Our big win of the day happened early this afternoon when Hunter was discharged from St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood, Colo. and transferred to Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo.
Craig solely focuses on the rehabilitation of traumatic spinal and brain injury patients. There are about 88 beds in this facility and now begins “training camp” as Hunter said today. I asked any insight he wanted to share tonight and he said, “See ya’ in three months!”
Then after some pause, he said, “You know that feeling before that really big game? You try to envision how to respond in certain situations? I am feeling it. Except it’s not a quarter or a half. It’s for three months. The start matters just as much as the finish. Start fast. Finish strong.”
Another win of the day was Hunter had his first shower since before the accident, no more baths in bed. Hunter no longer smells like a “feedlot”, his description. He’s still a country boy.
Nathan experienced a win as he was checking out of the hotel this afternoon. The head housekeeper approached him. She asked about his late checkout and a patient in the hospital. Nathan replied yes. In the hallway, she dropped her clipboard and took Nathan’s hands and unashamed prayed boldly for five minutes with him. Her powerful words of healing will always stay with him. We’ve stayed in a lot of hotels through our business and family life and this has never happened to either of us until today. God shows up in BIG and small ways every day in our lives.
We met with Hunter’s neurosurgeon this morning before discharge and specific prayer requests include:
Stability and bone fusion, healing from T4-T9 on the left side and T5-T8 on the right side of his back
For mental and physical strength as he enters the most difficult “training camp” of his life
For daily, small miracles
For fellow spinal injury patient Todd, who is still fighting hard to heal to be able to transfer to Craig
Praises to all the answered prayers and needs met this far
Lastly, today is my 41st birthday. All I wanted today was for Hunter to be transferred for his next step and we’re here tonight. Hunter insisted Nathan and I leave the hospital and go to dinner tonight and got top picks from the new Craig staff he met. We went out for sushi and returned to Hunter’s new room for a game of “Blank Slate” which is new to us and very fun.
23 years ago tonight, I told my parents I was pregnant with Hunter. I was scared. The future was unknown. I didn’t think I would be a Division I college athlete. I didn’t think I could get a four-year degree like I wanted to accomplish. At that moment, my future felt bleak. But as I’ve said many times to Hunter in his lifetime and had him repeat back to me tonight he was the first best decision of my life. Today is the best birthday of my life.
If your New Year outlook feels empty, hopeless, or bleak, seek God. Even in the valley and darkness, pray. With thousands in this group saying they’re praying, I am praying you are. Please pray for Hunter and his complete healing, whatever God has in store for him. Please pray for your neighbor, your loved ones, and your future, whatever God puts on your heart. Let Christ lead. Your emptiness can lead to your best decisions, creating a bright future.
I read this aloud to Hunter now and he says we should close with Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Thank you for your prayers, care for our family, communities and friends, kindness, and most of all for loving as Jesus would. Nathan and I said tonight at dinner, we view people differently now and it’s most definitely God ministering.