"He only has 5 years to live...he'll need a double lung transplant."
This photo is of my nephew Joey & me, 10 years ago when he was 3. Joey was my baby. Not by birth, but I didn't have any children yet, and my sister (ET) was very generous in letting me keep him. He'd spend the night at my house and I'd do all the things you'd never do with your own kids, like feed him too much sugar, buy him too many toys and let him stay up late and watch TV.
When Joey was 4, he started getting easily winded. Just walking from his home to the car in the driveway, he'd need to stop and rest. He started to wake up nights, crying "My belly hurts!" and then collapsing into what appeared to be a seizure. My sister, ET, began visiting doctor after doctor. Each time she'd return to her primary care for another referral, only to be told "we can't find anything wrong with your son." Joey continued to get worse.
Finally one day the primary physician said "Perhaps you should take him to see a psychiatrist." My sister refused. She knew something was physically wrong with her son. She requested to visit a specialty hospital and got yet another referral.
At the specialty hospital, the dr examined Joey and said they needed to immediately go to another hospital that had a better Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). My sister, having been put off for 8 months now asked if they could go home first and pack a bag. The dr looked her in the eye and said "Your son is very sick. We are going to medi-flight him to the hospital, because we don't know if he can survive an ambulance ride." Probably first the relief hit my sister "Finally someone realizes there is something wrong with my son." Then immediately and swiftly "Oh God, no, don't let anything be wrong with my son."
Joey was taken to another hospital where he spent 3 weeks in PICU. His diagnosis was Pulmonary Hypertension, a lung disease that effects the heart. He would need a lung transplant and probably had 5 years to live. He was 5 yrs old by now, that would mean he might make it to age 10.
Our lives were changed forever during that time. There were many near death experiences for Joey, who lived on a portable life support system. Many times he inadvertently ripped out the line to the cath port in his chest by mistake. Once around age 7 when he did it, he cried "please just let me die." He knew he was facing another surgery, another hospital stay, and he didn't want to do it. We all cried, and as usual we prayed, and prayed, and prayed.
Medical advances occurred. Joey was able to go off of his life support system and onto breathing treatments that provided the same medication. With that his quality of life improved, as well as his health. Doctors now suggested his life expectancy was 20 years. A relief...until you think he'd still only be 25. Still too young.
More medical and drug advances. Now the drs tell us Joey will probably life to be an old man. You see, drs originally gave Joey 5 years to live... but nothing is impossible for God. I am so thankful for the gift of life for Joey. He is now 13 and doing great. He is in all honors gifted classes at school, and plays soccer. I thank my friends who all prayed ceaselessly for him, and I thank my God the healer. Amen!
Luke 1:37 -- For nothing is impossible with God.
Psalm 30:2 -- O LORD my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
Jeremiah 17:14 -- Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.