This morning as I was waking, my nephew, Keith, was on my mind. You see, he is yet another of our family's miracles. He is a giant of a man but his heart is larger than his body. He is my sister, Shirley's, son.
On Mother's Day weekend 2010 we were having a gathering in honor of our mother for her 90th birthday and of course, Mother's Day which was to be on Sunday. Our brother, Jim, and his wife, Shirley, were coming in from Roanoke, Va. We were having dinner at Shirley's home on Saturday with the family then unbeknownst to Mom, there was a big party planned for the following day with extended family and friends.
Len and I were halfway to Shirley's when she called and she said, "Carolyn, there has been a change of plans. Something has happened to Keith. Can you go to the house and take care of things there, Jim and Shirley will be there soon". She is always thinking of someone else and I don't know how in the world she kept as calm as she did. She had just seen her son in a heap on the floor being worked on by the life squad.
Keith had gone down in his home and the life squad was rushing him to Bethesda North Hospital. At that point she couldn't even explain how bad things were. Did she need for me to come to the hospital with her-No, she needed me to go to the house, Larry, her husband would need someone there also even though his nurse was there with him.
Jim and Shirley arrived, the news kept getting worse about Keith and someone had to go get Mom and tell her-I had to go tell her that her grandson was critical. As Len and I drove to get her, Shirley called, worse news, she had just found her daughter-in-law crumpled on the floor, they had told her Keith probably wouldn't make it. I made it in Mom's door and went down at her knees, finally was coherent enough that she could understand what was going on. We took her to Shirley's, the family was gathering.
Updates on Keith were not good-he had to be resuscitated on the operating table-surgery is continuing-still in surgery-had to be resuscitated again-this went on for hours. Every time a call came in we gathered in prayer circled in that living room. If he made it through the night, he might live.
Keith's esophagus and stomach had ruptured spilling the contents throughout his body and that was a big body. He is 6'8" and at the time weighed about 380 lbs.
Yes, Keith is another of our miracles, he told the doctors in the ER that they had to save him, he had his four children he had to live for.
On Mother's Day we were together again with our original plans since so many were coming for Mom's surprise party but Keith was still our main focus. Thinking about him this morning, the video taken that day came to mind. Of course, none of Shirley's family were there so it seemed half our family was missing. They were all at the hospital for Keith except his dad who has had strokes and was at home in the care of his nurse.
it is a miracle that he lived initially through the rupture of his stomach
it is a miracle they could get him to the hospital
it is a miracle that a team of the best surgeons in Cincinnati were gathered at the hospital at the time Keith was brought in-on a Saturday
it is a miracle he could be resuscitated at least 3 times during surgery
it is a miracle he lived through the night, then the next day and the next and the next
it is a miracle that instead of being in ICU for 5 to 6 weeks as predicted by the doctors that Shirley brought him home in 2 weeks.
He has seen his daughters graduate high school and going to college and now his boys are getting ready to finish school.
He is able to work but it isn't a cake walk for Keith. He has digestive problems, has to watch everything he eats, his business is not as it was but we are grateful, yes, we are grateful.
Here he is now with wife, Pam
their children-Kyle, Alysha, Gracen, Kenny
Keith, Pam and boys, Kenny & Kyle
Shirley with Kenny & Kyle
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen
We thank God for His care and keeping. When one is on my mind as Keith was this morning, I have to share.
May God bless and keep you and all yours