Saturday, December 1, 2007


This is Gillian. I have been reduced to a mess of tears reading all the comments posted on here from people we know and love and people who only know us through friends. It is truly overwhelming to hear of so many people praying and even fasting for our precious son. I cannot put into words the support and encouragement this brings us. Thank you, thank you, thank you. We just can't say it enough.
Here's a quick update:
Joseph is just finishing up his 2nd MRI. They do a post-op MRI to see what the tumor looks like now after surgery. I think this is just standard procedure. They won't know any more about what the tumor is until Wed. or Thurs. b/c they have to do numerous tests on it.
Joseph is recovering very well from surgery and was quickly bossing us around and being his passionate self, which was so wonderful to see. He is only awake for moments at a time due to the morphine and just the fatigue, but the moments he is awake he asks for mommy and daddy, his car, to take off the IV, to go home, etc. It breaks our heart to pieces to not be able to take him home, but the fact that he is talking to us, moving around, kicking, etc. is a very good thing.
His eyes look normal; there is no infection; his blood pressure/heart rate are back to normal; there is no swelling. Praise to God for that!
We will probably be here at least until Wed. or Thurs. They have not told us when we can expect to leave; I guess it will depend on the results of the pathology. We do appreciate visitors, but please try to not visit btn. 1-3 and after 7. Joseph has not slept well here and I really want him to get back to taking naps and going to bed at his normal time. But we do love seeing our friends so please feel free to come and visit a few minutes.
Allen and I are hanging in there. We both go through times where the tears just won't stop, and then there are moments of laughing and talking with friends where everything seems normal. I do know that if it weren't for the legions of people praying I would not be even able to type this. Allen and I both feel your prayers and have felt so strengthened and encouraged knowing so many people care. We are truly carried by your prayers, Joseph and Allen and I. Thank you all for the many ways you all are showing love to us--meals and food, toys, magazines, praying, fasting, calling, emailing. We are trusting that God is working all things for the good of those who love him, who are called according to His purpose. We love you all and covet all your prayers.


Melissa P. said...

thank you for taking the time to update those of us who are checking on your boy!

continuing to pray for rest, patience, peace, and comfort for your family. and for wisdom, dillegence, sensitivity and timeliness for the doctors, nurses and specialist who are caring for your family. and most of all i am praying for healing in little joseph's body and for the lord to be glorified through his life.

continuing to pray,
melissa (rosenbaum) platt

The Roley's said...

We are sending our love and praying for you.

Matt & Kelly

courtney said...

Just wanted to let you know that you are all in our constant thoughts and prayers. I pray for continued stamina and strength for you and Allen. May God give Joseph the ability to rest and sleep as well as he is able.

Alice said...

Gillian and Allen,
We are so grateful for the updates on this site. The Tootles' small group in Knoxville is lifting Joseph and the two of you up in prayer. We're believing God for rest in the middle of this time of uncertainty and peace that passes all of your understanding.

Alice and Steve Sword

scott cunningham said...

Thanks so much for the update on you guys, Gil. Much love and prayer from Waco for all of you, and especially Joseph, will continue. Paige and I are overwhelmed with sadness thinking about what you must be going through. I am so glad, in light of this tragedy, that Allen got this residency. I can't imagine you guys being anywhere else than Atlanta right now.

Sara B said...

Oh Gilla and Allen,
I am crying out to God and longing for good news and comfort to come in the most supernatural way. May God the Father make his face to shine on all four of you and give you peace. He is being glorified.
I love you Gill. I hope you know how I have not stopped praying since I heard on Thursday night.
Sara B, Andy, and Anne Clare Cline

sarah and maddy said...

Thank you so much for letting us know how Joseph is doing. I have been thinking about you every moment since I read the first e-mail. Please know that Maddy and I love Joseph and all of you very much and we are holding you in our thoughts and prayers.
Sarah and Maddy

Katie Crittenden said...


Just wanted you to know that we are in constant prayer for you, Allen, Joseph, Holly and your entire family. We are seeking God for all of the requests that you have made known, and praying that you will find comfort in God's promises that never fail.

With Love,
Lane and Katie Crittenden

Anonymous said...

We heard about Joseph through the grapevine of Nashville....we are praying for you all. We send our love from Colorado.

Drew, Jenny and Samuel Matthews

Lisa Brown said...

Hi To All,

Your precious Joseph is constantly in my thoughts and prayers and so are all of you. I pray for The Father's hands to hold you and carry you through. I love you all. You are always in my heart.

Lisa Brown

Grace and Kate Morris said...

We love you and are praying for you. Y'all mean so much to us and we're sure that Joseph is the cutest kid in the hospital! Love, Kate and Grace

Reed's mom said...

Thanks for the update. I have not stopped thinking and praying for Joseph, you, Allen, and your family. My heart has continued to weep with you all. I know I can only imagine what you all are experiencing, all I do know is Our God is great and mighty, as I continue to pray that His Spirit is comforting you all and surrounding you with His loving presence! We will continue to lift up this precious little boy. We love you sweet sister! Erica

Carrigan Family said...

Precious family - I go to church with Ashley and Jason Smith. As I read your updates it just brings back memories or our journey that began October of 2006 with our precious boy, Ryan. Please know you are in our prayers .... this is a heartwrenching road to which you have been called - I can testify to that, but I can also testify that God will meet you in ways that you could never begin to imagine. I am so sorry that you are in this place ..... take comfort in knowing that many are pouring their hearts out before the Almighty and we wait with expectant hearts knowing He hears and is attentive to our cries.

Mary Lee Carrigan
Gallatin, TN

trmills said...

Hey Gillian and Allen, we wake up every morning with Joseph and all of you on our hearts and minds, and look forward to getting news of what your day has held, so thank you for taking the time to keep us updated. Many are praying for you here, as are our families in GA. Much, much love to all four of you, and your families, too.

Vann and Norma said...

We probably check for updates every hour. I know that is silly but we have you constantly in our prayers. Thankful that you have such wonderful friends surrounding you.
Vann and Norma

Sara said...

Gillian- Its so good to hear from you. Our hearts are breaking for you all right now. Rob and I are praying for Joseph and for all of you. We love you and praise God for His provision for you during this time.

- Rob and Sara Wade

Megan said...

As I just learned of Joseph's situation, I have begun to notify friends here in North Carolina so that we can all be praying for you too. Please know that we are with you in prayer.

Cousin Megan

sj said...

Thanks Gilly for taking the time to write. I miss you guys and hate being away. I am also soooo encouraged by all these messages.
the body of Christ is amazing

Courtney said...

we are faithfully praying for yall.

our families and friends are joining us in praying that the Lord would heal your little Joseph.

much love,
jimmy and courtney armistead

Erin said...

Thinking of all of you as you go through this....all my hopes towards a positive outcome.
Erin (friend of Jen's)

tiffany said...

We are continuing to pray and think of you. We have friends in Portland, OR praying for you all as well.

The Cadenheads

Audrey said...

Gillian! I didn't realize until Ashley reminded me this morning that I actually know you! You were there to experience my water breaking, right next to you in that hotel room. Hopefully that eventful memory (as you were pregnant with your daughter, right?) we'll give you a light giggle this evening as you face this. Praying constantly. "Holy Spirit, please soar in Joseph's room tonight with comfort, peace, joy, hope, rest, laughter, and healing. Oh, Lord God, I beg you for this!" -Audrey (Gallatin, TN)

Chip Hall said...

Praise God there was no infection. I will continue to update folks I know that are praying. Peace be with you all.

katy said...

We are praying for God's grace and peace to you -- you are all in our thoughts a great deal.
Katy & Tim

Anonymous said...

Gillian and Allen,
We are so heartbroken over the news about your little guy. However, we have great hope that God will restore his body back to health. We are in constant prayer for you and your family. Continue to keep us posted...we check regularly on Joseph's progress.
Andy, Lindsey (Hightower), and Jack Harman

Lisa and Daniel said...

Dear Gillian and Allen,
We haven't seen you in a few years, but please know that our prayers are with you and precious little Joseph.
Love, Daniel and Lisa Chang (Scottsdale, AZ)

Anonymous said...

You are constantly in our thoughts and prayers. We are so encouraged by your faith and the countless prayers being offered up for Joseph. "The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zeph. 3:17. We are praying for a peaceful night for all. love, Martha and Karl

Abbie said...

Dear Gillian and Allen,
I am praying for Joseph tonight and will continue to lift up your family. Thank you so much for the information on the blog.

Along with you, I will cling to the Shepherd of Ps23, who will lead, restore, guide, and comfort you.

With lots of love,
Abbie for the Baileys

rustyandkeri said...

we used to go to intown and heard about the news of your son through some mutual friends. i also currently have a 3 yr old son i cannot imagine the emotions you are going through! know that joseph and your family will be in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Ashley Smith's and I have been following the news of your sweet little Joseph. I am so saddended to hear about all you guys are going through, but you sound as if you have a fighter on your hands! I hope he stays strong, and I will be praying for your entire family to remain strengthened in the days to come as you find out what the next step is. What a blessing that you guys have God on your side, because you know without Him, we are nothing. I will continue to check on you daily and pray, pray, PRAY that God will heal your precious little one!
Mandy LeMay (Hendersonville, TN)

sj said...

night night everyone

MOM said...


J.R. and Juliette said...

Guys, I'm unable to express the grief we feel for you. Living through our own son's dark days was the most traumatic experience of our lives, and I can't imagine what you must be feeling. I'm sure that the fear and uncertainty feel overwhelming at times, but just know that there is a world of people hurting with you and willing to do whatever they can to help carry you through this time. We care for you both deeply and hope to see Joseph playing and smiling with you again soon.

Anonymous said...

Ashley's MOPS group in Hendersonville is praying for little Joseph and for both of you. Especially for rest! And I am praying for answers to come quickly and for wisdom and discernment for all the doctors and nurses involved.


Anonymous said...

Gill-I was just thinking back on all the college days of hearing of God's faithfulness and how He carries us...thinking about Colorado and all we learned about trusting God through that crazy SPECIAL...those verses we memorized on our interesting "road trip"...the camps where we worshipped and dressed up like is the time where you, my precious friend, just rest. He is holding you. We continue to weep with you and pray with you tonight.

Allison & Jeff said...

Gillian, Allen and family,

We are a part of the NHA family in Franklin and we want you to know our family has has been reading the updates on this site since yesterday, and I know many others in our school family are as well. We are all praying so very hard for you. As a mother, I cannot express how much my heart is breaking for your family. I sincerely hope that you all continue to feel the prayers covering you, and that they bring you some peace. Please tell your precious son that he is lifted up and loved by many who he does not even know.

Continuing to pray for a miracle ...

The Goodwins said...

The Goodwins and all of New Hope Academy are praying for peace and rest for Joseph.
Brian and Jacilyn

Lisa said...

Dear Gillian and Allen-
Simply talking with Beth & BJ make us feel as if we know you...
Please know that more and more people in Charleston are praying for Joseph and your family. We can only imagine what you are going through with each passing moment, yet we know that you are safely held in God's arms. I'm so glad you have such a close circle of family and friends on whom you can lean, day or night.
Like so many others, please know that we will continue to pray...

Jimmy & Lisa (Beth's sister)

Matthew Pearson said...

I'm so saddened by all of this. I think of your family and little Joseph all the time and I can't imagine how it must feel. We are praying out here in CA.

Matthew (& Genna & Abby & Noah) Pearson

susanbrian said...

Dear Gillian and Allen: Just received an e-mail from your mum, Pauline, this morning. We are so sad that you all have to endure this awful worry. The photos that have been posted are lovely and it is nice to have a picture in ones mind when praying for his recovery. We hope and pray that next week brings good news and that some of your worrying is eased. It is difficult to know what to say at a time like this, how to comfort you. Knowing you and all your family, Gillian, we know you have all the love and support you could possibly have. Love to you you all, Brian, Susan, Killian, Marie, Shane and Susan

Anonymous said...

We are praying for Joseph as you wait for news. Know that he is in God's hands and God will not fail you or him. I pray for Joseph's healing and for strength for his family as you wait. Tell Lynn to hold you tight when you need it! (I work with Matt T in Tuscaloosa.)

anthony taaffe said...

Dear Gillian, we are all praying for little Joseph at this very moment, we were so sad to hear of Joseph's condition, we will continue to pray for him till he gets better
Love from,
Anthony,Maria Stephen and Jenny

lauren klein said...

Gillian, I am so very sorry to hear this sad news. Joseph is a beautiful little boy. I haven't met your husband but if he is anything like you than Joseph is so lucky to have such wonderful and caring parents. Stay strong. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Much love, Lauren

Mary Elizabeth Hoehn said...

Gillian, Allen, Holly and Joseph~

You ALL are in not only my prayers constantly but my friends, family, and Church in San Diego as well. Please know how much you all are loved...even across the country! I will be praying for Joseph's patience and healing, your rest, and for the Lord's miracles. Gillian - you have been such a large part of my life and my faith...I know God is going to do something amazing with this in a way that HE can only do! May the Peace of the Lord be with YOU!

Much love~
Mary Elizabeth

Andy, Lindsey, and Jack Harman said...

Allen and Gillian:

Your faith and strength has been a ministry to me and my family during this difficult situation. Our church in Johnson City is praying for you and your family and that the Lord would heal little Joseph.

Andy, Lindsey, and Jack Harman

Karin and David P. said...

Dear Allen and Gillian,

We just the news from Grandma and can not imagine what you are going through. I look at my own four children and wonder how this can happen to a child. But we have to trust in God and his plan! We will pray for little Joseph everyday and hope that your family finds strength and comfort during this time. Love, Karin and David P.

Anonymous said...

We are a family from Skyline Church of Christ in Jackson, TN. Home church of Karl Warren. We have been praying for Joseph and your family for several days. So thankful that the LORD has blessed you with good news. We will keep praying that Joseph will improve daily and find a treatment that will rid him of this tumor. Blessings,
Danny and Susie Walker