If you are reading this, you know Don and Sue. They are amazing people and loving parents. When healthy, they were involved in many ministries at church and community. They are such loving people. They point all to God. I am grateful and so blessed to have them as parents.
As you know, Don was Diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) with symptoms starting in early 2018. We have been blessed to have him every day. We still stand in prayer for healing for him. There is no human cure for ALS. Only the touch of God will heal him. He is in the later stages of ALS, and the doctor's treatment/plans to just make him comfortable. No one knows the days they have left, only God. He has walked this path with his eyes on God and said from the start that only God will heal him. He loves God with all his heart. His life has been a testament to pointing those around him to God. I (his daughter) am so grateful that he is my dad and has taught me so much and raised me (all his kids) in the Word of God. He did say if this struggle he is going through can touch one life and bring them to Christ, it is worth it.
His breathing is affected, and he is on a BiPAP at night, and when he desires, he is placed on Oxygen during the day. He has been asking for more Oxygen more and more. He is also tired more often. He requires 24 hr care. He is currently on Hospice. Hospice provides in-home nurse to take vitals, bather, and a singing mental health counselor. My mom, Sue Harman, has been his main caregiver. We have been blessed with some caregivers that come to the house.
However, recently Sue has been facing her own health battles. Many of you may be surprised to hear this. Sue has been so wrapped up in caring for Don that she has not slowed down enough to tell others what’s happening with her. Honestly, I do not think she really understood what was going on with her, as it was so overwhelming. In early August 2022, Sue went in for surgery and removed the early stages of skin cancer (I don’t know the name of the type of cells). The skin that needed to be removed was minimal and she was left with a 3 inch scar on her cheek and a big scar on the side of her nose. On Sept 22, Sue went in for another surgery on the other side of her nose. They had to go deeper and removed part of her nostril. She now requires reconstruction surgery. She went in for the first stage of the reconstruction on Sept 23. Resulting in her face being cut up pretty bad right now. They had to do a cartilage graph, skin graph and pull a vein over from her cheek. She now has skin from her cheek pulled over. One end of the skin is attached to her nose and the other to the cheek. She is in a lot of pain and can not talk much or eat solids. She is struggling with keeping her pain under control and not able to sleep much. She is still having to care for Don overnight and part of the days. My sister, Rachel, and brother, Nathan, are over as much as possible. They also have a caregiver coming a few times a week, for only 4 hrs a day; they can not afford more (they are blessed by one friend giving monthly, which helps tremendously). Sue and Don live off of their social security checks. The cost of caregivers is high, and insurance does not cover this. They have caregivers willing to work more. We want to maximize hours right now to allow Sue to rest and heal. This is very important because she is under doctors' orders not to do anything. After all, it risks the graphs. Sue's healing is a long healing process. She has to be extra careful for the next 8 weeks bc she has to ensure the graphs stay healthy. Then in 8 wks, she goes in for the 2nd part of the surgery and will be down for another recovery time. I have not been able to talk to mom much since the surgery because she is in so much pain and tired. The reports I am getting from my siblings are that she is struggling. My dad is struggling, too, because he is not getting the care he needs.
* Prayer is greatly needed. Healing for both Sue and Don.
* Don and Sue moved to Texas away from community and friend support because they needed to be near 2 of their children for added help. They miss their friends and community. This has been very hard for them and lonely. They feel very isolated. If you would send them a card, please email/text/Facebook/Call me (they wont let me provide info here) and I will give you their address to mail. We want to cover them with love!
* If we can increase caregiving hours. A caregiver cost 25 dollars an hour and their minimum time spent in a home is 4 hours (minimum of a 100 per day). Sue’s healing process is a good 3 months, she is under doctors orders she can not do much caregiving. It would be good if we can get some night shifts in there too. So Sue can sleep. She has been caring for Don at night and if Don is up Sue is up caring for him. Any Financial support will be a huge blessing. All money would go towards caregiving. This would take a Financial burden off of my mom's shoulders. I can’t imagine how hard it is for my dad to see his wife suffering and he can not do anything to help her. 25 dollars an hour for 32 hrs a week is 800 a week. Sue's healing will take aprox 16 weeks (if all goes well). That would cost 12,800 dollars in caregiving fees. (Don's mother left him 100k after she passed. And they have gone through this because of the high cost of medical bills they have every year. This is a very expensive disease. If you want to read more: https://alsworldwide.org/perspectives/post/the-cost-of-als?fbclid=IwAR0pxNHpUubRhbZ3QlaTB7iLOOAdLyNo0FmdIZPpgfozRfxtW2mRIBatyDA)
Nathan and Rachel (2 of their children) are doing their very best to be there every moment they have. They both have children to care for and jobs. It has been hard on them. Please pray for them too. They also feel blessed to be able to walk with Sue and Don in their time of need but it is hard juggling so much. Kyle and I give where we can and do food orders or other items that they need. It is extremely expensive to fly out there (3k for my family in just plane tickets), so that has been difficult not being able to be there in person.
Also, add to the prayer list: Sue is struggling with not being able to see her parents. They are both having health issues. She can not visit because she can not leave Don. She worries she will not be able to see them on this side of heaven. We are asking for prayer, for comfort, and for their health too. Sue's parent's name is Dona and Kenny.
Thank you for your time, love, prayers, and support. We can not do this alone.
Amanda Shannon (Daughter of Don and Sue)