Here is an update on the situation on Ben's dad for all my blog followers. Ben's sister Heather wrote this:
Ok....I have to say that I have the best FB friends and close by friends in the world. Our family had quite a curve ball thrown at us yesterday and so many of you have have called and texted and FB'd us that I thought that I would tell the story here and hopefully it will answer your questions. This is what happened to the best of my knowledge:
Last night Mom and Dad were fortunate enough to get some tickets for great seats to see Bill Gaither and friends in Little Rock at Verizon Arena. As they were walking in, before they actually got inside, mom says that Dad got dizzy, stopped and said "whoa" and just went down, collapsed. In her best estimation, in about 2 minutes there were first responders on the scene that started CPR immediately. Paramedics arrived, could not get a pulse, gave him epi and adrenaline and shocked him to no avail, and put him in an ambulance, where they continued to work on him. Mom thinks that they got him back en route to UAMS.
Also present, and I want this noted for sure, in addition to the crowd that gathered to watch and offer assistance, were people that stopped what they were doing, dropped to their knees and started praying. To our family, they are every bit as vital as those people that were doing CPR. We are so thankful for their presence and faith in action.
Mom was not allowed to ride in the ambulance with Dad, but the wonderful Tim Jackson was there to drive her over there, and stayed with her until the 3 of us were able to come from where we all were to meet her at the hopital. They did a brain scan and other tests and he was moved to ICU about 10 pm last night, and then this is where it gets interesting and all Star Wars and stuff.
Right now Dad has been in a hypothermic state for a little over 24 hours. They have cooled his core body temp down to between 32 and 34 degrees. Celsius. At first I thought it was Farenheit....which would be crazy but what do I know about medicine? From what we understand, it pretty much slows down all of his systems, allowing his body and brain to heal. He is on paralytics and pain meds so he is completely sedated, pretty much in an induced coma. Studies have shown this technique to double your chances of survival in many cases. Tomorrow they will start to warm him back up over the course of 12 hours, and then decrease the paralytics and pain meds, and then we will see what we're dealing with. They are hoping to take him to the cath lab on Monday to see what is going on with his heart.
According to the cardiologist, his brain scan is perfect, and from his early assesments, there is minimal damage to his heart. This seems like good news to us. We still don't really know what we're dealing with until he wakes up and we see what, if any, lasting effects there are. So we play the waiting game until probably Monday or Tuesday, hopefully.
So those are the facts as we know them. We are spending our time at ICU at UAMS, which is not super fun, but we manage to pass the time answering our phones and making inappropriate jokes while we're in there with Dad, which Ben and I think are WAY too good to pass up, and Mom acts all offended but she knows it's funny. They do think that Dad can hear us, so we KNOW he thinks they're funny. (Example? Hey, my dad is much cooler than your dad". and "Dad is a cold-blooded son of a gun"....oh come on. If you're offended, you probably shouldn't come visit. Cause you're gonna leave mad.)
A personal note: I do not know what God's plan is in all of this. But personally, I can see His fingerprints all over it and how He has ordered the steps and the timing of every detail. If this had happened one hour earlier, Dad would have been driving on the interstate. If it had happened one hour later, he would have been on the floor of Verizon Arena, making it much harder for paramedics to get to him and get him out. He was 5 minutes from a hospital when on any other day he would have been at home or at work, where they did not have a staff - a STAFF - of trained certified CPR first responders. They would have taken him to HSMC where they would have needed to Med Flight him to Little Rock but couldn't have because of the storm. We have already been contacted by friends who work at UAMS who are either directly involved in his care, or are connected to someone who is. So we know that he is getting the best care possible. We keeping seeing the hand of God in all of this. It is quite a comfort and a safe place to fall when everything else is quite uncertain. ALL things work together for good for those who love the Lord, and are called accoring to his purpose. And we are constantly being reminded. God is good.
Thank you so much for your prayers, and well wishes. They are a source of great encouragement. Feel free to call us or text us or FB us and we will try to get back to everyone, but it might not be in a timely manner! We love you all -
Ok, and I (Kara) also want to share big news that Ben got a teaching job back down in his hometown, so we will be moving this summer. We are going to try to sell our house. That is keeping us really busy. We are very happy that he got this job, and will also be finishing his adminstration internship over the next year. We have a lot to look forward to, and a lot is going on. Please think of us.