Against Medical Advice
This week, my wife Linda and I found ourselves driving to Northern California, once again, on behalf of our eldest daughter, Jennifer. Five days after the surgery to replace the missing piece of her skull, the hospital released Jen. While our family believed the release was a bit premature, we recognized the financial decision the hospital had made. From the moment Jennifer arrived in her near-death condition until the surgery that made her whole (and full-recovery possible), the hospital money-meter was running at full tilt. She was released on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, four days shy of a month from her arrival with a traumatic brain injury. One veteran nurse in the Intensive Care Unit (which specializes in brain trauma) commented to Susan (my ex-wife) that she had not seen a recovery like Jennifer’s in twenty years of nursing. So, I guess we can cut the hospital some slack for the early release of our girl.
Unfortunately, that same afternoon of her release the incision on the right side of her head was seeping a red fluid. So, Susan drove Jennifer to the Emergency Room. Several hours later, a decision was made to readmit her for a bacterial infection in the incision. Meanwhile, Linda and mobilized our resources and our prayer warriors for a next-day trip to the hospital. By the next morning, Jen’s neurosurgeon examined her and recommended a two-day stay in the hospital in order to knock down the infection with IV-administered antibiotics. Because she was so lucid, Jennifer was able to refuse further treatment. She was sick of hospitals and could not be persuaded to stay any longer. Against medical advice, she signed off on a hospital waiver and was released to her mother’s care, with a prescription for a powerful antibiotic.
Linda and I arrived at Susan’s house at about five o’clock Thursday evening. Jen’s head was in a gauze turban and she was in good spirits. A friend and former work associate of hers, a lovely woman named Mecca, was also visiting. Sue prepared a great meal and we talked about Jennifer’s immediate and future needs. We laid hands on Jennifer and prayed over her concerning the infection. We still followed the medical instructions for her infection, while appealing to a higher power for her continued healing. Eager to begin the journey back to our home in Southern California, we headed over to San Jose for an overnight stay with our family friends, Mike and Melissa. Friday morning, we stopped at Susan’s work in Fremont, for a last goodbye. Then, we drove north and east toward Rocklin to see my brother, Jeff, our younger daughter Sarah and her family, and say farewell to the Northern California Doyle-clan. We stopped in Vacaville to have lunch with Leslie (a dear friend and old classmate of mine), and arrived in Rocklin by mid-afternoon.
Jennifer’s journey has been filled with blessing upon blessing. Everything Linda and I (and so many of our friends and family) having been praying over and petitioning God for has come to pass. This is no coincidence, nor is it a small matter to consider. For whatever reason God chose to do so, He has met and exceeded our requests on behalf of our daughter. God has surprised our family repeatedly with a lavish outpouring of love beyond our wildest imaginings. It is just like God to do such miraculous and amazing things! I cannot say this too loudly or often—God has performed a miracle in the life of Jennifer. And we are so grateful and give all credit to Him for his grace and favor. God’s response is nothing we deserved or earned.
Our daughter has been brought back to life after nearly losing it. She has a renewed faith in God that is refreshing and inspiring. And while I am not at liberty to reveal all of her story as yet, I can say that her life has been irrevocably altered by the Hand of God. This has been incredible, irresistible, and inspirational to witness firsthand. I thank all of you who have partnered with our family and church to plead with God for the life of our girl. The story is far from over and the adventure has just begun!
Please continue to pray for Jennifer and our family. We will be praying for you as well. God loves to show his grace and favor to those who believe. All you have to do is believe.
I highly recommend it! I know prayer works!
(copyright 2013, Gregory Allen Doyle)
P.S. (My Thankfulness Journal for November 2013 from Facebook)
I know that many of you are posting the things you are thankful for on the approach to the Thanksgiving holiday. My only hope is that when you consider what you are thankful for and the reason(s) why, you might also consider to Whom you should be grateful. I have received gifts on occasion from anonymous givers and was thankful for what I was given, and in those instances I could only thank God for the thoughtfulness of others.
I wonder, if we do not recognize the ultimate source of each blessing, are we genuinely thankful, or are we just muttering a benign courtesy? All I know is that God has made everything possible for me in this life and I cannot repay Him one penny in return. But I can be grateful nonetheless. In my thoughts and actions, prayers, and worship I can remember God first and thank Him every chance I get.
As you have read from my postings about our daughter, Jennifer, our family has much to be thankful for. We are amazed by all of you who have prayed over her and us. We are grateful to God she is alive. And we are overwhelmed by the grace we have been given in our present circumstances—the outpouring of love and thoughtfulness, which has been a healing salve for our road weary souls.
Please don’t miss the opportunity to tell your Creator “thank you” for what He has freely given to you. And may Thanksgiving 2013 truly bless you and your family because of the gratitude in your heart that recognizes a debt that can never be repaid.
God Bless You