THE DAY WE NEVER SAW COMING…BUT GOD DID!
It was supposed to be just a normal trip to the doctor's office for a check up and some medication but what happened next we would never see coming...BUT GOD DID
! My wife, Lindsey, took our 2 year old son Joel to the doctor on January 2, 2013 because he had been very lethargic and having a hard time breathing. Upon further review and an x-ray our pediatrician told my wife and I he thought it was his heart. He advised us to quickly rush Joel to Lake Charles Memorial to see a pediatric cardiologist. Our hearts sank!
On our way to Lake Charles we were reminded of a Scripture God gave us the week before as our verse for 2013. Psalm 62:5-8 says
:For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. 7 On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. 8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.
Within the next couple of hours we were sitting in the ER at LC Memorial receiving heart wrenching news that Joel had been diagnosed with severe pulmonary hypertension which was causing congestive heart failure
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is when the small arteries (blood vessels) of the lung become narrowed and pressure builds up in them. The right side of the heart must pump harder so the blood can get through the lungs to receive oxygen the body needs. Over time, this causes the right side of the heart to become enlarged.
Over the next couple of days the cardiologist and pulmonologist ran dozens and dozens of tests and scans. It broke our hearts as we stood helplessly by our son as he screamed in horrific pain as nurses injected needles into his tiny veins countless times. The next 48 hours were some of the hardest days of our lives but we had an overwhelming peace that only God can give.
Within two days Joel was life flighted to Children's Hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana. We spent the next 26 days there and discovered that Joel not only has pulmonary hypertension (PH) but even a more rare case of PH called Idiopathic Pulmonary Hypertension. Most patients have a cause for their PH, such as a hole in the heart or another heart condition, but in Joel's case they have yet to find a cause. This disease is so rare that only 1 in a 10,000,000
people are diagnosed each year. Since there is no cause, then that also means there is no cure. There are currently only three options available to treat Idiopathic PH: medicine for life, lung transplant, or MIRACLE!
We pray daily for the latter!
Upon discovering that Joel had Idiopathic PH the team of cardiologist and pulmonologist in New Orleans felt it was best to send Joel to another hospital with more specialized PH doctors. One of the best PH centers in the world is located in Houston at Texas Children. So we asked thousands of people following Joel's story to help us pray that Joel would be accepted there. On January 30, 2013 we received the greatest news, Joel had been accepted and within 8 hours we were in Houston.
Today Joel, Lindsey & I are currently at Texas Children being seen by some of the greatest PH specialist in the nation. Joel was brought here to be put on a lung transplant list, but the doctors are trying their best not to go that route. They currently have him on a 24/7 IV medication that is being infused directly into his heart as well as a number of other oral medications. The PH team is very optimistic but also has a very high respect for this rare disease.
We do not know what the coming days look like for Joel and our family. We pray in the coming weeks we will be able to go home soon, but we also know that there will be a new normal in the Belt home. Joel will be on 24/7 medication by way of a Broviac port in his chest, which will require much of our attention. We also will be traveling to Houston from Jennings at least every other week for the first couple of months for echocardiograms and blood draws to see if the meds are working. We currently do not know what the future holds other than the truth that GOD IS IN CONTROL.
Barring a miracle, this will be a life long journey for Joel and our family. The money we are raising will help cover:
- Travel and lodging expenses
- Food while we are away from home
- Medical bills
- Medicine and medical equipment
- Opportunities to bless others going through difficult situations
- Any other unforeseen expenses
We have spoken Psalm 118:17 over Joel since day one and we believe it with everything that is in us: Joel will not die but live, and will proclaim what the Lord has done.(Joel's name was added)
We choose to look at all this not through just what we can see but what we know to be true. Not just by sight but by faith. We don’t have the strength to go through another thirty days of this, or thirty minutes for that matter. But God does
. God is with us, supplying us with strength we need and leading us in triumph. We choose to look at all of this and trust not what is temporary but what is eternal. Not what is in front of our eyes, but what is written in God’s Word.
The devil doesn't know who he has messed with. Our family is coming back stronger and louder with a passion to see Jesus glorified through this trial. Many people will come to know Jesus because of Joel's story!
Thank you for your prayers and support. Please let us know how we can pray for you. We love you more than you know.Josh & Lindsey Belt
(AKA TEAM UNSHAKEN)
If you would like to follow Joel’s journey, go check it out at: https://www.facebook.com/joshuabelthttp://m.youtube.com/user/joshdbelt