Some years ago I prayerfully looked for a Web designer who would work with me on ACT 3 site. I interviewed several talented people. I made a choice to hire Sean McCallum, who lived only three doors down from the house I lived in for nineteen years in Carol Stream. I had never met Sean until the day I interviewed him over a Mexican lunch in Wheaton. I did not realize that a number of my friends were also his friends or that a number of people I knew had known a lot about Sean's life since he was a young teen. The interview I had that day led to Sean designing our home page and managing some of our Web work over the years since. It led, more importantly, to a very deep friendship. I have come to love Sean and came to appreciate him as a brother in only a matter of a few months. He is the age of my daughter so at times I feel like he is one of my "sons" in the faith. I hope he is OK with that.
As I got to know Sean I soon learned that he had a most unusual story. Around the age of ten he contracted a virus that did damage to his heart over the course of the next four years. The condition is called "restrictive cardiomyopathy." The result of this virus was his heart was destroyed and without a transplant he would have died as a teenager. Christians all over the area prayed for Sean and his family. A donor heart was found and he got a transplant. He has now lived eighteen years, married his lovely wife Heather, has three children and enjoys a great quality of life. As a result of this amazing providence God also allowed Sean to become my friend these many years later. I am grateful that he did. I would have suffered a loss that I didn't even know about at the time Sean's ordeal took place.
One of the big trials that Sean must endure each year is an annual all-day test on his heart at Northwestern University Hospital. He went through the ordeal last week. As in the past I dedicated time to special intercession for my friend. He sent a report the day after the procedure that I include below with his permission. I think you will find it both interesting and provocative in a helpful way.
Praise God for his provision. After a morning of anxiously waiting for doctors to begin what has become a routine but always emotionally taxing test, I made it to the cath lab. As usual, I had a sense of peace and calm. The test itself went very smoothly. I have increased sensitivity due to nerve regeneration so I can actually feel the pinch of the t-rex as it grabs a piece of heart tissue for biopsy.
The results were overall very positive. Heart pressures and function are excellent. There was a grade 0 rejection which means there is no rejection in the heart tissue. The coronary arteries remain consistent from previous years with only a minimal percentage of blockage, consistent with my age group.
There was an increase in the overall width of the coronary wall. This news came as an emotional punch however, doctors have reassured me that this is not time to panic. Northwestern is ranked number 1 in Illinois for their transplant program and continues to rank high nationally. Some transplant centers aren't even conducting the type of testing that would detect the increase.
I'm encouraged that doctors will be taking action to control future coronary disease by replacing one of my current medications with a more advanced one. They've also encourage me to loose weight and increase my exercise regiment. In addition, I'll be making an effort to improve my dietary habits. I'll ask you all for your prayer and accountability it that effort. Again, overall, very encouraging results from this most recent round of tests. God continues to protect and encourage me. God also refocuses my attention on him during these times.
I walk away from yesterday's experience feeling re-focused and especially appreciative of these last 18 years with the expectation of years of service for Christ to come. I'll ask you to continue to pray for the same in my life as well as your own.
I will continue to live to glorify God in my life and work and am so grateful for friends and family who have supported me in prayer and encouragement.
Sean is a real blessing to many and uses his life and talents for the glory of God. He is a wonderful husband and dad. I am asking God for many more years for this young friend. I hope some of you will do the same. You can follow Sean on Twitter if you would like to know more. You will enjoy reading his comments and learning things from him as a brother in Christ.