Help us raise money to help renovate the VanderLey home so that Joel will be able to function as independently as possible.
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.". John 16:33.
These words bring comfort in a world with the unexpected paths of this life. Life eternal is our Hope, our Strength and our Salvation. We would like to take this opportunity to share where our journey has taken us over the past 3 months. On Christmas morning my husband, Joel VanderLey, 41 years young and father of four was recovering from what was thought to be the flu. By Friday Dec. 30, 2011 he still felt ill & complained of severe leg pain. We went to the ER where they discovered he had pneumonia & severe toxic shock so they immediately life flighted him to a trauma center. The critical care doctors immediately prepared him for emergency surgery. Strep A bacteria caused his pneumonia & had eaten through his right lung entering his bloodstream. Once in his bloodstream the Strep caused Necrotizing Facittis(NF) & Myositis(NM) in all of Joel's limbs. The toxins produced by the Strep bacteria caused his body to go into toxic shock. He went into acute kidney & respiratory failure. The NF & NM devastated every part of his body. The doctors explained that he would likely not make it through the night. They felt like his best chance of survival would be to remove the lower portion of his right leg where the NF seemed to be the most severe. The toxins continued to spread up his leg so the doctors had to amputate his leg up to the thigh. With the disease still spreading rapidly they had to take him back into surgery again that day to amputate his leg up to the right hip. Joel also had many surgeries to his left hand to remove large portions of necrotic tissue. His body bled profusely and required transfusions totaling about 100 units of blood. All of these measures were remarkable, however, the doctors continued to believe the prognosis was poor. Joel was in a medically induced coma for his 15 day stay in ICU. They attempted dialysis many times, but each time caused Joel's heart to fail. He had such an excess of fluids(antibiotics, blood, platelets, immunoglobulins, etc) that he was extremely swollen and the fluid began to surround his lungs and heart. Despite their best efforts, the doctors explained that without dialysis they would be limited in what else could be done. Against all odds and after many unsuccessful attempts Joel's body finally responded to the dialysis. The turning point, by all accounts, was a Miracle. Slowly, he began to show signs of improvement. After 7 weeks in the hospital Joel was able to come home. The power and will of God is beyond our comprehension. We are completely
trusting in Gods will and love. Joel continues to have significant weakness in both hands, but he is working hard in therapy to regain strength. In our greatest storm God was revealed again & again. Hundreds (maybe thousands) of you prayed and provided for us in beautiful ways. We feel grateful and are blessed beyond words to have Joel home.
Our home requires renovations so that he will be able to function as independently as possible. Should you wish to, we are very appreciative for donations to aid in home renovations. Thank you for taking the time to share in our journey. We know that Joy is doubled and Grief divided when it is shared.
Covered by HIS GRACE,
Joel, Kristine, Hunter, Ethan, Hanna, and Jackson VanderLey
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