Linda Rivera update from her brother-in-law:

Linda will be discharged from her “home” of Desert Springs Hospital for the past year and to an unknown rehabilitation center. Her tracheostomy opening was closed and she is breathing room air on her own without difficultly, no supplemental oxygen. Linda is talking, has a lot of muscle weakness and atrophy, but should be able to be rehabilitated in these areas.

Linda’s condition is less serious than before, though still subject to change and setback. Having said that she has otherwise accomplished great milestones in her recovery. Her liver may not be as sick as I originally thought. Though she does weep fluid from it, it accumulates at very slow rates and may, in fact, be due to low protein levels from malnourishment over the past months. If so, her prognosis improves tremendously.

Rich is looking for rehab places in Colorado, Bakersfield, CA, and any place in northern California. I will be looking into quality rehab places up our way. Rich’s priority to get her into the highest quality rehab center.

Linda’s recovery has been pretty much a “Lazarus-type” healing. Rehab should take a year to complete. This is excellent news. Good medicine, good nursing, and all under the umbrella of strong faithfulness of Rich to his wife and of God’s faithfulness to them both.

A lab value for Linda shows that her liver is making progress in its ability to manufacture proteins from dietary amino acids. This lab value is borderline normal and reflects she has good liver synthesis capability to utilize dietary foodstuffs for normal physiology. This implies that her liver is compensating for the brutality it has endured over the past year and is an excellent commentary on just how well her liver is healing. The lab work does not tell the whole story nor does it say that her liver is healthy. It does suggest, however, that she does have improving and/or good residual liver function and that her malnutrition over the months is steadily improving. Linda is eating and breathing on her own. We take these things for granted. She is getting back these basic “gifts” she never fully appreciated before this illness began.

Both Linda and Richard were able to speak to me on the phone. Linda sounds good, upbeat and cheerful. Up to now she has been held up in prayers. Now, she faces rehabilitation. Now, she will need to engage actively her own spirit to face the challenges of physical therapy. For her to get back to do what any of us do as a matter of routine and without effort will require her to develop an Olympian athlete’s attitude of perseverance and endurance. She has an excellent support system in Richard and their kids. She has us Rivera brothers, sisters, and next generation of Rivera – Sanchez family praying for her and sending messages of support to Rich and Linda. She has Christian brothers and sisters as intercessory prayer warriors seeking in love God’s will for her recovery and direction in life. The Bible speaks of companionship as “A threefold chord that is not easily broken (Ecclesiastes 4:12)” In my talks with Richard, Rich and Linda have embraced and wrapped themselves around their relationship with their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We pray this threefold cord that underlies the true strength of their wills and perseverance to also be what enables them to develop endurance during the next year or so of physical therapy and rehab. There is strength in numbers when faith, hope, and love are focused on the Lord to answer our prayers.