Thursday, October 21, 2010

Please pray for Brett

Two weeks ago I asked you to pray for Brett Cochran, a 10 year old boy who suffers from Mitochondrial Disease- the son of a dear friend. For those of you who may have never heard this disease, or maybe you have, but don’t know exactly what it is.

“Imagine if you will a major city with half its power plants shut down. At best, such conditions would produce a "brown out" with large sections of the city working far below optimum efficiency. Now imagine your body with one-half of its energy producing facilities shut down. The brain would be impaired, vision would be dim, muscles would twitch spastically or would be too weak to allow your body to walk or write, your heart would be weakened, and you would not be able to eat and digest your food.”- United Mitochondrial Disease foundation This is what life looks like for thousands of people affected with Mitochondrial disease

Mitochondrial diseases (Mito) are a group of  diseases that results from failures in the body’s mitochondria, which are specialized compartment present in every white blood cell in the body. Mitochondria are responsible for the production of well over 90% of the energy needed for body to sustain life and support growth. When they fail, less and less energy is produced within the cell. Cell injury and even cell death will follow.

As this process is repeated throughout the body, entire systems will begin to fail, and the life of the person in whom this is happening becomes severely compromised. This progressive compromise often leads to an early death. As a result diseases primarily affect children. Many Children who are diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease before the age of 10 will never reach their teenage years.

Due to their complex nature, and the diverse range of symptoms that a person may exhibit, these diseases are often misdiagnosed. Once a person is given the diagnosis of a Mitochondrial disease only one thing is certain. Time is of the essence.

There are no cures for these diseases, and no way to tell exactly how many of the body's cells are affected. As such, there are no life expectancy guidelines to follow. All these families can do is treat the symptoms as best as possible as they arise, and enjoy the gift of life that is wrapped within each fleeting moment.

Protecting and enjoying the gift of Brett’s life is something that his parents have been faithfully doing since Brett received his diagnosis at the age of three. Staying on top of his condition, and making sure that his critical moment by moment needs are met is an endless task that requires much sacrifice.

Because of his very complex and fragile condition Brett’s immune system has been severally compromised, so fighting common illnesses such as a cold, or a flue are much more difficult, and can be life threatening for him. As a result, Brett often spends well over 100 days a year in the hospital.

From very early in his journey with Mito, Brett has suffered from serious respiratory challenges. Often these challenges are the very things that have landed him in the hospital fighting for his life on several different occasions. It was these challenges that brought him by ambulance to the ER last month. He has been fighting for recovery in the hospital ever since.

This lengthy hospital admission has led Brett’s parents to have to take a very long, hard look at what the future will hold for their son, and too consider how they should proceed with his long-term care. This very careful and prayerful evaluation has led them to make the decision that it is in Brett’s best interest to be given a tracheotomy to help reduce his difficulty in breathing and to make cleaning his airway much easier.

As you can imagine, this decision was not an easy one for his parents to come to. The risks involved in this surgery are very serious and can be life threatening. For Brett there is even greater concern because he does not respond to anesthesia very well at all.

At the present time Brett’s medical team is quickly moving forward with all of the pre-op testing and evaluations that must be completed before surgery can take place. His surgery is scheduled for some time on Monday, October  25th.

Your prayers right now are critical!

Brett will have to be weaned from many of the medicines that he is on prior to surgery, and he can have no food for while. This is a huge risk for him. Please pray!

Please pray:

1. For Brett’s safety and protection throughout this entire process.

2. For the guidance, wisdom, and skills of his medical team. For Brett’s parents to know the will God has for their son as they move forward.( If this is not God’s will may He make that very clear to them in this preparation process.)

3. For peace that surpasses understanding as his parents endure the weight of this procedure and trust God with the outcome.

4. For smooth recovery with no complication.

5. For improved quality of life for Brett.

6. For the will of God done in Brett’s life- that He might continue to glorified through Brett. His story that has touched the lives of so many!

If you would, please pray for all those who love Brett and his family from a distance- as we wait for news and trust God to provide the best in this situation. Speaking for myself, I can say that I am at peace knowing that God’s hand is on every aspect of this situation. He breathed life into Brett and He has a perfect plan that He is working to completion in Brett’s life. I know that God will continue to provide for Brett and his family in every way.

My heart aches with the immense suffering that that precious little boy has had to endure throughout his entire life. Five years ago, through circumstances that only God could orchestrate, I was given the opportunity to step though the door of Brett’s life. I can honestly say that my life has never been the same since! It is very difficult be halfway across the country form them right now.

Thank you for taking to the time to pray!

Trusting in God's Love and Grace,



Scott Samter said...

Melissa - our family would be privileged to pray alongside of his family! Thanks for bringing it to our attention again!

Much love,

Thena said...

Praying for him and his family.


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