Dear church family,
These past few weeks have been very challenging for Pastor Matt and his family. With this brief note, I hope to bring you all up to speed on Matt’s recent health challenges.
Here is a short history of events:
- April 5: admitted to ARH with intense gallbladder pain
- April 6: gallbladder surgery; after being at home for a few hours, he returned to the ER with intense pain. They determined a stone had fallen into the pancreas, causing pancreatitis. After further tests, they were able to determine he had bile building up in his abdomen, causing incredible pain and discomfort.
- April 11: Surgery to drain bile, perform an internal body scrub, and insert two drains to keep bile from leaking into his abdomen again.
- April 12: Attempted ERCP (Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography) procedure at VGH to repair the bile leak. His body was too inflamed and had not had enough time to recover from the previous day and the procedure was not completed. Sent back to ARH to await another opportunity for the ERCP.
- April 16: Matt is allowed to go home for the weekend to be more comfortable and be with his family as he awaits his next ERCP attempt.
- April 21: Matt is able to have his ERCP at VGH, revealing damage to his bile duct; the procedure was rough but they were able to insert a stent into his bile duct to re-direct the flow of bile towards the drains. The stent will remain in place for 2.5 weeks, after which it will be removed. He was sent home after this procedure.
- April 22: Matt spikes a fever and has to go back to the ER at ARH, where he is admitted and put on aggressive IV antibiotics.
- April 23: Matt has a CT scan and it’s determined that he has fluid pooling in his abdomen due to the inflammation in his body; it’s not bile, which is good, but is still a great concern, and causes incredible pain, not allowing Matt to eat. On Monday (April 26), they plan to insert a third drain tube to remove this fluid, which would remain in place for a few weeks.
As you can see these weeks have been fraught with ups and downs. It is challenging for Dawn to drop Matt off and return home without being able to support him in person. And it is of course challenging for Matt to be isolated from his family and community, walking this journey with all the hospital restrictions. I emailed Matt on Friday and though in written word he put on a brave ‘face,’ I could sense his fatigue and disappointment for how long this has gone on.
Many of you are asking how you can help. I too have asked that very question. While the Ewert family is strong and well connected, now is the time for our broader church family to serve well through prayer. It really is the most we can do to support the family. So let us get on our knees and cry out for Matt’s healing.
If you would like to sign up to pray, simply click here and pray as you are able day or night. I encourage you to listen to Jesus for how to pray for Matt and his family.
Dawn provides regular updates on her facebook page. Our prayer chain is regularly updated with any new information.
Kelly Ens (firstname.lastname@example.org) and our entire pastoral staff are available to field any questions you might have about appropriate ways to serve the Ewerts.
The wonderful thing about praying is that you leave a world of not being able to do something, and enter God’s realm where everything is possible. He specializes in the impossible. Nothing is too great for His almighty power. Nothing is too small for His love.
Corrie Ten Boom
Grace and Peace,
Sam Dick (on behalf on the Church Council)