Today, I ask you to join me in prayer for a little boy named Ben. The power of prayer is unshakable, undeniable, and sometimes simply unbelievable, but I know that with God anything is possible. In Matthew 18:20 the Lord makes this promise: "For where two or more are gathered in my name, there I am with them." So, please gather with me in lifting up this sweet baby boy to our Savior.
When I first met Ben I noticed that he was hooked up to a feeding tube, but most of all I was arrested by his contagious smile. That toothy grin of his has the ability to reach the core of any man's soul. Over the last couple of months I've had the pleasure of seeing his kind smile often in getting to know Ben and his mama, Helen, as God has placed us next door to them on Fort Bliss. Unfortunately, we have yet to meet Ben's daddy because he is currently deployed with the Army.
When Helen was 20 weeks pregnant with Ben, her first child, she was informed after an ultrasound that Ben would need heart surgery immediately once he was born. She flew to Dallas in the final weeks before the child's birth, since Dallas is the nearest hospital capable of performing the surgery that her baby required. On Tuesday, February 4th, Ben will undergo his third heart surgery, at 15 months of age. He has a rare heart condition called truncus arteriosus, which means that instead of having two vessels coming out of his heart, he only has one. Mayo Clinic further describes this condition: "In addition, the two chambers of the heart are missing a portion of the wall that divides them. As a result...oxygen-poor blood that should go to the lungs and oxygen-rich blood that should go to the rest of the body are mixed together."
On top of truncus arteriosus, Ben was also born with congenital disorder of glycosylation, type 1a (CDG1A), Only 1000 cases of CDG1A exist worldwide. Integrated Genetics explains this condition as "... As Ben ages, the disease will change course. There are specific symptoms from birth to age three, then different ones from ages three to ten and yet another set after age ten. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this CDG1A, merely treatment of symptoms. However, there is positive feedback coming from a study at Harvard that has the potential to help Ben. When his father was on leave this past Christmas, the family headed to New Orleans to see a geneticist for further information.
While CDG1A is still at the forefront of Ben's medical problems, today the focus is on his heart condition. Helen is on her own in Dallas right now (since her husband is deployed and her family resides in England) for the consultation with Ben's medical team, prior to his surgery tomorrow. Her positivity, courage, and strength are simply unmatched. God certainly blessed Ben with two brave parents to walk this road with him, especially that mother of his!
I come before you today in thanks for beautiful Ben and his mother Helen. Thank you for placing yet another wonderful family next to our ever-moving home. Today I kneel before you in desperate prayer for Ben's health. You have allowed him to be born with a rare incureable disease, but I also know with complete conviction that you are capable of performing miracles. Please heal Ben of both his heart condition and CDG1A. Allow him to be one those cases that doctor's simply cannot explain due to miraculous healing. And if he continues to live with these medical issues, please help Ben and his family to glorify You in their struggles and be a testimony for others about Your love and mercy. God, please ensure Helen feels your presence in this time when she may feel all alone. Give her the strength to walk in Your way, to trust Your plan for her family, and cling to the comfort only You can provide. Please also guide Ben's medical team as they prepare for his surgery today and as they operate on Him tomorrow. I pray for a successful, painless surgery for Ben and his quick recovery. Lord, in all this, let Your will be done. I love you and trust you.
Addie pushing Ben around the evening before his trip to Dallas for heart surgery