Saturday, March 31, 2012

One Day at a Time

Elder Schenk's lungs are much better today. He's about got the pneumonia licked. Though unconscious he is trying to scratch itches, and doing a good job of it. Those miserable hic-ups were also around most of the day. We are being patient while waiting for Britten to "wake-up". "Wakeing-up and responding" must be more of a process than an event. We feel like we see glimpses of "wakening" but not consistently. For example, Britten only raised his arm for one of the sustaining votes during conference, not all of them. We are encouraged with each new day! We are so thankful to our Heavenly Father for the little things we are seeing each day. We know that everything is going to work out. We appreciate the faith, prayers and support of so many. All our love, Steven, Karla and Elder Schenk

Friday, March 30, 2012

Winning the Battle

The report on Elder Schenk's condition today will sound a lot like the past couple of days. He is winning the battle with the pneumonia and his lungs are getting better. The doctors continue to be positive, especially with some of his movements showing finer motor skills. He remains unconscious but several times we felt like he responded to a question after a second or two, but not consistently. The poor kid had the hic-ups all day. We had a very enjoyable evening with several Senior Missionary couples. They took us out to eat and we so enjoyed their good company. We appreciate these wonderful Senior couples who have taken us in and fed us each night. We are so grateful for Elder & Sister Call and Elder & Sister Jones for taking care of our every need. They truly have been our ministering angels. Again, we thank each one of you for your faith and prayers. We thank our Heavenly Father for answering those prayers. We feel so blessed to have received and witnessed so many miracles. All our love, Steven & Karla and Elder Schenk

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Peaceful Day

Elder Schenk had another good day. It was very peaceful and he got a lot of much needed rest. His lungs and pneumonia continue to get better each day. The Doctors are positive and say, "they are happy". That helps us to be more patient. We are just so very grateful to a loving Heavenly Father for each and every little thing. We wish we could reply to each and every one of you because each and every one of you have touched us deeply. We have heard from many that their testimony has been strengthened and so have ours. We have become aware of many others in need as well. Though we may not know their names, our Heavenly Father and Savior do know them and along with you we ask for blessings in their behalf. We give thanks for a peaceful day. All our love, Steven, Karla & Elder Schenk

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Busy Day

Britten has had a busy 2 days. They performed a Gastrostomy this afternoon to put a feeding tube directly into the stomach. So now there aren't any tubes going down his throat. He looks so much more comfortable. Elder Britten Schenk was very active today. His actions are very uncontrolled as his brain is beginning to come out of the "coma". His pneumonia is improving each day and the Doctors seem positive about things. The coming days we will slowly learn how much Britten is going to have to re-learn. We need to be patient during this time. We know this could be a long road, but when we think about where we were just a week ago and how many blessings we've received, miracles we've witnessed, we thank our Heavenly Father for his love and blessings. We appreciate so much the continued support, your love and your prayers. We feel it in our hearts and it makes it easy for us to get through each day. All our love, Steven, Karla & Elder Schenk

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Wonderful Day

We had a wonderful day today. We got to spend the morning with the missionaries of the Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission. All 182 of the Lords servants. What a glorious site to see. I could picture Elder Schenk sitting right there with them, with his big beautiful smile singing, "Called To Serve". It was a very touching, spiritual uplifting meeting. We we're grateful to be able to talk to the missionaries and give them our love and support. It was great to give heart felt hugs to his companions and friends. When we got back to the hospital Britt was back from the tracheostomy . He looked tired but so much better without that miserable ventilator tube. With minimal sedation he was moving all 4 limbs and opening one eye enough that they icreased the sedation slightly to keep him calm. The Dr. said that his lungs and pneumonia are improving each day. One of the nurses said, "He was resting and not moving until he heard his mother's voice. He must love his mother." w We are humbled and excited to see the Miracles each day. We continue it be amazed by the spirit and support we receive each day. Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love us all. All our love, Steven and Karla.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Much Like Yesterday

Today, was much like yesterday. The Dr. said that Elder Schenks lungs were slightly better and he felt like they were making some progress on the pneumonia. They are going to do a tracheostomy tomorrow which will be much better for Britten. They can get rid of the miserable ventilator tube in his throat and they can treat the pneumonia better and take better care of his lungs. He is still being kept sedated to keep his body calm. Reading your comments everyday, buoys us up and gives us strength to get through the day. We particulary appreciated the quote that Pres. Monson shared with the Young Women, "When your problems seem to much to bear,"Seek Heavenly Guidance" one day at a time. " Life by the yard is hard, by the inch is a cinch". Again, we express our love and appreciation to all. We give thanks and glory to our Father in Heaven for his bounteous blessings. All our love, Steven and Karla

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Good, Quiet Day

Britten had a quiet day. Apparently, Sunday is a little more relaxing day at the Hospital. It was fairly uneventful. I mean that in a good way. They increased the sedation slightly because they want to keep Elder Schenk unaggitated. There were no tests performed other than just the routine stuff. So, he was able to rest a little more and so were we. The neurologist said things are good. We are just waiting for the swelling to decrease. His lungs are slightly better but it takes time for the antibiotics to do their thing. We need to be patient and know that Heavenly Father will take care of things in his own due time. Karla and I have been so blessed. We have no doubts. We are so grateful for the calm assurance of the Holy Spirit that all will be well, and we must be full of faith, obedient and patient. We can't put into words how grateful we are for all the prayers and support. Pray for each other. We give thanks to Heavenly Father for a good, quiet day.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

It Was A Good Day

We witnessed more small improvements today. We call them miracles. Neurologically...the Awesome Doctors say that Elder Schenk is doing good. For us that means that the swelling in the brain is decreasing and that when sedation is low enough he is moving all four limbs more and more. It can be a very slow process for swelling to completely go away. Our main concern is the pneumonia. For us, that mostly means that it is on top of the list, the next "hurdle" that Britten needs to cross. We are so grateful to our Heavenly Father for the miracles we are witness to on a daily basis. We are stunned and amazed by all the support, prayers and well wishes from so many! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Many have said they have marveled at our strength and good attitudes. We are just ordinary people. We have, however, believed in and trusted in our Savior Jesus Christ. Not only believed in Him, but believed Him. He said, come unto me and I will make your burdens light. He will! He is! We love Him! We realize that all of those praying for and supporting us have struggles and trials of their own, some bigger, some smaller. (we talked about that "small" term before) We pray for you. Pray for each other and our missionaries wherever they are. With love and gratitude, The Schenks

Friday, March 23, 2012

I Am a Child of God

As we hold Britten's hand and sing, "I am a Child of God" it has a whole new meaning for us...I am a child of God, and He has sent me here, has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear...I am a child of God, and so my needs are great...I am a child of God, rich blessings are in store... Elder Schenk's needs are great and we have been richly blessed this day. Britten continues under light, intermittent sedation. He has a pneumonia which the Doctors are attending to. Our miracles today include: moving all 4 limbs when sedation is at a lower level. The therapist said, "Britt helped her move his left arm to his shoulder upon command." He was also taken off a couple of medications because they were no longer needed. Today, was another good day! We feel so strengthened, humbled and grateful as we feel the support from SO many. It is amazing to us. We are grateful to President and Sister Moriera and the Dr. Missionary couples for their constant love, support and care. We now know why Elder Schenk loves them so much. We thank our Heavenly Father for All our "Rich Blessings". All our love, The Schenk's

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Another Good Day!

We hope that this title gets old and boring! We thank our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for blessings received. Elder Schenk remains under light sedation to keep his body calm while his brain heals. We truly appreciate the staff and Doctors here and believe that we are blessed to have such competent and compassionate care. We witnessed miracles and small improvements again today. "Small" is a relative term. Really, to us they are huge improvements, but we don't want to give the wrong impression. In this situation, even simple things are "Wonderful to us." Britt has a long way to go. Little by little he will get there. Thank you all for your faith and prayers! (They are being answered) We know that you're being blessed as well. The Brazilian people truly have hearts of gold and are so supportive and helpful. After reading your messages of hope, faith and love we go to bed at night uplifted by the spirit and sleep well, knowing that all will be well. Heavenly Father is in charge and He loves us all. Love, Steven and Karla

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A Good Day

We started this blog as a way to communicate with our family and friends and update them on Britt's condition. We now realize that we have more friends and family than we could have ever imagined. It brings tears to our eyes to read the many comments of love and support for our son. We are so grateful for your faith and prayers. How do you define a good day? For us, it is to see any improvement in Britten's condition, even if it is small. Today was a good day. We have met so many wonderful, caring people here in Brazil. Now we know why Elder Schenk loves serving here. We have had so much love shown to us, that it is very heart warming. We know that everyone has struggles and trials in life. We also know that Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ love us, and hear and answers All our prayers. May we All have a good day tomorrow. With gratitude, Steven & Karla

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Kind Mercies

Today has been an emotional day, full of ups and downs. We feel like we witnessed another miracle. Pres. and Sister Moreira and Elder and Sister Call picked us up today from the airport and took us to the mission home. They expressed their profound love for Elder Schenk. Then we received the update on Britten's condition. Yesterday when Britt was transferred to the new hospital, the Neurosurgeon team took over. Britten was not doing well and things did not look good. After shedding many tears we went to the hospital to see our missionary. We said to each other, that we can accept the Lord,s will, but we will keep praying for miracles. It was so good to see and hold our son. We talked to him and told him of all the love, prayers and support. The doctor then came and talked with us. He said that his condition today was so much better than yesterday. He is still in very serious condition but gave us some hope. The next few days help us know more about his injurys. They have taken him off the sedation, but still has the ventilator. We are so thankful for the overwhelming love, support and prayers that we feel from so many. Britten has touched so many lives! We thank our Heavenly Father for his kind mercies.

Monday, March 19, 2012

No news is good news?

I know how anxious everyone is to hear of any change with Elder Schenk. Unfortunately this day has come and gone without any update to his status. We were very excited and encouraged when we heard he was getting moved to Hostpital Israelita Albert Einstein. We have heard that they have state of the art equipment to monitor and assess his situation. Hopefully we will hear more news tomorrow. Remember, as soon as we hear anything we will be updating this. So please try and be patient!

On a much better note! Mom and Dad made both their flights to Atlanta from LA and on the flight to Rio. We spoke with them briefly as they were sitting on the plane. They had to hurry from one end of the airport to the other. They are tired of traveling already and have maybe had too much time to think and contemplate. Especially without any news of Britts condition today. We are praying with the thousands of others for their safe and speedy arrival, and for good news when they arrive.

Once again we want to thank EVERY one who has shown us the true meaning of friendship. We have had so many great phone calls, texts, and emails. I have shed many tears from a well that I thought had run dry long ago in front of this computer. There have been so many amazing messages of love, support, and stories. Especially dear to me are the ones from Brazil that have been with Elder Schenk recently and testify of the man I have known only through words on a paper the last 21 months. Your stories you have shared of his spiritual strength, kindness, generosity, love, friendship, and testimony of his savior Jesus Christ and his gospel have brought an overwhelming amount of joy to our hearts.

Thanks again for all the love. It is simply amazing that this blog has been online only 24 hours and had 6800 page views when I started this post. By the time I publish this I'm sure it will have gone over 7,000. In one day! I know our heavenly father hears each of our prayers individually. Imagine the power of such a united effort of thousands... Britt, you sure are loved! Now just get better!

Visa's in hand and on to Sao Palo!

Good news today! Everything went smoothly this morning for Steven and Karla in Los Angeles at the Consulate. They were able to get all the paperwork done and their Visa's in hand. They arrived at the airport in time to make the earliest flight but found out they were going to have to fly to Atlanta first, Rio de Janeiro next, and then finally on to Sao Paulo.  They are currently flying to Atlanta so they still have a ways to go before they will make it to Britten's side. We are praying that everything from here on out goes smoothly and that their 24 hour round-about trip to Sao Paulo will soon come to an end. They should arrive in Sao Paulo at around 12:00pm Tuesday (our time). We unfortunately have not heard any update on Britt so far today but we are expecting a phone call very soon. We will let everyone know as soon as we do.
Love you all!
Logan and Lora

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On their way!

First of all we would like to thank everyone for the overwhelming wave of support that has been shown to Britten and our family. We could share so many amazing stories of faith, love, and support that have occurred in the last 2 short days. There simply is not enough time/text characters :-) We know that there have been at least 3 different stakes that have participated in fasting and prayer on Britten's behalf. Let alone the hundreds of others not only here but in Brazil as well. We have felt the love that such an amazing person deserves and know that he has felt it as well.

Steven and Karla arrived safely in Los Angeles at about 10:30 pm. They will go to the Brazilian Consulate first thing in the morning to process their visas. It has been amazing to see the kind of resources that the Church has to help pull strings over the weekend. It took Britten 7 months to attain his visa. If all goes well then Mom and Dad will have received their temporaries in just 2 days. They have a flight to Rio De Janeiro in the early afternoon (if the visa processes in time) and then on to Sao Paulo.

On their way to the airport (in the blizzard) they received a conference call with limited, but sweet,  details. Britten did not have his scheduled CT scan because he is stable enough to be transferred to Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein! We are told that this is the best hospital for his needs. We checked out their website and feel very comfortable with his health care. They said that they had a team of neurosurgeons awaiting his arrival and to start on his case immediately. Hopefully they will be able to get us more answers on the severity of damage, recovery etc... Since Mom and Dad are traveling, they will not be able to receive any news on the airplane, but we may be updated sooner.

We are so very appreciative of all the help that Britten has received there in Sao Paulo. The Mission President has spent so much time at his side along with many others I'm sure. Felipe, one Britt's very special friends, has been by his side and made sure that Britt has not been alone. Felipe we thank you for that and love you so much and are proud of your decision to also serve the Lord. Our heart goes out to Elder Squires, Britten's companion, and want him to also know of our love. We wept when we heard about the sweet lady that was driving the bus. She showed up to the hospital later completely beside herself apologizing over and over. We want her to know that she has our love with her and hope she will turn to her father in heaven for comfort.

We appreciate once again what EVERY person has done. We've had hundreds of calls, texts, and emails all asking what they can do to help. We feel that the biggest and best thing you can all contribute is your prayers. All of us who have had the blessing to know Elder Schenk know of his incredible will and drive. He has the determination and tenacity to get through this if anyone can.

"Your future is only as bright as your faith"- Elder Britten Schenk

With love, Logan and Lora

Our first miracle

Dear Family and friends Last night the Bishop and Stake President came to our home and with tender hearts, informed us that Britten had been hit by a bus.  He had severe head injuries and the out look did not look good.  With many prayers and blessings last night our family has recieved our first miracle.  They did surgery and removed the bone fragments and found the there was no bleeding around or in the brain. His eyes were dialated and when they decompressed the brain, one eye focused.  There is so much swelling occuring in his brain they hope that in time his other eye will focus.  He is in a medically induced coma and on a breathing machine. He is still in very serious condition but the Doctors are encouraged from last night.  They feel that there is hope for his future.  The Church is working on our VISA's and getting us down there ASAP.  We are very encouraged with this news and know that he has great doctors taking care of him.  We appreciate your calls, texts, and prayers in Brittens behalf.  We love all of you and are so grateful to our Heavenly Father for his constant care. Love you all, Steven and Karla