Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Surgery is complete. 1 hour from closure, his neck shows only minimal bleeding...Thank you Lord! His chest tube is in, and already his collapsed lung has reopened...My God is AWESOME!! Attempts to suture his leg tube have uncertain results at present.

They have decided not to use the adult ventilator just yet, but may do so if his bleeding is not resolved. The fluid around his fomerly collapsed lung looked bloody, but is primarly fluid...a good sign...the same goes for that in his abdomen. Early indicators that his internal bleeding is slowing (yes Dr. Sichting, I am portraying you nicely).

Thank you for your continued prayer support

Another surgery is about to begin. After speaking with the University of Michigan (those who invented Ecmo) the doctors have decided on a new course of action. They were told that bleeding is not entirely unusual, and not life-threatening, but a nuisance as it hinders healing. SOoo...they are prepping him now for the insertion of a chest tube to allow air around his collapsed lung to be evacuated. They are also going to move his jugular tube farther in, and suture around it to provide needed pressure to prevent blood from bleeding out at his neck. Also, the internal bleeding seems to have lessened as the blood content in his abdomen fluid is far less than they thought!!! Praise Jesus!

A new adult ventilator is being shipped here. Upon arrival, they will try to take BJ off of the Ecmo circuit, and with the assistance of this ventilator see if his body is ready to start working more on its own. It is intended as a trial, and they aren't at all sure he will be ready. If he goes back on Ecmo, it is not a defeat.

No new news on the infection, yet.

"Praise the Lord. I will extol the Lord with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly. Great are the works of the Lord;they are pondered by all who delight in them." Psalm 111: 1-2

Please keep praying, you have lifted him and the rest of us immeasurabley,

BJ's dad

Many inquiries have been made on how to get to Northside Baptist Church for the blood drive that is happening tonight between 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM.

Northside is located on the south side of 71st Street between Keystone and Allisonville. We are East of Keystone and west of Allisonville. If you have questions, you can call 255-6692.

BJ had a relatively restful night. He wakes (to a groggy state) more frequently as his body has grown used to the sedatives. They have introduced new drugs to help him rest.

Staff believe the bleeding at his left leg tube has clotted. He continues to bleed internally and from his neck tube. The Heprin has not been turned back on to try to allow the other areas to clot. Please pray that the Ecmo pump doesn't bog down with "thicker" blood, and that he stops bleeding.

No word yet on the infection, and whether it had been eliminated...keep lifting that up, please, as that is a potentially very serious issue. He won't have another chest x-ray until tomorrow, but looking at the last one alongside his worst ones, shows a little improvement.

In my experiences, a grumpy hospital patient equates to a healing hospital patient. This morning when I went into his room and touched his arm, he began to show signs of uncomfortableness and agitation. I'm choosing to look at this as a positive sign...I know I'd be grumpy and agitated if I was hooked up to all the paraphanalia he a matter of fact, I AM a little grumpy and agitated that he is hooked up to all that stuff!

Please continue fighting the battle...and may He be glorified through this.

BJ's dad

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The procedure went fine. The heprin drip (blood thinner) was shut off to aid clotting. So far, no go. However, it could take more time. His body handled the changeover pretty well, and we are thankful for that.

His left lung is partially collapsed with a pneumothorax (air pocket) having developed beside it. If they can get the bleeding under control, they can add an additonal tube to release this air pocket.

More tests will be run in the morning to determine if the infection is under control. They used a high powered antibiotic to try and knock it down.

During a moment when BJ came out of sedation, I told him of your support, and prayers. He shook his head "no" when I asked him if he was in pain.

Thank you to those of you who are praying and to those who are fasting and praying.

Thank you Sam for the translation. That was a timely blessing.

Words cannot express our continued gratitude...

BJ's dad

As I write, the medical team is assembling to completely replace the Ecmo circuit BJ is hooked up to. They are hoping this will reduce bleeding (which remains unchanged). All except the canulas or tubes in and out of his body will be changed. Tests reveal a staph infection has now set into his blood.

Please pray that the antibiotics will kill the infection. Please pray that the changed circuit will eliminate bleeding issues. Please pray BJ stays strong during this will be hard on him. Please pray that the staph infection does not attach to the canulas in his body as replacing these isn't currently considered an option.

Father, please deliver Bj from the valley of the shadow...You are a great and mighty God, and greatly to be praised!

The Lord says in Ps 91:16- "With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation"

Praise Him as He reveals His glory!

BJ's dad

BJ's condition is at a very crucial point. His body is trying to heal, but the bleeding has worsened and is causing other complications. It is critical that they get the bleeding stopped. They have tried so many things which are not working. He is bleeding internally as well as at the tube enrty/exit points. the ecmo pump (which is re-oxygenating his blood) struggled early this morning as the amount of bleeding in his abdomen reduced its ability to work.

Quite simply, we need the Lord to intervene.

Please pray...please

BJ's dad

Monday, August 29, 2005

Hello Family.

Today has been quiet for BJ. His oxygen level remains around 90% and his X-rays show that his lungs are very gradually improving. The doctors are still working on keeping his bleeding under control- he has been receiving lots of blood products.

Northside Baptist Church is having a blood drive to credit BJ's account from 3pm-8pm on Wednesday evening. We would like to invite those of you in the area to register online (see posted instructions a couple entries below) or by calling 317.255.6692 (the church's number). There will also be a joint First Baptist of Mooresville/Northside prayer and worship service at Nortshide at 6.30pm the same night that my family would love to be able to share with you.

Northside's address is:
3021 E. 71st St.
Indianapolis, IN 46220

Please come! This Wednesday night at 6.30. Blood drive from 3-8!

Thank you all for your perseverance through prayer. You continue to encourage us in this difficult time. We look forward to sharing with you in person Wednesday night, and through continued updates!

Love, Lauren

Good afternoon,

BJ continues to remain stable with stats that are pretty good. His bleeding returned with the restart of heprin (to thin his blood). They are giving him "intense support" to try and get through this.

There are no other real changes at this juncture.

Jayden, 2yrs old, that some of you have been lifting up is being moved to ecmo today. Please conitnue to lift him up...he is sooo precious, and fighting for his life.

Another precious child fighting a difficult battle is Shelby K. Her parents and church family have been such an encouragement to us. Please lift them up as well. She is a 2 1/2 yr. old twin and is surrounded by much love and support.

Thank you family of Christ across the world for returning to this site, and for your stubbornness in prayer. We are so blessed to have you standing in the gap for us!

bj's dad

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Good evening. Just a quick note- for those of you who didn't get a chance to read the last post- scroll down now and check it out! It's the last online journal entry BJ wrote before he was hospitalized, and it is very powerful.

Though BJ is still in very serious condition and this journey will be very long, today was a pretty good day. The doctors have mostly gotten his external bleeding under control. (They thin his blood so it won't clot in the ecmo pump, but then it won't clot in the places they need it to.) The X-rays have shown that his lungs are clearing a bit, and they have even begun to hear respiration sounds from his right side! BJ's also been coming out of sedation every few hours, so there have been brief periods of time when he's been able to respond to us, either by moving his head slightly or blinking his one eye that isn't swollen shut. This is exciting for my family, obviously, because we haven't been able to communicate with him at all. We really miss hearing him tell his stories that are always 2x longer than necessary because of his attention to detail... :)

I just want to thank you all so much, once again, for your continued prayers. It is truly so insanely BEAUTIFUL to hear how many of you have been moved to pray for BJ and my family in the middle of the night, the middle of the day, the middle of whenever. And thank you so much for spreading the word about my brother to others who will pray. God has used him is such mighty and reaching ways, and continues to do so through this, as we have all seen. I am astounded and so encouraged at the network of Family we have discovered through this experience!!!

Love, Lauren

(Don't forget to read his journal entry below!)

BJ's numbers are about the same. The only new thing tonight is that there's been some increased bleeding around the tubes in BJ's body. The doctors have to make them clot slowly, so clots don't form in the machine. It's a complicated process.

Tonight I was reading the last entry BJ made in his online journal, and I wanted you all to see it. It's pretty lengthy, but definitely worth the 5-6 minutes it may take you to read. Prepare to be challenged.

"Ok, so I was reading "Don't Waste Your Life" (an excellent book, I suggest you read it) when I got to one part, and I thought "Man, I should post that on my xanga." So here I am.

Allright, so Piper is talking about the passage from Philippians 1:21 "To live is Christ and to die is gain," and he just finished expounding on how "living is Christ" and how to die for Christ, etc. Then he starts talking about how we can't separate living for Christ and dying for Christ. He sites 1Corinthians 15:31 and Luke 9:23 and then shows us the conclusion from these two (and countless other) passages:

"Daily Christian living is daily Christian dying..."

I was like, "woah, thats profound." Piper goes on:

"...The dying I have in mind is the dying of comfort and security and reputation and health and family and friends and wealth and homeland..."

How often do we live like our own lives are so important, like all of our comforts, friends and circumstances are the greatest things ever, and yet Christ clearly says "Whoever holds on to his life will lose it, but whoever gives up his life for me will gain it back." (Mark 8:35). And then again in John 12:25 He says that he who loves his life will lose it. Then Piper says:

"...These may be taken from us at any time in the path of Christ-exalting obedience..."

So we die to ourselves and lay down our lives daily so that we will be ready when our lives, our comfort, our family, wealth, or friends are taken from us in our walk with Christ.

"...To die daily the way Paul did, and to take up our cross daily the way Jesus commanded, is to embrace this life of loss for Christ's sake and count it gain."

You see, as Christians we are to give our lives up every day, to die to ourselves every day, to let go of all of our attatchments and affections and be willing to let go of life itself everyday because we treasure Christ higher than life.

So often we get preoccupied and distracted with all of the little details and life and all of our wants and dreams and desires, and yet as Paul says in Philippians "To live is Christ." All of the details don't matter, all of our wants and dreams are of no consequence because our lives, as Christians, are to be for Christ and Christ alone.

How often do we really live as Christ? How often do we lay our own dreams and wants down for God? At church camp? On mission trips? Maybe even every Sunday or Wednesday? But Christ says DAILY. Too often do we attempt the whole "Christian living" on Sundays and Wednesdays, and forget the whole "DAILY Christian dying" Christ calls us to die daily.

It's time that we as the professed Christians of America wake up from our sleep of lethargy and hypocrisy and stop only living for Christ on Sundays and Wednesdays and start acting as Christ says all of His disciples must act. (As Luke 14:27 says, "Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me CANNOT be my disciple") We must die to ourselves daily. We must forget our comfort zones, and our cliques of friends and go out and share the love and rescuing truth of Jesus Christ with the lost, empty, suffering, and dying people of the world all around us as Christ commanded!

Our lives are for Christ, not ourselves, so as it instructs in Hebrews 12:1-3, we need to actively, forcefully, and even violently (spiritually speaking) THROW off EVERYthing that hinders glorifying Christ through our lives! Don't want to because you enjoy your life? But Christ says "I have come to give them life and to give it to them abundantly," John 10:10. You see, because we were made to glorify God, it is the one thing that satisfies us most and that we can find the most enjoyment in. We spend our lives seeking satisfaction and enjoyment, but its only to be found in Christ. So what better reason to turn to Him and let go and throw off everything that holds you back?

Also, as the apostles are constantly reminding us in their letters, we have a hope and a certainty for the future that no one else has. We know that at the end of all things that Christ will gather us together and reveal His glory to the world on the day of judgement, and that instead of receiving the judgement and condemnation that we deserve, we will be able to take part in the GLORY of Christ.

So then, let us with His glory and our hope in mind, throw down our own lives and pick up His--that is, pick up our cross, take our life of suffering for Him and His glory. Let us die daily for Christ so that we can follow Him and better obey His call: that we reach the dying people of this world and tell them of Jesus Christ, the saving one.

Whew. So thats what God is teaching me."

My little brother is amazing. He is laying down his life right now. He is eager to suffer for his Father's glory. He GETS it. And I am challenged on a whole new level to understand that ALL is for God's glory.


Saturday, August 27, 2005

BJ had another stable night...praise Jesus! His numbers remain good.

The ecmo Dr. met with us this morning to discuss his condition. She stated that while he has a much better chance of survival (originally 40-50%, now because of your prayers, greater), he is at risk for infections. His body cannot fight infections as the ecmo machine tends to destroy white blood cells. Please pray against infections of all kinds.

If he survives, he will have to have a least for a few months. This is hard news to hear. We are reminded of Paul's words in Galations 6:17- "Finally, let noone cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." (Why are cosmetic issues so important to us?) BJ will use it for God's glory-if given the chance, I have no doubt.

We are taking things moment by moment, and you have been such an encouragement. In my lifetime, I have never seen such unity in the body of Christ. We are so humbled that it has come at such a crucial the fight for BJ's life. We claim no credit, but only give thanks to our God, and His Son Jesus Christ.

We are moved at how many of you are preparing flyers and t-shirts to get the word out. I believe the Lord will bless these efforts as many of you have, and will continue to have opportunities to share Jesus and His love with a lost and dying world.

The doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and other medical staff are being ministered to, by the significance of the outpouring of your love.

I cannot say enough, How thankful we are!

Be blessed,

BJ's dad

Friday, August 26, 2005

More good news-

BJ is out of isolation!!! The doctors have ruled out a few major diseases and viruses they had been very concerned about- which is great, but it still means we have no clue what the infection is. This makes the doctors nervous. They continue to drain fluid from his abdomen; and they are starting to be able to see his lungs on X-rays, a good sign that the fluid that had filled them is draining. BJ's swelling is going down a bit, and his oxygen level remains in the mid-90s. It was very moving to be able to go in and see my brother without a mask or gown on, and more so to be able to touch him without gloves.

Please do not feel obligated, but for those who have requested, you can mail us at:

BJ Higgins c/o PICU
St. Vincent's Hospital
2001 W 86th St.
Indianapolis, IN 46260

The doctors reminded us this morning that there is always the possibility of further complications. We are very encouraged by the progress BJ has been making, but remain in fervent prayer that machines continue to function well and that BJ's body does not reject or react to any of the medication or machines.

Once again, my family thanks you so unbelievably much for the many prayers you have said on BJ's and our behalf. We feel the difference they are making.

Love in Christ,

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Precious Family-

The doctors have taken BJ off of the nitric oxide! His ventilator pressure is still at 50%, and his oxygen level remains steady around 90%!! Though we are encouraged by this, the doctors have estimated that he will be on ecmo (The blood oxygenation procedure that bypasses his lungs... the highest level of life support they can give.) for at least several more weeks. As long as this is the case, he is in critical condition.

Once the ecmo is over, BJ will still be in the hospital for many weeks. A special note to all of BJ's friends: I know that many of you cannot WAIT to come see him. But know this- the recovery period for all that BJ is now enduring is very long... we're talking 1-2 years of physical therapy and healing. This will be the time when he needs you the most. I know it is hard for you not to be able to see him, but right now, especially while he is unconscious, the ULTIMATE that you can do for him is to pray. We have seen already the power of prayer in this whole situation- Don't underestimate it! And another thing- Many of you know that BJ is quite the intellectual... he loves to learn and actually values studying. (!) So, (and yes, this is a message from my mother), be sure you aren't neglecting your school stuff by worrying about him. We know he is in Almighty Hands!!

And a BIG thank you to BJ's friends who have posted stories about and for him, you are a great source of encouragement and laughter in this time! We read these comments to BJ nightly, and we feel it helps others to see more of who he is. :)

For those of you planning to donate blood at Northside next week, go to the link below and follow the instructions to register.

2) Select Northside Baptist.
3) Select calendar day of August 31, 2005
4) To the right, select the time of your commitment
5) Select Enter Appointment
6) Under Appointment Information complete form
7) Under Appointment Options: make selection that is convenient for you
8) Select Submit

We are working on figuring out the process for the out-of-state people who also would like to donate in BJ's name. :)

All of you have been such an amazing blessing. You may never know how much your prayers and encouragement have touched my family.

This is all for God's GLORY!!!

One more note: There is a little boy on BJ's floor named Jayden who is also in critical condition. His family have become friends of ours as we share similar experiences and the waiting room. :) As you have all so wonderfully ministered to us, please also lift up Jayden and his family in your prayers.

Faithful Servants,

BJ continued to remain stable through the night. The medical staff have turned the ventilator down to 50% (was between 90-100 for much of his stay), and the nitric oxide down to 20%, and his oxygen saturation has remained in the mid 80's. All reasons to Praise Jesus!!!!

He will have another procedure today to drain fluid on the other side of his abdomen. Please continue to pray him through. We are ever indebted to our brothers and sisters in Christ! Medical staff remind us that we will be here for weeks longer, and that more complications will arise. We trust the Lord to see him through.

We cannot wait until BJ is able to read the posts on this site himself. You all are such a huuuge blessing!

Muchas gracias Tito!

BJ's dad

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Body of Christ,

Deanna and I, as well as our girls are overwhelmed and blessed at your prayer support!!! Thanks so much for this. Thank you Bart for fighting along side us!

We have reason to Praise our Lord tonight! After undergoing 2 more procedures to replace his breathing tube, and one to drain fluid from his abdomen, BJ's oxygen saturation (the primary indicator of how all combined elements are working to get oxygen into his blood) levels have climbed into the 90's!!! His Doctors told us we would not see this until his lungs were clearing. While there is no evidence yet of clear lungs, we believe the Father has blessed him through the support of all your prayers...a sweet incense rising to heaven. Thank you Lord Jesus! Thank you believers! Your unity has to be blessing our Father in heaven.

We know there will be many more obstacles to come, but we are encouraged tonight, and claiming victory, in Jesus Name!!!!

You have blessed us deeply.

BJ's dad

This morning BJ's oxygen level dropped from the 80s to the low 60s. His breathing tube was leaking, so this morning an ear/nose/throat specialist performed surgery on BJ to fix it. The surgery went smoothly, and his oxygen levels are up to the low 70s. The doctors have also added a tube into his abdomen to relieve the pressure that has been building up there. We pray that these measures will increase his oxygen level once more.

A few minor things- BJ is developing bed sores, as he's now been in the hospital in the same position for 9 days. His bottom lip is also swelling profusely. Though these concerns are not critical in the scope of everything, we appreciate your prayers over the little things as well.

Just to clear up the zodiac sign that was on BJ's profile- that was an automatic function of this blog which we did not arrange. We have since learned how to correct it, and now it is gone. :)

To those wishing to donate blood in BJ's name- THANK YOU! We are trying to find out from the staff here what we have to do in order to make this process work, so we will keep you posted.

I and my family continue to be touched and speechless by the vast amount of prayers going up for BJ all over the world. Praise God for the unity of His children, to Him be the glory in this and ALL things!!!


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Hello family,

BJ's kidneys are doing okay enough that they've taken him off of the meds, but he is still on the kidney machine to rid his blood of toxins. This evening they were still having trouble with his high blood pressure, so the doctors have given him more medication to lower it, which seems to be working. It's a constant balancing act to add and take away medication, with all the many meds and machines he's on. Earlier tonight, his oxygen level had dropped to the mid 70s, but it is now around 81%.

I cannot tell you all enough how much of a blessing your support has been. The sheer magnitude of the response we have recieved on this site just within 24 hours of its commencement, not to mention the many, many more prayer warriors out there who have been and continue praying, have been tremendously humbling to me - an act of God at which my family marvels. I am grateful to be a part of something so glorifying to God, and I pray that this unity helps us learn to better pull together as believers for the cause of Christ.

I love you all,
Lauren (BJ's oldest sister)

"Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God."
1 Peter 1:22-23

BJ is having a good day, up to this point. We praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for this. His oxygenation numbers remain strong though they continue to reduce the ventilator settings...below 62% right now. Pray that BJ's body continues to work in harmony with the many machines, medical staff, and prayers of His children.

So many of you have provided your prayer support, and we implore you not to relent. He has a long way to go, so please do not let good news allow you to let up. Please continue to feel free to leave us your encouraging messages. We are reading them to BJ, and letting him know how many are praying.

Before this hospitalization, BJ was studying John 17...Christs prayer for believers, and specifically the unity of believers. His request before sedation was that we would get the word out, and that people would pray. I believe the Fathers heart has been blessed by how many of you are coming together in Jesus name, and lifting up my son!

Thank you so much!

A special thanks to Jeff Cross and Danny DiSalvo for helping us with this technology!

Serving the King beside you,

BJ's dad

Good afternoon! This morning has gone well. Throughout the night, BJ's oxygen levels remained in the high 80s, even hitting 90% a few times. This morning they have turned down the ventilator to 65% (from 90%... the higher the percentage and the longer it goes, the more it damages his lungs) and his oxygen level remains around 85%. The doctors did begin giving him constant platelettes (the ecmo destroys them), but they have been able to stop that now. We are praising God for the encouragement, but remembering that He is still being faithful no matter the situation.


"Therefore, since Christ suffered in His body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin. As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God." 1 Peter 4:1-2

Monday, August 22, 2005

Hey guys, just a quick update: When I left the hospital tonight, BJ's oxygen level was back and forth between 88-89%!
Please be praying specifically for my parents (Brent & Deanna) and Whitney and me as we battle emotional exhaustion. As always, PRAY FOR BJ! that his lungs continue to regain strength and his oxygen levels go up! We love you guys, and hearing about your continued prayers really lift our spirits. Churches and people all over our country and the WORLD are praying for BJ! This would make BJ ecstatic - unity among God's people! -Lauren

Good Evening,

The day started out kind of rough for BJ with the oxygen levels dipping into the 60s. An increase in the ventilator helped that situation. There were also signs of some kidney failure but that was quickly relieved through medication. By 9:30 AM, BJ's oxygen level was back into the high 70s.

In the late afternoon, they went back in and adjusted the tubes and the oxygen level went up to 82. Overall, as of 5:00 PM, BJ had a good day.

The family greatly appreciates all the support and prayers they are continally receiving. There has been a request to limit visits as much as possible. Although the Higgins have had the luxury of a private waiting room, that has changed as other ECMO families have started the process as well. The waiting rooms cannot hold many visitors other than the family.

Therefore, please continue to minister to the Higgins family by leaving positive comments and prayers on this web site. To leave comments, you will have to register with It is a simple process.

Northside Baptist Church is working in conjunction with First Baptist, Mooresville to provide a blood drive on Wednesday, August 31st. It will take place at Northside Baptist Church, 3o21 E 71 Street, 3-8:00 PM. The blood will not go directly to BJ but will be credited toward his account at the blood bank. This would be a great way to support BJ and the Higgins family.

Stay Focused,
Rusty Kennedy
Associate Pastor, Northside Baptist

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Last night was quiet. This morning BJ's oxygen level was down to the 70s, so they did another minor surgery to insert another tube into his leg to help with drainage and blood circulation. His oxygen level stayed around 80% after that, but it's still kind of shaky. Overall, a pretty good day, considering. The boring days when I have little to report are encouraging.
I just want to thank you all for your encouragement! I (and my family) have some amazing friends out there, and I don't know that I've ever appreciated ya'll as much as I do now, for your prayer support, your comfort, your thoughtfulness... Your prayers are mighty because our God is mighty!
Night, Lauren

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Last night was uneventful for BJ, and today was mostly as well. Quiet days are good days, and we are encouraged, though we remember this is a process. He had his breathing tube changed today, but that was a minor blip. His oxygen level was around 80% all day, though when I left it was a bit down.
I want all of you to understand something. I am fully aware that my brother is FULLY in God's hands. We all agree that God has big plans for BJ. My terror in this whole situation is not that I don't trust what God is doing here. I have not forgotten my faith; I am leaning on it, and I know that God is not limited by this disease or his chances of survival. But the seriousness of it all is real, and the chances are real, and these are important facts in BJ's overall story and my family's understanding of and reaction to what is happening. We know that God will be glorified regardless of whether or not my brother dies. This is the hard part. Even though many of you are convinced he will live, as I believe as well, we must realize that God's power is not limited to one remaining in this life. BJ's life has and will continue to touch many people. I am not saying I think he won't make it. I believe he will. But I need you to understand that we must prepare ourselves for the different ways in which God may show Himself. Please be sensitive to this when commenting.
As always, thank you for continuing to battle for Beej and our family. We can never tell you how grateful and humbled we are by it. :):):):):)
Positively, Lauren.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Good afternoon!
I just got back from visiting with the Higgins at St. V...spirits and moods were very encouraging and uplifting to me! BJ had an uneventful night last night while his oxygen level is slowly elavating. They performed a successful minor procedure last night to adjust a line to help his oxygenation process and successfully exchanged a tube on his venalator this morning. Although the news was good today, now is not the time to relax on our prayer efforts. They are still in the first week of a 2-3 week stay.

1. Continue to pray for the doctors as they monitor BJ's recovery and continue to search for answers of the source of his difficulties.
2. Pray that BJ's body will rest and continue to fight off the infection and that his body will begin to heal itself.
3. Pray for Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney as they get some much needed rest.
4. Pray for opportunities for the Gospel to be shared with doctors, nurses, and visitors while at St. V.
5. Pray that God would receive all the glory, honor, and praise for the healing of BJ and the sustaining power that he has poured on the
rest of the family.

Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either falls, his companion can lift him up, but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. Ecc 4:9-10 Thank you for constantly lifting the Higgins family up! Keep lifting and keep focused!

Serving the King,
Tony Manning
Northside Student Ministry

Last night they started BJ on the ECMO, which is the procedure that bypasses his lungs by pumping his blood out of his body, oxygenating it, and then pumping it back in through these big tubes. The doctors told us he has a 40-50% chance of surviving this disease. That was really hard to hear.
Last night Whitney and I stayed at the hospital. It was a hard night, but this morning BJ had taken a good turn and his oxygen levels were up. My family and I had to have doctor checkups today away from the hospital, and we're on a general antibiotic as a precautionary measure. They still aren't sure if BJ's disease is bacterial, because the antibiotics he started taking about a week after he got home (for the cyst under his arm) were probably just enough to kill the bacteria, so now the cultures won't grow. While we were gone, his oxygen levels started to drop. The doctors did another surgery to move one of the cannulaes (ecmo tubes) to increase his blood flow. So now the oxy levels are climbing again. They still aren't where we want them, but it will probably be a back-and-forth battle for a while.
Keep battling, prayer warriors. He's fighting for his life.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Good afternoon
Just wanted to pass the lastest word on to you regarding BJ and the rest of the family. BJ is still in the ICU of St Vincent Children's Hospital. He had a successful procedure done last night to help his body receive oxygenated blood. The doctors are still searching for answers as to the cause of the sickness and are awaiting some test results today and/or tomorrow! BJ was in very good shape and his body is fighting off the infection and that has been amazing to the doctors. Family and friends also know that the power of prayer and the favor of our God has more to do with it than the doctors understand. Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney are so grateful for your prayers and support that it often leaves them speechless! So here are a few more suggestions as we continue to lift up the Higgins family.

1. Continue to pray for wisdom beyond their training for the doctors. They are monitoring his progress and helping him fight the infection.
Pray that as they continue to search for answers that they would remain steadfast and focused and not let frustration or disappointment
set in.
2. The ministry of presence was felt in a major way yesterday and last night. We had an incredible time of praise and worship with the
Higgings family. It was a precious time to share with them as we continue to give God the glory for His work. However, at this time it is
important that we give the family time to spend some quality time together as they comfort one another and get some much needed
rest. Please continue to pray for them in your car, at work, at home, prayer closet, and at the dinner table. As the Higgins catch up on
their rest and with the rest of their family, they will be anxious to greet you, hug you, and pray with you. If you feel that you must go see
the family, limit your visiting time to 15-20 minutes and remember to honor the hospital's visiting hours, which end at 8:30 pm. With that
same thought, the family may be off to another room to rest and you may not see them.
3. Your small group or Sunday School class can help them in a variety of cards to Starbucks...quick meals...puzzles...magazines...
cards...emails...think practical ways to meet specefic needs. Please call me with any ideas or suggestions. We will continue to pass on
the information as it is passed on to us!

The body of Christ has responded immediately to the needs of a hurting member...the Bible tells us that when a member of the body hurts, the entire body should hurt, this passage has become very real and personal. Thank you very much for showing your care and concern as you continue to lift Brent, Deanna, Lauren, Whitney, and BJ to Jesus. Your generousity puts a smile on my face and gives Glory to the Father! For that, I'm very thankful. Keep praying and keep focused!

Serving the King,
Tony Manning
Northside Student Ministry

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Greetings to all...

Just wanted to give you the daily update on the condition of Brent (BJ). I visited with Brent, Deanna, and Whitney again this morning. They are growing tired, both physically and emotionally. The doctors are still running test on BJ and are slowly eliminating what it is not. At first he was diagnosed with pneumonia. However, that is not all that is going on at this time. He continues to get help breathing with a breathing machine as the doctors finds solutions to what is going on inside his body. The doctors are anticipating a 2-3 week stay as he fully recovers. Logistically this cuts into jobs and schools. BJ, Whitney, and Lauren, were all to start school within the next week. Deanna's school has already started and Brent is trying to wrap up the summer on a very successful summer at Highland Lakes. With all this in are some ways things you can do for the family as they patiently wait for God's plan to be revealed.

1. Pray for BJ's body to continue to fight the infection within...and that the doctors and nurses will be enlightened as to what is going on so
that they may begin to treat BJ immediately and effectively.
2. Pray that Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whitney would find rest in God and find times to get rest for their bodies and minds.
3. Pray for the understanding of bosses, teachers, and professors as the Higgins pause to focus their attention on BJ and his care.
4. Brent and Deanna could use the ministry of presence and would appreciate a visit. However, they only ask that you observe the visiting
hours as posted by the hospital...we have asked NSM students to wait until BJ can have guests to visit. Visitors are not allowed in his
room and are even limited to the family waiting room that is adjacent to the elevators on the second floor.

Thank you all for your prayers and the ministry that we share together. May God be glorified in all that is said and done as we ministry to our brothers and sisters. Have a great day with Jesus!

Serving the King,
Tony Manning
Northside Student Ministry

BJ is still in ICU, being watched over by nurses all night. The doctors now expect that he will be in the hospital for 2-3 weeks. We don't know how long he'll be unconscious with the ventilator. The biggest concern right now is that they can't seem to get his oxygen levels up; they're pretty steady around 90%.
Today they did a broncoscopy, which means they took a sample of the crap in his lungs so they can run all kinds of tests on it. They're pretty sure now that it isn't malaria, yellow fever, dengay, hepatitis, or leukemia. And most likely it isn't tuberculosis, though the test results on that won't be confirmed until tomorrow. But there are so many other diseases it could be, and it's hard not knowing. Stereoids would help him, but they can't put him on those until they're sure it isn't TB or anything else that the stereoids would make worse.
They put him on more meds to try to up oxygen levels and chemically paralyze him, though his mind and hearing are there. His heart is doing really well, too, which is good. He briefly opened his eyes today and moved his right hand, but I think those were because the sedative was wearing off. Whitney and I talked to him, teased him about his hobbit feet and told him we're going to paint his toenails. I read him a few psalms, and my parents were in the room the majority of the day. Mom (Deanna) has been at the hospital for 2 days straight now. So many people came by today, being supportive, bringing food and hugs. But mostly guys, we REALLY COVET YOUR PRAYERS. So much. That is what will get him through this battle.
Tonight they started nitric oxygen, because the extra meds weren't increasing his oxygen levels. We're really praying that this works. If that and slightly increasing the ventilator pressure doesn't work, the next step is to bypass the lungs to pump oxygen through his body. But we're not there yet.
You all will never know how grateful my family and I are for your support through phone calls, hospital visits, and prayer. Rachel and I are probably going to get a video camera and start making a video card for when he wakes up. I'd love for you guys to all be part of it. Take care, and please keep PRAYING!!!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Hey, guys... Here's the latest:
BJ's oxygen levels were still only around 92% last night after they put the ventilator on, and they started to drop below that, so they've decided to give him albuterol treatments every 4 hours. These have boosted his oxygen levels to 97% and higher, but they're causing him to cough a lot still, and even though he's under sedation, the coughing is pretty violent. So now they're putting him on some more medication to help this, so he'll be totally out of it. He can still hear us if we talk to him or play music, but the meds will have an amnesiac effect, and he likely won't remember much when it's all over. [Not necessarily a bad thing, and I'm convinced anyway that he's spending his unconscious time in divine rest, hanging out with Jesus and that whole thing. Though Satan may be trying to hinder him now, BJ would never stand for that getting in the way of his spiritual feeding and growth. :)] Anyway, this next day is pretty crucial, and they're keeping a close eye on him, trying to figure it all out.
He can't have visitors in the actual hospital room, but any of you are free to come look through the glass at him, or come pray, or whatever. Thank you again for the prayers you've already lifted up, and please don't stop!

My little brother, BJ, is in the hospital. He's been feeling sick lately, and was diagnosed with walking pneumonia Saturday, but he's just been getting worse. So dad (Brent) took him to the hospital today and then from there he was rushed to St. V's in Indy. His white blood cell count was 5x the normal rate. He was on oxygen when I went to see him, but he's since been put on a respirator and he'll be sedated for at least a week while they do tests to figure out what kind of infectious disease he has. He may have picked up something when he was on mission in Peru this summer. It is really scary, but we know that God is in control, so we take comfort and JOY in that! Family and friends have been so amazing, the way they've rallied to pray for him. Thank you all so much. We covet your prayers. Keep PRAYING!