22 October 2008

Prayer request - Ward

My cousin Ward was in a serious car accident last Friday. He has had multiple surgeries to relieve pressure on his brain. Praise the Lord, each day brings news of his recovery, but prayers are still required as the road to recovery is a long one. It's probable he will have to learn how to walk and even talk all over again. God be praised for the progress he's already made. I'm asking all readers of my blog to pray for Ward, David (a friend who was also in the accident and remains in critical condition), and for my family. Also check out his caringbridge website and sign his guestbook to let him know you're praying for him. :)

Here is his story from his Caring Bridge Website http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/Ward1:

Posted ~10pm, 19 Oct 2008:

(ed)Ward Jablonski III is currently an Electrical Engineering Student at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, a member of the U of H Honors College, an Eagle Scout, on the Debate Team, a CAP Aviation Cadet Officer, a NASA intern, and a very proud member of the TRIANGLE Professional Fraternity.

This site is dedicated to YOU, his loving and supportive extended family, fellow students at college and high school, scout troop, debate team, air squadron, NASA coworkers, church, and, his fraternity brothers.

Many of you have asked how you can help. Flowers/cards are NOT allowed in the room per rules. We can only think of two things at this time: 1) Although he has only needed a little bit of blood so far, we can never know for the future. You can donate blood in his (full) name at any Blood Center in the country. Blood types won’t matter. 2) Although we think insurance should cover this, we never know that either. Contact his dad or mom if you want to consider a financial donation.

Chronology of Events:

~6pm Friday, 17 October 2008: As we were to learn later, (this story is has been pieced together over time, and is still evolving), Ward was driving his stepfathers Ford Explorer along I-10 near San Antonio with 4 other fellow engineering students. Ward was changing lanes when there appeared a large piece of road debris (truck tire) in the lane he was going into. While swerving to avoid the debris, the already top-heavy vehicle, now fully loaded with 5 people and all their gear, rolled over [as many as 6 times!]. There were no other vehicles involved, and both in the front seat were indeed wearing their seat belts. Two of the young men (including Ward) were trapped in the upside-down wreckage, unconscious. Emergency workers arrived and cut them out, and had two of the boys (he and David) heli-evac'd from the scene within two hours. Everyone survived. Ward's quick-thinking saved the vehicle from an even worse head-on impact with the debris - it was only due to the nature of vehicle itself that it rolled over.

Three of the boys were thrown clear (two of which are already home as of this writing). One of these, his friend "Mo", was ambulanced to the same hospital with a broken sholder blade(s?). Note: He, too, is already home as of this writing. Only Ward and his buddy David are still in the hospital.

~8:15pm Friday October 17, 2008: For me, Wards dad, the story began with "THE CALL", the one that every parent dreads. "Hello, this is Paul, the social worker from Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas. Your son has just been life-flighted in with serious head injuries from a car accident. There was lots of blood". So, I called his mom, and we quickly [!] packed and convoyed to Austin (a four hour drive), accompanied by Ward's brother Phillip.

~1:00am Saturday, October 18, 2008: Even though we got there as quickly as possible, we then of course had to wait. Ward was currently having his second surgery. The first one was trauma surgery to stabilize him. The second was neuro surgery.

~3:00am Saturday, October 18, 2008: We first get to see Ward in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). He is a mess. There are many cuts, bruises, scrapes, and a VERY swollen right eye, etc. Tubes everywhere, and, his skull is bandaged. Fortunately, we get to speak with his neurosurgeon, who says that although he had a severe bump to the head, that his operation to relieve pressure to the brain went VERY well, and Ward is in as good a shape as can be expected. The staff of the ICU are great, and the hospital is very well-equipped.

10am Sunday, October 19, 2008: He looks much better! Much of the swelling has gone down, and the skin bleeding has been cleaned up.

Ward’s brother and stepfather went to the Police department’s holding yard to inspect the wrecked vehicle, and they recovered all the cell phones, luggage, baggage, and personal effects that were available, while on their way back to Houston. They will distribute these effects to their rightful owners at the TRIANGLE Engineering student dormitory.

Ward is very smart!
(this one is a picture from my cousin, Nathan Lochala. He's a photographer http://web.mac.com/lochalan/RNL_Photography/Home.html )

He's also a lot of fun!

Phillip and Ward

If I do say so myself, he's a rather handsome cousin.

Blessings. Let us be grateful for the time we are given.

This year has been a dramatic year for my family. My brother had a rather close call in the spring, and Papa had an emergency surgery during vacation in California. Ward's accident is hopefully the last drama we will have this year. In all three of these situations, God has been incredibly merciful to my family. George miraculously woke up and was able to alert my parents. He also miraculously clotted on the way to the hospital. Papa's crisis happened in California, where he was surrounded by family as well as a hospital with a caring staff and large enough rooms to hold the entire Murphy clan as we visited. Miraculously, he was discharged from the hospital in time for the wedding of his first grandchild. In Ward's case, the accident could have been worse. All 5 young men survived, and Ward and David continue to recover. It is believed that Ward's quick thinking saved them from a worse accident. I know God's hand played a role in all this. He did not spare us from hardship and trial, but He guides us through them. It is a time such as this that our family draws near to support each other in prayer and in love. I am so blessed and so thankful for the mercy shown to my family and for the opportunity to see the hand of God working in this world. I will hope and trust in Him.
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