Latest Update

April 16 (9:51 AM)

We returned to the Huntington Valley Healthcare Center to be discouraged the first week by little wake time (in contrast to much in the hospital) and little responsiveness to therapists (again a contrast to the first week in the hospital). Therapy withdrew again. The last couple weeks have been more encouraging. His eyes moved back and forth when the Bible was placed before him. While taking him on a walk in the wheelchair April 8th, I asked, "Can you see that bird up in the tree?" He looked all the way up and watched the bird. He has begun to help pull his legs up and press down when we ask him to participate during exercises. I kissed him one day and asked, "Can you kiss me back?" The nerves in his lips crinkled. He did the same when I asked for a goodbye. For the first time the doctor noticed his tracking. We praise God for what I call little miracles, and continue to pray for a big miracle while believing "He (God) giveth to all life, and breath, and all things" (Acts 17:25) And we choose daily to surrender all and accept that He knows best…because "Truly God is good." (Psalm 73:1) And we "rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him."

Prayer Requests:

  • Continued healing of previous damage done
  • Repetitive response (I got those words from the head of therapy)
  • That God would grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage (and wisdom) to do what we can, and wisdom to know the difference
  • FOR CONTINUED MIRACLES

Thank you for your continued prayer! It means the world to us.

P.S. I think maybe we misquoted the numbers for the coma scale on the previous update, but either way it was an improvement. (There are various scales used to rate comas.)

March 29 (5:59 PM)

We thank you for your patience in our delays in posting. Thank you for your continued faithful prayer for Pastor Esposito and encouragement to us. Here is a recap of the last two weeks including the surgery:

  1. Shunt placed successfully—time will tell if it causes improvement.
  2. While in there they noticed previous scarring where the skull was replaced and hadn't healed correctly and they had to remove a growth and restitch it. It seems to have healed quickly
  3. Fever early in the week—treated as pneumonia—broke later in the week. Antibiotics complete, and lungs clear.
  4. Last Friday, the 21st returned to sub-acute care. We are thanking the Lord for a brighter room where the sun shines in.
  5. Staples and stitches all removed from three places on the head and one place on the stomach.
  6. Physical and occupational therapy came daily while at the hospital last week. He responded many times for them with some eye tracking, etc. A coma evaluation was done. When he left the hospital in November, Pastor Esposito was a 4 on a scale of 0-4, with 4 being the worst. Last week they rated his coma as 1.7.
  7. Pastor Esposito seems to come in and out. The therapists tried several things today, but without much response besides the eyes. Then once they left, and our youth pastor walked in and said, "Hi Pastor, it's Nathan" – he turned his head and eyes toward him. He wouldn't grip their hand, but did his.

What we know:

  1. God knows what He is doing…He is God, we are not. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
  2. God loves us. I just read this quote in a book yesterday, "Those who look to the cross as a token of God's love will never doubt His steadfast devotion to them, regardless of the circumstances." (John 3:16; Galatians 2:20; Romans 5:8)
  3. God is working His will in His way for His purpose. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to HIS purpose."
  4. God is able to heal if He so chooses. Matthew 19:26 says, "But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, with men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible."

Specific Prayer Requests:

  1. Healing
  2. Fully wake from the coma
  3. Increased Responsiveness
  4. Improvement to where trach could be removed or at least capped
  5. More than anything – that God would be glorified

March 16 (3:30 PM)

Good Afternoon. This is a quick update on Pastor Esposito's condition as of today. He is currently still at Long Beach Memorial Hospital.

  1. They said Dad won’t leave Memorial yet because of his fever – he’s on antibiotics, though they haven’t pinpointed the reason yet.
  2. Yesterday went up to 102. Today has been low grade all day.
  3. They took more blood this morning
  4. Dr. Paik said the fever shouldn’t be surgery related, because there is usually a delay in complications to this type of surgery – shouldn’t be this fast…
  5. He seems a bit better on the breathing today, and coughed a little more (in a good way).

Thank you very much for continuing to pray for Pastor Esposito. We continue to ask the Lord for a miracle.

March 15 (6:00 AM)

Pastor Esposito is currently staying at Long Beach Memorial Hospital for recovery from surgery and monitoring. He will be discharged on Sunday, if there isn't anything that prevents or changes it. Some simple updates are below:

  1. Staples will come out in 2 weeks – either the facility can do it or else we can go to the neurosurgeon's office
  2. There should be follow up with neurosurgeons to have CT scan done again to check the shunt
  3. In reference to the previous update about a possible seizure, there is no way to know if a patient had a seizure after the fact. They would have to be on an EEG when it happens. And so, One month from now we can see the neurosurgeon again to request the EEG and potentially have him taken off of the Kepra (seizure medication) altogether.
  4. To see if the shunt makes a difference, it may take a bit to allow the brain to register it

Thank you so much for praying for the surgery, as well as for our family and church family. Please continue to pray for a miracle, and most of all, that the Lord might be glorified through it all.

By His Grace,
The Esposito Family

March 13 (9:30 PM)

A few days before the surgery, Pastor Esposito went to Long Beach Memorial for a CT scan. The Ct scan showed that there hadn't been improvement in fluid build up, but did show that there was not hydrocephalus. It did show softening of some tissue where the fluid was being retained as well as some enlargement. Also seen was some tissue damage in the central part where the two sides of the brain connect. There is no bleeding and no new damage seen. Please pray for continued healing- and of course for a miracle from the great physician.

March 11 (11:20 PM)

Today Pastor Esposito had his CT scan in preparation for Thursday's surgery to place a shunt to drain fluid from the brain. Please pray for good results on the CT scan, and for the surgery. Specifically:

  1. The CT scan would show enough improvement that the surgery would be unnecessary. (Like we posted previously, the dr. does not expect that this will improve without surgery, but we can pray)
  2. For guidance for the surgeon
  3. That we will see a marked improvement from the surgery
  4. Absence of the most common complications: blockage or infection of the shunt (In 50% of patients these complications occur anywhere from 2 weeks after surgery and forward)
  5. No other complications (not as common) which can range from under or over drainage, valve problems, to the most severe being collapse of the brain from too much trauma overall

As far as the potential seizure, labs were done to verify that the anti—seizure medication levels were accurate, and they came back good. Nothing else was done to verify it was in fact a seizure, and the medications are still elevated. We are pursuing that with the neurosurgeon who will do the surgery this Thursday. We dropped off the cd's today to him….and mentioned this to the nurse. We expect a call tomorrow.

We praise the Lord still for small little signs of cognizance and for continued general health and stability. We praise the Lord for the staff and people of Pacific Baptist Church who have just kept on going faithfully for the Lord and in so doing encourage our hearts! We also thank the Lord for showing us His love in so many ways through HIS wonderful people across the country and around the world. Thank you so much for your continued prayer.

In His Hands,
The Esposito Family

February 25 (9:40 PM)

Good evening, and thank you for your continued prayers for Pastor Esposito. This evening, we have a special prayer request, as one of the nursing staff called and informed us that they believe Pastor Esposito had a seizure this evening. They walked in and saw that he was shaking and had hunched a little over to his side. This is shortly after one of the nurses had asked him to blink twice if he was in discomfort or pain, to which he responded with two blinks. They have currently increased his dosage of seizure medication, and will be monitoring him through the night, as well as doing blood work in the morning. Please pray for his health and continued improvement, for wisdom for the medical staff, and his upcoming surgery, and that the Lord might be glorified through everything that is done. Thank you once again for your prayer, support, and encouragement. Have a good night.

February 23 (11:15 PM)

Surgery has been rescheduled for March 13th. Pastor Esposito will be admitted to Long Beach Memorial Medical center on March 12th for CT scan and discussion with the doctor. Our prayer would be that there would be significant improvement such that they would determine surgery is not necessary; however, the doctor doesn’t expect the hydrocephalus to be corrected without surgery.

Having read 245 pages of the 6140 page chart from the initial 40 days at the hospital we are reminded of God’s miraculous power thus far. We read statements like, “barely alive” or that he wasn’t expected to make it off the operating table the first night. We read “poor prognosis” and that all signs, symptoms, stroke scales, coma scores, etc. pointed toward a worst case scenario for recovery. Then we sit in the room or walk around the property with Pastor Esposito placed in a wheel chair to change positions and get some sunshine and fresh air or talk with him in the room…and are reminded that everything up to today has been God’s sustaining power. And we thank Him for all He has done and continue to pray for continued miracles. Pastor Esposito shows what we believe to be (I always add that since doctors don’t consider anything significant until he responds consistently to specific requests and that this could only be a permanently vegetative state) little improvements week by week. He has begun to turn his head slightly, and tries to nod occasionally. He moves his legs some reflexively toward his body perhaps in response to discomfort – but he moves them. His face has small hints of expression, and we have asked him to smile on a couple of occasions and have seen the slightest bit of a nerve moving in his lip, slight - yet it is distinct. He definitely is able to turn his eyes and head toward visitors. Yesterday I put on “Someone is Praying for You” and a tear rolled down his cheek. I spoke with him about needing specific response so that we can get to the point of removing the trach and going home. He instantly and quickly turned his head (to the right which he typically doesn’t do) to give me what we call an intent look (we have all had those moments with him where he seems “right there with us”). Last night our youngest son sat by him in his bed with a video on and as they watched together, Nathaniel said, “Two tears rolled down Dad’s cheek. Mom, I remember in the hospital when he couldn’t open his eyes at all.” As our granddaughter was there yesterday on her birthday, we told Grandpa she is now two years old. He looked at her and opened his mouth as if to say, “Wow, where has the time gone?” So while we listen to the caution of the doctors not to have too high of expectations (under the circumstances), we continue to pray to our God of miracles, and remember that everything we have is a miracle already. Being “in this place” is a miracle. And we praise and thank Him for what He HAS done. And we trust in His will, knowing that He knows best. And we follow Him day by day, holding His hand and allowing Him to carry us through to the place where HE chooses.

Mrs. Joe Esposito

February 14 (11:25 PM)

Pastor's shunt procedure is scheduled for February 26th. Please pray for the operation and for Dr. Szper who will be performing the surgery. Thank you for your continual prayer!


Dr. Szper

February 11 (5:45 PM)

Tuesday, Jan. 4th I met with the neurosurgeon once again about going forward with the surgery to place a shunt to drain fluid from Pastor Esposito’s brain. We are in the process of scheduling the surgery. The ventricular cavities of his brain are enlarged, leading the doctor to believe that there is hydrocephalus – meaning the fluid in the brain is not flowing properly. The purpose of the shunt would be to try to correct the flow, prevent further damage, and perhaps allow more improvement. (As always he made sure to remind me not to have high expectations since there are no promises.)

We will post an update when we know the scheduled date for the surgery.

Two weeks ago the doctor thought perhaps there was pneumonia. The x-ray was clear, but another was scheduled since they heard something abnormal. Last week the x-ray, I was told, showed everything was fine. Today they came and said they were there to do x-ray again. Later a nurse came in to give me the results. He said, “The x-ray is much better than last week, and so we don’t think there is infection and the lung is not collapsed.” In spite of occasionally being a little frustrated with communication, we are very thankful Pastor is in a place where they are quick to check up on things like this and follow up. Please pray for continued good health of the lungs.

Thank you for continuing to pray with us. Pray for a miracle “That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the LORD hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.” Isaiah 41:20

Mrs. Joe Esposito

February 5 (12:15 AM)

Thank you for praying for Pastor Esposito and Pacific Baptist Church. God has been very good to us. He has brought us a very long way. Please continue to pray for a miracle, as we have a very long way to go.

As best we can tell from our research, Pastor Esposito is in what is called a minimally conscious state. Sometimes his actions/reactions seem to fluctuate between what looks vegetative and what seems to be minimally conscious. There are times it seems very clear that he is "with us" and other times it seems more of a distant stare or unawareness. There really are no real answers doctors can give at this point. (After a stroke, someone not "awake" and most of all interactive is labeled as permanently vegetative after 12 months. With drowning or some other types of trauma, it is after 3 months. Brain research and the ability of the brain to heal is something that doctors do not yet fully understand. We've done a LOT of research, and find that medical science is only at the edge of understanding the complexity with which God made the human brain. In fact, the state of being minimally conscious is a relatively new understanding of brain injury. We do find a multitude of testimonials of folks who continued to improve for many years in spite of doctors predicting otherwise.)

For now it is a matter of the verse that I quote in my husband's ear over and over, "Trust in the Lord and wait patiently for Him". And all the while we pray and beg God for a miracle, we seek any tips we can find on helping someone in his state. My husband used to quote "work as if it all depends on you, and pray as if it all depends upon God (and it does)". We do many things.…exercise him three times per day, use ice to try to provoke movement, show him many pictures, allow him to watch himself preach online, use massage we were taught may help brain fluid, read/play Scripture, play music, give him fish oil, allow him to smell scents, use alkaline water, give a brain formula of vitamins, use a brain training program online, and so forth. Anything we can find that might help, we incorporate into his daily schedule. During his limited "awake" time, we try to squeeze in everything we can fit in that may cause the neurons in the brain to reconnect, and when he closes his eyes, we let him sleep as undisturbed as possible, since sleep is vital to healing. (This is one reason we have limited visits for the time being, though we plan to schedule visits again in the near future.)

One blessing has been to be able to lift Pastor Esposito into a wheel chair twice per week and take him outside (as long as we stay nearby in case of need for suctioning the lungs, and as long as we take oxygen along). On Thursday, while outside, he was holding his head up for a while and turning his head and eyes slightly side to side. Many of the staff along the hall commented that he looked much better than when he first came. Please pray for his circulation. When in the chair his feet have a tendency to turn deep purple, and so we have to watch closely and elevate/massage as soon as that begins or put him back in the bed. Hopefully as time goes by and he is up more, circulation will improve.

Thank you all for your prayers. Please forgive us for not posting updates more frequently, but we want to thank you for checking the website and for continuing to pray. God really has been good to us. We are thankful for the opportunity to grow in faith in our Father who loves us so, and we pray as is our church theme this year that He alone would be glorified.

January 19 (10:30 PM)

Recently we talked with the Dr. at the healthcare center who sees Pastor Esposito. She reviewed the CT Scan. Praise the Lord she said that there has been a decrease in swelling since the last scan before leaving the hospital following the last surgery. She did, however tell us that there is still an area of drainage. Please pray for complete healing of all swelling/drainage around the brain.

We have been asked by many folks when we are going to take Pastor Esposito home. We are very eager to take him home, but there are many considerations:

· No medical staff/doctors have yet brought up the possibility that it is time to take him home, in fact they all discourage it at this point, though I have asked questions regarding what steps we would need to take to be ready to do so when the time comes.

· Pastor Esposito had three major brain surgeries in the last three month period.

· There is still drainage in his brain

· He was released from the hospital to a skilled nursing, sub acute center, not a regular convalescent/nursing home. Here they specialize in the types of care he needs.

· There are trained Respiratory Therapists who drain the lungs regularly, change the trach tube leading into his throat, etc.

· A pulmonologist regularly monitors him since pneumonia is very common with coma/stroke patients in his state (he had pneumonia already while in the hospital, and it was difficult to cure with a weakened immune system)

· Labs/cultures are regularly taken to insure there is no infection. There would be no other way of knowing of infections since he is not able to communicate.

· A medical doctor is on hand and sees him a minimum of twice per week to check basic health and is always available. For example two days ago, one eye was swollen up. So we called a nurse in to request treatment.

· Another staff member is the treatment nurse who specifically cares for skin issues. Pressure sores are very common with patients who are completely immobile. These can develop quickly, and can become very serious, even fatal when not treated quickly. Last week Pastor Esposito was covered in large hives – some type of allergic reaction. That was immediately treated.

· One doctor said his immunity is too low for him to feel comfortable with his going home. Illnesses must be caught and treated immediately

· One doctor (I am sure intending to scare me) stated that if he potentially could drown himself in his own fluids if not properly cared for and watched 24/7

· If/when Pastor Esposito improves significantly enough, being in this center would offer daily rehab three times per day (PT, OT, ST). At home, a PT would come only twice per week.

· The above points are not to mention the more minor details of daily physical care (which often require two staff at once):

  • Turning and changing the patient every two hours
  • Moving with a crane like piece of equipment
  • Tube feeding
  • Administering medications
  • Showering on a specially made bed in specialized shower rooms

So at this time, it doesn’t seem practical to think that we have the capability of doing what all of these trained professionals are able to do, and what Pastor Esposito’s present health requires. When the doctors feel confident that he is strong enough to go home and doesn’t need specialized care beyond our abilities, and encourage us to do so, we will be very happy. It breaks our hearts to have him away from home. (One of the hardest days of my life was the first night I had to go home and leave him there. I had spent 40 nights sleeping in Memorial Hospital by his side. But none of the skilled nursing centers we researched allow overnight stays.) So for now we must not let our impatience cause us to make decisions that aren’t best. Please pray with us that the day will come quickly that we are able to take him home, but we won’t do so until it is what’s medically best for him…and I suppose the doctors will help us to know when that time comes and the Lord will give us peace about doing so.

Specific prayer requests that will bring us closer to that day:

· For complete healing of all draining/swelling around the brain

· For responsive consciousness (though he opens his eyes periodically he is not considered “awake”)

· That he could properly breath and learn to swallow without a trach

· For movement in his entire body

· For speech or at least for now some form of consistent means of communication

· That he would no longer need supplemental oxygen

Please also pray for wisdom and guidance on our part. On Pastor Esposito’s part, please continue to pray for a miracle from the Lord. Once again a doctor this week reminded me of this very small percentage of patients who have gone through what Pastor Esposito has gone through (AVM rupture, aneurism, stroke, long term coma, three brain surgeries) and are in the state he is in and recover. With brain injury, it is not thought to be just a matter of time for healing as with other illnesses/surgeries. Healing can stop at any point, and in 90% of patients does. We believe God is able; please continue to pray with us for that miracle.

January 2 (6:23 AM)

We would like to thank the many, many folks across the country and around the world who have prayed and have encouraged our family the last three months. God has showered us with His love through you.

Though progress is very slow, we thank the Lord that we still continue to see small little hints of progress. Pastor Esposito seemed to nod slightly twice yesterday. His eyes definitely are focusing. He looked at his granddaughter as we held her on each side of the bed this New Years Eve(ning). Since yesterday, he is also making a slight expression by raising his eyebrow on his left side.

Please continue to pray that God will give us a miracle. Also for wisdom in making several decisions on his care, including placing a shunt. Please pray for God's direction as sometimes it seems that no one is specifically, regularly giving us any guidance medically.

Thank you again!

December 28 (8:30 PM)

Here is a picture we took with our dad on Christmas Eve. He is able to go outside some now. Though he's not "awake" and "responsive" (two very subjective terms, as we've come to learn), it's nice to be able to spend time with and sing to and talk to him. As we sang for him, a big tear rolled down his cheek.

The Esposito Family

We don't know if, how, or to what extent our dad will recover. Only God knows. But, we rejoice and praise the Lord for the progress we've seen. Though we don't know what the future holds, we know Who holds the future. We pray our dad continues to improve, but in the mean time, and regardless, we pray that we learn the lessons God wants us to learn through this trial, and that we'd be the stewards of it as He wants.

Thank you again for praying!

-The Esposito Family

December 19 (10:54 AM)

Pastor Esposito had his follow up appointment with the Neurosurgeon Monday. The doctor said that based upon what he sees in the CT scan as well as seeing him for the first time since the surgery Oct. 30th, we could consider possibly putting in a permanent shunt to drain fluid from the brain. This potentially could help us to see some improvement. The doctors are quick to remind us as they have all along that they can make no promises, won't give an opinion for or against it, and that there are no text book answers when it comes to neurology….that we may see minimal change, significant change, or no change at all. Perhaps one of the hardest parts of this trial is the fact that doctors can give no prediction of what will be, no time frames, no answers, no recommendations, advice, or opinions, and they intentionally give no hope so as to not give a false hope. And so we continue to pray for a miracle and to trust in the Lord Who is the GREAT PHYSICIAN that HIS WILL will be done. And we realize that HE alone is our hope.

Lest I sound negative (I don't mean to, only to share honestly what the doctors say because that is one of the most asked questions, "what are the doctors saying?"), I'd like to share a praise page I began in my journal a couple days ago as I thanked Him for how far He has brought us thus far:

Praise God:

• My husband is alive; when at first the doctors only promised  to TRY to save his life.

• My husband is now AVM free, never to worry about this happening again.

• The doctor said his brain is not “all stroked out.”

• The doctor said his brain stem is not damaged.

• His bone flap is replaced in his skull.

• He is breathing without a respirator.

• After over a month of watching the blood pressure monitor, and wondering if he’d have a heart attack from the extremely high b.p., his blood pressure is consistently normal and healthy on its own.

• After fighting high fever, due to the fact that his body couldn’t regulate temperature, and after being wrapped in ice for over a month…his temperature has been stable for a while now.

• After fighting pneumonia for weeks, the pulmonologist said his lungs sound good.

• The balloon in his tracheotomy has been deflated.

• That his eyes open at times; and appear to have some sight.

• That his feet and hands have some movement (whether reflex or not they are not totally paralyzed).

• That God has given us weakness that we may find our strength in Him.

• For giving us hurt that we may find He is our Comforter.

• For using the great void in our hearts and lives to draw us closer Himself and  to one another.

• For teaching us to both to pray more, and to learn better how to pray.

• For reminding us that though often His ways are not our ways, Romans 8:28 is still true and He does have purpose in all He does….and all He does is good.  Matthew. 7:11

• For reminding us of a million “little lessons” like:

  • Even though there is traffic to go through to get there (Huntington Beach), you will still get there, so no use in fretting.
  • To wait patiently (I live in a hurry, usually.  Now I step aside in the hallway and patiently wait for folks in wheelchairs or those learning to walk again to pass by).
  • Appreciate the little things in life.
  • Love people for who they are.
  • That much of what we think matters really doesn’t.
  • That many more things can wait than we think while we attend to what is really important – we really can stop and attend to more important things and the other things won’t fall apart.
  • That today once again, he closed his eyes when I asked him to, and he also seems much more alert with his eyes, like he is beginning to focus.

The verse my husband and I always claimed as sort of a life verse still holds true, that God has done exceeding abundantly above all we could ask or think.  God has been good.

Thank you for your continued prayer.  Please pray for wisdom and direction from the Lord as we make the decision on the shunt.

-Mrs. Joe Esposito

December 15 (10:30 PM)

Pastor will be taken back to Long Beach Memorial for a check up with the surgeon, Dr. Pak, tomorrow at about 2:00 PM.

Dr. Pak was the one who originally suggested against the surgery and said, "What's the use?" Please pray that he sees improvement and that the Lord would be glorified, as Dr. Pak knows that we trusted what God could do in choosing to go forward with surgery.

Thank you for praying. God is good.

December 12 (10:00 AM)

Here's an email response to a family member who emailed Mrs. Esposito, "…How was Joe's CT scan…":

It was great. I told him we were going on our first date since he was sick =)… I told him we'd been on a deep sea boat fishing, a helicopter (to Catalina)...but this was the first time we got to ride together in an ambulance to the hospital!

It was a beautiful sunny day, and when we got to the imaging center for his 11:00 appointment, they informed us that there was no technician on duty yesterday, so we'd be going to the hospital. SO… we actually walked with his ambulance stretcher a little ways outside to the hospital. His eyes were open…the first time his eyes have seen sun light since October 3rd… I thought it was neat for him to get fresh air and see the sun. He did great.

They send a RT along, but she never needed to do anything to him. He coughed here and there, but never needed her suctioning.

Thank you for asking…we will get the results at his Monday appointment.

Please continue to pray for next week's appointment with the neurosurgeon, that Pastor will continue to heal and progress, and that he will respond to specific commands. Thank you for your continued prayer!

December 10 (11:00 AM)

Our family was asked to put this together for a thanksgiving service for a church in AZ. The emphasis was to be thankful for those placed in our lives while we have them with us. We have been asked if we would share it on the web site. We pray that it will be a blessing to you. Thank you for your continued prayer and support for our family and church during this time. God is good!

December 9 (5:00 PM)

Updates:

Pastor seems to be moving his hands and feet more.

Prayer Requests:

  1. Direct response to specific commands
  2. Slight infection to be healed (he is on antibiotics)
  3. Next week's CT scan to show healing and no more swelling in the brain
  4. Appointment with neurosurgeon, Dr. Hooshang Pak, next week
  5. Possibility of moving Pastor to a facility closer to Long Beach as the one he is at is no longer as proactive as when he arrived and physical therapy has discontinued

December 4 (2:00 PM)

There is not much change since the last update except that we are waiting for the results of some labs to see if there is an infection. Pastor Esposito has been on antibiotics and thankfully his counts are going down.

Please continue to pray for the requests posted in the last update.

Your prayer is greatly appreciated!

November 30 (10:30 PM)

Blessings:

  • Pastor has been more responsive over the last week or so. He's moved fingers and squeezed hands from time to time.
  • Pastor is now able to take vitamins/supplements to help strengthen his immune system and prayerfully aid in healing.

Prayer Requests:

  1. New arousal and more response (particularly that he will respond to specific requests)
  2. Continued healing for his brain
  3. December 12th appointment with Dr. Pak (the neurosurgeon who performed the last surgery).

    New arousal and more response (particularly that he will respond to specific requests)

    Continued healing for his brain

    Brain swelling to go down

November 25 (1:00 PM)

Thank you for your prayer and support for the Esposito family and Pastor Esposito specifically.

A Quick Update:

  • The sub-acute care facility was working diligently to arouse and stimulate Pastor since his arrival.
  • Pastor's therapists will discontinue occupational therapy as of Wednesday if there is no new arousal. This therapy is intended to help him learn to take care of himself, but considering his current state, they don't think it is beneficial at this time.
  • A couple of days ago Pastor moved his thumbs at command. He opens his eyes more frequently than previously.
  • Pastor's blood pressure and temperature went up on Friday but were controlled by medication. They say this may have been because his brain does not fully have the capability to regulate these yet.
  • Pastor is medically stable and his lungs seem to be doing much better than they were previously. Thank you for praying for this.

Please continue to pray for these requests:

  1. Wisdom for therapists and doctors
  2. Wisdom for the family in decisions
  3. Pastor to wake from coma
  4. Continued healing of any damage to the brain
  5. Brain swelling to go down

November 19 (9:00 PM)

Please pray for wisdom for the family in decision making. Also, please pray for God's will and leading in gaining permission to try some natural alternative treatments over the next couple of days.

Though God is not on an insurance timetable, please pray for some response to command before the ten day period is over (Friday). If they don't see specific response before then, they will discontinue certain therapies until they see response.

Thank you for your continued prayer!

November 18 (12:00 PM)

Pastor's lungs are much better! This past week, he swallowed and moved his hand when ice was applied. The physical therapists are aggressively working with him, sitting him up and stimulating him. Please pray he wakes up. Pray for continued healing of the brain and of the damage from the AVM rupture.

Thank you for your continued prayers!

November 12 (6:00 PM)

It's day 40, and pastor is being transferred today from the hospital to a sub-accute skilled nursing facility. Thank you for your continued prayers, and please pray for a smooth transition and continued healing for pastor Esposito.

November 11 (1:00 PM)

Dear Family and Friends,

Our family would like to thank you for your many prayers, cards, letters of encouragement, e-mails, texts, gifts, calls, meals. God is so very good to shower us with the love of so many people from literally all around the world.

Much has happened since our last update, so let me update everyone as to what has happened over the last few days. Last Wednesday an angiogram and MRI were done. Immediately following the angiogram one of the doctors who did the procedure told us that they believed that a very small vessel was left. He said, however that Dr. Pak (who had done the surgery) would review it in the morning and tell us how significant it was, and what would need to be done.

The following day the doctor told us that the vessel was very small and that typically would disappear within six months and that they would monitor it. He said that they did see swelling and would need to monitor the swelling until this coming week before he'd be moved to a sub acute nursing facility. When I asked him what the MRI showed, he said it didn't show any deeper damage (remember they had said after surgery that the brain on the surface did not look "all stroked out") and that there was no damage to the brain stem. This is very good news.

Saturday the 9th, the specialty team from UCLA reviewed the angiogram and said in fact the entire AVM had been removed. (more good news) At this point the doctor signed for his release. (Insurance is pushing hard for his release.)

Sunday, 11/10, he moved his head for the first time, and he also moved his legs some. (Though he is still in a coma). It was decided that he would not be moved today because his fever rose. They did a chest x-ray that was clear of pneumonia, which he previously had. They also did other tests looking for infection to try to figure out why the fever. It is possible the fever could be due to the trauma to the brain since our brain regulates body temperature.

His body also has been having a hard time the last couple days digesting the food fed to him through the tube. They had to keep stopping the feeding temporarily while waiting for the food to digest. I spoke with the dietician today to see if I could possibly feed my husband natural fruit and veggie juices. They would not agree but agreed to give him a different type of food that is made from whole foods. I pray this also promotes faster healing.

Following are present prayer requests:

  1. Reduced fever
  2. Reduced swelling in the brain (doctor said this could take a month)
  3. Lungs to clear
  4. To find the right sub acute facility
  5. Digestion
  6. Wake from coma
  7. Continued healing of any damage to the brain

God has certainly been very good through this testing. He has taught us much, and drawn us closer to each other, and I pray that through this trial I, our family, and Pacific Baptist Church will never be the same. As one of my sons prayed tonight after we all sang to my husband at the hospital, we thank the Lord for counting us worthy to suffer a trial such as this that we may know Him in a way we never had before. May God be glorified in every way.

Sincerely,
Mrs. Joe Esposito

November 6 (6:00 PM)

They took Pastor on for an MRI today, and an angiogram. We will probably have the results tomorrow. They found one small vein that remains in his brain, and tomorrow the doctors will review it to see if it's significant enough to need to do anything about.

Please continue to pray for his fever, lung infection, stabilization, and continue healing to his brain, and that the Lord would be glorified through this all in some way.

November 4 (10:30 PM)

Pastor was transferred out of the ICU today to the neuro floor. He still has fever and infection and is on antibiotics. Please pray for his fever and infection to go away.

Then, please continue once again to pray that the Lord would heal any damage to his brain, for him to wake up from his coma, and for healing all around.

Pray that we'd be more like Christ because of this and that He would receive all of the glory.

November 3 (10:00 PM)

Praise the LORD, Pacific Baptist had a tremendous Friend Day with scores and scores of visitors, many of whom were saved! In the absence of our Pastor, God continues to bless! God is good!

Updates and Prayer Requests:

  • The neurologist removed the tube that was draining excess fluid from Wednesday's surgery.
  • Please pray for his fever to go down and body temperature to stabilize.
  • Please pray for him to wake up.
  • Please pray for God's hand of healing of any damage.

November 2 (3:00 PM)

Pastor's fever has subsided and his brain pressure had gone down since yesterday. That's a blessing. Praise The Lord and thank you for the prayers. Please pray that he continues to stabilize and that in weeks and months to come the Lord would continue to heal and bring back the functionality of his brain. Please continue to pray that the Lord would receive glory from all that is done.

Pastor opened his eyes for a short time today too. They say that is another step towards wakening from a coma. Please continue to pray for his neuro functionality as we know the Lord has preserved pastor thus far and can continue to work.

October 31 (4:25 PM)

It's been about 24 hours since Pastor has gotten out of surgery. Again, praise the Lord that it went well. This morning when I came in, they were trying to get his fever down (it was at close to 103). His brain pressure is up a bit as well (this can be a natural reaction to the surgery), so they readjusted his draining tube going into his brain to try to drain a little more. Also, they did a cat scan, and saw that they AVM was totally removed and gone (Praise the Lord!!!). It seems there has been no bleeding or infection.

Please pray once again for the swelling to go down and for his fever to subside (it did after much prayer before his surgery). Then, please continue to pray that the Lord's will would be accomplished and that He would get all the honor and glory. Thank you for praying and for your continued prayers.

-Bro. Joseph Esposito Jr.

October 30 (3:00 PM)

Answered Prayer!

PRAISE THE LORD FOR A GOOD SURGERY! The surgeon just came out and talked to us. The AVM has been removed successfully.

Thank you for your prayers. He said the next 24 hrs are big to watch for bleeding, swelling, or infection. Please keep that part in prayer.

They DID put his bone flap back on, and he's still in the recovery room for up to 3 hours.

Thank you for your faithful prayers for this surgery!

Please continue to pray for neuro-functionality, that he would awake from his coma, and for a miracle in the healing of his brain!

-Bro. Joseph Esposito Jr.

October 30 (10:00 PM)

Pastor is currently in surgery and will be for a couple hours. Please pray for wisdom and for the Lord to guide the hands of the surgeons. They need to remove more of his skull because the AVM extends further than what they originally removed so please pray for wisdom there too.

Please pray for continued healing and that God would be glorified regardless of the outcome.

October 29 (7:30 PM)

URGENT REQUEST!

Pastor has been cleared by the doctors for his surgery tomorrow.

A specific time is not yet set, but it may be as early as 6 AM.

Please pray for wisdom and God's hand of favor upon the doctors, and pray for Pastor's body to be strong through the surgery.

Thank you for your fervent prayers!

October 28 (6:00 PM)

Please continue to pray for Pastor's lung infection as doctors say it needs to subside before his Tuesday or Wednesday surgery. Please pray for God's hand upon the surgeons.

Thank you for your prayers!

October 27 (5:00 PM)

Please continue to pray! Here are a few prayer requests:

  1. The healing of his brain.
  2. Responsiveness: We have seen very small signs of responsiveness lately, but need much, much more.
  3. His upcoming surgery (by the end of the week). Pray for wisdom for the family and surgeons through this process.
  4. That God will be glorified in every way.
  5. That we will all be changed more into His image and be drawn closer to Him because of this trial.
  6. Please continue to pray for a miracle.

October 25 (9:00 PM)

Thank you for your continued prayer!

ANSWERED INSURANCE PRAYER: God answered and has worked in the hearts of the insurance company to allow Pastor to stay in the hospital until his surgery is completed.

LUNG INFECTION: Please continue to pray for the lung infection. There is still lot of fluid in lungs.

UPCOMING SURGERY: We met with the doctors and it looks like Pastor will have surgery on his brain next week. Please pray for wisdom for the family and surgeons through this process.

Please pray for a miracle!

October 24 (1:00 PM)

LUNG INFECTION: Please continue to pray for Pastor's lung infection as it seems to have remained the same since he was diagnosed. This infection must be cleared up before his next surgery.

IMPORTANT SURGEON MEETING: Mrs. Esposito has a meeting with surgeons today. Please pray for wisdom during the meeting with the many decisions that must be made down the road.

INSURANCE ASKING TO TRANSFER OUT: The Insurance is pushing to have Pastor transferred out to another facility between now and the time he has the final brain surgery. Please pray that they will allow him to continue at Memorial Hospital until his surgery is complete.

UPCOMING SURGERY: Please pray for Pastor's upcoming brain surgery that is most likely going to be mid to late next week.

CONTINUED HEALING: Please continue to pray for healing, responsiveness, and recovery for Pastor's brain.

Thank you for your continuous, fervent prayer!

October 23 (11:00 PM)

Stomach procedure went well. He was moved down to the neuro section of the hospital. They rescheduled his brain surgery to next week. Please pray for wisdom as we meet with the drs and as we finalize the date for next week.

Please continue to pray for his neuro functionality and his lung infection. Pray for The Lord to do a miracle to His honor and glory.

October 21 (6:20 PM)

VITAL PRAYER REQUEST: Doctors and surgeons are talking about possibly performing the third needed surgery to remove the AVM by the end of the week. Though this does not change his current neuro status, it will prevent the AVM from rupturing again.

Please pray for wisdom and guidance for the doctors. This surgery (as every neuro surgery) holds very high risks.

PEG OPERATION TOMORROW: Doctors have decided to do the PEG (stomach) operation tomorrow morning. It is a minor surgery, but please pray for all to go well.

CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR NEURO FUNCTIONALITY: Please pray for a miracle and that Pastor would regain his normal brain functions again.

October 19 (9:00 AM)

There are no new updates today. Please continue to pray for Pastor Esposito.

October 18 (9:00 PM)

  1. Doctors removed Pastor's ventilator today, so other than slight oxygen, the machine isn't breathing for him anymore.
  2. Pastor has a slight infection in his lungs right now. Please pray that it clears up quickly.
  3. Please, please, please pray for his "neuro-functionality" to come back and for the Lord to show Himself powerful in this aspect so that HE can get the glory.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated by Pastor's family and the Pacific Baptist Church family!

October 17 (9:50 PM)

The tracheostomy went well today. The feeding tube procedure was pushed off until at least tomorrow as it may have caused too much stress on his body for one day. Please pray for that minor procedure tomorrow!

Thank you for your continued prayer. Please continue to pray for his brain to heal and for the Lord to work a miracle in this situation!

October 16 (10:00 PM)

Two Procedures Tomorrow: Tomorrow late morning or early afternoon they will do a tracheostomy (a procedure that will help him to breathe through his throat instead of the oxygen tube that goes through his mouth and down his throat. Then, they will remove his feeding tube that is currently in his throat and inset a tube to feed him directly through his stomach (gastrostomy). These procedures are being done because, if the Lord would chose to bring him out of this, the procedures will prevent permanent damage to his throat by the tubes he currently has.

Doctor's Meeting with the Family Today: Today the family had an in depth meeting with the doctors at Memorial. In a nutshell, here's what they discussed: The back of Pastor's brain which controls reflexes, breathing, etc. does have some functionality. As for the healing and ability to use the front of his brain (the part that controls logic, awareness, reason, etc.) there is no way to tell. Only time and healing will tell.

Pray for a Miracle! Please continue to pray for a miracle. This is what we need! Please pray for the Lord's hand of healing upon Pastor's body and his brain. Thank you for your continued prayer!

October 15 (3:30 PM)

Thank you for your continued prayer!

The surgery will be put off for possibly two weeks. We are awaiting the results of yesterday and Sunday's CT scans. Until his condition betters, an MRI cannot be taken to give a better overview of what has happened and is happening in his brain.

Please continue to pray!

October 13 (2:00 PM)

Here is an update on Pastor Esposito's condition from his eldest son, Joseph. Please continue to pray!

October 11 (5:00 PM)

The results from Pastor's latest CT scan showed little change (neither positive nor negative change). Please pray for improvement (responsiveness, etc.) next week when he is re-evaluated. Thank you for your faithful prayers!

October 10 (10:39 PM)

A CT scan was run earlier today but the results are not yet known. The tube that was draining fluid from his brain was removed completely today. A pricker was set to aid with medicine and drawing of blood. Please pray for Pastor to awake and show signs of responsiveness.

Thank you for your prayers!

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.”
–Ephesians 3:20

October 9 (3:53 PM)

Just this afternoon, Pastor Esposito's neurosurgeon visited and said that Pastor is still in too critical of a condition for them to complete the necessary surgery to assure that the blood vessels do not burst again. There must be responsiveness from Pastor before they can proceed with the much needed next surgery. We urge you to pray for continued healing for Pastor and that he would show responsiveness.

Thank you for your prayers!

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
–Jeremiah 33:3

October 8 (4:29 PM)

BLESSINGS:

  1. They clamped the tube that was draining the spinal fluid today to see if his brain would stay at a decent pressure. It has gone up a bit since, but has stayed low enough to leave it clamped. Please pray that it continues to go down in pressure.
  2. His eyes slightly opened this morning twice.
  3. His body temperature has been better.

Thank you for your prayers! God is in control. It is an encouragement to see so many people around the world praying for our pastor. Continue to pray for the swelling to go down, his third surgery to go well, that there will be no long term brain damage, and the healing of his body.

We would like to share a song with you that has been an encouragement to our church family.

October 8 (12:00 PM)

Praise the Lord that Pastor Esposito's brain pressure went down!
Please continue to pray for these specific requests:

Prayer Requests

  • That he awakens from his coma
  • Fever to go down
  • No long term damage to his brain
  • Bleeding to stop completely
  • Third surgery to go well
  • Wisdom for the physicians

October 6 (4:16 PM)

Update from Joseph Esposito Jr.

Good afternoon. I trust and pray that you had a great AM service this Lord's day. Some have asked if we could keep you posted on my dad's situation. A slight improvement is that he is now taking more breaths on his own, whereas yesterday it was mostly the machine breathing for him. As of this morning, we are still just waiting and praying. My mom did ask me to send a list of specific prayer requests, so I have listed them below. Thank you again for your texts, emails, calls, and most of all, your continued prayer for my dad. As a family, that is our greatest comfort. Have a blessed day.

Prayer Requests

  • No long term damage to his brain
  • Fever to go down
  • Swelling/brain pressure to reduce
    (normal pressure is 5-10. His is around 20 still.)
  • Bleeding to stop completely
  • Further surgery needed
  • Wisdom for the physicians

October 5 (1:54 PM)

Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."

As of this morning, Pastor Esposito's vital signs were good, but doctors say that for the next few days and possibly weeks, we can just wait, and pray that he wakes from his coma and that his brain would continue to heal.

Please continue praying daily that the Lord would continue to work. Also, please pray for the people of Pacific Baptist Church to stay strong and continue going forward.

October 4 (6:53 PM)

Continue to Pray! The swelling in the front of his brain slightly went down so they were able to put in a tube and drain some spinal fluid; a procedure that the doctors wanted to do. He is still in a coma and is in critical condition so please continue to pray. Please pray that he recovers well from his last surgery so that he could be strong for his next one.

October 4 (12:12 PM)

A RAY OF HOPE

But still very urgent! The second surgery was successful. The main source of the bleeding has been cleaned up. Pastor is still in a coma and will need a follow up surgery to remove the rest that hasn't been cleaned out. Please keep praying, as he has not awaken from his coma. Thank you for your faithful prayers! God is good!

October 4 (7:19 AM)

Pastor is still in a coma. The doctors are currently running tests to see if the swelling has gone down, so that they can determine whether to continue surgery or if they need to wait longer.

Please continue to pray for our Pastor and his family at this time. Thank you.

October 4 (7:12 AM)

The hospital has asked us not to call them for the update of our Pastor. However, we understand that you care for him and that you would want to know about his condition. If you could help us by calling or texting Mrs. Jaz Esposito for the update instead, that would be a blessing. Her phone numbers is 562-243-2253.

Thank you for praying and for being an encouragement in this needful time.

October 4 (4:48 AM)

Pastor went through the first part of his surgery which saved his life. However, there is some swelling in his brain that needs to go down before they can continue the surgery. He is in a coma right now. We need you to keep praying. God is in control!

For the next few days, please do not call, text, email, or go by Pastor's house. They know that you love them and are praying for them, but we really need to give them their space at this time. If they need anything, they will let us know.

PLEASE NOTE: School will be cancelled today. We understand that some parents will need to bring their children due to the late notice so we will still be ready for those who come.

Thank you.

October 3 (11:31 PM)

Please pray for our Pastor!

He was rushed to the hospital after service tonight. He just got a CAT scan and the result is bleeding in the brain. He will need to have an emergency surgery. Please pray for wisdom for the surgeons and bleeding to stop.

Please understand that the family is going through a sensitive time right now, so we would want to give them their space. We will be keeping the church family posted.

Please keep praying! Thank you.

Updates