Tonight was a very special evening. That’s because our family went and celebrated the life of a young boy who is only several years old and yet he has already had a tougher life than most of us will ever know. For those of you who have been reading TBTB for some time, you may remember that last Mother’s Day I wrote a post about Emily, a young mother – and her son, Eli. Before Eli was even born, he suffered from a blocked bladder that led to severe problems and several procedures that Emily endured to try and minimize the impact to Eli’s kidneys. But when Eli was 9 months old, the damage to his kidneys became evident and dialysis started three times per week for him at a very young age. Earlier this year it became evident that a transplant was the only viable answer and through God’s grace, Emily’s brother was found to be a good match.
Emily had the word “bELIeve” tattooed on the inside of her arm – a testimony to her faith in God and the fact that she believed that ELI would be healed by the Father. Since that day that we first met, we have stayed in touch with Emily and of course, we have continued to visit Kona Grill each week-end that we are in town – where Emily is a server.
Well, this evening, we were excited to go to Kona Grill to celebrate the fact that Eli has now had his transplant and is doing very very well post-op. And guess what? Emily happened to be our server this evening. An an act of corporate generosity, Kona donated a portion of the evening’s sales to help pay Eli’s medical expenses and many of us who are regulars were pleased to join in and help as we were able. It was an exciting evening for those of us who have watched Emily’s faith continue to grow as God has blessed her with answers to her prayers. There’s not too much more to say about Eli at this point – he’s alive and well.
Emily’s bother was the donor, the operation went well and Eli has started the slow process of recovery. He will be on anti-rejection medications for the rest of his life and chances are that he will need another transplant within 20 years. Of course, the medical bills are overwhelming. Janet and I couldn’t have experienced greater joy than we did this evening as we learned of Eli’s progress. God is good.
The verse for tonight is a simple one from the book of 1 Samuel. In a nod to how David indicated his men were to greet a certain person, we are told, in 1 Sam. 25:6, “Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours!” What a great greeting and encouragement. That is my encouragement this evening – that God wants us to celebrate one another and our successes as much as we console one another during times of trial. My prayer is that you will lift up Eli and his family as they deal with the issues of his return to health. Little Eli has a long life ahead of him and I trust that God will grant him grace and peace.
If you would like to help out little Eli, you can make an online donation in his name, Eli Hyde, by accessing COTA.org (Children’s Organ Transplant Association) or by contacting me directly. We’ll see that your assistance gets to Emily. Have a great day in the Lord grace and peace…
As Emily’s boyfriend and a fellow Kona Grill server, I want to say that it was great to meet you and your family on Saturday, and for the event last night. Thank you so much for the love, prayers, and support you’ve so graciously offered to Emily and young Eli.
I am amazed at the strength & courage Eli has demonstrated through all his medical ordeals, and by the strength Emily has shown as a young mother in such a difficult circumstance. They are both so strong & amazing people, bolstered by their faith. I am lucky to know them & have them in my life.
The love and support shown by the community has been so helpful. Thank you again for spreading the word. bELIeve!!