Update from David from Thursday:
Rebekah had a big day today. After 24 hours with the drain shut off, she was cleared to have it removed. I thought this would be a big ordeal (it is a drain.... in your brain), but was shocked when the Dr. had it out and sutured in about 2 minutes; and it was done bedside! Anyway, the drain is out and she has had a very peaceful day. She has had periods of moving around, but still not full consciousness. Ryann was here for a short while and was able to get a finger squeeze as well. The doctors and nurses have found that Rebekah is still quite ticklish under her arms. She is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow and then will potentially be transferred to Children's in Birmingham (which would be wonderful for our family).
Update from David from Wednesday:
You probably all know this by now, but I just wanted to remind everyone that God is good. In all things that he allows, in all things that he does, at all times... God is good. I have times where that is easier to trust and times where it is harder to trust. This morning and early afternoon was one of those times it was harder to trust. Thankfully, a wise and loving person asked me "Are you believing the truth or lies?". At the moment, I couldn't answer. As I drove back to Huntsville to be with Rebekah, God opened my eyes and heart to see that I was putting my trust in myself and other people, when the only one who can really comfort me and carry me through this is the one who in his perfect plan allowed this all to take place. I didn't have any great revelation during that drive, but I absolutely received the grace and peace that only comes from our heavenly father.
Rebekah is really continuing to do great. Her ICP has been good today! She has had a couple of spikes but her body has regulated those back into the normal range within a few minutes. This is truly great news for her as that means she may get the drain out tomorrow! Last night, I had a couple of times where I was pretty sure she squeezed my finger when I told her to. The doctor wanted me to show her and of course Rebekah didn't that time. Tonight, she was moving a good bit after getting her teeth brushed, so I tried again. I asked her to squeeze my finger and she did, lightly. I asked her to squeeze it really hard and she REALLY squeezed my finger. I cannot tell you how great that felt... just breathed new hope into my spirit! Please pray that she has a good night and morning with no spikes that require the drain to be opened again. Pray that she is able to get the drain out tomorrow and that she continues to move on toward coming out of ICU. Continue praying that she keeps away from fever and infection as that can greatly set her back in terms of recovery time.
Sarah had a really tough day yesterday and has continued battling fever and infection of unknown source. The doctors are taking fluid samples to work on determining where this infection may be and what type it is. Today, her fever has been under a little better control with medicine, but has still been up at times. The doctors may do an MRI tomorrow to continue looking for any signs of an issue that could cause a fever. On a more positive note, Sarah had a really great afternoon. She was more herself this afternoon than any time since the accident. She was very able to talk, was emotionally stable, and just generally in a good mindset. She wasn't anxious and wasn't crying or screaming out even though she was still in pain. I enjoyed playing a game of "Guess Who" with her and even got a smile from her (first that she has given me since the wreck). It is so exciting to see her getting closer and closer her old self. Please pray that she is able to be fever and infection free, that she continues to have great days like this, and pray that her pain is manageable for her.
Thank you all for the many prayers! We are excited to get to share our joy with you, so that you may rejoice with us in the healing of our girls. Praise God for his goodness and mercy toward us and our girls.
2 Corinthians 1:8-11 "For we do not want you to be unaware, brethren, of our affliction which came to us in Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of life; 9 indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; 10 who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us, 11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.
God has had me in 2 Corinthians for the last several days. There are many verses that have been impressed on my mind, but this one really hit me tonight. As Paul explained the gravity of their situation to the church at Corinth, he made a couple of points that have really encouraged me in our current trying times. In verse 10, he clearly establishes who has control over the situation... God. God delivered, will deliver, and will YET deliver was Paul's understanding of the situation. Because of this, Paul's hope was firmly fixed on God. As we consider the loss of Micah and the condition of Sarah and Rebekah, it is very easy to feel despair. However, God has delivered, will deliver, and will continue delivering us from that despair; our hope is fixed on God. Verse 11 really hits home for me. From moments after the wreck to this very minute, we have been lifted up in prayer by so many people. I cannot wrap my head around how many people are praying for us daily. I don't have data to back this up, but I believe that most of the people praying for us have never even met us (and we have met a lot of people). Through this, God is showing me the importance, power, and privilege of prayer. The Corinthian church was credited with helping Paul through their prayers. God bestowed favor on Paul through the prayers of the many. Because the people actively prayed for Paul, they were able to give thanks and enjoy the privilege of seeing God move through their prayers. As God uses all aspects of this current trial to demonstrate His goodness and glory, please join with us in prayer so that you may rejoice with us as God reveals what He is up to.
Updates on the girls:
Rebekah has had a couple of mostly stable days now. Some spikes in pressures, but largely uneventful days. We are thankful for the time that she has been able to rest and allow her brain time to be healing. Right now, it looks like she will be slowly coming off of some of her medicines early next week. At that point, we will begin watching for her to regain consciousness. We may still be a while out before the drugs wear off enough that she will wake up. Please continue to pray for stable vitals, no spikes in brain pressure, and continued freedom from infection.
Sarah had a good day of physical therapy, speech therapy, and eating some soft foods. She was able to sit in a chair for about an hour and this evening has been much more talkative than before. She still struggles with pain and being able to handle it, but her awareness and ability to talk with us (even when hurting) have definitely improved. We are still waiting for a bed to open on the floor we are being moved to. Sarah has a lot of jumbled thoughts and was very restless tonight before going to sleep. She cried that she is afraid she won't be able to remember things. Please join us in praying for Sarah's pain to be tolerable, for a bed to open up quickly, and for her mind to be at peace.
We are so grateful that you all have been praying for us and just ask you to receive these updates with joy, knowing that as God continues to move in our situation, you too can rejoice about what God does through your prayers.
This is James Wessel - I spoke at length with David this morning and wanted to pass along the following updates for you:
Sarah is still in the ICU in Birmingham but is showing great improvement, thank God! She is off of the ventilator now and breathing on her own. She is awake at times but groggy from everything that has happened as well as the medications. The specific prayers requests for Sarah right now would be that if her cranial pressure drain is able to be successfully removed, she could be a candidate to move out of ICU in the next few days, which would be incredible! Second prayer request for her would be that God would protect her from anxiety - sometimes as she wakes up she becomes very anxious - would you join with us in praying against that? The third specific request that you can be praying for is that she would possibly be able to eat some soft foods in the coming days. Her injuries do not set up well for a feeding tube so it would be a great blessing if she could eat on her own!
**update - since this was written this morning, Sarah had her drain in her head removed, she has talked and answered some questions, and she has eaten some applesauce! crazy to see how all of your prayers are working!!!! go SARAH! and go GOD!!!
Rebekah is still in ICU at Huntsville and still on a ventilator - however she had some good steps forward yesterday and also a CT scan that showed no active bleeding in her brain, and everyone is thankful for that! Please pray that she could regain consciousness in the coming days and that her cranial pressures would remain low. Her head injury is very serious and we all need to be praying that God would allow her little brain to heal.
David and Ryann pass along their thanks to everyone for the prayers and support. The body of Christ is an amazing thing to see in action, and they have been surrounded by love from all over. Thank you for being such a blessing to them.
We appreciate your willingness to pray for them and for Sarah and Rebekah. We will update tonight or in the morning on how they are doing - PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY!!!!!! And also know that despite all of the grieving over what has happened, there is hope in Christ.
Thank you to everyone for helping the Browns through donations and prayers! This has been just amazing. God has sent an ARMY of people to love and support them! WOW! Has been so neat to see.
Tomorrow is sweet Micah's funeral. It will be a celebration of his life and the family would like to invite anyone and everyone that is able to attend! The church that has offered use of their sanctuary has lots of room for everyone. Please know that you are invited to come be with us!
Here is an excerpt from a Facebook post from Micah's grandmother: "An idea surfaced this morning on Facebook and we are running with it. Micah loved his rubber boots and the color blue. In honor of Micah, plan to wear blue to his service and feel free to wear your rain boots - any kind will do! We loved Micah and he was such a joy to our family for the few years we had him.... If you are not with us at Micah's celebration tomorrow, please take some time to wear rubber boots. Life is short. Enjoy all your moments."
Most of you know by now... but 5 of the 8 members in the Brown family were involved in a very serious car accident Monday afternoon. Ryann (the mama) and Noelle (the littlest - 3 years old) have only minor injuries (thank the LORD!). Rebekah and Sarah, their oldest 2 girls, have very very critical head injuries (among other injuries - but the brain injuries are the most critical right now). Micah, their precious 5 year old boy, didn't survive the crash - he is safe in the arms of Jesus. He is missed so terribly.
Please pray for this sweet family! For Sarah (who was Med-flighted to Birmingham, AL) and Rebekah (who is in the PICU here in Huntsville, AL), who are very very critical; for David and Ryann, parents going through tremendous grief and dealing with hurting children in two different cities with unknown prognoses; and for their other three children, who have a hard road ahead of them as well (losing a brother, walking through this tragedy). They are a precious family and they are so moved by everyone's love and support and prayers. THANK YOU.
Many have asked how to donate money to them so we can help them with medical, gas, food, travel, and other costs. So we are setting up this page. There is also a Caring Bridge page for medical updates:
Thank you so much for your donations and prayers! This tragedy seems just unreal. There are no tears in heaven and there is no pain... and this world... is broken and hurting and so so hard. Come, Lord Jesus!!!