Saturday, December 25, 2004

We wish you a Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish all of you wonderful people out there following our story a very Merry Christmas. We hope that you had a wonderful day with family and friends. I wish that I had more time in my day to keep you up to date on all that is happening with Luke and the family. First of all thank you for your prayers concerning the healthy delivery of Lily Joy. I always say that delivering a baby is not an easy experience, but this time it was very quick and uncomplicated. God is so good to bless us once again with a healthy baby!

Luke had a wonderful time Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. When he heard Isaiah and Ezekiel talking about opening presents he would get an excited face. He really seemed to tear the paper on the presents. I would hold his hand and put it under the paper and he would release his muscles in his arm and I would help him pull it. The little boys got a small drum set, a desire of Isaiah's for a couple of years now, and I took Lukes hand and had him help play the drums he seemed so excited about that. Someone recently asked if Luke's hand are more relaxed and the answer is, yes. His arms and hands are really a lot more relaxed and when he is sleeping quite often they are down by his side, it never used to be this way. He is also able to hold up his head so much better and when we tell him to put his head back after falling forward he is able to do it. Little by little he gets better everyday, as I say often if you would of seen Luke in the Hospital and you see him now you would be amazed at his recovery, but if you'd never seen him before you would probably feel sorry for Luke and our family, some days his recovery seems to take to so long and other days we rejoice at what we are seeing. We are seeing more emotion and even some smiles quite often, when he held Lily on my lap for the first time I know that we saw a smile on his face.

People often say I don't know how you do all that you do Sue and I have to reply it's only by the grace of God that I'm able to go on some days. I praise the Lord that I'm feeling so well after the delivery of Lily and that I actually am feeling better now that I have her out. Though nights like last night where I'm only able to get a few hours of sleep are very hard I do feel more energetic each day. We are hoping to get our yearly family picture done tomorrow in front of the tree in the living room and hope to get out a Happy New Year Letter and Card out next week. We will post a copy of it on the Blog for all of you faithful followers.

Things to be praying about:
Luke's legs are still very hard to bend and we don't want to work with them to hard because there is always a chance of breaking a bone if we are not careful.
Luke's feedings are still going very slow, most times it takes us up to 45 minutes to get a tablespoon or two of food into his stomach, he continues to stay on the feeding machine in his J-tube to get the bulk of his food, someone asked how his gastronologist appt went and I'm glad to say it went well he had lost one pound which was good considering that we are only able to get in a few tablespoons of food 3 times a day before he start to spit it out.
Once again I continue to ask that he will start to swallow more then he does, it's a mystery why somedays he swallows so much better than others.
Last but not least continue to pray that he will sleep all night, some nights go so well and others are still very difficult.

We continue to thank you in advance for your prayers it's only because of your prayers that we are able to continue on this slow marathon that we continue each day. May God richly bless you and your family.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Thursday, December 23, 2004

A few more dives in a new type of chamber.

Luke was able to go on 3 dives this week in a Sechrist HyperBaric chamber in Yelm. Amy went into the chamber with Luke to keep an eye on him. I have blogged a few photos below.

In the first photo, you will notice the chamber is a long cylinder type, as opposed to the more sub looking chamber in Canada. There is a TV that they can watch to pass the time while diving.

In the last photo, you will notice there is not a lot of room. You may have notice the blue band on Amy's wrist, it is an antistatic wristband, that grounds her to the machine. This is to prevent a static spark and reduce the risk of fire. Also, one major difference with the chamber in Canada is they pressurize the chamber with 100% oxygen, therefore Luke doesn't need to where a mask over his trach. In Canada they pressurized the chamber with normal air, then to deliver the oxygen, they use a hose with a mask that went over Luke's trach. The other major difference is price. It is almost 3 times the cost to dive here then it was in Canada.

I know Luke appreciates his big sister Amy going in the chamber with him. Thank You Amy.

A Sechrist HyperBaric chamber with Luke and Amy inside.

The technician is watching Amy and Luke as the chamber pressurizes. Notice the TV that Amy and Luke can watch to pass the time.

A closeup of Amy watching Luke inside the Sechrist HyperBaric chamber.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Mama, I really like her, can we keep her?

Can someone help me look under this tree for a present with my name on it? I can't read yet.

Big brother Daniel tells Lily that she is part of a wonderful family.

Grandma gets to hold her precious little Lily for the first time.

Natalie cheerfully turns over the role of baby girl after 15 years to Lily.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

She's Here!!!

Our newest baby girl, Lily Joy Searles arrived Monday night at 8:14pm. She weighs 7 lbs 4 oz and measures 20 inches long. Mom is doing great and glad it is over. To say that there is "Joy" in there Searles' house now has even more meaning. The kids are happy to finally see their baby sister. Ezekiel says "She's Cute" and I happen to agree. I will post some more photos after she has her first bath, so stay tuned.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A Busy Week to Report About

Wow! What a busy week we've had. On Monday the girls and Isaiah had there Christmas Homeschool Choir Concert, so we took Luke for the second time since his accident out at night. He seemed to really enjoy the music and so many people were so blessed to see him and the progress that he has made. I'm continually amazed that the amount of people that come up to me and tell me how Luke has really had a impact on their lives. I'm thankful that God has chosen him and our family to bless those with his story.

Luke had a few rough nights this week, it is a mystery why some nights he sleeps so wonderfully and other nights he is awake for hours. We are praying that God will reveal to us what is going on so that we can all enjoy full nights of sleep again. On Tuesday Natalie and I went through all the baby clothing we have and it took quite a few hours of sorting and repacking to get through it all, it feels so good to have that job done. We found a few sleepers that we could use for the new baby girl. We have been blessed by one of our family members Tim and Selena, who happens to have a beautiful daughter Alyssa who passed on all of her darling little clothes for the baby. We have more than we could possible need. We are feeling more prepared all the time for the baby to come, which according to my midwife could be anytime now. But you all know that man doesn't have a clue about the mystery of child birth, so we will just have to leave it up to God's timing, which is the best way possible to have it.

On Friday we decided to take the kids to Gordy's Winter Christmas party at REI. So many people once again were excited to see the progress that Luke has made and we were blessed by how many people came up to share how they keep up to date on his progress. Friday night Gordy, myself and the girls went to a fundraiser BUNCO party, which was a blast, while Isaiah and Zeke got to go spend the night at Grandma and Grandpa's home. Lukie stayed home with Glenda one of our nurses. Saturday night Gordy and I went to the Adult Christmas party at the church and had a great time. Then to top off our busy week Daniel was in a play on Sunday night, we took quite a few friends and family with us and all had a great time. Daniel did an awesome job with his part!

So there you are one very busy week for the Searles Family, I know that more of you would like to hear more often from us but we truly are doing our best to keep you up to date on what is happening.

People often ask how is Luke doing and what can we be praying about, so here are some specific prayer requests: *Please pray that Luke will start swallowing better and not have to be suctioned so much out of his trach, * Please pray that he will be able to tolerate his feeding in his G tube better and won't throw up any of his food, we have an appt on Wednesday with the gastronologist that I'm hoping well help us figure out what is going on, *Please be praying that this little one that can come at anytime will be right on time and that it will be a quick and easy delivery and that she will be a very healthy baby girl.

Once again thank you for your continued support and prayers, they are what get us through the days that are sometimes very difficult. May God richly bless you.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Praise the Lord, we are back home!

We are thankful for the time spent in Canada, but all of us are so happy to be back home. We decided to come back a day early on Friday and are so glad we did. I almost cried as I came into my quiet, clean home, that had been beautifully decorated for Christmas by Amy, Natalie and the Jacob girls. I am so blessed to have such wonderful daughters, they did an awesome job!

People are asking, "do you see any difference in Luke," the answer is just a little bit, which is great considering they usually tell you, you won't see much change before at least 20 to 40 dives and we only took 10 dives this trip. We are noticing that he seems to be much more alert and his arms are becoming more limber. At church today he was looking at people and not jumping as much when people would try to touch him. As we've said all along, this is a slow marathon we are running with Luke and continue to stay thankful for each step along the way.

Continue to pray that Luke will limber up in his legs and that his trach secretions will lessen, this would make him so much more comfortable and make our lives a little easier. I hope and pray that you are able to enjoy this joyous season of Christmas and please don't forget in all the hustle and bustle of this busy time, the real reason for the season is JESUS. We hope you enjoy the new pictures posted below.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Here are the kids on the deck just outside our hotel room in Victoria BC. Left to Right Amy, Luke, Ezekiel, Natalie, Daniel, Isaiah

Hmmm...Dad, how long will we be in here and how many dives does this make?

Here is one of the two HyperBaric chambers, it looks a bit like a small sub, both on the outside as well as on the inside.

Sue, what time is it? And how much longer do we have in this fish bowl?

Dad, thanks for taking me diving.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Hello From Canada

We arrived in Victoria BC on Saturday via a ferry ride across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was a wonderful sunny afternoon and it was funny watching the boys try to walk as the ferry rocked side to side. On Sunday we went to Victoria Foursquare church and it was a great service, God is present here in Canada. We went downtown and walked around Victoria, what a wonderful city with lots of interesting architecture. Later that evening we had a chance to meet Leon, yes the same Leon that posts on this blog. It was an interesting first meeting, as I felt like I was meeting an old friend, even though we had never seen each other before. We had a wonderful visit and Leon had a chance to meet all the kids Sue's parents took the kids home on Monday and left Luke, Sue and I to focus on HyperBaric Oxygenation Therapy (HBOT) for Luke.

Luke and I have been in the HyperBaric chamber 5 times. We dive each day at 10:30 in the morning and 4:00pm in the afternoon. Please pray during these times that God will reawaken the dormant brain cells and resurrect the dead ones.

I thought I would describe what it is like to go into the chamber with Luke. The chamber is about 10 feet long and 5 feet wide on the outside. The chamber is a bit like a small submarine, a cylinder with rounded ends. It has a sliding door on the side that creates an airtight seal. Before we go into the chamber, both Luke and I change into 100% cotton clothing and remove all metal. The purpose of cotton clothing is to prevent static electricity and the possibility of a spark that in an atmosphere of pure oxygen would be dangerous. Once we are dressed, we climb into the chamber through the side door and I sit down on a bench and then Sue hands me Luke and I lay him on some pillows on the bench. Luke is wrapped up in a 100% cotton blanket to keep him warm during the dive. Next I connect an oxygen hose to Luke’s mask that covers his trach and then I turn on the oxygen. Then they close the big steel door to create an air tight compartment. The technician then begins to pressurize the chamber and as this happens you can feel the pressure build on your ears, kind of like when you fly in an airplane, only a little stronger. It is normal for the chamber door to make some noise as it settles into place. It takes about 10 minutes to get to a depth of 16-20 feet which is about 1.5 – 1.75 ATA (atmospheres absolute). At depth it becomes quiet as the noise of pressurization stops and is replaced by a quiet hiss of the oxygen being fed to Luke’s trach. Sometimes Luke sleeps, other times he just looks around trying to understand where he is at and what is happening. Sometimes I will work with his legs and arms doing PT, other times I will hold him or just let him lay there on the bench. Today while he slept, I read psalm 119 out loud and prayed that God’s word would bring life to Luke’s brain cells and that God would revive the dormant brain cells. There are 3 round windows about the size of a large dinner plate, one on the door and one on each end. At times it feels a bit like being a gold fish, as Sue and others peer in the windows to see how we are doing, plus I get this urge to eat goldfish food J. After an hour at depth, we begin the process of depressurization and surfacing, this takes about 10 minutes. At this point we climb out of the chamber and head back to the hotel.

Luke and I go for a dive in the morning and then wait 4 hours before going for a dive in the afternoon. At this point it is hard to tell the affect it is having on Luke. At times he seems more alert and at times he seems more relaxed. Yesterday evening he fell into a deep sleep and his arms were out stretched and relaxed. By the end of the week, Luke will have 12 dives under his belt, and this is just the first step on his journey to recovery.

Let me know if there are specific questions you have regarding Luke’s treatment.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Here's Luke with his favorite monkey

I love my monkey, he's so soft.

Luke loves riding his horsey!

Here is Luke riding on his horsey. Before the accident Luke would be on his horsey at least once a day. He really loves it when we all begin to sing his favorite song, "Horsey, Horsey on your way."

We have so much to be Thankful for today

I hope that you all had a great Thanksgiving, we had a wonderful time at Gordy's sister Pam and husband Hal's home. As we celebrated a wonderful Thanksgiving day, I was once again reminded how much I have to be thankful for: a wonderful loving husband, the greatest children in the whole wide world, giving parent's, sweet sisters & sister in laws, a nice brother & brother in laws, lots of fun nieces & nephews, kind Uncles & Aunts, some really good cousins, lots of very supportive friends and all our new friends out in Blog land that are praying for our family and Luke each day.

Last night as I was putting Luke to sleep I began to weep once again and thank my Heavenly Father and His awesome Son Jesus for sparing my son's life. I realize that God did not have to bring back Luke to us, He could of very well taken him home to be with Him in heaven, but I'm so thankful that he chose to leave him with us down here on Earth. As I was looking back to this long journey that began on August 30th, I know without a shadow of a doubt that God has always been with us each and every day. Some days are very long and hard, but I'm so thankful for the continued progress Luke makes each day. He is now eating in his g-tube, which means he had food go into his stomach for the first time since his accident. He's done pretty good at handling the food and we are praying that he will be able to continue to handle what we are giving him and that he would soon start eating through his mouth once again. Baby steps are hard at times, but I continue to be thankful for each one we take.

As you can see by the picture of Luke on the horse and with his favorite monkey, he is becoming more alert and focused each and every day. Our prayers for this coming week, as we leave for Canada on Saturday to start his Hyperbaric treatments, are that he will begin to relax his muscles more and more each day. His legs are always very straight and almost impossible to bend, while his are arms are always bent and hard to get straight. We continue to believe that God is going to restore Luke to complete health and are excited to see this happen. We will try to keep you up to date next week on how the treatments are going, as I always say to people that say they are praying for Luke "please don't give up, your prayers are being heard and answered." Once again we say thank you for your prayers and support, they are appreciated more than you can know.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Natalie feeding Luke his dinner

This is the first day since August 30th that Luke gets to eat through his g-tube straight into his tummy. He did pretty good, now we just hope that he will continue to be able to handle it.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Luke is giving Kisses!

We were wonderfully surprised last Thursday night when I noticed that Luke was beginning to give us kisses. I was crying for joy and telling Gordy and the kids to come see and get a kiss as he was willing to continue to give them out. Zeke did say to me "Mommy don't cry be happy," I then had to tell him they were tears of joy. Luke was so happy with himself you could see it on his face. Then later in the evening when our night nurse was working with him he was copying some noises that she was making with her mouth. One other thing that he is doing is looking me right in the eyes when I tell him to. I am so blessed by the Lord waking him up.

I would like to share one of the comments written recently: I am overwhelmed by the greatness of our Lord. I was doing some "Bible time" night before last...I read the following and was struck right in the face with Luke! Then I come here and find your words relating to the physical therapy, the procedure they performed and the incident in the hallway as you were leaving. Luke is waking up...Praise is the scripture which tells it all for me...Romans 13: 11-12...And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed....The night is far spent, the day is at hand; let us therefore cast off the works of darkness and let us put on the armour of light.This is what is in my heart from those words. Luke is his sleep salvation has come to many. It is time for all of us to awaken to the light of our Lord, we have been asleep too long. Luke has already done that in the sleep he has been in and is now showing us exactly how to put on the armour of light. He is relaxing, he is swallowing, he is crying...I believe Luke has been with the Light and in the Light and that is why he is waking up to share it all with us. Praise God for it all. Thank you Jesus for the Searles family and all they have done to serve you. Loving and Praying Honorary Grandma Barbara

Here are some questions people have asked lately: Is Canada your closest option for HBOT treatments? No, actually there is a place about 35 minutes from us, but we felt like we wanted to completely give all of our energies to a full week of treatments. We can get almost 3 treatments in Canada for the price of one treatment in Washington, so that is a bonus also. We have decided to go to Victoria, BC instead of Vancouver, BC so it will mean a Ferry ride for the little boys instead of a train ride.
Will Luke be scared, can you stay with him and will he sleep during the treatments? I don't think he will be scared because it is enclosed in glass so you can see out the whole time you are in there, I won't be able to stay with him because I am pregnant, but Gordy, or one of his older siblings can be in there with him and as far as sleeping I'm not really sure what he will do, so he might fall asleep, we'll just have to see.

Once again thank you for your prayers he is sleeping so much better and looking better all the time. May the Lord richly bless each and everyone of you with a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Out of necessity comes great blessing!

My mother passed away a several years ago. One of my parents possesions that I took was an old china hutch that was in need of refinishing and some tender loving care. I stored the hutch in my garage until recently. Out of necessity to do some remodeling in the garage to make a room for Daniel I needed to decide what to do with the hutch. Two friends from church, Ken and Norm, both excellent woodworkers volunteered to restore the hutch. This afternoon, they brought the hutch over. WOW!!! What a transformation, it truly is amazing! What a blessing! Out of the necessity to clear out the garage, came the great blessing of a restored china hutch. We truly are a blessed family. Norm and Ken, Thank you both so much for blessing us. I know my parents would be thrilled with what you have done with the hutch. Thank You and God Bless You!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

We continue to stay humbled by your prayers

I come to you tonight with a great sense of being humbled. I'm so amazed at how many people come up to say that they are continuing to pray each day for Luke, I know that I've said this before but until you experience something like this you can't even begin to imagine how it feels. Just yesterday I was in Target and I had a sweet lady come up to me and say, "are you Luke's Mom" I said "yes I am" and she went on to say that she is my neighbor and her uncle was the wonderful man who came and knocked on my door that horrible day of the accident. He was the one who we didn't know who he was and he kept the CPR going until the firemen came to ran with him to the ambulance to take him to the Hospital. I remember saying that day I didn't know who that man was or where he came from, but I knew that the Lord had brought him to our door at the exact time that we needed him there. Anyway she said that she has been keeping up to date by reading our blog and continues to keep us in her prayers and then she asked to give me a hug, I was so blessed!

We had an awesome day on Monday when we went to Physical Therapy. We have a wonderful Physical Therapist and she was so encouraging as she said that in just the two weeks that we have been going that she is already seeing so much improvement in Luke. After totally relaxing him again with the message and heating pads, she then sat him up and put a fun toy in front of him and had him reach out to touch the toy and we were so excited when we saw him go back to one little rattle ball at least two times. She said that she felt him relax and almost reach for the little ball, what an encouragement that was, it was a definite voluntary movement, which is amazing and what we look for everyday.

We also had some good news today as I took him into the Dr. to make sure his ear infection was gone. It was gone, which was such good news because we are planning to take him to Canada for Hyperbaric Treatments soon. We are planning on take the whole family up there for 3 days. Amy and I will leave on Friday the day after Thanksgiving and then Gordy will come up with the rest of the family on Saturday, on AMTRAK which the boys are totally excited about. Since Daniel will be on thanksgiving break it will give us some much needed family time, we are praying that this will be a time for our family to have some good times together that are stress free. We've all been through so much these past few months, it will feel good to take a breather. Gordy, Luke and I will come home on December 4th. We are hoping to get in at least 12-14 treatments during the week, we know it will be an intense schedule but we are hoping since this will be the only thing that we will be concentrating on it won't be as stressful as fitting them into our days that are already too full. We are so blessed to already have people offering to help with the kids at home.

For those of you who have been keeping up to date on Luke and you wonder if God is really touching Him, I just want to say that I know without a shadow of a doubt that We serve a mighty God and He able to do abundantly above anything that we ask or think. As I've said over and over again God made his brain originally in the womb and He is able to make it all over again and knows exactly how to repair the damage done. Man says that the brain is the last frontier in our body, Dr.'s can't figure them out, but I know that brains are easy for God to figure out, He makes them everyday, as is evident in my womb right now.

Thank you for your prayers at night they are working. He has been sleeping much better, so please don't stop, when you wake up at night just continue to lift us up. We are faring better all the time. May God bless you with His wonderful love and I pray that you will feel the peace of God as you reach out to Him.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Thank you for your prayers they are working!

Hello to everyone,

Friday was a good day. It began with a trip to the physical therapist, where she was able to get him to relax so nicely that he feel asleep during her session with him. After that we went over to the Hospital for his feeding tube change. After the nurse tried twice in vain to find a vein for his sedation I.V. she called the specialist over to find one, so that actually took longer than the procedure itself. Natalie and I left him in the room asleep and went to get some much needed lunch. I watched the time closely so that we could get right back down to him before it was over, but they beat us and actually brought him up to us in the Cafeteria. The procedure went great! As we were leaving Luke started to breath heavily like he was crying, my sister Cindy said that he was crying and I said I wasn't sure because he had done this a few times before. I picked him up right away from his wheelchair stroller and told him that we were going home, he seemed to almost immediately begin to calm down as I told him that we were leaving the Hospital and putting on his coat to go home. As mentioned before I know that he is aware of so much more than he seems to be. All went well except for the fact that he woke up at 2:30 a.m. and I realized that we needed to flush his new tube and being that this was a new experience for me I went to find all the paper work I could on how to do this. Finally after a little bit I decided to just go ahead and do what I had learned at the class that I had attended the day before. I'm feeling a little more comfortable with it after doing it a few times today. It seems like there is a never ending list of new things to learn, things that I never wanted to learn, but now don't have a choice. He did go back to sleep in my arms as I rocked him in his room and we both slept until about 5:30 when I finally decided I needed to get some real sleep, so after getting his 7:00 a.m. medicine to him and feeding Zeke his breakfast who had woke up during this time I finally went back to sleep for about 2 hours.
We all had a great Saturday as we raked the yard. We have 5 huge Oak trees that are beautiful, but are sure a lot of work in the Fall. We were blessed to have Gordy's sister Pam and her son Carl and a friend Spencer come help us, they were able to get the job done in no time at all.
I hope that you have a blessed Sunday and upcoming week. Just remember God loves you more than you can imagine and He wants to be your best friend.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Daniel's new room

Here is a picture of Daniel in his new room. Thank you to everyone that played a part in making this happen, it turned out great!!!

A business with a heart

Who says businesses don't have a heart? Well, I found out the other day, they do. In March, I took Luke to get his pictures taken as a surprise for Sue. These were the only professional pictures we had of Luke. The other day Sue asked if we had any good pictures of Luke and I thought about the pictures from Yuen Lui's Studio. I called Yuen Lui's and spoke with Melissa and I asked her if I could buy a proof of each pose. I explained to her that these were the only pictures of Luke before the accident. To my great surprise she told me that she would make me a copy of all the files. I was so surprised, all I could do was cry. So when someone tells you that businesses dont have a heart, remember that Yuen Lui's does. Thank You for the gift of the photos of my son.

Update on Happenings at Luke's Home

This past week we finally finished Daniel's new room. As we mentioned before we had to give Daniel's old room to Luke in order for Luke to have a room upstairs that would be convenient for the nurses and right next to our room. Daniel willingly emptied out his room and put all his belongings in storage. We are very thankful to those that came and gave of themselves to help us: Pastor Larry for framing the room and putting up the sheet rock. My father for helping us clean out the garage, hanging the door, mudding, taping, and placing all of the trim. As you can see from the list he put in many hours to this project and we will be continually be thankful for all his help. Tom who donated lumber framing and for the shed floor. Mike for taking an evening out of his very busy schedule to texture the room for us. Thom, Ben and Robert for there help with the shed on that cold and rainy day. I also want to say a big thank you to Natalie who helped paint and to Amy who helped keep the house going and watch the boys during our big project.

Some of you may be wondering where Luke's dad has been lately? He has been very busy at work and keeping track of ordering all our medical supplies, medicines and dealing with our insurance company about Lukes bills. We are so grateful that we are able to meet all the extra costs that have been incurred recently, you never realize how expensive it is having a sick child until you go through it. As I mentioned he has also been busy at his work, they recently reorganized the department he is in and he asked to step down from his high stress job as a manager and go back to being in a technical role again. While they would have been happy to keep him in a management role, they have been supportive of his desire to return to a technical role. While this might not seem like the best career move, after praying about it we are confident that this was the right thing to do for this season. He is now in the process of transitioning into his new role and this is keeps him very busy.

I am amazed at how many people tell me they try to check the blog site daily for updates and am so humbled when they tell me they are praying daily for Luke and our whole family. I always say don't give up praying for Luke, I have confidence that God will complete the work he began in Luke's life the night he brought him back to life. Please remember to keep Luke in your prayers as he goes in for his feeding tube change this Friday and also please begin to really pray that God will loosen his very tight muscles. He never completely relaxes and I can only imagine that this is probably very uncomfortable and painful for him. I do notice that when I give him a bath at night that this helps him to relax a little bit, but as you all know I am 8 months pregnant and this is becoming more uncomfortable for me each day, but I will continue on because I know that it helps him to sleep better at night. If you wake up at night and don't know why it's probably to pray for us, especially for Luke to go back to sleep.

May our gracious Heavenly Father pour out his blessings on you as you continue to keep Luke in your prayers!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Saturday, November 06, 2004

This week has been like a Roller Coaster Ride!

Hi all you wonderful people out there in Blog Land,

Wow, what a week we've had! It has been a week of real highs and very lows. As Gordy stated last week Luke came down with a cold and we had a few nights of little or no sleep. But, Praise the Lord last night and the night before were some of the best nights he's had since he's been home from the Hospital, last night he sleep 6 hours.

On Thursday, which happened to be one of the worst days since we've come home from the Hospital, it was also one of the best. Let me explain. We were woke up by a pounding on our door at 3:30 a.m. from our night nurse saying that she needed us. She was having a difficult time getting Luke to sleep and just couldn't keep him suctioned. Needless to say it is one of the worst possible ways to be woken up, in my mind I thought I was getting up to a child that was not breathing. We had to put him back on Oxygen for the first time since the Hospital last week, so this was not so far fetched. I stayed up with him and rocked him and sang to him until about 6:30 a.m. at which time I thought I would go back to bed only to be woke up again by his alarms going off. Needless to say I didn't get hardly any sleep that night, I was hoping to get some more sleep once our nurse showed up at 9:00 but instead I got a call from the nursing agency around 8:00 saying our nurse was sick and would not be able to come that day, they said they would try to find a replacement, but I told them not to try because I knew I could just stay by his side that day. He was sick that day and was throwing up bile until about 3:30. I decided since I was taking in Isaiah to the Dr. take sure his ear infection was gone, that I would take in Luke and boy was I glad I did. The Dr. told me he had a ear infection and a very red throat, he also gave us a bit of wonderful advice about raising up his crib just 2 inches so that he would not spit out the bile anymore and wouldn't you know it worked.

The best part of the day on Thursday was when the girls brought in the mail, I was wonderfully surprised to find a check from someone who is very dear to us for $20,000. I couldn't stop crying, but this time it was from the joy of the Lord. It is interesting to Gordy and I that when you give how much the Lord will bless you. We had recently helped out a friend in need with $200 and wouldn't you know the Lord blessed us with 100 times the amount we had given away. This person said that they were blessed beyond what they needed and they just wanted to see Luke get the best care he could get, so now we have enough money for many HBOT treatments. We just need to know when the best time to start them will be.

This is way to long already, but I want to let you know that the swallow gram did not go very well. They had told us not to put anything in to his mouth yet so we hadn't done that. When we got there Luke was still not feeling well and was very tired and then he was made to sit in a hard chair, he hates to sit up. He kept covering his trach and was stressed and then the lady doing the test put a thick substance like baby cereal in his mouth, he didn't know what to do with it, she also tried to get him to suck a bottle but once again he just wasn't cooperating. I left there very discouraged, she told us to try to start get him to swallow little amounts of liquid and they would perform the test again in 2 or 3 months. Thank you for all your prayers I know that God heard them but it just wasn't his timing to have Luke pass this test.

Thank you again for all your prayers and support, you are all wonderful people.

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Luke's Mommy dropping by with a special request!

Hi, I know many of you are amazed to hear from me. I want you all to know that I just don't have the energy to write often, but I always check the blog a few times a day and am always encouraged to hear from you. I can't even begin to thank each of you for all the prayers that you've sent up to God for us, I know they are being heard!

I have a special request for you: This Friday November 5th at 1:00 p.m. we are taking Luke in for another Swallow test. This will be very important because it will tell the Dr.'s if he is able to swallow and if he can handle eating once again through his mouth. We know that he is swallowing we see it each day, so we are praying that God will allow Him to swallow and that he will swallow it down to his stomach and not aspirate any of it into his lungs. Also on the next Friday the 12th he will be going in for a change on his J-tube. He currently eats 18 hours a day through a tube that goes straight into his lower intestine and completely by passes his stomach. I really believe that a mistake was made in the Hospital because we were told he was going to have a J-G tube which allow him to eat both into the lower intestine and into his stomach, needless to say they will be changing it to a J-G tube on the 12th. We have been told this is a very easy procedure so we are praying that all will go well without a hitch.

One last request I have for all of you is we are calling all prayer warriors to come beside us and do some spiritual warfare with us. If you would like to be a part of a special prayer team we are asking you to e-mail us at and we will put you on our team of prayer warriors. We know according to the word of God that the devil comes to kill, steal and destroy, but God has come that we can have life and have it more abundantly. We are in need of some mighty prayer warriors to come beside us and lift us up. Please pray about it and let us know if you feel that the Lord would like to use you in this way.

Once again words can't even begin to express my gratitude at your out pouring of love, concern and prayers for our family. May you all be blessed with abundant life!

Love in Christ,
Luke's Mommy Sue

Sunday, October 31, 2004

It is about time!

Hi, sorry it has been so long between posts. This past week has been extremely busy and frankly a very tiring one. Pray that God will give me more time and energy to blog, I really miss being able to spend the time writing.

Q: How is Luke doing?
A: The most frequent question I get. My usual reply is that Luke is doing Great! Luke continues to make baby step improvements and he is doing great considering what he went through. That said, don't misunderstand me, Luke doesn't walk, talk and he has a long ways to go to recover. All that said, he is doing great.

Now, how is Luke doing today, this very moment? Not so good. We think he might have a cold or allergies, as his secretions have increased a lot the last two days. He needs to be suctioned a lot more Fri, Sat and now Sun. He has not slept in the past two days with the exception of an hour nap here or there. The weekends we take on Luke's care, just to give our house a break from nurses all the time. We have great nurses, it is just that it is hard always having someone around.

Please pray that Luke will sleep, he is sooo tired. Also, pray that he will get over this cold, as this could become pneumonia, which would be really bad. Pray that God will give us wisdom in how to best care for Luke.

Also, pray for the Searles family as a whole, we are pretty tired and could use a bit of sleep, our sleep aligns with Luke's. Also, we feel a heavy spiritual attack, we have noticed an increase in the boys arguing with each other, as well as other things. Please pray that God's presence will bring a peace and calm to our house.

Q: What is HBOT?
A: HBOT stands for HyperBaric Oxygenation Therapy. The basic process is a patient is placed in a hyperbaric chamber just like the ones used for treating divers. The chamber is filled with 100% oxygen and then the atmospheric pressure is raised to ~3 atmospheres. By increasing the pressure, it is the equivalent of giving a person 140% oxygen. In Luke's condition, there are brain cells that are alive and functioning, there are brain cells that are dead and there are brain cells that are what they call idling. The idling brain cells are alive, but not functioning to the fullest extent and the extra oxygen can help revive these brain cells to being alert and full function. I have read stories of patients that have regained significant capabilities after many treatments. One story, a little boy that nearly drowned at age 2, similar to Luke. After 200+ treatments, he has regained much of the function he had prior to the accident. We are hoping for a similar result for Luke.

Q: We have been wondering if you are still thinking about trying the hyperbaric treatments (HBOT) for Luke in the future?
A: Yes, it is not a matter of if we try HBOT, but a matter of when. I still believe that this is the most promising of treatments out there. Recently Sue went to her Chiropractor and they were talking about Luke. He told her that he is interested in buying a hyperbaric chamber that could be used for HBOT for Luke. He has a room there at his office to be able to put the chamber. Needless to say, we are amazed at how God is bringing all things together for His glory. Pray that the details for this would happen.

Q: How can we help? Do you need someone to watch Luke and give you a break? Do you need money? I just want to help.
A: These are questions, that I am asked regularly, so let me answer them for everyone's benefit.

First, how can I help? I know it doesn't seem like much, but the biggest, most important thing you can possibly do for Luke, is pray. I know this sounds so simple and seems to miss the mark, but let me tell you as a father whose heart is breaking for his son, to know that there are people out there that are praying, people that we have never meet, is more important then anything. Many are following Luke's progress even if they don't post, Rena is right, the ones that do post are just the tip of the proverbial ice berg!

Do you need someone to watch Luke and give you a break? Right now, we have nurses at night Sun-Thu (10:30pm-6:30am) and during the day Mon-Fri (9am-5pm). We choose to not have nurses on the weekend as a break from having people in our home. In order for people to help, they have to be trained in how to care for Luke. Right now, we have really great nurses and so there isn't a need, this may change, I will let you know if it does.

Do you need money? I am reluctant to even bring this one up. The answer is not a simple one. Right now, no, the bills are all paid and we are doing great, God is supplying all our need. That said, I don't know what the future holds. As I look at the cost of HBOT with 200 treatments being between $15,000 and $30,000, depending on where you go, I must admit, I don't know how it will all work out. That said, I do know who holds the future and the God I serve owns it all. In Philippians, it says, "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus". I have been counseled by some that I should ask for money while there is great interest in Luke's story. I will never use Luke to get something we don't need, I will never ask for help when there isn't a need. Frankly, I am not trusting in you and your abilities, nor am I trusting in my own abilities, I am trusting in God and Him alone. I know God has a plan for meeting our needs, and that includes HBOT and whatever else will come our way, I am not worried one iota. His plan may include having many of you help, and then again, it may not. Right now, I am not sure what the future holds, it is hard to see much beyond today. All of that said, when a need becomes apparent, I will let you know.

I want to finish with two short stories about how lives are being touched by Luke's story and the ripple affect.

A friend from work was recently on an airplane and he began talking with the person next to him. Soon they were talking about God and spiritual things. Part of the way into the conversation, he shared Luke's story and how it had impacted his relationship with Christ. A seed was sown in a young woman's life.

Another friend recently told me that he began going back to church as a result of reading the Luke's story and the realization of what it means to be a follower of Christ. A family touched.

Two lives touched by a little boy named Luke and his family. Frankly, I am humbled that God would use my family to touch so many lives, I really don't feel up to the task. Lord Thank You for touching hearts for your kingdom's sake, Amen.

If you have a story of how Luke's story has impacted you, or how you have been able to share Luke's story to point others to Christ, I would love to hear them, please post, even if it is anonymous.

Well, I took so long to write that he finally fell asleep. Thanks for praying.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Another doctor visit

On Friday we went to Luke's gastrologist. It was a very good visit. He talked to us about changing Luke's feeding tube from a j-tube to a gj-tube. The main difference is that the gj-tube has two ports, one that ends in the lower intestine like the j-tube and the second that ends in the stomach. It is like having a g-tube and a j-tube in one. With switching to a gj-tube, the Dr wants to do another swallow study and a stomach emptying study. These two studies will determine how far we can proceed. If all goes well, we will be able to begin feeding him via the g-port in more concentrated feeding instead of the drip-feeding. Also, we could feed him more normal food that is blenderized instead of the formula based feeding. This is a big deal and I say "Thank You Lord"!

Q: question... I hope it is okay to ask... the other children... how are they doing? How are the little guys doing?

A: First, yes, it is okay to ask questions; in fact it helps me to know what to write. I will go through each one and give you an update along with a PR (Prayer Requests).

Daniel - As you know he is attending a school of ministry and loving it. He is really busy, so we only see him on the weekend and sometimes every other weekend. The Lord is stretching Daniel in new ways and increasing his faith to a new level. His host family has been a big blessing to him. They have 5 children and homeschool, so it is a normal busy house, just like home. PR: Please pray that God will continue to reveal himself to Daniel and that he will give Daniel clarity about future ministry.

Amy - She turned 17 last week. Where does the time go? My little girl has turned into a beautiful young woman, although she will always be my little girl. Amy is a mature 17 year old and has really stepped up to help with caring for Luke. Amy is teaching swimming at the YMCA as part of the homeschool PE program and loves it. She also likes to read, watch movies with Natalie, play the piano and enjoys crafts. She started making a quilt last night; this will be her first one. PR: Pray that we (Sue and I) will not lean on Amy too much and that she will be able to be a normal 17 year old.

Natalie - Here too, my little girl (15 yr) is becoming a young woman. Natalie loves to play the piano, read, watch movies with Amy and knitting. She began knitting a scarf last night. Natalie's flag football team won the championship at the YMCA homeschool PE program. She play offensive and defensive line...Hmmm...Some how she seems a bit petite for a lineman...Yeah, but they Won!! PR: Natalie was supposed to get her drivers permit back in August, but we were on a trip and the Monday after we returned home was the day of Luke’s near drowning. Pray that we will be able to take her to get her permit and that she will pass the test.

Isaiah - Zaya as we call him, began taking swimming lessons as part of the YMCA homeschool PE program. He loves to swim and just moved up to the next level, so he is now a super pike. He is doing well and now that Mama is back home, seems to be adjusting to the routine. PR: Pray that he and Ezekiel will be best friends.

Ezekiel - Zeke is a busy, busy boy, he takes after Zaya :) He is very animated and says some of the funniest things. He is either really happy or kinda grumpy. There isn’t a lot of middle ground with Zeke. He too seems to be adjusting to Luke being home. Many mornings, he will get up before the other kids and go into Luke's room and climb up on a step stool and say "Good morning Luke!". In a little more then a week, Zeke will be turning 4, the time just flies.

Well, as you can see, questions help me know what to write, so keep them coming. Actually, I wrote this once and then the PC swallowed it and I had to write it again, so it might not be as long as it was. And you are probably saying "that’s okay" :)

Take care, and may God bless you Sunday as you worship Him.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

More Q&A

Q: I was also wondering, if Luke doesn't cry out loud, then how do you know when he wakes up at night?
A: Well, there are a couple of ways. First, we have an Oximeter that monitors heart rate and oxygen saturation level. Also we have an apnea monitor. The two monitors will alarm if his heart rate goes too high or too low, his saturation goes too low or he stops breathing. We have a baby monitor right next to the monitors and the receiver in our room. When the alarm goes off, it will wake you up. The other way we know he is awake, is his secretions usually increase when he first wakes, so he will gurgle as the secretions bubble in his trach. Here again the baby monitor helps us hear it from our room.

Q: Can you take Luke out much, or do you have to keep him at home most of the time?
A: We do take Luke out some, although it is quite a chore. We normally take him to church on Sunday and sometimes on Wednesday night. Our church is a block from our house, so we usually walk with him in his wheelchair. We do take him to doctors appointments and we have one on Friday 10/21 with the Gastrologist and dietician.

Q: How's the nursing coming along? Has your family finally started to adjust?
A: Great question! We are beginning to fall into a bit of a routine. We have 16 hours per day nursing for now. We have landed on a regular group of nurses that come each week. Luke is becoming more comfortable with them and this has been a huge blessing.

Regarding the prayer for Luke's complete healing. My perspective is this, I pray daily that today will be the day that God heals Luke instantly, that he will revive every brain cell and that Luke will rise up and walk, talk and be the little boy that we all know and love. On the other hand, I also pray for the baby steps, the immediate needs in Luke's body, what does he need for today. I dont think I am contradictory in praying both sides of this coin. First, is God able to heal instantly as well as step by step? The answer is ABSOLUTELY, there is NO DOUBT in my mind in God's ability to heal Luke. Is it only dependent on my diligence in prayer, partially, we are instructed to seek, ask and knock with persistance. It comes down to God is sovereign and he can choose to heal Luke today, tomorrow or next week. There have been many times in Sue and my life together where we have persisted in prayer over a particular situation only to see God move in a miraculous way. For years, we have prayed that God would give me a testimony at work, do you think I have a testimony now. All that said, I do believe that one day Luke will wake up and it will be the day that God will choose to heal Luke. My faith does not depend on God to heal Luke, but on God and His character alone. Finally, Julie, I too dont want to be ungrateful for what God has done in the baby steps, I will take them and say Thank You Lord. However, I will persist for God to heal Luke and that he will rise and walk. To your post, I say AMEN!

Teena, you mention feeling connected and that is one of the things that truly has amazed me about this blog. While there are many that are follow Luke's story that we don't know, we are connected and I look forward to being able to meet many of you here on earth face to face.

Q: How is Luke doing with his sleep? Is Sue getting any sleep?
A: Luke is getting between 4 to 8 hours sleep, usually in a few broken up blocks of time. Sue is getting some sleep about 6 hours a night. I find that the sleep we are getting is not a deep, deep sleep, but it is rest.

Thank you for all the questions and please feel free to ask other relevant questions.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004


I received an e-mail asking a couple questions and I thought I would answer them here for everyone's benefit.

Does Luke cry when he's awake or just seem uncomfortable?
First, Luke doesn't make any noise with his voice. This is due to the trach bypassing his vocal cords. However we have noticed a few times that he has had tears in his eyes, usually when he is stressed.

You said Sue was the only one who could calm him and I was just wondering how he expresses his needs?
Luke isn't able to express his needs in terms of "I am hungry" or "I need my diaper changed". That said, we do watch Luke's body language to understand is he relaxing or is he tense and tight. When he becomes stressed we notice a couple of things. First his heart rate will rise when he is stressed. We watch the oximeter that measures heart rate and oxygen saturation to determine is he stressed. Something else we have noticed is when he gets stressed, his face will have little red patches, this is probably an indication his BP is rising, although we don't have any way to really know.

I hope these answers help, and please feel free to ask other questions relative to Luke's condition.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Pray for sleep

Since we came home from the hospital almost 3 weeks ago, Luke has been inconsistent in his sleep patterns. Sometimes he will sleep a few hours at night and other times he will sleep more. On the nights that he doesnt sleep much, We dont sleep as much, in particular Sue. Sue seems to be one of the only ones that can consistently calm him down. Please pray that he will get on to a regular schedule of sleep 10pm to 7am would be awesome.

I have talked with many people who are following Luke's story via the blog. Many have said they had not figured out how to create an account so they could post comments. I have decided to try allowing anonymous comments again so there could be a broader group of contributors. I would ask that when you do post under anonymous that you sign it at the end. Thank you for all of the comments, they mean alot to Sue and I and the kids.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Blessed be the name of the Lord

Blessed be the name of the Lord!

We went to the Dr the other day and it went well. The doctor agreed to reduce the nursing to 16 hours/day. This is great news. Since Luke came home from the hospital, we have had a nurse in the house 24 hrs / day with a couple exceptions. It is nice to be able to have a little family time alone. Luke seems to be swallowing more and more each day, thank you for praying. The doctor said that they would not do another test to check his swallowing before spring. My hope and prayer is not only will Luke be swallowing, but that he will walk into the Dr office at that visit. We seem to be finding some routine in the midst of all of this, although at times its hard to be sure.

Sue and the baby girl are doing well. Last night the baby was kicking big time. In spite of that, Sue was able to get a good block of sleep, in fact she is still sleeping.

Amy turned 17 yesterday and we will be celebrating her birthday on Saturday when Daniel is home from school. Happy Birthday Amy, we Love You!

You might be wondering why I titled this post "Blessed be the name of the Lord". Well, it is the name of a song written by Matt Redman and recorded by a group Tree 63. This song has been a real encouragement to me. At times I begin to look at the circumstances instead of keeping my eyes on Jesus and as a result, I become discouraged. I find that when I listened to this song and choose to Bless the name of the Lord, that I am the one that gets blessed. One evening I was listening to this song and I thought about Job and so I decided to read the book of Job. Job is a man of God that is very prosperous. In the first chapter Satan gets permission to attack Job and takes all of Job's livestock and kills all of his childerern (10). To say that Job's response in Job 1:20-22 surprised me would be an understatement. He falls to the ground and worships God. He acknowledges God's sovereignty to "give and take away". Then he chooses to bless the name of the Lord. Wow! In the last part of v22 it says "....nor charge God with wrong." In other words he didn't blame God for what he was going through. It was through the act of worship and choosing to Bless the name of the Lord, that Job found freedom from his troubles.

In Job 2:9 Job's wife says to him "...curse God and die!" Job's response is amazing. He says to her "Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” Wow! Accept adversity, now this is a foreign concept to most of us.

As I have meditated on this song and Job's situation, it has been a huge victory for me. As I began to choose to Bless the name of the Lord and accept the adversity that I am (we are) going through, there is a freedom that comes with it. It is not to say that there are not moments of challenge, trial and discouragement, but when they come, it is a matter of acknowledging Him and Blessing his Name. It is a choice that each of us has to make each day, what will you choose? We are to pickup our cross daily and follow him. I am not sure what cross he has given for you to bear, but I do know that if you will let him, he will help you bear it. I recently read a quote that says "The will of God will not take you where the grace of God cannot keep you." God does not give us more then we are able to bear. What will you choose today? Will you choose to Bless the name of the Lord and follow Him? Or will you go it alone and struggle under the weight of a mighty cross. Join me on this journey we call life and choose to follow Him. If you are not sure how, then send me an e-mail at and we can talk more about it one on one.

Thank you Matt for writing the song and thank you Job for living it.
Here are the words to the song by Matt Redman

Blessed Be Your Name
(Verse 1)
Blessed be Your Name, in the land that is plentiful,
Where the streams of abundance flow, blessed be Your Name.
Blessed be Your Name, when I’m found in the desert place
When I walk through the wilderness, blessed be Your Name.
Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise,
When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say,
Blessed be the Name of the Lord, blessed be Your Name
Blessed be the Name of the Lord, blessed be Your glorious Name
(Verse 2)
Blessed be Your Name, when the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s all as it should be, blessed be Your Name
Blessed be Your Name, on the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering, blessed be Your Name
Every blessing You pour out I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord, still I will say
You give and take away, You give and take away,
My heart will choose to say, Lord, Blessed be your name

Matt Redman & Beth Redman
© 2002 Thankyou Music

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Baby steps

We continue to see little improvements here and there with Luke's condition. When people ask "Hows Luke doing?", I want to say Great, however I don't want to mislead them. Considering what Luke went through, he is doing great, that said, he has a long ways to go to fully recover.

He doesn't walk nor talk, however he does recognize voices and turns his head and eyes in their direction.

He swallows and coughs a couple times each day, this is really good, please pray that it will increase to where he is able to maintain his airway, so the trach can be removed.

His eyes do move from side to side. The other morning I was holding him and rocking back and forth and I noticed that his eyes were tracking the light over head. Thank You Lord.

I was told that he smiled today, although I didn't see it myself.

He wears splints on his hand, arms and feet every couple hours during the day to keep his joints and muscles flexible. He has been more stiff lately, not wanting to bend his arms or legs. Please pray that he will remain flexible and not stiff.

He takes a couple of short naps during the day and sleeps about 7 hours at night. His sleep at night hasn't been in one block since we left the hospital. Please pray he would sleep 8-10 hours each night and that it would be in a continuous block.

Tomorrow we have a Doctors appointment with a pediatrician and on Tuesday with his pulmonologist. Please pray that the doctors visits go well and don't stress or wear Luke out. Also pray that God will give Sue and I wisdom as we are advocates for Luke's care.

We are still waiting for nursing to get into a routine, and just about the time it settles, we will have to change as the 24 hour nursing is for the first 3 weeks only. Pray that God will provide clarity and direction on what the nursing schedule should be.

Finally, I ask that while you pray for baby steps for Luke's recovery, that you would also remember to pray for Luke's complete restoration. I truly believe in my heart that we will see a day when Luke will give testimony with his own voice of God's saving mercy in his life.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Continue to pray!

Your prayers matter, please continue to pray. Luke swallowed once yesterday! This is a big deal, thank you Lord. Thank you to each of you that is praying for Luke.

Here is a list of our current prayer needs:
  • Luke is not sleeping well at night, only a few (3-4) at a time. Please pray he will sleep through the night.
  • Pray that Luke will regain his ability to swallow and cough.
  • Luke needs to be suctioned upwards of 30 times each day, please pray that he wont need to be suctioned as much, or at all, if he would swallow and maintain his airway.
  • We still have not settled into a routine with the night nurses, every other night we have a new nurse that we have not meet before. Please pray that we will be able to establish a routine.
  • Please pray that Sue will be able to get good sleep each night. Many nights when Luke doesn't sleep she will get up for a few hours and rock him. Needless to say, this affects the quality of her sleep.
  • Please pray for wisdom for Sue and I as there are many decisions we have to make each day regarding Lukes care, in addition to all of the normal decisions of life.

Thank you for your prayers, I wish I could talk face to face with each of you and thank you in person for seeking the Lord on Luke's behalf.

Jer 29:11 NKJV For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Our hope is in God, thank you for coming along side us.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Luke goes to church for the first time

Talking with friends at church

Sunday afternoon nap

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Thank you for praying

I want to say thank you for each and every prayer, they do matter. As a family we gathered tonight to pray for Luke's complete healing. We will take it all at once, or little by little, however God choose to grant our petitions.

I returned to work for the first time on Friday and I must admit it was hard, but also very good to be back. One of my friends at work asked how things were working out with the nurses. I want to let everyone know that it seems to be working out very well. There are I think 6 nurses that care for Luke in 12 hour shifts (8am-8pm and 8pm-8am). God has been faithful to provide us with a good nursing staff.

So much happens over the period of a few days, that it is hard to remember it all and blog about it. I wish I had more time to blog, but it seems that my only time is late in the evening when most everyone is gone to bed. If you have reasonable questions, feel free to ask them, all I ask is that you would be sensative to my family, as they do read this.

Luke is doing very well considering he is coming up on 5 weeks since the accident. He breaths quite well with room air. He gets nutrition from a formula that he recieves via his feeding tube. He gets the formula for 18 hours and then has a 6 hour break, before starting it again. Luke has medications for seizures, secretions, antacid, a muscle relaxant for spasms.

Here are a few specific things to pray for:

- Luke has not been sleeping well the past few nights, please pray that he will get on to a good schedule of sleeping at night and awake during the day.

- Luke favors his right side, with his eyes, his head, in most ways, please pray that God will heal Luke and he wont favor his right side as much.

- Luke needs to have his trach suctioned upwards of 30 times per day, please pray that he will be able to cough, swallow and the secretions will diminsh and he wont need to be suctioned as much, in fact, how about not needing to be suctioned at all? Yes, Lord!

- Please pray for Sue and I as we continue to face daily decsions about Lukes care and we need wisdom from God.

- Finally, as Sue and I are advocates for Luke's care and continue to fight for the care he deserves, pray that God will give us favor and we wont have to battle with our insurance over what to cover or not. I dont want to receive anything we dont deserve, however I do want Luke to get the care that we have paid for and is due him.

I love you all so much and I continue to stand in awe of the God I serve and the Love he has shown us during this time.

Our niece Naomi and Skye were married today. Here are the two "Ring Bears" waiting to do there part at the rehearsal.

Our family praying for Luke.

Tonight after Naomi and Skye's wedding, we gathered as a family and prayed over Luke.

Here are the two "Ring Bears" being carried down the aisle.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Isaiah's turn to hold Luke in Luke's Crib.

Ezekiel holding Luke in Luke's crib

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Dad on the floor talking with Lukers.

Here is Luke this evening in his room sleeping peacefully. Today was a very busy day with lots of stretching and range of motion exercises. Lots of holding Luke in the rocking chair.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Home At Last!!!!

Well, we are finally home. It has been a very busy day with Luke's home coming. We left the hospital at around 2:00 after getting two grocery bags full of medications. Once we arrived home, we received to very large cylinders of oxygen, along with a lot of supplies and equipment to care for Luke. Luke has more alarms then a bank vault to monitor his breathing, heart and oxygen levels. There was a bit of a mix up with his feeding equipment and we were not able to get him started right away. All that said, he is now finally receiving his food, has his meds, his trach cared for and is now beginning to fall asleep. Courtney the night nurse is here and will be watching him tonight. Hmmm....Maybe all the activity will begin to slow down and we can find some kind of routine amongst all of the equipment. Mom, Dad and all the kids with the exception of Daniel will be sleeping here at home tonight...Thank You Lord for bringing us back home together again as a family...We Love You Lord!

I just want to acknowledge all of the people that have taken care of Luke over the past 4 weeks. My family who rescued Luke from the pool, Angel Jim who gave CPR, the medics who ran with Luke to the hospital, the ER staff who revived my little Luke, the PICU doctors for helping Luke get better, RNs & RTs for caring for Luke and us, admins for their warm welcoming smiles, to each and everyone of you a BIG THANK YOU, from the Searles family, each of you are the best and I thank God for each and everyone one.

I also want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of the people who have supported my family over the past 4 weeks, all the meals at the house and lunch at the hospital, the cards and well wishes, the gift baskets and teddy bears, the help with building the shed, and remodeling my garage, all of the words of encouragement, WOW!!!! To say that the Searles family is Blessed beyond belief is an understatement. Thank You!!!

Finally, I want to acknowledge each and everyone of you that has prayed for Luke and our family over the past 4 weeks. I want you to know that your prayers have made a big difference! We have felt God's presence and encouragement in this trial. We know and are confident in God's ability to heal and we will persistently pursue him on Luke's behalf for complete healing. I want to say Thank You for every prayer that has been spoken, I cannot imagine how different it would all be without God and without prayer....hopeless is the word that comes to mind. I realize there are many people in this world each and every day that face similar trials and do it on their own and are drowning in a vast sea of hopelessness. We have hope and His name is Yahweh, Jesus our Savior.

Okay, I am ready to split this joint, let's roll!! Come on Dad let's go HOME!!!!

Our neighbors the Reeders waving, cheering and welcoming Luke home as we drove past!!!

The sign in Luke's room says it all!!!

Finally my own bed with my purple zebra and my orange cat. WooHoo, home at last!!!

Luke laying on a blanket made by the Paisley (FL) United Methodist Youth Group. Each pair of hands is one of the people in the youth group and they laid hands on the blanket and prayed over it. We are blessed!!!!

Naomi, how many hours until you get married to Skye? Saturday at 2!

At last, I can rest in Mama's arms at home!

Sunday, September 26, 2004

An update and "A Brother's Cry"

Between taking care of Luke in the hospital and getting ready for his home coming on Tuesday, we have been very busy. We praise God as each day we see new indications of the healing process taking place in Luke's body. A couple of examples, Luke is starting to blink as we put eye drops into his eyes. Also, Luke will look for voices he recognizes. His breathing is improved and needs oxygen only once in a while. Thank You Lord for Your healing process for Luke.

On Friday night Luke was hooked up to a CPAP for the first time. The CPAP is a device that pushes air into Luke's lungs to help him breath while he sleeps. The CPAP was connected incorrectly to his trach and it pulled the trach out in the middle of the night. Needless to say, this was a bit scary for Sue who worked with the RT to get it back in place quickly. They were able to get it back in and this showed us that Luke can breath without his trach. Please pray that Luke will cough and swallow and then he will be able to have the trach removed for good. We continue to pray each and every day that God will completely restore Luke's body.

There was a question regarding the prognosis for Luke. At this point the Doctors are not very optimistic regarding Luke's recovery, however we will continue to pray for his complete healing. The doctors have said that on a scale of 1-10 for brain damage, he is at a level 5. They say that we will most likely be able to communicate with Luke, but that he probably will never walk. I understand the doctors not wanting to give you false hope by telling us that he will be okay, because they cannot do anything for his condition. That said, my hope is not in doctors, but in God. We will continue to seek God persistently on Luke's behalf for his complete healing. Lord heal my son Luke.

My oldest son Daniel wrote the song "A Brother's Cry" for Luke. Saturday evening he sang the song to me for the first time. The song touched me deeply and I told him that he needed to record it so that others could hear it. Our friend Chuck helped us record it late last night and then we were able to host it on this evening. To hear the song, click on the link and it will take you to Daniel's page on, here you will need to click on the music link and then click on lo-fi next to "A Brother's Cry". Below are the words to the song:

"A Brother's Cry"

Verse 1
Is this the day the LORD will,
Luke my little brother heal.
Every day I cry out louder,
To the LORD God my Father.

Luke come back to me,
The LORD has something for you to be.

Verse 2
I pray that he'll recover,
So I can teach my brother.
How God sent His son,
To die for everyone.


Verse 3
I look long into your eyes,
Hoping for a surprise.
Waiting for you to see,
All of me clearly.


I'd run a thousand miles,
to see your precious smile.
But I can't do anything,
That's why to the LORD I sing.
Heal my brother Luke,
I give him wholly to you.
Heal my brother Luke,
I give him wholly to you.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Physical Therapy

Tim Wild in Kansas pointed out that in the photos Luke's hands are always in fists. Because of Luke's injury there is a tendency for his muscles to contract and this results in arms pulled in by the biceps and fists. Also the calf contracting causes the toes to point. To counteract this, we are doing a few different things for Luke.

First Luke has hand splints that keep his fingers and thumb open to loosen the joints and muscles to help maintain the flexibility. Luke also has splints for his arms to keep his elbows flexible and he has splints for his feet to keep his ankles flexible. Luke has a regimen of 2 hours on 2 hours off for the splints. After the splints come off, he will gradually tighten and the fists return.

Secondly, the physical therapy/occupational therapy team come in a couple of times each day and work with Luke on his range of motion. They flex each of his limbs and work it through a series of stretching exercises to keep him flexible. We are learning to be able to do this ourselves. As we transition to home he will have in home PT a few days each week and then his nurses and family will fill in the gaps.

I guess I had not thought to ask specifically about Luke's range of motion and tightness, but here goes. Would you pray that God would restore Luke's ability to remain loose and not tighten up.

Tim, thank you for pointing this out, we are learning all about Luke's condition and this could have easily been something we would overlook. If you see things in the pictures or have questions about Luke's condition, feel free to ask, you may be helping us recognize a potential problem earlier.

I want to take a moment and acknowledge the Awesome staff at Mary Bridge children's Hospital. The staff here at MBCH are the best, it is the only level 2 pediatric trauma hospital in the state of Washington. We are fortunate and blessed to have such a fine hospital less then 20 minutes from our home. I am convinced that at the vast majority of hospitals Luke would not have been revived and this blog and all the love and support we have seen would not have happened. I am eternally grateful to the MBCH staff, as well as everyone that played a part in saving my little Luke's life. Thanks just doesn't seem to be enough, but it will have to do.


Pictures and an update

First, I would like to apologize for not posting earlier (Wed/Thu), I know there are a lot of you out there that are checking this blog regularly. I posted a few pictures of Luke, yesterday he got dressed for the first time and then today he sat in his custom stroller for a little while.

Since the accident, Sue has spent the night in Luke's room sleeping in a chair. Last night for the first time Sue slept at home, while Dad substituted. This is why I didn't post last night and while I am playing catch up tonight.

We are still on target to go home next Tuesday afternoon. We will have 24 hr nursing for at least the first few weeks. The interviews with the nurses has gone well and we can see God's hand in bringing them to us. Our training is wrapping up and we are doing most of the trach care and suctioning in the hospital, so the transition to home should be smooth.

Luke had a swallowgram yesterday that determines where his saliva goes, lungs or stomach. Unfortunately it is going into both places. Please continue to pray that God will restore Luke's ability to swallow and maintain his airway.

As I was leaving this evening, they were taking Luke down to get a x-ray to determine if the pneumonia is gone and how his partially collapsed lung is doing. He was also going to get an MRI to help in determining his prognosis.

Many have asked what we are going to our little girl and at this point we have talked about a couple of different names, but we have not landed on a specific one. One person from our church suggested we begin spelling our last name Searles, so the little girls name would begin with S and they suggested "Seven" and then "E" could be "Eight"....hmmm....I don't think we are going to start counting nor are we going to continue spelling. I will say that we are open to any letter of the alphabet, as we are finished spelling :)

Thank you for your prayers, support and words of encouragement, they mean so much to each of us. I know they mean a lot to many of you as well, as you have been encouraged by watching the Lord strengthen us in our time of need.

Luke sitting in his custom stroller/wheel chair.

Amy wore him out and it is time for a nap.

Luke looks at Amy after getting dressed for the first time.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Monday, September 20, 2004

Pictures and an update

I posted some pictures of various people holding Luke over the past couple days. A few things I would like to point out from the pictures to help you understand his condition. In the picture with Amy you will notice Luke's eyes wide open. He does wake up, however he is not able to track movement with his eyes. He does move his head side to side and some movement of his eyes side to side in response to voices, in particular familiar voices (Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters). In the picture with Amy, Daniel and Natalie, Luke has a device on his trach that is called an artificial nose. The artificial nose warms, filters and moisturizes the air before it enters the lungs, much like our nose and mouth do for us. In the picture with Aunt Cindy you will notice a big white tube that is attached to Luke's trach. This tube delivers warm, moist air to Luke's trach with similar benefit as the artificial nose.

We interviewed nurses today and it went well. We will continue to work with the hospital and nursing toward taking Luke home, sometime in the next week or so.

Luke was moved from the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) to the main Pediatric floor. This is an indication of Luke's progress and stability.

Thank you for all of the words of encouragement and support, We so greatly appreciate each and every one of them.

Amy, Luke and his purple zebra

Natalie gets to hold Luke

Daniel relaxing with Luke

Aunt Cindy holding Luke

Odds and ends

Today we have a few odds and ends we are dealing with.

We have a person coming to look at the two car seats to see if either of them will work for Luke. If not, we will need to get a different one.

Later we will be interviewing nurses and I am sure that we will find a few that will fit nicely into our home.

This afternoon Sue has an ultrasound to check on the babys condition.

And we will continue our training with a video on CPR as well as continueing to perform trach care and suctioning.

Sunday was a quiet day with a few more people getting to hold Luke. I was hoping to publish a few pictures, but I forgot the cable to connect my camera at the hospital, I will publish them this evening.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

A quiet day with a lots of arms of love

Today was a quiet day for Luke. Aunt Pam came to the hospital to watch Luke while Mom attended a bridal shower for our niece Naomi and Dad worked on building a shed in the backyard. This eveing Daniel, Natalie and I went to the hospital to visit. When we arrived Sue was sitting in the rocking chair holding Luke. Daniel was up next and held Lukers for a while and then Natalie held Luke for a few minutes while Dad suctioned his trach. We are getting the process of caring for Luke down. We have a long ways to go and God has been faithful to provide every step of the way.

One prayer request, we will be interviewing nurses sometime on Monday and I would ask you pray that God will provide just the right people for the Searles' family in particular Luke.

I pray that God will bless your Sunday.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Luke gets a new trach

Luke had his trach changed today for the first time. The surgeon that performed the tracheostomy came and removed the old trach and put in a new trach. At which point he turned to me and said "now it is your turn". I looked at him with some surprise and said okay. I must admit I was a bit nervous and at first it didnt want to go in, however I was successful. We are being trained to suction Luke's trach along with cleaning it and being able to care for it.

Love you guys and always remember whatever the circumstances of life, God is good. God has been faithful to my family and I pray that each and every person that is reading this will come to a full understanding of God's mercy and love. He is a faithful friend and no greater love then this to lay down a life for another.

Changes to the blog

Words cannot begin to express my disgust in a comment that someone posted early this morning. I have removed the offensive comment and have changed the blog settings to require a blog account in order to post comments. If this doesnt work, I will make comments by invitation only.

To the person who posted the comment, I cannot believe the insenitivity of the question you asked and it just goes to show you have no idea of what my family has been through. My only hope is that God will speak to your heart and you will repent for such a stupid and insenitive question that does not even deserve being answered.

To all of you that have shown such great support, I can only say I am sorry for having to make this kind of change, but I will do whatever I have to protect my family and their feelings.

Luke's Dad

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The fever is gone!

Praise God, the fever is gone! They have run tests looking for an infection and they cannot find one. Thank you for your prayers, they do count.

As we continuing to prepare for Luke's homecoming, there are many decisions and Sue and I need Godly wisdom to make these choices. In James we are told to ask for wisdom, so Lord, I am asking. Please agree with us in prayer for wisdom from above.

Luke is running a fever

Luke is running a fever this morning and the doctors think he has an infection. They are running tests to determine where the infection is located. Please pray that God will heal Luke of this infection and that we will be able to continue preparing to take Luke home.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Latest status on Luke

I thought I would take a moment and try to recap Luke's condition and hopefully fill in any gaps everyone might have in their understanding of his conditions.

First, Luke does wake up and open his eyes, mostly during the day time. He does respond to voices, in particular Mom and to some degree Dad. He does respond to the tickling of his feet by pulling back on them. He does move his arms and hands, although he does not really reach for anything. He does move his head from side to side at times, although he does favor his right side. His eyes do move some, although here again he favors his right side.

He has had seizures and they are in the process of switching anti-seizure meds and he has had a few during this time. This should be completed on Friday some time.

Luke is not on a ventilator and does not require oxygen. He is breathing on his own via his trach. He does require suctioning of his trach to maintain his airway and until God heals his coughing and swallowing this will continue. He requires more suctioning when he is awake and very little when he sleeps. He is sleeping during normal nighttime hours 10pm - 7am type of hours. Mom, Dad, Aunt Cindy, Sister Amy and Friend Yoli are all learning how to take care of Luke's trach along with how to suction his airway.

Luke has a GJ tube for feeding and is receiving the food over a 20 hour period each day as the feeding machine drips it into the feeding tube.

Luke may get to go home next week, but it may be the following week. The biggest thing right now is the need to line up nursing care.

A friend asked me about my post the other day that said "Thank You Lord for giving us Luke for a little while longer." This was just a dad being grateful to God for what he had already given me and was not meant to indicate that Luke is near to death. On the contrary, Luke is doing quite well under the circumstances. That said each day is a gift from God. Luke has lots of challenges to overcome, much of it is related to the lack of oxygen to the brain. To a large extent we don't know all of the damage that was caused to his brain from the lack of oxygen, nor does medical science really understand the complexity of the brain nor how to treat it.

Luke has splints for his hands and will be getting the splints for his feet tomorrow. The splints help keep the muscles and joints flexible. Physical Therapy comes in each day and works each arm and leg to stretch the muscles and joints.

There was a question regarding HyperBaric Oxygenation Therapy (HBOT) with a link to a website We have heard of HBOT and from what I have read this is one of the more promising forms of treatment for children like Luke. As the post says, it is not a cure, but can help bring to life brain cells that are not fully functioning. We do plan on exploring this form of therapy.

Friend at REI, thanks for the song by Mark Schultz "He's My Son". This song has new meaning to me and I am richer for it. Luke's Dad

Just a few more Searles' updates:

Daniel is off at ministry school and I spoke to him tonight on the way home and he says it is awesome! He has lots of homework and said he would be working on it until curfew and then getting up early to finish. My prayer is he will be done before going to bed. Daniel, I am proud of you for earning all of the money to attend school and I know God will bless you abundantly. Daniel's Dad.

Amy and Natalie my two teen girls are doing an awesome job taking care of things at home. As most of you know we homeschool and this past few weeks has been a huge lesson in reality for both of my girls. I have been blown away by how they have risen up to the challenge and taken on responsibility. Just one example, each day we have been receiving meals delivered to the home and lunch at the hospital. My girls have taken it upon themselves to write thank you cards to each person/family that brought a meal. I am sure you can guess who trained them to be so thankful. Girls, you rock and I am so proud to be Amy's and Natalie's Dad.

Isaiah and Ezekiel seem to be taking everything in stride. They are a very busy 5 and 3. At times I have been tired only to be lifted up by the simple life of two little boys. There are moments when they miss Mom and I agree with them, I miss Mom also, but for the most part they are doing great. Isaiah and Ezekiel, I am a blessed man to have two little boys like you. Isaiah and Ezekiel's Dad.

Sue is holding up remarkably well. She does not leave the hospital very often, although she did leave for about 8 hours today. She watches over Luke like a mama bear watching her cub. So far so good for child number 7 that is due the beginning of the year, although we expect it just before the end of the year. Sue, I am awed by your faith in Christ and you are an inspiration to me and I am proud to be your husband. Love you, Gordy.

I just want to say a big THANKS to everyone for every prayer that you have prayed for Luke thus far. I know that you are praying, because God continues to strengthen us through this storm. Phil 4:13 "I know I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Love you all, Gordy