Monday, October 17, 2011
Aloha to our Ohana,
It's been just over two months since Theresa came home to Hawai'i and I must apologize for not providing an update to our Ohana sooner. To say our time was occupied over the past 75 days is putting it lightly; Theresa's busy schedule so far has included the commencement of local rehab therapy, introductory and follow-up appointments with all forms of mainstream and alternative medicine practitioners in Kona, Waikoloa and Waimea, and multiple overnight or longer trips to Honolulu for visits with specialists, friends and others. This is all in addition to becoming refamiliarized with home life after 8 1/2 months away. This ongoing saga would certainly overwhelm most of us but not our dear Theresa, who continues to thrive from the healing powers of our Lord.
The day after our long journey home, Theresa was up bright and early (0500h to be exact) and raring to attend the early morning service at our Waikoloa Community Church. Given the 3-hr difference from the West Coast, she was definitely ahead of her time so we leisurely enjoyed our first breakfast at home and then shared the West Hawaii Today Sunday Edition before heading out. Arriving at church, Theresa made it clear that she wanted to walk rather than be wheeled in and so it was. Holding her cane in one hand and my arm to steady herself in the other, she slowly made her way inside and down the aisle to the amazement and stunned silence of those who knew of our story. Pastor Al and his wife Lynda were still in California however one of the church elders preparing the service stopped mid-sentence and came down to hug Theresa so tightly it was like she was the return of the prodigal son. The reunion brought tears to many eyes that morning, not just because Theresa had come home alive and well, but because it was definitive proof that our merciful and loving God answers all prayers.
With the commencement of the work week, I prepared to return to my duties at Mauna Lani but not to worry, Theresa would be left in the capable hands of two home care aides (angels sent by our Lord), Nancy & Pam. The plan was to split the week between them and take Theresa to rehab therapies and medical appointments locally. They would provide for care, companionship and transportation needs while I was at the office, and it has worked out well these past two months. Theresa's first week at Hawaiian Rehab Services was like a reunion of sorts, seeing that she had graduated from their therapies during her brain aneurysm recovery just two years before. This time, it became quickly evident to the therapists that the level and duration of rehab therapy would need to be more intensive and prolonged, given Theresa's multiple fractures, spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. Still, the early reports are promising and reflect Theresa's strength of will to regain her independence one day.
On the path of this healing journey, we have been blessed to encounter many true healers that have made all of the difference in Theresa's remarkable progress thus far. As life would have it, there have also been a few false ones along the way. Perhaps it was only our experience with them that was tainted so I won't name any names, but hopefully those that make their money by taking advantage of the poor and sick know who they are. We forgive their trespasses and will pray that they change their ways before it is too late. For the true healers, we are truly thankful to our Lord for their skill and faith. Some may wonder why I mention faith when it comes to the medical profession so here is my best example to date:
On our first trip to Honolulu for follow-up visits with some of the specialists, Theresa met with Dr. Mitsunaga, the orthopod that repaired her leg fractures on the day of the accident, and her arm and neck fractures ten days later. To say he was elated to see Theresa standing in his office exam room is an understatement. While I had met Dr. Mitsunaga briefly following six hours of emergency surgery that fateful Nov. 19, and again after the successful repairs to her neck and arms, I never learned the true extent of Theresa's condition until now. When she arrived at Queen's Trauma Center, Theresa had already gone through 4 liters of blood transfusions on the flight over (our bodies only contain 5 liters) and it was deemed by the trauma team that she was unlikely to survive the night. But rather than give up, Dr. Mitsunaga went ahead with the leg repairs as the trauma surgeons worked to stabilize Theresa's condition; because in his words "if she doesn't survive, all I've lost is six hours of my time, but if she does survive and I didn't do the surgery, she will still have multiple broken bones to deal with later." Now nine months later, the smile and expression of happiness on his face only confirmed the rightness of his decision. This act of faith not only saved Theresa's life but also serves as proof that even when the odds are against us, if we have faith, the Lord will provide.