During a loved one’s long surgery, a scattered family stays connected through the wonders of prayer and technology.
Posted in , Oct 12, 2016
My brother-in-law Mike had surgery last week. As some of you know, he was the sole survivor of a tragic plane crash five years ago. That he survived–with burns over much of his body–was nothing short of miraculous. Now the surgeon who had treated him was going to remove much of the remaining scar tissue and cartilage.
How were we going to pray him through this operation? It would have been nice to keep vigil with my sister Diane at the hospital in California, but we live here in New York, a couple thousand miles away. Enter texting!
“Hi all!” Diane began, texting a group of family and friends. “Here is some info on Mike’s surgery…I promise to keep you all posted! Prayers are always a wonderful thing.”
“Yes lots of prayers for Mike and the doctors!” responded my other sister Gioia.
“I just alerted my group of ‘prayer warriors’ who are fierce and faithful,” my wife Carol weighed in.
“Good luck to Mike and our love and prayers go out to all of you,” my sister-in-law Julie texted, with more emojis of praying hands.
Then we got a goofy selfie of the patient himself in what looked like a shower cap. This was followed by a flurry of funny comments. That’s right, this is how we’ll be with Diane for the next six hours.
There we were scattered all over, me at my desk at work, Carol at home, my older sister at her office, my brother Howard stopping between appointments, and all day we were checking in.
“Just received a call from the O.R.,” Diane texted. “All is going fine. The doctor is still working to remove the bone cartilage/scar tissue! Looks like it’ll be another four hours.”
Then another update about removing an 18-inch piece of bone from the abdomen, the cartilage that’s solidified. Ouch, we all think. The plastic surgeon will then reconnect his abdomen muscles. More prayers along with a few queries–would Mike still have a belly button when the surgeon finished?
“Nope, just a tummy tuck.” More laughter about that…and about the gory photos we feared Mike just might post on Facebook (Mike posts A LOT).
Finally the good news: “Hooray!! He is all closed up!! Surgery was a success! Thanks all for prayers. Love you all!!” More love in return with lots of hearts…and praying hands.
Then the best picture of all, the patient himself in the recovery room, his eyes open, half a grin, tubes in his nose, but no shower cap this time. He looked good.
Sometimes it seems that our ubiquitous phones are a nuisance and distraction. But that day I could only be grateful, endlessly grateful.
Our phones kept us in touch with each other. Our prayers kept us in touch with God.