Zach | CaringBridge

Zach’s Story

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Thanks for stopping by and checking in on Zach! We are so grateful for your prayers and support as we walk this journey. We will be using this site to send updates and prayer requests as well as praises.  Zach would love to hear from you - one way to communicate is via this site.

Zach was first hospitalized at 2 months of age and later diagnosed with a rare blood disease, Severe Congenital Neutropenia at 4 months of age. At the time, doctors weren't sure he would survive the pneumonia and complications, but he did! That began the countless trips to CHOP, learning to give our baby a nightly shot, hospitalizations for every fever & concern, and battling Crohn's Disease for many years. All the while learning much about a blood disease known as Kostmann's Syndrome or SCN. Zach continued to have many hospitalizations and was sick a lot but didn't let that sideline him. He worked so hard to keep up with his 3 older siblings! As a young boy he went through many difficult medical seasons and even to this day doesn't wake up feeling "healthy" like you or I but fights through. We are so proud of him!

Over the last 18 years, Zach has courageously lived life doing his best to be "normal" and healthy. He's a tough young man! A nightly injection (Zach has had over 6,800 shots!) and God's faithful hand on his life has, for the most part, allowed him to do that...but he daily lives with joint & bone pain, fatigue, continued risk of infection, as well as higher risk of leukemia and other complications.

After 3 years of much prayer & seeking wise counsel we are following the medical advice for Zach to undergo a Bone Marrow Transplant. He will be admitted to CHOP on 6/21 and the actual harvest/transplant from his donor sister, Rachel, will be 7/2. The initial hospital stay is approximately 6-8 weeks and then the goal to re-enter mainstream life around 6 months post transplant. We are anticipating a successful transplant which will allow Zach to truly live healthy. As we move forward we will be sharing some specific ways you can pray along with us as we know that Christ ultimately does the healing.

Thank you for coming along on Zach's journey ( to health. We are unsure of what the transplant road ahead looks like but prayerfully taking one step at a time.

Our family is confident that God will be glorified in this season and can't wait to see His healing hand at work. We are blessed by so many caring and praying for our family. Thank you!

Newest Update

Journal entry by Diane Oberholzer

The last 2 days have continued much the same as the ones before. More med-induced sleeping to keep the pain at bay has helped the days go by.  But having good pain control is important so that the body can put all its efforts towards engraftment and regrowing. This morning he felt a little better and actually talked for a bit. Crazy to realize that it’s been like 5 days since real talking. He only tossed his cookies a couple of times today so that is progress! His tenacity to fight through is amazing to me and noticed by so many on the floor. God is definitely sustaining him. It’s been a full week of no eating or drinking and again we are thankful for the IV nutrition to supplement while he is unable to.

Great news...drum roll please...Zach’s neutrophil count yesterday was 90 and today 100!!!! That’s a great start!

He’s still a crowd of the nurses told me that when the rooms are being assigned they actually ‘fight’ over who gets Zach! We’ve also got many cool God stories of His presence being felt in our room.

A shout out thank you to two different surprise visitors over the last with fresh fruit and another with a cheesesteak. 😄 Thanks for the company and conversation.

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Thoughts & Well Wishes

Munch Bee | 2 hours ago
Zach my mom Sheila and I are happy to read about your progress and recovery needs at this point of your transplant! We are praying 🙏🏼 for total healing for Zach in Jesus perfect timing! Diane you and your entire family are such an inspiration!! Sending hugs and big smiles for you guys🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗🤗
Carol Sensenig | Jul 17, 2018
Mark and I are praying for you every day that Jehovah Rapha the Mighty Healer will do a mighty healing in you. We pray that God  Will put ministering angels all around you, cover you with that Blood of Jesus and put the hedge of protection around you. Love and continued daily prayers.
heart 1 Heart
Kathi and Bill Walker | Jul 16, 2018
Zach,you continue to be in our thoughts and prayers! We are so  thankful to hear the good news that positive signs of the transplant are occurring. So sad that you have to go through all the rough stuff! We are praying for strength for you and your whole family as they go through this with you. God is able to do more than anything we can think or imagine! We are believing you will be healed. Blessings and prayers!
heart 1 Heart
Harry Pettyjohn | Jul 15, 2018
Zack:We have never met you,but know your mom and dad.Your grandfather Leon and I have known each other for over 34 years.He has been keeping us up to date on you and your situation.Even tho I don’t know you personally I believe that the Lord has called you and will be putting you to work for Him in the very near future.We have been and will continue to pray for your total healing.God has shown me John 14 for you,particularly verses 12-14.Remember that God has said many times that He will never leave you 
Harry & Babs Pettyjohn 
heart 1 Heart
Munch Bee | Jul 13, 2018
Zack you’re blessed with bravery in your heart!!! God is really with you in every breath you take, there isn’t a moment that passes where He’s lost track of you!!!....He who keeps you will not slumber, behold He’s who keeps Israel will neither slumber (briefly) nor sleep (soundly)..... The Lord never sleeps and He never slumbers Psalm 121:3-4
heart 1 Heart
Munch Bee | Jul 10, 2018
Zach, we’re all praying for you and expecting God’s best for your health!
”Lord you’re my strength the saving strength for me, your anointed one. You have saved me & blessed me, for I am your inheritance, you have fed me and lifted me up forever” Psalms 28:8-9
heart 1 Heart