Yep, I’m a proud dad! My little man has earned his first bit of street-cred and I couldn’t be prouder…Jesher earned himself an affirming nickname. Now, growing up, getting a nickname was a dicey proposition. You never knew if the nickname would highlight a strength or weakness. It could bring unwanted attention to a protruding physical feature, or it it could give praise to an uncommon magnificent quality. Where Forrest Gump compared ‘life’ to a box of chocolates, I think the stronger comparison exists between a box of chocolates and a ‘child-hood nickname’–“You never know what you’re gonna get.”
Well, it is my privilege and esteemed honor to report that my boy has received a nickname fit for a champion. Jesher has fought for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. He has been surrounded by a cloud of great witnesses and has emerged from his first ten days in NICU with a sterling moniker that speaks well of his future greatness. Like the gladiators of the Roman Colesseum, Jesher Gabriel is no longer known by the name on his birth certificate; instead, he is cheered on by spectators who chant his heroic pseudonym. Each time I see the name hanging in the marquee of his cubicle, I beam with paternal admiration. I introduce to some and reacquaint to others…the great and powerful Tiny But Mighty!
Jesher received this nickname from the wonderful nurses that have kept a 24-hour vigil since his arrival. Each nurse has served Jesher with intentionality, passion, and competence. They are career NICU nurses, most averaging more than seven years of service. Daily, they courageously cope with the unpredictable nature of the job, constantly vacillating between triumph and tragedy, life and death. But no matter the outcome, these nurses give their entire heart to each baby. Regardless of the prognosis, they serve each child as if they had the power to determine the outcome. For Jesher, they have all decided to believe with Lhorraine and I; they believe he can do it. They believe he can beat the odds and leave here in the arms of his parents. They believe Jesher Gabriel is pound-for-pound one of the mightiest warriors they’ve met. And they commemorated our son’s resilience by knighting him with the nickname–Tiny But Mighty!
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
LUNGS–On last night, they switched Jesher to a HFOV ventilator [High Frequency Oscillating Ventilator]. The previous ventilator was more high-tech, but sometimes you need the retro model to get the job done : ) He is responding well to the HFOV. He was retaining too much carbon-dioxide on the previous ventilator, and this ventilator is helping him release the carbon-dioxide at the proper rate. Now, we are needing Jesher’s body to oxygenate well so that the high levels of oxygen they give him can be lessened over the next few days. High levels of oxygen can scar the lungs and cause retinal damage. PLEASE PRAY THAT THE LORD WOULD PROTECT HIS LUNGS FROM SCARING AND PROTECT HIS EYES FROM DAMAGE.
HEART–Jesher’s PDA has not closed yet. The closing of the PDA [Patent Ductus Arteriosus] is pivotal for Jesher’s blood flow to normalize. We are wanting his body to close his PDA naturally so that he can avoid surgery. PLEASE PRAY THAT THE LORD WOULD SHUT JESHER’S PDA AS HE SHUT THE DOORS OF ‘NOAH’S ARK’ WITH A TIGHT SEAL.
BREAST FEEDING–Jesher is digesting Lhorraine’s fortified breast-milk very well! He gained over 50 grams in one night. Building fat for Jesher is a core necessity so that he can benefit from the added cushion and added support for the growth of his extremities. PLEASE PRAY THAT YAHWEH WOULD HELP JESHER GAIN WEIGHT AT A STEADY AND EFFICIENT RATE.
BRAIN–Jesher sustained a grade-level four bleed on the right side of his brain and a grade-two bleed on the left side of his brain. The grade two bleed is not concerning to his doctors, but the grade four bleed is cause for great concern. The good news is that babies have a supernatural ability to reroute their brain connections to by-pass any damaged areas. Not only are we praying that Jesher’s brain makes the necessary reroutes, but we are also asking Yahweh to heal any damaged tissue in Jesher’s grey matter. PLEASE PRAY THAT THE LORD WOULD TOTALLY RESTORE JESHER’S BRAIN.
Jesher has amazing nurses. I’m currently sitting next to one of his superb care givers as I type this update. She will be with him over the twelve-hour night shift. So after I pray over him, and speak amazing prophecies over his life, I will leave him to his vigilant cheerleaders. They will root for him even in the lonely hours of the morning. They will stand like sentinels over our priceless treasure and call him by his new name–Tiny But Mighty!
“You have made the heaven and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you.” Jeremiah 32:17