Gary and Debbie's Story

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January 29, 2013

A nine-year-old boy was diagnosed with an Ependymoma Brain Tumor on his brain stem and Hydrocephalus. He defied what was written in the medical books and thanks to the power of God is a living miracle.

It started out as an average, chilly, winter day, 
when my little boy, Gary was sent to school to learn and play.
I picked him up early and we chatted along the way.
We talked about a recent test to see if everything was ok.

I would know the test results in about 48 hours or so, 
we came home to have dinner and off to Wednesday night worship we had planned to go.
None of us had ever thought that emergency brain surgery Gary would have to undergo.

Gary planned to join the children's choir that night, 
To sing on Easter morning with all of his might.

For little did we know that in a few short hours, we would be meeting a neurosurgery team. 
And Gary would lie all alone, helpless, in a tube throughout the course of the night,
that made loud, clanging noises generating bright, flashing lights.

What a brave little nine-year-old boy.
Who should have been home playing with his favorite toy, 
was faced with praying for his everlasting joy.

Headaches debilitated Gary along the course of the way, 
but that never stopped him from smiling and to say, "Mama, I love you, how was your day?"

How were we to know that he had water on his brain?
Adding an uncomforting extra daily strain,
I can't even begin to fathom how he endured the constant pain,
I was glad it was relieved with a temporary drain.

His Pappy and I had had seen the initial CT screen, 
Unsure of what the butterfly-winged shaped shadows were that we had seen.

As I prayed for guidance as to what to do, 
God being the only one who knew,
That in the dark of the night the neurosurgeon’s prognosis would leave me asking, 
How will Gary make it through?

My heart was broken as tears streamed down my face, 
As I turned away from his bedside and began to hum the melody of Amazing Grace.

The night was long, but Gary's faith was strong, 
and he knew by my reaction that something was wrong.
I tried to stay strong as the night went on, 
but reality began to sink in by the break of dawn.

The time for surgery had arrived, 
And Gary asked to speak privately with Pastor Doug at his bedside.

He said they prayed from deep within their hearts, 
especially for him to be healed from all that was recorded on his medical charts.

As he prepared for surgery, I kissed him on the cheek, 
He whispered, "Have faith mama, God's hands will guide the hands of my neurosurgeon.
 I'll be well in a week."

Once again the butterfly-winged shaped shadows appeared on the MRI screen for me to review.
Only this time what the reality of the shadows did mean, I precisely knew.

The butterfly-winged shaped tumor was deep in its cocoon, 
and only God knew that it would be set free shortly after noon.

The next five days were tense indeed, 
as we awaited the results of the biopsy.
The lab report showed that the mass was cancer-free, 
but radiation would be needed as a part of post-op therapy.

What timing this was that Gary was baptized three days before, 
He would walk through the children's hospital's emergency doors spending a few critical days in PICU, eventually being transferred to the neuro-trauma floor.

As he left for surgery wearing his spiritual t-shirt in pride, for on his chest a yellow cross it does bear, 
I could feel my knees weaken and I was glad that Pastor Doug was there, 
for my family and I leaned on him in hope and despair 
Yearning for his and God's extra loving care.

The day went slow and the tears from all continued to stream, 
and his brave big brother, best buddy Pappy, special Sweetheart Grandmother, awesome Auntie Holly and I sat and prayed for the results to be as bright as an iridescent colored angelic sunbeam.

Surgery was deemed as a shocking success- Gary beating the odds of all that should have been, 
He was able to breathe and swallow on his own, and in time talk and walk despite the life threatening condition that he was in.

When he awoke and tried to speak softly, 
He said, "I told you mama, not to worry, 
God's hands were in the operating room, 
and as you see, 
They laid his healing touch right upon me; 
I tried to tell you mama that God wasn't ready for me to sit upon his knee."
During surgery the butterfly-winged shaped tumor fluttered off his brain stem miraculously indeed, 
and, according to Gary, the butterfly shadows were the angelic wings of his guardian angel trilogy that arrived in a perfected time of need.

He said they were the angels of Mercy, Grace and Hope, 
And now the nurses and doctors could hear his heart beat in their stethoscope.

Surgery tool place five months ago today, (1-10-08) 
and we ask a small favor of you to please continue to pray.

Gary was diagnosed with an ependymoma and hydrocephalus. He is a SURVIVOR. As a result of his good attitude, determination and faith he graduated from Neurological Physical Therapy ahead of schedule. He was courageous through his radiation treatments, persevered during homebound instruction and passed third grade with straight A's! He will be highly monitored by his Neurosurgeon team, Oncology and Radiation doctors. Gary still faces a road to recovery but he is determined to live through HOPE and live life to its fullest, as his smile says it all.

Gary joins the rest of those who are living proof that miracles do happen and if you ever get a second chance at life, you have got to go all the way. Gary's life motto is to, "Share Hope, Live Strong."

Gary & Debbie