Tuesday, 15 October 2013


      - Just back from visiting Eman in Atlanta where I stayed a week. While I was there Eman finished the last of his donated therapy hours with "Project Walk". As you know their SCI rehabilitation center very generously donated FIFTY FREE HOURS of therapy. He has been going there three times a week since he arrived in Atlanta and benefited extensively from the rehabilitative training. 
In addition to his visits to Project Walk he also exercises and trains daily with his 
brother Francis and with Larissa.
Various people have donated gym equipment and he has quite an good home set-up now where he is able to stretch, train and exercise. 
Physically he is still in chronic pain. The spasms appear to have reduced slightly but the rigidity in his lower body, particularly his legs is very extreme. This keeps him awake most of night and seriously disrupts everything he tries to do. His dosages of Baclofen have been regularly upped and he's been introduced to other alternate pain-reducing and muscle relaxing drugs but so far nothing seems to really work, merely to take some of the edge off.

While finishing the fifty rehabilitation therapy hours is a landmark, it is at the same time disheartening how little visible progress has been made. Eman continues to be largely bed-ridden, he spends about 7O% of each day in bed, moving around in his wheelchair is too agonizingly painful. 

An Atlanta based charity called "No Longer Bound" heard about Eman's situation and is donating a VEHICLE for Eman!!! A 7-seater Dodge Caravan with a special adapted chair for the disabled. This customized car-chair is remote controlled and allows easy access from wheelchair to vehicle. This will make Eman's trips to therapy much more practical.

Needless to say we were very touched to be the recipients of such a kind gesture. It is miracles like this that continue to remind us that God is in control. Sometimes we feel so discouraged and wonder where God is in all of this and then something will happen that is so miraculous or just too much of a "co-incidence" to write-off as "chance" - it gives us that bit of spiritual strength we need to keep on.

We read something beautiful together while I was there that I wanted to share with you, this passage touched our hearts deeply.

" He knoweth the way that I take" [Job 23:1O] Believer what a glorious assurance! This way of thine - this - it may be a crooked, mysterious, tangled way-this way of trial and tears. "HE KNOWETH IT".  The furnace seven times heated-He lighted it. There is an Almighty Guide knowing and directing our footseps, whether it be to the bitter Marah pool, or to the joy and refrehsment of Elim.  - Job saw, [in his hour of aggravated woe, when every earthly hope lay prostate at his feet] - no hand but the Divine. He saw that hand behind the gleaming swords of the Sabeans -he saw it behind the lightning flash-he saw it giving wings to the careening tempest-he saw it in the awful silence of his rifled home. ... "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!" Thus, seeing God in everything, his faith reached its climax when this once powerful prince of the desert, seated on his bed of ashes, could say, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust him."

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

NEWS from Atlanta, September...

Dear Friends, 
- Just back from visiting Emmanuel and Larissa in Atlanta, Georgia.
 Due to work commitments I was only able to stay for one week. Eman had already begun his rehabilitation sessions at "Project Walk Atlanta" where he goes threes times a week for a two hour session each visit. 
"Project Walk Atlanta" is only TEN MINUTES away from where he lives which is AMAZING. As anyone who's been to the US knows, things are really spread out - so the fact that the very center for neuro rehabilitation that Eman needs to go to is in such close proximity is GREAT!
Paul Pickard the boss of the center very generously dontated 50 free therapy hours. His personal trainer Tony Davenport is SUPER!!! We all really like him, in addition to being a real pro, he is very patient and kind-hearted, several times even staying past the official therapy hours to help work with Eman. God bless him! As a result of this exercise Eman's upper body is a lot stronger, he can sit unaided for longer periods of time and even turn himself on his bed. His legs are also noticeably more muscular and stronger than when he was here in Rio.

Eman has been working very hard utilizing the various equipment and machines that they have set-up there to stimulate walking. The  philosophy of Project Walk is to, through manipulative exercise, trigger the nerves and muscles into remembering their functions.

These exercise sessions take a lot out of Eman. During one session he almost fainted onto a treadmill as his body just couldn't take the exertion. Tony has told him that "Eman is the hardest working musician he's met"...ha!
He is still waiting to start the program at Shepherd Center [even though he was "evaluated" over a month ago"]. Unfortunately our expectations of getting Eman into Shepherd center and being helped by their neuro specialists have been disappointed.
On a day to day basis Eman is in a LOT of chronic pain. We are somewhat at our wits end trying to find out from various doctors etc... how to best deal with this. Please pray for this, I personally think that at this present moment the "pain factor" is the most pressing thing we're dealing with. No-one can endure being in continual pain. The spasms are worse than ever and his legs get so rigid, trying to move or bend them is like trying to lift a concrete beam. Needless to say this is extremely draining and wearing on Eman. He'll finally be nodding off to sleep and his legs will shoot out in a spasm that wracks his whole body.

Whilst I was there, we made an extra effort to get Eman out of the house and getting some sun and fresh air. He is so down he never feels like going out. The surrounding area where they live is very beautiful and picturesque. We took advantage of the lovely summer weather and beautiful environment to enjoy the outdoors. 

Before closing this update, I want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Lolo who turned 19 today. She is doing an amazing job, day in and day out, helping her dad. Couldn't be prouder of her. Thank you too to Mark and Patrice for opening your home and hearts and for everything you do daily for Eman.

We continue to struggle with this whole situation. It is extremely hard for our family to be apart like this, so far away from each other. Eman struggles to cope with the pain and the "body" he currently finds himself in .. we struggle not to worry about what the future holds. Every day I pray that the Lord will illuminate our path and open the right doors. Thank you for your continued prayers for Eman we truly appreciate them.... God bless you all. 

Monday, 19 August 2013

Eman in Atlanta - UPDATES...

Dear Friends, it has now been over a month since Eman was flown to Atlanta. The last 6 weeks have been a time of settling in, adjusting to the new situation there and meeting with various specialists. Emmanuel's official evaluation at the Shepherd Center was on August 7th, he will begin a basic rehabilitation program at the Shepherd Center in two weeks. Besides this program, Emmanuel will also participate in a program with "Project Walk" - after visiting Eman personally, the CEO of the Atlanta branch of "Project Walk" very generously donated fifty free therapy hours. Eman begins this week!!!! Eman continues to do his strengthening exercises at home, helped by family and friends [Emmanuel with his brother Francis] On a medical note - we had been hoping that once Eman was evaluated in a first world country there might be further testing or perhaps even other medical options available. So far pretty much all of the doctors have repeated what we had been told here in Rio by the various neuro surgeons, physical therapists etc... That has been a bit of a disappointment. Thank you so much for your continued prayers! Albeit slow, there IS progress and we are continuing to trust God for Eman's strengthening and healing. Special thanks to those who have helped tremendously, helping Emmanuel get set-up in Atlanta: **HOME DEPOT** For all your help setting up the house to accommodate Eman **PAUL PICKARD** For your interest in Emanuel's situation and generously donating therapy hours **McKesson** For helping with medical supplies **John & Valery** For helping Emmanuel get needed equipment and for all of your kind-hearted contributions. It has been very hard for Emmanuel to leave his kids and home and move to another continent in search of better medical attention and rehabilitation. Those of you in Atlanta who have responded with such kindness and generosity have made this whole process easier. Thank you and God Bless You!

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


It was with heavy hearts that we watched Eman and Lolo leave this morning..... We are so grateful for this amazing opportunity that Eman has been granted but at the same time it is very difficult to have our family separated. If there is anything that has kept us through this time it has been the "togetherness" of our family. I could not be prouder of our kids who have, with kind hearts and generous spirits sacrificially given of themselves these last four months and day in and day out been there for Eman, doing whatever needed to be done. Our last night together we hugged and wept and laid hands on Eman praying and claiming our favorite promises of healing. Eman prayed for us and for our healing. The truth is - that bullet hit us ALL. The pain and grief has just been so heavy on all of our hearts and spirits - it is devastating to endure watching someone you love suffer so much. We cried when Eman prayed that our family would be happy again. BUT God is working............... let's face it, it's not everyday the FBI flies in to the rescue and one is extended one of the best medical and rehabilitation resources in the WORLD. - People keep asking me "how did all this happen?" - all I can say is PRAYER WORKS!!!! And that's what we're going to keep on doing!!! - In Genesis 32 when Jacob wrestled with the angel, he said "I will not let you go UNTIL you bless me"..... Thank you all for persevering in prayer with us UNTIL we receive the blessings. "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with WINGS [lear jet?] as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint".

Monday, 8 July 2013


WHAT A PHENOMENAL DAY!!!! THANK YOU to all who came from far and wide to join us in sending Eman off with a lot of love and positive energy, it was VERY special. Thanks to the man upstairs, we had gorgeous weather..... Thank you to Edson and Jodie who let a whopping 25O participants invade the beautiful "Oasis Sitio" for the day. From babies to grandparents we all enjoyed each other's company, lunch outdoors and assorted activities. To all the musicians who lent their many talents to our musical program, THANK YOU! Emmanuel played with ArizonA for the FIRST time since March 5th, and true to form brought the house down with his guitar playing. The tidal wave of camaraderie and love was overwhelming. No doubt the days and months to come will be grueling for Emmanuel, I know he is going to think back on his send-off and remember all of YOU his many friends who are "with him" in spirit. I don't think there could be better motivation for him to keep up the fight.

Thursday, 20 June 2013


Dear friends - A heart-felt thanks to all of you who are sharing this journey with us and keeping Eman in your prayers We are seeing so many miracles along the way we can't help but hold on to the hope that God is going to the the "big miracle" and help Emmanuel get back on his feet again. The CEO of the "Shepherd Center" [for neuro rehabilitation] in Atlanta, Georgia has offered to take Emmanuel for Rehabilitation there. He will most likely be traveling beginning of July. The FBI has is organizing a Med Evac flight to bring Emmanuel there. Home Depot has offered to remodel Emmanuel's mother's house [in Atlanta] so that it is "user friendly" for a wheelchair. The expat community here in Rio de Janeiro organized another fundraiser [during the annual America's Day event] for Emmanuel that our band played at, raising more funds towards his rehabilitation. We saw a plastic surgeon last week and in his opinion Eman's pressure sore should heal naturally WITHOUT needing plastic surgery which is also really good news. While we are waiting for the wound to heal, Eman is doing daily therapy with visiting physiotherapists and a personal trainer who comes to the house. A friend installed a stainless steel pull-up bar above Eman's bed to facilitate upper-body strengthening and maneuvering. Eman has been working very hard with his therapy and exercises, it is very discouraging to see so few and slow results whilst making so much effort. Please do continue to keep Emmanuel in your prayers, he is in CONSTANT physical pain, even though his various medications have been upped and we are doing as much therapy and massage as possible. I couldn't even begin to describe adequately the wounds to spirit and soul that he has sustained throughout this whole ordeal. His daily spiritual and emotional struggle rivals his physical one. There is no doubt in my mind that the physical miracles and opportunities that are now materializing are a DIRECT RESULT of so many of your prayers. PLEASE continue to keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you! *** Special Thanks to our friends at Moxxor for sponsoring Eman's vitamins!!!***

Thursday, 2 May 2013

May 02 - UPDATES!

Hello everyone..... So sorry that we've been unable to keep this blog and all of you updated. We do thank you for your continued prayers and concern. Eman was sent home from the hospital about ten days ago. Blood tests taken at the hospital showed that Eman is anemic. In light of that the plastic surgeons recommended waiting to perform the plastic surgery to close the wound on his back [from a pressure ulcer]. Since his return home we've been focusing on his diet. Prioritizing foods rich in iron, protein and fiber. We've also started "juicing" - which we've heard gets minerals and vitamins to your blood stream within minutes and is very effective in rebuilding the body's immune system. Eman has to be rotated every two hours. To prevent further pressure ulcers from developing, Eman's body cannot be in the same position for longer than that. We take turns sleeping with him at night, setting alarms so that we can wake to turn him. Overall Eman's health is better. A week or so ago he would shake violently for almost a hour when we'd move him from his showering chair to his bed. Now-a-days this transition in smoother. We've have had 5 different therapists visit us for "in-home" sessions over the last couple weeks. This has been wonderful. As the days go by we are seeing the importance of exercising and working his body, besides strengthening his muscles it also helps them to relax. His leg muscles will involuntarily contract and tense all day long and even during the night which is extremely tiring for him and prevents him from getting uninterrupted sleep. It is a DAILY challenge to stay focused on keeping positive and facing these new challenges with faith and not succumbing to depression and despair. Some days are better than others. A month after Eman's shooting I finally got around to going to the bank to see where we were at financially. It was AMAZING to see HOW MANY contributions there were from all of you - THANK YOU!!!! We were really taken aback by the volume of contributors. It is so very kind of you. Some names we recognized and others we did not. To each one of you who kindly gave from your hard-earned reserves we thank you and pray that the Lord blesses you 100-fold.