Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009

It's been over a month since the last post, and word on the street is that people are requesting an update. So, Hello to everyone at PMSI! :)

As always, this has been an interesting and eventful month in the Newman house. The last update was in reference to Jonathan's surgery. As most, if not all, of you know - everything went great. They may have to go in again to put in a different kind of tube, but still, there were no major complications, infections or anything along those lines.

At the end of November, in celebration of 1 year since Jonathan's accident, the whole family met in Georgia for a week in the mountains. If you know our family on any level, you know that such a peaceful place didn't stay as such for long. :) We're a loud and crazy bunch, and we had a great time. Sure, there were events that we could have done without, but overall it was a great trip. As there are no TV's there, SCRABBLE was an every night competition. It's safe to say that we may have one of THE MOST competitive bunch around. Scrabble was definitely played on a level that most board games never achieve. :)

We're still amazed that it's been a year since the accident. Oh, what a year it has been. One of great trial, but one of great triumph! In looking back, we couldn't help but want to bless those that are in similar situations as we were this time last year. So, Jonathan got to cooking and mom got to shopping. Last night, with goodie bags, plush toy craw fish, almond balls, jambalaya and beer battered craw fish in tow me, mom, dad and Jonathan made our way up to the ICU floor at Tampa General. We visited the waiting room that was our "home" for over a month last year, and talked with those whose loved ones were presently there. Some cried as they told us their story, some expressed their faith that God would do the same for their situation as He did for ours, but all were amazed and hopeful in looking at Jonathan who was possibly worse off then their loved one, but now walking and talking and of course cracking jokes! :) Many said it was a blessing to them to have us come, but I promise you - the pleasure was all ours. To be on the other end, with the ability to proclaim God's goodness and come with a literal living testimony...simply priceless!!

After we talked to all the families in the waiting room, we went to visit the nurses and patients back in the ICU. We saw some of the faces that took care of Jonathan last year, and all were amazed! They rarely get to see what their work has done. When people leave the ICU they're not yet in the "finishing" stages of their recovery, and they rarely get to see that. So, last night was a treat for them. Of course, we came bearing treats of all kind - Jambalaya, cat fish and our infamous almond balls. Jonathan also ordered plush craw fish from mardi gras outlet in LA to give to the patients in ICU and the nurses and staff. We stayed back there for a while visiting with everyone since it was a "slow night" back there. We went over to "Jonathan's room" number 5122 where He was last year for over a month. I got a little teary eyed standing outside of the room with him, watching him talk and laugh and joke with the nurses and staff. Oh, how far we have come!!

This year has been...hard, remarkable, rewarding, blessed, stressful, crazy, joyful, and inspirational all at once. We've cried more then ever, and laughed more than before. We've rejoiced for all that God's done, while crying out for Him to continue the work that is still necessary. He has been SO faithful. That is the one word that has new meaning or true meaning - FAITHFUL - that's what He is. Even in the most devastating of times, when it seems our world is crashing down - He's faithful! He's proven Himself over and over and over again.

As we told the many families last night - we would not be here but for the prayers of so many around this nation and world. Your prayers, and the prayers of countless others were heard, and were answered. We can't thank you enough. There are no words to express our gratitude, so THANK YOU will have to suffice, and we ask that they continue! :)

Here are a few pictures from our Georgia Trip:

And last night - Jonathan now standing on the OUTSIDE of room 5122:

Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009

So, today was Jonathan's surgery. All went well. It was definitely longer than I anticipated it would be - 8 hours! I didn't realize just how much was necessary. Though they were simply repairing the tear duct in his right eye - it was anything but simple. In order to do so they had to re-arrange his right eye socket which makes it all more detailed. While it was a long surgery he came out of it just as he went into it - goofy and making jokes. I happen to be wearing a plaid shirt today. When I saw him in recovery, just after surgery, he asked me, with a smirk on his face, why I was wearing a table cloth as a dress. :) So, you can see - he's good! :)

I must say that it was a bit of an odd feeling pulling back up to the hospital. Though my mom and dad have accompanied Jonathan to appointments here, I haven't been back since Jonathan was released. Now, I'm here once again staying the night and updating everyone on his progress. It's weird, but it's a good place from where we were back then. Almost a year ago I was asking everyone to pray for his life. Now, I'm telling you how wonderfully he's doing, and just how far he's come. God is simply amazing. I realize it every day when I watch him. I sit here, in this waiting room, positively in awe!

Thank you to all that are still reading, to all that are still praying and to all that have been doing so from the very first day. It's because of the power of your prayers that we are here today. God has been so faithful. Thank you for being the same in your prayers!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It's amazingly absurd to think that in just 3 weeks we will be celebrating the 1 year anniversary of Jonathan's accident. I say celebrate because I can promise you that's what we will be doing - celebrating his life and giving thanks for all that God has done and is doing. It's been a crazy year. It's been a trying and heart breaking year, but it's also been a year of many miracles and much growth. We're preparing for a family trip that week. We decided, after years of talking about it, that there's no time like the present and we are heading up to a cabin in the GA mountains for a week with the entire Newman/Beesley clan. I'm sure it will be a mixture of fun and "adventure"!

In the mean time, Jonathan's got an upcoming surgery. On November 13 Jonathan will be having surgery to repair his eye duct. His right eye was severely damaged in the accident, so much so that complete sight was lost. Accompanied with that nerve damage, the tear duct was completely torn. So, they are going in to repair that so his eye will drain properly again. As you can imagine, any surgery is not an event he'd like to participate in. So, please pray for peace and comfort through the process. It's not an extensive surgery and he'll be home the same day. Still, it's one that brings some distress to his mind and heart. So, just agree with us for peace to accompany him. We're so glad that these "cosmetic" surgeries are the only ones left. God's healing power is simply amazing!

I spoke to a group of friends last night about the amazement of all that's take place. One asked what my initial reaction was when I got the phone call about the accident. We talked for a couple more minutes, and as I relived some of those horrific moments, tears welled up in my eyes. So often we take for granted the life that God's given to us. I'd like to say that I no longer do and that each day at the Newman house is a "love fest" of sorts...oh, I'd LIKE to say that!! Still, even after something like this, in difficult moments we seem to dismiss love from our conversation until we are ready for it's presence again. We have gotten better, how could we not? Each day is a reminder of how good God is. Each time that crazy boy walks out of his room with his dog faithfully following behind him we are reminded. Each time we hear the clank of the glass and spoon as he stirs his chocolate milk - I swear he has become addicted since the accident - we are reminded. Each time he argues, Lord knows how often that is, we are reminded that we still have the opportunity to hear his opinion....and yes, we have to remind ourselves we ARE thankful for that! :)

Here are a few recent pictures of Jonathan that I thought I might share. Some of you don't get the opportunity to physically see all that God is doing. So....

I have to share, in way of other simply amazing news, after years of praying and "trying" my sister and her husband are expecting their first little bundle of joy - they're pregnant!!!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Prayer Need

I know that many of you have stopped reading, but those of you that are still checking here is an update:

Jonathan went this week to take his eye exam. HE PASSED!!!!! He was so excited and is still. The doctor said that while he passed, because his scores were rather low he is required to take some classes to learn how to drive with a disability before he can actually take the driving exam. So, there's still a few more hoops to jump through. However, we're still moving forward and that's the most thing.

There is still frustration that things aren't moving fast enough. It's still unbelievable that we've come so far. We're nearing on the one year anniversary of the accident. It's pretty surreal amd amazing all that God has done. Thank you for your continued prayers throughout all this time. We are still very much in need of those prayers so keep them coming our way.

Also, in way of updates - mom's hand is doing well. She is using it more and more each day. She has 60% use of her index fingers while all the rest are near full mobility. She is continuing in therapy and believing that God will restore her hand to full strength.

We appreciate your prayers more than you could ever know! Thank you

*There has been another need brought to our attention. Our former youth pastor was rushed to the emergency room last night. Various test are being performed to diagnosis the problems. Please keep him and their family in your prayers. This blog has provided an outlet for prayers around the world. We have seen the power of those prayers first hand and are asking that you would lift him up believing for his full healing.*

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday, Sepetember 4

Thought I'd share a picture I absolutely LOVE of Jon. We rarely get a real smile captured in a photo. So, I wanted to share it with you - it just might be my favorite smile ever!

So, in keeping with my promise to try and post more frequent updates - here I am! Though, there's not much to "report". Last week Jonathan went to an appointment for which he was supposed to get an eye exam to see if he could take a driving test. Well, evidently, it was an appointment to schedule an appointment for an eye exam, which you can imagine he was not too happy about! :) So, his actual eye exam is October 1st. They are all booked up until then. He's being pretty patient about the whole thing. Sure, he's anxious to get things started again, but just recently it seems he's learning to wait a little better through the process.

This month he's got two appointment with the plastic surgeon and the ENT (ear, nose and throat DR.) to talk about some repairs that will be made. No, he's not having a face lift :) nor are they changing the structure of his face - he's too pretty for that!! They are simply repairing what was damaged in the accident. His right eye, the one that lost vision, often leaks tears because the tear duct was completely ripped during the accident. Also, because he broke every bone in his face there are some repairs that will be done to his nose. Jonathan joked to the Dr. that he didn't want to come out looking like Michael Jackson. . . always the funny guy!

Other than that - it's a wait and see deal still. We're still waiting on everything to fall into place and see what the next steps are. I suppose that's the frustrating part in all of this - we can't really plan. We don't know what's going to happen or when. So, we're all just in a waiting period, which none of us, especially big J, are a fan of. Still, we trust. We know that through it all God is preparing - us, the future and all it holds for all that He has. Obviously we're not ready for it all just yet, though we think we are. :)

So, continue to pray. I will say, the past two weeks have been better. There have been tense times for sure and some altercations, but not to the extent that they had been. Please continue to pray that would be the case. We see God working. We continue to trust that His ways are higher than ours and our little understanding can't fathom all that He is doing. We covet your prayers even still and ask that they would continue.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It's been nearly a month since I've updated here. I'm not sure how many people are still checking. Still, I actually remembered today to update so here it is:

A few weeks ago Jonathan had his psych eval. We got the results back a couple of weeks afterward. The evaluation was to see if Jonathan could be cleared to work and drive. The psychologist who administered the evaluation said that she did not think that he was ready to work just yet do to his current social skills and other abilities. Though, she didn't want to write that in her report and say that he could not. She also didn't want to write that he was OK to work because the moment he is "cleared" to work all of his benefits would end. Since, from the evaluation, her conclusion is that he is not ready, yet he is adamant that he is - she is leaving that decision up to him, but advising that he start slowly. His sight is still a main factor in the type of work that he can do. Looking at a computer for the large part of the day and trying to type probably won't be a good option for him. So, the possibility of work for/with Charlie is the best bet currently. Jonathan has recently purposed that he wants to go back to school to finish his degree and become a teacher so that he can also coach. Many ideas and goals are coming to him. It will be exciting to see where God takes him.

As far as driving goes - there are a few steps he still has to walk. First, he has to have an eye exam. As you already know - he still has no sight in his right eye. So, the exam will be extensive. That is scheduled for next week some time. Also, after the eye exam, depending on his passing, he will have to take a very extensive driving test. This will test his reaction time, his depth perception amongst other things. If he does not pass the driving exam there are some classes he will have to take that would teach him how to drive with an impairment. After those classes he can re-take the test. Additional things such as adding extra mirrors to his vehicle may be necessary.

For now, it's still waiting for the continued process. We're all still holding on and trying our best to live it out. It's hard. It's hard for him to wait. It's hard for the family to endure him waiting :) , but we're all still here! God is still working - even when we're blinded by the current circumstance enough to forget it. He is, and we're still trusting.

Just a quick little story:
The other night Jonathan's right eye was bothering him a lot. It was pretty irritated and red. So, I put a couple eye drops in it and some ointment around it. This is the eye that he lost sight in. After i was done playing nurse I told him God's getting it ready to be healed - that's why it's bothering him - it's healing. His response was - that'd be crazy awesome!! We talked about it a minute or two longer and I assured Him it was coming. Every fiber of my being believes God is going to restore sight. He then told me that if God healed him that there would be no turning back - He'd have to do youth ministry for sure!! We joked about it for a bit longer, and I told him just to wait and see - literally. . . .
I tell you this to ask you to please continue to pray for that need. So much is affected by his lack of sight in that right eye. So much glory will be given to God once the healing takes place. I know it's on its way and I just want to continue to ask everyone to please don't stop praying for that need. I can't wait for the day when I get to write, like countless other times through this process, God has answered your prayers!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

As I asked you all to be praying for Jonathan's evaluation I wanted to let you know that we have yet to get the results back. Next week Jonathan and my parents will meet with the doctor to be notified of the results. As you can imagine - Jonathan is more than ready to hear them say that he is free to "start life" again. He's anxious to start working and most definitely driving. He's got a truck on the way from Louisiana that he's already made huge speaker boxes for. So, if you invite him over just listen for the big thump coming down the street. He won't even have to ring the door bell - you'll know he's there! :) However, before he starts putting his speakers on blast and riding around on his shiny new rims he'll have to 1) have permission to take the driving test and 2) pass a very extensive driving exam. In the exam they'll test him on his reaction time, depth perception, etc. - things that aren't normally covered in a driving test. So, there's still a few more hoops to jumo through and some more waiting.

At times I am still in awe of all that God has done. In fact, just two days ago tears filled my eyes as I watched him walk into smoothie king. As most of you know, he is very intent on gaining back all of the 100+ lbs that he lost while in the hospital. So, at least 3-4 times a week we make our way to smoothie king to get a smoothie called "The Hulk". Each time either I run in to get it for him while he waits in the car or we both walk in. This time he started to get out of the car and I didn't. He asked if I was coming in and I said no. I asked if he was ok with going in by himself and he said yes, but as he was getting out he asked me once again "are you sure you don't want to come in?" I said yea, I'm sure and he shut the car door and made his way across the parking lot and into the store. I looked out my window and watched him closely as he crossed the street - we're all still pretty protective of him. As I watched him walking, tears just filled my eyes. It's been nearly 8 months since the accident. So much has changed in our lives and his. So many things are in it are frustrating and are out of our control, but it's moments like those that just put it all into perspective. Nearly 8 months ago I almost lost my brother. 8 months ago I drove to the hospital now knowing that the doctors would come in and ask us if we'd like to come say goodbye. 8 months ago i never imagined that I'd be sleeping on the floor of the ICU waiting room for weeks just so i could be close to him, and now - he's walking into smoothie king with a slight limp, but no walker, crutches or cane, to order his favorite strawberry hulk :). God is so good - beyond what words can express! We forget all that He's done at times when what has yet to take place seems overwhelming. He's still working just as he was in that ICU waiting room.

So, thank you to everyone who still keeps updated and remains prayerful. It is the power of God and His people praying that has gotten us this far. There's still a journey to comeplete so keep those prayers coming. :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I am writing in hopes that many will read this today and tomorrow. This morning starts Jonathan's phsycological evaluation. The evaluation is extended over two days time and will be completed tomorrow afternoon. It is a very extensive, intense and thorough test. As many of you know, there was some very minor brain damage caused by the accident. This evaluation will also see what that will or will not affect. Jonathan is, of course, very anxious about all of these tests and ready to show them that he is "not psycho". Although, that's not really the purpose of this evaluation, we're hoping for that same result. :) Beyond that though, clearance to work again and to possibly drive again, though further clearance would be necessary for driving privileges to be reinstated, is the desired outcome of this evaluation.

He's come so far. It's hard to believe that the accident was nearly 8 months ago. Some days it seems like this process has been dragging on forever, longer for Jonathan I'm sure. Other days, it seems like it was just yesterday that I was at the side of his bed at 3am rubbing his hair because that was the only thing that seemed to calm him. It's been a crazy, uncertain, unwelcome and difficult journey. It's been hard in ways that my many words could never fully express, but it's also been life changing in ways that we are ever so grateful for. God's done a lot in these 8 months. I've seen His hand evident in so many instances growing up, but in my 25 years - have never, firsthand, experienced it like this. His grace truly is sufficient though, we mistake it's absence all too often.

Thanks is all I can say for your many, many prayers. Though, I'm asking for them to continue. Regardless of the outcome of this evaluation - there's still a long road ahead. We absolutely covet your prayers and your support. When I started writing this blog I had no idea the amount of people that would read it. It was simply the easiest way to get a lot of information to a lot of different people. It quickly became a place for prayer needs and a showcase for God's amazing hand once they were answered. So, please, do not stop praying.

Thought I'd post a recent pic so everyone could see for yourself all God's doing.
Jonathan & dad on Father's Day

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mom's "hand"

Here's a picture of mom's "hand" as of last week. She's got 7 more weeks to go before she gets this contraption off. So, pray for more grace and more patience and more safety for this crazy family!! :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday, June 10, 2:05 PM

Well, we can most definitely say that there is never a dull moment in the Newman family. Although, these days most of us are wishing and praying for some dull moments around this place. :)

You may or may not know that my mom was in a car accident about a week and a half ago. A man ran a red light and she ran into him and then a post. She, for the most part, is OK. Though the car is totalled, her hand is the only part of her body that suffered any severe amount of damage. Now, she has a cast and a very awkward contraption attached to it which makes everyday activities difficult. You can only imagine the frustration that also comes with all of this for her. So, please keep her in your prayers. The doctor told her that she would need to keep the cast on for the next 6-8 weeks. Charlie said if he didn't know better he'd think our family was part of some insurance scam - see dad on his crutches, Jonathan still healing and mom walk in with this big ol cast on her arm and you might think the same thing. :)

As far as Jonathan - physically he's doing well. He has to wear a brace on his right elbow at night that helps to stretch it out little by little. The doctor said that this may help without having to have surgery. So, he is trying this option first. His frustrations get the best of him sometimes. This past week was a rough week. Outburst seemed more extreme than before and we are all still learning what it truly means to have grace. often times it's our families, unfortunately, that seem to get the least dosage of our grace while others that we don't even know get the most. So, please, please, continue to pray that Jonathan would control his frustrations before they turn into angry outburst and inappropriate behavior. In the same prayers, lift us up - that his family would know when to speak and when to be quite; when to back off and when to move in. . . we're all still learning. This is life now. It's all still new, yet we're living it day by day. We're still ever so much in need of your prayers. Some would say the hard part is over. I tell you what, those people would be wrong! For Jonathan and for us, this is the difficult part. The "living it" part always is. So, please continue to lift Jonathan and the family up in prayers. God is working. That is evident, or the enemy wouldn't be fighting this hard.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued prayers. They are much needed and much appreciated. Also, please know that we thank God every day for you all - even though we may not know you personally. We pray that God would bless you and meet your needs as you have faithfully prayed the same for us! God Bless!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Jonathan's Demo

The music is hard to hear on the video,but the words are what's important. Keep your eye on Charlie in all his "thug" glory - you're defnintely going to smile :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday, May 18, 11:30 AM

It's been 3 weeks since I've posted any updates. Life is pretty much the same with very few big changes. Since the celebration things have been pretty steady. Jonathan has been released from physical therapy. He is doing great walking, so much so that he does not need physical therapy any longer. Further exercises and strengthening will be done on his own. He is still going to occupational therapy on Monday's and Friday's because his right elbow still is not able to fully extend and he is limited in his use of his right arm because of it. Wednesday's he, along with my parents, attend a nuero-physicologist therapy session. His understanding of things is great. It is the controlling of certain reactions that is difficult. We are still learning how to adjust to it all. Life is different now. He still has no sight in his right eye and therefore his abilities in many areas of life are limited. That's frustrating! He still does not have his full independence because of his reliance on others for many things still. It's a tough road to walk, but God is teaching us grace. Although, we readily admit that we, like all doctors, are still "in practice". It's tough. Honestly, sometimes it really tough, but the alternative, him not being here, would have been heart breaking. So, we're thankful, in the midst of the frustration :)

At the end of June Jonathan has a psych eval. IT is two days long and the results will determine if he is released to drive and work and many other things. He is VERY anxious to take the test and praying he passes with flying colors. So, please, keep that in your prayers. That God's perfect timing and hand would be present. He knows what is best - always. So, we're trusting.

Thank you so much for all of your prayers. The updates are becoming very sporadic I know and will most likely continue to be that way. This is simply life now. We are all just trying our best to live it out each day. So, though you may not get frequent updates, please keep up those frequent prayers. We are still ever so in need of them!! :)

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday, April 30, 9:45 AM

I promised to post some pictures from Sunday. Here are a few, with more soon to come.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Tuesday, April 28, 8:40 AM

First I want to say a big thanks to everyone that showed up on Sunday for Jonathan's celebration. He was amazed that all of you cared enough to come out and show your love for him. He still asks me how I got in touch with some of you and is amazed that so many are still reading his progress and staying tuned to his story. I'm not sure if he'll every really grasp just how many people have been "there" from day 1. If not in person - through this blog and in prayer for him. So, thank you from the bottom of my heart for showing up and showing your love to him. He had a great time seeing your faces , and hearing how you'd been praying! Of course, the crawfish were a big hit, and a shout out to Ryan Derbes for hooking it up. He's a great friend of ours from Louisiana - more like family, and he and his dad did an excellent job. It was like being home!! :)

As much fun as Sunday was - by the end of the night Jonathan was ready to call it quits. The few that were still lingering around 9:00PM got a small glimpse of the outburst and such that I have asked for prayer concerning. Though, I am thankful that it was not nearly what we experience at home! Please, continue to pray for that end of things. Physically, Jonathan is doing great. Sure, there are some noticeable differences and still he is in the process of recovery, but he's doing phenomenally well in just a 5 month span of time. God has certainly shown Himself strong in my brother!

There's not much more to say in the way of updates. So, I will sign off for now and post pictures from Sunday later. For those of you that were part of the "paparazzi" on Sunday :) - if you wouldn't mind sending me a few of your pictures to

Thank you again for all of your prayers. We love you all and simply ask that you continue. Yes, his recovery is going well and the physical evidence of that is strong. However, as Jonathan said on Sunday - God gave him this "Second Chance" for a reason and we are praying that He would not only make that clear for Jonathan, but keep him in His perfect will to complete it!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009, 8:55 AM

It's been a little while since I've written out an actual update of Jonathan's progress. So, let me take the time to fill you in on all the little details and what's going on:

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday Jonathan has Physical and occupational therapy. He's done remarkably well in both aspects. He's walking completely on his own now and though he's still got his "gangsta limp" it is diminishing slowly but surely. During physical therapy they definitely give him a run for his money. They have him doing squats and other physically demanding exercises for someone in Jonathan's stage of recovery, but he pushes himself to the limit each time. He's definitely determined to be "back to normal" and has been told by others there that he is an inspiration. He is doing most things on his own, though he still requires help with some because of his sight, strength or other physical limitations. This is a far cry from the days when every small task needed personal assistance. The progress he has made in such a relatively short time has been amazing.

Thankfully, this week and last, for the most part, has been pretty low-key. His fits of uncontrollable anger have diminished. Sure, anger still ensues at times and words fly out that we'd rather not hear. However, the scary anger has subsided greatly. Please pray that trend will continue, and that Jonathan's frustration and anger would subside altogether. It's still a part of every day. My parents still deal with it mostly as they are with him throughout each week day, but this week has been good so far when compared to what it has been.

Rachel, our older sister comes in to town tomorrow for a few days. Jonathan, as well as the rest of the family, is excited to see her. He welcomes a change of pace as his days are pretty consistent - filled will doctors appointments mostly. At the end of the week another great friend of the family is coming into town. If his presence wasn't already enough to be excited about - he's bringing crawfish!! Most of you know our family is from Louisiana and crawfish is one of the many, many things that we miss from home. We've only found 1 place here in FL where they taste even remotely close to what they do back home. So, Jonathan's definitely looking forward to this week and weekend.

Last Thursday Jonathan went to go get his prescription filled at Lens Crafters. Because he has no sight in his right eye the folks at Lens Crafters strongly suggested that he not get contacts in the event that he would get an eye infection in his left eye and that affect his vision there too. So, he picked out a pair of glasses and got some shades as well. He said they definitely help his vision. Although, Saturday he came to me questioning if he looked OK with them and calling himself four-eyes. I told him he definitely looks good. He always will. He's one of the most handsome guys I know. To prove my point and to make you all smile - here's a picture of Jonathan showing off his new glasses.

Please, as you have done so faithfully from the beginning, continue to pray. Jonathan's come so far and the journey of all of this is just starting to unfold. In just a few days we will be celebrating 5 months from the day that God reminded us just how precious life is. The day that God kept Jonathan and the day that started a journey of faith that we have yet to fully realize!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday, April 15, 2009, 10:40 AM

Here's a little video of us at the house - again, silliness ensues :)
Here's a little rap for ya from "Second Chance"

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wednesday, April 15, 2:30 PM

Again, my apologies for not posting more frequent updates. The truth of the matter is this - the news of things to post is dwindling. The days are much of the same - Monday, Wednesday and Friday he has Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy appointments. Often on Tuesday and Thursday other oppointments of some kind occur. Mainly life consists of doctor visits, tests and calling to schedule more of the same.

Jonathan is very excited to see everyone. If you have not received information about Jonathan's Celebration and would like to - please email me at Impactyouth813@yahoo.com

Last night we made a video message from Jonathan. So, look back for that soon.
Thanks for all of your prayers. They are constantly needed!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 9:15 AM

It seems these updates are getting less and less frequent. I'll try to pick it up, but truly - the days seem just to run together most of the time. Yesterday, Jonathan had an appointment with a opthamologist. He is a specialist in this field, and very thorough in his exam according to my mom. He informed Jonathan and my parents, as the other doctor had, that there is severe nerve damage in his right eye and that his sight would not get any better or any worse. I'm not sure how it could get worse as he has no sight whatsoever. He can't see shadows or light of any sort. He also said that the vision in his left eye is not great, but most of it could be corrected with prescription glasses or contact. So, we'll move in that direction very soon. Of course, the confirmation of that news was hard to take. Jonathan of course doesn't express it in emotions of sadness, but we knew it was hard for him to handle - as it would be for anyone. Of course, we are believing that he will be healed - no doubt about that! This is simply another way for God to show up and show off. It's just dealing with the process until then that at times gets to be a lot.

There's a lot of waiting these days for Jonathan. Each doctor's appointment seems like an eternity to him spent waiting in the waiting room, finally called in the back only to wait some more, waiting for his body to heal, waiting for life to resume "normalcy", etc. There must be some connection with patience and being a patient! He's having a hard time with that part. We can only imagine what it's like to have to wait on everything and everyone before anything can be done. To have to rely on someone else to go to the store, to take a walk, to make an appointment, to make any type of plans - frustrating is not even close to describing that feeling I'm sure. But, he's holding on! He gets tired some days and anger follows suit. HE gets frustrated at times and outburst take place. He feels trapped often and certain words come flying out that we'd rather not hear, but it and we are all still "in process". Even through all of those feelings - he never gives up. He still keeps pushing, fighting and pressing.

He is officially walking on his own - without any assistance of a walker or cane, and he's doing great. He's still got what Charlie calls "a gangsta limp", but even that is diminishing slowly but surely. He's getting stronger and gaining back his balance. It's amazing how far he's come!!

I have received many emails regarding interest in the gathering we're having to celebrate Jonathan's second chance. Thank you for all that have responded. If you are interested in attending please send me an email to impactyouth813@yahoo.com. In order to get a quick head count and RSVP I will be sending out an e-Vite by this Friday.

Thank you for all of your continued prayers. We will continue asking you for them. We need wisdom, strength and grace each day to keep going. Jonathan needs healing in a lot of areas still. Continue to pray that God would restore sight to his right eye, that his right elbow would regain it's normal range of motion and extension, that he legs wold regain strength, that his blood pressure and heart rate would finally normalize, that he would have peace of mind and of spirit, that his anger would subside and that God would continue to speak. God's got great plans for him. I know that this is not even the beginning of all that God desires to do in and through him. So, please continue to pray. We're all still a work in progress, and we all need strength to continue to stand through the process! :)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Saturday, April 4, 10:55 PM

A video message from Jonathan:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wednesday, April 1, 9:40 AM

Hard to believe that it's already April. Even harder to believe that it's been already 4 months since Jonathan's accident. On Saturday I had some pictures printed of Jonathan that we had taken while he was in the hospital. We started taking pictures on the 4Th or 5Th day and continued throughout. We definitely felt it super important so that people could not only read, but one day, physically see all the miracles that God has done. Last night as the family was all together I brought the pictures out and Jonathan took a look. He was amazed! He still doesn't have a full grasp of just how bad he was. Although, I think the pictures of himself in that condition helped to bring that reality a little closer. Even though we saw him every day and saw the transformation before our eyes - we still forget. It's an odd wave of emotions to see the pictures again. I admitted last night that as I was in Target printing the pictures off I got a little teary eyed. How could I not. He's come so far. God has done so much, and that's the story those pictures tell!!

Some of you have yet to see Jonathan since the accident. Some of you have never before met him and still you pray. While few have had the opportunity to see in person all that God's grace has accomplished. One of the biggest accomplishments is that Jonathan's physical healing has been amazing. In fact, according to the physical therapist - Jonathan should be walking on his own by next week!! Jonathan is more than thrilled about that. Of course, his walk is not back to "normal" yet. He's still slow, as his steps are still a little difficult. He is still learning to balance his weight between both legs. He's still in progress. Please continue to pray for his physical and spiritual strength to be renewed. Yesterday we got a good report from the doctor. As many of you know - Jonathan was a big fella before this accident. He went into the hospital weighing at least 205lbs. of muscle. He came out at about 120 lbs. Last week as they weighed him the result was 125 lbs. Well, this week he weighed in at 136 lbs.!! We've been trying to put weight pack on him to build up his strength. So, 11 lbs. in one week is an accomplishment!

His outburst are still much of the same. His feuding with everyone about everything is still taking place. Although, as with the rest of us - he has his good days when there's not a single fight and other days when everything sets him off. So, please pray that the first would out-number the 2ND. We appreciate your prayers, and are in constant need of them.

The family is planning a special celebration for Jonathan - to celebrate this second chance. Please send me your email address if you are interested in information about this event. You can email me at Impactyouth813@yahoo.com

Last night, we were hanging out being silly, as we Newman's like to do. In the midst of some music playing - some dancing started taking place. Jonathan was bustin' a move! :) He's been told that he dances better now than he did before. You be the judge. Hope this brings a smile to every one's faces as you see Jonathan in his truest form!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 10:25 AM

Well, thank you to all of those that prayed Monday and continue to pray. Within the hour of that last post Jonathan calmed down tremendously, and as a matter of fact - had no large altercations with anyone yesterday. Believe me, that is only an answer to prayer!! :)

I took a half day yesterday, as a dear man from our church congregation passed away. His funeral, which dad performed, was yesterday afternoon. So, while my parents attended the service I took Jonathan to one of his appointments. He had an ultrasound done on both arms to see if there were still any blood clots. While in the hospital, and since his release, they haven't been able to do much activity/therapy in his arms due to the blood clots there. So, we are praying the results show that they are gone and therapy can really begin with his arms.

Also, last week we got a report that on a previous test there did show some minor brain damage. Because we had yet to be notified of that, and it was new news to us, the doctor ordered an additional CT scan which we also did yesterday. So, again, prayers that the test would show nothing but complete wholeness.

Today Jonathan has physical therapy, as he does every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. He's doing great. He's been using the walker for a week now, but will be off of that soon I am certain. He really uses it solely for stability in case he loses his balance, but the walking he is doing on his own. He's come so far and I am so thrilled. The physical healing is happening at a speedy rate. It's all the other stuff that is our greatest concern.

Though he is still a bit away from it, before he can drive or go back to work he would have to have clearance from a psychologist. There is some concern there from our family as well as many of the doctors. There is still quite a bit of healing and re-learning that needs to take place. The way that Jonathan's mind processes things at times drives him to outburst of anger, heightened emotion and extreme reaction. It's at a moments notice and without regard for surroundings at times. So, please pray for his continued emotional, mental and spiritual healing. Pray for wisdom to handle situations as they arise and grace for all that we do. We appreciate your prayers more than you'll know. Each day, as I get home from work, Jonathan asks if any one has written on the blog. He enjoys hearing that so many are praying and cheering him on. Thank you for that!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday, March 23, 3:25 PM

At work and getting phone calls of difficulties at home. Please be praying for the family. The struggles are getting stronger, and the prayers are evermore needed and necessary. Lift up my parents - that God would give them strength, wisdom, patience and grace. Lift up Jonathan - for a calm spirit, understanding as well as continued grace and patience. It's a difficult situation and one that often gets overwhelming on all sides. So, please today, lift up your prayers for the family - that we would exemplify God's love to each other - no matter.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday, March 18, 8:50 AM

One more step closer - Jonathan is officially using a walker!! :) On Monday they had him try it in physical therapy and because he could they issued a prescription for one. Yesterday dad picked one up for him and Jonathan is using it around the house. He's doing great with it!! He's still wobbly as his legs are still pretty weak, but boy is ready to get this thing crackin :). They did advise us to bring his chair with us if we are going to do any length walks - like going to the mall or if we'll be out for any long period of time. Right now, he's just happy that he can get around the house a little bit more on his own. However, I'm still right near him where ever he goes :). Last night, as he was walking to bed he started wobbling and tripping and I just steadied him and he was good to go, but I tell ya what it got my heart racing for a second.

The physical side of things are healing right on schedule, if not better than. However, yesterday we got the results of a recent MRI which showed that there was a slight bit of brain damage done. This could have been caused by many things as there were so many things that went on in his body during the accident. Please understand that this, by any stretch of the imagination, does not mean that Jonathan is mentally handicapped. This simply means that what we are seeing now as far as the dramatic mood swings, the uncontrollable outburst, etc., are very much a result of that. The speech therapist yesterday, after an altercation with Jonathan, suggested very strongly that we seek some behavioral therapy for Jonathan. So, we are definitely looking into it. The simple fact is - before he can drive or go back to work he has to have a psych eval. If they don't deem him "OK" then they won't release him to go back to "normal" life that he so desperately wants. Yesterday we reminded him of that and he was very quite about that response, but later said that he supposes that he'll have to do whatever it takes then.

So, please just pray for us, mainly my parents, that God would give wisdom where needed. We're not doctor's nor do we fully understand everything that's taken place. We hear what his doctors are saying and are seeking the help they are suggesting, but are also seeking God's face - knowing man's aid only goes so far. This is just another part of the testimony and another opportunity for God to show up and show off. :) Please continue praying. We know that God is hearing those prayers and are seeing them answered daily.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Letter From Jonathan

hey everyone, this is Jonathan aka jball aka jiggaj aka 2ndchance typing saying thank yall for the love and support. Be ready for when i get back. I wasn't doing some good things before all this but got a 2nd chance and no doubt imma do it better this time. i pray ever bit of gods blessings hit everyone that has prayed and supported me n those that went to the hospitals. It has been such an encouragement! Look yall thanks again, hit me on myspace if u want n ill add ya at myspace.com/j2ndchance

Thanks Doyle, much love!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday, March 16, 9:40 AM

The weekend, like most weekdays had it's ups and downs, it's challenges and triumphs, but in the end was a pretty good result.

Friday evening, mom and dad celebrated their 38Th wedding anniversary with a night out of the house. So, Charlie, Jonathan and I met up with some dear friends. It was the first time they had seen Jonathan in quite some time, the first time they heard him speak and they realized - he hasn't missed a beat. He's still hilarious, still sarcastic and still can joke with the best of them. It was a good time for him and a good night overall. Saturday was more laid back, a few trips out of the house, a few arguments in between :). Sunday was church and the strain on his knee resulted in him and mom leaving a bit early. Sunday afternoon was more frustration on his part, and early this morning that seemed to still be lingering.

He's ready to walk. He's ready to be independent and he only grows more weary of the process each day. This past Wednesday he got the news that he could start weight barring on his right leg. Unfortunately, he's still got that "Rocky" mentality sometimes that nothing can hurt him - he's strong enough. Simply put - that's just not the case. The same Dr. that gave him the go-ahead to start weight barring also warned him that too much too soon could further injure him and halt, if not reverse, his recovery. So, please, pray for patience. I can't imagine the frustration that comes with not being able to do "normal" activities. So, please, pray that God would give him, and the family, patience through the process.

One of the "side-effects" of the brain trauma, not brain damage, that Jonathan sustained is major mood swings. While we are thankful that this has yet to happen in public or around anyone else - we are also ready for this to stabilize!! :) At the snap of a finger, for no apparent reason, Jonathan's moods can switch from laughing, to screaming and anger (literally). It's often not set off by anything substantial or even anything that would normally elicit that type of reaction. It's something that they have told us is "normal" for this stage of his recovery, but nonetheless - hard to have wisdom to deal with. It's especially hard to deal with for my parents who are with him constantly. Charlie and I get some of the brunt of this, but not nearly the amount my parents do. So, please pray for wisdom and grace to handle it all. It's probably difficult to understand for those of you that have seen him recently. He always carries himself well in front of others and is completely pleasant the majority of the time when he's out and about. But, as with everyone else, our guard goes down with our families. That's simply it. So, please be praying that as these times arise - we would deal with them with as much grace as possible.

This morning Jonathan starts a normal routine of therapy. From now on, he'll be going every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. That's a lot in one day, but we know he'll do just fine. He's looking forward to today's appointments - hoping that they'll tell him he can use crutches or a walker. It's a possibility and one I am praying for as I know this will encourage him tremendously. His body is still very weak, but he is getting stronger by the day. We're trying to pack some weight on him as he went into the hospital weighing around 205-210 and came out at about 130. So, he's got some work to do in that area, but in no time he'll be all muscles again :).

Thank you all again for your continued, faithful and persistent prayers. They are still needed. So, please don't stop. Our love for you can't be put into words and our appreciation for your support during this time will never be properly expressed. God has blessed us with so much love and support. We couldn't ask for more.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 8:40 AM

A few doctors visits and a few things to report since then:

On Tuesday Jonathan met with an optometrist. He took a look and assessed both his eyes. He said that there was severe nerve damage in his right eye that was beyond repair, and Jonathan's sight would not be restored. He said there was some nerve damage to his left eye, but nothing substantial that would cause his sight to worsen. We were, of course, hoping for a better report than that. Mom is even scheduling another appointment with a different doctor for a second opinion. However, ultimately, we could get 3,4,5 bad reports from any given Dr.'s, but we continue and will continue to believe the report of the Lord that - He who began the good work will be faithful to complete it!! So, please, continue to pray for the healing in both eyes, especially his right eye. In the past few weeks we have seen some improvement in his left eye. He's able to see more clearly, and is writing clearer than before. So, we're already seeing signs of God's healing in that eye, but are continuing to pray that it would be completed!

Yesterday, in way of good news, Jonathan saw an orthopedic specialist. After much waiting, tons of x-rays and then more waiting we found out that he now has the "OK" to start weight barring on his right leg. So, they can start moving forward in physical therapy. However, with that good news comes some concern. In many of the places that Jonathan broke bones, and had them replaced with rods and/or plates - additional bone mass is now growing there. Initially, They did warn us of that possibility. In the hospital we began to see a mass on his right thigh, had it x-rayed and found that it was additional bone mass growing on top of the rod they inserted. It has grown since that time to a rather significant size. If it continues to grow to the point where it causes friction with the rods and/or plates then the bone mass will have to be surgically removed. This will only further the amount of time of recovery. So, please be praying. Some additional bone mass has started growing in his right elbow as well. Until he really starts physical therapy and starts using his leg and elbow more we won't fully know how much it is affecting his physical abilities.

With each report that the doctors have given us we have taken it in stride. We've known all along that the final say is not theirs, that their wisdom, though vast, is still very limited in comparison to the Lord's. He has Jonathan in His hands and has since all of this began. He's made His healing power known time after time, and astounded the Dr.'s too many times to remember. God's got this, and we know this. So, though it sometimes gets rough to hear bad reports, we realize that's not the final word. The final word comes from the Lord.

Thank you a million times over for all of your prayers. Please, don't stop. There are still many bumps in the road ahead, and the this road is still very long. He needs your prayers. We need your prayers, and we thank you in advance for all the answers to come!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Letter from the Parents

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your many prayers as well as your hospital visits, food and love offerings for Jonathan and our family. Thank you does not seem enough but please know our hearts are overwhelmed with much gratitude to each of you!
From the beginning your prayers have sustained us as God has given us His grace. Truly His grace is sufficent.
From the very lst day of the accident we had God's promises that we held on to and we continue to hold on to them as we walk this new journey of faith.
Day one, the Lord promised to send us His Holy Spirit to comfort us (John 14) and He has. At the hospital He spoke to us in the chapel "Jonathan will not die but live and declare the works of the Lord" (Psalm 118:17) and He is!
As the days went on and we saw the first sign of improvement God spoke to us through His word. "He who began a good work in you (Jonathan) is faithful to complete it (Philp. 1:6) and after 3 months we are home. God is truly amazing and faithful to His Word and we give Him all the glory!
Day by day we are trusting the Lord and we continue to stand on His Word. The Lord is doing a great work in Jonathan physically, emotionally and spiritually as well as in each one of us. Jonathan's journey of faith isn't over yet and we have daily struggles therefore, we covet your continual prayers.
Jesus said that the greatest commandments were to love the Lord thy GOd with all they heart soul and mind and the second greatest is to love your neighbor as you love yourself.(Matt.22:37-39).
Dear friends, you have truly exhibited to us the love of Christ. Yet I would be amiss if I did not invite those of you who do not know Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, to ask Him into your life. He loves you (John 3:16)! He created you for a special purpose and He has the best plan for your life. (Psalm 139; Jer. 29:11-)
Jesus is the answer to all your needs and He came that you might have life and have it more abundently. He is the only one who will ever satisfy your every need (John 4). He will be your best friend, he will guide you, give you rest from your burdens, bring you comfort in trouble times, give you peace in the midst of the storms and always bring you through to victory. He will never leave or forsake you. Over and over again He has proven that to us and He will do the same for those who love Him, trust Him and serve Him. He is faithful! Jesus is more than enough! So ask Him into your life today.

"May God Bless You all! Yes, I pray that God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ will give each of you His fullest blessings, and His peace in your hearts and your lives. All my prayers for you are full of praise to God!" ( Phil.1: 2-3)

Love in Christ,

Wayne and Pam Newman

Monday, March 9, 2009

Monday, March 9, 9:30 AM

Yesterday was Jonathan's first trip back to church. Charlie wheeled him into the service at Bay Life and from the second he heard the music he was smiling from ear to ear. It was amazing to see him there, and so eager and happy to be. Dad asked him to say a few words if he wanted. Of course the first words he said were "thank you" to everyone for praying. He informed the congregation that he believes God gave him a second chance; this time around things are going to be different. He's got to change some things in his life and live for the Lord. He asked that everyone would keep praying cause he still needs it.

It was such a sincere request and thanks. He doesn't really do anything to please people or say what people "want" to hear - he's never been that way. What's in his heart is what he'll say no matter if you like it or not! Of course, most people were crying and everyone was so glad to see him, but once he got in the car on the way home - he was ready. After sitting in his wheelchair for any length of time he gets pretty uncomfortable and tired, but he pushed through and was glad to have gone.

This week Jonathan has a few appointments. Tomorrow is the one I am specifically going to ask you to pray for - it's with the eye Dr. Jonathan still has absolutely no sight in his right eye. He can't even see light or shadows at this point. Often he'll ask us to pray, or he'll pray on his own and when he's done he asks for a flashlight. He puts it right up to his right eye believing that the prayers have worked and he'll be able to see. That has YET to be the case. So, please pray that tomorrow they will have a better understanding at what is going on there, and either by medical staff or God's touch - his sight will be restored.

Thank you again for your prayers. I can't say it enough. Just as I can't request enough that you continue. God is still working . . . in all of us. It's still very much a process, and strength is needed to continue walking in it. So, please keep on prayin'! We know - God isn't finished yet!!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday, March 6th, 11:10 AM

Well, it's been an interesting week. We all are trying to have patience, and for all of us - it's a process. Rachel and her husband Bryon have been here since Monday. They have been a welcome change of face. Jonathan's enjoyed their company and on Tuesday night we went to see Pink Panther 2 in the movie theater. Of course, it was only out family in the theatre, but it was a nice time out of the house. We're trying to get him back to some parts of "normal". HE so desperately wants that!!

He's got a number of Dr.'s appointments lined up. Please be in prayer that as they do the various evaluations and test that all would come back in a positive form. Next week x-rays will be taken to see if his right leg has healed enough so that Jonathan can start some weight barring on it. He's desperate to get on crutches, but we definitely don't want to rush the process. So, we're waiting for the Dr.'s go-ahead with that.

A lot of his frustration is the fact that he doesn't have much control of anything these days. He can't get up on his own, can't make many decisions on his own, can't walk outside or take a ride on his own or when he wants. He, like all of us, like to be in control of our own lives. It's amazing the freedom that comes when we realize - God being in control is the best and only way to go.

So, please continue to pray for sight to be restored to his right eye. Pray for his elbow to be able to function in the way it should. It's still very tight and he can't fully extend it, which would also limit his ability to use crutches. Pray that his blood pressure and Heart rate wold normalize and lower. Pray that his right leg would be healing at the pace that is needed and necessary to start weight barring. In all of those issues - please pray for his heart and for his mind. There are a swing of emotions that can and do some at any given moment. There are a lot of feelings and thoughts going on inside. There are some fears, some worry, some anger and some sadness. Still, there is some joy and some wonderment for all that God's done and all the love that has been poured out by so many.

This week, the family has agreed, may have been one, if not the, hardest of them all. Of course, not comparing to the initial shock/devastation. It's been rough. We're all learning and growing through this, and thanking God even through the rough moments. He's still working and that's still evident! Thank you all for your continued prayers. Please, keep 'em coming!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday, March 2, 9:40 AM

Nearly a week since the last post - sorry about that. Time slips by me quicker than I'd like these days.

Jonathan is doing well - for the most part. It's still a difficult situation. He still has to rely on someone for just about everything. He's praying constantly , and trying to keep his spirits up. Thursday he has a Dr.'s appointment to determine if they can start physical therapy on his right leg. His femur, tibia and hip were all broken in that leg. So, after much surgery there is much rest that is needed. He's looking forward to getting out of his wheelchair and getting a pair of crutches. At least then he'll be more mobile, and able to get around a little better around the house, and such, on his own.

We take for granted all those little things - using the bathroom on our own, taking a shower on our own, walking in/out of your bedroom, etc. He often reminds us not to do that. Hour long conversations are a norm now. God is giving our family wisdom with how to deal with certain situations and patience when we feel we can't. He's been with us every step of the way, and I know that will always be the case. Every time we've called He's answered. We remind Jonathan often of the miracles that have already taken place - the fact that a nurse and chaplain came out to get the family to say good bye to him - as the doctor's were still working on him. We said no, believing that God was going to save him. He did - in more ways than one.

Jonathan says often how he can't wait to tell everyone what God has done. How he feels like all of this isn't yet making a difference in any one's life. In those moments, I tell him of stories of friends who have come up to the hospital, people who have come to the church, those that have called, written cards and churches that have so faithfully continued to pray. Then, he's amazed. He can't yet fathom all that God's done through his life and in this circumstance. So, we're there to remind him, to inform him and to encourage him that this is only the beginning - God has so much more to come!!

Please, continue to pray for the sight in his right eye to be restored. Thursday I got home and he told me that he believed God was going to heal his eye that day. He woke up that morning and, in faith, put a flashlight up to his right eye, but still there was complete darkness. I reminded him, as so many have said over him, "He that started the work in you will be faithful to complete it" - Philippians 1:6. His faith remains though sometimes the struggle overwhelms. So, as you remember to lift up his physical healing, please pray for encouragement of his spirit. Pray that God's presence would be known to Him and that His voice would be heard by him. We know God's not finished. So, we're praying for grace through the process.

Thank you call for your prayers. We can't say that enough!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 9:25 AM

Yesterday was a long day for Jonathan. He had his first out-patient doctor's visit, and like most of them, the wait was 45 minutes before he was even seen. So, about a 2and 1/2 hour trip out of the house left him pretty pooped the rest of the evening/night. That's kinda the way it'll be for a little bit. There's so much energy that he has to put in everything that it just wears him out.

Since he's been home he's been eating a lot better. He's gaining weight back little by little. That's one of the goal right now - to put some weight on him. He lost over 1/3 of his body weight while being in the hospital!! The major concern and need of prayer right now is still vision in his right eye. Everything else so far is healing at the pace it should, but he still has no sight out of his right eye and the vision in his left is sometimes strained. Because of that he has difficulty reading and focusing on words, writing in lines, etc. It's definitely a big concern for him, and one that we pray about often with him. So, please continue to join us in those prayers.

God is definitely still working in this situation and in all of us. Since the beginning we have seen the evidence of His hand all over this circumstance and over us. Now, we are only seeing that continue. We give him praise for all He's done and believe that the best is yet to come!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday, February 23, 6:50 PM

What an amazing day!!!
Over the past week or so discouragement had become a very big part of Jonathan's day. He was tired of the situation, tired of the hospital and once he got home, tired of not being able to do everything by himself. He questioned why God allowed this to happen, and why when he prayed he felt like there was no answer. Today the morning started with the same discouragement and the same questions. Dad and I left for church while mom stayed with him. I arrived home afterward to with mom smiling ear to ear and telling me there was something Jonathan wanted to tell me.

He started crying and said that this morning he woke up feeling like it didn't matter if he lived or died, it didn't matter if God saved his life because he wasn't hearing God speak no matter how much he prayed. After breakfast he was watching TV and stopped on what looked like a church service. It happened to be a service broadcasting from Southeastern AG University. There was a pastor from Louisiana that was speaking. Through that Jonathan said that God spoke to him - in that moment God called him to youth ministry!!!! Jonathan, through tear filled eyes, told me how great it was to finally hear from God, to know what is was He had for him. He said that he couldn't wait to get back to school. He also said God spoke to him to go back to Southeastern. I can tell you that by this time me, mom and dad were all praising God and crying. Rachel was on the phone and doing the same.

For days Jonathan has been saying that he wanted to hear from God. Today he did when he NEEDED to. It couldn't have been a more perfect timing. Today we've all been celebrating God's goodness. Megan, charlie's girlfriend, brought over the finished product of the prayer cloth. We read to him every one's messages and prayers of encouragement and with tears he asked me to tell everyone thank you.

Each part of this journey there has been new steps, new phases and new beginnings. Today is another one. God has so many things in store for Jonathan. We have always believed that. Now Jonathan knows that just the same. He anxiously awaits all that it is and we anticipate is will be greater than our greatest dreams. We serve a good God, a mighty a God, a faithful, merciful and Holy God. A God of miracles and a God of second chances.

Thank you a million times over for your constant prayers. Please continue. Tomorrow he has his first, of many, doctor's visits. We are continuing to pray and believe for the healing of his right eye and full restoration of healing in his left eye. Please be praying and believing, with us, for that as well.

The story has just begun....

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday, February 20, 9:00 am

Jonathan is home!!! Praise the Lord. It was a little overwhelming at first, but he's definitely more comfortable here. All of the same frustrations are there as his physical condition hasn't changed - only his physical lovation has. Still, he's happy to be home and we are so happy for him to be!! I will write more about the experience later when time permits. I just wanted everyone to know - HE IS HOME!!! :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 10:35 AM

Not much in the way of big updates other than the fact that we've only got 2 more days til Jonathan gets to come home. Friday is the day, and these days seem to be dragging - even more so for him! Please, be praying for a few things to take place before he goes home - that his neck brace would come off, we are waiting the results of the x-rays for that, and that his G-tube in his stomach would come out. He is eating more on his own. Hopefully, enough to get that tube out. It drives him crazy and is a source of anxiety for him. So, the sooner that's out - the better!

Each day we see God's hand, and we thank Him for his mercy and His grace. On Friday Jonathan leaves the hospital - 3 months sooner than they originally anticipated! That is only God!! So, we thank Him for the miracles thus far, and are assured knowing that this is just the beginning. Continue to pray for his right eye and that the left eye would be fully restored as well. As we believe God is the same yesterday, today and forever - we know that the God who raised the dead to life, cause the lame to walk and made the BLIND TO SEE - will in fact do that for Jonathan. I can't wait til I can post that has, in fact, taken place. Be on the watch for that one. I believe it's coming soon!! :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday, February 16, 8:30 AM

Only 4 more days and Jonathan is home!!!! We have a calendar in his room and each day one of us marks off yet another day - one more down and one more closer to leaving that darn hospital. He is more than ready, and prays everyday that it would be sooner than Friday. :)

He's doing great physically. He's getting stronger little by little. He's able to stay upright for longer periods of time. What used to tire him out, a 5 minute ride in the wheelchair, is now a 15-20 minute ride. So, he's definitely progressing. Friday night I stayed with him and we practiced reading, writing and typing. All were difficult tasks, but he wanted to work on them nonetheless. Through that process he realized that more than hand/eye coordination - he needs God to heal his eyes. That becomes more and more a prominent need as his other functions and abilities regain their proper action - his eyes have yet to. So, please, please be praying with us for healing there. His right eye has no sight whatsoever. At this point it's not even responsive to light. He asked me for a flashlight Friday night and put it right up to his right eye - and nothing. He was definitely discouraged about that. So, we prayed, we talked and now we wait for that healing to take place.

With this whole situation comes some discouragement. No matter how many times you remind him that he's doing great, that it could be much worse or tell him stories of all God has done - the situation, in Jonathan's words, "still sucks". He's positive and praising God the majority of the time, but the past few days he's been a little weary and the process isn't going fast enough. So, please, as you pray for his sight to be restored, pray for continued joy in the midst of this. He's got a long road ahead, but he's more than ready for it to be over. So, pray that God's grace to walk this difficult road would cover him, and his love would surround him.

So, Friday is the day. We're all counting down, getting the house ready and trying to keep him looking forward. Last week they took x-rays of his neck. If all has healed they will be able to take the neck brace off. He's had it on for 12 weeks and it is driving him crazy. We anticipate that will be off either today or tomorrow. Just another step toward total and complete healing. We rejoice for every battle won knowing total victory is already ours!

Thank you so much for your prayers, your comments, your encouragement. Now that Jonathan is aware of what's going on he often asks to see his page, and for me to read the comments that you all leave. So, he is being encouraged by your support and prayers, and is amazed at the outpouring of love you all have displayed. We tell him often of all that have visited, sent emails, brought food, made phone calls, sent cards, etc. He knows he is loved, and we remind him of that everyday. . .

Only 4 more days to go - we're counting down!! :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday, February 13, 9:05 AM

It's been another few days. Mom's feeling better and has been able to go up to see Jonathan during the day, and get her rest at night. NyQuil definitely helps with that. So, please continue to pray that none of us get sick again or that dad gets sick at all. We're trying to get the house germ free before Jonathan comes home. Praise the Lord - he'll be home in one week from today!!! February 20Th, Lord willing, is the date they gave us to bring Jonathan home. They've even begun, in the therapy gym, to show him how to get in and out of a car. So, we've got his room all set up - total makeover - and the house is all accessible for him. He's definitely ready and so are we.

Wednesday night I stayed with Jonathan. We just sat and talked for a few hours. We were both teary eyed at some points. I shared with him some of the miracles that God had done that he wasn't aware of - how the Lord dissolved the fluid on his brain, had him nod "yes" and "no" on Christmas day, etc. I read to him the blogs that I wrote about those specific events and the comments from so many of you that encouraged our hearts, urged him on and committed to pray for that very need. He was amazed and one of the few words that he could muster was "wow". Over and over again - that's all he could say.

We talked about how he felt about certain things and I was able to encourage him, while letting him know that those feelings are valid and it's OK to share those too. We reminisced about old times and talked about the future and what God might have in store. I shared some of my "scenarios" that I had dreamt up and asked him what he thought. He simply wants what God wants for him, and I assured him that's the best thing to want for and that's the best thing that he'll ever have. It was a great night, and one among many through this ordeal, that I will cherish.

Yesterday mom came to spend the day with him, and said he did great in therapy and was overall in good spirits. Dad came later in the afternoon, and I came back after work. As soon I showed up we got him in the wheelchair and took a stroll outside by the bay. We were all laughing and talking - just enjoying being out and being together. Jonathan is definitely back to his old self with all of his sarcasm and crazy humor. It comes in waves. On his birthday, Jonathan, after dad kept referring to himself as Dr.Newman and other such titles, said, "OK, your bishopness". I reminded him of that yesterday and it brought another big smile, which I love to see, and a big laugh from all of us.

Really, he's doing great - beyond what anyone, well, medical staff at least, anticipated. When they brought him in to the hospital they told us that he would be there anywhere from 3-6 months, 6 being the probability. He'll be going home days before we hit the three month marker!! Of course, he still faces a lot of challenges, so please do not be mistaken - your prayers are undoubtedly needed, but please be encouraged knowing - those prayers are working! We are seeing tremendous progress and we know the best is yet to come.

The most prominent need, amongst the many that there are, is for his sight. He still can not see at all out of his right eye. Though he can see out of his left, it is limited. He struggles to see out of that eye. So, please, as you pray for his recovery - pray for restored sight. We have told him, and read to him, the many times of those that God restored sight to. We can't wait to tell you that God has done the same with Jonathan.

Thank you all for your prayers. I asked Jonathan if there were anything he wanted me to say on the blog. The only thing he wanted to say was, "Thank you for praying". So, from Jonathan and from the family - Thank you and please, please continue.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 1:25 PM

Another few days have passed since the last update - more sickness, but I am finally getting better, Thank God! Unfortunately, I think I passed it on to mom. She is home in bed today, so please be praying she would get well very soon.

Jonathan is doing great! Yesterday they took the trach completely out!! One less area of irritation for him and one step closer to the full recovery we've been believing for. Last night I stayed with him and before mom left for the night he began complaining about his stomach hurting. He threw up and was in severe pain for a couple of hours. After some x-rays, blood drawn and no food or fluids he finally drifted off to sleep around midnight. He woke up this morning feeling well, and doing great in therapy. His day starts at 7:30 AM with occupational therapy. Today the task was for him to try to dress himself with as little assistance as possible and he did it!! It was a very hard task, but he was determined. It took near 20 minutes, but he succeeded!! He's such a trooper and constantly tries whatever task is put before him - no matter how difficult. He's doing great, and we're so excited that we may get to bring him home very soon.

I know many of you would like to visit him. Please understand that at this point - he doesn't wish for anyone to see him. Because of his current state - he's very reluctant to welcome anyone in the room. So, please understand that we are respecting his wishes. I do promise you this, as soon as he is ready, we are throwing him a major celebration and all will be invited to join us!! :) So, until then please keep praying.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday, February 6, 11:20 PM

I again apologize for the delay in posting, but I have been pretty sick the past couple of days. I didn't even go up to the hospital on Thursday because of it. So, in as few words as possible I will try to fill you in on the past few days.

Wednesday afternoon Jonathan had his swallow test which he passed with flying colors. Although, it was a traumatic experience, and one that he didn't want to even speak about afterward. Since then he's been reluctant to eat/drink much of anything - even the strawberry hulk drinks from smoothie king that he loves! :) So, please be praying that his apprehension would dwindle and he would be able to get his nourishment orally. Now we are still having to feed him through his stomach tube because he's not eating enough.

In the next couple of weeks there will be a lot of changes for Jonathan. If everything goes according to the doctors plans they will be able to take his trach out, remove his neck brace, remove the stomach tube and get him started with preparation to go home. So, there's a lot that needs to take place in order for his release from the hospital to be set. There's some additional progress that needs to take place in order for that to happen. Jonathan is doing so great in that area. He's pushing himself as much as he can, but everything takes so much out of him. He's trying so hard, and at times can become so frustrated that though he's making tremendous effort he's not seeing that same measure of results. So, as you pray for his body to recover and gain strength - please pray for his spirit to do the same.

Thank you all for your prayers. We remind Jonathan daily that so many are doing just that - please do not stop!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wednesday, February 4, 9:00 AM

Not much time for a full update, but an urgent prayer request was needed:
at 11:00 Jonathan goes down for his full swallow test. They did one on his birthday that was bed-side with a little bit of apple sauce, but this one is more involved and more important. Instead of a nurse administering it - a doctor will be present to determine if Jonathan can consistently swallow when needed. This will determine whether or not they will be able to start administering food orally. If he passes he will start off on puree's such as apple sauce, pudding, smoothies, etc. No liquids such as water for a little while and solid foods won't happen til after that. So, please be praying that all goes well during the test. Jonathan has lost over 1/3 of his body weight since the accident. As many of you knew him - he was a pretty big guy. So, we've got to get some REAL nutrition in him and put that weight back on so he can build up his strength. Jonathan is very worried about the test, and was even expressing that yesterday - a full 24 hours before it would take place. So, please pray for peace of mind and spirit as well as success of this procedure. Thanks so much. I'll let you know the results asap!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday, February 2, 8:50 AM

A Letter to my brother:

It's your birthday today. A day we normally celebrate with one of your favorite dishes - gumbo, lasagna or fried fish and a pecan pie just for you with a cookie cake to share. At some point in the evening you'd be doing silly dances in the kitchen with Dixie, your dog, and sticking something, probably the birthday candles, up your nose - yep, even at 27! But today's a little different. Today the celebration of one more year of your life is bigger than you or I could ever imagine. Today, when I tell you happy birthday I also tell God thank you - for giving me that chance!!

You've always been a smart guy, but there's one thing you'll never fully understand -just how much your family loves you. We'll never be able to put it into words, spend enough time to show you or do enough to demonstrate all the love we have for you. Still, I'll try my best to help you understand, even if just a portion of how much love is really there. There's so many people that admire your spirit, your passion and your courage. You're the bravest person I know, and one of the most passionate people this world will ever know. You're strong. You love without question. You have compassion beyond what many understand, and you never ever give up. You're my big brother, and I couldn't be any prouder to say that.

You've got 27 years of life behind you today, but so much more in-store for you still - much more than you know. So many wait for your life to touch theirs, and so many celebrate because, for them, you've already done that. I pray today, as we celebrate and give God all the glory for your life - you would know that you are loved and cherished, but most importantly - that you would know God's love. I pray you would see it in the faces of your family, that you would hear it in our words and that you would feel His presence with you always.

You're an amazing man - son, brother and friend - and I pray that God's biggest dreams would be fulfilled for you. Just know - though it may not always be easy you'll never be alone! God is always with you and your family is too!!

Love Your biggest fan :),
you little sis'

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Sunday, February 1, 11:20 PM

Sitting here beside Jonathan's bed so grateful that he's made it to another birthday, another year, and other opportunity to see God's plan fulfilled. In just about 40 minutes it will be officially Jonathan's birthday. Just 27 years ago God gave my parents, our family and so many a wonderful gift. Now, 27 years old we are amazed by how far he's come in recent weeks. God is definitely doing a work in his body and his spirit!

Tonight - dad, Charlie and I watched the Superbowl with him. He started getting tired about half way through so Charlie gave him the play by play action. He's coming into his own again - the sarcasm and silliness is beginning to come back little by little, but the realization of his current situation I believe has pretty much set in. So often he says that he's got a long way to go, that he's trying and that he's praying. He realizes his needs, but most importantly and most gloriously - he realizes the supplier of all of those needs - Jesus Christ! He wakes up and goes to sleep with praise on his lips and thanksgiving in his heart. He knows he's got a difficult and long road ahead, but he's got so much determination and so much love surrounding him we absolutely believe his recovery will be much shorter than expected.

Still, he's not able to see out of his right eye and that concern of his grows more and more each day. So, please be in prayer about that! Tomorrow, being his birthday, we are praying that they will do a swallow test with him. Since the accident, Jonathan has nothing administered orally - he's not had even a single drink of water. Although, admittingly - I have cheated and put the mouth swab/sponge, we use to clean his mouth, dipped in water and then given to him. So, he's had some drops of water, but not even a full sip. We are praying tomorrow, but definitely some time this week they will perform a swallow test. The first thing they will test him with is apple sauce. He will have to start with puree's, but that is so much better than nothing at all. So, please, pray that tomorrow, for his birthday - Jonathan will be able to have apple sauce and that the test he will pass with no complications.

Thank you for your prayers and already the birthday wishes that have come through!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday, January 31, 3:35 PM

Only more god news to report. With each day that passes Jonathan becomes more aware of his surrounding, more cognisant, more calm and more cooperative. He's doing wonderfully!! Today in fact, we (Charlie, me and mom) got Jonathan up in his wheel chair and brought him outside for the first time in over 2 months!! We also brought Dixie, his dog, and I had to hold her as he petted her. He was so excited to see her!! It was a lot for him and he got tired very quickly. We weren't outside for 3-4 minutes before he said he was tired and asked us to take him back. So, we did and he is currently sleeping. It's a lot for him. Everything takes muscles that he hasn't used in 2 months. So, it's a challenge, but he's doing great!!

With clarity and coherence comes the awareness that he's in a tough situation. He's constantly praying for God to help him. A lot of things are scary for him and nearly everything is a huge effort for him. He's doing it, but he keeps saying - he's go a long way to go. We keep reminding him that he's already come so far, and he's doing great!! At this point, he's expressed that he doesn't yet want people to see him "this way". He's even weary of the nurses and Dr.'s coming in, but he's OK once we explain who they are and what they're here for.

All-in-all, he's doing wonderfully. He is right, there is still a very long road ahead for him, but one that we'll all travel with him. So, please continue to pray. He's facing a lot of challenges physically and emotionally, but we know , as He has, God will continue to help and restore him.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday, January 28, 9:10 AM

Jonathan is doing great! Over the past few days he has calmed down and has been extremely cooperative. He is doing wonderfully in all areas of therapy - speech, occupational and physical. He's "brushing" his own teeth which always has to be repeated by a nurse or family member - but he's doing the action and that's what counts, he's putting his sock on his left foot - his right leg was severely injured and it can't yet bend that far, he's pulling his shorts on and helping us help him get dressed. He listens to everything we ask him to do, and he does it without hesitation. He's doing wonderfully in those areas!

On Monday evening as I arrived to the hospital after work mom met me at Jonathan's door and said to begin to pray that there was a spiritual battle going on. So, i immediately did so and walked in. Jonathan was talking to dad and was asking him various questions that lead me to the conclusion that the enemy was trying to confuse his mind and heart. We prayed, spoke truth into Jonathan's life and ears, and answered all his questions accordingly. I won't go into detail, but just ask that you pray concerning this matter. It's an area that is of great concern to us. We know that God has amazing plans for Jonathan, and we also know that the enemy wants nothing more than to shut those plans down, to confuse and discourage him. We also know that this battle is already won in Jesus name. So, it's not out of fear that I ask you to pray, but out of faith. Even with this "incident" Jonathan's love for the Lord is evident. He wakes up praising God, and goes to sleep doing the same. We pray with him constantly - per his request, and he does so often on his own throughout the day. He wants scripture read to him and praise songs always in his ears. God is doing mighty things in my brother's life and I know that this is JUST the beginning.

The needs that we are still asking prayer for are: sight in his right eye to be restored, that his complete digestive system would function properly, that he would progress enough that he could start to swallow and get even just liquid down through his throat, for his right knee - it is very tight and is his main source of complaint, his heart rate - it is going down, but still high in comparison to what it should be, his blood pressure, he's got many blood clots which limits what can/can not be done in therapy - every limb has some clotting, etc. . . I could go on and on in detail of his needs, but those are the most common and necessary at this point. It seems that the medication we have Jonathan on now, which is very minimal, is the best for him right now. So, praise the Lord for that!

As from the beginning, November 26Th - 9 weeks ago today, we are continuing to see God's hand all over this entire situation. No other explanation would suffice for Jonathan's recovery, progress and life! So, we continue to give HIM all the glory, and I look forward to the day when Jonathan will take over this process and you all get to hear first hand all that God is doing. Until then - I'll keep you posted :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Monday, January 26, 4:45 PM

This one might be a little short, but an update nonetheless. Jonathan has had a pretty good couple of days, despite the fact that he had trouble keeping his "food" down on Saturday and early Sunday morning, he has been doing really well. He has calmed down considerably and is able to have "conversations". I have gotten 3 phone calls from my mom and dad per Jonathan's request. He wants to know when I'm coming :)So, of course, as every other day, right after work I'll hit the interstate and be there a.s.a.p. I get to stay the night with him tonight and have printed out some cognitive therapy exercises to do with him. Mom said that he did excellent in his therapy today. He has about 3 hours a day. Usually speech therapy is first, a break, then physical therapy, another break and finally occupational therapy. All three he was very cooperative and remained so the entire time. He got a good nights sleep last night which i am again hoping for tonight. He always functions best during the day when that is the case - just like us all!! So, please pray that would be the norm instead of the exception. We're so excited that he is doing well today and has been this weekend as well. Please continue to pray for these specific needs : his right eye, his cognition/understanding, his ability to sleep at night, to keep his "food" down, not to get dehydrated as diarrhea has been an issue the past few days, and for him to continue to progress in each area. Those are the most pertinent needs, although there are more. Thank you for your continuous prayers, and support. Dad called me this morning to inform me that as Jonathan was waking up, still in the process, he began to praise the Lord saying "Thank you Lord, you are good, you're the alpha and the omega, etc." God is doing a work in Him, and we are just so elated to be able to witness it all. Thank you again - your prayers are being answered!!


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