Dear family and friends,
Instead of a group email, I’m forwarding the email that Jacob sent to just me this afternoon. Additionally, I’d like to share the details of what’s happening with Jacob right now and ask for your fasting and prayers.
As most of you know, when Jacob was 12 years old he was diagnosed with a degenerative cornea disorder called Keratoconus. When he was 13 he underwent a corneal transplant in his right eye. Since that time he’s had several surgeries in his left eye—trying to keep that eye from going to transplant. Anyway, he’s been blessed with good health and corrected vision for several years and has been able to lead a very normal life.
Last Saturday morning, life changed for Jacob when he woke up with no vision in his right eye. He’s a smart guy and knew exactly what was happening. He asked for a blessing and then headed to the emergency room where after lots of hours and several doctors, it was confirmed that the endothelial layer of cells in his cornea are rejecting and detaching from his eye. Unfortunately, it is normal that when rejections occur, they happen that quickly (literally overnight). The ophthalmologist sent Jacob home with some heavy duty anti-rejection eye drops and asked for him to come back in today. This afternoon, Jacob saw the cornea specialist who confirmed that the eye is rejecting the transplanted tissue.
So, what does this mean? The doctor wants Jacob to try the drops for one more week before any decisions are made. He said that in a few rare cases, he’s seen rejections reverse—but it will literally be a miracle. He said that likely Jacob will need another transplant to correct his vision. Over the next week or two, many decisions will be made about Jacob staying on his mission, pushing through the last eight months with little vision, having surgery while in the field, or coming home for treatment. As you can see from Jacob’s email below, he does not want to come home. He also doesn’t want to be a burden to companions or his mission president. As we all know, having missionaries come home early for any reason, can be an emotional deal.
Jason and I will be fasting for Jacob on Wednesday, November 16th. We would invite anyone that wants to join us to participate in a fast for Jacob, the doctors, and the mission president. Please also include him in your prayers.
Thanks in advance! We love you all—and we love this young man that wants so desperately to serve the Lord and the people of New Jersey!
I am sure that Sister Goddard told you already, but this morning the cornea specialist that I needed to see was not there. He will be there at 3:00 my time and I will go see him. The drops don't seem to be doing a whole lot. My vision is just as blind in my right eye as it was on Saturday. I am honestly having a pretty hard time with it all. When I asked for a blessing on Saturday morning, I was hoping to hear something along the lines of "I bless you with healing in your eye that will not hinder your work as a missionary" but that wasn't a promise God wanted to give for whatever reason. When I mentioned this to my companion who gave me the blessing, he said he wanted to say that, but God did not let him. What I do know, is that God is steering right now. I have done the things I have been supposed to do, and whatever happens is His plan. It sucks, but that is how things work sometime.
I am really worried about what is going to happen after talking with the doctors. On the other hand, I feel very at peace with the doctors who have been caring for my eyes. I also have a very powerful promise in my patriarchal blessing that God will touch the hands of the doctors who are caring for my eyes and that I will be able to see…also that I will be able to see the things that I need to see--books, scriptures, things of this world. And right now as I can not see those things, I trust that God will provide. That's about all for my eyes. I trust in God and I know that the care I will receive will be what I need.
Thank you for your prayers and support back home. I don't think I am going to send other emails today. I am just too stressed about what the unknowns will be and I can't focus right now. This is all of my pre-mission fears coming to life right now... But I love you! Good luck with your school work. I hope this morning went well!