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[Prayer Request for a friend's daughter] Family requests prayers for girl [sad update #126]
Altoona Mirror ^ | April 15, 2011 | Kristy MacKaben

Posted on 04/15/2011 6:49:30 AM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM

Family requests prayers for girl

11-year-old daughter still hospitalized, connected to tubes

April 15, 2011

By Kristy MacKaben (For the Mirror)

, The Altoona Mirror

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March 23 was a stormy day with high winds, rain and hail pounding some areas, while a tornado touched down not far away in Westmoreland County.

The tumultuous weather might have been a foreshadowing of events to come for the Sweeney family of Duncansville, whose youngest child, 11-year-old Regina, ended up hospitalized in Pittsburgh that night with a life-threatening illness.

In the three weeks since, Regina's parents, Kathy and Dr. Gregory Sweeney, have remained faithfully upbeat and thankful to God and the community that rallied behind them.

A medical enigma

Regina began breathing rapidly after developing a fever the night before, and her parents took her to the emergency room at Altoona Regional Health System, Altoona Hospital Campus. Kathy Sweeney said the doctors noticed her daughter's lungs weren't working properly and recommended Regina be taken to Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh.

The storms prevented a medical helicopter transport, so Regina was rushed by ambulance to Pittsburgh. There, the doctors began a battery of tests.

"Every department except Orthopedics has been in here trying to figure it out," she said from Regina's bedside in Pittsburgh. "She's been poked and prodded, and she's just so innocent."

Eventually doctors determined Regina had influenza, which led to a staph infection in her lungs. She's hooked up to a blood bypass machine and a ventilator. She has had surgery to remove blood clots in her left lung, is on blood thinners and at one point had four chest tubes. Regina's mother said she is weak on her left side, so doctors are unsure whether she might have suffered a stroke.

Sweeney said the doctors are keeping Regina sedated to lessen her pain and alleviate any fear she might experience if she were awake.

"When she wakes up, she's so scared. She's so traumatized," Sweeney said. "The lungs are painful, the chest tubes are painful and the tube is down her throat. Unfortunately, I'm getting used to it."

Her mother said Regina has begun to improve this week. She is down to two chest tubes, and there's a chance she might be able to get off the bypass machine.

Part of God's plan

The Sweeneys' seven other children - Bridget, 25, Theresa, 23, Kevin, 21, Brian, 20, James, 18, Brendan, 15, and Aidan, 13 - are trying to make sense of what has happened to their sister and help their parents at the same time. Greg Sweeney had to return to work, but Kathy Sweeney is staying in the Ronald McDonald House in Pittsburgh. The children who still live at home are staying with friends.

She said everyone in the family is trying to see the good in the experience.

Every night, Kathy Sweeney said she recites Regina's four favorite prayers by her bedside: "Angel of God," "Hail Mary," "Act of Contrition" and "Our Father."

"These are simple prayers that are close to her heart," she said.

Family friend Tracey Ingold of Cresson said people everywhere are praying for the Sweeneys.

"They're such a wonderful family, a faith-filled family. What an example they are setting through this whole thing," Ingold said.

St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Newry, which the family attends, has held a rosary vigil every night since Regina was hospitalized. Local churches and synagogues have also raised money and started prayer chains. A Facebook page, Pray for Regina Sweeney, had close to 2,000 members Wednesday. Kathy Sweeney regularly posts updates there, and supporters post words of encouragement and prayers.

"I'm getting cards and books and letters from all over the world. It is amazing how far-reaching these prayers are going. It's uniting all the faithful," she said.

The Sweeneys stress that what they really need are prayers.

"Prayers are the highest priority right now," Kathy Sweeney said.

Beyond the prayers

Two fundraisers are planned this weekend to help the family with expenses.

Regina's uncle, Larry Sweeney of Latrobe, is planning a spaghetti dinner from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Living Hope Church in Whitney. Tickets are $6 for adults and $3 for children.

"Prayers are first. We're asking for prayers, but we did set up a little account at one of the banks for Regina," Larry Sweeney said. Checks can be made out to Regina Sweeney and sent in care of Larry Sweeney to 1320 Waverly Drive, Latrobe, PA 15650.

"They're so willing to help others over the years and people are just willing to help and give back," he said.

Another spaghetti dinner is planned by family friend Jeanine Campagna of Hollidaysburg for 5 p.m. Sunday at the Cresson American Legion. Along with dinner, there will be music and a silent auction.

"I wanted it to be a fantastic event for the family. I wanted them to see the love and support and prayers for the family," Campagna said.

Hoping for a miracle

As Holy Week approaches, the Sweeney family hopes a miracle is waiting.

Little miracles have already happened in the weeks since Regina was admitted to Children's Hospital.

"As many times as her heart rate went down or she was bleeding from the tubes, I sent out a text for prayers and they [the doctors] found a solution every time," Kathy Sweeney said.

On Tuesday night, doctors at Children's were considering moving Regina to a different unit because of staffing issues. The family was comfortable with the nurses where she was, though, and didn't want her to be moved.

"My heart sunk and I told them I was not comfortable with it," Kathy Sweeney wrote on the Facebook page. After much discussion, Regina was able to able to stay on the floor.

"I finally cried with relief. The nurses are so awesome. I really did not want to start over. ... Jesus I Trust in You!" Kathy Sweeney wrote.

The Sweeneys are hoping their big miracle will come someday soon.

"I think she brought a lot of people closer to God," Kathy Sweeney said. "The nurses think she's the most blessed patient. That's what I tell her. If I didn't have all this support and prayer, I'd be weeping every moment. I just feel so positive. I want everyone to know her story and pray for her. We can't wait for everybody to meet her. When she's better, we'll have one big party."


TOPICS: Prayer
KEYWORDS: prayerrequest
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers up for her and her family. May God heal her.


51 posted on 04/15/2011 1:21:31 PM PDT by PDGearhead (Obama's lack of citizenship)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Ave Virgen Maria, please intercede for our Regina. In Jesus’ most holy name, Amen!


52 posted on 04/15/2011 3:14:37 PM PDT by tanuki (O-voters: wanted Uberman, got Underdog....)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers for Regina and her family.


53 posted on 04/15/2011 3:45:31 PM PDT by mimaw
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Praying that our heavenly father will heal Regina from the top of her head to the tips of her toes. Give the Doctors wisdom/ Supply all the families financial needs and also fill her family with Gods peace that passes all understanding. If anyone in that room is lost, may they see the glory of the Lord and have the chance to be saved. In Christ Jesus name I pray...Amen


54 posted on 04/15/2011 3:54:19 PM PDT by blueyon (The U. S. Constitution - read it and weep)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers for her health.


55 posted on 04/15/2011 4:50:02 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayer sent to Mary Queen of Angels and all her Angels+


56 posted on 04/15/2011 5:54:19 PM PDT by Highway55
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Praying for Regina.


57 posted on 04/15/2011 6:18:18 PM PDT by mojo114 (Pray for our military)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayer sent to Mary Queen of Angels and all her Angels+


58 posted on 04/15/2011 6:46:40 PM PDT by Highway55
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I’ll definitely add Regina, and her family, to our Parish Prayer List!


59 posted on 04/15/2011 7:00:44 PM PDT by SuziQ
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I will pray for her protection and safety tonight.

May God give her special mercy and protection.


60 posted on 04/15/2011 11:27:54 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Lord, please heal Thy servant Regina and comfort her family.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, in the company of saints in Heaven we pray, amen.


61 posted on 04/16/2011 10:21:58 AM PDT by annalex (http://www.catecheticsonline.com/CatenaAurea.php)
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To: momtothree; trisham; Cronos; kosta50; Kolokotronis; wagglebee; dsc; Deo volente; MarkBsnr; ...
Two fundraisers are planned this weekend to help the family with expenses.
...
Another spaghetti dinner is planned by family friend Jeanine Campagna of Hollidaysburg for 5 p.m. Sunday at the Cresson American Legion. Along with dinner, there will be music and a silent auction.

We just returned from the spaghetti dinner at the Cresson American Legion. They hoped 200 people might attend, but 800 showed up! Praise God, this will really help with their mounting expenses.

Here are some updates this weekend from Regina's mom on the Facebook "Pray For Regina page:

I am home now; but had two phone calls already from Greg. First they thought maybe she was bleeding from her trauma this morning and maybe she was going to need another bronchoscopy if positive they would have to take out the double lumen and we would be back at square one; so we prayed the rosary. Greg called and said no they do not think she is actively bleeding and we will stay the course;Praise God!
Then he called her name and she opened her eyes and looked at him!!!!! So their fear of brain damage from her heart stopping this morning I believe is no longer a concern(at least for us). And she is tolerating the new pressure on her left lung. So keep up the prayers; God is listening!!! Jesus I Trust in You!

62 posted on 04/17/2011 5:14:43 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

prayers continue


63 posted on 04/17/2011 5:27:47 PM PDT by Tribune7 (We're flat broke, but he thinks these solar shingles and really fast trains will magically save us.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Of course!One memorare right now and more prayers later.


64 posted on 04/17/2011 5:28:12 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Thank you for the updates. I will pray again for the dear girl.


65 posted on 04/17/2011 5:38:14 PM PDT by little jeremiah (Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. CSLewis)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Praying.


66 posted on 04/17/2011 5:51:21 PM PDT by mojo114 (Pray for our military)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
Latest update (keep the prayers coming, please):

Well I guess today was good. But the she has started bleeding from her left lung. The doctors are trying to stop the bleeding; this doctor we have now does not seem very positive. So God really needs to show him that despite what they are saying Regia can do it. She will get better because God can do all things! They get their knowledge from God. So dear Lord give the Doctors wisdom tonight. I need prayer warriors tonight!!! Jesus I Trust in You!

67 posted on 04/17/2011 5:57:51 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers ongoing.


68 posted on 04/17/2011 6:02:17 PM PDT by Lorica
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp; Alamo-Girl; Amityschild; AngieGal; AnimalLover; Ann de IL; aposiopetic; aragorn; ...

PRAYERS UP.

PRAYER REQ PING

Here are some updates this weekend from Regina’s mom on the Facebook “Pray For Regina page:

I am home now; but had two phone calls already from Greg. First they thought maybe she was bleeding from her trauma this morning and maybe she was going to need another bronchoscopy if positive they would have to take out the double lumen and we would be back at square one; so we prayed the rosary. Greg called and said no they do not think she is actively bleeding and we will stay the course;Praise God!
Then he called her name and she opened her eyes and looked at him!!!!! So their fear of brain damage from her heart stopping this morning I believe is no longer a concern(at least for us). And she is tolerating the new pressure on her left lung. So keep up the prayers; God is listening!!! Jesus I Trust in You!
on Saturday

Well God has gotten our baby through another near death. This morning the ECMO machine had a malfunction and Air was heading for her; so they had to shut off the machine and chest compessions. So everything has started up again but we now have a bit of collapse on the right sided and we are waiting to see how much bleeding it has caused. I was not here Greg was and he is a little shaken.
So we ask Dear Lord for continue progress and that little Regina continues to heal.
Jesus I Trust in You!
on Saturday

Wow! today has been both scary and Blessed. The Doctors just came to me around 3pm when Father Rizzo was visiting and Sallyanne Allen. They said are you on board with this. I said with what? We are going to put a double lumen tube down with the anesthesiologist which each will go to a different lung. So each lung is set with its own ventilator. This will give the Doctors the ability to rest the right lung and exercise the left lung. If we can get the left lung to expand it might be able to support her and it will be our first positive step to get off ECMO. Scary but so far its working. All the Fellows came in on this because it is so rare. So I pray that it all stays in place and helps with what we need. I thank you all for your prayers! Today was a miracle that they wanted to try this! And hopefully they will be able to do this for other kids in the future. Jesus I Trust in You
on Friday

So we just finished round; At the moment she is stable but her lungs have not really improved yet. They are increasing her nutrition with the hopes that will help her body fight. She is a fighter when she is well this will truly be a testament to prayer. It will be all God’s doing all the Glory will be given to him as it should.
So we face another day with Faith and Trust; The Lord is my Shepherd There is Nothing I Shall Want! Jesus I Trust in You!


69 posted on 04/17/2011 7:51:03 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Quix

Thanks so much for the update. Prayers continuing for this dear child, her family and the medical staff.

God be with them.
Tatt


70 posted on 04/17/2011 8:53:34 PM PDT by thesearethetimes... ("Courage, is fear that has said its prayers." DorothyBernard)
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To: Quix

Thank you for keeping us informed. Prayers continue...


71 posted on 04/17/2011 10:37:36 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: thesearethetimes...; Alamo-Girl

Thanks tons for your caring prayers.


72 posted on 04/17/2011 10:42:09 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers up for this little lady and her family/friends.


73 posted on 04/18/2011 4:06:20 AM PDT by wolfcreek (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsd7DGqVSIc)
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To: Quix

I will lift up Regina in prayer.


74 posted on 04/18/2011 4:12:31 AM PDT by Joya (Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house ...)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp; Quix

Prayers up in Jesus’ name. Thanks for the ping Quix.


75 posted on 04/18/2011 10:02:29 AM PDT by houeto (All during his formative years, Barry prayed to allah.)
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To: houeto

THANKS FOR THE PRAYERS.


76 posted on 04/18/2011 10:30:41 AM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: momtothree

Another mom to three here. Stress beyond belief. We went thru similar with our then-11 year old. Today he is a strapping 27 year old. I pray Regina and the Sweeney family enjoy the same, full blessed recovery.


77 posted on 04/18/2011 10:38:53 AM PDT by EDINVA (wh)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

More prayers.


78 posted on 04/18/2011 1:13:21 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: momtothree; trisham; Cronos; kosta50; Kolokotronis; wagglebee; dsc; Deo volente; MarkBsnr; ...
Hi folks,

Regina's mom just asked again for prayers. Things are not looking good at this point:

Well Prayer Warriors its now or never! They just told us there is nothing more they can do! They are trying one more medicine tomorrow but they do not have much hope. I do though. I know we can have the miracle! But it will have to come tomorrow! Jesus I Trust in You!

79 posted on 04/19/2011 1:48:51 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Sorry to hear the news Dr. Kopp.

Praying for Regina and her family...

Blessings,
SZ


80 posted on 04/19/2011 1:53:11 PM PDT by SZonian (July 27, 2010. Life begins anew.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Maybe the Lord bless Regina and her family. I’ve got my head bowed in prayer right now.


81 posted on 04/19/2011 2:01:23 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("In Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others." Romans 12:5)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Praying now. Please keep us posted, friend.


82 posted on 04/19/2011 2:05:37 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: trisham

Thanks all.

We’re heading over the mountain to get together with friends and family at Regina’s parish, St. Patrick’s in Newry PA, at 7:00pm tonight to pray for her. Please join us in prayer especially at 7:00pm tonight.


83 posted on 04/19/2011 2:10:06 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers up for Regina. May God grant her successful treatment and return her healthy and happy to her family. Amen.


84 posted on 04/19/2011 2:12:33 PM PDT by TheOldLady
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

I will hold Regina and the Sweeney family in prayer that the anticipated treatment tomorrow will be fruitful an provide the miracle her mom and all seek.


85 posted on 04/19/2011 2:16:10 PM PDT by EDINVA (wh)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Thank you for keeping us posted. Still praying for her.


86 posted on 04/19/2011 2:18:28 PM PDT by NEMDF
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Yep. Prayers up.


87 posted on 04/19/2011 2:27:38 PM PDT by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers lifted.


88 posted on 04/19/2011 2:30:56 PM PDT by TASMANIANRED (We kneel to no prince but the Prince of Peace)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp
It is the season of miracles.

I pray for her recovery.

89 posted on 04/19/2011 2:47:01 PM PDT by mware
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers continue for precious Regina and her family.


90 posted on 04/19/2011 3:29:51 PM PDT by mimaw
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

More prayers coming for little Regina. Dear Lord, please heal this little child. Give comfort and strength to her parents and family. Amen.


91 posted on 04/19/2011 3:38:17 PM PDT by momtothree
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers up


92 posted on 04/19/2011 4:05:45 PM PDT by patriot08 (TEXAS GAL- born and bred and proud of it!)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp; Alamo-Girl; Amityschild; AngieGal; AnimalLover; Ann de IL; aposiopetic; aragorn; ...

END TIMES PING LIST PRAYER REQ:

Hi folks,

Regina’s mom just asked again for prayers. Things are not looking good at this point:

Well Prayer Warriors its now or never! They just told us there is nothing more they can do! They are trying one more medicine tomorrow but they do not have much hope. I do though. I know we can have the miracle! But it will have to come tomorrow! Jesus I Trust in You!
4 minutes ago

Regina had some bleeding around 4am but is now otherwise stable. She is scheduled for a bronchoscopy around noon. So prays appreciated around noon today. We pray they get all the blood out of her left lung; so it can expand fully and work. Thanks pray warriors! Jesus I Trust in You!
6 hours ago


93 posted on 04/19/2011 4:08:21 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

What time zone?


94 posted on 04/19/2011 4:09:02 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Praying now for Regina and her loved ones.


95 posted on 04/19/2011 4:16:21 PM PDT by mojo114 (Pray for our military)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Prayers continue


96 posted on 04/19/2011 4:38:38 PM PDT by Tribune7 (We're flat broke, but he thinks these solar shingles and really fast trains will magically save us.)
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To: Quix

EST.

We had a nice turn out, but the outlook is grim. Thank you everyone for your continued prayers. This family desperately needs a miracle tonight.


97 posted on 04/19/2011 5:16:56 PM PDT by Brian Kopp DPM
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

In my selfishness, I did not visit them in PICU. I heard thru the grapevine that things weren’t going well & I felt intimidated & kinda silly since they don’t know me. But she (and her family) have been in both my prayers & my thoughts. My four year old has mentioned her in her prayers, too. We are certainly trusting that God can turn this around if He wills to be done.


98 posted on 04/19/2011 5:24:21 PM PDT by surroundedbyblue
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Certainly.

Lord, God, Please, by your Mercy, Your Broken Body . . .

Bring this girl to your wholeness and healing . . . in every way, in every respect, Cause everything not of you to leave her body, her home, her vicinity, . . . for your Glory . . . in Your Name, Lord, Jesus.


99 posted on 04/19/2011 5:27:17 PM PDT by Quix (Times are a changin' INSURE you have believed in your heart & confessed Jesus as Lord Come NtheFlesh)
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To: Dr. Brian Kopp

Continued prayers for her.


100 posted on 04/19/2011 5:55:24 PM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (~"This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Amber Lamps !"~~)
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