Archive Testimonies

Testimony of Brother Gerald

In June of 2006 doctors discovered a tumor in my cerebellum that was blocking the flow of fluid out of my skull and into my spinal column as normal. The tumor was removed and the expectation was that once the swelling from the operation had gone down the normal flow of spinal fluid would resume.
During the months of July and August the swelling never went down resulting in hydrocephalus. The pressure continued to build in my skull until when in early September I blacked out and woke up in the hospital not knowing how I got there. The doctors placed an external drain in my skull in the expectation that all of the swelling would eventually go down. It did not.
After many complications and infections; finally in mid-November a shunt was placed in my skull to internally and permanently drain the fluid off of my brain into my abdominal cavity. I finally left the hospital in late December.
I was taken in by a close friend who is a registered nurse and remained in her home and in physical therapy until August of 2007. Sometime in 2007 I was diagnosed with P.T.S.D. for having been in the hospital ICU completely bedridden for so many months. In November of 2007 I returned to work.
I was taken in by another kind friend and her family to avoid having to placed in a nursing home. In April of 2008 we purchased a home and have remained there since in a peaceful loving environment. For this I will be eternally grateful. She and her family have had to endure the consequences of my P.T.S.D. including very violent outbursts.
In March of 2009 the shunt in my skull clogged and failed and was replaced with a second shunt. Then in May of 2011 the second shunt clogged and failed and was replaced with a third. At this point I had four brain surgeries which took its toll and in May of 2012 I was forced to retire from work on medical disability.
The tumor has done permanent damage to my vestibular system making it very difficult for me to keep my balance and walk. I use a cane. I essentially had to learn how to walk all over again, like an infant does. I have double vision and can only use one eye. I have chronic vertigo and constant nausea.
I tell this story not seeking pity but, because it is important for my friends to understand how my condition effects my behavior. The lesson I have learned from this experience is compassion for others in any kind of difficult circumstance. Jesus Christ has become my guiding light. I tell anyone in hardship that if God blesses you with an angel of mercy, do not turn them away but accept their love with gratitude.