God has a plan: choosing between Mayo, Cincinnati Children’s, and Wash U

Not even so much as a hair can fall from our head without the will of our Father in Heaven.  I sincerely believe this — God has a plan.  Through tears I ask you to tonight to pray for us as we make a decision soon as to where we will bring Ava for surgery to repair her brachial plexus injury.   

 She is in a huge amount of pain today as she is recovering from a myelogram yesterday.  It bothered her nerves (more nerve trouble, imagine that)in the low part of her back.  She can barely walk and is hunched over as she attempts to move.  We weren’t about to leave Mayo until we had an appointment with a pediatric neurologist who is very confident Ava will bounce back by Friday.  Very scary for us and just a ton of tears from Ava. 


The Yager family with roots from our church took us in for two nights. They were such a blessing to us, and Ava was thrilled to make new friends!

Mayo’s proposal is again a new and different one than we heard last week from Cincinnati as well as Washington University in St. Louis.  Brachial plexus injuries in children Ava’s age are extremely rare and, in general, there isn’t a textbook for how to proceed. All are proposing nerve grafts and nerve transfers to get back some shoulder and elbow function by next spring, although it will never be close to normal.  The hand and wrist are where the differing opinions come into play (still very minimal function) and we are made aware Ava has more than a decade of procedures and follow-ups to come.   It gets super technical and I guess I just want to spare the details right now. 

Here’s the point.  

Ava will undergo surgery in about 6 weeks.  May God gives us clear direction as to who will do it. 

Then, her nerves will grow at the rate of an inch a month.  May God give us patience as we wait.  

Finally, please pray for our family.  Our pastor certainly spoke words of wisdom the week after her accident. He said in the four years he has been serving our church, he has come to know that each and every pew in church has folks in it with a heavy load on their hearts. No two loads are the same but we all bear one. 

It is so true.  This is just our load right now. It hasn’t been easy for our kids, my husband or me.  Yet, you walk the same road as we do…riddled with bumps and curves.   I can’t express enough the appreciation I have that you have stood beside us on our journey.  Please pray for us again tonight.  

We got her a pink donut to help ease the pain.


15 thoughts on “God has a plan: choosing between Mayo, Cincinnati Children’s, and Wash U

  1. Rita, squeezes for you and your family. I pray that you feel God’s love tonight as you sleep and that in the night you receive clarity. I think about those that don’t know God and go through things like this. God is so good!
    “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall in to the heart of the sea.” Psalm 46: 1-2
    “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Eph. 3:20-21


  2. I have followed your story and kept your family in my thoughts and prayers. I was reading your last couple of posts. I am hoping and praying a clear decision will present itself for you to choose a set of Dr’s who can help your dear daughter. It sounds like therapy is helping. I commented awhile back on your fb post. My son had nerve damage from a fall from a horse. We were in PT and OT. After 2 months of OT, they referred us one step further to a specialized hand therapist. Essentially an OT with extra training specific to the hand and fingers. I saw a HUGE improvement. The splint she designed “just worked” (for lack of a better way to put it)! For my son, it was like finally getting to the last hurdle to climb. Suddenly, what had been plateaued, finally began improving again.
    Sorry so long. Just a little insight if things seem to be getting “stuck”.
    Shelly (Marti) Hunnicutt


  3. Your family is in my prayers as they continue to search for the best plan for your little Ava. Your strong faith will get you through this as we know as believers that God is in control and as hard as it is to be patient and not get frustrated with his answers we know he has her and your family in his best interest and will take care of you all as he feels is best.
    Angela (Janssen) Grant


  4. Thank you for the update. I’m praying from South Africa with confidence that God will clearly lead you as you make these important decisions! With love and prayers, Beth


  5. Praying for your family! I just wanted to share some encouragement. Almost 8 years ago my husband was in a severe motocross accident. Among other things, he too had a brachial plexus injury. When Sioux Falls doctors said there was nothing that could be done, I packed him up & we went to Mayo. They were wonderful & so thorough. Surgery was an option for his nerve damage, but with his injuries, they did decide to take a wait & see approach, so 3 months later we went back. The doctors were stunned at the results of his nerve studies. Did he take steroids they said? No! We just serve a God who still is in charge & believes in miracles! Today, his nerve issues are fully resolved though he still lives with constant reminders of that day. But, I praise God that he’s still with us!


  6. Rita, I don’t know you, but certainly know your family and I feel like I know you through these posts. Prayers for you all as you ponder these choices. My family can attest to miracles coming out of Mayo, but of course every situation is different and you must choose the one that feels like the best fit for Ava and offers the most hope for your particular situation. Whatever you do will be the right choice for you, with God’s help..


  7. I was in a bad horse accident three years ago and the things the doctors told me that I would never get back–my sense of smell and some hearing–are coming back. I have become a better person and living a better life because of my accident. God does have a plan and he is going to make your little girl a fighter. A fighter for everything. She is going to be one of the strongest people you know and she’s going to work harder than everyone else for everything she deserves. Keep that smile on your face for your baby and never let her see that you’re scared. I will keep praying for her and your family. Be patient and you will feel our prayers working. You will see them working. God never gives us more than we can handle—and he only picks the strongest to deal with the toughest. Good luck, keep your head up, keep listening to God for wisdom, and we will all pray for goodness. God Bless.


  8. I understand only to well what you are going through and my heart goes out to you. You seemed to have more time than I did and had the chance to look into different options. With Owens #7 Facial nerve severed we had only 14 days to get it fixed or it would never be able to get fixed. Again like you we were told that it would never be back to normal, and with 1/4 inch growth repair a month we knew it was going to take a long time to repair the 3 inch transplant they did. I see every day he is not the same, but I also see that people who didn’t know can not tell that there is damage there. He does not notice it as much anymore and he knows that this was just part of the life he was destined to live. We had amazing and wonderful doctors that were able to do exactly what needed to be done when it needed to be done. I hope that you find the same. I never thought I could get through something like this but I just kept telling myself that He does not give you more than you can handle.


    • Kris, thanks for your story and experience. I remember the accident now but hadn’t been aware of his facial nerve transplant. I think you are right, God does not give us more than we can handle…and j sincerely believe He is working through this accident in ways I cannot yet understand. Again, thanks for your words.


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