Another Update on Joseph

Well, the spinal tap on my cousin Joseph came back normal.

If you recall last week we thought he might die within hours, and then there was hope.

The doctors are now saying that yes, they think it’s a case of over-radiation, after all, and yes, maybe some of it did touch his brain stem, and that’s what’s causing all the trouble, except, by golly, maybe it’s this virus and until they know for sure, they can’t really do much to treat him…

Joseph is still alive, but he is in very bad shape. He is in a great deal of pain but is resisting pain medication. He cannot speak, or fully close his eyes; he hasn’t got full control of one side of his body. Earlier this week, they thought they were losing him again.

We’re in for a very long haul, his wife and two children, and his parents and siblings, his cousins. The doctors want to go in there and “clean out” the dead brain cells that are sloughing off (I get this second/third hand from very upset people, so I don’t know how much sense it makes) but there are risks involved. They want to do a brain biopsy. I don’t like to say it to anyone in the family, but it sounds like they’re still grasping at straws. All I know is my cousin is in pain, and his family is distraught with worry and all that is unknown. I personally think the fact that he’s pointing at things and answering yes/no questions is a promising sign. But who knows how far he’ll be able to come back from this.

I thank you — we all thank you — for your prayers.

Related:
People never think nuns need prayers, but the Dominican Nuns of Summit could use a few as one after another is stricken with various tumbles, surgeries and tests, although they seem to be handling it with a spirit of humor and grace. Also, they have a new soap scent that is awfully nice; my husband and I like it a lot!

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