Kevin was released from the hospital yesterday afternoon and took a ride on an ambulance all the way home. He arrived in very high spirits and was thrilled to be in his own place and in his new hospital bed. We enjoyed a very busy evening of friends and family all around. Jude and Evie opened a few very special presents and Kevin was physically and mentally more present than he has been in days. It was such a blessing. But we knew not to expect that to last. Over a few hours the friends and family trickled out and I tucked Rachel and Kevin into bed. Kevin had a restless night with a few stretches of sleep. His awareness and cognitive abilities began to wane almost immediately once everyone went home. I was able to care for his needs fairly well on my own, but I could tell that would come to an end soon as he was becoming less stable and less strong.
In the morning, Rachel climbed into bed with me and said, “I know we haven’t talked about this, but you are not allowed to stay here for Christmas. You have to go home, be with your family and get some rest.” She knew that I was questioning if I should stay and that if I stayed or went home it would be a difficult choice. So, again, she gave me grace and decided for me.
It was then that it hit us, I was leaving tomorrow morning, and she HAD to have help. Rachel has cared for her husband for over 2 years during their journey of treatment. She has watched him fight a very hard battle and fought alongside him. And now she is watching him slowly diminish and some day soon, go home to be with the Lord. She simply can not stay up all night and care for his needs. She can not walk him to the bathroom, change his sheets, alter his pillow placement, get him beverages, help him eat – all while grieving. It is beyond difficult to watch him slowly go – she simply can not manage that care as well. And honestly, I can’t bear the thought of her having to do so.
Rachel is asking for your help. The help we need, especially at night, is for someone to be here at the house to tend to Kevin’s needs and allow him (and her) dignity to manage through the next few days or weeks – however much time the Lord grants him. Kevin is 6″, so our preference is a strong person who can help him get in and out of bed and walk to and from the bathroom (so long as he is able).
If you can take a shift (2 hours, 8 hours, whatever you can do) or know someone who can, contact Sarah Thomas to volunteer and we will add you to the schedule. Dates are now through the evening of 12/26. You can contact Sarah via Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mrs.sarah.thomas.
This will not be an easy task. Cognitively Kevin is aware and able to respond about 10 – 20% of the time and while he can walk, he is somewhat unstable. This is a HUGE request, we know that, and we hope there are some of you who can be here for Rachel and Kevin in one of he hardest moments you can imagine.
Again, thank you all for your love, compassion and support.