Some you may already know this news but some have not I will go through the background of the issue at hand. Not long ago we went to Malaysia to get “Darlene” alias of my wife to get her visa because they rejected her for no reason in Laos. We were able to get the visa in Malaysia praise God and came back to Thailand. When we returned suddenly she was complaining about swelling in her feet. I thought, surely this is just from sitting a lot and from the flight because this happens to people sometimes. So I told her to put her feet up and thought it would go away. It did. The swelling in her feet came and went that week.
Because she does a lot of sitting from homeschooling throughout the day sometimes we will go to the park in the afternoon to do a little bit of running. But instead of distance running she will do some sprints across a soccer field. We came home one day and her feet were really swollen. Once again I thought it was a matter of doing those sprints and her body maybe not being used to doing them in a while and it be some sort of response to the shock from running so fast. However a few days later she woke up one morning saying her face and hands were a little swollen too. That is when we knew something wasn’t right but wasn’t sure. We left the following day to start the big outreach we had planned. After the second day she woke up in the morning with her face, neck, legs and hands very swollen. That is when we decided to go to the hospital.
Darlene really did not want to go to the hospital because we do not have insurance and we have already had additional expenses because of Thai immigration rejected my work visa extension and us having to leave the country 2 additional times as well as pay for a language class to get on a student visa. This has added about $2,000 to our budget costs for this year. It doesn’t matter though, when there is an emergency you see the doctor first and take care of those issues later. They ran many tests on her throughout the day. What they found is that she definitely is dealing with a kidney problem called Nephrotic Syndrome. It means that her kidney’s are not filtering 100% and in fact are at about 70% so it is allowing things like protein to get through and it is causing these side effects like the edema (water pooling in the body).
The main problem is that Nephrotic syndrome can be a primary problem or secondary problem meaning that it could just be a result of another underlying disease like a cancer or lupus. We are still waiting for some test results and will go again on the 31st to find out these results. In the meantime, they have her on some high dose Prednisone which is a steroid and a diuretic to help her kidney’s get some of the excess water out of her body. So far the diuretic seems to be having limited effect and she still has a lot of swelling in her neck, hands and feet, sometimes knees. It is still swollen enough that it hurts when she walks. The Prednisone is supposed to help as an anti inflammatory and reduce some of the protein levels in her urine. We have switched her to a low sodium/low protein diet as well to help but we have not really seen any changes yet since Friday evening but it could be this things take time to take effect.
We are really praying there is no underlying disease that is causing this and that this is primary cause. This is an extremely difficult time because this happened in the middle of our big outreach. I myself have suddenly had to start making meals for everyone as well as take on some extra responsibilities that my wife would normally handle around the house and with our son. I tried to call around for medical insurance on Friday to see if we could get on a plan. The tests we took alone a few days ago cost $500 and we still will have more to come especially since we don’t know what exactly we are dealing with and what that is going to look like to treat in the future. We really need to get an insurance plan ASAP. I got a quote from Cigna for $330/month but this was not approved or calculated fully for those with pre existing condition. At this point we still feel this could be the wise course of action but there is a huge problem in how we are going to pay for this. The plan can be canceled at anytime so Lord willing if she got better very quickly and responded to the current treatment we could drop the plan in let’s say 3-4 months but with things like this we don’t know and it is unpredictable. Even at this estimate if this is the final price at $330/month that is an extra $1,320. If we paid for a year we are looking at an extra $4,000.
We never like to ask but in this situation we are asking our brothers and sisters of means for help. This is actually the best course of action because Thailand does have relatively good medical care and it is cheaper than the US overall. If we were to have to go back to the US we would still be looking at around $2-3,000 for plane tickets to get back home anyways so it would be better just to stay here for the time being if possible. I did discuss with Darlene if she wanted to go back home or stay here and she feel’s more peace staying here for treatment for the time being. She is also nervous that taking many long flights to get back home would only make her swelling situation worse and possibly cause complications.
Please help us now with a donation to help Darlene get the medical care she needs. Many churches now are preparing for end of the year giving. If you are a Pastor, or other brother or sister in Christ, would you or your church consider giving a portion of that offering to help a missionary family in need? We need your help. Click the link below to head to the donation page where you can check out with credit card or paypal or send a check to us through our home church for a tax deductible donation. Thank you all and most of all please pray for her we need this most of all.
Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven.
Please also send “Darlene” an email of encouragement if you like to let her know you are praying for her. firstname.lastname@example.org