Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What a blessing I received yesterday...As I was talking with Robyn, she walked in Tommy's room and said to him, "would you like to speak to Jill?" Before I knew it, I heard the strong and perfect voice of Tommy Van Zandt. I have to say that I was surprised and amazed at the progress being made in Tommy's speech with the trach. Currently, the respiratory therapist prepares the trach to enable speech for a specified time and later returns it to non-speech mode. Although, he sounded absolutely fabulous, speaking is somewhat difficult and exhausting at this point. The staff is currently working with Tommy to increase ease and duration of speech. Also, praise is due for the marked improvement of Tommy's blood condition which has been problematic since day one and the healing of various conditions including skin breakdown inherent in this situation. The doctors are also making progress in pinpointing the source of some pain Tommy is experiencing. In short, God is at work and your prayers are of the utmost value to Tommy and Robyn. They are absolutely being sustained by your prayers and God's hand! Also, Ross and Jack are making the trip to Denver today which is sure to be a great joy for Robyn and Tommy! Praise God for sending such great encouragement through healing! Please pray for the boys as they travel and for God's blessing over their visit. Also, continue to pray for continued healing and that physical therapy will be able to start on schedule. -- "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles...On Him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, 10-11

Friday, March 20, 2009

Tommy and Robyn are continuing to wait patiently for the resolution of various medical issues before moving forward with rehabilitation. However, as Robyn reiterated, this is a marathon, not a sprint, so this is simply a time of preparation for the days ahead. Please continue to pray for healing, rest and perseverance. Praise God for His goodness and the gift of endurance.
-- "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." Hebrews 12:1-3

Monday, March 16, 2009

God is continuing to grant patience and reassurance to Tommy and Robyn as they wait for optimum physical conditions to start physical rehabilitation. Praise God for His peace! Tommy and Robyn specifically request your prayers for the resolution of various medical issues in order for Tommy's rehabilitation to remain on schedule. -- "But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord..." Jeremiah 30:17

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Tommy is starting intensive training to master talking with the trach. The staff will be working with him 3 times a day towards this end. He is also beginning a regime of range of motion exercises which keep the muscles and joints working correctly. Praise God for the progress in these areas and the amazing way in which He is sustaining both Robyn and Tommy. Please continue to pray for healing and rest for Tommy. Also, please pray for the staff at Craig. Pray for just the right people to care for Tommy and for the rest and well being of the staff as their jobs are difficult and exhausting. -- "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sweet news came from Robyn today! She was able to hear Tommy's voice briefly today for the first time since hospitalization. The staff at Craig is working with Tommy and the trach to increase talk time slowly being careful to protect Tommy's lungs. Also, Tommy passed the initial swallow test which will allow the staff to cautiously move towards allowing Tommy to eat! At this point, physical therapy is on hold as the staff waits for certain physical healing to occur. Tommy continues to have a great attitude. Please continue to pray for decrease in swelling of the spinal cord, healing of body and rest for both Tommy and Robyn. Praise God for the encouragement He provided for Tommy and Robyn today! -- "Those who hope in me will not be disappointed." Isaiah 49:23

On behalf of Robyn, she writes: Many, many heartfelt thanks to everyone! I am getting wonderful e-mails, cards, etc. that continue to bless both Tommy and me. We are in awe of how wonderful and supportive people, even some we have never met, have been to us. God truly is good and I continue to pray that anyone who has been touched in any way through our trial will personally experience God's presence in their lives.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Praise God for the beautiful weather and scenery in Colorado! Yesterday, Tommy was able to spend some time in the Craig Hospital sky bridge which is a glassed in area with an incredible view of the surrounding area. In His loveliness, God presented the perfect day for viewing! John James, an old friend from Arkansas, who was also a patient at Craig and currently a doctor in Denver, visited with Robyn and Tommy and was able to share incredible insight and encouragement. Again, thank God for placing so many helpful people right in Robyn and Tommy's path! Also, Robyn reports that the staff at Craig is young, energetic and very positive...a great environment for recovery! Please continue to pray for the subsiding of all swelling in the spinal cord, physical healing and the strength to continue with grace every day. -- "The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matthew 7:25

To send cards or packages to Tommy and Robyn: Craig Hospital, Attn:Tommy Van Zandt, 3425 S. Clarkson St., Englewood, CO 80113

To e-mail Robyn:

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Tommy and Robyn arrived safely at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital Thursday afternoon. They are extremely pleased with the facility and staff. The first two days have been filled with testing to help the staff determine the optimum course for Tommy's rehab. Please pray for reduction of swelling in Tommy's spinal cord as this remains a major issue. Also, please pray for strength, encouragement and healing. Praise God for the provision of Craig Hospital ( And, praise God for the glorious plans He has for Tommy's life. -- "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" John 11:40

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tommy and Robyn will be leaving for Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver tomorrow morning. Robyn will be allowed to fly on the medical transport jet with Tommy which is an amazing blessing. Also, housing will be provided on the Craig campus for Robyn upon arrival. God has truly been at work providing for Tommy, Robyn, Ross and Jack in every conceivable way! Please pray for strength for Tommy, a smooth flight and that God will provide the perfect staff to care for Tommy at Craig. Praise God for His abundant provision and perfect peace! -- "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?...So do not worry...But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:26,31,33

Monday, March 2, 2009

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers asking for wisdom and discernment in regards to the decisions which had to be made regarding rehabilitation for Tommy. After many days of planning to go to Baylor rehab in Dallas, circumstances last week prompted the doctors to revisit the idea of sending Tommy to Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver. Craig is widely considered to be the best rehabilitation center available. Praise God that He worked out every detail! Today when a representative from Craig visited Tommy, she felt Tommy would benefit from their program and accepted him as a patient. At the beginning of the meeting, the rep informed the family that a room would not be available for a week. However, by the end of the visit, a spot had become available immediately! (Don't we love it when God works quickly!) As a result, Tommy will be leaving for Denver later this week. Due to the massive amount of preparation required to ready Tommy and Robyn for the trip, it has been requested that visits not be made to the hospital at this time. If you would like to contact Robyn directly, her e-mail address is Also, Ross and Jack will be staying in Fayetteville with Tommy's sister Vicki and brother-in-law Mark. If you would like to help provide meals for them, please e-mail Kelly Stuckey at Please pray for rest and strength for Tommy and his family, ease of transport to Denver, and praise God for removing anxiety and fear in the wake of the change of plans. God is so good! -- "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:6-7