Today I write you from the University of Kentucky Hospital. On Tuesday Asher and I flew out of Haiti where he was directly admitted to the 4th floor. He has had seizures now 3-4 times/day since a week ago Monday. It has been an overwhelming few days to say the least. I’m thoroughly exhausted on every level – as is Asher.

Tuesday evening they took about 6 tubes of blood and did an in-and-out cath. I can’t tell you how hard he screamed for that one. He then went on to have a CT scan. His CT scan showed up abnormal on two sides of his brain. Definitely not something a mother wants to hear.

They made him NPO at midnight so that he could have an MRI the next morning. Instead – it was 1pm before we made it downstairs. Imagine having a little baby and not giving him anything to eat or drink for over 12 hours. He had an EEG which is where they hook up 25 wires to your head and look at brain waves. Trying to do that with a starving baby – it was not a good day.

We knew they were going to sedate him for the MRI through his IV. However I guess he had trouble breathing and they ended up intubating him while he was back there. They came in mid-way through the MRI and asked me to sign consent on doing a lumbar puncture where they could draw fluid from his spinal cord. It was 4pm before I saw Asher. His face and nose were swollen from the tube they put down him and he was groggy, fussy, and hungry. I had pretty much hit my limit. My mom was with me and we just sobbed from how pitiful he looked.

So with all the tests they have two possible conclusions: Viral Encephalitis and/or Petit Mal Seizures. I’m told they will be doing a 48-72 hours continuous EEG with video monitoring starting today.

Last night we had two different neurologists sit and talk with us about Asher and healthcare in Haiti. I told them that I was planning to go back to Haiti on Tuesday. The first one told me that was unacceptable. The medicine they want to give him has a fine line between treatment and overdose. That because we do not know how he will respond to it – we have to worry about him going into cardiac arrest or respiratory failure and would need CPR/etc. She asked me if I could just put off my “mission trip”. I explained to her that it’s not a trip but we live there. Straight up she told me “Well you’ll kill him if you take him back right now”. Seriously? That’s exactly what she told me.

After she left another neurologist came in. We have doctors here about every 2 hours – rarely the same ones. The 2nd neurologist wasn’t quite as blunt but she told me that whenever he is released they want consistent follow-up for a month or so. I again explained I lived in Haiti. She asked me if Haiti has – 911. I told her – not quite! Then she said –  “I’m sorry then. You cannot take him back right now. Leave him with family here in the states if you have to go back but it’s not okay to take him back right now unless they have a functioning ER”.

Aww – and again I sobbed. I’m obviously not going to leave my baby here without me which means I’m not going anywhere for the next month or so. I cannot tell you how excited we are about ministering in the Mole and this has just totally caught me off guard.

Janeil reminded me that this isn’t a sprint – but a marathon. It’s not like we were only going to minister this summer but we are committed to ministering there as a family until God tells us otherwise. It’s so easy to get caught up in the immediate drama and feel so defeated. We didn’t make it 10 days without an emergency but I still know beyond a shadow of a doubt we were called there to serve.

Please keep my family in your prayers. Jose and the rest of the family are in Haiti right now and we’re trying to decide what to do – whether they should fly on out or stay. He told me little Levi doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he doesn’t have Asher to beat up on. I think Asher has been missing him too. I know they always say twins have a special connection – I really believe ours do.

We are still in the hospital waiting for them to connect him up to the continuous EEG. Thanks for being the prayer warriors that you are and for all your love, support, and encouragement during this difficult and overwhelming time.

15 responses to “Not What I was Expecting…”

  1. Hold tight. You and Asher are dearly loved by God. The Spirit is rightly directing your thinking on this … although scary, although inconvenient, in God’s timing it is a bump in the road as far as your ministry in the Mole goes. If possible, bring your family to you and Asher; you all need each other right now. Know that I am lifting you personally to our Father for srength, peace, courage and patience. I am putting this prayer need out to my wonderful prayer warriors. Be still and know that HE is GOD.

  2. Jody, You are certainly in our prayers. God’s plans sometimes leads us to take detours. I have found that He always allows me to get my work for Him done in spite of all the diversions. You do what you must to take care of your precious son. God still has great things in store for you and Jose.

  3. Prayers are with you, Jody. I watched a program the other day about a man who was raised in Haiti, moved to the U.S. and continued to visit Haiti. He started having seizures. The neurologist found the parasite living in his brain was a pork worm . The neurologist said pork worms are the WORLD’s leading cause of epileptic seizures! 1/3 of all seizures are caused by the pork worm but that number increases for people who frequently visit developing countries. It said 1,000 people were diagnosed with pork worms last year in the United States alone, most of those people had recently been in a developing country. Has anyone mentioned that as a possibility? Again, prayers are with you and your family. Thank you for all you do!

  4. lifting you in prayer to the Father, he will not give you more than you can bear. Rest in the Father’s arms and know that you all are loved. Praying for answers and peace.
    we love you so much!

  5. I’m just catching up with all that’s going on. I’ll be praying for you my dear ones. I know you know that God is bigger than all that is going on, yet it’s scary at the same time. Change is hard, change is good and it affects us all differently. I’m thanking God that you got to Kentucky to get medical care and soon He’ll unite your family back together. Love and prayers to all,Laura

  6. We are praying for Asher and all of the family. God is helping you through this. He will lead the way. Thank you for keeping us informed. There are countless praying warriors for you.

  7. Jody, you and Asher are definitely in our prayers. Trust God for strength and guidance.

  8. As fellow RN, I am concerned and will pray. Sounds like what Asher went through in the hospital was traumatic. My prayers are with you.

  9. Hi! I read your blog today, and I will be praying for you and your family. I also wanted to see if y’all need any concrete, physical help. (I live near Lexington, where I telecommute for the Orthodox Christian Mission Center, which is how I ran across your blog in the first place.) I realize it’s weird to get an e-mail from a complete stranger offering rides to the airport, meals brought in, a place to stay, etc, but felt led to make the offer anyway : ) If that would be helpful, feel free to e-mail me directly at

    Kriss Whiteman
    Web Specialist
    Orthodox Christian Mission Center

  10. Jody, you are your precious little one are in my prayers. Stay strong. Debbie Paul

  11. Jody — Just want you to know that you and your family are prayed for and that God will get you through this turmoil — He has great plans for you and your family. God will also heal little Asher and get you safely back in Haiti soon. Love you — Pat

  12. Dear Jody…..I have been praying for you and your family for many many years and will continue to lift you and your current situation in prayer! I have passed it on to several families and know that you are being prayed for continously…Please let us know any updates! Give all a hug for us.
    Walking in SONshine

  13. Jody, I was so saddened to read about your recent struggles, but encouraged by your strength and faith. Asher will continue to grow and you, my long time friend, will continue to heal and rely upon Him. Know that I am praying and wishing I were closer to help. So glad your Mom is there. As my grandson would say in difficult times…”just breathe”. Know that you are loved, Jamsie

  14. Jody and Jose, I’m sure you’re glad to be back together. You’re certainly in our prayers. So glad that you’re going to get to Children’s in Cincy. I’ve known so many people who say how grateful they are to have this wonderful hospital here. Also, I’m sure you’ll have some “pull” through Gail McMonigle. God will bring you through this crisis with his comfort and support. We’ll be watching your blog to hear your news. God bless. Kay

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