Thursday, 2 May 2013
Hello everyone..... So sorry that we've been unable to keep this blog and all of you updated. We do thank you for your continued prayers and concern. Eman was sent home from the hospital about ten days ago. Blood tests taken at the hospital showed that Eman is anemic. In light of that the plastic surgeons recommended waiting to perform the plastic surgery to close the wound on his back [from a pressure ulcer]. Since his return home we've been focusing on his diet. Prioritizing foods rich in iron, protein and fiber. We've also started "juicing" - which we've heard gets minerals and vitamins to your blood stream within minutes and is very effective in rebuilding the body's immune system. Eman has to be rotated every two hours. To prevent further pressure ulcers from developing, Eman's body cannot be in the same position for longer than that. We take turns sleeping with him at night, setting alarms so that we can wake to turn him. Overall Eman's health is better. A week or so ago he would shake violently for almost a hour when we'd move him from his showering chair to his bed. Now-a-days this transition in smoother. We've have had 5 different therapists visit us for "in-home" sessions over the last couple weeks. This has been wonderful. As the days go by we are seeing the importance of exercising and working his body, besides strengthening his muscles it also helps them to relax. His leg muscles will involuntarily contract and tense all day long and even during the night which is extremely tiring for him and prevents him from getting uninterrupted sleep. It is a DAILY challenge to stay focused on keeping positive and facing these new challenges with faith and not succumbing to depression and despair. Some days are better than others. A month after Eman's shooting I finally got around to going to the bank to see where we were at financially. It was AMAZING to see HOW MANY contributions there were from all of you - THANK YOU!!!! We were really taken aback by the volume of contributors. It is so very kind of you. Some names we recognized and others we did not. To each one of you who kindly gave from your hard-earned reserves we thank you and pray that the Lord blesses you 100-fold.
Posted by Julia Scott Gilligan at 12:59
Saturday, 30 March 2013
Please keep Emmanuel in your desperate prayers, at one o'clock Tuesday, March 5th he was shot! On the way to a friend's house in Recreio he had stopped at his bank to make a cash withdrawl - upon leaving the bank he was followed by two guys on a motorbike. As he was pulling close the house he noticed the two men on the bike and a gun tucked into the second guy's jeans, realizing he was about to be assaulted he backed up and swerved to get away. They chased him and then in broad daylight, on a public street shot him through the window of his car with a 9mm gun. Within minutes, friends of ours who live in that neighborhood were with him and the ambulance came and brought him to Miguel Couto, the main public hospital in Rio de Janeiro were they deal with gun-shot victims / trauma patients etc... Although in serious condition Eman is stable. The bullet entered his shoulder and went across his thorax, piercing his left lung and sending a piece of vertabrae into his spinal cord, the bullet itself is lodged somewhere in his back. When he got to the hospital they performed an immediate surgical procedure to begin draining his lung which was haemorrhaging. From their initial scans and xrays, it show a lesion to his spinal cord which means irreversible damage. He cannot feel his legs or feet. Please pray with us for complete healing & recovery for Eman. "All things are possible to him that believeth" we are claiming the promises of God's Word that Eman will come through this without the smell of smoke. My eldest daughter, myself and several friends were at the hospital all afternoon and were able to see him in the evening, although in a lot of discomfort and pain he can talk [slowly] and is "all there" - he was relating to us what happened. It's a miracle he is alive. The motorbike driver was enraged that Eman tried to get away and screamed "mata ele" / "kill him" to his accomplice on the back of the bike. Eman said he could see the hestitation in the second guy's face as he took aim to shoot him and thinks that's why he was shot in the shoulder. The medical staff at the hospital have been extremely kind and accommodating and we have been assured that he is in the best hands to deal with this trauma situation. We cannot tell you how much it means to us know that so many loved ones are praying for Eman and fighting for him in spirit. Thank you! It comforts our hearts just knowing that we are not alone. We will post daily updates and prayer requests for Eman here on this blog. Please share this blog with your prayer groups, spread the word ... "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" It's all so surreal, I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and it's just going to be a bad dream, we're in a state of shock from it all. Love, Julia. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
We arrive mid-day at the hospital, Eman's breathing is very labored and he is in a lot of pain. I know he is trying to stay strong and positive. Between Arthur and myself we rotate turns being with him. When we are with him we pray and read Bible verses aloud to him. The hospital is very confusing and in the emergency ward were we are there is constant comings and goings. All throughout the day we are approaching doctors asking for updates and hoping to speak personally to the main neuro-surgeons. The staff bend the rules for us and allow us to stay hours over our official visiting time, at the end of the afternoon we meet with the main neuro-surgeon for hospital Miguel Couto; Dr.Ivan Santana and head doctor Dra.Silvia Araujo. Dr.Ivan was the doctor who examined Eman upon his arrival to the hospital. They explain in detail the injuries Eman suffered, the trajectory of the bullet and the damage that Eman's body sustained. Dra.Silvia tells us that these days they do not see that many gun-shot victims at the hospital, because usually by the time they arrive they are in body bags. The fact that Eman is alive, breathing and conscious is a MIRACLE. The entire neuro-surgical team of the hospital convened this morning to examine the x-rays and scans, the collective conclusion is they will not operate, there is nothing they can do. Dr.Ivan explained, trying to operate on his spinal cord could cause more damage than there already is. They also explain that the main priority right now is his lungs. Upon arrival at home this evening the kids and I gather, I tell them the official prognosis - we are all dealing with agonizing heartache and shock. As devastating as this news is for us, we know how much more so it is for Eman. We know that we need to focus on being strong in faith & prayer to make it through this together. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The hospital is breaking protocol and is allowing one of us to spend the night with him which is wonderful. Larissa will stay overnight at the hospital. I know having one of the kids with him will encourage his will to live and fight. We have been inundated with hundreds of emails, calls, texts and offers of assistance over the last couple days. It really means so much to us knowing how much you all love and care. Thank you for your prayers for Eman and for all of us at this time. To each one who called, wrote, MSN'd, texted. Thank you. I know how concerned everyone is about Eman and trying to keep up with letting everyone know what has been happening has been impossible. To those of you who found out later rather than sooner I am sorry. I have decided to post this blog, we will update it daily and let all of you, his family, friends and colleagues know @ his situation. While impersonal, it is a way to let everyone know immediately what is going on. "Prayer is not the least we can do - it is the most!" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Today was a good day! Larissa stayed 2o hours straight with Eman in the hospital. It is such a relief to have one of us there with him to give him undivided attention. When I arrive at noon to trade with her I am encouraged that he looks better, more stable. Upon leaving yesterday we were so worried, he was feeling so weak and said he didn't think he would make it through the night, we were beside ourselves with worry. Friends have been getting in touch who know top neuro surgeons and hospital directors and individuals with influence in the medical world, Thanks to our good friend Pedro Leao I meet with Gianni,a neuro surgeon. Within half an hour she has arranged for Eman to be moved to a quieter room and into a bed that can be adjusted to a slight angle. Since the ambulance brought him here he has been completely flat on his back. He has these coughing spasms that rack his body and breathing that are frightening to see. Gianni also approves of taking of the hard plastic neck brace that he's been wearing for the last 8o hours. As soon as his brace is off and he is moved into a quieter room with a more comfortable bed he is more peaceful and breathing easier. Our new room is very third world, with windows over a main road and no air conditioning OR ceiling fans BUT it is quiet and Eman can sleep. A sweet young man [burn victim] in the bed adjacent to Eman's notices Eman is sweating and puts his personal fan next to Eman's bed. We decided to contact the American Embassy to report what has happened and inquire about assistance, the hospital social worker asks for a formal interview and sends the report to the consulate. Since Eman's neck and head are now slightly elevated he drinks a few drops of water and throughout the afternoon is able to ingest 1oo ml of coconut water. This is the first liquid he's had in three days. I have called asking for a friend to bring a fan for Eman so that he doesn't spend the night without ventilation. Out of the blue the nurse comes to tell me that Eman won't be staying in this room any longer but he's getting moved to an intensive care room. [someone has pulled some strings] - when i see the room Eman is getting moved to I am overjoyed... a wonderful, wide comfy bed with computerized settings, an air-conned room with attending nurses stationed, and only 4 other patients!!!!! The young doctors who are supervising Eman's lung recuperation in this intensive care unit [Juliana and Marina] are angels. We are not allowed to stay overnight tonight with Eman but we leave the hospital knowing that Eman is in good hands. Today has been a day of progress, we feel great relief. It is interesting to note that it is the small acts of individual kindness that keep your spirit up though the battle. The nurse that blesses Eman, the crazy Argentine patient who yesterday was inquiring what I was doing when I was praying over Eman with my Bible, and today he came over to press his wooden rosary into my hands and offer me his Spanish prayer book, the emphatic assurances from other patients that "tudo vai dar certo". We know God is in control. Eman's prayer bracelet: "JESUS CHRIST MAKETH THEE WHOLE" When I arrived home tonight to post Eman's update for today, I see that in 24 hours Eman's blog has had over THREE THOUSAND visits!!!!!! - Thank you! Your prayers are working.
Eman's father, Mike arrives this morning from the US, we drive directly to the hospital. Thanks to a good friend of ours, Rodrigo, we have been granted special visitation rights, from a director of the hospital. Eman looks much better today, he has a positive vibe about him. He raises both arms above his head to show his father and grips our hands tightly - we are all relieved. He has mobility in his hands and arms today and even holds a cell phone to his ear to talk to his mother. He has started drinking and even ate two bites of the hospital pasta dinner. Although tiring easily he can hold conversations and his speaking is much stronger. Mike is so encouraged to see Eman in a good state of recovery. Boo and Carlin each visit dad [for the first time since the shooting] It is an emotional afternoon, so much catching up to do. Eman tells Carlin he wants to write an anti-violence song. Mike relates that when he booked his last minute flight his original seat was switched and he was forced to accept alternate seating in the back of the plane. The Brasilian man next to him asks him if he is going to Brasil for a holiday and so begins Mike's explanation @ the circumstances surrounding his trip. Mike says... "my son's name means "God with us" - Emmanuel.... the man replies..........."My name is Emmanuel... I've only ever met one other person who had the same name as me" ....
Once again it is worked out for us to visit Eman in the hospital outside of the official visiting hour. We have been researching and conversing with friends about nutrition and vitamin supplements that can help stimulate Eman's healing and recovery. The hospital does not allow you to bring food or drink to patients. So we are smuggling him juices, yogurts and natural foods. They having been trying to feed him beet and onion salad [?] and dried meat [?] ...... [on an empty stomach, after not eating for 4 days] I am wondering who hired the hospital nutritionist. - Eman is stronger physically but it is very obvious the bigger hurdle now is the psychological one. As he lies alone for hours and hours, unable to sleep for any length of time and without being able to move, obviously his mind is battling with his future and how he will cope. When we visit, we smother him with as much love as he can take. We are reading him peoples messages and notes, praying with him and trying to encourage him as much as we can. He is listening to music and watching family videos from home. It appears that physically he is "out of the woods", the doctor yesterday told us that his lung basically collapsed, today, the thorax doctor on duty can see from the scans it is inflated again. He will still have the tube draining his lung for another few days. Please pray for him to stay encouraged, positive and fighting in his mind. We have a nine o'clock appointment tomorrow morning with Dr.Ruy the chief neuro surgeon of the hospital. A pastor comes and offers prayers for Eman. We have been massaging his legs and feet at every visit. Mike is rubbing his foot....................... Eman says he can feel a tingle, we ask him "which foot do you feel being rubbed?" and he can correctly identify which one. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE keep praying!!!!!!!!!!