I want to share what Kristie wrote very soon after Sam came home from the second hospitalization.
Over 13 years ago, I cried out to the Lord in my anguish and told Him I would sing His praises forever, if only He would deliver me from the bondage of addiction. He did and has been faithful to me always! I want to be faithful to praise Him always! After witnessing all that He has done recently for Sam and our family, I had to take a moment to praise the Lord for His goodness and count our blessings! (Psalm 145)
- Before it all ‘began’, God assured me that He had the victory in this battle, that I had the decision to walk out that victory in faith and hope. It was a deeper experience of walking by faith versus by sight.
- Nicole Brown, the PA taking care of Sam at Ball hospital on 12/23/13, decided to do a ct scan because of his “migraines”, despite our lack of concern. This is how Sam’s cyst was discovered. Her actions helped save his life. The outcome could have been much different had she not performed this scan.
- Sam was transferred to the best neuro-hospital in the surrounding states, with one of, if not the best neurosurgeon in the nation!
- Surgery was performed FIRST thing Christmas Eve, despite being warned the night before that it might not happen until the 26th. Sam’s immediate suffering due to the hydrocephalus was shortened!
- It was clear a short time after surgery that Sam was himself! The brain surgery had NO effect on his personality and his functioning! He is fully restored (in process)!
- Every fear or doubt was silenced, a few times immediately as it tried to raise its ugly head--a. Immediately after Sam came through surgery, I was sitting in the waiting room with Sam’s parents. As it was clear to me that he was going to be okay, I had a moment to start thinking about finances and worry set in. He is the sole provider, I have no idea how to do his job, which consists of many different projects, one of which is weekly collecting and selling waste veggie oil (wvo). This job has to be maintained, as opposed to his woodworking which can be put on hold. Mike, Sam’s dad, said, “Call Kyle.” (Our neighbor with whose family we are good friends.) As I was calling their home number, his wife, Tiffany, called in on her cell phone, as they were away from home. She said she was just calling to let me know not to worry about Sam’s wvo, Kyle was going to take care of it. Kyle told her to call now and let me know. She was going to call later, but Kyle insisted to call NOW! This would provide a portion of monthly income!b. After Sam was readmitted for the infection, there was talk off and on for days of opening up the incision, cleaning everything and draining any fluid, and even removing the bone flap, sterilizing it for days, and later reinserting it!! One afternoon the infectious disease specialist stopped in to inform us that they were likely performing this procedure the next morning following the neurosurgeon’s final exam. We both felt instantly defeated and deflated and would have to wait until morning to find out. After I was able to muster the energy to pray with Sam, talking to God about our lack of reserves, Sam’s physical weakness only being hindered by such a procedure, our ultimate trust and faith in whatever God brings, but our need for His help, the neurosurgeon walked in just moments later and quickly assessed Sam’s condition. He said NO to this surgery! And said, in regards to the infection and the leaking incision, “That’s why God invented antibiotics.”!
- With uncertainty regarding the cause of the leaking fluid from the incision, there were several threats of needing to shunt Sam’s brain ventricle. They just weren’t sure if cerebral brain fluid was leaking from his incision or if it was normal healing fluid. There were a few times that Sam was cut off of fluids and food in order to prepare for this procedure. Thank God this was not needed, because it had a host of complications associated with this procedure. There is a high risk of infection and it would be a lifelong impairment.
- Antibiotics were prescribed for meningitis and a staph infection. However, it is questionable if there ever was meningitis or if God healed it. There was evidence initially of infection in the cerebral spinal fluid, but the culture taken from that fluid never grew any bacteria and Sam’s sickness was very responsive to antibiotics. Initially there was talk of 6 weeks of at home antibiotics or possibly more. Finally it was decided that he had only a 14-day total regimen with 4 of those days at home, we were amazed!
- After hearing of stories and researching the negative effects the powerful antibiotics have on the body, we asked for prayer for protection of Sam’s body. He has had NO negative effects, only positive!!
- Sam was given the gift of recovery free from the normal financial pressures he bears. Our friends and family gave us a total of $10,085, through a fundraiser organized by Maria Kristenson, as well as those who mailed gifts directly to us, along with a car! We have paid off some debt as well as 2 months of household and business bills!
- Family stepped up immediately and lovingly cared for our boys throughout this time. Never did our children have to feel too out of sorts; instead they had lots of grandma(s) and aunt(s) time! This allowed me to spend time with Sam daily! Jude even survived two nights in a row without momma! (This sadly caused me to realize he doesn't need me as much as I thought)
- The outpouring of prayers, service, practical gifts, and financial blessings has allowed us to flourish in the loving arms of the Body of Christ through this whole ordeal. Family and friends brought meals, organized by Tiffany Denton, and also groceries! We are not walking with our heads hung in defeat, beaten and bruised. NO! We are marching in marvelous victory, stronger than ever and better for having gone through this battle. What a beautiful idea He had – The Community of Believers! Thanks for all your support!
Kristie R. Koch
I would add one more praise, to make it a baker's dozen:
We are so grateful for Kristie's protection as she drove back and forth to Indianapolis, sometimes even in travel advisory conditions, and for the good health and strength that whole time, even when sickness was going around in the family.