I thought the MRI was going to be the end-all, be-all of tests and results that I wanted and that it would tell us everything so we knew what the next days would bring. We got the results, but that’s not so much the case. The MRI gave positive news, more-or-less, and almost essentially rendered it useless to us for the future. They found that the brain swelling was the only thing of concern regarding her brain and it was caused by the cardiac arrest. There were no blood clots or fluid or anything else to worry about, which is good and means they don’t have to do anything for that. So, it’s good to have a conclusive answer as to how her brain looks, and I wouldn’t want to still be in the dark about how her brain was. But, there is nothing further to do based on those results. The swelling will go down on its own, but any damage already caused is still there.

That said, another test was being run. It is something called a Somatosensory Evoked Potential (SSEP), which will show any electrical signals going from the body to the brain. This, I’m told, is that end-all, be-all test that I was looking for. But, for all I know I’ll be proven wrong on that, too. Anyway, patients are typically given an SSEP test 72 hours after they’ve had a brain injury. In our case, that would be Wednesday night at 10pm. They won’t do it at 10pm, and I’m unclear as to when they will. However, for some reason that even the doctor doesn’t know, the test was done earlier today. We’ll get the results later tonight, and the test will be given again around the 72-hour mark. Apparently, a person can have bad results at 1 or 2 days, but then have good results on the third day, so today’s test will not paint an accurate picture necessarily.

They’ve been doing a poor man’s version of this test ever since she arrived. They check for pupil dilation, corneal reflex, and what I’m just going to call a pain reflex. They shine a light in her eyes, touch her eyes with cotton swabs, and pinch her arm, respectively. She has always had pupil dilation, but has not responded to the other two. According to the doctor, very few people who come in like Stephanie are ever the same, and those that are okay show a reaction to all three of those “light” tests. So, I guess what I’m saying is that the prognosis is very not good. The SSEP test will really tell us a lot, especially at the 72-hour mark. If it is positive, things are really good. If it’s negative, then she will either be in a vegetative state or not make it at all.

Of course this news overwhelms me. I do not know what I will do without my wife. I still have God. I have God and He has me. I know He loves me and I know He wants what is best for me. I don’t know how that would be best for me, but that’s just because I can’t see things from His perspective. I have so much family and friends here to comfort me. It has been such a blessing. I am now exhausted from all the emotions. There was much crying and bawling and sobbing.

But I know that God is not done yet. This still isn’t over and this whole thing can still turn around. I don’t know if it will. I do know that God can do it if He wants. Stephanie’s aunt has been impressed with the idea to “just wait,” and so that is what we are doing. We’re just waiting. Nothing is for certain until God says so, no matter what the doctors say. And I know that if He decides to take her from me, whether mentally or physically, then He will fill that hole in my life and He will overcome the great pain I am experiencing.

I love you all. Thanks for reading along. I will keep posting, and probably share thoughts I’m having. It’s very therapeutic for me to type out my thoughts, and I do my best processing with that.

41 thoughts on “Results”

  1. Don’t even know what to say Brad…Not done praying and I am so glad to see and hear of the outpouring of support in response to this crisis. Love you and look forward to good news, Luke

  2. Love you, Brad. Don’t know what else to say. Just know that you have lots and lots of prayers out there coming your way, little brother <3

  3. Brad, we are lifting your family up in prayer. It’s very hard to understand why this has happened, but God is in control. We will continue to pray for a miracle. We are especially praying for your little ones. I’m sure this must be very hard for them. Thank you for shring your thoughts with us. Your strength and trust in God amazes us.

  4. We received an email from the Schmidts yesterday and immediately stopped to pray. We continue to pray, really really hoping God’s plan is to heal Stephanie. …Sending our love to you and prayers to our mighty sovereign Lord with heavy and hopeful hearts.

  5. Thank you for the updates and the strength of your faith which is so obvious through your words. We are praying for you all.

  6. Brad I cannot even begin to form words that would even remotely describe how sorry I am that you and your family are going through this. My family and I have been faced with some difficult medical issues with my husband recentely and can understand the helplessness you feel. The only thing that has seen us through has been our unwaivering faith. I hear that in your words. Rest on the knowledge that this is part of God’s plan for your lives and that He did not bring you to this point in order to leave you to handle it on your own now. Our prayers are with you.

  7. We are both praying for both of you and your families during this. My prayer is recovery for her, strength for you and wisdom for the physicians. Thank you for the updates as we can see new things to pray for.

  8. “Nothing is for certain until God says so”.

    I take the view that positive thought is better than negative. I will be believe positive will prevail until all avenues are exhausted.

    Stay strong.

  9. We just read your update and are continuing our prayer for Stephanie. Stay strong, Brad. God is in control. People are praying all over the country and God hears every prayer.

    “Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other, our God is healer, awesome in power, our God, our God!”

  10. Brad, I am a friend of Kelly’s. She shared with me what you are going through and gave me the link to your blog. Know that I am praying for you and your family through this time.

  11. Brad,
    We don’t know each other, but we have the same Father. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through. But know that you can rest in the TRUTH of who God is even in the dark hours when you don’t FEEL like he’s there. He is truly loving and gracious. He is ever faithful, giving strength when we have nothing left (II Cor 12:9-10). He gives peace and joy (Phil 4:4-7) and wisdom (James 1:5). He is ALWAYS there (Deut 31:8). He is a miraculous healer. There is no one like HIM! My family is praying for yours continually.

  12. Praying for your family during this time. May He give you the courage, peace and strength that you need in Christ.

  13. I work with Scott and I just wanted you to know that the Petri’s are praying for you and your family. Sending positive love and healing power your way-:)

  14. Brad,
    God is faithful. His promises are true, even in the dark times when we feel alone. I am so sorry to hear about what your family is going throug. I cannot possibly imagine what you must be experiencing, but want to join the host of others who are lifting you and your family up to our Father in prayer. Praying for grace, rest, peace, joy, and healing.

  15. Dear Brad and family,
    We are storming heaven with prayers and we know that God has you in His amazing grip, and the word that I have been receiving as we pray is to trust Him. We love you and will not stop praying and asking for a miracle.

  16. God is the Great Physician, and we will not stop praying for a miracle for Stephanie and for peace and strength for you and the family. Thank you for the updates…

    The Koehler’s

  17. Brad,
    I just wanted to let you know that I am praying for Stephanie, you and your precious little babies. I also have a lot of my friends and family praying as well. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

  18. Lying awake thinking about you guys. Lifting Stephanie up in prayer, trusting for good news tomorrow.

    “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

    Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV

  19. Brad,

    I’m praying now and we will do so as we wake up throughout the night. We are praying for healing for Stephanie tonight and for rest for those of you gathered around her in the arms of our almighty Savior.

    Ben & Kate Kunz

  20. Dear Brad,

    Aunt Jackie is also awakened in the night by our Lord
    to lift Stephanie up to His throne of grace and to enfold you in His arms and thank Him for you,and your love to us all in your words to us. Please hug your mother and father for me. Trust Love always,nephew. me

  21. Praying, praying, praying. I am acutely aware of God working through this. The scriptures I’m seeing posted here are the same ones that are running through my head. Most recently Aaron and Sarah’s post from Lamentations…Wow I heard that all day yesterday and prayed it in all of my prayers. We are standing on His promises. And He is faithful. And He is love.

  22. Brad,
    I heard about your crisis from a friend, Leslie Pickenheim, and I just wanted you to know that there are many here in Pa who are also praying for your family and for Stephanie!! My heart goes out to you and your little ones, and I will continue to keep you all in my prayers!

  23. Brad, We are praying for you and your family. God knows Stephanie’s body better than anyone– he formed and knitted her together! We are praying for a miracle and that she will feel our Savior’s love and your love and know you are there with her.

  24. Dear Brad,
    We at Sonshine Preschool are praying constantly for God’s miracle and we know He is faithful in all he does. Remember, when you can’t see His hand, trust His heart. May God continue to lift you and your family up (especially your little ones) and pour out His grace, comfort and strength. We love YOU!
    In His Love,
    Lois Griffin & The Sonshine Preschool Staff

  25. I know I don’t know either of you in person…please know even people who don’t know you are praying for you both

  26. Know that our prayers are being lifted up for Stephanie, you and your family. We’re praying for amazing healing which we KNOW our Lord is able to do! We’re also praying for protection, peace and comfort for all of you. God bless you!

  27. Brad,
    I just wanted to let you know I have been thinking of you ever since I heard the news and praying for your entire family. I know how difficult this must be. I have been there and it’s not an easy road to walk. I have to say I am very impressed with your attitude and you are right… God has the master plan and having faith in that makes things a little easier. It doesn’t change the emotions you are feeling, but it eases things. I feel for you on every level and will continue to pray for you. The ICU is a tough place to be and emotions can run high. Often it’s “hurry up and wait” but the Cleveland Clinic is wonderful and Stephanie’s in great hands. Hang in there. It is amazing how many wonderful people there are in the world… in leiu of a crisis it’s nice to know you are loved and cared for by so many. You are in my thoughts and thanks for the continued updates!
    Rebecca (Timmy Boyle’s sister)

  28. Brad, All of you have been on my mind and my heart since I learned of this tragedy. Mike and I continue to pray often. I am praying for a miracle from God. Still knowing all the time that He is in control. Your words are so filled with faith. You are an example to anyone who has or will ever go through difficult time. I talked to Bill this morning and you should see him soon. He is very loved by our family and know that he will be glad to be there with you and all of your families.
    Though we have never met in person, we share the strongest bond of all, that is being a child of the Almighty God.
    My love and prayers continue for all of you.
    Suzanne McElroy

  29. Brad
    So many are praying for you and Stephanie that you don’t even know! You are an example of true faith unfolding before us all! “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
    Praying for healing and comfort and peace…

  30. Brad: You don’t know me but I work w/ Stephanie’s mom, Nancy. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie a couple of times. I’ve known her mom for quite some time now and I’ve heard many wonderful stories about Stephanie and her family. I only wanted to respond to let you know that all of us at Ross, Brittain have been praying for her. I cannot begin to tell you how sorry I am that this has happened. I am about Stephanie’s age, married w/ a 7 mo. old son, and I don’t know what I would do in the same situation. Just remember that God is here for you… to help you and guide you through. My thoughts and prayers will continue…

  31. Brad –

    Thanks for keeping all of us who love and care about you and Stephanie updated. I know we all are waiting anxiously for each update, continuing to pray for you and your family, hoping for good news.

    None of us can truly know what you are experiencing right now – but we are all behind you to support you in any way you need. We are crying and sobbing with you and praying for and with you.

    Your faith is inspiring, and your willingness to share so much with each of us is a continued testament to how wonderful you and Stephanie both are.

  32. Brad, I know you don’t know me, but Brian, from CVC sent out the prayer request. My heart goes out to you and your children. I am praying for all of you.

  33. It was good to see you this morning, Brad. Thanks for the chance to pray with you as I felt it a privilege to do so. As you can read, many are lifting you and your families up in prayer. Take comfort in that for sure.

    Know that the nursing staff in H22 is seeing Him in you as you stand strong thru all of thi. Continued prayers for you all, brother.

  34. Brad, We are in prayer for you and your family. We are prepared to help in any way possible. Thank you for walking with God – your lives together reflect His love and glory.

  35. I know this doesn’t help much, might sound trite, and might not be what you want to hear.

    What you have been writing, is inspirational.

    God’s plan seems to get revealed for us in bits and pieces. And at least for me, it makes little to no sense until I see some of those bits revealed. Frankly, I end up doubting He’s even there at all… or that He’s a silly idea that’s just supposed to make us “feel better”. Or that I’m too “smart” to believe in such a ridiculous notion.

    But again, when I see those bits revealed… it will hit me like a ton of bricks.

    I hope you’re getting some of those bits revealed, as well as Stephanie. I sincerely believe that what you’re sharing with this blog is reaching people.

    I continue to pray for you and your family. Thank you for sharing, Brad.

  36. I am here Brad praying for you and Stephanie all day! Keep up your strength and faith…and know that God is with you now, right by your side crying as you cry, sobbing as you sob…he has a plan…be strong and please if you need anything let me know! God Bless!

  37. I am here Brad praying for you and Stephanie all day! Keep up your strength and faith…and know that God is with you now, right by your side crying as you cry, sobbing as you sob…he has a plan…be strong and please if you need anything let me know! God Bless!

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