Monday, November 3, 2014

A.J. Surgery

Updates on A.J. can be found at

 About 4 weeks before we were scheduled to go home, on September 11th, we received calls from our kids, at home in North Carolina, informing us of the horrific news that our grandson A.J. (Lani and Michael Hock's little boy)  had been diagnosed with a serious brain tumor.  They were told to go directly to Duke Hospital to get ready for surgery.  

We called the travel department of the church and we were told by the church that there were no seats available to get us out of Kinshasa for another eleven days.   Never had we felt so far away from home.  We were grateful for modern technology and Face-Time!

We were thankful for Mitzi and Char who live close to Lani, which has allowed these girls to help one another raise their children.  They stepped in and coordinated everything with the wards they have lived in.  Amy flew in from Anchorage and spent the nights at the hospital with AJ, so Lani and Michael could get some sleep. 



We were touched to see that Chuck (from Virginia) and Amy (from Anchorage) were there as fast as possible to offer any support they could.   This is the support team that represented us, so we were able to know that it was ok that we weren't at home.  They did it all.  (Four of our girls, our son Chuck and three son-in-laws.)

We were proud of the 3 wards in Cary, North Carolina.  Due to Lani's move 6 months ago into our new home, and the recent ward boundary changes, there were 3 wards who stepped up and brought in food and helped with cleaning and child care.

Through the six hour surgery, and an almost sleepless night, we received support through a thin veil to know that it was ok for us to stay in the Congo for the ten days and finish up what we needed to do at the orphanage and the mission office.   (We considered trying to get on Standby). The report came back to us that night that the surgeons had carefully, bit by bit, scraped off the tumor, which was about 2" X 1".  However, the bad news was that the tumor was attached to the brain stem, and they were not able to get all the tumor out.   As Lani told us the night before, while AJ was in surgery, "I feel that we have a long road ahead of us." 

After the surgery they were told to take 3-4 weeks to get their affairs in order, and let AJ heal from the surgery, and then they would face 7 weeks of intensive proton radiation in Jacksonville Florida, living in the Ronald McDonald house.  They gave him a 60% survival rate.

WOW!   When we went to President Cook to ask his advice, he confirmed what we felt was the answer to our prayers, in so many words, "It's time to go home.  Well done, Thou good and faithful servants." 
Ed hustled and worked long hours to complete the orphanage.  I worked to finish up the huge project I had started with inventorying, shopping and distributing about a thousand items to the 29 apartments in the mission. 

We were blessed with a sweet peace as we finished up those last 10 days.  We knew things were being taken care of at home.  How blessed we are to know that "Families Are Forever"!

No comments:

Post a Comment