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    Update Three

    June 12, 2009 by Brandy Vencel

    Here is a copy of the email I sent to family and friends tonight:

    Dear Family and Friends,

    Today was yet another encouraging day. This morning my father-in-law and brother-in-law spent time with Si while I did “business,” such as filling out disability paperwork and paying bills I didn’t know existed because my husband always took care of them. I thank those of you who helped me figure this out.

    Around 11:00 AM, we got a call saying that they would be bringing Si out of his chemical coma at 1:00 PM, so my mother-in-law and I hurried around in order to be there when he woke up.

    He did well overall, though of course it was difficult and very emotional for all of us. It was also a struggle physically to be awake, but on a ventilator. He was fighting it, and I had to ask for them to sedate him mildly because he started pulling at the tubes. He had pulled IVs out of both arms during a toxic fit earlier on, so I was hesitant to leave him alone for any length of time.

    Good news of the day is that he did NOT have a stroke after all. He is {weakly} moving his left side. He can see. It seems to me that he could speak if he wasn’t intubated. He sat himself up a bit while I moved pillows to make him more comfortable. Overall, his behavior was not that of a stroke victim.

    Other good news is that there is a GI doctor that agrees with me that this was most likely STEC and that he does NOT need to be on antibiotics. He is going to be my advocate with the overseeing doctor to try and get him off. He, like me, is concerned that the antibiotics are doing more harm than good at this point. He has no fever and has never had a test come back indicating an infection, except one test for Staph as a secondary infection that was later contradicted by a follow-up test.

    His kidneys, however, have not improved at all. He will continue doing dialysis and plasmapheresis once per day for now. Poor guy is very swollen from the kidney issues. I spoke with the renal doctor today and he said that his body is repairing first in other areas and not to expect to see much kidney improvement for at least a week, and also not to worry because we will just keep doing what we are doing since it is obviously working.

    At the same time, he told me that Si is not necessarily out of the woods, so we should not get too carried away yet.

    His LDH continued to decline {good} and his platelets are up a bit again {also good}, so he is showing across the board improvement.

    I put a password on his interaction for now. He was very overwhelmed by all the stimulation today, and would begin physical tremors when they got to be too much, so I’m trying to slow down the crowds, even though they be kind and loving. Please know that this is only for a day or two. Once he can speak, he can tell me more of what he wants.

    Everyday, I have reason to be thankful for each and every single one of you. You have written notes of encouragement, sent me ideas, helped me brainstorm, delivered things for me and to me, prayed for my husband and family, sent me money, made meals for us, and this is just the short list. You gave blood to my husband, sweat while playing with my children, and cried with me in the waiting room. If love is not blood, sweat and tears, I don’t know what is.

    You have taught me a lot about love, and I think these are lessons the Lord has had for me at this time.

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  • Reply Willa June 14, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    It is so good to hear about these improvements. Josiah and you have been in my prayers.

    When my Aidan was in the hospital for one of his extended stays there was a little girl in renal failure down the hall (I think it was actually HUS from e.coli). She did end up with restored kidney function after she had fought off the rest of the symptoms. It took a while but she went home before Aidan did. So I have seen it happen, and am praying for healing for your husband, and wisdom and good judgment on the part of his health care team.

  • Reply Nicole June 13, 2009 at 3:23 am


    I work with Josiah, and am so encouraged to hear of his progress. We have all been praying for the entire Vencel clan.
    It is easy to feel like one of many in a company such as the County’s, but I have overheard concern voiced for Josiah mentioned in the cafe, hallways and elevators by employees from varied departments. Our building is large, but it seems Josiah has made such an impact on so many lives. As a result, prayers are being sent out like waves. God is faithful.

    Much love and prayers to all of you,

    Nicci Pannell

  • Reply Jan Sublett June 12, 2009 at 5:02 pm


    Thanks so much for keeping us informed. Please give Josiah a hug and kiss on the forehead for me and read to him, please, one of my favorite passages, 2 Kings 6: 15 – 17. So much is going on behind the scenes that we do not see – God is in control and His army is surrounding us.

    Jan Sublett

  • Reply Mystie June 12, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    I’m praying for you, Si, and the kids. Hang in there. I’m glad you have good support.

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