Press & Heart
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LIFESTYLE

God is bigger than a diagnosis.

In April of 2014 Ashley and I faced a new obstacle that shook us to the core of our beings. For the past year we have been praying, hoping and believing in a pregnancy; and we were so ecstatic to find out we were having another boy. In the midst of our excitement, an ultrasound revealed a potential physical challenge that our new son, and our family, would have to face: Auto Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease.

It was in April that a well-known kidney specialist (Dr. Miller) sat us down and explained the disease in detail; mapping out a plan of action, and hoping to prepare us for what was to come. We were told to expect dialysis, kidney transplants, and worst case scenario- a potential fatality.  Not sure how to handle this we began praying and seeking prayer from our closest friends, family, and loved ones.  As friends and family began praying, and soliciting prayers from their friends and family, Ashley and I continued to visit the doctor weekly. Each week we had to see two types of doctors: Our OBGYN and a perinatal specialist. Each week the specialist would conduct an ultrasound to check on our unborn son. Each week they would offer to allow us to look at the kidneys close up, and explain to us that “Dr. Miller is the best, and he and his staff will take great care of you guys”.  One of the specialist was even kind enough to show us the cysts on the kidneys explaining, the “dark spots” and the potential long term affects it may have.

As prayers began to circulate, literally around the nation, we began to see the miraculous take place. On one of our routine visits to the kidney specialists, the Dr. made a startling claim. “You are aware that your son has Auto DOMINANT polycystic kidney disease correct?” I did my best to explain that he was incorrect, and in fact our son had Auto RECESSIVE polycystic kidney disease; but before I could finish my expert opinion, he interrupted and said “Look here”. As he hovered the mouse over the kidney, he began to explain that there were visible signs of cysts. In a Auto Recessive polycystic situation the cysts are not normally as big: in fact, the kidney is much brighter and the cysts are less obvious. Now this may not sound like a huge deal, but the difference between the diagnosis is extraordinary. Auto Recessive Polycystic kidney disease can claim the lives of nearly 50% of those diagnosed within the first year of the disease; where as Auto DOMINANT Polycystic kidney disease (while still requiring a transplant long term) has much better odds. We perceived this as the first miraculous happening.

As we approached our delivery date, it became clear to us the amount of friends and family, and friends and family of their friends and family, that were praying for our son. How humbling and truly amazing! We received gifts, a blanket covered in scripture, new clothes and amazing words of encouragement. It blessed our entire family! Ashley and I began to feel a sense of Peace (Psalm 23:2 “He leads me beside still waters and quiets my soul”). As our family arrived to be with us during the delivery, my wife and I felt so blessed and comforted to know that Godly people were here to comfort, pray, serve, and bless us during this time. On June 16th 2014 at 5:55 our son August Jayce entered the world; by the way his name means “Magnificent Healer”. Contrary to what we were previously told by the NICU and Kidney specialist, our son spent a cherished two hours with us before going to the intensive care unit.

We immediately were told that the doctors were going to be needing to run test on my son; monitoring his oxygen, blood pressure, urine, and sugar levels. With the severity of the diagnosis, the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) had pre-warned us that an immediate ultrasound would be done to figure out what our next steps would be. As we prayerfully waited, Ashley and I watched as Dr. Miller (the kidney specialist) assembled his team to conduct the first post birth ultrasound. Our hopes of hearing an immediate response were quickly deflated as the tech said “well Dr. Miller will look at these tomorrow”. On June 18th 2014 the results came back. The results on his urine tested normal, blood pressure tested normal, sugar level tested normal and the doctor, after more than 24 hours of waiting explained “The ultrasound is completely unremarkable”. In his own words he said “I am a simple man, and this is absolutely amazing.” There were no cysts, evidence of previous cysts, or any indications that cysts may come back.

To those of you who prayed- My family thanks you. We thank you for taking the time to truly seek God and his provision for our new son August. Your prayers humble us. Many of you not only prayed for our son, but encouraged others to join in with you. Your submission to the Lord humbles us, especially me. Many of you took time to send gifts, make gifts, encourage, and email us scripture through this time; my family thanks you. Your willingness to pray for us has imprinted a new sense of conviction on my wife and I to pray for others with the same level of fervency.  Words will not do our gratitude justice, but from the bottom of our hearts we thank you.

To those who may not believe in prayer and sent us your best wishes- Our family thanks you. We thank you for your kindness, generosity, and selflessness. We thank you for taking time out of your day to find out how our family is doing, and truly taking an invested interest in our son August. Ashley and I love you and appreciate you more than this email will do justice for. Your compassion for others, has helped my wife and I realize that we too, need to demonstrate a deeper level of compassion for others. I realize many of you may not believe in the power of prayer, and I am not here to try and convince you of some magical recipe; but rather, I would encourage you to try it. A documented miracle took place on June 18th 2014, and it would be irrational of me to not encourage you to talk to the Lord. He will hear every whisper, appreciate every moment of your time, and most of all He loves you. If you are not a believer in Jesus, my hope and prayer is that this healing, in my son, will be proof enough for you to at least open your heart to the possibility that the author of life is interested in you.

June 16, 2014 marked a day that will be forgotten by most, but for many of us, it will be remembered for eternity. It was a day that affirmed faith, challenged logic, and defied a diagnosis. Thank you all for your support, love and generosity. We are blessed beyond belief by all of you and I hope our story encourages you, glorifies the Lord and inspires you to seek the Father.

-Shawn