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The death toll from Hurricane Florence has risen to over 30 people. While I don’t know any of those who died, I do know the mother of a critically injured 17-year-old young man, Jadon Olsen. On September 14th, Jadon and his father Billy, a pastor at St. Luke United Methodist Church in Laurinburg, North Carolina, stopped to move a tree limb out of the road so other cars could safely pass when two other tree limbs fell and hit them both in the head. Billy needed 12 staples in his head. Jadon suffered a fractured skull and a brain bleed. He had a three-hour surgery to stop the bleeding and relieve pressure on his brain and has been in critical condition, on a ventilator, for the last six days.

Just getting Jadon through the driving rains and winds of Hurricane Florence—and keeping him alive—was considered a miracle. 

I met Jadon’s mom, Elaine, online when I had my breast cancer website, I remember numerous times, talking with Elaine about her breast cancer diagnosis, her family and her faith. One particular time Elaine was out walking on a back country road when a thunderstorm came up. There was lightening all around her, and I stayed on the phone with her until she was safely home. Right now she’s walking through a worse storm, one every parent fears; a storm that threatens to take the life of her child. This time I can’t stay on the phone with Elaine, but I can pray for Jadon and his family, and ask if you would do the same thing.

Yesterday doctors were able to remove Jadon from the ventilator, but he’s still not conscious. He is fighting for his life! His mother posted this on Facebook…

Everyone says Jadon loves life. He loves people. He’s never met a stranger. He steps up to the plate when called upon. Of his own accord, he mentors kids younger than he is. He carries groceries to cars on food bank days. He ushers at church. He volunteers with Special Olympics, VBSes, and the Appalachian Service Project. He buys veterans meals when they come into Zaxby’s, where he works after school, and he’s ready with a quarter when you need an extra sauce and don’t have any change. He has a verse ready when your spirit is downcast and a smile when yours is upside down. He’ll give you a ride; he’ll give you his shirt. He’ll find a way to work around a problem by creating a new solution.

Even if you aren’t someone who prays, I hope you will boldly ask God to heal this young man and strengthen those who love him and are tending to his medical needs. His life depends upon it. Thank you, sweet friends.

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  1. I absolutely believe in the power of prayer. I was recently declared in remission from Multiple Myeloma and believe that the healing power of prayers was instrumental in my recovery. Jadon is now in my prayers and his family are in my thoughts. Wishing you a speedy recovery young man! XO

    • God bless you, Michaele. I’m happy you’re in remission. I, too, am considered NED, No evidence of Disease, of breast cancer and know it was the healing power of God and His Son, Jesus. So grateful for your prayers for Jadon. xoxox, Brenda

    • Hello Friend, You’re right… The world needs more people like Jadon, whose only agenda is to help those around him in whatever way he can. Thank you, Squeak, for your prayers. xoxox, Brenda

  2. Jadon is an extraordinary young man. I’m watching him sleep just now. He has been awake many times and has movement in 3 limbs. He is still not responding to commands, but his eyes are open, he’s breathing on his own, and there is mobility. Each day is a gift in and of itself. We appreciate the many prayers. Thank you, friend. Love you.

    • We’re all praying for Jadon’s recovery. You say his eyes are open, he’s now breathing on his own and you see mobility…Thanks be to God!

    • Dear Elaine, You are walking through the most difficult time in your life, but you know you’re not alone. Thousands in your community and beyond are praying for Jadon and your family. You must be exhausted and your entire being is on overload. So glad you have access to a Ronald McDonald house that allows you to stay near Jadon. First thing this morning I checked FB for an update. I placed my hand on my computer screen and said another prayer as I will continue to do. Sending my love to Jadon, you, Billy and Mimi. Brenda

  3. Praying for this remarkable young man. He and his family are fortunate to have such a good friend as you. Thank you for alerting us to Jadon’s plight and please keep us posted.

  4. Oh my! Bless this young man and his family. I work at a university hospital and see a lot of brain injury-the recovery is slow but it can truly be miraculous. Keep the Faith!

    • Thanks for the encouragement, Laura. I’m sitting here, hundreds of miles away and removed from the immediacy of the moment, but your words have given me hope. xoxox, Brenda

  5. We need more faithful men of God like Jadon! Praying for him, his family, and his medical team. To God be the glory! He is faithful and gracious. Thanks for letting us know to pray.

  6. May this family be sustained by all those reaching out in prayer for their benefit. You left some encouraging words on my blog this morning and I will pray the recovery continues. It may well be a long road of recovery and may they continue to be sustained.

    • Thank you, Alana. You’re so right. It will be a long road. Jadon’s mom and sister are staying in a nearby Ronald McDonald House and are getting the first real sleep they’ve had in a week. I appreciate you and your prayers. xoxox, Brenda

  7. My heart goes out to this beautiful young man, Jadon. I am a lifetime believer and living testimony as to the miracles of God!!! I will pray faithfully and fervently for him to make a complete recovery ASAP!!!!! I will also pray for his mother, your friend, Brenda, and his father. We definitely need a lot more people like them in this world today!!!!! Lee Moczygemba

    • Dear Lee, Thank you, sweet lady! It means a lot to Jadon, his family… and me… that you’re praying for Jadon’s complete recovery. You and I both know the power of prayer. God is awesome! I hope all is well with you. I was thinking about you the other day… worrying about you coming down your staircase. Love, Brenda

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