Sam’s Medical Status (from Eric his father): I have much to tell you all as it was a very busy week for Sam and Erin…a week with record highs and events that could be construed as challenging if we didn’t know the outcome of this journey in advance…I don’t have to be psychic nor even able to tell the future. Unlike a conventional war where the battles are fought to determine the outcome of the war; Our war is already won, and now the battles are easier when we know how they will play to our favor. In John 15:7-8, Jesus said, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Well, we’ve chosen to remain in Christ and keep Jesus’ words in us and have claimed Sam’s healing and total restoration on that basis. It’s done in heaven and will be on earth as well. No circumstance will change that belief as we clamp on to that truth and never let go.
The most exciting news came about midweek when Erin called to share that Sam had moved his left side for the first time in almost a year. Oh my goodness! This is huge! What incredible news…we couldn’t have been more jazzed if we were told he got up and ran down the halls!!!!He told Erin a month ago that he hated his left arm because he was unable to move it…He gets that arm and leg worked out practically daily by his physical therapists. He has one in particular; a quiet and diminutive lady, (only in stature) that cares a great deal for Sam. Erin has overheard her through her mask, praying in the name of Jesus for Sam while she stretches him out. This week she said, “Sam, stretch out your left arm. His arm jerked by the shoulder, his hand moved and he moved his fingers…Praise God!
Another day Sam was observing “shift change” at the hospital…a radiologist was frustrated because she had to get an x-ray before she left and couldn’t find anyone to help her with Sam. It was slightly chaotic and Sam said to Erin, “I’m having fun.” This is just like Sam’s often dry and subtle humor. He is also favoring an expression of “just a little bit”…like are you in pain Sam? He makes about an inch between his thumb and forefinger and says, “Just a little bit”…Ha! On Friday, 4th of July, he asked Erin if it was Friday or Saturday? He was confused because of the irregularity in his therapy schedule…Erin explained it was a holiday and she asked him if he knew which holiday it was…he answered, “Any day you’re here is a holiday”…He was also visited by his buddies from his old unit, Kilo Battery….5 of America’s very finest young Marines had made a special trip up to the bay area just to visit their good friend…Their genuine interest in Sam’s welfare is obvious as they ask questions, inquire about Erin, make jokes, and tell great things about their beloved SGT Nichols…I’m always so impressed when I am around these guys for their professionalism, their camaraderie, and their brotherhood. These are the kind of young men that makes me feel comfortable about America’s future.
By Sunday, he had a large seizure and was unresponsive…he took a little trip by ambulance (flashing red lights and all) to the Marin General Hospital emergency room. The biggest fear from the seizures is the lack of oxygen and the interruption of breathing, so they installed an airway and sedated him heavily…It was shades of Bethesda at a worse time for him, so it very understandably took a toll on Erin…I arrived early this morning and found him in ICU under very close and attentive care. Erin arrived soon after and filled me in on many details of the two days. He looked comfortable and at peace, although he had a twitch in his left side; eye and mouth (this indicates some seizure activity on a small scale)…Erin and I stood next to him and as I laid my hands on him she rested her cheek on his right hand and we prayed…She began to weep, but I noticed it wasn’t tears of fear or anxiety, but of relief and joy. We thanked God for yet again sparing Sam and protecting his work in progress. We ended our prayer by rededicating his total care to the Jehovah Raphae, (The Lord who is our healer)…At the end of our prayer Erin said something to him and he answered her even though his eyes were still closed. We asked him several more questions and he answered quite well. Erin asked if she could spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on their approaching anniversary. He answered hundreds. (he’s no dummy! Ha!) She asked how many hundreds and he said 5; 1 on him and 4 on her…she thought that was fair…Ha! She wanted to know if she could get him a gold bracelet with his initials on it and he said emphatically NO! We laughed…By late afternoon, Erin reported that he was breathing fine on his own and they removed the airway…He was awake, alert, and they were even talking of sending him back to Kentfield by tomorrow.
We rejoice in the good times and we rejoice in the times of challenge because we sure of one thing…God’s promises to heal Sam…those don’t change even if his condition or circumstance may change, “just a little bit” to quote one tough Marine….the picture is of Sam raising one eyebrow; a feat not easy even for a person with no injuries….