Saturday, February 26, 2011

Lots of Believers Here

Rachael's first full day at Heartland has gone well.  Early in the day she was crying which has in a way become the norm for her current state.  Later, she was laughing in response to something Nancy and I were laughing at.  We were able to let a staff member who is a sold out, God glorifying, life denying, sister in Christ see Rachael's big smile and laugh.  We have met quite a few believers here.  We have been able to share the burden as ours are shared with a staff member who lost a child.  God is at work here.  They have church on Sunday with Fellowship of Believers out of Sarasota.  We have freely had conversations of a biblical nature with several folks here on staff.  Talk about Jesus flows in and out the room throughout the day.  The believers have made themselves known to us quickly.  Praise you God for putting so many of your kids in our path!

All of Rachael's meds are here and it will be tonight when she gets her first complete set of meds in 24 hours.  She had a bit of a rough night but tonight should be much more restful for her.  We took the trache cap off as she is simply not yet ready for it.  The trache cap covers the air entry and forces her to breathe through her nose and mouth.  She can well do that but she is not able to bring up all the mucus yet.  So we still need to suction her. 

Today, Rachael got to hear many of the messages that have been left on the website.  We had a crash course in oxygen handling from MedOx and got to respond to a problem when Rachael's O2 abosortion levels dropped.  Together, Nancy and I took care of the situcation as we were here when it occured. 

Daniel took Hanna on a bike hike today and they had a picnic at Shamrock Park in Venice.  He is a wonderful brother to Hanna and a blessing of a brother in Christ to me.  The dude rocks! 

The staff here has made us feel secure with their level of care and compassion.

Please continue to pray.
We fervently pray for an on command, voluntary movement.  We also pray that her heart rate will normalize.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Rachael Is at Heartland

Rachael was transferred to Heartland at around 3:00 today.  It is here that she will begin rehab.  She needs to rehab to a point that she can respond to commands consistently.  That is the goal.  Secondary to that is the training that Nancy and I need to care for Rachael upon her leaving Heartland whenever that occurs.

Transfers are not easy for Rachael or the rest of us.  When moving from one facility to another, not only does the person have to go but all the information and medication.  Medication is troubling.  An order for the meds can not be requested until the patient is at the facility.  Then the doctor is contacted, the order written and then the meds acquired.  There were some major ones in house but others had to be brought in from CVS and had not yet arrived by 11:00 PM when we left.

We met the folks from Medox here in town.  Great and highly informative.  They set Rachael up with her air humidification for the trache.  She needs that at night.

Nancy was completely exhausted by days end.  We maybe said 10 sentences all the way back home.

We have already met some great nurses at Heartland.  Dedicated folks.  We were informed early on in the afternoon that the first day is the worst for getting settled.  We thank them for making this transfer much less stressful than it had the potential to be.

With all the excitement today, Rachael nodded off to sleep at around 10 and that was without any meds all day!  She did have a few episodes during the day of high heart rate,  repositioning her took care of that.

We are trusting in God's promises.  Today we had to practice what we preach regarding trust.  After all was done, we were very comfortable leaving her tonight.

We pray that she will respond to rehab.  We pray that the Lord will keep her safe and watch over her tonight.  We thank God and Praise Him in the Name of His Son for getting us a great nurse, a great oxygen company and finally the road to rehab.

Keep the prayers coming,

Burt and Nancy

PS - To Carol McGough - we sat down with your wonderful meal tonight at 11:30 and it was a delight at the end of a very long day.  Thanks Sistah!

Burt and Nancy

Rachael Is Cleared To Move

Just a quick note between subject changes in class.  Rachael is clear of infection and should be moved to Heartland to start rehab today!  Thank you for the prayers, please keep them coming.

Burt and Nancy

New Updates

Two updates were added, please read them by clicking here.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Rachel Hinkle Irrevocable Special Needs Trust

A brother at Calvary Chapel Venice has setup an Irrevocable Special Needs Trust for Rachael's medical needs.  His friendship and support during this time of the 'things you don't want to deal with' has been a huge blessing.  The funds in the trust are distributed by Nancy and can legally only go for expenses towards Rachael's medical needs.  All monies spent from this fund require documentation that shows the funds were used for Rachael's medical needs.

If you would like to help but have not known what you can do, maybe this is a way you can help.  Please pray about any gift you place in this fund.  The Lord needs to be behind this and not emotions.  Rachael's expenses for ongoing care will be very high.  She is currently on Medicare but once limits are hit, the expenses will be 20% of the charges.  When that runs out there may be Medicaid to help some but not at all adequate to cover the bills.  We will personally do what we must to get Rachael the best care.

We know that folks wish to help in some way.  We are not ones to burden the flock but if the Lord leads, any amount will help.  The ongoing expenses will be huge.  We are seeking help where ever we can.

Gifts to this fund can not be considered donations as this is not a 501c or charitable entity.  If you chose to give to this fund, you will not be able to claim it as a donation.  This is simply a gift you would offer to the trust.  Here is the info(Please use the banks spelling of her first name)

Checks should be made out to:
Rachel Hinkle IRR SPL Need TR

The mailing address is:
Rachel Hinkle IRR SPL Need TR
c/o Edward Jones
810A Pinebrook Road
Venice, Florida  34285
Attn: Mark Hyland
Calvary Chapel of Venice
Benevolence Fund
602 Albee Farm Rd.
Nokomis, Florida  34275

You can wire money to:
Northern Trust Company, Chicago, IL
ABA Routing # 071000152
Account Name - Edward Jones
Credit Acct#      78174
(This notation needs to be made or the funds will not make it to Rachael's account)
Further Credit to Rachel Hinkle IRR SPL Need TR 995-09551-1-3

If you have any questions, please call Edward Jones at 941-484-3983 or 888-484-3983 and ask for Mark Hyland or Collette.

Nancy and I thank you so much for your prayers.  Above even the money, prayer is the most important gift you can give us.  Once again, if led in the Spirit to give a gift to this fund Rachael will be blessed.  We have been able to purchase a Pulse Oximeter that will alert us if she has a problem with her breathing or heart rate from funds already gifted!

Thank you,
Burt and Nancy

Getting Ready To Move

Rachael's temp is under control.  Her heart rate is still a concern but if she hits 120, she is medicated to bring it down.  On Friday, another white blood count will be done to see if she has indications of an infection.   Today she rested comfortably.  Nancy took some time out to rest this afternoon.  We are hoping that Rachael will be cleared to move this weekend.  We are in no rush as our Lord is in charge and once again, in this delay, He has shown Himself to do the what is best for Rachael.  Had she acquired this infection at a rehab facility, she well might have been hospitalized.  Her trache is 'capped' meaning that she is breathing only through her mouth and nose now.  The trache has to remain in as she still needs assistance with mucus if it builds up in her lungs.  She is also on room air, no oxygen from the tanks.  These are little stitches that will make her rehab easier.

We have acquired a Pulse Oximiter.  It was supplied through funds from a trust setup for Rachael to pay for medical costs and equipment.  I am supplying information on it in the next update if you would like to help.

We love the words you guys are offering us.  I have read some to Nancy and they DO make a difference.  I know it is much to ask to keep praying but please do so. It makes a huge difference.

Prayers are for Rachael to keep stable with her heart rate and no more infections.

God Bless,
Burt and Nancy

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Infection

Just a quick note to let you know that Rachael had a culture come back positive for infection.  Another culture is being run to see if the previous one was false positive as her white blood count is normal and she did not have a fever last night.

The Kessler Institute in NJ spoke with us today.  Due to medicare funding, they would only be able to have Rachael for about a month.  They said that at her current level of cognition it would be a waste of her time.   Echoing what we have found by Health South Rehab, she needs to be able to consistently follow commands to benefit from their rehab.  So it looks like for the current time God wants Rachael at Heartland.  We visited there today and we were very upbeat about the facility.  We even met a few believers on the staff.  They have church on Sundays by the gang from Fellowship of Believers in Sarasota.  That to me is a great ministry.  We look forward to be able to get her there in the next 2 days. 

Prayer -  Please pray that she has no other road blocks from moving on to get her into Heartland and start her rehab.

Needs - If anyone has a 'finger tip' Pulse Oximeter that has the ability to set the thresholds and if met, sound an audible alarm.  We need one.  941-545-0713

God Bless,
Burt and Nancy

Monday, February 21, 2011

How It Is - This May Be Graphic To Some

Rachael's recovery will take a long time.  She still remains in a Ranchos 3 state of cognition which is:

Level III - Localized Response: Total Assistance

  • Demonstrates withdrawal or vocalization to painful stimuli.

  • Turns toward or away from auditory stimuli.

  • Blinks when strong light crosses visual field.

  • Follows moving object passed within visual field.

  • Responds to discomfort by pulling tubes or restraints.

  • Responds inconsistently to simple commands.

  • Responses directly related to type of stimulus.

  • May respond to some persons (especially family and friends) but not to others.

This update is a bit graphic as we want our friends to understand the condition that Rachael is in.  Call it managing expectations if you will, but we want to be sure that you all understand the severity of her condition at this time.  We continue to believe that God will heal Rachael and we do rejoice in the little stitches that we get.  It just is not near time yet for a party or a jubilee.  We remain tempered, sober yet thankful regarding the gains we see.

We cannot be sure what Rachael is able to see.  Tests for tracking, both voluntary and involuntary eye movement do not concur with functioning sight.  We do believe that she looks at us at times, for a short time, then moves her gaze away. If you turn your head just right, she is looking at you .  She does try to follow sound.  That we know for sure.

She has been very relaxed and not as active over the past 3 days.  Her heartbeat was spiking to the high 140's to 150 and had to be tempered with medication.  Those times of the higher heart rate are hard for her and us as she displays obvious signs of stress and discomfort.

She is beginning to experience contractures in her arms and legs.   This distorts the muscles and causes unnatural bending of the joints.  This is also painful to Rachael.  She will randomly twitch and move her right leg and arm.   We thought she was swallowing a few weeks ago but that was a misstatement  by a technician.  This inability to swallow causes mucus to back up in the back of her throat and cause a foaming at times at the lips and inside the mouth.  Recently this foam was coming from her left nostril and required hourly suctioning.  She remains with a trache.  We have learned the basics of trache care, cleaning the area, replacing the inner cannular and suctioning.  Suctioning is placing a tube into the trache and with a suction device much like that in a dentists office, suctioning out mucus from the lower portions of the throat just above the lungs.

Rachael needs to be turned every two hours to prevent bed sores.  She needs to be bathed in bed on a daily basis.  She is back to having a Foley catheter inserted so that she is able to urinate.  She is not able to get up and go to the bathroom, yet all bodily functions are working.  Nancy gives Rachael a sitz bath every day in bed using a child's inflatable play pool.  She remains being fed via PEG tube.

Nancy has left the school to focus on Rachael, I have left my 2nd job to focus on Nancy and the family.  Nancy's day begins with her normal time scribing the word (she is doing Psalms now) then off to school with Hanna and I.  She then proceeds to the hospital.  She is very stressed in the morning before she goes to see Rachael.  She starts the day by finding out what has transpired the night before.  This is often difficult in the morning as it is a very busy time for staff.  She then checks Rachael for bedsore signs, waste etc. and proceeds to give her a sitz bath.  One thing to remember is that Rachael can not turn herself on her side, she is not at all mobile.  Each cleaning, each check is done with great effort moving Rachael so that these tasks can be performed.  She will brush or shampoo Rachael's hair.  This can be daunting at times as well as Rachael will often push her head back in response to the stimulus.   Remember, Rachael is very strong.  Nancy will then stretch Rachael's head/neck, hands, legs and feet.  Again, Rachael's brain resists these movements and it takes great effort to effect a stretch due to the contractures.  Between all of this is suctioning, cleaning up, wiping down etc.  Once done with her stretch regimen, Rachael may be placed into a reclining chair using a lift especially made to move people.  It is similar if you will to an engine hoist.  The process to move Rachael from the bed to the chair can take 5-10 minutes of careful maneuvering and requires two people.  Many of these tasks that I have mentioned are done with two people, often though, due to the volume of patients at this time of the year, Nancy does it alone with the exception of the lift.  Nurses can not be expected to be with Rachael all day and night, there are many other patients.  The care at Health South is excellent.  They get busy and Nancy, an RN, steps up to fill the gap with Rachael.  Nancy  is exhausted when she gets home.  She has spent 5 to 8 hours watching her daughter in the condition described.  It breaks her heart.  This alone is a great testimony of the power of Christ.  Simply because she gets up in the morning and does it all over again.  When Nancy is asked "how is it going?", words escape her for the emotion that smothers her ability to convey.  She gets worn.  We have decided that she needs to be out of there by 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon.  Nancy is the kind of woman you read about in a great Christian novel or characterized in a Hallmark movie.  The difference is that she is genuine, the real deal and I am in awe of my wife.

Rachael's transfer to a rehab facility has been delayed due to a temp of 101 last night.  Doctors are checking for any infection that may be causing this.  She can not move to another facility until the infections are cleared.   Healthsouth Rehab Hospital spent a considerable amount of time evaluating Rachael with participation from their upper management.  In the end she is simply not at a high enough level of cognition to participate in rehab there.  She has the opportunity to go to Heartland here in Sarasota once cleared of any infections.   Our desire is to have her rehab at the Kessler Institute in New Jersey,  an opportunity initiated by Dr. Simon.  They stated that Rachael could go there but only for 3 weeks due to medicare funding.  The folks at Kessler feel that 3 weeks would not be enough time for effective rehab.  We are finding out how much time would be needed and what the cost would be.  There might be a possibility of going to a highly rated rehab center in Georgia.  We have no details on this yet.

There are many ups and downs.  A friend from church has a daughter on life support and stated that you will get two steps up and one back.  That is how it goes.  Whether cognition indicators, opportunities for rehab, the end of an infection, the end of a 'protocol', a good day for Nancy and I, a new hope, a word of encouragement, whatever, it all settles to minor small increments forward.  Minor.  Stitches.

What I have attempted to do with this note is to let you get a picture of what Rachael is facing and what Nancy is facing on a daily basis.  If Nancy seems down, or worn, know now why.  She has been in battle all day.  If we seem to lack joy for a small stitch realize that we remain in love with our God and have faith in his healing ability and submit to His sovereignty but we are not at a point of celebration.  You might think that is wrong.  That we should rejoice over every little thing.  We can not rejoice if we do not know if it is truly a sign of healing or something misleading.  We take each day as it is given to us.  We do our best to not get ahead and we remain faithful, thankful and walking in the joy that is only from our Lord for there is little of our own.  We might not act 'joyful' by worldly standards but we have joy.  It is a still and quiet joy.  We do know that we should consider it all joy and we do.  We discuss the blessings that come from this and believe me there are.  Yet, it is a time for prayer, for caution, discernment and being sober of thought.  Remember where the battle is and there is a huge battle going on for Rachael.  We pray each day that her room is holy ground.  We can't have a party when the enemy is right outside the camp.  It is a time for battle.  Prayer is our weapon.  Our Lord is our defender and we thank you for taking up arms with us.  Yes we still laugh, we still smile and joke around.  We are crazy in love with each other.  We are just in a battle right now.

A time to give birth and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.  Ecc 3:2-8

God Bless you and please continue to pray.  Our God is amazing and He has shown himself over and over again to be in an intimate relationship with us.  It seems that at times of such fear, loathing, complete helplessness and anxiety that we call Him not by a Name of distant, untouchable reverence, but by a name of endearment and intimacy.  Father, yes always, His name is hallowed.  Now though, more than ever we look to him as Daddy.  Abba Father.

And He was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will."  Mark 14:36

Our suffering; Rachael, Nancy, Daniel Hanna and myself, is nothing compared to what Christ suffered for all of us.  Jesus had the power to keep His suffering from happening.  If we could have looked ahead to that day in January, and had the power to stop it we would have.  I would have.  Christ saw much worse to be inflicted upon Him, and he let it happen, but for the joy set  before Him.  We look forward to the day when every tear is wiped away.  Come Lord Jesus. Come.

Website Update


There is more news to come following this update.  I just wanted to let you know that I have been tweaking the website for  It is now the single place for entering information about Rachael's recovery.  Here are some of the added things:

Encouraging words - Instead of emailing, you can enter comments that will be added after moderation.  I have to moderate to keep from getting 'junk posts' which are just like email spam.

Email Updates - You will get an email whenever there is a new post on updates for Racahel.

Sharing - If you wish to share an update, you may now click on the Share menu at the top of the update you are reading.  It has icons for the major 'social networking' sites.  For instance if you like this post/update you could click on the Share menu, click the facebook button and log into facebook.  The link to the post would be added to your facebook page.

There are other 'backend' features from a technical nature that makes this a much more efficient way of handling things.

I know this all sounds techie but I wanted to get this info out.  Also, this is a test message.  No need to reply, I have a way to check that it was sent.  I will have new information later tonight regarding Rachael's condition, next steps and a way you can help.

I once again wish to thank the Sullivan family for their support of us and especially Christine for getting the email list going.  God bless you guys.

God bless you and thank you again for your prayers,

Auto Draft

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rough Night Tonight

Rachael is having a rough go of it tonight.  She worked hard today.  She was massaged and did rehab work.  Tonight around 5:00 she became quite vocal and distressed.  Her vocalizations are not decipherable yet.  Her heart rate was quite high and even with heavy  meds she is still at a higer rate than what we would like to see.  Pray for her tonight if you will that she will get through this night with peace. 

We have not gotten a direction on where to go next.  Her stay here at Health South Ridgelake is coming to an end and she will move to a rehab facility or a health care facility that offers some rehab.  Health South is one place she might go but there is also Heartland in Sarasota and the Kessler Institute in NJ.  If she were to go to Kessler, she would be up there around 3-4 weeks.

Last night several friends of Rachael's arrive from Word of Life Bible Institute in Hudson, Florida.  They were a grand blessing.  Rachael laughed and smiled throughout their visit.  The girls sang songs to her, read her letters and notes, worshiped with her, prayed with her and caught her up on all the WOLBI news.  We want to thank Beca Robertson and the gang from WOL.  What a solid bunch of young believers!  We all prayed together before their departure.  It was a blessing for all of us.  Hanna was here with us (she has not seen Rachael yet) and therefore got to witness Godly young woman in prayer and demonstrating a love for Christ.

Thank you all for your continued prayers,

Burt and Nancy

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rachael Hinkle Update #16 - Voluntary!

This is a quick note but last night, in the presence of a neurologist, Rachael voluntarily moved her right arm up and down 2 times and squeezed the fingers of the Doctor!  In these situations, you can witness various signs of hope but without verification from the neurologist, they are just your own personal treasures that do not count medically.  Prior to the doctor arriving, we got another big smile from Rachael.  She also cried more in the morning.  Though it is troubling to see her crying, it is a sign of cognition. Praise God for continued healing!

Prayer requests for the day:

  • Today (2/16) A meeting is being held to place her into Health South Rehab.  Though she does not yet meet the level of cognition they require, she is showing improvement, we are hoping to get her there for rehab.  They are wonderful folks and whatever their decision we know that it is in Rachael's best interest  and what God would want.  Pray for the favor to fall upon Rachael to be admitted to Health South Rehab and wisdom for doctors.

  • For Rachael's comfort

  • Praise God and thanking him for bringing her temp down and easing the teeth grinding.  Also for getting her heart rate down.

  • Wisdom and discernment for Nancy and I regarding next steps.

  • For Nancy, to keep focused in the day, to be lifted up and strengthened

Monday, February 14, 2011

Rachael Hinkle Update #15 A Valentine Gift

I need to get to a bed but I must share this with you.  Tonight I noticed that Rachael was audio tracking me as I moved about from side to side of her bed.  As I spoke to her, her gaze lingered much longer than normal and I made mention of this to Nancy.  I left the room to check on Hanna in the waiting room.  A few minutes later, Nancy comes around the corner very excited and yells, "She is smiling..laughing".  Upon entering the room we were greeted with a huge Rachael Smile.  Her eyes fixed on us as she lit up the room with a huge smile and a silent laugh. Nancy had started to encourage Rachael, tell her how proud she was of her and to let her know how precious she is.   It was joy all over her face.  I took out my phone to snap a picture, asked Rachael to smile and immediately she smiled again.  This went on for at least 4 times.  She was with us for a short while then went back to sleep.  It was incredible to see that face light up so.  At least 6 nurses came in, all so excited to see the response from Rachael.  It was thrilling for us all.

Praise to Lord Jesus, the great healer!

Just prior to this most wonderful event,  we had prayed for wisdom and specifically for the minions of the enemy to be put away by God's holy warriors, not only from the room but from the whole hospital.  We asked that Jesus would command even the lost to do good by Rachael.  That she would be a cause for good care.

Nancy, Hanna and I had a lot of snacks tonight at home.  We had the most incredible apple pie from the Shore family,  It was fun tonight.  There was a joy that has been missing.

Thank you Jesus for answering our prayers beyond the measure we had hoped for in the day!

Burt and Nancy

Rachael Hinkle Update #14 A Smile, A Tear

This is succinct as I am writing it during lunch at school.  Much has happened over the past few days.  Here are the highlights.  We thank you so much for your prayers.  Please continue to pray.

Rachael will be moving to another health care facility for rehab to bring her up to the level where she can participate in further rehabilitation.   She remains at the Rachos 3 level of cognition.

She has been given a new trache which permits her to breath through her mouth and nose as overflow from the trache opening. This also permits her to exercise her vocal chords.  Last night she was making sounds using her lips.  They were the sounds for

The long I sound,  the sound for L, the sound form M, the short O sound and the blend 'Har'.

We planned to move her to Heartland here in Sarasota on Thursday but she acquired two infections that had to be dealt with first.  Today, those are cleared up.  We hope to see her moved early this week.

Her heart rate is much lower! Praise God for answered prayers.  It was down to the 70's last night for the first time since the accident.

Her fever is lowering and hit 98 last night! Thank you Jesus for another answered prayer.

She had been very fidgety over the past weeks.  We attribute this to the several infections she has had to fight, frustration and the Foli tube.  The Foli was removed the other day and she is much more comfortable.  For two nights she has slept still and quiet.  The teeth crunching now seems to occur when she is tired and about to go to sleep.,

We have an opportunity for an open door for a rehab facility in NJ that is tops in the nation for neuro rehab.  The Kessler Institute in East Orange is rated very high.  We are awaiting her acceptance as they have to first evaluate her which they do via records and over the phone discussions.   If accepted, Hanna, Nancy and I will go up to NJ for 3 weeks.  Daniel will remain home for college.  All we know at this point regarding this is that Kessler will be reviewing her case.

Last night, while her hair was being washed, she had a smile! This was the first smile we have seen from her since the accident.  It was such a blessing.   When we were preparing to leave, we prayed together as always.  This time her eyes welled with tears and one ran down the side of her cheek.  Her face had the appearance of crying. We claim these things as stitches in healing.  We can not be sure of anything but our faith in God that he works all things for good and that He will be glorified in this.  Yet, we saw the smile and the tears.

It was a long day yesterday for Rachael, she was very active.  Please pray for:

  • Continued healing.

  • A way for her to communicate yes and no.

  • For admission to Kessler if that is God's will.

  • Protection against infection.

  • Thanking God for the blessings he gives all of us each day.  With prayer in thankfulness and supplication.  Don't forget to thank Him for what He has done for you, is doing through you and will do with you in the future.

Today is Valentine's Day.  Please remember the greatest Valentine, Jesus on the Cross.

God Bless,
Burt and Nancy

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rachael Hinkle Update #13

Updates will be found on a website that has been setup for Rachael

Please forgive us for the long delay between updates. There has been much going on that demands much of our time. Here is the latest information:

Rachael remains in a Ranchos 3 state of cognition. This is one step below what is needed for participatory rehabilitation. We continue to pray for the next step. She is breathing on her own but they do assist her with 2 ml of oxygen. She has breathed room air on her own. She is still being fed via the PEG tube. Though based on input from some professionals that she was swallowing, she does not swallow.  She is trying to figure it out.  As I mentioned earlier on, swallowing is voluntary to the back of the throat then becomes involuntary. Often, brain injury patients need to learn to swallow again.

Rachael's heart rate has never settled to the normal rate you would want for a woman her age. Since the accident it has been very rapid. We need prayer to have the Lord bring that heart rate down to normal.
She is moving much more than she was several weeks ago. She is regularly moving her right arm up and down and moving most of the right side of her body. She can move the left side but almost all activity is focused on her right at this time. She does fix her eyes upon us at times. Though this could be coincidental, the stare is focused on our eyes. We have brought this to the attention of the neurologists. One stated that he has experience with occipital lobe strokes and it is pretty much 50 50 on outcome if full vision returns. The injury from Hypoxia and stroke are similar with the exception that Hypoxia impacts the whole brain and a stroke can be localized to specific areas. We are not yet sure that Rachael can see. The doctor is going to try another test to see if there is involuntary tracking with her eyes.
We do know that she follows sound. She also opens her eyes if the room has been quiet for a while and we speak. This is not always the case. Remember there is a sleep/wake cycle to coma patients.

Her temp was normal for a few days but has been on the high side of the 90's for a while. We think she may be getting a cold as indications suggest this.

We are getting trained up on how to care for Rachael at home. Nancy much more than I as I am teaching during the day. Nancy has had to leave the school due to caring for Rachael. We are both comfortable with trache work and suction.

So where from here? Our goal and desire is to get her home. There will be much work needed for this to happen. We will need to do some remodeling for her to have a shower room. There are other considerations here at the house to make it possible to care for her.  We are getting equipment that she will need. Prior to coming home, she will be in a local health care rehab facility. We are not sure which one. We should know more on Tuesday.

Nancy is holding out well. Very well. We call it "in context of what is going on we are doing well" Yes there are bumps. There are terrible valley times and then there are the times that he speaks and lifts her up. Myself, I can't wait for the day that I can shed this skin and be with our Lord.  Until that time though, I too have the valleys, different ones than Nancy's. We discussed our feelings the other night. We are open about what we are feeling. We check on each other often.  For both of us we find solace in His word. We do serve a mighty, awesome and very personal God. I wish that all reading this could know, without the trial, of what an intimate relationship he offers when we let all go to Him.

We are sharing our faith with folks that we meet along the way. Nancy has been shyer in the past about sharing her faith with strangers but now responds to the leading of the Lord and has been sharing with several folks.  We will share our message with anyone that the Lord brings our way with Rachael.  We both know that without Jesus Christ, such times as these must be hopeless and lonely.  We wish no one to know that depravity of hope.

So to summarize:

Rachael is still in a Coma Ranchos level 3.
We are moving her to a health care rehab facility in the next few days.
Our plans are to have her home as soon as possible.

For Rachael's heart rate to lower.
For the proper health care facility
For protection against infections and virus
For myself and Nancy and our marriage
For Daniel and Hanna to remain steadfast in Christ.
For Rachael to be healed.
For the folks we speak to, that they will come to know Jesus as Lord and Savior.

We remain in the shadow of his wings,

Burt and Nancy

Friday, February 4, 2011

The First Few Days

Your loved one has suffered a brain injury and is in a coma.  Here are some things you will need to know that will happen in the first few days.

Induced Hypothermia

As soon as possible following the resuscitation if necessary, induced hypothermia should be started.  The cooling of the body temperature to 93 degrees slows the damage caused by the bodies reaction to the brain injury.  The quicker the body temp is lowered the better.  As of this post, this is achieved by packing the patient in ice, infusing the body with cooled saline intravenously and with cooling blankets placed upon the patient.

This is the first of many "difficult to see" steps that are taken to help the patient recover.  Remember that what is important is what is best for your loved one, not how comfortable you are with what you are seeing.

The patient will shiver and will be cold to the touch.  It is the nurturing nature to want to rub their arms or perform other methods to warm them up.  Do not do this.  The body needs to cool.

Here are some medical studies that discuss this further.

You will be searching for any sign of hope regarding recovery.  Doctors and Nurses are there to follow the protocols that prove to be the most successful in assisting your loved one.  They must be very careful in offering anything that could turn to false hope.  We had a neurologist that stated the worst cases, the miracles and then showed us the MRI's and explained the severity of the damage to our daughters brain.  He did not offer any real hope.  He simply stated what he has experienced and what the facts were.  Do not get mad at the neurologist for seeming to be cold or uncaring.   Medical professionals at this stage are to stabilize your loved one and identify the extent of the damage. 

We found that our hope and strength came from our faith in Jesus Christ.

After about 48 hours, the neurologist will assess the coma status by using a scale called the Glasgow Coma Scale.  It is arrived at by summing the points from 3 categories.  Here is the scale:

Summing up the score will give you a total between 3 and 15.  This is used for deciding your loved one's state in ICU.  It is NOT a tool or point system to be used for anticipated levels of recovery.  Anyone that tells you that "after 72 hours, you pretty much get what you see" is not at all correct.  There are many cases where there has been high levels of recovery from very low to bottom Glasgow scores.

Your loved one will be susceptible to many infections.   Keep in mind that the hospital is the dirtiest place to be when you are injured.  There are many bacteria about that are not in your home.  Be extremely careful and "foam in, foam out"  with the disinfectant hand wash.  If you or anyone has a symptom of a cold, stay away.  It could be very hazardous at this stage.  Many will want to come and visit.  Though you should meet people, do so in the waiting room.  The fewer folks around your loved one during the first week or so, the better.  This is solely for protection against introducing a virus or bacteria into your loved one.  Be careful with who you meet and greet.  Be very cautious about spreading a germ.

You might wish to have some of the following with you during the first 3 days.  Chances are you will not be leaving much.

Cash (most cafe's are not open all the time at the Hospital)
Cell phone and charger
book (preferably the Bible.)
Snacks and lots of them.
Water - Keep yourself hydrated.
Portable music player to stimulate patient.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rachael Hinkle Update #12 - From Nancy's Journaling

Last week, Nancy shared with me  what the Lord had shown her.  She journals and scribes out the Scriptures.  After sharing with me what she had to say I asked if she had written it down.  She has. I added the verse addresses in her summary.   This is what she wrote and she has permitted me to share it with you.



I am sitting in Rachael’s spacious hospital room surrounded by the sounds of monitor buzzers and beeps.   My mind jumps back and forth between fear and worry.  What is going to happen in the future?  But things are calm and peaceful and I have been given what I need to do the work God has given me with Rachael for the day.


“Dear God, how did we get here?  The circumstances that lead up to this are so bad” Then I remember God’s sovereignty, all things are filtered through his loving hands and He knows what is best for all of us in my little family, especially Rachael.


She had come so far, only one month of school to finish and she will have completed 2 years of Bible College.  How many of us have done that?  For a child that I never thought would read or live on her own, she has already done the impossible in my mind.  Rachael’s life has already been a huge miracle.  We had such great plans for the future.   What are you doing God?  I see no good in this!

But the scripture I copied today on a little 10X10 dry erase board kept staring me in the face all day –

“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding”.    Proverbs 3:5

I desperately searched for some way to rest this in my mind.

Three hours had already passed with me sitting and holding Rachael’s hand gently talking to her about home and school coupled with periods of anxiously pacing back and forth at a feverish pace, just wanting to run away.  I finally walked down to the lunchroom to eat my lunch.   I sat alone, watching the different members of the staff come in and catch up on each others lives, carrying on with life as they consider usual.  I was irritated by the television in the background showing some old daytime soap opera that has been around since I was a child.  So there I sat, irritated, confused and angry.   Then God started to speak to me.

“Nancy, you do not have to understand this. (Prov 3:5)   Your lives are not your own, (1 Corin 6:19-20) they are Mine and I will do with them as I please. (Psalm 135:6)  This is for My purpose and glory. (Romans 11:36)  As far as you needing to understand what work I am doing through this, it is not My will that you need to know.  Continue to trust that My work is being done. You and Rachael, my precious daughters are only asked to get through today. (Matt 6:34)  Look what I have done for you.  I have provided a facility near your home and your work with very competent staff and equipment. (Matt 6:33)  The 12 hours of visiting time I’ve allowed gives you ample time to minister to her spiritual needs as well as giving you cart blanche in participating in her care.  Little by little just like her healing, (Psalm 102:3) I will teach you to care for her and show you her needs in a far more detailed way than anyone can show you. (Exodus 35:35)  Keep watching, hearing and working.

Remember, I’ve asked you to wait and

“… but those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles;

they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)

I am gaining strength!  Thank you my faithful Lord Jesus

Rachael Hinkle Update #11

This is two days old....

Keep Praying.  The pulmonary specialist verified that Rachael is able to swallow.  Rachael has been setup in a chair at times during the day.  Nancy noticed that while she was brushing Rachael's hair, Rachael was doing some of the work of holding her head up.  We still do not have any localized, voluntary response to commands yet.

We both now understand via the Scriptures we have been lead in the Spirit to read and words from members of the body that God is asking us to wait.  He is doing a great work in and through Rachael and basically does not want this healing to happen quickly.  We are learning a whole new level of trust in Him.

Nancy is back at school part-time in the morning.   Calvary Chapel School is a place where much work for the Lord is being done through the teachers, leadership, support staff and quite surprisingly (or not if you are use to this place) the children.   It is an uplifting place.

Psalm 25:3a

"Indeed none of those who wait for You will be ashamed"

Your prayers for Nancy and I are breaking down incredible strongholds and revealing blind spots.  God is doing a big heart work job on us.  We have been lifted up by your prayers.  People wonder how we hold up and we can answer "because of Christ and prayers from the body."  Please continue to pray for Daniel and Hanna as well.

Last night Hanna said "I think God is talking to Rachael and he is telling her that 'I am done talking to you, your family needs you and it is time to wake up'."  We do need her.

Calvary Chapel in Sarasota has had a prayer fast for the church over the past few days and Rachael has been lifted up in prayer by those warriors.

More later, just wanted to send a quick update.  We have been pretty busy as of late and not able to update as quickly as we wish we could.

Rachael Hinkle Update #10

Keep Praying!  Rachael still remains in a coma.  The Lord has begun a great healing in her.  She has a verifiable swallowing reflex and has started  to be weaned from the hospital oxygen.  The swallowing is a big deal for sanitary reasons as well as the hope and prayer that she will be able to get off the trache and breathe through her mouth.

Please continue to pray.  I have started a dialog with an orphanage in India run by Pastor Peter Palani that is now praying for Rachael.  We have heard from folks that a prayer chain in Egypt is also praying.   This is simply overwhelming and we praise God for all that is being done via prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you visit Rachael, please keep in mind these things:

She is very susceptible to infection.  If someone in your family is sick with a virus but you are ok, you are still carrying the virus and we request you wait until the virus has passed through your family before visiting.

Please don't dismiss symptoms you are having as "allergies acting up" .  Please be symptom free.

Bacteria are everywhere.  When you visit, if you plan to hold her hand, please wear a gown and put on gloves.  These items are at the door as you walk in to her room.

Please  understand, a cold could be fatal.  Please consider this when visiting.  Being that I am around so many kids, I gown up and glove up when I go in after being at school.
Most importantly, we ask that you are there to visit with Rachael.  Not console  us.  Rachael needs the stimulation of talking, singing and reading of scripture.

You don't need to speak loud, as I was doing earlier at ICU, if she is hearing she is hearing normal volumes.
If there are several people in the room, Please do not make it a room of chatter.  This could be very confusing and frustrating to a person in a coma.  Talk normally, and take turns one at a time.
Again we ask for you to pray with her, read scripture and if so gifted, sing in worship to our Lord with her.

Our Prayer requests are for her to get off the trache tube and for her to be healed.  Pray also for our family.

Thank you and Keep the prayers coming!


Rachael Hinkle Update #9

On the last post I stated that the next message would be to let you know that Rachael made a voluntary, repeatable move.  That has not happened yet.  Nancy and I want to keep the updates going and share what we are witnessing.  I have been searching the web for information and happen upon websites of others going through various brain related ordeals with loved ones.  We need to be a part of this 'sphere' of experiences, information and Biblical hope.  So we will continue.

Monday, 1/17 is our 2nd year anniversary.  Pray for us as it has been hard over the past few weeks but we are focused on our Lord and helping each other to take thoughts captive and be obedient.  Today after church, with Pastor Bob presiding, Nancy and I solidly, tearfully but joyfully renewed our vows to each other at the altar before the Lord.  It was a very intimate moment that God setup while Ray White was playing piano.  All pretty much unplanned but done with permission from our Lord.

Good news!  Today, Rachael lifted her left arm several times and turned her left wrist.  Two nurses have offered reports.  One stated that she thought Rachael was 'tracking her' or following her with her eyes the other night.  Another stated that when she called Rachael's name, Rachael's eyes opened wide in immediate response.  None of these things can be considered  official signs of waking but it gives us and the nurses here at Health South hope.  Her white blood count is normal  so it looks like the infection has been dealt with.  Thanks again to Dr. Clemmons.

Today, Eddie Aguiliera showed up with a friend of his, Javier to worship, it was a very uplifting time.  They played and sang to Rachael.  Yesterday a friend of ours, Faith Beauchamp sang so sweetly several old hymns, some new ones and just brought such a peace with the gifts God has given her.

Hanna's birthday was Saturday.  She is 9!  On Thursday when Daniel got home there was a box left on our doorstep.  It was sweetly addressed to Miss Hannah.  It was signed by "someone in God's family"  Upon opening it she had a brand new American Girl doll!  What a sweet blessing to a little girl.  Hanna shrieked when she opened it.  Thank you to the wonderful saint that thought so kindly of Hanna.

Nancy has placed a dry erase board up in the room.  Each day there is a new verse.

There is so much more to share.  In another update, possibly tonight, we will share more.

Rachael Hinkle Update #8

Well, thanks be to God for providing great discernment to a doctor who began a blood infection protocol 2 days ago!  As it turned out he saw the higher white cell count, which in Rachael's condition could mean several things.  Concerned that it was a blood infection, the doctor began the protocol before the tests were back.  So, we had a jump on it.  Dr. Clemons and the folks at Dr. Rodman's group are doing a great job and we are grateful.

Rachael is now free of the nasogastric tube and has completed the Percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) which permits her to be fed directly to her stomach.

Today she took several breaths of non-hospital oxygen.   Keep in mind she is completely off of the ventilator and breathing on her own.

Her eyes are open quite often but she is not seeing yet nor is she responding to any visual stimulus.

She will soon be moved out of ICU to a local Health Care facility that specializes in people in and coming out of a coma.

Nancy and I realize we need the rest to keep from falling in the flesh and sinning.  It is hard.  We had a quiet afternoon with Hanna for a few hours.  Daniel started his final semester at SCF.

Many of you have sent cards and we so appreciate them.  The notes to are inspiring and uplifting and I do hope she can hear them.  Keep them coming please.

With so many verses focusing on fighting battles and healing, we found one note from a friend of Rachael's that says it so well:

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord;

Be strong and let your heart take courage;

Yes, wait for the Lord.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ps 27:14). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Rachael is resting comfortably this evening.  Tomorrow, Rachael will be moved to a health care facility.  If the Lord wants us to wait longer after the amount of time He wills for her to stay at the facility, we will.  We will wait for Him to move with Rachael in her own house with us.

Our lives are of course changing and we will have a new normal around here.  This will be the last update on Rachael.  The next one you get will be sharing the news of her voluntary repeatable response from command.  That is our immediate prayer.  There is so much to pray on though.  Not just with Rachael but for all the unsaved we have crossed paths with over the past days.   There is so much hopelessness out there.  If you are saved by the blood of Christ, be the light in the dark world.  There is hope in our Lord.  We need to tell people.

Thank you all.  God has richly blessed Rachael in her slumber.  He has blessed us.   We continue to pray for and anticipate her complete recovery


Rachael Hinkle Update #7

Just a quick note for prayer as Rachael possibly has a blood infection. Cultures are taken from two seperate areas.  One of the cultures from the other day came back positive for infection.  One did not.   Once a culture is taken  it takes 2 days for the culture to develop and for an antibiotic treatment to be found.

A second culture was taken just a few minutes ago (10:15am  EST).  They have to follow protocol to respond to the possibiltity that the infection exists due to the one culture returning positive.  This protocol involves changes to IV's etc. and removal of the 'pick' line that can further complicate things.

Please pray that  Rachael is clear of the blood infection and that God provides discernment in pulling her 'pick'  line vs. waiting 24 hours for the new culture to grow if there is an infection.


Rachael Hinkle Update #6

It has been a busy 24 hours.  Rachael received a Tracheotomy yesterday and it went very well.  This greatly improves her comfort and lowers the possibility of infection.  This also prepares her for her departure from ICU and into a facility.

Today, Rachael was completely off the ventilator.  No more vent!! The prayers are working!!  Rachael offered expressions today as well as opening her eyes without 'noxious' stimulus.  She is not able to 'track' people with her eyes we are not sure if she is  seeing yet.  We are cautious now on what we consider major moves.  Now that she is breathing on her own (major move!), her fever appears to be trending lower, and she is opening her eyes, we are praying that she will recognize us or give us a verifiable voluntary move.  We thought earlier hand squeezes etc. were voluntary and verifiable.  This is not so.  Actually, we found out that a squeeze of the hand is not a good indicator of neurological healing.  Pointing on command, wiggling a toe on command, opening and closing eyes on command all are.  Via command, these are indications of higher brain functions than reflexes.  The reflexes are controlled by the brain stem and  Rachael's appears to be working quite well.  An indication of a big move will be a repeatable movement by command.  Please focus prayer on that.

On Monday Rachael will get the feeding tube removed and replaced by a G Tube that will add to her comfort.

One of the pulmonary specialists stated that Rachael hit her hand in response to noxious stimuli.  We thought that great news.  Not that she should be hitting people but we will take whatever  we can get.

Words of encouragement for Rachael continue to pour into the email of  Keep them coming.

We were sent a rough draft of a song from Big D (Denise) called 'Why Should I Worry'.  It was an incredible and timely word that touched us deeply.  It is amazing how God works corporately.

Music ministers to us and Rachael and Phil Wickham's song "In My Love" is another that has spoken to our hearts.

A dear brother in Christ, Milt Seiler taught at our Men's Breakfast on the experiential knowledge of Christ and how we can take a helathy look back at our past and test our growth in Christ.   He discussed how the  knowledge Peter speaks of in these verses is not the knowledge of God one gets from studying the Word which is highly important, but knowledge by the experiences of a personal relationship with Christ.  It was from 2 Peter 1   1-9.   In Verse 4 Milt highlighted the wonderful promise that we can partake in the divine nature.  Also in Rachael's daily devotional it spoke of Peter's change from an objective relationship with a Prophet that could heal to a personal one with Jesus when Christ filled Peters net until it broke.  Peter had witnessed other healings, including his  own mother-in-law but this miracle struck Peter to the heart and as it says in Luke 5:9 '

9 For amazement had seized him and all his companions because of the catch of fish which they had taken;

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Lk 5:9). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Peter had objectively witnessed miracles.  He had the knowledge that Christ was a healing prophet.  It did not become personal until the big catch.  Later in scripture Jesus will lead Peter to a firmer understanding of His personal love and finally in 2 Peter, Peter tells us of the experiential knowledge of Jesus that can only come from a personal relationship with Him.   Trials will bring those in Christ closer to Him.  He will show up in very personal ways.

Another brother at church, Tom, suffered a severe head trauma accident a few years ago.  His story is incredible and he was a big encouragement for us today when he shared what his sister recounted of his early times in the hospital.

So as of tonight we have:

  • Tracheotomy - Much easier to maintain, more comfort, less chance of bacterial infection.

  • Breathing independently - No more ventilator

  • Several instances of eye lids opening, blinking and closing.

  • Good eye reaction to light.

  • Lower Temp

  • G Tube on Monday

We are encouraged, especially with Rachael now free of the vent, breathing on her own.

Please keep your prayers moving along.  As we all get busy and back to life, we tend to forget that personal relationship that we have with our Lord.  We do not need to be knee bent, head bowed, hands clasped to get a prayer to God.  We do need to remain obedient, we do need to take the pause to pray and we must not doubt that our prayers are being heard.  They are and they are effective!  Always remembering that His will be done.

Please pray for God to permit Rachael a voluntary sign that can be repeated.

We thank you guys for all the prayer.  You are incredible.

Rachael Hinkle Update #5

Each day a new prayer is answered. Rachael is breathing on her own!
Read that again. ON HER OWN


Over-breathing is what they call it when the patient is taking their own breath over what the ventilator is set for. Just a few days ago it was very grim. There were between 4 and 0 instances of over-breathing. We were given, once again, the 'realistic' pov. Praise be to God that he is the real:

18while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.                2 Corithians 4:18

American Standard Version. 1995 (2 Co 4:18). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

Her eyes are reacting to the light. We are excited at these new things.

Our good friend Dana Kunniti visited the other night and spoke a word from the Lord via Psalm 103.  She was reminding us what 'heals' means in this verse:
Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

3 Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

4 Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

5 Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Ps 103:1-5). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

In the ancient Ethiopic language derived from Hebrew, the word 'heals' means to stitch or mend.  Like sewing , stitch by stitch to make something new again.  In Jeremiah 19:10 the word is used in reference to fixing a broken piece of pottery.

Last year Hanna brought home a dragon that she had made at a pottery/coffee house in Bradenton that Dana had introduced Nancy to.  As Hanna excitedly ran to the house with her dragon it broke through the bag and hit the ground, breaking into many pieces.  Over the next few days I pieced it back together using some special cement that I acquired.  It took time.  With a nod to my complete lack of skill with glue and clay, with the right set of eyes it looks whole.  It was mended.

When Nancy tears a hole into her jeans, I have watched her not only restore the jeans to wearability, but with the choice of the patch, they are even more colorful and have more character than before.

See what I am getting at?  Rachael is on the mend.  She is to be renewed.  God is obviously ar better skilled than I am at mending pottery.  Far better with thread than Nancy, far better at determining the healing of Rachael than the prognostications based on stats and science.  Friends, she is breathing on her own.  It might take time for her to be renewed.  The term "stitch by stitch" has become part of our lexicon as of late.

Eyes that look upon us, reacting to light.  Breaths on her own.  Frowns.  Stitch by stitch she is on the mend.

Thank you Dana, for that word.

A friend came by the other night to state that she has changed the way she views things in life.  Never considering that God is in control of every electron in the machines in Rachael's room, never really believing that God is in control and sovereign over all things.  Since witnessing my wife and how she has spoken of this tragedy, seeing how we as a family are responding to this trial has caused her to change.  She is an example of several more that we know of that have been brought to a closer understanding of their Lord through this time.  Myself included.

Nancy has been reading Ezekial and is astonished at the things God had Ezekial do as object lessons for Israel.  She has consistently stated that sometimes we are called to go through trials that we would never want to go through as a way of teaching others about Christ.

Daniel gave us this verse today that spoke right to our hearts in a clear new way via the Holy Spirit:

16 Rejoice always;

17 pray without ceasing;

18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19 Do not quench the Spirit; 20 do not despise prophetic utterances.

21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;

22 abstain from every form of evil.

New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (1 Th 5:16-22). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation

It speaks our heart on this day.

Don't forget to email words encouragement to:

Thank you for your prayers,

Burt, Nancy, Rachael, Daniel and Hanna

Rachael Hinkle Update #4

In Matthew 9:5, Christ knows the hearts of the scribes and pharisees that are offended at the fact that Jesus forgives a paralytic of his sin. They believe that only God can do that and Jesus does not have that kind of authority so it reads:

“Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’? 6 “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He *said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” 7 And he got up and went home. 8 But when the crowds saw this, they were awestruck, and glorified God, who had given such authority to men.
New American Standard Bible : 1995 update. 1995 (Mt 9:5-8). LaHabra, CA: The Lockman Foundation.

Rachael's MRI was reviewed by the doctor and the news was not good after all. Though there was no swelling, there is evidence of Hypoxia or oxygen loss to the brain. Another EEG was done this afternoon.

Every hope we witness, is dashed by science. We so appreciate the care that Rachael is getting. Yet, our God is not a God that follows statistics, our God does not limited by test results. What our eyes have seen is frowns and Rachel looking right at us. With her characteristic look. She then goes back to her slumber. We have seen evidence that she hears and we continue to stimulate her senses.

In the above verse Christ asks which is easier?
We heal. If there is a bullet wound, a break, a blister we heal. From our earthly view, we think it much harder for God to heal than for Him to say to someone your sins are forgiven. Yet, the scriptures are filled with people that witnessed the power of God and still refused to be saved. Hardened hearts that refused God's call. Refused to have their sins forgiven. Which is easier?

We are surrounded by people at the hospital that do not know Christ.

Please pray 'so that they may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins' that God will say "wake up, Rachael.

Praise God for the wonderful opportunities we have been getting to share the burdens of others and to speak the Gospel to several over the past few days. Nancy, through her obediant way in how she was handling this trial and from the words of grace seasoned with salt that she put forth was told by one nurse "you changed me." Nancy knows she did not change this wonderful woman, God did, through Rachael's trial.

We all thank you, keep praying and remember to thank our Lord for all things he is doing.

Rachael Hinkle Update #3

Rachael has had a couple of small issues to overcome today. First off was her fever. It rose to 102. She is under the cooling blanket again to keep it under control.

We had a scare as she needed two units of blood. With no evidence of bleeding, a test was performed (H and H) and so far it looks like this just may have been a result of the initial shock.

Her liver enzymes are a bit high.

Nancy, Daniel, Hanna and I were able to sit down last night and eat a meal together. We missed Rachael.

We all had a fairly good nights sleep. Hanna went back to school today. Daniel and I went with her to drop her off. I spoke to our class and it was a blessed time. Calvary Chapel School is a very special place.

The harsh realities are taking hold and we are educating ourselves on Coma and hypoxia injuries. Yes, she is in a coma. Keep in mind that things can change only when our Lord God decides it should. We are in the very early stages of her recovery. For those of you that understand these things, Rachael is in a Glasgow 3 level Coma. Our Lord does not care about statistics. We have been blessed by a visit from an old friend of Nancy's that was once in a Coma for 7 days. Another volunteer here at Venice Regional told the story of her daughter that was in a Coma for 10 days. We have heard several 10 day Coma stories today. We are encouraged because of Christ in our hearts and the sharing of others past trials.
There are several members of the staff that have talked to us about the Lord and discussed their walk or lack of it with us. We have been able to share the burdens of others here as you have shared ours. This Room has become a small church. We were permitted to play some Phil Wickham and Hillsong on a portable iPod player. We have regularly been reading the scriptures aloud to Rachael. We have been praying unceasingly. We are giving all the glory to God and sharing Christ with anyone that we engage in a conversation with about Rachael.
Even in her slumber, she is ministering to people.

Now for some what we think is good news. Today Rachael's eyes were more reactive to light, her pupils were bigger and the great news is that she frowned! Frowning is considered to be 'localized' and 'voluntary'. Those two words - localized and voluntary are very important. In Daniels words "It was Rachael!" It is what I saw yesterday but did not have witness nor a repeat. It was verified today by Daniel, our wonderful daytime nurse Dawn and Nancy! This is extremely good news. We stand on the victory of her complete recovery. As I type this a friend called to tell me that he was compelled to say that he knows that there will be a full recovery, sooner than later.

Please read Psalm 20 tonight. The Lord led me to that Psalm this morning and it has spoken clearly to us. Offer up prayers to the Lord, claim the victory and His promises and remember our dependency on Him.

Prayer Request:

Pray for her fever to get under control, for her liver enzymes to level out and for her to be able to get off the ventilator and for her complete recovery.

Thank you for your continued prayers,

Burt, Nancy, Rachael, Daniel and Hanna

Rachael Hinkle Update #2

Thanks first off to the Sullivan family. Christine has been such a huge help with communications and getting the prayer word out for Rachael.

We ask first off that folks limit their phone calls to us. We will be directing people to the various sites that are hosting these updates.

Nancy and I "hit the wall" late yesterday and went home to nap for a few hours. Our timing was good as Pastor Bob was dispatched by his wife Barb to come to the hospital and in obedience to our pastor, ask us to go home and sleep. We beat them to the punch by just a few minutes. We took turns during the night napping for a few hours each. Daniel and Hanna have been sticking tight to each other and spent the night at home for a good nights rest.

Rachael is now medically stable on ventilator. Her heart rate is slightly elevated but within an acceptable range. Her kidneys are doing a great job of ridding the body of the excess proteins caused by muscle damage and breakdown. Often times the amount of proteins the body needs to dispose of causes issues with the kidneys. Not so with our Master Healer in charge. She is moving more in response to "noxious stimuli". This is a form of stimulus that causes movement by touch in various places.
Now the great news of this day:

As of 10:33 am Rachael's temp was at 99.6! We got to see it drop to 98.6 earlier this morning. This is without "ice" as we requested the ice removed late last night. Please continue to pray that the temp will stabilize at 98.6.

Jesus continues to show Himself to be the healer, the doctor in charge. We are so blessed with the talents of so many medical professionals that are applying their skills on Rachael. Venice Regional is doing a great job. God has assembled a mighty team here.
There are so many "little miracles" happening here. The results of YOUR prayer!!! It is truly availing much. We now understand that there is a world wide collection of prayer warriors. 'Viral prayer' if you will, going on from all over the states and the world. The call for prayer on Sunday night at around midnight was huge and we thank all of you!
There is still so far to go. We await the results of the MRI.

As the pace picks up the updates will be shorter. Thank you all again. It is truly an amazing witness to the world to see the response from the body of Christ. Please keep praying as we await MRI results. Also send up prayer for limited soft tissue damage the extent of which will not become evident for several days. All the Glory be to God!

Burt and Nancy

Rachael Hinkle Update #1

7PM UPDATE on Rachael Hinkle



Kevin & Christine Sullivan
Thank you all for waiting and praying! Nancy and Burt took a much needed nap ...

9:01 PM (11 hours ago)
Kevin & Christine SullivanLoading...
9:01 PM (11 hours ago)
Kevin & Christine Sullivan
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show details 9:01 PM (11 hours ago)

Thank you all for waiting and praying! Nancy and Burt took a much needed nap this afternoon and headed back to the hospital around 7pm. Here's what they shared at that time...

* They are still awaiting the MRI results which will hopefully give them some answers as to why Rachael has a fever.
* She has some reactionary movement in the eyes.
* She has responded to verbal commands, such as squeezing her hands and moving her foot when asked to do so. The time that she is responsive like this is short as she goes back to sleep but this is exciting news!!

Many have asked what they can do to help and right now they truely just covet your prayers for Rachael and for the family. When things settled down a bit, they will have a better idea of how people can practically help. So thank you to all who have asked!

I will try to keep you all as updated as possible. In the meantime, we've set up an email account for Rachael so you can send her words of encouragement. The family will read these to her while in the hospital. The email address is


Subject: 10:30AM UPDATE on Rachael Hinkle

An MRI is scheduled for concerns regarding her fever.

We continue in prayer that God will wake her up.

She is off sedation.


Christine speaking-I might add to pray not only for Rachael but also for Nancy & Burt as well as Dan and Hannah, her brother and sister. I imagine some amount of sleep deprivation will be settling in here soon. Pray for peace and comfort. Thank you.

4:45AM UPDATE-Thank you for continuing to pray!

Rachael has a gag reflex verifed by the pulmonary specialist and is able to move her legs and feet inreaction to a needle stick and an xray board slipped behind her back. We also believe she moved her left foot voluntarily. this is a great start. God is waking her up. PRAY-PRAY-PRAY

We thank you, our prayer warriors! Please continue.

Also her acid levels are getting inline as well. Glory be to God.


3:30AM UPDATE-Thank you for continuing to pray!

Rachael's temp has been climbing very slowly. Fears at first were that her temp would spike once the hypothermic protocol was stopped. Her fever did not spike. She is now off the Dilada and Antavan and as she wakes, we would hope for some signs of neurological activity. We have not seen any yet except for movements that can not be considered willful. We now wait on the Lord to awaken her. Please pray that the Lord will wake her up. His will be done.


Subject: 10pm UPDATE on Rachael Hinkle

10pm UPDATE:

Rachael's body temp is around 98.4. The target temp was 93. The closest they got was abt 94 earlier today. She is running a fever. Why we are not sure of yet medically, but we know it is what God wants for her.

She still will be taken off cooling and they will begin lowering her meds. Keep in mind she is still on the ventilator and she will need to be weaned off that at an as yet unknown time.

She is in the hands of the master healer and we will wait upon our Lord. Please pray around midnight for noticable neurological functions.

(Sent from my mobile.)

On Jan 2, 2011, at 7:58 PM, Kevin & Christine Sullivan wrote:

> PRAYER REMINDER: please pray at or for the MIDNIGHT test tonight. They will be taking the coolant off of her body and letting
> her body warm itself. A very critical moment.
> Updates on Facebook can be found on the church website, CC school, Pastor Don and my own page.
> Thanks-christine
> Sent: Sun, January 2, 2011 3:02:39 PM
> Subject: 3pm Update on Rachael
> I'm also updating on FB. Let me know if there is another means that you would rather be updated or not at all. Thanks~Christine
> ‎
> 3 pm UPDATE from Burt:
> The ultrasound of her heart showed just slightly under normal which we are told is to be expected. Praise God again as He moves His mighty hand on her healing. Blood work came up great and they are taking her off electrolytes etc.
> The next test is tonight at midnight. We are asking everyone to pray as that is when she comes out of the hypothermia. As she warms up the extent of any nurological damage will be revealed. We are holding fast to Christ Jesus and he is doing miracle upon miracle with each test or diagnostic.
> Please continue to pray, especially tonight at midnight. All glory to our God. Hanna is not aware of the severity of the incident.
> Burt
> Sent: Sun, January 2, 2011 11:08:15 AM
> Subject: PD's Update on Rachael
> Don wrote: "Christine's post above is the most up to date news. To fill in a few gaps, Rachel was helping Burt to install an antennae for his ham radio and it accidently touched the power lines. Nancy performed CPR until the paramedics arrived. The hospital is using a hypothermia procedure to bring her body temperature down to assist in slowing down any additional damage. She is under sedation and is not conscious and remains on the breathing machine. As you can see from Christine's post, Rachel is making some progress, praise the Lord! The doctors are taking a reactionary and not proactive approach as they are not sure which organs have been affected. The next 36-48 hours are critical and will paint a clearer picture of her prognosis. Her right ankle was also broken during the accident. Rach' is a strong young woman and has an awesome relationship with Jesus. She is far from being out of the woods, please continue to pray."
> (Sent from my mobile.)
> On Jan 2, 2011, at 10:13 AM, Kevin & Christine Sullivan wrote:
>> Eeg shows low amplitude normal brain activity. No seizures. Dr in charge stated that though this is good news, they can not be proactive in cases like this, only reactive. The next test in line is the ekg. She also followed the light on her eyes and is responding to neddle pricks etc. Dr stated she is tenuious and critical. Please no visitors at this time we will be in touch. She is much better than upon her arrival. Our God is awsome and making a move! Please, keep praying! She still remains unconscience.
>> Subject: Re:
>> hyperbolic chamber...that was wrong. They are bringing the temp down with "hypothermia to slow down body processes. a new technique with promising results. as she is warmed up it lessens chances of more damage."
>> PRAYERS NEEDED NOW-Rachael Hinkle, Burt & Nancy Wizemans eldest daughter, is at Venice hospital on a breathing machine after an accidental electrocution.
>> She has good vital signs and heart is beating on her own. She's going into a hyperbolic chamber to bring down the body temperature.
>> Please pray. More information as it comes in.
>> Christine
>> ____________