- Nikki and Derek's Story -

Today, I want to share a few paragraphs from a Christmas Eve blog post by my niece-in-law. She's one of those "famous bloggers" with a wonderful cooking blog called Chef in Training. She has great recipes, tons of readers, and huge link-up parties on her blog on Tuesdays. Her husband, my sister Merilee's son, Derek, contracted a terrible disease/syndrome called Guillain Barre last year and Nikki describes their experiences in a special Christmas Eve blog post. It is truly timely, touching, and beautifully written. I've included a bit here, but you can read it in its entirety on Nikki's blog and I recommend that. 

As a family, we are deeply grateful that Derek is well. Derek is like a son to us - he stayed with us when he was in college and he's been close to our kids. He's a fun, kind, wonderful guy. (And he is well!) There's nothing better than hearing Derek's happy voice on the phone or getting one of his big hugs. He and Nikki are cute parents, supportive cousins, and a blessing to our family.

Nikki writes: 
I thought, since it is Christmas Eve today, now might be an appropriate time to share with you the experience my family went through earlier this year as we experienced one of the hardest trials of our young lives. I have teetered back and forth whether it would ever be an appropriate thing to share with you on this blog, just because I don’t like to mix that much personal life into my blog life. Many of you emailed and reached out to me when I first announced my husband was diagnosed with this syndrome and several of you have emailed long since after the fact to get an update on how he is doing, and I cannot express to you enough how much you sweet people mean to our family. I find it appropriate to share our experience with you today because it has everything to do with our loving Savior and the mighty miracles that are still performed upon this earth today.

In mid March, our family went through one of the most difficult trials of our young lives.  Derek was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome, or GBS as I will refer to it from henceforth.  For those of you, who like me 9 months ago, never heard of GBS, it is a rare syndrome that causes your immune system to attack your nervous system making it difficult to move and function independently and in some cases causing complete paralysis. It starts in the feet and works its way up and eventually works its way back down.  In more severe cases the numbness and tingling can spread through the entire body effecting the individual’s breathing and heart rate.  I would like to share with you a few of the miracles we experienced and some of the eternal truths the Lord taught our family during the hardest month and a half of our life.

Nikki tells of the life flight from our local hospital to a hospital in Salt Lake City and continues:

It was very hard on all of us to see Derek in so much pain.  One of the neurologists came and spoke to me and said that he expected Derek would be put on a breathing machine within 24 hours because of how fast things were progressing.  He also thought a best-case scenario for Derek going back to work would be at least six months.  He said he was confident Derek had dipped into the 5% of serious GBS cases. I looked at my mom who was visiting at the time with tears in my eyes.  After the doctor left, I started to cry in my mom’s arms.  As she held me she told me “Right now you just have to get through today, and then we will take tomorrow when it comes. You need to be asking your Heavenly Father for your daily bread, what you need to get you through each day, not worrying about the bread you will need tomorrow.”  This became one of my many mottos of this whole experience. “Grant me my daily bread.”   I think it is easy to get caught up in the big picture and become overwhelmed, but sometimes, we need to take life day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.  This was something I had to learn in a very real way as my husband’s body was failing him fast.  Sometimes, I caught myself praying every 5 minutes.  “Lord, please give me the strength I need to make it 5 more minutes.”  It was though these prayers I developed a very real and powerful relationship with my Heavenly Father and also came to know my Savior and the true power of His atoning sacrifice.

Nikki continues to eloquently relate the difficulties and miracles Derek experienced, and the strength they gained from praying to and having faith in their loving Heavenly Father.