St. Augustine wrote: "The miracles worked by our Lord...are divining works which raise the human mind above visible things to understand what is divine." St. John Paul II explains: "These miracles demonstrate the existence of the supernatural order which is the object of faith. The universe in which we live is not limited merely to the range of things accessible to the senses or even to the intellect itself - conditioned by sense and knowledge." The universe is open, limitless to the immeasurable and unconditional truth of God's love and mercy through Jesus who saves and redeems all sinners; sinners who through conversion, believe and have faith by the graces of The Holy Spirit in God.
Hello, Katie Prayer Warriors and all of our #TeamKATIE family and friends!
One month ago, June 9th was the one year anniversary of Katie's journey in God's Glory. We acknowledge the daily vigilance and commitment of Katie Prayer Warriors near and far. We celebrate Katie - alive and making daily progress even in microscopic baby steps. We remember and reflect upon the roller-coaster ride that began in 2014 and where we are a year later, 2015. We claim victory in the Most Holy Name of Jesus Who through the gift of the Resurrection reminds us of the unfathomable power and majesty of The Most Holy Trinity - at work in all of our lives for good. We overflow with gratitude for the countless prayers that keep our family centered on faith, hope, and love; your prayers sustain our expectation of miracles. We offer thanksgiving for the continued Masses being said for Katie's health needs and restoration/recovery intentions. We offer gratitude for the people who write letters and send cards as well as those who call, text message, email, and Facebook message their continued thoughts and prayers. We especially thank those closest to Katie's heart who visit her and remind her that she is a source of life, love, friendship and joy. We offer our continued appreciation for the many, many people following Katie's Caring Bridge site - your messages and prayers, your uplifting words, your sharing in this journey as well as your tributes to Caring Bridge in Katie's honor - remind us of the power of prayer and the magnificence of God's call for each of to act as instruments of His love and healing. We offer our heartfelt thanks to those who pray for Katie's miracle of full function, restoration and recovery of all things Katie Schwab - her brain, her mind, her body, her life, and her spirit - especially those of you who include Katie in your prayers during Mass and Adoration of The Blessed Sacrament. Lastly, we offer immeasurable gratitude for Katie's Care Team members. Katie has been surrounded by such great care givers from St. Joe's Medical Center to Kindred Hospital both here in Mishawaka to a stint at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago to great love and support in Portage at Regency Hospital to our beloved HW location here in South Bend. God has placed so many incredible care team members in Katie's life! They each have a role to play for His Glory as they treat Katie with care and dignity while serving as instruments of God's healing and restoration. We couldn't do this without them, nor could we do any of this without you!
Katie Schwab is a Type One Diabetic; over this last year, she has been repeatedly labeled a "brittle" Diabetic. Katie was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes in May 2008, but it has taken even greater tragedy for us to finally understand the cross that Katie bears as a Type Oner. This is why we embrace the cause of Type One Diabetes with great fervor. We are called to do more to bring awareness to this disease - especially regarding its impact on the brain as well as the life or death reality it holds for those burdened with this very specific cross.
A year ago, Katie was a college graduate living out a dream job surrounded by people (family and friends, alike) whom she loved, admired and respected. We know that Katie was going about her normal life - working, preparing for summer basketball camps, hanging out with friends, attending a wedding, dancing till the break of dawn (with some of her closest friends) when her insulin pump (her manufactured life support of which she was 100% dependent) failed to work. Because she was required to wait 48 hours for her new insulin pump, she had to resort back to self injections of insulin in order to live. Decisions were made - like decisions we all make because we are a people who take everything for granted. Those decisions resulted in a life-threatening emergency. We don't know the exact details of what Katie experienced. We don't know the fear or the pain or the confusion she may have endured. What we know is that Sarah was stirred awake early Monday morning on June 9th, 2014 to find Katie in an emergency state of aspiration and unconsciousness. We know that 911 was called. We know that an ambulance came. We know that Katie's blood sugar basically bottomed-out. We know that Katie was rushed to the ER. We know that seizure activity began. We know that Katie was placed in a medically-induced coma with the gravest of prognosis. And we know that our lives changed as Katie went from being a Type One Diabetic, to a "brittle" Type One Diabetic who was also a victim of Traumatic Brain Injury.
Everything that has been a part of this 13 months story stems from the grace, mercy and love of an Awesome God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This has been a daily, an hourly, test of faith. A year calling us to complete trust and surrender through the humble submission of ourselves to God's Divine Will. This isn't because we are unique. This isn't because we are special. This isn't because of anything that we ourselves orchestrate or control. It is simply because God brings light out of darkness. He makes right and good out of all things. God creates and recreates as an invitation for each of us to follow, believe, and live in His unwavering, constant, perfect love and friendship. This is where this 13 months journey continues to take Katie and our family - and hopefully each and every one of you - closer and closer into the Heart and Arms of The Most Holy Trinity through the intercession, prayers, and advocacy of our Blessed Mother and all the Angels and Saints.
The last month's scripture readings at Mass have been so poignant and beautiful. Most times, it seems as if God has intentionally shared these parts of The Bible with us specifically for Katie and for our family. We know it sounds selfish to think this way, but consider the situation and look at what God reminds us:
From Sunday, June 14th:
"That I, the Lord, bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom. As I, the Lord, have spoken, so will I do." - Ezekiel 17:24
"We walk by faith, not by sight." - 2 Corinthians 5:7
The Parable of the Mustard Seed (the smallest of all the seeds of the earth which ultimately bears the greatest size and purpose) - Mark 4: 26-34
From Sunday, June 21st:
"Give thanks to the Lord, His love is everlasting." - Psalm 107
"They saw the works of The Lord. They cried to The Lord in their distress. He brought them to their desired haven." - Psalm 107
"Whoever is in Christ is a new creation." - 2 Corinthians 5:17
"On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to His disciples: “Let us cross to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as He was. And other boats were with him. A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was great calm. Then He asked them, “Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?” They were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this Whom even wind and sea obey?” - Mark 4:35-41
From Sunday, June 28th:
"God did not make death, nor does He rejoice in the destruction of the living. For He fashioned all things that they might have being;" - Wisdom 1:13-14
"I will extol you, O Lord, for You drew me clear and did not let my enemies rejoice over me. O Lord, You brought me up from the netherworld; You preserved me from among those going down into the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you His faithful ones, and give thanks to His Holy Name. For His anger lasts but a moment; a lifetime, His good will. At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing. Hear, O Lord, and have pity on me; O Lord, be my helper. You changed my mourning into dancing; O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks." - Psalm 30
"I will praise You, Lord, for You have rescued me." = Psalm 30
“My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay Your hands on her that she may get well and live.” - Mark 5:23
"She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. She had heard about Jesus and came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak. She said, “If I but touch His clothes, I shall be cured.” - Mark 5:26-28
"Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction." - Mark 5:34
"Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.” - Mark 5:36
“Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” And they ridiculed Him. Then He put them all out. Jesus took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with Him and entered the room where the child was. He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!” The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around." - Mark 5:39-42
From Sunday, July 5th:
"Our eyes are fixed on the Lord, pleading for His mercy." - Psalm 123
"Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong." - 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
"So He was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying His hands on them." - Mark 6:5
Friends and family, Katie Schwab is doing well. She remains a prisoner in her body which sucks (for lack of a better word), but Katie is triumphant in the Spirit of Perseverance as she continues to make small baby steps of progress. Moreover, she actively participates in weekly Healing Prayer Team visits with our friends from Little Flower Catholic Church, and on two different occasions The Blood of Christ touched her lips. What a blessing! Katie continues to increase in sounds and improves her sight tracking. Katie continues to make slow and steady progress as she continues to practice swallowing as well as her many efforts and attempts to follow commands and respond to (and interact with) her environment. There is nothing easy about Katie's current situation or circumstances. There is very little that she controls. She is 100% dependent on her Care Team which includes her unbelievably awesome therapists. Katie has many odds stacked against, but she is cradled in the arms of our Blessed Mother who advocates to God for biblical proportion miracles of full restoration and recovery. Katie's wound sore has healed. Her arms continue to show less and less contraction. She has improved the straightening of her fingers as well as her legs. Katie's new therapy chair provides better alignment for her back and her hips. During Katie's Speech Therapy, she continues to practice swallowing with things like pudding, juice, yogurt, and various types of baby food. Additionally, Katie's ST involves electronic stimulation on her facial muscles in hopes of waking them up and getting them to work properly. Katie's OT and PT folks work her hard and give her the business with such dedication and unconditional love and care. It is such a gift to be able to share in Katie's various therapies and to watch her progress - day to day and week to week. Granted, progress seems snail-paced and inconsistent, but it is there. God is there - making things perfect in His time! Katie enjoys showers three days a week. She remains on a 24 hours a day feeding tube, so her nutrition is monitored and controlled. Katie's blood sugar numbers are steady. There have been changes to her insulin sliding scale and her long-acting insulin dosages, but overall, her numbers are good. Last summer, there was significant issues with Katie's vitals and the regulation of those, but there has been significant stabilization as Katie's heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, oxygen levels, and such all fall in safe, healthy, normal ranges. There continue to be extremely slow yet incremental decreases to her anti-seizure medicine which God willing proves to increase alertness and interaction with no negative side effects. Katie uses facial expressions which are a combination of voluntary and involuntary responses and reactions to whatever is happening. And we all believe that Katie hears everything that is going on around her. Katie has a lot of good days and great moments as she walks hand-in-hand with God as He brings healing to her brain, her mind, her body, her spirit, and her life. It isn't easy. It isn't fun. It isn't what anyone would choose for him/herself. But none of that matters, because this journey is Katie's acceptance to God's Divine Will. God is at work and present here with her and all of us following her story and sharing in the sidelines of God's Glory. Katie suffers - but it is temporary - because we trust in and know God's Mercy. God is using Katie as an instrument of conversion and love. She is a platform of His joy and His miracles; and it shows! Thanks and praise be to God. Amen!
There is much that could be said and get anyone of us started and we could talk for hours about Katie and her journey, but here's where we are today: slow and steady with forward progression. We all believe this is a great place to be! Thanks and praise be to God. Amen!
Our prayer requests and intentions for Katie include:
1. For spontaneous recovery and biblical proportion miracles of full function, normalcy, healing, recovery, and restoration of all things Katie Schwab - brain, mind, body, life, and spirit.
2. For increased and improved and consistent responses from Katie to commands and directions.
3. For us to be who, what, and where Katie needs us to be so that we can best help and support her as well as best serve God.
4. In thanksgiving for all Katie Care Team Members and Katie Prayer Warriors and #TeamKATIE folks everywhere.
5. In praise and thanksgiving to God for allowing us to play a part in the building of His Kingdom for His Glory.
In closing, please know that we love you and appreciate you. Thank you for loving Katie and proving daily the power of prayer.
God's peace and blessings upon each of you. Amen. Remember, God uses suffering for good.
PS: Let us give a shout-out to Saint Josemaria Escriva, patron Saint of Diabetics, like our favorite Type Oner, Katie Schwab. His Feast Day was June 26th. May Saint Josemaria Escriva continue to advocate and intercede on Katie's behalf for God's Glory as we await the miracle of Katie's full restoration, recovery and function of brain, mind, body, life and spirit in Jesus' Most Holy Name. And may all who carry the cross of Diabetes, especially Type One Diabetes, be sharers of God's light and joy because they know better than most the precious gift of each moment. Additionally, let us pray for a cure to this debilitating and deadly disease. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.