Anders, our comeback kid!

365 Project: Days 69-71

My 25-year old stepson, Anders (Jon’s youngest son), was in the ER and ICU this past week with complications from medications he’s been taking for ulcerative colitis. His body has been through so much since he was diagnosed about a year ago. This time, we almost lost him, and we thank God for how He watched over him, protected him, and saved his life. As soon as we heard what was happening on Tuesday, Jon and I immediately asked those closest to us to pray in agreement with us for Anders’ health and healing, and that he’d pull through this.

This past fall, Anders lost 30-40 pounds in a couple month period, and ended up needing a blood transfusion after his hemoglobin levels were very low. According to the Mayo clinic, 13.5 is considered low for men. Anders’ levels were at a 6, and he was hospitalized and received three units (bags) of blood at that time.

This past week, he had similar symptoms as last time, but without the weight loss. He was too weak to walk, stumbling into walls, fainting/passing out, dizziness, shortness of breath, etc. This time, it came on so fast–over a period of 5 days. He was still working on Friday and in ICU by Tuesday (February 7th).

His hemoglobin was dangerously low. When he was admitted and put in ICU, his levels were 2.6! The doctor said that when your levels get below a 4, you are not only at risk of losing your life, but also of there being permanent damage done, which can dramatically alter your quality of life (if you do make it through). A very frightening situation to say the least. The blood doctor told us that in 15 years, he’s never seen someone with levels as low as Anders—and survive.

Anders was lacking 80% of his blood, and his body was shutting down. He began having stroke symptoms in the ICU that first day, and thankfully, they were able to reverse/stop it. I get choked up every time I think about that. The doctor confirmed that Anders should not have survived, and we know it’s the power of prayer and a miraculous work of God that he did. The whole situation was so unbelievable.

 First day in ICU. Smiles, some energy, and a ravenous appetite returned after the first bag or two of blood.

Anders got a blood transfusion, and this time, he received SEVEN units (bags) of blood over the four days and three nights he was in the hospital, and a ton of antibiotics too. His body still isn’t making any white blood cells, so he has no immune system to fight off anything. They’re giving him a shot with E. Coli in it to try and stimulate white blood cell production, and they’re hopeful that this will speed that up.

Second day in ICU. Tired of hospital food. Just wants to go home.

We found out that this crash most likely occurred due to too high of a dosage of medication—for a period of 4 months, and not enough monitoring him along the way. In essence, overdosing and nearly killing him. The medication he’s on for the ulcerative colitis is like a chemotherapy/cancer drug, which suppresses the immune system and keeps the bone marrow from producing blood cells.

  Second day in ICU. Jon saying goodbye and praying before we left.

During all of this, he developed a heart murmur, as well as blurry vision and blind spots (due to hemorrhaging in his eyes), but these things have improved. They’re hopeful that these things will return to normal on their own. Praise God. And through it all, Anders maintained his wit and sense of humor the whole time he was in the hospital. We were amazed at that every day we visited him. He is so funny. He had us all laughing so hard sometimes. 🙂

 Third day. Finally out of ICU and in a regular room. Allison helping Anders… and ready to be an RN ASAP. Didn’t get any pics of Hannah with Anders 🙁, but she was there too.

Anders was able to go home on Friday, and will be very closely monitored from this point forward, as well as adjustments being made to his medications. We continue to standing on the truth of God’s Word and speak words of life and faith over Anders—spirit, soul, and body. We cover his life, his medical care, and every step from this point forward in the blood of Jesus, and we thank God for His promises. He is so faithful. We continue to pray for Anders’ protection and wisdom from the Lord in the days and weeks ahead, and we stand in faith for everything good that God has promised to Anders and our family. 

Jon and I with Anders, the day before he got to go home. Thank you, Lord…

Jeremiah 29:11 ~ For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 

Psalm 91:14-16 ~ The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.”

6 Comments

  1. Mom
    Feb 12, 2012

    This is wonderful Julie and very well written. Bless Anders heart and soul!

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Thank you, Mom!

    [Reply]

  2. Brianna
    Feb 13, 2012

    So wonderful to hear such a positive update! My prayers continue to be with Anders and you all. Love to you all.

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Thank you, Brianna!

    [Reply]

  3. Jeff
    Feb 13, 2012

    Wonderful update concerning the challenges and positives that all of you are going through! Believing with you that things will continue to improve for Anders 🙂

    [Reply]

    Julie Reply:

    Thank you so much, Jeff. We appreciate that.

    [Reply]

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