Tuesday, December 18, 2007

one year ago today...

One year ago today, at exactly 9:20 p.m. I got the call that every parent prays they will never get. Last year we had no Christmas, as it was spent in the ICU watching this young man struggle to save his life. It was the worst challenge I have ever had to endure as a momma, but...that is not what this post is about. This post is an update, one year later.
Mark today...
Re-entered college and just finished up a semester. His experience in the hospital opened up an interest in the medical field and he wants to be a Respiratory Therapist. He is hoping to be accepted into the program in 2 more semesters. He is back to work part time at his old job, but it is pretty physical and is proving to be a little difficult. However, he is very strong willed and will probably work through the Christmas season and beyond until something more feasible works out.
Marks broken back healed as expected and should get stronger with time. He now lives with what is called Short Bowel Syndrome after loosing so much of his intestines. He takes daily medicine for this and has made many adjustments in his diet. The hardest setback has been his foot. Mark lost all the tendons in his right foot. He used this foot to brace the impact during the car accident and this tore every tendon, because of the immediate internal concern, his foot wasn't even acknowledged for weeks. He begins his day with moderate pain and has to be consistent with physical therapy. He still walks with a slight limp and occasionally has to use a cane, but I just know that we will find the right doctor who will give us hope about some kind of restorative surgery. I just know it. Medical science is amazing and with his new exposure to the field, I know he will be directed to the right physician. The best thing about Mark is his attitude. He is very positive about the entire experience and this makes me proud everyday of the year. He is my hero...because now, when I am having a rough go of it, I think of Mark and find encouragement.
Mark became kind of a Blog Celebrity during that time, as I chronicled the events of every day. He was our Christmas story of hope and the situation fostered our belief in Christmas miracles. Because of the blogging community, God in this vast Universe was bombarded with prayers and requests. Mark's story spread like wildfire and many of you were a part of that and I whole heartily say...
Y Thank You & God Bless You
Christmas Miracles Do Come True !


Blogger Lisa S. Oceandreamer said...

How well I remember all of this, how well I remember I thought of Mark each and every day. I thought of you and your family each and every day. I had just lost my mom 10 days prior and I wanted so badly for his story to have a happy ending. I was so happy it was that there were hardly any words. His endurance, courage, perserverance and great strength of character are things we can all learn from. It also proves the power of the collective in thoughts, vibes,prayers...whatever works for each individual.
I wish for him, you and your entire family a holiday filled with great celebration this year.
Love and hugs,

12:57 PM  
Blogger LiteraryGirl said...

Oh how lovely to be here one year later, with that handsome son of yours still with us. I felt like I went through it a little with you...obviously from a very distant "stranger-love" sort of way, but seeing this post made me get goosebumps and smile. Yeah Mark! Yeah God!

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Star said...

Sharing Mark's story with all of us brought together a community that felt close, like we could really rely on one another and (as you said) fostered the belief in miracles large and small.

Blessings to your family as you spend this holiday together.

1:41 PM  
Blogger gracie said...

Dates like today stick with you... kinda like the "Ebeneezer" concept or the Scottish 'cairn' - a marker that forever stands as testament to the faithfulness and enduring presence of God. Praise God for what he has done in Mark's life and the miracles that continue daily. And from one Aussie Mum to a US Momma: A BIG HUG!!!

2:39 PM  
Blogger BJ said...

Darlene - this post brought back so many memories.......already a year has gone by. Mark looks just wonderful....and our Lord works through us in wonderous ways. The fact that Mark is interested in respiratory therapy may never have sparked his interest had it not been for the care he received in the hospital.

I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas....and much peace, love & happiness this beautiful holiday season!

3:02 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Darlene, A friend of mine directed me to your blog last January and I cried and prayed for you and for Mark and then kept up on the progress for the past year! I didn't leave comments, cuz, well, 30 some people were leaving comments some days and I was very new to the blogging world, but I followed Mark's progress and I know that God was listening and still is to the prayers of us all. Merry Christmas!

3:17 PM  
Blogger aka Cate said...

I follwed each day and each triumph - Mark has come such a long way. I'm sure coming from such a close, loving family helps you all to be as strong as you are. May this Christmas be a happy one for your family.

3:33 PM  
Blogger Angela Marie said...


3:35 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Oh Darlene: I can't believe it's been a year. The picture is marvelous and his progress nothing short of that miracle.
Mark did bring a blogging world together in a common cause and prayers. Now we can all celebrate! Love and Hugs
Wanda Mom

4:08 PM  
Anonymous ceanandjen said...

Thank you for this wonderful update...it warms my heart to know that Mark is continuing to heal and is taking such wonderful steps in his life. So much has happened and you all deserve to be healthy, happy, content and full of joy. xoxoxo

4:52 PM  
Blogger Karen Travels said...

Thank you for the update! I remember being new to this blog land year ago, but I was immediately swept by his courage. And yours! I hope he still has my students pics they drew, as I knew they brought cheer to him!!

6:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was directed to your blog and read your stories and my heart just ached for your family. It is always so wonderful to witness answered prayers and to know that God is in the business of performing miracles always.

Mark looks wonderful and I pray that you will all have a wonderful Christmas.

7:53 PM  
Blogger LEstes65 said...

Whew! You got me all teary-eyed thinking about that whole time. Trish sent me over to your blog because of Mark's accident. And your blog was the first place I left a "stranger" comment. You got me out of my lurker mode. And now no one can shut me UP! Ha!

I have to tell you that I think about you guys all the time. I'm going to send a link to this post to my big prayer chain. Because I imagine many of them are wondering what ever happened to that Mark kid. They know he made it but I think it will make them smile to read this.

I love you so much. I'm so glad I know you. You have been such a blessing to me this year. How interesting that we've traded roles for each other.

Blah blah blah. I need to call you in stead of just doing a mind dump in your comments!

Love you...

10:45 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Crying again over that boy of yours! Only this time they are tears of joy. Have a great life Mark.

3:56 AM  
Blogger Constance said...

Thanks for the update on Mark. I remember reading your blog for the first time when someone else directed me there so we could pray for him and your whole family. It's amazing how God can use something so terrible for good. Please tell him that he is an inspiration and that he is in deed, a walking, even with a limp, miracle!

4:26 AM  
Blogger Jack K. said...


What great news. Learning of Mark's progress is encouraging indeed. That is the only thing he could do with the support of his family, especially you, and the rest of the world.

He is a determined young man and is an inspiration to us all.

Remember that the same God is working with you. Try not to fight it. Every day, even if only for a moment, calm yourself enough to experience the energy from Him.

Have a wonderful Christmas.

5:17 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

i can't believe it's been a year! he looks so amazing in this photo, and it sounds like he has been improving in leaps and bounds (it's so exciting to hear he's studying! go Mark!!)

sending you christmas hugs and kisses, sweet D

12:41 PM  
Blogger Yolanda said...

I am so glad to see that he is so healthy. I am so glad the prayers worked and I know you will have a joyous holiday this year.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous poet said...

and we were right along side watching, crying, sending prayers your way. how proud we are of Mark and his successful return to life. He IS an inspiration! We send our love and best wishes to you and Mark and your entire family at this holiday season. poet.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Mary Timme said...

Boy, I remember this, too! Mark is just a miracle in being alive and that his attitude is so postive is such a blessing. I prayed for him so long, as I know hundreds did, and he is just a testimony to God's great goodness. I thank you as I've been thinking it was a year ago and to see him now! Wow! What blessings he has been to so many, including his own Mom! Is there anything better. The most Merry Christmas to you Darlene! And to Mark and all the rest!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Jane Poe (aka Deborah) said...

Miracles do come true and I'm so happy that your son pulled through and is living life with all his youthful energy. Much peace, love and many happy Christmas wishes to you and yours. xx, JP/deb

11:10 PM  
Blogger chulita4 said...

It truly was an honor to be part of the large, world-wide community which formed around Mark and your family during that time in your lives. I am so grateful to hear how well he is doing. You were all in my thoughts those many days and weeks. May he continue to get stronger and healthier every day and may you also feel better every day. God Bless you all and keep you healthy, strong, and together. Much love to all of you.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous amy said...

thank you for letting us know how things are going. it's fabulous to hear mark's news and see his smiling face. he clearly has the strong spirit that seems to run in your family. i know i've thought of Mark and of you when i'm having bad days with the consequences of my own accident. your strength is inspiring. hope you all have a wonderful christmas. take care.

3:41 AM  
Anonymous twoblueday.wordpress.com said...

What a wonderful outcome, considering the injuries.

I'm so happy for you and your family.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous twoblueday.wordpress.com said...

I was thinking of you, and Mark, and your whole family, and, indeed, our (humanity's) whole family when I did my blog post today.
I was particularly thinking of you when I added the video. It brought tears to my eyes.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Trish Ryan said...

Amen! What an inspiration your family has been, and what an amazing story of God's miraculous power. It has been a pleasure to behold Mark's healing, and your love for him as his mother.

Thanks for letting us in on your miracle!

3:06 PM  
OpenID Brian said...

Mark is truly a miracle and so are you Darlene. Your story and courage has changed many lives including my own.

Have a Merry Christmas.

5:12 AM  
Blogger Vanessa said...

he is my hero too... and i will never forgot how he fought for his life... and how you and the entire family fought alongside him.

merry christmas to you and mark and congratulations on all of his achievements.


9:25 AM  
Blogger Michelle O'Neil said...

Happy, happy! Mark is doing so well. Love to you all this holiday season!

12:40 PM  
Blogger Wanda said...

Oh Darlene, it's been so crazy. Aunt Cassie is in the nursing home hanging on to her last days. Been there a lot. You card was so beautiful. We leave for LA Sunday right after church. I promise when we get home....we will get together again and do something fun!!
All my love to you Jay, Mark, Angela. Love you tons!
Wanda Mom

4:36 PM  
Blogger KC said...

I stumbled across your blog last year and can remember praying for your family on a regular basis. Mark's fight for life, and your family's devotion and dedication to him were inspirational. I have never prayed so hard for a stranger in all my life.

One of the only comments that I left during those days was about how a girl would one day fall in love with Mark and would cherish his scars from the accident. Looking at his smile now, I know she will be a blessed woman.

Merry Christmas to a family with strength, courage, determination, and a reason to celebrate!

8:28 AM  
Blogger nancygrayce said...

What a wonderful miracle your son is!

8:19 PM  
Blogger Sandy said...

Gosh, I thought of Mark during this busy season and remember back a year ago when I first heard about this. I'm so glad he is doing better, even in the face of continued therapy but what a miracle he is.

I hope you and the family had a wonderful holiday. So much has gone on in a year.

Blessings to you all,

7:01 PM  
Blogger Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

wow, was it only a year ago??.....he has accomplished so much healing and made so much progress......it just seemed longer to me out here in blog land.
I would check in weekly for updates and always sending postive energy. I hope your health is better too. I'm sure your Christmas this year was extra special.

8:26 PM  
Blogger LADY LUXIE said...

So wonderful to see a smiling Mark there..I remember this oh' so well...

Merry Christmas to you and may the coming 2008 be a magical year of making all your dreams come true:>

10:27 PM  
Blogger amy said...

My goodness. A year. How different this Christmastime appears to last years. Thank you for the updates on Mark. We still pray for his continued recovery, and for your health. Merry Christmas.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

So happy for you and your family.

Happy 2008!

4:42 PM  
Blogger kathyann said...

Thank you for sharing this with us all.I am so glad Mark is making good progress and that he is going to channel his life into helping others ,well done to him for being so positive!As a mum it must have been so traumatic to see your son go through this,I have just added a posting to my blog about a young 17 lad who was the victim of a hit and run and was left for dead outside my house in the early hours of New Years Day and is now in intensive care we pray for him and his family that he too make a full recovery.Take care and we wish you and yours a Happy,Healthy and Peaceful New Year,love from Kathyann and the girls at meg's mum's muffins

7:48 PM  
Blogger La La said...

So glad that Mark is doing well. God is amazing! Loving the miraculous outcome!

11:29 PM  
Blogger pink sky said...

his story made me believe in miracles! truly astounding. so much to celebrate a year later. xo

6:42 PM  
Blogger Shari said...

A very good outcome indeed. Mark has come a long way. Sorry I didn't post a comment earlier. I didn't forget. I was in the middle of finals and was Christmas-crazed that week. December 18 is my birthday and mostly, when things happen on or around that day, I remember them.

Good luck to Mark as he studies for respiratory therapy. I hope medical technology advances wonders for all of us.

8:34 PM  
Blogger laura said...

i just found a link to your blog after not reading it for some time, and i was hoping for an update on your son. i'm so glad he is doing so well, and i hope that his recovery continues to be be smooth and his future bright. :)

11:36 AM  

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