6/16/15 (Elijah is responsive!)

This is another one of those ‘I-can’t-smile-big-enough’ posts! There was a day, not all that long ago, when we all wondered if an update like this would ever be posted. But our God, Who exists outside of time (and yet intercedes for us moment by moment), is a God Who sees and hears –and delights in the seemingly impossible.
Praising Him. . . !
|| Haley
From Randy, Elijah’s father:

Psalm 107:1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 
Thank you for your fervent prayers for Autumn and Elijah.  The Lord has answered so many specific prayers through His mercy since May 8th and He deserves our thanksgiving and praise.
Another specifically answered prayer occurred Monday when Elijah was able to respond to multiple requests by deliberately blinking (slow single blink for yes), moving his mouth (opening, sticking out his tongue), moving his head, and releasing his grip when asked! He has become very aware of his surroundings and has been wide-eyed during the day (& part of the night), studying faces and listening intently.  When I read to him (we are one chapter away from finishing Pilgrim’s Progress), I love how he looks intently at me; it’s a look of wonder and (I believe) understanding that blesses me.
A brief prelude leading up to Elijah’s big day MondaySaturday night was rough for Elijah, as he vomited multiple times, in what was likely a reaction to medications. Vomiting is bad enough, but in Elijah’s circumstance it is extremely dangerous due to the risk of aspiration.  The nurses quickly emptied his stomach of its contents through his feeding tube, his trachea was suctioned multiple times to ensure that he had not aspirated, and a night watch vigil was set to closely monitor him.  By the Lord’s mercy, his lungs remained clear through the weekend and there were no further issues.  Elijah was extremely tired on Sunday.
On Monday morning, working with Physical Therapists and Speech Pathologists, Elijah was able to consistently respond to requests.  At times his responses were slightly delayed, but that is normal at this stage of his recovery.  The Speech Therapists introduced ice chips to evaluate his swallowing capabilities. As part of that process, his mouth must be thoroughly cleaned to minimize the risk of bacteria entering his lungs if he is unable to swallow correctly.  Elijah responded positively to early requests to open his mouth, as well as a request for him to stick out his tongue to have it cleaned, but apparently he had enough of the antiseptic agent they were using in his mouth, as he refused to open it anymore to allow her to clean the roof of his mouth. She coaxed and pleaded with him, as he looked at her with raised eyebrows, but to no avail as he flat-out refused & even tightened his lips to ensure there was no misunderstanding. Finally, she placed a small ice chip on his lip & explained to him that unless we were able to finish cleaning his mouth, he would not be able to have any ice chips.  She also promised him a root beer & steak someday if he could progress in his therapy; either the ice chip threat or the root beer/steak promise did the trick, as he opened & allowed the cleaning to be finished. He enjoyed the ice chips & allowed the first couple of pieces to melt in his mouth, then crunched the next few. Over five weeks without any external moisture in his mouth have made for a parched desert.  We can now give him a few ice chips every half hour or so.  Sips of water were introduced today and he passed this test for swallowing; future tests will include pureed foods.  Respiratory therapy capped Elijah’s trach today, so he was breathing normally.  They are planning to reconnect the humidified air to his trach tonight & will cap it again tomorrow during the day.
The neural storms have decreased in their severity and we are very thankful for this specific answer to prayer. We continue to pray that these autonomic storms will cease completely, allowing Elijah to be weaned from multiple medications that are used to moderate symptoms, and also allowing him to fully rest at night.

Please pray that Elijah will continue to progress in his recovery, specifically gross and fine motor skills, reasoning/cognitive capacity, and speech.
In Christ,

33 thoughts on “6/16/15 (Elijah is responsive!)

  1. Oh praise God!!! We are so very, very relieved that Elijah is responsive. Even his stubborn side refusing to have the roof of his mouth cleaned is such a joyful bit of news! And his response to being reasoned with even more so. We will keep praying that his road to recovery will continue to amaze us all at each new turn, and that we will see the miracles God is performing daily in Elijah’s body and mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rejoicing with you and praising God for Elijah’s “return!” What a relief this must be for all who have watched and waited for this moment! Praying for your pilgrim’s continued progress! To God be the glory!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. God is the almighty physician, His healing mercy continues to unfold before us. Praying without ceasing for continued healing for Elijah!!! For continued strength, wisdom, courage and faith for Randy and Brenna. For knowledge and communication for all doctors, nurses and all who are involved with Elijah’s care. Thinking of you all. Love-n-hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have waited for this day! To God be the glory! So glad to hear he is following commands. Thankful for his progress. Will continue to pray for neural storms to completely disappear. Enjoy the ice chips, Elijah😄👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻🙏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  5. So thankful for this beautiful update! Every update is incredible…raw and powerful. Standing with you all (and the Schwinns) in His mighty love, and in prayer and thanksgiving. Love from The Ridge Community Church ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Praise God for answered prayers we love you Elijah .Thank you GOD for all you do for us daily You are the Almighty Physician . Grandpa and Grandma xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Be still and know that I am God! Hallelujah to our God!! I am so very happy for you and for Elijah!! Continue to pray and trust God for recovery for Elijah and Autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I read your post with joy in my heart at the progress Elijah has made. Praying for him and Autumn in Southampton England. May our Father in heaven continue to heal His two beautiful children. Using you and the Schwinn’s to encourage all of us who read your posts to trust in God. You have touched our hearts, given us strength. Your examples in faith show us the Love of God. We are all blessed through you and the Schwinn’s. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “God never moves without purpose or plan, when trying his servant and molding a man.
    Give thanks to the Lord, though your testing seems long. In darkness He giveth a song.
    I could not see through the shadows ahead, so I looked at the cross of my Savior instead.
    I bowed to the will of the Master that day, then peace came and tears fled away.
    Now I can see testing comes from above. God strengthens His servants and purges in love.
    My Father knows best and I trust in His care. Through purging, more fruit I will bear.
    Oh, rejoice in the Lord. He makes no mistakes. He knoweth the end of each path that I take.
    For when I am tried and purified, I shall come forth as gold.”

    Ron Hamilton’s “Rejoice in the Lord”

    Thank God for His presence in times of trouble! Will continue in prayer for Autumn, Elijah and all you guys down there.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Our Lord is so awesome…. emotions love caring and hugs…….. a ruler stone, because I think this is much more than an inch stone! Praise and Glory to our God! Love you Elijah !!!! Hugs and love to all.
    Aunt Angie & Reno

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow Brenna!!! His inch stones went to foot stones and now mile stones!!! God is so good, so faithful! So merciful. All I can say is WOW!!!! And Hallelujah to our sweet sweet Jesus 🙂 ♡♡♡♡♡ HALLELUJAH! Glory to God in the highest!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Haley,

    I would like to send the families a couple of recorded hymns via CD/USB/e-mail – whatever would work – along with a short note of encouragement. However, I’d like to do so anonymously. Is there any mailing address or e-mail address to which I might be able to send, yet still remain anonymous?


    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, John!

      Certainly. Emails can be sent to: firmontherock@gmail.com

      And mail can be sent to:
      412 Weatherby Dr
      Cheyenne WY 82007

      Both addresses listed above are my personal ones; therefore, I can remove any contact information before forwarding it on to the family, if you would like. If you’ll be mailing it, please be sure to mark on the envelope/box that you would like me to open it for the purpose of keeping you anonymous –everything else I receive gets passed on unopened to the families.

      Thank you! Feel free to let me know if you have any other questions.


  13. Praise God! I’ve been praying for these two since just after the accident and I’m an “obsessive checker” for updates. This is the absolute best news! I will continue to pray for Elijah and Autumn’s recovery!

    Liked by 1 person

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