Sunday, April 1, 2012

Prayers needed for the Nagels

Once again we need your prayers for our sweet friends, the Nagels.  This morning, Matt collapsed while running the Brew to Brew race with friends.  He was rushed to KUMed and admitted to the Neuro ICU where it was discovered that he had a stroke.  While in the hospital, he had a second stroke and they decided to take him into surgery to try to remove the blood clot in his neck.  It was a very risky and serious surgery, but it was successful.  However, he is still in very critical condition as it is possible he will continue to have strokes and there is a risk for swelling of the brain.  Around 7:00pm they did an MRI to check for swelling and to try to assess the damage done by the stroke.  The MRI revealed that there was some swelling so he is being taken back into surgery to remove a portion of his skull which will give the brain some room to swell.  That's what we know so far.  The harsh reality is that Matt is in need of miraculous healing. UPDATE: I've added the latest update from the Caring Bridge site with an urgent prayer request - the doctors are very concerned about the swelling in Matt's brain.  Please pray for the swelling to go down immediately. 

Obviously, for any family, this would be a shocking and traumatic experience.  But our hearts break for the severity of the grief and fear that Molly and Harper (their 5-year-old daughter) must be feeling as the threat of losing their husband and daddy sinks in just a year after losing their daughter and sister. (Click that picture on the right of that dimpled cutie pie to read the posts about Waverley - Matt and Molly's daughter and Harper's little sister.)  It seems cruel and severe that this little family, who has already suffered so much, should have to endure more heartache and worry.

I have struggled in my prayers today as I have felt recently that not many of my fervent and specific prayers for different families in our community have been answered the way I would have hoped.  The past 12 months have been marked by significant tragedy and loss in the lives of the people close to us.  It is hard to not ask those difficult "Why God?" questions.  Not that there is anything wrong with those questions, it's just the frequency with which I feel like I am asking them on behalf of my friends is heartbreaking and discouraging.  

I am putting my hope in the things I know to be true: God is good.  He is able.  He knows the whole story.  He loves his children.

My prayers today have been simple:

Lord, have mercy.  Lord, you are able.

I have found hope and strength in several verses:

Ephesians 3:20: Now all glory to God, who is ABLE, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

2 Timothy 1:12: For I know the One in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is ABLE to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.

Romans 4:20-21: Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise.  In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God.  He was fully convinced that God is ABLE to do whatever he promises.

So in light of those things, I am believing that the greatest thing that my imagination could muster pales in comparison to the things God might do in Matt's life.  

I am choosing to release the people I love into the Lord's care, knowing that he is trustworthy to guard them.

I am hoping in the promises the Lord has made to me and the rest of his children (specifically those dear to our hearts in Lila's Bible verse ).

Please join us in praying for a miraculous healing for Matt and for peaceful hearts for Molly and Harper.  


The Nagels have set up a Caring Bridge website to keep people informed.  Click here.  (If you do not have a Caring Bridge account, you will have to set one up first)

Here are the first few posts from the Caring Bridge:

SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2012 5:27 PM, CDT
day one
Thank you for all your calls, prayers, texts and emails on Matt's behalf. It has been quite a day...
Matt was running this morning with some buddies and began to show signs that something was wrong - basically (in his words) his legs stopped working. They thought it was heat exhaustion, but weren't sure. He was rushed to KU Med and after batteries of tests and scans, they realized that he was indeed suffering a stroke. A big one.
He was given "stroke busting" meds and, after reassuring hugs and words with Molly, was taken into surgery at about 2 p.m. Their goal was to pull out the clot that was blocking blood flow to the right side of his brain. It was deemed risky but necessary. The doctor used the words "heroic measure."
The surgery was deemed successful - so much is unknown still - but the arteries are open. They are scanning, waiting, watching.
**Matt has just given thumbs up and squeezed Molly's hand and wiggled his toes - all such good signs.***
Pray for Matt. Pray that the swelling would be minimal and that there would be no more stroke activity. Pray for wisdom and discernment for his care team.
Pray for Molly. Pray for strength and wisdom in decision-making for Matt's care.
Please feel free to forward this site to friends who can be in prayer...
For inquiries on how to care for Matt & Molly (and Harper) please email jay.lavergne(at)gmail(dot)com. Meals, gift cards for food or gas, lawn mowing... whatever you'd like to share - will be greatly appreciated. It would be great at this time to utilize this site for updates and not bombard the family as they deal with the immediate crisis.
Thank you SO much.

SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2012 6:38 PM, CDT
matt is having an MRI right now - which will tell us 2 critical things...

1.  The amount of swelling - and whether another surgery is necessary to allieviate it.
2.  The extent and location of the damage...

please pray for a clear scan and for limited swelling, for strong hearts and clear minds.
SUNDAY, APRIL 1, 2012 8:47 PM, CDT
update 2
MRI results and other signs (decreased heart rate) are showing that Matt needs to go back into surgery.  The craniectomy will allow the swelling somewhere to go, which is important as the swelling usually peaks at about 3 days.  They may put in a shunt/bolt to help as well.
The MRI did show the area that is affected, but it is difficult to tell at this point what sort of deficit(s) there will be. 
Matt is still under sedation, so it should be a quick transition to the procedure.  A fresh shift of staff has come in here at the hospital - pray for their tender care of Matt and skilled hands in surgery.
Pray for rest (somehow) for Molly and family tonight and wisdom.  Peace that passes understanding, and comfort.  Molly is feeling the fatigue of a long, long day.  Pray that Harper sleeps well tonight at home with Grandma.
update 3
Matt's craniectomy has gone smoothly, but the dr does NOT like what he sees where the swelling is concerned...  the whole right hemisphere is just very swollen.  This is urgent - this is pressing - pray for the swelling to go down.
Pray for Molly & fam, for Brian and Vicki - for Matt's life to be spared.  Pray for the surgeons, for the shunts and bolts/drains to be effective. 
Pray that we all would be aware of God's arms around us and the Nagels in this frightening time.

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