From Joni Cairns:
Kathie Kearney and I had the great privilege of going to see Ian today. What an encouragement we received when Ian responded to us the way he did. We spent time talking with Ian about all the happenings at church and various other nonessential banter, and he looked at us the entire time, he held our hands, and his heart rate increased. Kathie then began reading the back of one of Ian's favorite movies, and his heart rate increased to 109 (which to our understanding is good), he smiled and lifted his thumb to the "thumbs up" position. We clapped and cheered enthusiastically! Mary's niece, Sarah, at one point asked him to smile for Kathie and I, and he responded immediately to her request. We received the best smile in the world (although a little crooked). She was later reading to Ian and got to a part about the Lord; once again Ian's heart rate increased to 110, he smiled and held on to Sara's hand very tightly. Ian remained alert and active most of the 2 1/2 hours that we were there. He seemed to respond when Lydia and Larissa's names were mentioned and when certain songs were played. I was personally motivated to pray more earnestly, and I was reminded of the faithfulness of our God. Isn't God good to let us, his mother's "old" friends, experience a glimpse of his goodness today?
From Kathie Kearney:
Joni Cairns and I have tried to go see Ian once a week. The difference between last Monday and today was very encouraging. When we walked in the room Sarah Hall, Ian’s cousin, was talking with him. Although Ian wasn’t totally focusing as he looked at her, somehow they were connecting. He was really gripping her hand and when she asked Ian if he would smile for us, he did, with the left corner of his mouth. Ian had been “awake” as Sarah chatted and sang for maybe an hour or two. (When Ian “sleeps”, his heart rate is in the mid 80’s and his eyes are almost closed. When he is “awake” he is blinking and his heart rate is in the 90’s and goes up into the 100’s.) Both Joni and I had the chance to sit beside Ian’s bed, hold his hand (and he ours) and talk with him. There is a very helpful sign above his bed with things to talk about; so I did. I started to talk about one of his favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption, and I read from the back of a DVD case that was there. Ian heard me and reacted. He smiled, his heart rate went up to 109, he squeezed my hand then gave a thumbs-up. We all squealed. He gave another thumbs-up as I read about The Truman Show. A bit later Sarah was reading from a short story that Ian recently had published. When she got near the end and the story was talking about God, Ian again smiled and his heart rate went up to 111. Ian is not only responding, he is responding to “Ian things”. He was “awake” and responding for about four hours.
Sarah, Joni and I walked out into the hall when the nurses were in with Ian and when we came back in he appeared to be sleeping. The three of us started talking about Larissa coming soon to the hospital and Ian heard us. Just mentioning Larissa’s name woke him up and caused his heart rate to go well into the 100’s again as we talked about her.
Please, please continue to pray. Pray fervently; pray often. God loves to bless his children.
Thank you. I know so many of you are praying....Steve Murphy