Saturday, 30 March 2013


Please keep Emmanuel in your desperate prayers, at one o'clock Tuesday, March 5th he was shot! On the way to a friend's house in Recreio he had stopped at his bank to make a cash withdrawl - upon leaving the bank he was followed by two guys on a motorbike. As he was pulling close the house he noticed the two men on the bike and a gun tucked into the second guy's jeans, realizing he was about to be assaulted he backed up and swerved to get away. They chased him and then in broad daylight, on a public street shot him through the window of his car with a 9mm gun. Within minutes, friends of ours who live in that neighborhood were with him and the ambulance came and brought him to Miguel Couto, the main public hospital in Rio de Janeiro were they deal with gun-shot victims / trauma patients etc... Although in serious condition Eman is stable. The bullet entered his shoulder and went across his thorax, piercing his left lung and sending a piece of vertabrae into his spinal cord, the bullet itself is lodged somewhere in his back. When he got to the hospital they performed an immediate surgical procedure to begin draining his lung which was haemorrhaging. From their initial scans and xrays, it show a lesion to his spinal cord which means irreversible damage. He cannot feel his legs or feet. Please pray with us for complete healing & recovery for Eman. "All things are possible to him that believeth" we are claiming the promises of God's Word that Eman will come through this without the smell of smoke. My eldest daughter, myself and several friends were at the hospital all afternoon and were able to see him in the evening, although in a lot of discomfort and pain he can talk [slowly] and is "all there" - he was relating to us what happened. It's a miracle he is alive. The motorbike driver was enraged that Eman tried to get away and screamed "mata ele" / "kill him" to his accomplice on the back of the bike. Eman said he could see the hestitation in the second guy's face as he took aim to shoot him and thinks that's why he was shot in the shoulder. The medical staff at the hospital have been extremely kind and accommodating and we have been assured that he is in the best hands to deal with this trauma situation. We cannot tell you how much it means to us know that so many loved ones are praying for Eman and fighting for him in spirit. Thank you! It comforts our hearts just knowing that we are not alone. We will post daily updates and prayer requests for Eman here on this blog. Please share this blog with your prayer groups, spread the word ... "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" It's all so surreal, I keep thinking I'm going to wake up and it's just going to be a bad dream, we're in a state of shock from it all. Love, Julia. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------


We arrive mid-day at the hospital, Eman's breathing is very labored and he is in a lot of pain. I know he is trying to stay strong and positive. Between Arthur and myself we rotate turns being with him. When we are with him we pray and read Bible verses aloud to him. The hospital is very confusing and in the emergency ward were we are there is constant comings and goings. All throughout the day we are approaching doctors asking for updates and hoping to speak personally to the main neuro-surgeons.  The staff bend the rules for us and allow us to stay hours over our official visiting time, at the end of the afternoon we meet with the main neuro-surgeon for hospital Miguel Couto; Dr.Ivan Santana and head doctor Dra.Silvia Araujo. Dr.Ivan was the doctor who examined Eman upon his arrival to the hospital. They explain in detail the injuries Eman suffered, the trajectory of the bullet and the damage that Eman's body sustained. Dra.Silvia tells us that these days they do not see that many gun-shot victims at the hospital, because usually by the time they arrive they are in body bags. The fact that Eman is alive, breathing and conscious is a MIRACLE. The entire neuro-surgical team of the hospital convened this morning to examine the x-rays and scans, the collective conclusion is they will not operate, there is nothing they can do. Dr.Ivan explained, trying to operate on his spinal cord could cause more damage than there already is. They also explain that the main priority right now is his lungs. Upon arrival at home this evening the kids and I gather, I tell them the official prognosis - we are all dealing with agonizing heartache and shock. As devastating as this news is for us, we know how much more so it is for Eman. We know that we need to focus on being strong in faith & prayer to make it through this together.  ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The hospital is breaking protocol and is allowing one of us to spend the night with him which is wonderful. Larissa will stay overnight at the hospital. I know having one of the kids with him will encourage his will to live and fight. We have been inundated with hundreds of emails, calls, texts and offers of assistance over the last couple days. It really means so much to us knowing how much you all love and care. Thank you for your prayers for Eman and for all of us at this time. To each one who called, wrote, MSN'd, texted. Thank you. I know how concerned everyone is about Eman and trying to keep up with letting everyone know what has been happening has been impossible. To those of you who found out later rather than sooner I am sorry. I have decided to post this blog, we will update it daily and let all of you, his family, friends and colleagues know @ his situation. While impersonal, it is a way to let everyone know immediately what is going on.  "Prayer is not the least we can do - it is the most!" ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Today was a good day! Larissa stayed 2o hours straight with Eman in the hospital. It is such a relief to have one of us there with him to give him undivided attention. When I arrive at noon to trade with her I am encouraged that he looks better, more stable. Upon leaving yesterday we were so worried, he was feeling so weak and said he didn't think he would make it through the night, we were beside ourselves with worry. Friends have been getting in touch who know top neuro surgeons and hospital directors and individuals with influence in the medical world, Thanks to our good friend Pedro Leao I meet with Gianni,a neuro surgeon. Within half an hour she has arranged for Eman to be moved to a quieter room and into a bed that can be adjusted to a slight angle. Since the ambulance brought him here he has been completely flat on his back. He has these coughing spasms that rack his body and breathing that are frightening to see. Gianni also approves of taking of the hard plastic neck brace that he's been wearing for the last 8o hours. As soon as his brace is off and he is moved into a quieter room with a more comfortable bed he is more peaceful and breathing easier. Our new room is very third world, with windows over a main road and no air conditioning OR ceiling fans BUT it is quiet and Eman can sleep. A sweet young man [burn victim] in the bed adjacent to Eman's notices Eman is sweating and puts his personal fan next to Eman's bed. We decided to contact the American Embassy to report what has happened and inquire about assistance, the hospital social worker asks for a formal interview and sends the report to the consulate. Since Eman's neck and head are now slightly elevated he drinks a few drops of water and throughout the afternoon is able to ingest 1oo ml of coconut water. This is the first liquid he's had in three days. I have called asking for a friend to bring a fan for Eman so that he doesn't spend the night without ventilation. Out of the blue the nurse comes to tell me that Eman won't be staying in this room any longer but he's getting moved to an intensive care room. [someone has pulled some strings] - when i see the room Eman is getting moved to I am overjoyed... a wonderful, wide comfy bed with computerized settings, an air-conned room with attending nurses stationed, and only 4 other patients!!!!! The young doctors who are supervising Eman's lung recuperation in this intensive care unit [Juliana and Marina] are angels. We are not allowed to stay overnight tonight with Eman but we leave the hospital knowing that Eman is in good hands. Today has been a day of progress, we feel great relief. It is interesting to note that it is the small acts of individual kindness that keep your spirit up though the battle. The nurse that blesses Eman, the crazy Argentine patient who yesterday was inquiring what I was doing when I was praying over Eman with my Bible, and today he came over to press his wooden rosary into my hands and offer me his Spanish prayer book, the emphatic assurances from other patients that "tudo vai dar certo". We know God is in control. Eman's prayer bracelet: "JESUS CHRIST MAKETH THEE WHOLE" When I arrived home tonight to post Eman's update for today, I see that in 24 hours Eman's blog has had over THREE THOUSAND visits!!!!!! - Thank you! Your prayers are working.


Eman's father, Mike arrives this morning from the US, we drive directly to the hospital. Thanks to a good friend of ours, Rodrigo, we have been granted special visitation rights, from a director of the hospital. Eman looks much better today, he has a positive vibe about him. He raises both arms above his head to show his father and grips our hands tightly - we are all relieved. He has mobility in his hands and arms today and even holds a cell phone to his ear to talk to his mother. He has started drinking and even ate two bites of the hospital pasta dinner. Although tiring easily he can hold conversations and his speaking is much stronger. Mike is so encouraged to see Eman in a good state of recovery. Boo and Carlin each visit dad [for the first time since the shooting] It is an emotional afternoon, so much catching up to do. Eman tells Carlin he wants to write an anti-violence song. Mike relates that when he booked his last minute flight his original seat was switched and he was forced to accept alternate seating in the back of the plane. The Brasilian man next to him asks him if he is going to Brasil for a holiday and so begins Mike's explanation @ the circumstances surrounding his trip. Mike says... "my son's name means "God with us" - Emmanuel.... the man replies..........."My name is Emmanuel... I've only ever met one other person who had the same name as me" ....


Once again it is worked out for us to visit Eman in the hospital outside of the official visiting hour. We have been researching and conversing with friends about nutrition and vitamin supplements that can help stimulate Eman's healing and recovery.  The hospital does not allow you to bring food or drink to patients. So we are smuggling him juices, yogurts and natural foods. They having been trying to feed him beet and onion salad [?] and dried meat [?] ...... [on an empty stomach, after not eating for 4 days] I am wondering who hired the hospital nutritionist.  - Eman is stronger physically but it is very obvious the bigger hurdle now is the psychological one.  As he lies alone for hours and hours, unable to sleep for any length of time and without being able to move, obviously his mind is battling with his future and how he will cope. When we visit, we smother him with as much love as he can take. We are reading him peoples messages and notes, praying with him and trying to encourage him as much as we can. He is listening to music and watching family videos from home. It appears that physically he is "out of the woods", the doctor yesterday told us that his lung basically collapsed, today, the thorax doctor on duty can see from the scans it is inflated again.  He will still have the tube draining his lung for another few days.  Please pray for him to stay encouraged, positive and fighting in his mind. We have a nine o'clock appointment tomorrow morning with Dr.Ruy the chief neuro surgeon of the hospital. A pastor comes and offers prayers for Eman. We have been massaging his legs and feet at every visit. Mike is rubbing his foot....................... Eman says he can feel a tingle, we ask him "which foot do you feel being rubbed?" and he can correctly identify which one. PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEASE keep praying!!!!!!!!!!


We have a 9 am appointment with the chief of neuro-surgery Dr.Ruy Monteiro. Before seeing the doctor, Mike manages to sneak in a peek on Eman. As he walks in and Eman says "DAD, Last night I felt tingles in my legs and in my feet!!!!" - PRAYER IS CHANGING THINGS. The night before we had specifically prayed for some "tangible signs" to encourage Eman. This is SUCH good news. Our meeting with Dr.Ruy however is not! We see Eman's scans and he explains the situation to us in detail. We can see that Eman's spine is intact, perfectly aligned in fact. He explains that what Eman felt was an intense shock wave in his chest and that the actual HEAT and synergy of the bullet is what sent a searing wave over his spinal cord and literally seared a lesion on his spinal cord. The doctor adds, this injury is unusual, it's not "text book", we see a lot of spinal cord injuries from car accidents, sports etc.. but with this injury the damage has been caused by the burning heat the bullet emitted. In addition a piece of fragmented vertebra has lodged against his spinal cord. The lesion is such that he will be without motor skills and nerve sensation from his chest down. Medically, surgically there is nothing they can do! The damage has been caused and any attempted surgery could cause further or more extensive damage. We ask: "but Eman is feeling tingles and small sensations in his foot and leg" - doctor: "This could be psychological", we ask if they plan on doing further tests after the swelling in his thorax goes down. They are not. The only other test that might give a clearer picture is an MRI, but Eman still has the bullet in his body and so no doctor will authorize an MRI. You need to look into rehabilitation he says. We discuss catheters, wheelchairs and other aids. As we leave the doctor's study our hearts feel heavy. We were hoping for some overlooked information or some alternate medical or surgical possibilities and there are none! We make our way to Eman. A neuro-surgeon has just paid him a visit too and he looks discouraged, it seems we have exhausted the assistance these medical experts can give us. Their scans and scalpels and surgeries cannot fix this. We are not despairing! We are trusting in the miracle working power of prayer. We tell Eman "we are in this for the long haul". We are going to focus and fight and work together and trust God. We've smuggled him in some eggs and yogurt, his hospital lunch arrives and it's good. He is eating well. We are rubbing his legs and feet, he can FEEL it. I tell him to close his eyes and tell me where I'm touching him, I start tapping his right knee.................. he says "my right foot". This is FANTASTIC news, he feels more on his right than on his left it seems. When we leave although it has been a somber visit assimilating the doctor's "final word" on the situation, we're not dwelling on the negative facts, we're trying to face the future with faith and determination. Later that afternoon Arthur and Daniel, [a good friend of Eman] visit during the "official" visiting hour. Daniel says Eman's eyes have a "brilho" [shine] and that he cannot believe how WELL he looks considering the last 6 days. This is a miracle. This is YOUR miracle, you who are praying and fighting in spirit with us. We cannot tell you how much your prayers mean to us. I told Eman today, I said "I'm writing up a storm about this, if God's concerned about His reputation he'd better do something quick cuz there's a lot of people expecting something here". 5 days ago I didn't have the faintest idea in my mind about "starting a blog" and now this small space online is nearing 10,000 visits. None of us "planned" this, none of us know the final outcome, none of us know the "reasons" but I do know God is IN this, somehow He is going to work things out for His good.


It was a week ago today that Eman was gunned down and left bleeding in his car on the side of a busy road in broad daylight. He said..."I felt an explosion in my chest and I thought "this is it".... "I lifted out of my body and I was looking down at myself sitting in the car... I felt myself coming back into my body, I opened my eyes and saw a group of people gathered around looking, women were holding out their hands praying, people were murmuring to each other...... They say a picture tells a thousand words, so I guess I'm gonna shut up now....... 7 days later...... ..."Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will feel no evil for THOU art with me!" - They removed the tube draining Eman's hemorrhaging lung today. They took him off of his heavy duty pain medications today and off of his glucose drip. He is FEELING MORE AND MORE sensations in his legs, every day a little more. His breathing is normalizing and his speech returning to normal. Every day he has more strength in his chest and arms and hands. THANK YOU!!!! To date almost 11,000 visits to this blog which tells us that YOU care that much. We read your comments and comforting words and are moved to tears. Strangers from all around the world, people we've never met are praying with us, weeping with us, sharing our pain and fighting in spirit with us for the miracles of healing that we need. THANK YOU. When we return home, there is laughter and conversation around the dinner table, our battle-weary hearts are filled with joy & gratitude. Every day we are witnessing another miracle and seeing first-hand the amazing power of prayer. Tomorrow is Eman's birthday, he is turning 40!


Eman turns 40 today. A bunch of us chip to buy him an ipad. The kids load it with fotos, your messages to him, music, things to read and watch. We make our way to the hospital. Once again the hospital directors have kindly given permission for us to "invade", we had let them know it was his birthday and he has a large family.... I don't think they quite understood just how large. Thankfully there are only two other patients in the ICU room. The nurses have sectioned off Eman's corner of the room so we have our only little private area. When we all walk in grasping balloons and bags and what-have-you .... we see Eman propped UPRIGHT in sitting position [first time] and ..... Eman has buzzed his hair!!!!! His trademark long blonde hair [that he's had for 20 years] is GONE.........he laughs at all of our astonished faces [I think he'd been waiting all day to see our reactions]... and says he wants to be like Samson, whose strength grew back along with his hair. Eman LOVES his ipad, and says that now we can all call him "I-man" instead of "E-man"........... it's a wonderful time together. We are all just so happy that we can celebrate this special day with Eman. We have smuggled in two small cakes and some candles as well as vitamins and juices. When we are all finally shooed out, I think everyone is "abuzz" the love that we all felt present in that little room was almost tangible, it felt like electricity running through all of us. To everyone who wrote, called and passed birthday messages to Eman. Thank you! He was was and continues to be very touched. If there is anything I am learning from this experience it is this..........................IT IS ALL ABOUT LOVE!!!!! We NEVER know what tomorrow might bring. As much as we'd like to be, we are NOT in control of our lives...............from one minute - one second to the next EVERYTHING could change.............ANYTHING could happen, and when it comes down to it, when you REALLY realize what your priorities are - it's about LOVE! The family you love, the people you love ... the things you treasure, the things you'd miss. At this very moment in our lives the force that we feel upholding us through this experience is LOVE. From our hearts to yours God bless you. We love you & thank you for YOUR love and prayers. *** The Chief Neuro Surgeon Dr.Monteiro came by today and told Eman "looks like you DO have some sensations in your lower limbs, maybe we will operate to remove the bone pressuring your spinal cord on Friday" *** !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


MASSIVE news. We met with Dr.Monteiro, [the same doctor we met with 2 days ago and was telling us that there was NOTHING further they could do] This morning we trucked down to the hospital at 6am for a 9am appointment with him and THEY NOW WANT TO OPERATE!!!!! It looks like the operation will be tomorrow FRIDAY MARCH 14th. [ As soon as we know the exact time we will let you know ] He said, they can see that there is "something" going on with Eman's legs & feet. They are going to remove the piece of bone that broke off and is pressed against his spinal cord, apparently it would be a low risk procedure and they are hoping that it would better Eman's chances of recovery and recuperation! PLEASE PRAY WITH US THAT THIS OPERATION IS SUCCESSFUL AND THAT THERE ARE NO COMPLICATIONS. Several of us and several of you have gotten that Eman will come through all of this "without the smell of smoke". This is our desperate prayer. "When you pray THINGS HAPPEN and things WILL be different, God will answer prayer!" - YOUR PRAYERS ARE MAKING THE DIFFERENCE! Eman says that his birthday yesterday was the best he's every had. I have brought Eman a stack of our band's CDs to the hospital and he is gifting them to the kind nurses and doctors who have been treating him. Two doctors came by his bed today and the one says "so, you're a musician?" - another doctor takes a harder look at Eman and says "Your band's poster is up in Barra Garden, you're supposed to be playing there next Friday". When Eman nods off he dreams, he is dreaming he's playing football with the kids or buying tiles for our new house. They move Eman to another room where he will be pre-surgery and post-surgery. Lolo is allowed to stay the night.


It's 9 a.m and Lolo calls from the hospital.... "Mom, they're wheeling Dad in for surgery now".... We call his US family and post the request immediately online and then group together ourselves to desperately pray for a successful operation. We make our way to the hospital, at 1 pm they wheel Eman into his room. He is naked on this metal gurney with a small blanket thrown on top of him. White as a sheet his whole body is shaking violently and uncontrollably. We are frozen ourselves in shock, we rush to his side and cradle his face in our hands. He is frozen to the bone, teeth chattering. We cover him up with 5 blankets and for the next hour are just helping his body return to normal temperature and for his breathing to normalize. I have never seen anything so severe. The nurse says "this is normal" - coming out of anesthesia. When his body has finally "settled" we softly read scriptures to him and pray. He is crying! He says he feels like Job, he has been reading the book of Job with Lolo. He says that this is the biggest thing he is seeing through all of this is "TRUST", as Job said "Though He [God] slay me, yet will I trust Him" We meet with the neuro-surgeons who operated on Eman. They say the operation was successful. They removed 3 bone fragments [7 mm each] that had penetrated Eman's spinal cord. They said they were concerned about spinal fluid leaking out once they had removed the fragments but from what they saw none did. They also re-iterate that the main damage to Eman's spinal cord is the lesion caused by the burn from the bullet. Medically they have done what they can do. Two days ago, on his birthday, Eman was able to sit [propped up] and was finally recuperating somewhat from his lung injury. Now, once again, he is flat on his back and in excruciating pain. It kills me to see him like this, his poor broken, battered body has been through more trauma and pain than I ever imagined a body could sustain. I cannot wait to bring him home. We work it out for Lolo to stay overnight with him again. Our band plays our first show without Eman

Monday, 25 March 2013

MARCH 16TH - Day #1 Post Surgery...

IRREVERSIBLE, PARAPLEGIC, COMPLETELY PARALYZED FROM THE CHEST DOWN..... these were the surgeon's words we struggled to digest ten days ago. - Eman can feel his legs!!! Eman's legs are moving!!! - I was reading to him yesterday afternoon and I squeezed his knee and his whole leg popped up. Throughout the course of the afternoon he legs stretched, moved, reacted to stimulus. This is a DIRECT answer to your prayers. We cannot tell you how ENCOURAGED Eman is and ALL of us are. Eman is not controlling these movements, but he CAN feel them, and he can now feel EVERYTHING. I tested him, covering his eyes and asked him "where" we were squeezing his legs/feet - he identified correctly every time. Psalms 139 - "Where can I go from Your spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold YOU ARE THERE. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, EVEN THERE Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me."

Sunday, 17 March 2013

MARCH 17 / 18 / 19

The "post-surgery" days..... Eman is extremely weak physically and in a lot of pain and discomfort. He is finally starting to sleep a bit. The first ten days he would nod off for 3-5 minutes and then be jolted awake by lung pain. Now he sleeps for like an hour before waking up. We are trying to rotate him on his right side, his "good side" [his left side has the bullet wound/lung drain incision wound/bruised ribs]. It takes about three of us to do this as it is excrutiatingly painful for him. It is dangerous for him to be on his back for so much time as pressure sores develop, he already has some. We are taking turns being with him 24/7 including sleeping overnight. With each visit we smuggle in natural juices, yogurts and vitamins, he cannot eat most of the hospital food. We are carefully observing the nurses procedures with him; sponge baths, toileting, wound dressing, medicating. In a few days WE will be responsible for all of this ourselves. On the 18th we meet again with Dr.Monteiro; They plan to release him on Thursday. He will try to arrange for an ambulance to bring Eman home. Every day we are "working on" Eman's legs; massaging, gentle exercising, stimulating in every way possible. He can feel everything we are doing to him. In addition his legs/feet move on their own, involuntarily, several times a day. This is very encouraging as it means the "signals" from the brain to his legs are getting through his damaged spinal cord. Eman needs immediate rehabilitation therapy. Several people have indicated that the "Sarah Kubitschek" rehabilitation center would be the VERY BEST place for Eman to begin physio therapy. [There is one in Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro & Curitiba] Friends of ours are trying to get him admitted. Please pray that we can get hold of the right people and God will do the miracle we need to open a door there. We are preparing the house for Eman's return home.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

MARCH 21st - Going Home...

It's midnight, Thursday, March 21st......I am in the back of an ambulance with Eman. He is going home!!! Every bump in the road jostles the gurney he is lying on and he groans in pain, I am holding his face in my hands. As the siren wails overhead I find myself asking "Why?" "Why did Eman's injuries have to be so severe?" "Why did this have to happen?" - As we were leaving the hospital the head nurse piled packages of medical supplies into my bag and whispers "how will you manage now? Who will take care of him? Don't you have 4 children?" My mind throbs with a thousand different thoughts and as I look at Eman I know the same thoughts are going through his mind too. It's so scary to think of the future now and I am filled with worry, some passages that I had read earlier with Eman come to mind.... "Your external circumstances may change, toil may take the place of rest, sickness of health, trials may thicken within and without. Externally, you are the prey of such circumstances; but if your heart is stayed on God,no changes or chances can touch it, and all that may befall you will but draw you closer to Him" - "Every day we are to come to Him in simple obedience and faith, asking help to keep us, and aid us through that day's work, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, through years of long tomorrows, it will be but the same thing to do; LEAVING THE FUTURE ALWAYS IN GOD'S HANDS, sure that He can care for it better that we. BLESSED TRUST! That can thus confidingly say "This hour is mine with its present duty, the next is God's AND WHEN IT COMES, HIS PRESENCE WILL COME WITH IT!" - I've seen these "trust tests" in televised therapy sessions where the person has to turn around and close their eyes and then fall backwards into their partner's outstretched arms. I feel like that person now, falling backwards. You feel so vulnerable, you are COMPLETELY at the mercy of your partner. This is where we are now; falling backwards.... I know our partner will not let us fall! ****************************************************************************** Friday, March 22nd. Eman's mom, Patrice, arrives from the US! It is Eman's first day at home!!! It is wonderful for Eman to have BOTH his parents here for him at this time. We are all so happy to have Dad HOME!!!! We have rented a special hospital bed which is remote controlled and has various adjustable settings. Eman is in a lot of pain and discomfort, he cannot sleep. Patrice brought an entire suitcase full of vitamins, supplements and special items that will help us care for Eman better. A good friend purchased a wheelchair for Eman the day before and another friend is donating a bathroom chair. Arthur has quit his various jobs and has moved back in with us so that he can help with Eman's care - this is a huge blessing because it takes three of us to move Eman anywhere or even just to change his position on the bed. We are now having to tend to Eman's needs ourselves instead of the nurses and hospital staff. Our band has a gig tonight, many friends and fans come to the show and we are all very touched with the outpouring of concern and support from everyone. Eman's dad, Mike accompanies us to the show, and even sings a couple songs on stage with his grandsons. He gets to meet many of our good friends and is overwhelmed by the solidarity and love. **************************************************************************** Saturday, March 23rd. - Not a good day. The "reality" of being home and just how hard it is to do "normal" things is kicking in. Eman is very discouraged. Simple things put his body into a state of shock. He will get these tremor sessions where his body just shakes uncontrollably and he feels freezing cold [even though it's hot] and then feel very hot when the air-conditioning is on full blast. He cannot sleep. He is not eating well. He wants to sit for a bit in his wheelchair in the living-room. We recruit some help and manage to get him into his chair. It's the first time he's sat upright in about three weeks. He is able to eat some soup. After a half hour he is exhausted and goes back to bed. Several good friends pay us a visit and we unite in prayer over Eman. He has specifically asked for everyone to pray for his COMPLETE recovery. He says he doesn't just want to learn to "cope" with his present condition he wants to walk again and regain control over his lower body. We are seeing that the biggest battle is going to be the "battle of the mind", please pray for Eman's encouragement .... it is so devastating for him. I can honestly say I have never seen a person so broken in body and spirit. He listens to scriptures and tears are running down his face, he listens to songs and weeps. He hugs us and breaks into tears. I know he wants to fight and is trying to be positive but it is really hard. Thank you for your prayers. Our band has another gig tonight, we play for a wedding. The groom has practiced a special song that he sings for his new bride.... "All I want is You" by U2. I find myself blinking away tears, I wonder if you ever really realize how much you love someone until you almost lose them. ******************************************************************************** Sunday, March 24th. - A good day!!! We are slowly getting a routine down with Eman. He has a shower in his special chair. He slept for three straight hours last night. He is more positive. We are visited by many friends. Old band mates, a physical therapist who is very encouraged with how much Eman feels during a reflexology massage. Ed, a good friend and "alternative healing" expert meets with us and we are educated on the healing properties of various vitamins, natural foods and supplements. We are really trying to focus on Eman's nutrition and building up his body after sustaining so much trauma. A huge step on his path to wellness is going to be prioritizing his nutrition. Thank you all for your continued prayers for Eman's healing.