Saturday, December 20, 2008

Homburg, Germany - Final Post

“Let us run the race that is before us and never give up”

Coleman stabilized through the night and Belinda stayed with him as much as possible until around 3 AM. I went in about 6:20 AM, told him we love him and how proud we are of him. While I was standing there stroking his hair, his heart stopped. The doctors asked about reviving him and proceeded to make all efforts, none of which succeeded. I was never more than a few feet from him the while.

A little over a year ago a 17 year old boy sat across from me after saying goodbye to a friend, PFC Cody Carver and said “Dad, he did something” and asked if I would go with him to the recruiter the next day. Some might say that the Army gave me back a man – but I dare say I was looking at one that day. Coleman enlisted, turned down all of his “bonus” money, in exchange for a front row seat in a faraway place as an infantryman. Along the way, no amount of boot camp or hardship could restrain that quality that attracted so many to Coleman since he was an infant – pure, unadulterated joy.

A retired Army Ranger we know called when he heard the news about Coleman several days ago and said “listen to me – don’t ask “why” but ask “what” – what is God showing you in this?”. I would ask the same of each of you who have prayed and supported Coleman, Jordan, and our family. Coleman has forced a multitude to re-evaluate their relationships – with their family, their friends, and with God. But that was Coleman – he had a joy that attracted and changed and challenged people wherever he went. His suffering has done the same.

Coleman had no regrets about the decisions he made – he said so in so many words. He was open and expressive about his true feelings – he spoke his soul – a trait few men master. When Coleman loved you, you knew that you were loved.

Coleman was absolutely certain of his eternal destiny - which gave him true courage in life. We rest knowing that Coleman is now “face to face” with his Savior.

In the end, few men do anything that really matters - and fewer still finish well.

I know a man who managed both.

Goodbye, my precious son.

Father thank you for every second we were allowed to spend with you’re precious gift to us, Coleman. Now Lord, welcome a son, a friend and a soldier into Your loving arms. Comfort the love of his life, Jordan, his mother, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends and the many hundreds he touched.

In the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.


We have just received word from the family that Coleman passed away around 7am Saturday morning (Homburg time, midnight in Tulsa). The family has requested that we share this news on the blog because they know so many people have been praying for them and for Coleman.

From 1 Thessalonians 4 we have these words of encouragement in our grief:

Brothers and Sisters, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have died in him. According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have died.

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

More information will be posted as it becomes available. The family is grateful for your prayers.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Urgent Update

Coleman is very critical. His blood pressure is dangerously low and he is back on 100% oxygen and is receiving blood products. He is once again at the furthermost limits of modern medicine. The doctor has informed us that Coleman is as bad as he was 3 nights ago, but is no longer responding to the pharmaceuticals used to raise his blood pressure. Again the doctor is clear as then – if his body does not respond on its own, he will not make the night. Again the doctors are clear about our directive – never quit.

Coleman is surely weakened from the last week’s battle. We ask you pray without ceasing.

Urgent Need, 9:00 PM Hamburg

Belinda has called to tell us that Coleman's blood pressure is now dangerously low. Eric is with him, and they are waiting for the head specialist to consult with them.

Coleman is in a grave situation. Please pray that his blood pressure improves.

6:15 PM – Homburg, Germany

6:15 PM – Homburg, Germany

Coleman has been biopsied and initial results indicated that there is no leukemic infiltration of the liver.

There is necrosis, however. More testing on the biopsied sample will follow – but for now, on the good news side, Leukemia as a cause for his liver failure seems to have been eliminated and along with it any discussion of high dose chemotherapy. The necrosis also makes the diagnosis of VOD much less likely.

On the other side of the coin, the doctors still have no real clues as to the cause of his liver failure leaving the doctors without a clear target for which to aim.

One possibility is shock, though some of the markers might contra-indicate this, but is treated similar to his current treatment protocol in any case.

His medical status remains essentially the same as in the last post. Of particular worry to the doctors are his lactate levels. Normally we are below 2 in our bodies, at 7 doctors are very concerned. Coleman is at 14 – again – they do not understand why. Again – the issue is that his organs – most or all of them – are not receiving oxygenated blood. His oxygen level has been raised to 60% - not as bad as he has been, but not a step in the right direction.

Coleman is fighting on, we earnestly covet your prayers accordingly.

1:20 PM – Homburg, Germany

1:20 PM – Homburg, Germany

A week ago Friday when we arrived, we were informed Coleman might not survive the weekend – but miraculously he is still with us.

This is his current medical status. His breathing remains improved – however his lactate levels continue to rise which may indicate that the function of other organs (or all) are declining. His circulation / blood pressure is very problematic and still being maintained by vaso-active pharmaceuticals. His blood coagulation and bleeding are a constant battle. His liver is still in failure.

Lastly is his leukemia. While initially arrested, the doctors feel will return very rapidly.

The doctors absolutely do not know the cause of his liver failure. While I was writing this update, intending to explain again the need for the biopsy to aid in determining the cause, and to ask for prayer in this regard, the doctor came into the waiting room with the papers to sign to immediately set the wheels in motion to do the biopsy and to expedite the evaluation of the results which normally takes 6-7 days.

The oncologist is still with Coleman as we speak to determine if they should start a new, stronger round of chemotherapy or wait. The concern that the leukemia will return, may result in the oncologist suggesting a heavy dose of chemotherapy be started immediately. The problem with this is that the chemotherapy will further assault the liver – a Catch 22 situation.

Coleman is again at a critical juncture with time and odds against him by all medical standards, but yet again, here in this stark waiting room we experienced a miracle.

Please urgently pray for Coleman’s strength, pray for improvement in the areas we have listed above and please thank God for doctors with open minds and tenacity. The biopsy procedure is not without risk in itself – he must be transported (off life support temporarily), there is risk of infection, etc – but these pale when compared to the alternative.

Please pray for the procedure itself and the clarity of the results

Thursday, December 18, 2008

3 AM Homburg, Germany - Urgent Update

Coleman continues to have blood pressure problems and again there is concern about his breathing.

Our excellent doctors are doing their best to balance the many variables to acheive a certain stability - blood pressure, blood chemistry, fluids, respiration, etc - each of which affects the other adding to the difficulty. While the situation does not appear to be as dire as last night, Coleman's critical status must stabilze long enough for the doctors to continue their investigations into causal factors.

Please continue to pray for wisdom for the staff to manage these variables and most importantly healing and stamina for Coleman.

7:00 PM - Homburg, Germany

7:00 PM - Homburg, Germany –

Coleman continues to hold his small improvement but remains in very critical condition.

He was being given 100% Oxygen and now is down to 40% - a miracle in itself. He is still requiring blood and blood products and his blood pressure remains unstable.

The doctor again noted that he continues to cycle through improvement and decline. They are still confounded at the reason for his liver failure and it is essential his liver regain function for continued improvement.

This evening the wife of Coleman’s Battalion Commander read scripture and prayed with Coleman as did a pastor and his wife from a local church near Landstuhl.

We are thankful for these and all who write and who have prayed faithfully. We are thankful for this day with Coleman and we humbly ask for your continued prayers on his behalf.

2 PM Homburg, Germany

2 PM Homburg, Germany

The doctors inform us that while Coleman is still very very critical, he has maintained the slight breathing improvement that was reported at 2 AM.

He is still bleeding and receiving blood products and his liver function continues to be very poor. The doctors do not understand why he improves and then regresses and then improves.

We ask you for continued prayer for Coleman’s complete healing and the restoration of his liver function. Thank you for your many prayers and comments so far – which are read to Coleman daily and sustain his family.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2 AM Homburg, Germany

2 AM Homburg, Germany

The doctor just came to tell me that despite a downward trend throughout the afternoon, Coleman's oxygen levels have improved slightly based on blood readings just taken. Furthermore, they have been able to get some fluid out of his body - which helps the entire situation with his lungs. He was crystal clear that Coleman is still in very critical condition - but that he had slightly improved.

We thank God for this small victory and I beseech you once again to continue in prayer.

Urgent – 8 PM

Urgent – 8 PM

The Doctor has just informed us that Coleman’s condition with regard to breathing has deteriorated throughout the day and he does not expect him to survive the night. His lungs continue to be damaged by capillary leakage (fluid) and no longer are properly diffusing the oxygen into his blood.

He is on 100% oxygen – the highest level available; the machine is set at a 2/1 breathing pattern – again the highest available – but still Coleman has inadequate oxygen his blood.

The doctor said clearly that the limits of modern medicine have been exhausted. Our instructions remain – do not give up on this boy. The one positive note from the doctor is that Coleman is young – but all are clear - his body must respond now.

We ask that you please continue to stand with Coleman and pray that he can take one more hill.

4:45 PM Homburg, Germany

4:45 PM Homburg, Germany

Imaging reveals that Coleman's portal vein and the larger liver veins are open. The imaging does not disclose the status of the smaller veins. This information indicates one of two things: Coleman does not have VOD or that, though the course was not completed, the Activated Protein C did what the doctors hoped it would do (open these veins).

His liver is still not functioning and the doctors continue to try to stablize his lungs, which they remain very concerned about, and to keep his bleeding in check.

Please pray that the doctors can discover cause and then match cause with cure.

3 PM Homburg, Germany

3 PM Homburg, Germany

As of 11:45 AM today, Coleman was "stable" in general but his lungs continue to be unstable and a great concern. His bleeding was somewhat improved and there is discussion of resuming the Activated Protein C therapy this evening. Furthermore the doctors are doing additional imaging to deterine if there is any improvement in the VOD from therapy that was administered prior to his bleeding problem.

Please bear in mind that "stable" is a misleading term, but the best available. Stable in this context should be read to mean that Coleman is maintained by a series of extreme drugs and devices (ventilator/dialysis/etc) that allow him to live. Liver failure is progressive and like a series of dominos going in many directions but all with a common origin, Coleman's body is beset by many competing attacks simultaneously. This is further complicated by his leukemia, which by most estimates appears to be incidental to the liver failure. The first domino is what caused his liver to fail and is unknown - a toxin of some sort most likely - almost definitely not leukemia. The second domino is the liver failure itself (technically VOD) and from this domino many paths branch out and intertwine. The path causing his breathing difficulty is "capillary leakage" - fluid build up throughout his body, especially around and in his lungs.

A liver biopsy (which can be done through his veins in his case) may point out a root cause and point to treatment options. Furthermore, there is promising experimental therapy for VOD should the Activated Protein C fail - but there are German (and proably US) barriers to getting this substance in the first place and then in a form that he can tolerate (intervenous).

We pray that there is good news regarding some improvement in the VOD - if his liver would begin to function properly, many of the dominos would slow or stop where they are.

His enemy continues to be time.

Thank you for your continued fervent prayer on his behalf.

Wednesday, 7:45 AM - Homburg, Germany

Wednesday, 7:45 AM - Homburg, Germany

Coleman continues to hang in there but appears to be weakening. We will know more definitively of his status after the doctors make their rounds, but essentially - at least from one of the junior doctors - the battle continues to be fluid removal from his lungs and maintaining his blood pressure. They continue to increase the pharmaceuticals that are intended to produce this effect to levels higher than they would give an older person. Again, they can only pursue these extreme options to a point and their prognosis remains extremely dire.

And yet here we are.

We pray for God's will and ask that you continue to lift Coleman up.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Urgent Update 8:30 PM

Urgent Update 8:30 PM

The doctor has again informed us that Coleman's condition is worse than last night. His blood pressure and lungs are the main focus of treatment and should the current treatment protocols in these areas fail, they have no other medical options.

Though the doctor on duty is again very frank - I told him the same thing I've told them each night - don't give up on that boy. His simple reply "never" says it all.

Please continue in prayer for Coleman.

7:30 PM Homburg, Germany

7:30 PM Homburg, Germany

Coleman is once again at a critical juncture and in urgent need of your prayers.

As the bleeding continues, the doctors have had to suspend the Activated Protein C treatment of his liver. As his liver continues to fail, the other organs are failing in turn - first his kidneys and now his lungs are injured and filling with fluid.

He is no longer getting enough air – the doctors are trying to drain, but due to lack of blood pressure they are struggling to achieve the results they desire. The doctors are doing everything they can but are again honest about the small probability of medical success.

Each day that Coleman lives is a miracle. We continue to beseech your fervent prayers on his behalf.

2:45 PM Homburg

2:45 PM Homburg - Coleman continues to need prayer for his bleeding. Though Coleman is technically stable, meaning that his bodily functions are being maintained by drugs and devices at acceptable levels and the bleeding itself is not currently life threatening, the doctors cannot perform a liver biopsy through his vein until they arrest the continued bleeding. In addition to his nose, last night there was bleeding from his abdomen area.

Again, the doctors express that they cannot understand why he has problems with his liver. These doctors are not giving up on him - Thank God he is where he is - this fact is a miracle in itself.

Please pray without ceasing that Coleman's blood chemistry reaches a level that will allow his physicians to find answers that may save his life.

7:30am Homburg - Praise!

7:30 AM Homburg, Germany (12:30am Tulsa,OK) - We have witnessed yet another miracle as the doctors have just informed us that Coleman is "quite stable". He was given many types of blood products through the night, but now is stablized. Belinda is going to sleep after hearing the news.

Coleman is still fighting - please stand with him.

Monday, December 15, 2008

4:35 AM

4:35 AM - Coleman is still struggling. The doctors are continuing to administer drugs, but have not been able to stop the bleeding from the nose. Please continue to pray without ceasing for the bleeding to stop as we rest and wait.

2:05 am

2:05 am - Coleman is bleeding excessively and his blood pressure is dropping. Please pray urgently that the doctor is able to stop the flow.

1:25 AM Homburg

1:25 AM Homburg, Germany - Though Coleman’s blood pressure continues to be an issue, he has been delivered for another day of battle but with it a new challenge.

Just past midnight here an ear, nose and throat doctor came to examine Coleman due to significantly increased bleeding from his nose and mouth. He performed a procedure on his adenoids to stem the bleeding and blood thickeners are being administered simultaneously. Pray that both the medicine and procedure can stop the bleeding – the doctor has informed us again how serious this new challenge is and how critical the next few hours are.

We continue to be encouraged by each word of prayer uttered on Coleman’s behalf and fervently beseech you to stay by his side in prayer.

7:50PM Homburg

This message was just received from Eric. It details some of the events of the day. Note that Homburg is 7 hours ahead of Tulsa, OK.

4 PM Homburg Germany - It appears after ongoing review of Coleman’s case, that his liver failure was NOT caused by Leukemia (though he clearly does have leukemia which has caused many problems on its own). No cause has become apparent at this time for the liver failure which he clearly had when he showed up in Germany. The cause is important because it might establish other treatment protocols.

Coleman specifically has VOD – Veno-Occlusive Disease – which is the small blood vessels of the liver being blocked or clotted off. VOD is rare and seen in persons who have had bone marrow transplants and radiation (as one receives in cancer therapy). The Activated Protein C was prescribed as a means to open these up – again it is a “late stage” pharmaceutical. Today Coleman began kidney dialysis – which was expected to happen. One other item of note, he has highly elevated Ferritin levels (iron) which they do not understand.

5 PM I returned to the hospital from the hotel (Belinda was already there). The doctors had concern about bleeding around the brain, so he was examined by CT scan – while he does have some edema, there is no bleeding. A document has been sent to the German courts to allow me to make life threatening procedural decisions on Coleman’s behalf. This is due to the doctor’s desire to do a liver biopsy through a vein – a risky procedure but the only option to get a glimpse of what may be causing Coleman’s liver to shut down. The document to allow me this authority takes a full business day so it will be day after tomorrow before we receive it due to the late hour of its submission. Again Coleman is at another “last option” juncture – but we are thankful for any hope and these doctors would not be doing it if they didn’t think there was a chance. It is clearly not how they work.

6 PM The post below this one, requesting immediate prayer was the result of Coleman’s doctor coming in and informing us that Coleman was not responding properly to the dialysis – his vitals necessitated the use of drugs to get his blood pressure and certain blood elements back in line that he clearly explained he could not keep giving beyond a certain level … “there is no sense” were the exact words and “it does not look good”. We went in and prayed and Belinda read him the many posts he has received on this site.

6:30 PM The doctor came in and his condition had improved – which the doctor was quick to point out was neither cause for celebration nor grief – but that his condition needs to be continually stabilized – not just in “brackets” of time. Regardless we give thanks for this small victory. We were asked to leave the room for about an hour while they did the “maintenance” on him and I am writing this from the waiting room.

7:50 PM Please continue to pray for Coleman – he is struggling hard. Pray for his body to stabilize long enough for the biopsy to occur and analysis of the liver tissue to result in meaningful information that will lead to better results.

Thank you all for praying without ceasing - though Coleman cannot respond being fully sedated and resting peacefully on the outside, we feel confident he hears our words and the prayers and posts that we read to him from this site. Don’t give up on Coleman – what he lacked in size he made up for in mean. Hang with him now.


Rob has just spoken to Eric and Coleman is not responding to the dialysis and the next couple of hours are critical.

Please lift Coleman, his family, and friends up in prayer.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

1:00 AM Homburg

Coleman continues to face new challenges daily. He has an infection that I failed to mention earlier. His breathing is rated as adequate, but not good. His vitals are more or less stable. His renal function is at the low end of the spectrum that dictates dialysis which may happen tomorrow. Bleeding is ok, and not considered serious at this time. His liver is still the main issue.

The doctors are now re-examining their treatment protocols - at least discussing it. Pray for their meeting in the morning at 7 am Homburg time. All are still frank about the prospects, in any case, but none are counting him out.

Belinda and I have moved to a hotel within walking distance of the hospital and no longer need army transport. Please pray especially for Belinda's endurance - she is able to spend as much time as she wants with Coleman and is reading him the posts on this site, notes from church and just generally conversing with him and expressing our love. Thank you all for continuing to pray for our son - he is still fighting.

Update from Eric

2:30 PM, Homburg, Germany - Coleman’s liver is non-responsive, in fact all tests indicate getting worse; there is a great deal of edema and blood has stopped flowing into the liver properly, reducing the chances of recovery. As a result of the liver malfunction, fluid has built up in his abdomen, increasing pressure on the lungs and in the area around the lungs.The doctors conferred with the surgical staff and hematologist and all agree that surgery of any type is not an option.

The threefold problem of the Leukemia, Liver failure and now the administration of a last resort compound, Activated Protein C, make any type of incision impossible as he would not stop bleeding. The drug has a greater than 90% mortality rate, but the doctors all agree, as do I, that it is our best and only medical hope at this time.

The greatest risk is that the liver failure will progress too fast causing other problems including the failure of other organs, before the Activated Protein C has a chance to achieve results. The doctors are not giving up, they are frank with us, but believe there is a shot due to his youth and strength.

Please continue to pray, Coleman is making one final dash over the next couple of days. Thank you for standing with him and for your continuous prayers.

Update from Eric (Sunday morning)

It's about 10:30 am here - just got off the phone with the doctor at Homburg who informs us that Coleman is having difficulty with his breathing. They are taking him in for imaging to help determine cause and should know more in approx 2 hours. Belinda and I are headed to the hospital and will update everyone at that time.

We continue to be encouraged and appreciative of all who are praying and posting comments here which are relayed to him on each visit.

Note from Win -- 10:30 in Germany is 3:30 am in Tulsa, OK

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Update from Eric

Eric sent this email at 2:35 this afternoon.

The doctors in Homburg continue to do everything possible for Coleman - and again have clearly informed us that without change to his liver status, which has not responded to treatment to this point, the prognosis is dire. He is no longer restrainted, being continually sedated, is on a ventilator and receiving all that human medicine can offer. He is resting comfortably. Please continue to pray for him - he is still fighting hard and the next couple of days are critical.

While we remain focused on Coleman, we cannot help but suffer along with his many friends and family who have been devestated by this news. I hope that each of you will pause to lift them up as they endure this journey.

Update via Emil

Emil has spoken to Eric and Belinda and send great thanks for everyone's prayers. Coleman's condition remains the same and the family continues to covet your prayers.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Update from Belinda

Belinda called Becky Manschreck around 6pm and Becky forwards this update.

The hospital is only letting them in to see Coleman for an hour. Prayer is that they can be by his side continually and bring peace to his mind. The poison from the liver is causing haculucinations. She can hear him screaming but can't go in to do anything about it.

Update from Eric

Returned from the hospital about 5 pm - having been there much more than the German hospital wanted us around. Coleman is in ICU, on a ventilator, receiving blood and chemo, and heavily sedated.

Despite the dire nature of Coleman's circumstances, not one word of this message should cause any to give up hope.

There is lots of fight still left in the boy - they had to restrain and sedate him because he became so disoriented (due to the liver issues according to the doctor) that he fought off the nurses and bit one of them. His liver continues to be the critical concern - and transplants are apparently not an option in cases of leukemia.

Please continue to pray - Coleman is stubborn and still fighting. We cannot fail him at this hour.

Eric and Belinda