I know so many of you have been praying for a young man, David Hanson, who suffered a devastating fall from a great height while working as a lineman. What the Lord has done and continues to do is nothing short of miraculous.
Wedding Joy on June 16, 2012
The original report was nothing less than hopeless. Doctors gave no reason to believe he could recover. The brain stem injury was extremely serious. Multiple fractures requiring multiple surgeries. It was overwhelming just to figure out how to begin to pray.
The family set up a David Hanson Update page on Facebook. In just a matter of a few days, nearly 3000 people had joined the page, praying and encouraging the family with passages of scripture, songs and words of hope and praise–even in the knowledge that David’s chances of survival were so very slim.
Daily, thousands of people have prayed all around the world. Total strangers to this young man and his wife. Coming together to pray for God’s will and His pleasure through this tragedy.
Initially, the reports gave no hope, yet still the people continued to pray. David tolerated various surgeries well. He has been, after all, a very healthy and strong young man.
But several days after the accident, there was that great gasp of excitement when Rachel posted her update:
I am very excited to give a good update today! David was initially not breathing on his own at all and needed the vent to sustain life. Two days ago, I thought I saw David take a deep breath on his own but thought, “That can’t be possible.” and dismissed it. Yesterday, I noticed his respiratory rate was changing a lot and thought that was funny because the vent should be giving a constant rate of respiration so I asked the nurse and she said David was breathing some on his own but not enough to sustain life because he would breathe fast, a little or none at all. Today, he has been breathing consistently on his own and they plan to wean him off the vent, Lord willing, in a couple days!! He is still in a coma but we’re praising the Lord for the great things he is doing.
You could truly feel the praises going up into the heavens as people gave thanks to the Lord for His mercy. It was the first big physical indication that there was healing going on inside David’s brain. Words truly fail me in expressing that joy that I felt when I read her post. I cried. I rejoiced. I prayed.
Of course, this battle is like so many…you gain ground, then lose some ground, then push ahead further. Then it’s time to regroup and plan the next attack. In just two short weeks, David has moved so far forward. And he has a long, long road ahead.
A few days later, we saw the following update:
There hasn’t been a lot of new things with David lately. He has been having trouble tolerating the tube feeding. He has had a bronchoscopy and chest x-ray which are both clear…so no pneumonia, which is good. He is completely breathing on his own with some supplemental oxygen! But his breathing has been a little labored and congested. The last two days, he has been opening his eyes some (mostly slitted) but not really focusing on anything. He will squeeze my hand occasionally but not with commands but it is still really awesome. 🙂 He seems to calm down when his parents sing softly to him. He must find some comfort in hearing their familiar voices and the sweet words of hymns. Please continue in prayer. This battle is far from over.
It was like going over the top of a roller coaster when your stomach jumps. How easily I could have just given up hoping, yet the Lord God is the one who is directing this–He is the One who has the plan. Again so many prayed and praised and thanked the Lord, again encouraging the family, regardless of the ultimate outcome.
And again Rachel posted a sweet update that showed how encouragement so simply shared can lift spirits:
Kids are just the best! I was praying with a friend this morning and we both started to cry a little and her little boy comes up to me and said, “Are you sad? Jesus loves you!! Yes, Jesus loves you.” Sometimes it’s the little things that just make a day better. 🙂
Update: David is back on the ventilator for some support breathing because he has been laboring breathing a bit. He is still not tolerating the tube feeding and has been vomiting several times a day. They are wondering if he has a bacteria in his digestive tract. Last night, they did a CT scan of his chest to check for a blood clot in his lungs. We should get results this morning but last night, nothing serious was brought up, so I think he should be clear of that. Last night, when I saw him, he looked peaceful and was breathing evenly. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away…may we still remember that He is faithful, merciful and good even though every day seems to take us on a roller coaster.
I marvel at the grace and peace that the Lord has granted. Pain that I cannot truly even imagine in the lives of this newly married couple. Family members and close friends driven to their knees in prayer during this aptly labelled “roller coaster” ride. And yet, hope remains.
So often we hear and read about Christians and their divisiveness. How un-christian the Christians behave. People who bear the name of their Savior, yet who can’t seem to bear their brothers and sisters in that very same Savior. And yet, this situation with a critically injured young man has allowed the light of Jesus Christ to shine through the lives of thousands all around the world.
Mark Sutherland, a family friend who I do not know, shared a tremendous post of encouragement and exhortation for all of us:
For many of us watching this Divinely purposed situation unfold, it has been most thrilling to our hearts to see such a coming together of the Body of Christ, such wonderful distancing of ourselves from religious labels (that will blow off on our way up anyway), to support and surround other members that are in pain and great trial. Members that have hardly any other connection than that we are “members one of another.” To Him that gave Everything for us, be the praise!
So many people, all brought together through their faith in Jesus Christ, crossing so many man-made barriers to fellowship. United in their purpose of praying and petitioning Almighty God on behalf of a fellow-believer in need.
It was particularly uplifting to read posts from David’s parents yesterday:
Update from Joel Hanson (David’s dad) on 8/24/12:
“I just talked to Dr. Yasbeck who said David is more responsive the last few days and his eyes open spontaneously now. I asked if he is [e]merging from his coma and he said it is difficult to know that. He said he would not be surprised if David responds more, to voices and singing. He also stated that there is slight improvement in David’s right arm movement.
Things to pray for: David has been battling a fever, Dr. thinks it may be bronchitis or an infection in his digestive tract.
Good news: today David was transferred to [the] Rehab facility at 10:45PT.
With the Dr. sharing a more optimistic report this time, it was encouraging to hear a confirmation of what we have observed as David’s parents. We thank God for His mercies.”
Joel and I are very thankful to all of you who have been joining us in prayer for David and Rachel. Seeing a glimpse of the Lord’s body around the world is an amazing blessing. What joy it will be when we are all together with Him one day! Until then we want to be “trusting as the moments fly, trusting as the days go by, trusting Him whate’er befall, trusting Jesus…that is all.”
Yesterday, David was moved to a rehab facility to begin the next phase of his healing process. Interestingly, Rachel is a Physical Therapist. Ironic? Coincidental? I don’t think so. I believe it was all part of God’s plan in bringing these two lives together.
David is settling in at his new “home”. They are going to take it easy on him this weekend and not progress things much, but next week they will start bumping up his Physical Therapy, working on getting him more independent with his breathing, and starting him on some drugs that should make him more alert and stimulate neurological recovery. I am very pleased with the competency of the staff there and look forward to working with them to help my husband come home! 🙂 I have a LOT of driving ahead of me in the next few months because he is 2 hours away from home and 2 hours away from my work so pray that my trusty Honda gets me the places I need to be and I have [the] endurance to keep this marathon up. Thanks again for all your prayers so far! It really is a miracle that David is at [this facility] and I feel bouyed up on God’s strength.
This post is already quite long, but I wanted to give as thorough an update as I could while also providing a glimpse into what the Lord has been doing, and CONTINUES to do. David’s brother, Nathan, shared a quote from Rachel early on that sums up beautifully what this entire battle is about:
We are reminded of our human frailty and how our lives are held in a fragile balance. If David could have one wish out of this whole thing, I believe with all my heart that it would be that souls would bow their hearts before the Creator and Saviour of the World and accept his propitiative work on the cross for their sin and make Him Lord of their lives.
Thank you all so very much for your prayers on behalf of David and his family. Please continue to pray. The needs are very great. May many lives be turned to the Lord Jesus through the testimonies of this family. Truly, our God is a most Awesome God!