Thank you all for the prayers and emails on behalf of Elias, our friend who was burned earlier this month. He is still in the hospital but his burns aren't as serious as feared. He still has a tough road of treatments and recovery ahead, but God is at work and he's healing well.
He spent a little over a week in the intensive care unit, where I was able to visit him 3 times for a few minutes at a time, and tell him that you were praying and asking about him. That always brought a smile. The ICU is a small open room with four beds and a desk. One or two nurses were generally sitting there to monitor the 3-4 patients occupying those beds. Elias was the youngest in there, but off to the side was another tiny room with two toddlers in cribs. Heartbreaking.
Once I was allowed to spend a whole hour with him because it was dinner time (someone has to feed the patients so that they don't touch any items that could be contaminated), so I took my time slicing and feeding him the chicken breasts and drug it out as long as possible. He was excited because it was the first solid food he'd been offered after being there for 5 days. A feeding tube and IV's were providing him with constant nutrients, but it's always good to TASTE what's going in, right? During this hour, the poor toddler in one of those cribs cried, "Mommy," the entire time, which just about broke my heart. Elias told me then that the other patients' presence was one of the hardest parts about being in there.
The beds are only a couple of feet apart, and the night before, a badly burned young man (97% of his body) was wheeled in beside Elias, and he died a few hours later. A restless older gentleman was beside him on the other side. The doctors agreed that Elias's state of mind was important, a positive attitude that helped his body heal. So when he was no longer high-risk, they wanted to move him to a normal room where he wasn't so close to the high-risk patients, and where he could have normal visitors. But the state of cleanliness is a little different than what you'd imagine, and his best chance of staying bacteria-free was in the ICU. They decided to keep him there a few days longer, just in case. A few days ago, he finally got to go to a normal room.
As of now, the doctors don't think that he will need any skin grafts, which is just miraculous news. All of his burns were classified as 2nd degree, I'm told. His left hand and arm were pretty swollen still and I think they got the worst of the deal, as well as his abdomen, but everyone is hopeful of a full recovery in terms of being able to use that left hand. God surely had his eye on that boy!
Camille and Caroline drew him mini-posters to hang near his bed, but the nurses held onto them until Elias was more healed, so that he wasn't coming into contact with "germs." However, a pastor visited a few days later and the nurses allowed him not only to leave a Bible, but they are allowing Elias to pick it up himself and read it! His mom said he was very encouraged by that, and has been reading a lot. :) Yay, God! This has opened the door to opportunities to talk about the Lord with his family, and also to pray for the other patients and the nurses in ICU during my visits. Thank you for the prayers for this situation.