Paul T. Leidy *UPDATED

February 28, 2014 | Prayed for 250 times

Please pray for my grandson, Caleb Koppel, who was born on February 19th with the condition known as Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. As a result of the condition, Caleb had open heart surgery on February 25th at Children's Hospital - Washington, DC. Caleb is a fraternal twin, and his brother Jonah is doing well. Please pray for Caleb, his parents - Ryan and Kristen Koppel, and Jonah, that the Lord continues to lift them up and provide his healing hands and grace on them. Additionally, pray for Ryan and my wife Mary Leidy, as they also use this opportunity to share the Gospel with other families in crisis, as well as the entire medical staff supporting Caleb. It is truly amazing what God can do through trials in our lives. Ryan provides updates, which I will post here for additional prayer and support - this is the update received on Friday February 28th: Good morning family, Caleb had another good night last night, praise The Lord. They have taken him off the nitrous oxide which was supporting his breathing. They have also reduced the amount of oxygen through the breathing machine to 50 percent (normal air is about 21 percent), so he is getting closer to being able to breathe without a breathing machine. His swelling has reduced a great deal. He is peeing a good amount which means that the heart is pumping enough blood to the kidneys. He also has had a couple bowel movements which is a good sign. All of the doctors continue to be amazed with his recovery. He will remain basically paralyzed until they close his chest back up, which is a 2 part process. Part 1 is this morning around 9am when the surgical team will come in for a 30-45 minute window to remove the arch that they put over his heart to let it swell. Then part 2 will be in the next 1-2 days where they will close the chest. Please pray for this to go smoothly and pray for wisdom for the surgeon and supporting doctors. Please pray for a sterile environment and that no infection would be allowed near his body. The nurses say that even in this state, he can hear us and recognize voices so I sleep at the hospital with him so I can talk to him, pray over him etc. Kristen and Jonah have been at Ronald McDonald house. I usually hang out with them during the middle of the day. We thank The Lord that both Kristen and Jonah are very healthy.

  • Update | Posted on April 21, 2014

    Update from Ryan as of 4/20/14: Happy Easter team. A very special thanks to you for all of your support to our family on this all important day of celebration of the reason for our hope, the resurrected Christ. Caleb has had a really good weekend and tomorrow looks like it will most likely be his discharge day. The morning will consist of an echocardiogram to look at his heart, a final x-ray, getting his PICC line removed, Kristen and I passing an infant CPR test and some meetings with his medical team and case manager. Assuming all of that goes as planned, tomorrow afternoon we can go home. Please pray specifically for a good night of rest and good feeds for Caleb, all tests to go well tomorrow, wisdom for us and the staff, a peaceful car ride back to our house, and a smooth adjustment to being home tomorrow night. Caleb is part of the single ventricle home monitoring program which will require us to report his vital signs several times throughout the week and there will likely be a nurse that comes to our house several times a week to assess him. He will also need to see a pediatrician once a week. Our home will basically need to be a germ free "bubble" for the next month until Caleb's next surgery is scheduled since he is considered pretty fragile still between surgeries 1 and 2. We trust The Lord with that and will not worry too much about it. We are still praying for the miracle of a whole heart healing, but are good with God's will throughout and we are not overlooking the many other miraculous things that have happened in Caleb's recovery. It is certainly another Easter gift to be able to write this message to you tonight with the joy of tomorrow ahead! God bless you!

  • Update | Posted on April 19, 2014

    Happy Easter weekend to all ... HE IS RISEN and HE IS ALIVE! Here is the encouraging update from Ryan ... Caleb soon to be coming home! April 19th update:Since Thursday, Caleb has had incredible progress, praise The Lord! On Thursday night he hit his goal of 40ml on a feed on back to back feeds so Friday morning his NG tube was pulled so that he could try feeding from a bottle 100 percent. When switching from NG tube to bottle feeding, it also means that all of his meds and vitamins are given orally as well. Caleb didn't like his meds given orally on the first try but seems to now be tolerating it. In order to stay properly hydrated (and avoid IV fluids) Caleb needs to have 175 ml of milk every 12 hours, or roughly 43 ml per feeding. In his first 12 hour stretch, he hit that number on the dot. On last nights 12 hour stretch, he consumed 214ml and he started today out with a 63ml feeding (which is great!). Even better news is that it looks like there is a strong chance of Caleb being able to come home on Monday, which is so much faster than expected (our cardiologist told Kristen earlier in the week to hope for Mother's Day). Thank you Lord Jesus. The next couple days are a bit hectic as Kristen and I have various forms of home and travel training for Caleb, meetings with staff, as well as doing all of his care here. Please pray that things continue to progress so well and that Monday will be the day Caleb goes home. It will be great to be home, even if only for a few weeks before his next procedure. Have a blessed Easter weekend everybody. He is risen.

  • Update | Posted on April 13, 2014

    Thanks to all for their continued prayers for Caleb and his family. Here is the update from Sat April 12. Good evening all. We wanted to let everybody know the latest with Caleb. He has graduated to taking feeds from a bottle every 3 hours and whatever he doesn't take down in 20 minutes is put through his NG tube over the next hour. He averages about 20ml per feeding from the bottle right now and that number needs to be closer to 30-35ml for him to get to the next step which would be removing the NG tube and seeing how he does on just bottle feeds. For kids with heart disease like Caleb, eating is a lot of work at first and you really have to take it very slow and pay attention to signs for stress because he can end up either burning more calories working to eat than he consumes or throwing up which creates setbacks from loss of important calories. He has taught us and all the staff here NOT to swaddle his arms or he wrestles nonstop and gets really frustrated. To keep him from pulling the NG tube out of his nose with his long fingers, we have to put socks on his hands which look like his boxing gloves (his fingers are too long for mittens) Please continue to pray that his feeding can progress, that his stomach can handle the meds also without making him sick (and that they can be weaned). We are praying that we could be home with him before Easter so that we could get about a month at home before his second major open heart surgery. Also, please pray that God grants Kristen and I (mostly me because she usually has it) graceful patience, enduring strength, and a loving compassionate Christ like spirit while in this unit. As I have said before, it is very different from the other unit Caleb was in for 47 days and it can be easy to get a little frustrated at times as a parent with some of the differences. Over all though it has been good so far and we thank Jesus for progress, however big or small. Thank your for all of your prayers. We thank The Lord for his faithfulness. Our verse for tonight is: Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

  • Update | Posted on April 08, 2014

    4/6 - 4/7 Updates: Good morning everybody! There is so much to rejoice in The Lord over today! There has been some wonderful progress for Caleb since my last update. If you recall, on Thursday late afternoon he came off of the ventilator and was put on "high flow" oxygen support. Since he no longer has the breathing tube down his throat, it has been easier to hold Caleb (something that he LOVES). Any time he is upset at all, it just takes somebody to hold him and he instantly falls asleep. The nurses love to take turns holding him and he loves it too. Some babies that have been through all Caleb has, have a difficult time adjusting to people holding them, but it is the opposite for Caleb. The night before Caleb came off the ventilator, a doctor told me that if everything went well (best case scenario), he might get out of this unit by this coming Friday (4/11). On Friday night (4/4) when I was holding Caleb, I prayed that God would make him well enough to leave the CICU by Monday (4/7) if He was willing. I am happy to say that as of mid day yesterday (Saturday 4/5) the doctors said that Caleb was well enough to leave the CICU and go to the HKU (Heart and Kidney Unit) but because of his history, they felt it would be best to wait until Monday (the day that I prayed for) to move him, so they can be totally sure that he is stable. Praise you Lord Jesus for answered prayer! You will now notice (in the picture) that Caleb is breathing room air without any oxygen support, praise God. Everybody around here is pretty amazed at this. It usually takes babies a lot longer to gradually wean off of the oxygen support (especially those on a ventilator for more than 5 weeks). That is a lot to be thankful for, so please join us in prayers of praise and thanksgiving. Caleb's feeding tube (for his milk) has been moved from ND to NG which basically just means that it will be delivered higher up and in the stomach. Please pray that his stomach handles this well so that he can continue toward the steps for normal feeding (which will be worked on in HKU). Please continue to pray that tomorrow is the day that we get to leave the CICU, for a smooth transition to HKU, for his brain to be healed from any effect of seizures and strokes, and that God continues to accelerate Caleb's recovery process beyond normal human comprehension, and God's will above all. I am humbled and amazed that God loves us so much and has every detail of this journey planned out for our good and His glory. Psalm 8:1-9 "Lord, our Lord,how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory in the heavens. Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger. When I consider your heavens,the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds,and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky,and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" 4/7: After a night of not sleeping well because of some possible upset stomach or withdrawal issues, Caleb ended up having a great day and I am so happy to say that he was transferred from the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit to the Heart and Kidney Unit this evening. Praise The Lord! He has been given a nice big room with a bathroom that includes a shower. He also was put in a much larger "big boy" bed. At the HKU, instead of 1 to 1 nurse-patient ratios, there is usually 1 nurse to 3 babies. Thus, parents are a little bit more involved in the care, which will help us get used to caring for the needs of a child leaving the ICU and prepares us for home. While he is here, Caleb will work on physical and speech therapy (for eating properly) and will learn how to bottle feed, which can be a challenge for kids with HLHS. Caleb's nurse tonight asked for the following prayer requests, "That he would tolerate his feeds, sleep tonight, and that his transition to a new unit would go well." One really neat thing is that Jonah can occasionally stop by Caleb's room. We didn't put them in the same bed for the official "reunion", but it was pretty special to have our family of 4 together in one place. Thanks so much for the prayer in the CICU. Please pray that Christ would be glorified in our time here and that we would be able to go home soon. God bless you all!

  • Update | Posted on April 02, 2014

    Thanks for your gracious and loving prayers as our little warrior Caleb continues to improve. Here is the update from Ryan for Wednesday April 2: Good evening and thanks be to God for another day! Today Caleb made the big trip down to a different floor of the hospital to get an MRI. This involved about 5 people transporting him with all of his accessories and took about 2 and a half hours total. We should get the results in the next couple days. He also received another blood transfusion to help boost him a little bit. The plan was to potentially also take him off of ventilator support but the MRI visit took a little longer than usual and required a little more sedation than expected so it will likely be tomorrow morning instead. Please pray for that process to go well and for him to be able to function on his own. They will still give him some extra high flow oxygen support but being off the ventilator would be a huge step being that he has been on it for more than 5 weeks. Please continue to pray that the results of the MRI show no serious damage to his brain from the previous seizure activity. Thank you for your prayers and we praise The Lord for His incredible faithfulness and goodness to us and particularly to Caleb.

  • Update | Posted on March 29, 2014

    Continued thanks for your prayers for Caleb and his parents, Ryan and Kristen, and for Jonah who continues to look forward to being with his twin brother again. Here is the update from Ryan for today 3/28: Thank you again for the continued prayers for Caleb and our family. He threw up stomach bile a few times last night and did so once this morning but overall it was a good (boring) night and the rest of the today he has done better. He did well on another pressure support trial run to exercise his breathing muscles. He will do one more tonight. The main issue Caleb has had over the last 24 hours has been withdrawal struggles, but he seems to be doing better than he has done in the past with this and it is really just something that he has to go through. They have upped his anti- withdrawal medication but everything else has been weaned more. Overall, everybody is thrilled with where he is. The plan is to wire his chest on Monday and when all goes well (God willing), take his breathing tube out on Tuesday or Wednesday. Prayers tonight would be for a smooth run on the pressure trial run, a calm stomach, and continued strengthening for Monday. I hope you all have a good weekend! God is good always!

  • Update | Posted on March 26, 2014

    Continued thanks for your prayers and may He be glorified in all we do, and may words of thanks be on our tongues and in our hearts always! Here is the update from Ryan from yesterday/today 3/25 and 3/26: Good morning team! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 is Caleb's verse for the day. We have much to be thankful for. I will start with Caleb's nurse yesterday being so impacted by part 1 of his story that on her walk home, she passed a homeless man and felt the Spirit of God tell her to go back and help him. He ended up being in need of toiletries and essential personal care products and she was able to take him to CVS and bless him. We have the same nurse today and she told me that Caleb's story reminded her the importance of faithfulness and responding to what God calls us to. To God be the glory! Her prayer requests for Caleb today are "That we have given enough methadone (helps with withdrawal) to wean down his narcotics and that we can continue feeding him while being able to manage his vomiting. Also pray for clear wisdom for the exact right timing for timing and execution of closing his chest since this is a very important step to Caleb's recovery (this may happen tomorrow or Friday) Lastly, please give prayers of gratitude for all of the answered prayers." It really humbled me that the nurse asked for prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving for all of the answered prayers! Wow! Speaking of answered prayers, a couple days ago I mentioned fluid starting to build up on his right side and possibly needing a chest tube to be put back in to drain things. Well, the doctor this am said, "that fluid on the right side just seems to be gone. I'm not really sure what happened to it." Praise you Lord Jesus! Thanks for praying for Caleb, "Katan lokhem" (little warrior in Hebrew) Have a blessed day! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 New International Version (NIV) 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

  • Update | Posted on March 24, 2014

    Continued thanks for your ongoing prayer support. God is doing amazing things and we continue to covet your prayers for Caleb's continued progress through God's healing powers and His plan for Caleb. Here is the update for Monday 3/24: Good morning all! Caleb was ramped up to his goal of 15 ml of milk an hour overnight. He threw up at 5am and in an x ray it was discovered that his nd tube had curled up to the top part of his stomach, which is likely what caused this. Feedings were paused for about 5 hours until a new tube was put in and an x ray was done to confirm proper placement. Caleb's right side is having a little bit of fluid build up so he will need to have a chest tube placed back in his side to help drain some of it out. The doctor this morning commented that Caleb's sternum seems to be coming together on its own despite not being connected anywhere. As a result, there is a chance they will not need to open him back up to wire thesternum together. Caleb would certainly prefer to not be opened up again so please pray for this:) The doctors will wait a couple days and see how it looks, then make a decision. The neurologist met with me this morning and said his second head ultrasound did not show any new activity in his brain which is good. We will still need to wait to see if anything comes from the small spot that they see in the center of his brain. Please pray today for his new chest tube placement to go well, for his heart to function well enough to resume feedings without him becoming sick, and for a comfortable day for him. Please also pray for baby Michael and his family today. He has hypo plastic left heart syndrome and is undergoing his Norwood procedure (first major open heart surgery) as I type. Lord, while I ask for physical nourishment for Caleb today, help me to remember that it is your very word and your will that have sustained and strengthened him to this point. We praise you that today you have given Caleb and each of us life. Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

  • Update | Posted on March 23, 2014

    Update from Ryan ... thanks to all for their continued prayers! 3/23: Caleb had a pretty good day yesterday and so far today. He did throw up one time yesterday afternoon which caused the medical staff to back off his feeding from 12ml and hour of milk back down to 5ml. They were not sure if it was related to feeding or just a normal baby thing but they want to be very cautious. Overnight, his oxygen saturation numbers were on the lower normal range so his oxygen rate (which had been weaned significantly) was increased a little bit. His feeds were steadily increased to 9ml an hour. Caleb's nurse did notice some of his vital numbers drop a little when she would pick him up to rotate his body to a new position every couple of hours. They are going to watch this carefully. The thought is with decreasing a lot of meds and then feeding him so much, it may be asking his heart to do a little more work than he is ready for, but we will see. Please pray for his heart and body to be ready to handle the feeds without dropping any vital signs or needing to increase medicine. God bless you!

  • Update | Posted on March 22, 2014

    Update from 3/21/14 ... we continue to covet your prayers and all praise and glory to our Savior Jesus Christ ... it is amazing what He can do! Hello team Caleb. Our boy had a stable night of steady improvement last night which has continued into the day today. We praise God! He has been weaned off of his dopamine which was a big part of being able to feed him breast milk through his nd tube. They started with 1 ml of milk per hour for 8 hours to see how he handled it. All went well so now we are up to 3 ml per hour. God willing, later tonight, Caleb will be receiving 6 ml per hour. Every ml makes him stronger. They were also able to start weaning his sedative a little bit and completely weaned him off of his nitrous oxide support. The room still has a fair amount of machinery, but looks almost empty compared to what it once looked like. Please continue to pray for better than expected progress, a well functioning heart and stable vitals with less support needed, and for his next head ultrasound to have good results (and no long term damage from seizures, lack of oxygen or bleeding). Please specifically pray for a continued increase in milk his body can handle and for him to "bulk up" and get stronger over the next 3-4 days so hopefully they can close his sternum properly, which will allow for the breathing tube to come out. Thank you Lord Jesus for answered prayer and thank you to you all for continuing to keep Caleb in your daily prayers. Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.It does not fear when heat comes;its leaves are always green.It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

  • Update | Posted on March 20, 2014

    Praise and prayer ... we continue to covet your prayers and thanks to all for their support and love! Here is the latest update from Ryan and Kristen: Caleb and Jonah turned 1 month today, March 19th. It is so hard to believe! Thank you Lord Jesus for a pretty much flawless procedure which involved taking Caleb and all of his many accessories to the operating room and successfully putting in the picc line, changing his breathing tube (which can be tricky), putting in a nasoduodenal feeding tube and changing to a new bed (with a scale to weigh him). His sedation and pain management seemed better today which was good to see. Thank you for praying specifically for this process. Next steps are over the next day or so are maintaining stability while decreasing meds and managing pain and slow steady withdrawal, losing just a little more fluid off the body, and then they will try to give Caleb one drop of breast milk at a time through the "nd" tube that he was given today. The goal would be to increase the amount of breast milk he could tolerate so that he can put on some weight for 4-5 days and then try to close his chest so that they can take his breathing tube out and eventually teach him to bottle feed. Up to this point, Caleb has been receiving his nutrition bag (almost like Gatorade with vitamins) through an IV. I was told today that head ultrasound results came back and the neurologist would like to talk with me about them, so she will be by tomorrow am to speak with me. Please pray that there is nothing serious or potentially threatening or damaging long term in Caleb's brain. We appreciate all of the prayers and support! Deuteronomy 31:8 "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."

  • Update | Posted on March 18, 2014

    We continue to covet your prayers for our brave little warrior Caleb. Here is the update from Ryan for 3/18: Sorry for the delay today on the message. Last night and today brought a few new challenges on the road to Caleb's recovery. He had been on morphine so long and at a pretty high dose that he had built up a pretty good tolerance and would not really rest. While it is great that he is moving and his eyes are open and responding to sound and touch, he continued to over do it and would get himself tired and drop his vitals, thus making him weaker. They switched him to a different narcotic for the pain and sedation but it is a challenge getting the dosage correct so he remained awake a lot more than we would like and has appeared at times very uncomfortable, in withdrawal, and even in a lot of pain. It was really difficult to watch and finally it appeared around 5pm, his pain got under control. They also put Caleb on a medication to help with withdrawal. Tomorrow, they plan on taking Caleb to the OR at 10am to put in a "picc line" for giving medicine and nutrition more effectively. They also plan on replacing his ventilator breathing tube because there is a leak on the side going to the left lung. We are hoping this may help with his partially collapsed left lung. This morning was the first morning that I felt pretty tired. I asked God to give me an extra dose of his sustaining grace and he answered immediately with the nurse who was assigned for today, who is a strong believer and really boosted my spirits. The nurse's prayer requests are "that the trip to get Picc line placement and changing of the breathing tube go smoothly, no infection now or after the procedure, that we can find the proper pain management- sedation, and continue maintaining blood pressure while weaning meds." Please give thanks to God through our Lord Jesus who has always provided the grace and strength sufficient for each day in the midst of this journey, and even provides the extra boosts needed when asked. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

  • Update | Posted on March 17, 2014

    A blessed snowy Monday St. Patrick's Day. God is good and faithful. Continued thanks for your prayers and uplifting support! Enclosed is the update from Ryan for today 3/17. Good morning, praise The Lord Jesus for a good night for Caleb! Although still very sedated on morphine, Caleb is more alert than ever before, responding to voice and touch which is really neat. He has really made steady small progress each of the last 4 days which is really encouraging. Our new nurse today sends the following prayer requests: "Adequate fluid loss so they can consider closing his sternum at some point reasonably soon, we would like to be able to wean his dopamine down today also." The left lung is still partially collapsed, but it is doing better so please continue to pray for that. Also please continue to pray for all infection to be gone, Caleb's brain to be functioning well and no major long term effects from last weeks seizures, and steady strength for Caleb. "Caleb's story" is starting to spread around here which is neat to see. I tell everybody to imagine the day he will run up and give them a big hug (he may run from them haha). God bless and thank you for all you have done for us!

  • Update | Posted on March 14, 2014

    Thanks for the prayers and your loving support. Caleb the Warrior is stable but still in need of prayers for the long road ahead. Please see Ryan's update from last night, 3/13. Good morning all. Caleb remained about the same all night long which is a good thing! It was a very uneventful night in terms of his numbers. Thank God. Please continue to pray for the same things requested last message. In addition, Caleb's new day nurse would like us to pray that his blood pressure holds in the good place it is. There have been some amazing ministry opportunities throughout the night and this morning which has been a real encouragement and blessing.

  • Update | Posted on March 13, 2014

    Update on 3/13 from Ryan: Hello prayer team. After our very rocky night last night and start to the morning, we all prayed that the downslide would stop for Caleb and The Lord heard our prayer. Not ten minutes after the message I sent you from Judges 7, things stopped heading downhill and He has made some slight improvement in a few areas. The doctors did another echocardiogram of his heart and are pleased because they said his heart function is good right now so his issues are not mechanical problems with the heart. Other good news is that his right foot which was a scary dark purple has changed to a lighter purple and there is still blood flowing to the end of his toes. More good news is that it appears Caleb's seizures have stopped. They will continue to monitor for the next 12 hours or so. The doctors now think that Caleb might be battling an infection. They have put him on a bunch of antibiotics to fight it. This is not unusual with the amount of surgical procedures they have done on him. Basically the course as they see it is keeping him the way he is for a couple days to let his body fight off the infection. More good news is that Caleb is bringing the good news of Jesus to Children's. I had countless conversations today about Christ because of Caleb's situation. That has been an answered prayer. Caleb is extremely popular here and he seems almost like the "Rudy" of the unit that everybody is pulling and praying for. I asked my nurse tonight, if you had to pray for specific things tonight for Caleb, what would they be? He said "Let his right ventricle function enough to sustain him without increasing medication and for a night of rest for Caleb". He told me that although Caleb's numbers are stable, he is in a fragile condition still and we need to stay here or improve. We know God is in control and trust Him with the perfect result no matter what happens. specific requests I have are to pray for God to completely destroy any infection in his body, for continued good blood flow to his right foot and extremities, that he would be seizure fee and that his pain is managed properly in all of this. Please pray that I do my part letting God speak through me being Caleb's voice to bring God's love to staff and families here. Lastly please pray for little Emily next door who's heart needs to be able to work without a pace maker.God bless you and your families!

  • Update | Posted on March 12, 2014

    Wednesday 3/12 Update, we continue to covet your prays as we lift Caleb up to the healing powers of our Living God! From Ryan: Good morning all, Caleb has had a bit of a rough night. After initial stability, they have had to really up all of his meds big time to keep him stable. Now as they are giving him more medication in fluids, his body is having some trouble accepting it properly and it is making him puffy again. They may put chest tubes back in to help drain fluid. Please pray that all vitals would stabilize and, things would balance out and medication could decrease. Lord Jesus, you know every detail of Caleb's little body. You created and designed every nook and cranny. We ask you Great and mighty Physician, apply your healing touch this morning. In your name and for your glory we ask this

  • Update | Posted on March 11, 2014

    PTL ... good news on Caleb the Warrior - we contInue to covet your prayers and marvel at the power of prayer and all as evidence of the glory of God, and our savior Jesus Christ! 3/11 Afternoon Update from Ryan: I do have good news regarding Caleb. The surgical procedure to remove the wire from his sternum worked and although his sternum is not connected at the bone any more (by 1 cm at the top), they were able to stitch his skin back together. What's better is they were able to pull him off of the ECMO machine without his blood pressure or pulse dropping. They let his heart pump on its own for 45 minutes and felt that was enough to permanently keep him off ECMO and they then closed the wound in his neck. Getting him off of ECMO should help him stop having seizures (we pray) and should increase his blood flow to help his foot that was turning purple. The timetable for his recovery continues to be delayed with the wire coming out of the sternum but frankly we are just very thankful to God that He carried Caleb through another risky procedure. Because the sternum is not connected, Caleb will have to stay on a ventilator to help with his breathing. The surgeon said it could be another 7-10 days until he can get off of this. Thank you again for joining us in prayer yesterday and all day today. Things to continue to pray for: 1) A stable next 12 hours after surgery 2) swelling reduction tomorrow (as his swelling decreases, more room is created in his chest cavity and then they may be able to close the sternum properly) 3) continued weaning of medication 4) Endurance for us and opportunities to share Christ with families and staff, 5) Pray for the family that lost a child on ECMO in our unit today. Kristen and I love each of you. May God's grace and peace in Christ Jesus be with you.

  • Update | Posted on March 11, 2014

    Praise and Prayer Update for Caleb 3/10 - 3/11 - Thanks for your continued prayers and the lifting up of Caleb to our heavenly Father, who hears His children and provides comfort and healing in accordance with His plan! 3/10 Evening: They have decided to prepare for a weaning attempt from ECMO to begin at about 2am. They will decrease the use of the machine bit by bit every 2 hours (assuming all goes well) until 10 am when they would make the decision to "clamp" or to ramp back up with the machine. If they decide to clamp, they take him off of the machine for 30 minutes and see how he does on his own. If he does well, they surgically take the ECMO tubes out of his neck. If he doesn't do well they put him back on the machine. They said its worth seeing how he reacts because he can always go back on it and they can try again Wednesday morning. They feel right now they are at the point where they are not sure if the benefits of ECMO outweigh the negatives of ECMO (seizures, purple foot). The heart and making sure it functions properly are priority number one, but if he is strong enough to get off the machine, there is no sense in having the other side effects with it. Please pray that this process goes better than expected, that Caleb's heart is strong enough to do the work on its own, that the doctors continue to have wisdom and precision in all they do, pray for his purple right foot, and for the seizures activity to cease for good. 3/11 Early AM: Doctor just came in super happy and said this the best wean she has ever seen. Because usually they load with blood pressure medicine but they didn't want to do that bc I think it could hurt circulation to his foot, and they were getting concerned about it so basically he has been so strong he didn't need that. Praying for a strong finish! 3/11 AM: Just had medical rounds for Caleb and 20 people were there which is a new record. It lasted about 20 minutes. They discussed the process of "clamping" and "decanting". The clamping is shifting him off of ECMO and letting him do a 30 minute to one hour trial run on his own and the totally taking him off for good. Assuming that goes well, a few hours later (they are thinking 1:30pm or so) they will do the "decanting" which is more of a surgical procedure of taking the tubes needed for ECMO out of Caleb's neck and re-fusing the blood vessels that were disconnected for the tubes to be in place. Please pray for wisdom and precision in every step for the doctors, nurses, and surgeons in this complex process. Also please pray for Caleb to continue to show the strength he has in the weaning off ECMO process. I'm comforted that we serve a God of the most minute details and confident in His perfect plan for His beloved Caleb. We lean not on our own strength! God bless you!

  • Update | Posted on March 10, 2014

    Update for Monday March 10th: Monday Caleb update - If there is one thing we know about Caleb, he will probably like roller coaster rides when he is older. Yesterday evening the doctors discovered on a neurological report that Caleb was having small, 30 second seizures in his brain every 3 minutes since 4am Sunday. The seizures were not big enough to be obviously detected, thus they went unnoticed for quite a while. They all were isolated to one particular spot in the brain, which is better than having them everywhere. The seizures are a possible side effect of Caleb being on the ECMO machine, which is helping his heart and lungs function. Obviously no parent wants to hear that there child has been having seizures for roughly 14 hours straight, but the doctors said many kids have had similar issues and have no long term damage. After we found out the details of the seizures, I immediately sent a text message out to my 20 or so dedicated prayer warriors who I know will drop everything and pray in an instant. I sent a message out to them at 6:21pm to pray to Jesus for the seizures to stop. The doctors called me during their rounds at about 1030pm and said that all seizures had stopped sometime roughly around 7pm. We praise God for answering that prayer. We also praise God that although there have certainly been some low points in Caleb's battle, we have cried out in prayer and Jesus has been faithful every time in the darkest hour. There were no seizures again until Caleb had one more at 2am. He has been seizure free since. Today and tomorrow are big days as they will attempt to wean Caleb off of the ECMO machine and let him do more of the heart pumping and lung work on his own. Please pray specifically for that process to go much better than expected. Caleb's swelling has reduced significantly but please pray for that to continue and his blood pressure to remain high so they can wean him from ECMO. Please also pray that he would remain seizure free from this point forward and there would be no long term damage from the seizures that he has had. Please pray for strength for Caleb and wisdom for everybody involved in making decisions for him this week. Above all, please pray that God get his full glory in and through Caleb. Let us approach God with our prayer requests in humble adoration and respect, but also with the confidence spoken of in God's word below. Confidence not in ourselves, but in He who is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ever ask or imagine. Hebrews 4:14-16 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

  • Update | Posted on March 09, 2014

    Thanks to all who have faithfully been praying for our Caleb ... we consider you all part of "Team Caleb" and continue to covet your prayers. Enclosed are the updates from the weekend and this morning. Saturday 3/8: Good morning all, today I woke up with psalm 118:24 on my mind and am so thankful to God for another day of life and especially that He carried Caleb through the last few days. Now that Caleb is on the echmo machine, his body can begin to heal from all the recent trauma. He had a good night where they were able to reduce some of his meds. He is obviously still on a lot of medication but the fact that he doesn't have to work so hard right now allows the doctors and nurses to reduce and even stop some meds temporarily. They want his swelling to reduce and expect that to happen over the next couple days. The current plan is to keep him on the machine until at least Monday and possibly longer if needed but on Monday they will try to wean him off of it and see how he does. The complexity of the surgeries, brilliance of the staff, and the technology of some of these machines amazes me and I am so thankful for them. At the same time, the complexity of the procedures shows me how intricately and incredibly detailed God designed us. The brilliance of the staff is amazing but of the things they know and have discovered, there are endless amounts that they have not discovered, again pointing to the brilliance of our great Creator. I'm so thankful that he has given us minds that seek to discover hidden treasure after hidden treasure of his amazing design work. I am so thankful for the machines that people have used their God given brains to create. The theme here is that medicine and God do not fight against one another. Medicine points to the glory and brilliance of our designer. As I sit and look at all of the machines and medications needed to keep Caleb's life in balance, I think of the miracle of the millions of things that have to go right in my body every single second to have life. Everything points to God. So today I am thanking God for the very breath I breathe and the true miracle it is that we can even function this way. All praise to you Lord Jesus, author of life. James 1:17 "every good and perfect gift is from above" Sunday 3/9: Good morning team Caleb. I pray today is a blessed day for each of you. As you know Caleb is on the echmo machine to help with his breathing and heart function while he heals. Yesterday we were told that the machine is doing 43 percent of the work, while he is doing 57 percent of it. They have been successful in reducing a good amount of swelling in his body and that is today's goal as well. Tomorrow they may try to slowly take him off of the machine to see how he does. Since he is relatively stable while he is on the machine, the staff encouraged us to get some rest since things would pick back up tomorrow. As a result, we were able to sneak home for a night (the first time so far in this journey). Please pray for a day of continued reduced swelling as they help get fluid off of Caleb and just continued overall healing and strength for when he gets back off of the machine. Pray that tomorrow when they attempt to slowly take him off, all goes well. Thanks you brothers and sisters!

  • Update | Posted on March 06, 2014

    PTL as the Lord continues to hear our prayers and we lift our thanks to the Lord who provides for all his children. Please find enclosed an update from last night and the one from this morning. We continue to thank all that are praying for our little warrior Caleb. UPDATE from my son Ryan from 3/5 late and 3/6: Sorry for the late text all but I just have to say thank you for stopping and praying when you did after my last text. When I got the phone call to say some levels had dropped, right after that and about the time I texted you he really wasn't doing well and most of the CICU staff was at his room figuring out what to do. There was even talk of putting him on the "echmo" machine which is a total assist for pumping the heart and breathing which is a last resort and obviously not a good place to be. The good news is he rebounded just when he needed to and his numbers tonight are back in a really good place right now. Pray that continues. Thanks for helping carry this load. You praying is not insignificant. It is very very impactful and I know Christ hears our requests. Update from 3/6: Good morning, thanks for the continued prayers throughout the night. After the scare yesterday evening, Caleb had a very strong night, we thank Jesus for hearing our heartfelt prayers. His vitals this am are strong. They want to continue to manage him in a way to keep the vitals where they are all day today. Stability is the goal for the day and I believe that after another stable day, then they will set some new goals which we can pray specifically for. Thanks again from Caleb and our whole family. May your day be blessed and filled with the love of our Lord Jesus.

  • Update | Posted on March 05, 2014

    This is the update from my son Ryan, afternoon of March 5th ... God is SO good and we continue to covet your prayers: Lift up praise to the Lord team Caleb, his chest is closed. They had to close it the nonconventional way so they didn't push him too much. The bone at the top of the sternum was wired together across the top and rather than connect all of the rest of the sternum they stretched his skin together and stitched the rest of the chest together. The remaining sternum bones that are not connected will grow together between now and the second surgery (4-6 months). The surgeon said his vital signs didn't flinch during the procedure which is great. Things to pray for...the next 12-24 hours are important as they watch to see if his body reacts to what was just done. So pray for stability. Also, the shunt from the big surgery sits a little funny in Caleb's chest so they need to make sure blood flows through it properly, and it isn't squished, so please pray for good blood flow. Please pray that the stitches in the skin hold without issue, as this is something that they will be watching closely. Overall, this is a big day! Psalm 145:1-3

  • Update | Posted on March 04, 2014

    Please find enclosed the daily update from my son, Ryan: Good morning team Caleb. Caleb had a bit of a delayed reaction to yesterday's procedure where some of his signs dropped a bit, but he regained lost ground overnight and seems stable again. It's almost like he lets everybody know that he doesn't enjoy being messed with. But we give The Lord thanks for him getting back to a good place. The surgeon came in this morning and was pleased with where he is this am and said they may look at doing the next procedure to potentially close the chest later today or tomorrow morning. So please continue to pray for the perfect timing of the closure, reduction in swelling to heart and body, wisdom for the staff here, and that Caleb allows them to close without major changes in his vital signs. Also, I previously mentioned our neighbor here, a little boy named Ronin and some of you have been praying for him and his family. It looks like he will be stepped down to the regular NICU. Praise God for that. Pray for continued open doors for ministry opportunities. God bless you and keep you today. Thank you for your prayerful support

  • Update | Posted on March 03, 2014

    Happy snowy Monday. Caleb had a solid day yesterday in terms of his vitals further stabilizing. He did receive another blood transfusion to boost him a bit (which is normal). He had a strong night last night with the vitals improving even more. They wanted this because they are going to remove the current sponge in his chest and evaluate how things look and either put a smaller sponge back in for the next couple days or if things look really good and the swelling is reduced in the heart, possibly close the chest. They want to make sure that when they do close the chest, Caleb will tolerate it, so they are not rushing him. Please pray today for a germ free environment as they open the wound. Please pray for Jesus to direct the hands of the doctors in all that they do and for wisdom for all involved to make the right decisions. Please pray for Caleb's vitals to remain very stable during and after the procedure. Please pray for Kristen and I to continue to trust God with his perfect timing with all of this and for us I be available to other things He is showing us through this process. God bless you all! UPDATE: They are performing the sponge procedure this morning, as I type this ... please pray for healing, no infection, and no complications.

  • Update | Posted on March 02, 2014

    Update from Ryan: Good morning, praise the Lord Caleb had a very stable night last night. His nurses were able to find him a special wound pad to lay on which makes it so they don't have to pick him all the way up to rotate him (to prevent bedsores) all the time. There is only one of these in the entire hospital and it is a very expensive piece of equipment so we count it a blessing that he has it because otherwise it can be risky every time he is picked up with all the cords in and an open wound in the chest still. The sponge vacuum system in his chest seems to be slowly pulling the edges closer together and, he is tolerating it for the most part. The plan for today or tomorrow is to take out the current vacuum sponge and replace it with a smaller one to continue to pull the walls of the chest closer. Please pray specifically for this process and for his heart swelling to continue to reduce. Also please pray for all vital signs to remain very stable today and a decrease in the amount of medicine needed to keep them there. Please also pray specifically for Caleb's neighbor Ronin who has hypo plastic right heart, a very serious condition. I have had a chance to spend a lot of time getting to know his family. Also for little Joey across the hall and all of the other 20 or so kids and their families that call the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit their temporary home. Many of them take on this battle without knowing Christ as their Lord and Savior which I simply cannot imagine.

  • Update | Posted on March 01, 2014

    We continue to covet your prayers for sweet Caleb as he is not quite yet ready to have his chest cavity closed on Monday, as planned. It will now be anywhere from 4 - 6 days before they are able to close his chest cavity. He is improving daily, God be praised, so please continue to pray for God's healing hands and providing discernment to the round the clock medical staff that are caring for Caleb.

  • Update | Posted on February 28, 2014

    UPDATE: Please add special prayers for Caleb so that the medical team is able to close his chest cavity through a smaller surgery on Monday, March 3rd. This is just one of the continuing steps towards his recovery, by God's will. Thank you to all who have prayed and will continue to pray for our little "warrior", Caleb.

  • Most Recent Update | Posted on April 23, 2014

    Praise the Lord, the entire Koppel family is now home in Leesburg, arriving back from Children's Hospital / Ronald McDonald House on Monday April 21st! Home sweet home with both babies. Thank you Lord Jesus!

Linda and Chas Anderson

April 23, 2014 | Prayed for 3 times

Thank you for your prayers for our grandson Lucas! We did get the order for a updated home study for Chas and I, and a GAL lawyer for Lucas who will update the Aunt and Uncles home study instead of social services(for which we do not think may be a good thing) as the judge was trying to make it easier for them since they are preparing for their trial for killing our son n law. We had a wonderful home study before and assume this will be the same. We are meeting with the guardian ad litem this sunday. We would ask that you pray for God's favor for all involved; the judge, the lawyers on their side and ours and social services and we will be able to bring our grandson home on June 13th( the hearing date for this custody case). And we are asking God that even the other family would realize that our grandson's best interest would be to return him to his grandparents. Also we are in the process of putting together a lovely room for him and asking God to please provide a twin bed for his room, if you know anyone who is getting rid of a twin bed please let us know. 703-298-7984 Linda and Chas. God bless your sweet heart for remembering our Lucas in your prayers! When at church this sunday we will miss you and remember us on that day. God's will be done and not ours..........Praise God with us!

Annie Elizabeth

April 23, 2014 | Prayed for 4 times

I am praying for a miracle in my marriage for my husband has filed for divorce. Please pray that our hearts are opened to The Holy Spirit and His guidance. That each of us would own our own part in this process and ask forgiveness from God and from each other. God said in HIs holy Word what He has joined together in marriage, let no man separate. I know that my husband is the Lord's. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Psalm 127:1. I pray all of this is Jesus' mighty name.

Michelle *UPDATED

April 09, 2014 | Prayed for 39 times

My cousin's 13 year old daughter, Lillie, has been suffering for 2 years now with severe stomach pain. She has been to numerous Drs, been on several different food sensitivity diets and even had her gallbladder removed. She has recently been diagnosed with IBS. She has missed almost all of this year for school and almost all of last year as well. She is so very tired of the pain and all the trips to the hospital. She has lost so much weight because she can't eat. It has caused a huge strain on her family with medical bills, stress of missed school, long out of town Dr visits and a younger sibling on top to handle. My cousin, Jennifer, is asking for prayers for Lillie to be pain free, to wake up with a smile on her face and not doubled over in pain, to be able to get to be a kid. Lillie wants to be a kid and be normal. Not be made fun of the few times she does make it to school. To be able to do a sleepover with friends and to be able to not have pain all the time. Please pray for these things and ask that God show them grace.

  • Most Recent Update | Posted on April 22, 2014

    Lillie has threatened to harm herself. She doesn't want to live this life if pain is all she ever feels. Pray Lillie can find God In her life and value her own life, even if there is pain involved.Please pray for all of them. My cousin and her husband are very strained. Their marriage is suffering, their work is suffering. My cousin is afraid to leave her daughter alone, but she can't go to school because she is in so much pain. Please pray for relief, pray she is able to talk with her therapist and share things that may be bothering her, pray for salvation for their entire family, pray for my cousins marriage. Thank you all so much for any prayers for them.


April 21, 2014 | Prayed for 20 times

I am 31 and I feel all alone. I have had several failed and bad relationship experiences. I try to stay positive and be in the word but honestly I often feel like I am worthless. I really want a family and I am feeling hopeless that I will never find the right person for me. I feel darkness and a consuming emptiness in my gut. My family is not close by and my home is so quiet with only me in it. I don't know what to do.


April 22, 2014 | Prayed for 11 times

I pray for a miracle. A parting of the sea miracle. A water to wine miracle. A falling down of the walls of Jericho miracle. A healing of the blind miracle. Like many others I am trying to find job for over six months now. Like many others I would like an employment opportunity that provides for my family and that I enjoying going to. Like many others I am searching for a God honoring companion. Like many others I want the financial stress lifted off of my shoulders. Like many others I would like a stable place to live. I pray for a miracle. Yes I pray for a miracle.


April 21, 2014 | Prayed for 13 times

Please help me pray for my mom. She is having a hard time finding a job. With the job she currently holds, she has been given notice that she might be let go in June. If she is let go, she will have to sell her house and move to Ohio to live with her parents, which is eight hours away from my sister and I. She has been looking for a job for over 6 years, but has found no luck. She is my inspiration and has always been the one who has held me together when I feel as though I'm going to fall apart. Please help me pray for her to find a job so she can stay with my sister and I and keep her home.

Will Berry *UPDATED

April 09, 2014 | Prayed for 49 times

There is a young girl of 14 years of age. Her name is Ashley Sahara Rutaquio Manamparan. She lives in the Philippines. Her mother and father are Muslim. Ashley has lived with her father all her life. She was treated like a servant and she was allowed to suffer in pain since March 24th. Her father refused to take her for medical treatment. He told Ashley that it would be better if she died. She escaped to her aunts who are the sisters of her mother. My wife is her aunt as well. The child is in the hospital. Ashley's appendix has burst and her organs are failing. It will take a miracle for her survive. Please pray for her to hold on and know that God is on her side. She fighting to live. As she lay there is pain she has cried to Jesus for help. Please pray for her live. Please pray that the GOD we serve will rescue her. Please pray!

  • Update | Posted on April 13, 2014

    Here is the update: God is Amazing!!! The surgery went very well. She has been recovery. I spoke with the doctor. He told me that she had a ruptured Appendix and that they had to remove part of her intestines because it was perforated. They cleaned the area and she made through very well. She is in the Pediatric ICU now. They are waiting to make sure that her bowel function returns, they don't have Sepsis and the infection is under control before moving her. The other incredible news is that we don't have to pay a thing. Between the organizations that were contacted and the government agency that helps abandoned kids, the bill for the operation and medicine in that hospital is $0. There will be cost for other care but this is amazing. God really came through!! Unfortunately, Ashley has a fever today. That is worrying the sisters and doctors in the Philippines. Ashley is weak. She may have Sepsis. It is still an uphill climb for her. Please pray for Ashley's recovery.

  • Most Recent Update | Posted on April 20, 2014

    Hello, Well, Ashley continues to improve but as she gets better, her poor upbringing is asserting itself. Please pray for patience and love for her from my wife (USA) and sisters (there in the Philippines). They need to understand and give Ashley a chance to overcome her upbringing with love. Also, please pray for her continued improvement and that she can leave the hospital soon.


April 16, 2014 | Prayed for 26 times

Pray for middle daughter - not doing well may have relapsed - pray she will make connection w her father or I either tonight or tomorrow PTL we celebrated Palm Sunday and her 25th birthday -- Pray she will connect - get back on track.

  • Update | Posted on April 17, 2014

    pray for anya - she is not good - not in good state of mind - pray for her safety that she will return home after her latest relapse.

  • Most Recent Update | Posted on April 20, 2014

    I did connect w/ our Anya -- however have not seen her since Palm Sunday.. I praise God that my oldest came to church and brought a friend Praying that I will hear God's voice and listen to his words of wisdom for me and my girls

Karen Katnich

April 19, 2014 | Prayed for 13 times

Thank you for praying!!! Our daughter Melissa "Annie" turned 33 years old on Good Friday! She finished her cancer treatment just two weeks ago. It has been a very long 9 months of surgeries, chemo and radiation but she (and we) made it. I know it is by the grace of our Lord and for those of you that so faithfully prayed for her (and us) though my updates were so few. Special thanks to those who did let me know you were praying. Blessed and sustained me more than you will ever know. If we can ask for a continued request is that she is completely healed, that the LORD will use this for His amazing good in everyone of our lives (including the many that have helped and followed her story) and that NONE of this will be in vain. Thank you Jesus.

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