago, following a CT scan made necessary when Mike suffered a concussion playing flag football. (The AVM was not caused by the concussion. The AVM is congenital in nature, and had been present for years – often AVM’s do not cause any problems for those who have them, and they are often never diagnosed at all.)

We may all be thankful that Mike was home with Michelle, and that he was able to be immediately transported to a hospital just a mile from his home, where emergency surgery was performed to relieve his brain of the pressure brought on by the bleeding, to remove a blood clot, and to stop further bleeding. The surgery was completed in about three hours, and Mike’s neurosurgeons commented that the procedure went better than anyone could have expected.

Mike is being watched closely, and he is now in intensive care. He is stable, but he is presently in a comatose condition. Mike has not regained consciousness since the onset of the hemorrhage at his home. He is breathing on his own, but he is on a ventilator in order that he receive assistance in breathing, and in order that he receive air which is richer in oxygen than normal air. Mike’s heart is beating strong and steadily. We may praise God for Mike’s good physical health, strength, and youth, all of which give him a better chance for recovery.

Mike’s primary challenges right now do not appear to be related to his bodily health, as much as to his neurological health – the health of his brain. We pray and watch for signs of neurological recovery. Mike is responsive to touch, and he will react to sensations, even by movement of his body. While this movement is a positive first step, it is important to understand that his movements are, at this time, of a basic grade of neurological response, and that we must pray for a higher level of response (which will indicate a restoration of higher brain function). This may take some time, and we must be faithful. We MUST believe. Mk 11:23-24.

So, while there IS cause for praise and thanks to our Lord, there is also urgent need for fervent and ongoing prayer. Mike has sustained an extremely severe brain injury at the site of the hemorrhage, and at the brain stem. The injury relates to the bleeding, and to the necessary surgical intervention, but most notably to the pressure which built up before surgery could relieve that pressure. As these words are written, on the evening of March 23rd (Mike’s 34th birthday), the simple truth is that the full extent of the damage is unknown and unknowable even to Mike’s surgeons.

We are being told that, right now, we must wait to see how Mike will respond to the surgery and to the treatment he now receives which stabilizes him and maintains those conditions which best support the healing propensity of his own body. The medical professionals around him have worked hard to remove the obstacles which medical science allows them to remove, in order that Mike’s brain can now recover.

Praying is the most important thing which we can do for Mike at this time — specifically, praying for better and better neurological responsiveness, for the eventual full return of higher brain function and consciousness.

The need for prayer is urgent and continual, as these early stages are viewed to be extremely critical to Mike’s long-term recovery outlook. Be assured that Mike and Michelle KNOW that they have your love and support. There continues to be an overwhelming outpouring of support from around the country.

Please let us also now overwhelm Heaven with prayer — faithful, unceasing, and expectant prayer. And let our persistence be unyielding, as we take guidance from Luke 11:8.

Know that this is the most precious and the most needed gift which you can give to Mike and Michelle.

God bless you all. We love you, and we thank you.

“Again I tell you, if two of you join your voices on earth to pray for anything whatever, it shall be granted you by my Father in heaven. Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst.” Matt 18:19

March 23, 2006 at 10:11 pm 29 comments

3.23.06, 9:00 a.m.

From an email last night from Dan Zegarski, Mike's brother:

We are putting together a chronology / statement, concerning the events leading up to Mike's injury, and describing his condition, needs, etc., which I will email to you – hopefully tomorrow.Stay in prayer, of course. Thank you.

Stay tuned. . .  

March 23, 2006 at 9:02 am 2 comments

3.22.06, 2:20 p.m. (EST)

This is Kevin Reeve posting.  Just got off the phone with Dan Zegarski, who related the following:  The biggest prayer at the moment for Mike is about his lung functioning.  Doctors had to increase his oxygen last night.  At this point, they are not forecasting anything but want to wait until 5 days have passed to have a better idea of how he is doing, see how he bounces back from trauma of the surgery yesterday.  No tests being conducted today.  The earliest an angiogram might take place is tomorrow (Thursday) or Friday.

The nurse was clear: Mike is fighting for his life right now, not just because of the injury of the aneurysm, but also how that damage translates to his organs because of the effect on the communication to them from the brain.

Dan added, though, “We have a lot to be thankful for, and lots to pray for.”

Michelle has been, in Dan’s words, an “Abrams tank,” solid as a rock. 

As with any future posts, this post may be commented on, and any comments are welcome.  Please feel free to pass this site’s link on to anyone who knows Mike or even if they do not and are just following this in prayer. 

March 22, 2006 at 7:26 pm 33 comments

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