If you’re following these posts, you’ve read about some incredible progress regarding the health of my father over the past month. That progress continues, and he’s getting better slowly but surely. Every health need has been addressed, and every concern has been met with a grace that could only stem from the richness and love of God’s compassionate hand. He’s been attentive to the prayers of our family, and He has met every need with His overwhelming abundance.
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:19 (ESV)
Let me take a moment to praise and thank a God who “has been there all the time.” The traces of His handiwork have been on full display, and He continues to work through dad’s situation to this very day. I simply cannot say enough about God's presence and undeniable activity throughout the course of the past 40 days. He's been faithful.
Below are the updates I posted on Facebook from November 14th-22nd.
Have a blessed day!
November 14th, 2:33 PM
I just received a phone call from my father that has caused me to stop working on Christmas music and share…
During his therapy today, one of the therapists was playing checkers. He saw this, and mentioned it to her. She challenged him to a game, and he, in his own terminology, "wiped her out." LOL
My father has always loved checkers. Obviously, he still plays the game pretty well…
November 17th, 8:17 PM
Update on dad…
I arrived safely to Georgia today, and I was greeted by a father that I haven't seen in a long time. He's still moving slowly, but his personality is back, his energy level is up, and he has definitely made a lot of progress over the past week. His recovery is moving forward, and I am so thankful!
Sitting here, I'm reminded that only a little over one month ago he was ventilated and in a very desperate health situation. Today, he's well on the road to recovery, and I'm amazed.
God is good. Let's leave it at that. He's forever good.
November 19th, 12:27 PM
Dad's feeling great today. He's lost about 40 pounds. Turns out, heart failure does wonders for shedding some extra weight. He's sitting up now for most of the day, walking on his own, eating great, and beating his therapists at checkers. He's ready to go home, and we're ready to have him home, but he still has a little further to go. It won't be much longer; he is headed in the right direction! Thank you all for your continued prayers!
During my weekend visit on November 19th, we brought my Dad's dog, Max, to see visit with him in rehab. At this point, they had not seen each other for over one month, and they were both excited! We also took the time to snap a few pictures. They are below...
November 19th, 9:32 PM
It’s Saturday night, November 19, 2016, and it’s day number 37 of what’s been an incredible road for my father…a road from heart failure to recovery. I’ve just returned from a weekend with both of my parents, and I’m delighted to report that my father has finally emerged from the haze of the health problems and medical procedures he’s undergone over the past weeks. His personality is back, and he’s doing great! Although the recovery process is still not completed, Dad is rushing forward everyday, and my spirit is renewed as I see him winning this fight.
We’ve come a long way from the events of October 14th, and time has done an awful lot of standing still for me since that date. I feel like it’s finally beginning to move forward again. Nothing can prepare you to endure the images of a parent, against all odds, struggling to survive. The sound of the ventilator mechanically respirating my dad lingers in my mind, as I now watch this 81 year old miracle walk, talk, and laugh. Reanimated from what should have been a certain and complete physiological collapse, He’s been restored.
The fiscal cost, to date, for the medical procedures that he’s endured has so far totaled around $400,000. The best that modern medicine has to offer has rallied around his situation. No cost has been spared. Thankfully, they won’t owe a penny. So, let me give a sincere nod of heartfelt appreciation to the staff of incredible physicians, nurses, and techs at Spaulding Regional Hospital and Piedmont Hospital for a job well done. These medical professionals are smart, gifted, and passionate, and they have utilized their gifts to near perfection in his care. They will forever have my gratitude.
But, $400,000 did not save my father’s precious life; Jesus did. I’m not referring to saving his life from heart failure; I’m referring to saving it from sin. Had my father lost this battle, as he should have, on the afternoon of October 14, 2016, he would now be in the presence of the Lord, because his failing heart had already been redeemed and restored by the blood of Jesus. That restoration required the life of the very Son of God, a Son who knew my father before he was even born, and a Son who chose to love him through the torment of Calvary. Jesus’ sacrifice for my dad was far more expensive than the simplicity of a hospital bill can reflect. God chose to spare my father a departure from this life on the 14th of last month, and, for that, I am thankful. Frankly, “thankful” doesn’t even touch what I actually feel.
Dad is still here, $400,000 has been been spent thus far, the finest physicians have exercised great care and concern in his circumstance, but Jesus is the reason that I could visit with my father this weekend. Jesus is the reason that we all have life. He is the giver and taker of life, and it is within the shadow of His grace that I call Him Lord.
To His glory, and for His purposes, I devote my very life to a God so great.
November 22nd, 12:00 PM
Today has been a great day for my father. He's still feeling well, had some speech therapy, and he's waiting on lunch. His physical therapy has been placed on hold for a moment as they try to figure out a swelling problem in his right ankle. This began to occur on the evening of the 20th, and, yesterday, it was badly swollen and very painful. It's not uncommon for swelling to occur in the feet and legs of heart patients, specifically if their heart is weak. It could be a side effect of the medication. It could be a lot of things. His cardiologist feels that there is no need for concern, so they are just elevating his right leg and waiting at the moment. Today, that swelling is a little better than it was yesterday, so I'm praying that continues.
It was our plan to bring dad home for a visit on Thanksgiving Day, but he has decided that he should probably postpone that trip until the swelling diminishes in his ankle. I agree with his assessment, but I will miss him being at home this Thanksgiving. Frankly, I can't remember a Thanksgiving that we have not been together at home as a family...not one. We'll still be together, but this year we'll all be celebrating in Forsyth, GA, at the rehab facility. I'll take it!
On a little brighter note, his voice, as of today, seems to have returned to normal! His swallowing is still questionable, but they will begin testing that again next week. They were allowing him to chew on ice chips, but last week, while listening to his lungs, they became aware that he had aspirated the water from those chips into his lungs...so...no more ice chips. The therapist gives, and the therapist takes away. But, I am confident that this problem will be resolved soon. I find it a little funny that his life was challenged so intensively by the failure of the most vital organ, and following that resolution, his greatest challenge seems to be caused by the effects of a plastic intubation tube. Bless his heart (in my best southern), he's been through so much, and he's still having to drink thickened liquids. For those of you who love sweet tea, let me assure you, thickened sweet tea is possibly the worst tasting concoction on the face of the earth. Avoid it. Seriously, don't drink it.
So, we're looking forward to Thanksgiving in rehab! Hopefully, Christmas will be at home! Either way, God is good, and I am so thankful to have my father alive and well and drinking thickened sweet tea. I have far too many blessing in my life to even try to mention here, and the past month has caused me to become much more attentive to them all. Everyday is a blessing, and everyday is full of grace, and, thankfully, my father is still with me to celebrate them all. Because of God's great grace, I'm looking forward to tomorrow!
Keith Beatty is a Worship, Missions and Media Pastor living in North Alabama. He's excited and very humbled to be a follower of Jesus Christ!