Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cautiously Optimistic

The doctor just came out. Jacob did well in surgery. Deep breathe...thank you Lord.

"Surgery went well" meant that they were able to remove 95% of the dead tissue and muscle from the underarm and back region. Jacob's body and especially lungs were able to handle an hour and a half of surgery. They also cleaned up his head not going as far as the skull.

The doctor said that if he survives all this - and he is cautiously optimistic - they need to see if there is nerve damage to the hand. This is a huge reminder that Jacob is still not out of the woods regarding surviving all this and that we have a long road ahead of us. Today's surgery is also a huge confirmation that we are moving in the right direction. This includes: incredibly talented and competent staff, family and friends and a growing community of support, and prayerful petitions of the God of the universe.

We are not looking at surgery again until Tuesday. The priority at this point is to focus on the lungs continuing to heal and his body doing some work. I asked if we would be able to wake him up soon. While I long to see my son's eyes and to talk to him, I am also so scared for him to realize the shape of this journey. The doctor said it will still be some time until we wake him. Keeping him down like this helps his body to heal. Prayerfully we call upon God over these next few days to put his healing touch upon Jake. I know that God was working on him.

There is dead bone on the skull that at some point will need to be removed and replaced with a metal plate. We are still very concerned about his arm but dealing with the hand and thumb are not the crucial areas right now. The doctor said that there will need to be some extensive reconstructive surgery for the hand but that is not a life-threatening issue and can wait. Jacob's injury there is very close to the main artery to the arm and major nerves running to the hand. That will come.

Life is fragile. We all know this but in the midst of this moment we are brutally reminded of this. I almost hugged some very cute kids today at breakfast and tell the mother to treasure each moment but thought I might get arrested. I am so incredibly blessed in my three sons. Each one though different is a gift to me, to God and to those that know him. I get to sit back and ride on their coattails.

As we continue to join in prayer over the next few days and weeks, once again I am so thankful for so many of you joining us on this journey. I cannot even begin to express the growing strength from your prayers, support and encouragement.

Love, peace, prayer...

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Cynthia said...

Praising God for His protection of Jacob through the surgery...will pray for His healing hand!
Cindy Todd

Heidi said...

Thank you so much for sharing your heart. We're still praying and won't stop! When you have nothing to offer up, someone else will be doing so on your behalf. There won't be a moment when Jacob is not being covered in prayer.

Heidi Gandel Jacobi

thebodygarage said...

Thank the Lord that Jacob's surgery went well...we'll be praying for major, miraculous healing of his lungs over these next few days. I was talking to my mom and she said something that stuck with me. "If Jesus can give sight to the blind man and raise Lazarus from the dead, then he can heal Jacob. The Dr.'s may be limited in what they can do for him right now because of his delicate state, but God is not."
~Stephanie Cecy

caroll said...

I am so glad to hear that the surgery went well. I was at freeline surfshop a few days ago and right on the counter as you enter, there was a photo of Jacob with copies of the sentinel article and a big sign that said PRAY FOR JACOB. keeping Jacob in our thoughts every day.
Caroll B

CheriƩ Williamson said...

Jacob and family.... When Connor and I are having a hard day or hour, I try and turn our focus on others instead of ourselves.... we are praying for you and yours; for strength, for protection from infections, for peaceful rest as your body heals, and for an amazing miraculous healing, head to toe! God tells us to ask believing.... We do!! We are following and praying as you weather this storm.... know that daylight is coming! Love in Christ, Cherie' Williamson (Connor's mom)

Donna said...

What a praise and we will continue to praise and thank God. He is good.

LUMINA said...

Jacobs new website for the July 22 event is now live. Visit

Rebecca said...

Praise God for successful surgery! I'm praying that God will strengthen Jacob's body to grow healthy tissue so the newly cleaned areas will heal faster than the Dr's think possible, that his lungs will continue to heal and the parts that cannot be treated yet will heal under Dr. God's great hand. Will keep you covered in prayer! Becky

Pat said...

Hi Kirkendall family, Although it has been many years since we have seen you, I remember this handsome little boy and his brothers in Sunday school way back when Jacob was probably 8 or 9. Through the connections of friends on Facebook, God has brought your story to our most fervent prayers. We hold you up from our home south of San Diego; our home group and church join you in imploring God's will be done in your lives. In His mighty grip,
Brad, Pat, Adrianna and Nathan Weiss

heathertreen said...

Tom and Debbie,
We are so glad to hear that the surgery went well and Jacob is stable! A friend of mine was recently diagonised with leukemia. She said that her friends and family sent her cards, flowers, called her and prayed. She shared with me that she could physically feel the love and support! I hope that on some level, Jacob can feel the love, faith and support of all the prayers, not to mention the Great Spirit, and will help him heal. If I wasn't witnessing this journey unfold I'm not sure I would believe the miracles occurring. The power of prayer, positive thinking, faith, and love is absolutely amazing!

I can understand the urge of wanting to hug the kids you saw. In the midst of parenting, daily chores, schedules, working and life in general, I often wonder if I cherish each moment with my son enough. Jacob, Robbie and Jensen are so fortunate to have you and Debbie as parents!

As always, you are in our thought and prayers.

Keep the faith,

Erin Cashier said...

Hey, the link above goes to:



at least with firefox. So you might want to fix that.

(semi-anonymous burn nurse who reads here)

dert said...

I feel very good news is on the way.