Help Brenda and Jim

This is James and Brenda Phelps, married for 38 years. This Christian couple is in need of some financial assistance. Due to many trips to the Emergency Room and doctor's visits they have substantial medical bills that they need help paying. 

James put himself through college at Lincoln Christian College to become a minister then went on to get his Master's degree in counseling, all while raising two boys with his wonderful wife. He uses his education by working for Social Services to help children and struggling families. 

Though they are not strangers to living on limited means, recent medical bills have become overwhelming. Brenda had gastric bypass surgery that went terribly wrong, coming close to death several times. She spent over a year in and out of the ICU at Barnes in St. Louis and was also in rehab for months.

Now as they are trying to recover from her bills they have been struck with more. James started having some hearing problems and when he went to the doctor they sent him for an MRI. This imaging test showed a brain tumor draped over several cranial arteries and pressing on the brain stem. For those that may not know or remember, the brain stem controls our most basic body functions. Breathing, heart rate, temperature, etc. Thankfully the tumor is not cancer, but it is still critical due to it's location.

An operation was scheduled to remove what they could safely. A more definitive MRI was done for the doctors to prepare for the surgery. They were going to attempt to go in behind the ear but that risked damage to the cranial nerves that could cause hearing loss as well as other complications. Going through the nose was the only other option. The arteries from that direction were too close together to do more than get a biopsy.  Though this biopsy did confirm it was definitely not cancer, but it showed it was fast growing. Radiation was the only thing left that they could try and that was only to get it to stop growing, but not to expect it to shrink. 

After six weeks of radiation treatments he was to be given another MRI to check the progress of the tumor growth. A few months after his last treatment he had a severe nose bleed that he had to go to the Emergency Room for. It was no simple nose bleed and he had to be sent by ambulance to Barnes in St. Louis to repair the artery that was bleeding in his nose. This ambulance ride ended up costing around $6,000. 

Recovery from there was better with only occasional nausea and sinus infections. In Dec of 2017 we got a miracle! The latest MRI showed that not only had the tumor stopped it's growth but it had shrank by 60%. Praise God that our prayers were answered and with a bonus!

Unfortunately the luck didn't last, in the last months he had another trip to the Emergency Room in Urbana, IL with major balance issues that he needed the use of a cane to stay upright, low blood pressure and low pulse. He was even falling with use of a walker, having fainting spells, and lost 90 pounds in three months (and in this family that just doesn't happen without trying). A CT scan and MRI showed that there was swelling in the temporal lobe and cerebellum. The doctors sent him by ambulance again up to Barnes in St. Louis, wracking up another $6,000 bill. 

Though he is now home, James can not work, they are even having to send physical therapy to his house to help with the balance issues. Medication has helped the swelling in his brain and though his symptoms are improving he may have these difficulties for a long time, possibly permanently.  

Needless to say the medical bills are exceedingly high. Brenda is still on disability so there is little in terms of income. We ask for your prayers, but any and all monetary donations would be very much appreciated. The money will be used for reducing these medical bills and keeping a home over their heads until he is capable of returning to work. 

James has given so much to others through his faith, work with children and families as well as addiction ministries. It would be great to see him get some help in his time of need.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Henri Miracle 
Columbia, TN
Brenda Phelps 
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