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Something happened to me this week that I thought I would share. During the Fall of 2009 and Spring of 2010 I was fortunate to sponsor a young man named James as he pursued the goal of becoming a Roman Catholic Christian. I spent many weeks with James as he absorbed the various ideas and beliefs of the Catholic faith, which included a 3 day retreat. Last Wednesday I learned that James had suffered a massive stroke in his brain. I went to visit him on Saturday and found my friend in a hospital induced coma (his seizures are too violent if they allow him to wake up). I further learned that James has a rare, inherited disease in which his white blood cells attack his red blood cells. His only method of survival are constant blood transfusions. James is around 30 years old. With the stroke, he is now paralyzed and may never walk again (assuming he survives the next few days).

I have posted various messages about my desire to work in Alaska this summer. Thank God I am in a position to dream such dreams! Also, I must not waiver in attempting to make my dreams come true because next year I might be in a position like my friend James, with no options and little hope. If I am lucky enough to fulfill my Alaskan dream, then the adventure will be dedicated to James, and all others like him, that were never allowed the chance to go to great places.

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Comment by aggie71 on December 10, 2010 at 2:48pm

Went to visit James today.  Wow...what a difference a few days have made.   He looks much better.  He is awake, able to speak softly short sentences, and has begun to move both his right and left sides (which means the paralysis might gradually lesson).  The doctors operated on his brain, drained the stroke area, and there apparently has not been any additional bleeding.  Today he may begin eating food on his own, which would be a huge step forward.  Keep thinking of James, and I am confident he will keep improving :-)  Merry Christmas!

Comment by aggie71 on December 8, 2010 at 7:29pm
Who believes in Christmas Miracles? They were going to unplug James last weekend and let God decide whether he lived or died. His Mom had a hunch they needed to keep him plugged in just a few more days. Today he woke up :-) and the brain damage does not seem to be nearly as severe as the doctors assumed. He was trying to talk this afternoon, and definitely was aware of his surroundings. His family has asked for friends to visit him to help him get his bearings over the next few days. I plan on seeing James on Friday .... really looking forward to it. He has many months of recovery ahead, but he appears to be headed in the right direction. This is great news for his family at Christmas time!
Comment by aggie71 on December 8, 2010 at 5:03am
Update ... James has gotten some new therapy that has been effective for him .... so there is hope he may pull through his current crisis. An appeal has gone out for platelet donors, and I have broadcast this to my friends on facebook. Thanks for the well wishes and thoughts from you all. Richard
Comment by Leo Anderson on December 8, 2010 at 2:31am
Aggie,

I am sorry to hear about your friend. I will keep James, his family and you in my prayers. You are right Aggie. Never take anything or anyone for granted because tomorrow is not promised. I hope James gets better soon and have faith he will pull through this, so you can tell him about you experience in Alaska next summer!

Sincerely,

Leo
Comment by aggie71 on December 1, 2010 at 8:46pm
No News on my friend James. Talked to a Deacon friend who is monitoring Jame's condition. Seems the doctors are experimenting with various treatments trying to help James, and thankfully his insurance company has been willing to go along (so far). Let's hope something good happens.
Comment by Sunni on November 29, 2010 at 2:54pm
My ex-Father-in-law, always wanted to see Ak too. He died in April 1987 or 1988. He spent most of his life working outdoors and never got the chance to see Alaska.

Hope your friend has some medical miracle and pulls through.

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