Zach update # 5

Sarah’s comments (with a splash of Tim)

No place like home

What an amazing day…Today, Tim read Psalm 138 and 139 which brought us to tears as we considered how God has been every moment of this journey fulfilling those promises. We were living in the midst of them!

2″I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.

On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.

The strength of our souls has been miraculously increased. I am in awe of the stability of my spirit right now. It is no testimony to me – only the greatness of our God! But my flesh is weak… 🙂 Even though we had a decent night sleeping (thank you for praying for that!) by about 11:00 AM I started to feel the incredible fatigue in my body.

We checked out two hours sooner than we thought we’d be able to! God is so in the details.

Change of pace


My brother Jeremiah (age 21) came to visit just as we were getting ready to check out so we were able to go and get breakfast together before heading over to Kellogg Eye Center where the doctor would check the eye and remove the patch. We had a WONDERFUL time at Angelo’s in Ann Arbor around the corner from the hospital.Thanks Betsy Howell for that AWESOME recommendation! It was outstanding! Crab cake and eggs benedict anyone???? That’s what I’m talking about… 🙂 It was a really nice reprieve from the intensity of the past four days. We got to talk about life and relationships and good stuff.

I think we’ll hit Angelo’s whenever he has his monthly exam under anesthesia (EUA). A friend of ours from CCS has a daughter who had RB when she was a baby also and shared, among so many other helpful things, that they’d always make the day she had the EUA special by going to a special restaurant, bringing a special stuffed animal or doll etc. Angelo’s will the restaurant of choice i think… 🙂

Zach’s first outpatient visit

His eye looked good when we took the patch off. Mostly puffy and shut so it wasn’t too traumatic. As we’ve been home he’s been able to open it a bit more and it just looks kind of pink and glassy. After they take the eye out they replace it with a porous ball to which they attach the eye muscles and which becomes covered with eye tissue. Eventually the body just absorbs that piece as the new eye and you never really see it anymore-it gets covered by the prosthesis.  It sort of becomes the new eye ball and the base of the new prosthetic eye, which is actually more like a thick contact lense that covers it. For right now, there is a clear plastic “place holder”–a spacer holding the place of the prosthesis covering Zach’s “special eye” that keeps his lids from losing their shape while he heals.  At six weeks he’ll begin the process of fitting for the prosthetic eye.  There’s a little clearish discharge, but he seems to be doing well.  He’s on tylenol to keep him comfortable, arnica for bruising, Pre/Post Surgetone (I love homeopathy!) for post-op recovery etc. Tomorrow I’ll start him on euphrasia, a great homeopathic eye remedy… 🙂

He paints the wayside flower…

We’re scheduled for a follow up next week and then in 6 weeks we go again for a EUA where they’ll check the other eye for cancer and also take the impression of his left eye for the prosthetic.  By God’s grace Greg Dootz, the ocularist who makes the prosthetic eyes, went out of his way to meet with us briefly and show us where we’ll be working with him. He also showed us his wall of patients (their pictures!) over the years. We’ve heard from numerous people that he’s simply wonderful to work with. He was so kind and encouraging.  He reassured us, as many others have, that kids who grow up with a prosthetic eye live totally normal, productive and healthy lives. We are believing it!

When you walk through the hall at U of M next time, look for his banner.  He personally designs and crafts every prosthetic fitting for each patient as their eyes change through time.  He’s a genuine artist.  Zach will have multiple prostheses through childhood and beyond.  If you look closely, you can see examples of his handiwork.  It reminds Tim of how we say God paints each lady bug.  Here is God’s helper to paint some eyes.


God is awesome and we love to give him the glory in all of this. Tomorrow I think, I’ll share some other thoughts on the specific mercies we’ve seen in Zach’s condition.

More in the morning. I must sleep…




Filed under Zach

17 responses to “Zach update # 5

  1. Angie Kandow

    Great is thy faithfulness! You are a blessing my friend and so is your beautiful family which we dearly enjoyed on Monday. I read James 1 this morning and have been meditating on the trials that we must face so our faith is complete and lacking nothing. You are in it and your faith in Christ is beautifylly susteing you. Praises!

  2. Julie Schultz

    I was just thinking last night how so much can change in a weeks time! We’ve been in constant prayer for all of you, and my kids are always running to the computer for “updates of Zach”. Thanks for sharing this amazing testimony with us! God is so good.

  3. Merylee Mumaw

    Glory in the Highest! Your journey continues to exalt our Father and brings me to my knees- right where I always need to be. We recently experienced some health trauma with our baby boy, (who is now 17!,) and were able to use the uncertainties in our lives to glorify our Heavenly Father and demonstrate God-given humility to our son- it was a great lesson for all of us! I will pray that you feel His protection and rest today. This reminds me of the lullaby that I used to sing to my children- “Hold me gently in your arms as I drift away to sleep. Wrap the bands of slumber ’round my eyes as His watch my angel keeps. Please be there with me to greet the day, always there with me to show the way. Live your life within me day by day, so goodnight my forever friend.” Michael Card

    Psalm 116:5-7 (New International Version)

    5 The LORD is gracious and righteous;
    our God is full of compassion.
    6 The LORD protects the unwary;
    when I was brought low, he saved me.

    7 Return to your rest, my soul,
    for the LORD has been good to you.

    Merylee Mumaw

  4. Kristene Crandell Rautio

    Awesome news . . .

  5. Laura Faunce

    Thank you for the detailed post…I have been wondering…and the kids have been asking. You have such an amazing gift of writing. And you should coin the phrase…”Sarah’s with a splash of Tim”! That sounds like a drink!
    So proud of you guys. Your faith comes through with such refreshing authenticity!! Enjoy being home!
    And next time you are in Ann Arbor- try looking for the “Fairy Doors” ! The girls would LOVE them!!!

  6. Luana Baker

    It is so refreshing to see how our dear Lord takes care of every detail in our need. I thank our Lord for His care for Zach, and you and the rest of your family! Our prayers continue for you all!
    P.S. Yes, God has truly gifted some with the artistry of constructing and painting prosthetic eyes. I remember my Mom telling me of watching such an artist fit and paint a few of my Dad’s eyes.

  7. Allison Marschean

    Sarah, Thank you for the update. We’re praying for Zach here in NY also! It is great to hear how encouraging your visit with the ocularist was!

  8. Dennis & Barbara Smith

    Hi Pastor Brown, Sarah, and girls–We are so encouraged to hear how things are going–wonderful answers to all the prayers that have gone up for Zach and all of you. May you continue to experience His peace and rest as you bring glory to His name through all of this amazing situation. God bless you all.
    Dennis and Barbara

  9. Lynda and Jim Champion

    Sarah and Tim: Jim and I admire your strong faith in and love for our awesome Father in heaven! He has not let you down this past week and I know He never will.
    The news that you have been forwarding as been so interesting and inspiring. T.Y. My (Lynda’s ) freshman’s dorm was on the corner across from Angelo’s so we have spent many hrs. there. Their cinnamon raisin bread is great!
    While Jim was attending law school Lynda worked on her el.ed degree while also working for the neat geologists there.
    Ann Arbor has always been so interesting and is like our home away from home. I am so glad you have had such good experiences there and will continue to do so.
    Sarah give our love to your mother and dad. We miss them!

    We keep you in our hearts and prayers. Let us know if we can be of help.

  10. Tim Osborne

    Praise God for His great works in and through you. When I stopped to consider the artistry involved in making a prosthetic eye, the wonder of God’s craftsmanship in each one of us leaves me in awe. This is much too wonderful for me to even consider. Thanks for your transparency and the encouragement you give to me and to others who struggle with our own sight issues.

  11. Jamie Nicholson

    It is a blessing to read the posts from your family about how God is at work in this situation. Thank you so much for sharing your hearts and His stories. With love & hugs, The Nicholson Family

  12. Jan Dodson

    I am a friend of Michele and Kelley Mohrman. I have cancer, too. Breast cancer. I empathize and sympothize with your precious son, Zach.
    My radiation treatments left me burned, peeling, and raw. But, thaank to God , I did not have to go to Chemo.
    I pray for Zach to endure any treatment that the doctors recommend.
    In Christ,
    Jan Dodson
    Little Rock, Arkansas

    • revtimbrown

      Thanks Jan, we are hopeful that all the cancer has been removed. That’s the case 80% of the time. We’ll keep a watch on Zach’s good eye with very regular exams. Hopefully he won’t need further treatment. May God bless you as you go through your radiation. May God give you peace and strength. Tim

  13. Marge Knable

    We just continue to Thank and Praise the Lord with you and for you. Your witness has been such a blessing to all of us. Thank you for allowing us to follow along on your journey through this blog – a first for me who is not a techie. We continue to pray everyday knowing the Holy Spirit will take exactly what you need to our precious Lord.
    Hugs from our hearts, The Knable’s

  14. Deanna Wenzel

    So very grateful for the blog type of info, it really keeps us in the loop for knowing how to pray. We love you all…and will continue to pray for Zach, the other children and you Sarah and Tim. TYLJC and TGBATG… now and forever. God’s Best always and with hugs. Deanna and Al.

  15. Pingback: Happy Birthday Zach! | . . . As I Follow Christ