Saturday, February 28, 2009


I feel I have to share this with those of you who so faithfully followed my dad's story. Tonight was the first time I've sat down and started reading this story from beginning to end. This prayer on October 12, 2008 really sticks out to me because it was answered and you will understand once I tell you what happened around 9:30 AM 2/11/09.

This was from my 10/12/2008 post:

I pray the devil and his demons shiver and extinguish at this prayer. In Jesus Christ name I ask that your son's brain be healed 100%, and you claim this victory against all human odds. You created him and you will heal him. This battle is yours and not mine, therefore I surrender and place all of my hope and existence in you. You are majestic and healing. In Jesus name, Amen.

So, when I woke up 2/11/09 I began getting ready and the verse Isaiah 55:9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts" came to me. I pondered on it for a bit and then began praying about what God was trying to tell me. Within minutes I heard in my heart "Your dad is coming home to me today. Today is February 11, 2009 and your dad is coming home." I had tears build up in my eyes and took a deep breath, swallowed and asked God to just get me through the day. All of this took place between 9:30 and 9:45 AM. From what I can remember I got to the hospital around 10 AM and found out that for the previous 25 minutes my dad had been receiving CPR. The way I look at is, God called me to tell me what was happening before it happened. He picked up the phone to tell me where my dad would spend eternity. I cannot wrap my mind around the love God showed me that day. He is so loving and caring and I now see He stopped to let me know what He was doing. That moment is a gift from God for all of us to cheerish!

I cannot begin to explain the warmth, comfort, peace, and pure joy I have knowing where my dad is. He is in the most unimaginable place in all existence. When I stop and try to think about what he is doing right now I cannot help but smile and know that he is now truly living. No more tears, fears, pain, brain - heart - lung damage, just no more damage at all. God is amazing! I know some people are very sorry for our loss, but let me tell you no one is lost! I was told exactly where my dad is and where he is at is beyond our wildest dreams. Seriously, he is in H-E-A-V-E-N. Just stop and try to imagine what heaven is like. I mean really try to think about it. Our measly little minds have no idea the state of joy he is in... for eternity! Wow is all I can say or think when I find myself thinking about him. I am speechless and find my thoughts cannot complete themselves when I truly try to picture heaven and what my dad is doing.

So back to the prayer on October 12. You bet your bottom this is God's victory. There is no tragedy here. God stole my dad's heart and took him home where he is 100% healed. My prayer for the past 5 months was for God to heal dad 100% and to reveal Himself to my dad. To shower him with mercy, grace, love, peace, comfort, joy, and His angels. Well God did just that to His fullest extent; by taking him to heaven. He also gave you and I some grace by letting me know before I even had a clue what was happening that He was bringing his son home to Him. I am just blown away that God thought of the rest of us during this time. Because of our faithful prayers, He wanted us to know that He was at work and in control. Some of you think its sad that dad didn't live here on earth healed and that this was the end, but I need you to erase that thought from your head. My dad was an all or nothing kind of guy and our prayers were for him to have the absolute best medical help and 100% healing. Seriously people... he got that and more. There was no in between of his healing; he didn't die, he is now more alive than he ever has been. Robert William Ricks is in heaven and healthier then he would have been if he recovered 100% here on earth. He has hit the christian jackpot; he paid his dues and is now reaping his rewards and hard work in heaven. HEAVEN people. He is not on some vacation at the lake, not some tropical island, not taking a nap on a Sunday afternoon... he is HEAVEN feasting with the Lord Jesus Christ. All of his wounds and transgressions he endured during his time on earth have been erased forever! How blessed he is and how free his is!

Now for the rest of us left here on earth... God has us here because His purpose for us isn't complete. So it's time for you to find your purpose and make your mark. I pray your soul will not rest until you begin living life to the fullest!

PS - You can view his obituary and a video of him at Just type in his name!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

February 11, 2009

Dad is 100% healed! He went to his permanent home in heaven today!

He fought from day one and has defied all odds... isn't that what he did best... did he ever settle for less?!

One of his lungs collapsed (I suppose from the pneumonia) and his heart wasn't able to withstand the related issues. He had a wonderful last weekend; he laughed, showed hardly any pain, and didn't even cry (this is the first time we've not seen him cry in a really long time). These last few days his personality has really shown through and he left this temporary place with some dignity.

There will be a viewing on Friday 2/13/09 at Sunset Memorial in Odessa (on Business 80) for family only.

The funeral is Sunday 2/15/09 at 5 pm at Life Unlimited in Odessa. It is located on Loop 338 just North of 191. There will be no grave side to follow.

Many prayers have been answered; dad is healed and don't you forget it. God is good all the time and dad has gone to meet his maker where he is more alive then he has ever been! I'm so excited for him and know he is now complete.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Update 23 - February 10, 2009

Dad had a pretty decent day. He is still in ICU, but will hopefully be out in a day or two. It looks like his pneumonia, fever, heart rate, and blood pressure are all under control. Hopefully he will be moved back to the regular facility within a few days to resume therapy.

He had his fishing buddies and an old friend visit him today and they had him laughing pretty good. It was great to see! His responses and alertness are great; he follows you well, makes good eye contact, and pays attention to what you're saying (when he wants).

It's amazing how far he has come. One of his nurses today stated that she's been in the same Nexus facility for years and has seen it all. She reminded us to persevere and gave a lot of explanation about the amount of time it takes for the brain to heal and it's limitless potential.

Keep persevering!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Update 22 - February 7, 2009

Dad has had a rough day. We found out yesterday he has pneumonia.... again, I believe this is the 5th time. Besides the side effects from that it looks as if he is in more pain, possibly from stomach related issues.

He still looks good though. Man he's got great hair (lucky for me and my brother, we know we will never lose ours)! It's funny because most all of the nursing staff comments on how nice his hair is. Also he's put some weight back on and is getting that famous chubby-Ricks neck back (I can say that because I have it too!).

Other then that, he is still hanging in there. Keep praying for his brain to make the connection with this body... Robert's in there! One of the nurses who's gotten to learn his personality has been able to get him to laughing so hard he's in tears. Man I can't wait to see that!

Stay tuned... God Bless!!!!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Here is the 30 day prayer list mentioned in the 2/2/2009 Update. It doesn't matter when you start or when you stop, this is just something that I know will help with dad's healing. Print this out and stick it in your pocket (copy and paste into word document, ladies help the men). When you find time throughout the day, chose the days topic and speak blessings and prayer over it. Remember, hope is expectantly waiting on the Lord's promises.

Know that the word is alive!

Day 1 - Dad's love and relationship with the Lord.

Day 2 - Dad's immune system.

Day 3 - Dad's organs and ability to function properly.

Day 4 - Dad's skin, specifically: skin bacteria infections, bed sores, dryness

Day 5 - Dad's senses, specifically: Sight, Hearing, Taste, Touch, Smell

Day 6 - Dad's mouth, tongue, and teeth. This may be weird, but pray for the ability to use is mouth for natural instincts, protection over his teeth and tongue, and the ability to communicate.

Day 7 - Dad's muscles, tendons, and spacisity. May his muscles be strengthen, may his tendons be stretched comfortably, and may he regain control of his muscles.

Day 8 - Dad's doctors and nurses. May they grow to know his personality and pull determination out of him. May they use their God given talent of aiding him to heath.

Day 9 - Dad's determination, strength, motivation, perseverance, and will. May he have an abundance of all through Christ in order to get him healed quicker. May he stay focused.

Day 10 - Dad's medications: may they be the right ones working towards his benefit and may he be on the bare minimum required.

Day 11 - Dad's spirit. May he put all of his trust in the Lord. May he stay positive and determined. May he not get down. May he feel the Lord's presence and comfort.

Day 12- Dad's rest. May it be adequate and peaceful, aiding his body, mind, and soul to health.

Day 13 - Dad's diet and nutrition. May he stay hydrated, he sugar levels remain normal, and may he receive enough nutrition to provide adequate strength for healing.

Day 14 - Dad's Parietal Brain Lobe. This lobe affects / controls academic skills, naming objects, right and left differentiation, tactile senses (touch), ability to focus visual attention, eye hand coordination, awareness of body parts, and spatial orientation. May he regain 100% of his Parietal Lobe function.

Day 15 - Dad's Frontal Brain Lobe. This lobe affects / controls ability to sequence, perseverance, attention deficit, personality, problem-solving, verbal expression, spontaneity, flexible thinking, emotional-social-sexual behavior, and initiation of voluntary or involuntary movements. May he regain 100% of his Frontal Lobe functions.

Day 16 - Dad's Temporal Lobe. This lobe affects /controls understanding of spoken words, selective attention, identifying and categorizing objects, recognizing faces and visually locating objects, short-term memory, change in sexuality, persistent talking, and aggressive behavior. May he regain 100% of his Temporal Lobe functions.

Day 17 - Dad's Brain Stem. This affects / controls regulation of temperature, heart rate, and respiration, as well as swallowing food and fluid, balance and movement, nausea and dizziness (vertigo), and arousal or sleep regulation. May he regain 100% of his Brain Stem functions.

Day 18 - Dad's Cerebellum. This affects / controls motor coordination, ability to walk, postural control, ability to make rapid movements, control of eye movements, tremors and/or dizziness, and slurred speech. May he regain 100% of his Cerebellum functions.

Day 19 - Dad's Occipital Lobe. This affects / controls vision defects (visual field cuts), visually locating objects, identifying colors, hallucinations and visual distortions, word blindness, ability to recognize object movement, reading and writing, and processing of visual information. May he regain 100% of his Occipital Lobe functions!

Day 20 - Dad's therapy. May he receive the best physical therapy, speech therapy, and nuero therapy available! Please pray for the therapist.

Day 21 - Dad's physical comfort and pain. May he have zero physical pain and be as comfortable as you and I, who are not going through vigorous therapy.

Day 22 - Dad's emotional and physical strength. May he have a peace and comfort beyond all understanding.

Day 23 - Dad's tracheotomy. May he have enough strength and coordination to have this removed!

Day 24 - Dad's salvation. May dad know the Lord as his savior and redeemer!

Day 25 - Dad's bondage. May his solitude and time with the Lord relieve him of any past pains and bondage.

Day 26 - Dad's purpose. During his solitude and time with the Lord may he come to know his Godly purpose while here on earth.

Day 27 - Dad's bodily tubes. May he not receive any infections for catheters, IV's, the trach, etc. In fact, through his healing and strength, may they be removed!

Day 28 - Dad's heart. May it not be hardened through this time. May he trust in the Lord and may the Lord bless him with grace, mercy, and peace.

Day 29 - Dad's joy. May he know and have true joy.

Day 30 - Dad's love and relationship with the Lord.

As stated before, there is no sequence nor start/end date for these topics. As I make changes to the list I will revise the title so you will know of the latest version you have.

Thank you and may God bless you for your faith in Him!

Update 21 - February 2, 2009

As all of you wait in suspense just know that the family is too! Now that dad is in Houston getting great care at the Nexus Specialty Hospital it is difficult getting updates from doctors and the medical professionals. We are blessed to have family that lives 15 minutes away who faithfully visits him daily, but considering they work as well they visit in the evenings after the doctors have made their rounds. Based on their visits we have the comfort of knowing how he seems to be based on his comfort level, etc.

So it seems that the past week he has been in a pleasant mood, just looking around and even laughing at times. He is wearing arm and leg braces to manage the muscle spacisity for 8 hours a day and it seems that during this time he is in physical pain. Other than this, there's not much of an update. EXCEPT the continued WEEKLY milestone of him not having any infections, fevers, etc. He is going on three weeks now of no illnesses. I pray that the pneumonia is out of his chest, it was still there two weekends ago. As he stays healthy I pray he makes drastic strength improvements.

Okay, it has been weighed on my heart to start a 30 day prayer for dad. There are 30 items I have written down to pray for each day. I'm not stating that all 30 items need to be prayed for daily, rather one topic per day for the next 30 days. What I will do is post the 30 items today and as I come across versus that speak for that topic I will add the verse. So if you find a verse that you feel should be added to the topic please add it to the comment section and I will update the prayer list with it!

With that said, the purpose of the prayer list and adding verses it so that we can beat the odds through Christ!

"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edge sword." Hebrews 4:12

" 'Have faith in God', Jesus answered. 'Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and do not doubt in your heart but believe that what you say will happen, it will be done for you. Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, will be yours." Mark 11:22-24

"For no word from God will ever fail." Luke 1:37

Jesus healed a boy who had a demonic-mute spirit from birth which caused convulsions, foaming of the mouth, gnashing of the teeth, and often tried to destroy the boy by throwing him in fire or water. The mans father begged of Jesus to heal his son and "Jesus said to him, 'If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.' ...'Lord I believe, help my unbelief.' " Mark 9:23-24 As the father believed, Jesus healed his son! Although Jesus comments on this type of healing and states "This kind can come out only by prayer." Mark 9:29 Now dad is not possessed by demons, but this is a reminder that there are some circumstances that require deep prayer and fasting in order for healing to occur. This is why I will forever remind you to pray. It is the only thing that has helped my dad overcome medical odds and it is the only thing that will continue the deliverance of God's miracles.

I know in my heart, God will deliver my dad from brain damage... for His glory. I know in my heart, anyone that knows Robert Ricks will witness God's miracle of life. Jesus is in the business of healing, lets not take Him nor His divine power of healing for granted. Rather trust in Him, pray through Him, and ask of Him.

A blind man named Bartimaeus begged for Jesus to heal him and began to shout "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Mark 10:47 Jesus called to the blind man and asked him, "What do you want me to do for you? The blind mad said, "Rabbi, I want to see." 'Go,' said Jesus, 'your faith has healed you.' Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road." Mark 10:51-52

Let this be a reminder that we have the privilege to ask Jesus to heal my dad and He will deliver!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Update 20 - January 6, 2009

Hello Everyone,

My updates are short and sweet these days because there hasn't been much change. I am sorry that I didn't inform you last week that dad was put in ICU in Houston at the St. Luke's hospital; he was placed in ICU for several reasons: high heart rate, UTI, severe dehydration, and pneumonia. As of today he is still in ICU, yet everything seems to be under control.

The one week he was able to spend at the neurorecovery center wasn't long enough to tell if there was a difference with his brain recovery. Once the doctors clear him at St. Luke's he will be released to Nexus again. On my previous post I stated that he was going to Touchstone Neurorecovery, but its actually called Nexus and is affiliated with Touchstone.

As always, continue to pray! Daily, hourly, intently, and passionately KNOWING that the Lord will heal dad's brain, body, immune system, pain, and physical ability. I've learned to accept and understand that no change doesn't mean that there's never going to be a change, yet God will heal dad when He is good and ready! God is not on a time table, humans are!

Even though God's not on a time table my prayer is that dad will be 100% healed by his 50th birthday (September 8, 2009); he had is heart attack exactly one month after he turned 49. Wouldn't that be an awesome celebration and something to praise God about! Let me make it clear though, that I will never ever lose hope in his healing and recovery. My hope is the he will celebrate his 50th with those who love him, yet EVEN IF God decides to prolong his recovery, I still love Him the same and KNOW that He will heal dad according to His will. I will never understand God's work nor how He uses tragedy for His will, but I do KNOW that He is perfect, knows exactly what He is doing with dad's circumstance, and loves us more than we will ever understand!

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.
~ 1 Peter 5:7, NLT

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you! --Isaiah 26:3, NLT

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world. --John 16:33, NLT

Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD. --Psalm 27:14, NLT

Friday, December 19, 2008

Update 19 - December 19, 2008

Great news! I received a call from my dad's case worker and he is being moved this Sunday to a neuro-rehab in Conroe, Texas. It's the Touchstone Neurorecovery Center.

Dad has held his own medically and overcome many obstacles. So this is a huge step to having his brain healed! We are very excited for this move; it is another step forward! With this specialty care his medications will be evaluated more closely and he will have a specialized program to guide his rehab.

Our family owes a lifetime of thanks for the continued support! Thank you for being on Robert's side and rooting for him! He has a huge fan club!

Praise the Lord of Lords!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Update 18 - November 25, 2008

Dad had a rough past two weeks, yet the last few days he seems to be doing much better. His liver was struggling to process the Dilantin (the seizure medication) and it caused some infections. In addition, his White Blood Cell counts were extremely low and his immune system was compromised. BUT these two issues are clearing up and his liver levels are back to normal as well as his White Blood Cell counts. He was taken off of the Dilantin and put on Keppra. Please pray for the right seizure medication because the Keppra practically puts him to sleep and he's not as responsive when he's on it.

He seems to be holding his own; as each uphill battle approaches (with the different infections, fevers, etc) his body ends up pulling him through and taking him to the top!

I will forever repeat myself that the only thing getting him through each obstacle is prayer. You know, I've tried keeping up with all of the different heath situations, medications, symptoms, causes, blah blah blah, and the truth is there is so much out of our 'human control' right now. The brain is a beautiful mystery to humans and we need to acknowledge God and HIS majestic creation. Please pray that the right doctors and nurses come into his path to aide him with grace, yet pray for God THE Doctor to continue healing dad's brain. The work that mortals try to complete can be done by God in an instant (or over a period of time) without complications and to perfection. Mortals do not / cannot/ and will not ever create miracles. God does / can / and will. So lets not get fixated on the human doctors and their abilities, rather the Creators ability to preform the ultimate healing.

Our family was so glad to meet the Oxy crew, to hear your encouragement, and to see the abundance of support! I'm proud that my dad has had the opportunity to work with so many people of high integrity for many years. Obviously he's enjoyed it too, seeing that he's never left. Many of you brightened my day by thanking me for the blog, but don't be fooled. This definitely has been the toughest circumstance me and my family have ever been through. I've known for a long time that the devil is real, but I've seen him up close and personal the past two months. He truly is here to devour Christians and will do anything to make us paranoid, insecure, depressed, angry, and question God's love. We've had just as many bad days as good. After each bad day, moment of anger, fear, sadness, guilt, pure torcher, depression, agony, etc.... the only thing I do that works is getting on my knees and acknowledging that I have the freedom to live without anger, confusion, doubt, fear, sadness, guilt, etc because Jesus Christ died for me. As God's child I have the privilege of going to my Redeemer and asking that He conquer this battle, take away my pain, heal my dad, protect our family, etc ... AND God does just that. There is no battle God can't extinguish with a simple flick of His mighty finger. God allows pain and suffering into peoples lives because He wants to draw us near to Him. He wants us to come to Him for guidance, support, love, advice, etc. It's not just because He's a jealous God, but because He knows it all. He knows everything. So why not take this opportunity to depend on Him rather than anyone else? During this time of affliction I'm merely here for the ride; the ride to experience His mighty power, love, and blessings. I'm seated on the front row of a roller coaster that has no tracks, brakes, or safety rails, yet when I allow God He steers me through the scenic route at a smooth-steady pace and even stops to allow me to get a nap & a snack. God delivers everyone from every situation and He blesses those who open themselves up to receive His blessings during these trials.

God will bless His people because He wants to love on us; God has won this battle; God is life, gives life, heals life, and wants our lives. God will bless Robert, God is loving on Robert, God has kicked the devils behind for Robert, God has given Robert life (5% remember), God is healing Robert, and God wants Roberts entire being to depend on Him. So please pray that Robert be healed internally, emotionally, physically, and mentally! God is not just doing a work in the lives of everyone that knows Robert... He's doing something very mighty in Robert. He's preparing him for the rest of his life. So pray for Robert's strong will and independence to weaken to the touch of God's love.

I did not intend for this site to become a testament of faith, yet so many of you ask what you can do and want to know what's going on. Well you can do the only thing that works... pray and expect to see miracles of healing.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Update 17 - November 16, 2008

Dad has a staff infection in his blood. They've put him in reverse isolation; so he is in a room by himself and visitors must wear a mask. It is a general practice to limit visitors to immediate family only to prevent any germs from entering, yet this has not been communicated to us. When/if it is I will post the update.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Update 16 - November 12, 2008

Good news. The physical therapist started sitting dad up on the edge of the bed in order to strengthen is neck. The respiratory therapist blocked / plugged his tracheotomy and it seems as if he may be exploring the sound.

So lets pray that he'll begin sitting up on his own soon and trying to speak soon.

I love each and everyone of you who are praying... may God bless you for the self-less acts of love you've sent Robert's way!

He does continue to fight fevers; only once a week though. A nurse told us last night that this will continue to happen during his recovery because the body is trying to regulate on its own because of blood sugars, hormones, temperature in general, etc. That made us feel better.

Thanks again!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Update 15 - November 6, 2008

Things are looking a lot like they were on 10/30/08 with the exception of the fact that last week dad did have a bacterial infection and it should be gone by now!

Each day is very different; some days he is very calm and relaxed and others he is trying to move around more; some days his muscles have spasticity (they're contracting) and some days they do not; some days he sleeps and some days he doesn't.

All in all, things are still moving forward, just slowly... but that's okay as long as we have him.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Update 14 - October 30, 2008

The neurologist explained that the EEG shows brain damage; he also explained that he has seen worse cases with success stories, and that no matter the severity the brain is very unique and unpredictable. Therefore, only time will tell how Robert will do.

Yesterday Richie was the one eye witness to see dad lift his arms. We've all seen him drag them or even sort of shrug his shoulders, but not actually lift... so lucky Richie! More frequently he also twitches his feet if you tickle them. He continues to fight a fever and we should find out tomorrow if he has an infection. His eyes seem to be focusing better and at times if there are two people standing on both sides of him talking, he will try to move his head and eyes back and fourth between the two, so we know he's listening! His seizure medication is now at a therapeutic level and the therapist are meeting with him twice daily with intentions of providing continuous stimulation to the brain.

"...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." Isaiah 40:31

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5

"In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of every human being." Job 10:12

"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:9-11

What is hope? It is having a confident expectation in God. My hope for each and everyone of you supporting Robert, our loved one, is that your hope is in Christ; who is in control of my dad's life as well as yours, who is perfect in every way (He makes no mistakes), who loves us more than we can imagine, and who promises to hear our cries (Matthew 7:7-11).

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6

Let's do just that! Place our trust in God during this situation, pray for the healing of Robert's brain, thank Him for the wonders around us (and thank Him for giving us the opportunity to share a lifetime with Robert), and request that this journey Robert is on will continue according to God's will.

Time is all we have, therefore we must be patient and continue praying for healing... our prayers do not go unanswered! We all wake up daily and wonder what has happened and if it's real. Well it is real and the only thing getting us through this is God... thank you and please continue praying... it truly is enough! I hope to meet you all someday and personally thank you for all of the generous gifts, support, and prayer.

I know some of you have been in a frenzy because it's taking me forever to provide an update, so I apologize. Right now there are no drastic changes from day to day, so lets just say that no news is good news. Also, I do not have internet access at home and now that I'm back at work and school it is difficult for me to find time.

I plan on posting at least twice a week, but don't freak out if I don't. I challenge you though, that each time you look for an update to say a prayer while your mind is on Robert.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Update 13 - October 23, 2008

Robert had a CAT scan and an EEG today. The neurologist should review the results tomorrow.

Update 12 - October 23, 2008

Short and sweet...

The new facility in Odessa is perfect! The family is very happy with the place and it seems as if Robert is too... it looks like he is at peace and restful with the place.

The neurologist is changing his seizure medication to see if he will be more alert on it. All of the doctors are very welcoming, upbeat, and encouraging.

Please pray for the medication and he's continued recovery... and thank you for praying for our family. God has heard all of our prayers and is carrying us through this.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Update 11 - October 20, 2008

My dad had a good night; he was awake the entire night... good grief. Here lately he's been sleeping during the nights and waking up around 5:30 am (do you think there's a mental alarm there?). So I'm not sure what has changed, but hopefully he'll get good rest today.

He's status is still the same; great physical condition and playing the waiting game as he slowly makes responsive improvements.

The facility he's currently in wasn't what we hoped it would be so we are going to attempt to get him moved out today, if not tomorrow, to another in Odessa.

Please continue praying for his recovery, the facility where he should be and its staff, and for the mercy of God to continue to heal him.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Update 10 - October 18, 2008

Hi Everyone, First I want to tell a lot of you that I'm sorry that I haven't replied to your emails. I've tried to sit down and go back through all of them and thank each of you for sharing your hearts, but my gosh there are so many and they keep coming. I try to respond as I read them (which I've read every single one) but it's turned into a big job as they continue to come.

Today my dad is being sent to a facility in Midland that offers both neuro and ortho rehab. He will be there until he's prepared to go to a more intense rehab. I know what all of you are thinking... yes, we get to go see him. BUT our family is still discussing what our dad would want at this time and trying to respect his wishes without neglecting the hundreds of you who love him. So please let us contemplate some more and possibly torture you for a few more weeks by restricting the visits. Also, we want to ask his doctors in Midland their opinion regarding visitors. I've said it once and I'll say it before, my dad is not a man of weakness, is very private about recooperating, and he wouldn't want any of you to see him less than 100%. I know that's not completely realistic or fair to you and that's why we want to give it more consideration. Regardless, we know how much you all care for him and just think he may need some more time. PLUS we don't want him to come out of this ready to whip our tail-ends!

As stated he's going to a facility in Midland tomorrow. Today he had the gastric tube removed and a peg tube placed, which will be much more beneficial for his nutrition not to mention his very sensitive gag reflex. He did well except later in the day the procedure apparently gave him an upset stomach and he ended up getting nauseated. The seizures are under control and he hasn't had any for I guess 3 days now. Please keep praying for his recovery, the doctors and nurses in the new facility, the seizure medication to be nailed down, and for the awesome miracle God has started. He will not leave this unfinished! He has big plans for my dad and I'm excited about the work he has begun in him and our family.

Thanks just don't seem to be enough, but thank you again for all of your support. Each day we're floored by the overwhelming responses, prayers, gifts, generosity, and so on! I just want to hug each of you for him and can't wait to meet you.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Update 9 - October 15, 2008

Sorry for the delay.

My dad's seizures seem to be under control; I believe it's been 2 days since he's had one. So that's great news.

Today a Health South representative came to do an evaluation to see if he's a good candidate for one of their facilities. It will take a couple of days for us to hear anything, but once they accept him, he will either go to one here in San Antonio or one in Midland.

On that note, please do not send anything by mail after tomorrow to the Texsan Heart Hospital, because no matter where he ends up going it looks like he'll be out of the heart hospital in several days.

He is still opening his eyes and making progress daily. Please keep praying for his recovery because it is definitely going to be a long road... but it is a road and where there's a will there's a way... God made the will and is paving the way!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Update 8 - October 13, 2008

My dad is still having seizures, therefore it was not the antibiotic. This afternoon another EEG was ran on his brain and during the test he started having a seizure; usually the doctors are supposed to be able to tell something about the brain if this occurs, but no of course not, they said nothing showed up on the EEG that could have indicated what was happening with his brain. The neurologist said he's not seen anything like this before. This isn't a bad thing, just unusual.

For now the neurologist is going to change the seizure medication and wean him off of it every three days for several reasons. 1) He wants to see if he needs it for short term or long term 2) to find out what works best 3) to make sure he gets it right while he is still in the hospital and to prevent him from having a bad one while at home.

This waiting around is driving all of us nuts. BUT I believe he just needs adequate rest, the doctors need to get this medication thing figured out, and that time will continue to show wonderful signs of recovery.

I came across these verses today and it's just what I needed.
"Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength." Isaiah 4:28-31

"I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory." Ephesians 3:13

Thank you for praying for Robert and helping us through this crazy time.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Update 7 - October 12, 2008

My dad is off of the respiratory and is breathing on his own!

The doctors are still positive and have hope for him, but still aren't saying whether or not his brain will recover. So please keep praying for his brain; it is time for him to start waking up.

God promises to answer our prayers:
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who ask receives; those who seek find; and to those who knock the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!" Matthew 7:7-11

"And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it."
John 14:13-14

I pray the devil and his demons shiver and extinguish at this prayer. In Jesus Christ name I ask that your son's brain be healed 100%, and you claim this victory against all human odds. You created him and you will heal him. This battle is yours and not mine, therefore I surrender and place all of my hope and existence in you. You are majestic and healing. In Jesus name, Amen.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Update 6 - October 11, 2008

I'm sorry for not getting an update out sooner.

The good news: my dad is in good physical condition, his lungs are cleared, the old blood in his stomach is almost out, he is still responsive, and is resting well. Tomorrow he will be removed from the respiratory for 2 hours and once the 2 hours is up without any problems it will be removed permanently. After that is out the gastric tube will be removed.

Tomorrow marks one week since his and our world has been turned upside down and inside out. Tomorrow marks the day he was given a 5% chance of survival and tomorrow is the day another victory will be accomplished; he will be off of life support with his heart beating on its own and with him breathing on his own.

Now, the not so good news, but not so bad. He started having seizures yesterday and the neurologist believes it was because he is allergic to the antibiotic he's on. So they've changed the antibiotic and are waiting for 72 hours to have the old one flushed out of his system. After the 72 hours is up (mid-Monday), if he doesn't have another then that was the cause. If he does then the neurologist believes its an indication of brain damage.

So tomorrow I would like for everyone to pray specifically for his brain recovery to be 100% because that's the only news we are waiting for the doctors to give clarity on. I believe in my heart he has no brain damage and that the doctor in heaven has already healed him.

Everyone is doing well and we're blessed that after one week of craziness we have him with us. As stated before visitors are welcome to visit the family, but as he is coming out of this we'd like to keep him with minimum interaction so that he can get adequate rest. He's very private about being seen sick, but know we have documenation of everyone calling and emailing. We will give this to him soon so that he knows how much he is loved!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Update 5 - October 11, 2008

Today is about the same as yesterday. Robert is resting and coming off of the medications. The doctors say they will wait a day or so before running more test to evaluate his recovery. I believe they will also run test on his throat and esophagus to make sure the wounds have healed and assess any damage.

Thank you so much again for your love and prayers..... they are working!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Update 4-October 9, 2008

Where to start?
First, the balloon machine was removed from Robert yesterday around 6:30 pm and that went very very well! He has received a great amount of rest over the last 10 hours and it is well needed. There's another tube that will be removed today that's not critical, but will bring him more comfort. He's off of the majority of the meds he was on, he's lungs are cleared, there's not any bleeding, he's still responsive to commands, he's very physically weak and will be on his back limited for a while, he still has a gastric-tube and tracheotomy, he's oxygen levels are excellent and he's respiratory is at 60%... so things are getting better. He looks like himself, his eyes were a deep grey, but are back to his crystal blue! His skin tone is normal, we're keeping him shaved and cleaned daily. He's very big on cleanliness; one of the nurses noticed how well manicured his hands and feet were and our family couldn't help but giggle as she then became very attentive to his appearance, because he is after all very peculiar about taking care of himself! He's very well taken care of here and I couldn't ask for him to have ended up in a better hospital.
We have wonderful doctors and nurses surronding him! Please keep praying for their healing hands and to bless them for their self-less acts. They are all optomistic and ask that we continue to be considering on Sunday he had only a 5% survival rate. Yesterday was the first I heard of this figure and it was a lot to take in, but if you know my dad he's all or nothing. So that 5% is turning into 100% for this tough guy! My father is truly a miracle and I ask that everyone continue to pray and pray hard because his fight isn't over. The doctors still state that he isn't in the clear, but my Jesus is carrying him through this for something big!  
Please pray for his brain, that God will place a calming hand on his strong-will so that he will rest and not get over anxious, for the doctors and nurses, that this will be a witness to those around us, that Silvia stays strong and healthy (she is our strong tower right now), that Ashley will stay strong as she goes back to school next week and will be without her parents, that my brother is comforted beyond understanding, and that our entire family is lifted by God's grace as we've united during this time.
I can not tell you how blessed I am to read all of your emails and encouraging words. There are so many of you who want to help and I don't know how to thank you for reaching out during this tough time. Please for now, just pray and keep praying. That's what is needed most and when the time comes, if the Lord lays something on your heart to do for us, you'll know and you can contact us anytime! Our hotel has been accomodated for the next several weeks, we've been blessed with snacks and goodies (that has helped out a ton, having snacks at the hospital and the hotel, so you're more than welcome to contribute in that sense), the plants and flowers and 'trophey' are all beautiful and heart warming!  
Everyone continues to about visiting. I'll be completely honest and share that when my dad is ill he doesn't like to be talked to or even acknowledged, he likes complete silence and dark; so you are more than welcome to come visit the family, but now that he is aware of what's happening we don't want to aggrevate him too much. As you know he's such a responsible man, he'll feel obligated to acknowledge you and just get frustrated that he can't speak to you. We don't want to frustrate him! Although, if you do come we will walk you to his room and allow you to stand outside his door so you can see how well he looks and speak some blessing over him.
Again, pray! That's all I ask, and in turn I ask that God will bless each of you abundently for all you've done, all of the caring and prayers, and all that is to come! 
I really wish I was a medical person to offer sepcifics, but certain terms just are not sticking with me. So what I can gather, each day he takes a baby step forward and as long as he's moving forward I don't mind the pace! God is good all the time and is walking with him, so he's safe!

Update 3-October 9, 2008

Robert had a decent night. He was very restless, seeing the are slowly reducing meds he is becoming very aware! If you turn on a light or make a noise he's looking to see what's going on. My dad needs complete dark and silence to sleep so I know he's coming back!
He's blood oxygen has increased, therefore they will take him off of the ballon machine today. He's lungs have cleared up and there is no more internal bleeding. He is able to squeeze your hand with his left hand, but his right side is still stiff. They had to strap his legs back down last night because he's becoming very figity. I'm sure there is more, but last night was a good night.
We still have a long way to go, so please keep praying. Please keep sending your encouraging words and prayers. It's crazy ho many emails we've received and we're trying to do our best to get through them all! Please keep forwarding these updates because I'm afraid there are still people I've not been able to add.
Plenty of you keep asking what you can do. For now, keep praying! That's what Robert needs most. He's not used to being taken care of and I'm sure that's what's going to be the most difficult for him; being forced to lay there against his strong-will.  
There's more good news to come! God is good all the time!
God Bless and love,
The Ricks Family

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Update 2- October 8, 2008

Today he showed again, decent signs of improvement. He is still heavily sedated, but because all of his levels have stayed stable the doctor's are slowly weaning him off of everything (he's oxygen was 100% yesterday and is now 70%, and they're lowering his meds). He still has a tube in his mouth suctioning out the fluids and blood in his stomach (it looks like it's clearing up and we're praying that will be gond ASAP, if you know my dad he has a very sensitive gag reflex), he has a treachiostomy (therefore, he can not talk, but is most certainly trying... so please pray he will hear our voices and stop trying because it upsets him that he can't get anywords out). The nurologist and cardiologist both stated that his responses are intentional and that's great news. He's able to open his eyes and find the person speaking to him or near him, and actually he is now looking for us! He is has minimal mobility, but because he can actually move at this time it is a good sign. Tomorrow they will take him off of the 'ballon' machine which is what is keeping his heart beating at this time, and they're doing this just to see how his body will react and if it's ready to function on it's own. It looks like the majority of the fluid in his lungs is gone as well.

Please keep praying for the doctors and nurses set in our path. This hospital is fabulous and we love the staff! Please pray for my Step-mom, she has been so brave and bold and just a fascinating woman during this time. Me and my brother are doing well also, but we surely need prayers to stay strong. It is very comforting knowing that all of you love and care for my dad and our family.

Also, please please keep praying for 100% recovery! We still have not recevied any news on his brain damage. Hopefully we will find out sometime tomorrow.

Update 1- October 7, 2008

For those of you who don't know, my father had a heart attack around 6:30 AM Sunday 10/5/2008. He was on a fishing trip with some of his friends at Lake Amistad and that morning they loaded him in a truck, called 911, and met an ambulance in between Box Canyon and Del Rio. He was conscious until they met the ambulance. Once they arrived he went into cardiac arrest. He was taken to the Del Rio hospital and stabilized.

They sent him to the Texsan Heart Hospital in San Antonio (which is where he is now, in room 226) and around 3 or 4 pm he had stints put in successfully. From what I understand the vessel on the Left Artery pumping blood in to his heart ecluded (collapsed). Please forgive me, but my mind has failed me so these specifics may be a little off. Regardless, the operation went well, but shortly after completion he began throwing up blood. Between 4:15 and 6 pm the doctors discovered that while being intubahted in Del Rio his esophagus was punctured. Because he was put on blood thinner medication that morning the bleeding was excessive. At 6 pm we were informed that his state was very critical and there was no way of knowing whether or not he would survive. By 8:30 pm with a huge relief we were informed that the surgery to close the hole was complete and the bleeding should stop.

At that time we were told that the next 24-72 hours were the most critical for his body to recover and by the end of this time frame they would have an idea whether or not he would recover and to some extent the severity if any of brain damage.

For those of you who don't know my dad, he is a brave-tough-strong willed man, to say the least. Each hour has been a roller coaster for our family, but each hour and each minute is a new one. From 6:30 AM 10/5/2008 until now, he has shown decent signs of recovery and the doctors are pleased with where he is. BUT he is not in the clear and the 72 hours is not up. The doctors have stated that he has shown positive results, but they still are not sure whether or not there's any brain damage and to what extent.

Let me tell you what I do know. My God is a merciful, loving, caring, healing, miracle-giving, and a POWERFUL God. My God loves his son, Robert, more than I or anyone can understand. Therefore, please continue praying to this loving God for a successful recovery! There's nothing He can't do and there's nothing too big for Him, not even healing His son 100%.