Jesher is now one-month-old! And Lhorraine and I want to use this post to thank you all for the support you have provided over the past 31 days. Since this photograph was taken (see featured photo), Jesher has almost doubled in size. He has experienced extraordinary progress in his lung-development, and he is appropriately responding to stimuli. With the help of the Divine Hand and faithful NICU professionals, Jesher has avoided infection and has not needed any surgical intervention. We believe these outcomes are more than a simple twist of fate. We see these improvements as bi-products of a beautiful collaboration between faith and science. Both have been inseparable partners during our son’s first month, and we want to pause in order to say THANK YOU.
We have seen hundreds of people rally around us over the past month, and this unceasing advocacy has strengthened both of us on countless occasions. From the notes of encouragement that have been sent through this site, to the gifts that have been sent to uplift us, each gesture of encouragement has been invaluable to our perseverance. We are certain that we are not alone. We are confident that there is a spiritual army gathering from far and wide to fight with us. We know that the angels aren’t the only ones covering Jesher. We have seen you celebrate with us, and we have felt you cry with us. We have benefited from your resilience. We have been sustained by your prayers.
As we march into month two of our NICU experience, we are hopeful. Lhorraine and I are strong believers in the promise of Matthew 18:19:
“Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
The emails, texts, and cards have reassured us that we have more than three people standing in agreement with us. That means we meet the criteria for becoming beneficiaries of this promise.
We want to take home a healthy son that shows no signs of the obstacles he has faced. This is, and will continue to be, our prayer of faith. Like Hannah (1 Samuel 1:15), Lhorraine has poured out her soul before the Lord. Like Jeremiah (Jeremiah 4:19), my heart pounds within me and I cannot hold my peace. As a family, we are currently walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but death has not taken Jesher from us. After one month, our nuclear family is still a group of three. So we, like the hymn writer, must proclaim, “Through many dangers toils and snares [we] have already come, but grace has kept us safe thus far and grace will lead us home.” Amen!
Here is Jesher’s current medical report:
KANGAROO CARE–Lhorraine was allowed to hold Jesher again today. As I have reported before, this time between a preemie and its mother is priceless. The medical field still cannot describe the mysterious, spiritual connection that takes place during these moments, but there is conclusive evidence supporting the healing properties of skin-to-skin contact. Not only does this benefit Jesher, but it is physically and psychologically therapeutic for Lhorraine as well. PLEASE ASK YAHWEH TO PROVIDE LHORRAINE AND JESHER WITH AN INCREASED FREQUENCY OF KANGAROO CARE OPPORTUNITIES OVER THE NEXT MONTH.
BRAIN–Jesher is expected to undergo another LP [lumbar puncture] early this week. We are still praying for the Lord to eleveate the CSF [cerebrospinal fluid] build-up in his brain. After the lumbar puncture, Jesher will receive another ultra-sound of his head to gauge whether or not his ventricular size has reducedd or increased. PLEASE ASK THE LORD TO TOTALLY RELIEVE THE FLUID BUILD-UP IN JESHER’S BRAIN; ALSO, ASK THE LORD TO COMPLETELY HEAL ANY DAMAGE THE BRAIN HAS INCURRED.
HEART–Jesher’s PDA [Patent ductus arteriosis] will be re-assessed on tomorrow. As previously reported, not only has the PDA re-opened, but he is also showing symptoms of pulmonary hypertension. The doctors took a step-back over the weekend to strategize how to approach treating both concerns (currently, the doctors are concerned that treatment for one will aggravating the other). PLEASE ASK GOD TO GUIDE THE DOCTORS IN GENERATING THE BEST PLAN FOR JESHER’S HEART AND LUNG TREATMENT; ASK GOD TO MOVE IN JESHER IN SUCH A MIRACULOUS WAY THAT THE DOCTORS ARE MOVED TO GLORIFY THE NAME OF LORD!
As you continue to provide support for Jesher Gabriel, we want you to keep these tips in mind:
- For each post, I include a “Feature Photo” that only shows up on the website (you will not see it in your email version). I include these photos in order to provide visual aids that complement the literary journey. From Lhorraine’s first moment holding Jesher, to a depiction of Jesher’s new HFOV Ventilator, each photo is an original photo that I have captured during our NICU stay. I will begin embedding this photo at the bottom of each post for those who desire to read each post from the email versus signing on to the website.
- I will often make some adjustments to each blog minutes, hours, or days after my initial post. The email updates will not capture these edits (only the website will reflect the changes), so feel free to look back over previous blogs to see what details might have been added to the story. [For example, the blog entitled, The Obstacles We Face was updated with an interesting object-lesson that came to mind weeks after its initial publication.]
And please continue to recruit other prayer-warriors within your sphere of influence. We believe the prayers of the righteous availeth much! Although we are not wanting Jesher’s story to be used as daily, social-media content, we are inviting you to share his story with people who believe in the power of Yahweh and the power of prayer!
We are committed to taking this long-term journey one step at a time, one punch at a time, one round at a time. This is a marathon race for sure, and we know we have been called to “run it with patience;” however, we also want each subscriber to know how much easier the running is when we can run alongside supportive teammates. Thank you for running beside us.
Michael, Lhorraine, & Jesher
“When the angel of the LORD appeared to [Jesher], he said, ‘The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.’” Judges 6:12