UPDATE (Tuesday, April 24)

Here's an update from Pastor Robert: 

"I wanted to let you know I am getting better and so appreciate your prayers. My night sweats and headaches are better, and my blood levels are rebuilding themselves. And I got a good report from the doctors. It's a slow process, but I am going in the right direction. 

I have been so encouraged by your comments and your prayers. I am so grateful and love you all so much."

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UPDATE (Monday, April 23)

We have lots to celebrate! Pastor Robert's blood results are looking good. He continues to take walks and regain strength.

We know God did the miracle He did because of your prayers. Thank you. 

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UPDATE (Friday, April 20)

Pastor Robert had two follow-up appointments in the past couple days, and the doctors say he is doing well! Yesterday, they removed the remaining staples, which was a great stepping stone to recovery. Doctors agree that it will take some time for his body to regenerate blood and for his strength to return, so he and Debbie are taking short walks every day. 

He has had some headaches and severe night sweats, which are common side effects of blood transfusions, so please continue to pray for those to lessen and for his strength to return. 

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UPDATE (Sunday, April 15 | 9:20 pm)

Pastor Robert is out of the hospital! He has a long healing process ahead, so please continue to pray for a quick and full recovery. God is so good!

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UPDATE (Friday, April 13 | 8:50 pm)

Pastor Robert continues to improve! He had a big day today with a real shower, solid food, and several walks. Although he still has pneumonia, it is diminishing. His fever is gone, and his vitals look positive. Please continue to pray for increased strength and no infection as he recovers.

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UPDATE (Thursday, April 12 | 8:15 pm)

Good news! Pastor Robert is out of the ICU and was placed in a new room. He even took a walk around the floor today. He still has some milestones to reach before he is released from the hospital, so please continue to keep him in your prayers! 

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018 

Dear Gateway Family, 

So many of you, along with thousands of other people and churches from around the world, have been praying and interceding on behalf of Pastor Robert and his family. It’s been wonderful to see the body of Christ come together and contend for Pastor Robert’s health and healing. We are deeply grateful for you. 

Here is a full update about what happened, how your prayers have made a difference, and how you can continue to pray for Pastor Robert. 

A few weeks ago, Pastor Robert began to have extreme abdominal pain, and the doctor discovered he had a double hernia. On Monday, April 2, he underwent scheduled surgery to repair it. The surgery was more difficult than expected but successful. After his release, he and Debbie went to their ranch so he could fully recover. 

Six days later, on Sunday, April 8, Pastor Robert began feeling weak and passed out. Debbie immediately called 911. When the paramedics arrived, they examined him, determined he was dehydrated, and gave him two bags of fluid. Once his blood pressure normalized and he felt better, they left. 

Not long after, he began feeling faint again and his blood pressure dropped once more. Debbie called 911, and this time a different group of paramedics arrived. One of them happened to be a former medic with CareFlite. He recommended Pastor Robert be airlifted to the hospital immediately so he could receive further medical attention. He knew the equipment on the helicopter was advanced and that Pastor Robert would get the medical help he desperately needed. 

When he arrived at the hospital, doctors immediately began to give him blood and treat him for any possible infections. At one point, Pastor Robert’s blood pressure dropped to 80/40, so they began running tests to determine why his blood pressure was fluctuating. It was then the doctors discovered he had a hematoma larger than the size of a cantaloupe (roughly seven inches in diameter) that had formed from a blood vessel tear in his abdomen wall. He needed to have immediate surgery to repair the tear and stop internal blood loss. 

Doctors performed laparoscopic surgery to remove the large hematoma, repair the tear, and stop the bleeding. The surgery was successful! The next morning, April 9, they did an angiogram and confirmed the bleeding had stopped. 

Then later that day, Pastor Robert started feeling a lot of pain and pressure in his abdomen and experiencing continual drops in his blood pressure. When doctors could not get his blood pressure to a normal level, they did another CT scan and quickly determined there was more internal bleeding. 

The angiogram had not detected this second bleed because it was located by his pelvic bone. What they concluded was that the first hematoma was so large it had caused a tear in two more blood vessels, which caused another hematoma to form. At this point, the doctors determined they needed to do another emergency surgery. 

The doctors performed a more invasive surgery this time to make sure there were no other issues. They made sure the first tear was completely cauterized, and then found the source of the internal bleeding near his pelvic bone and cauterized it as well. As far as the doctors can tell, these two hematomas were unrelated to the hernia surgery. 

Over the course of two days, Pastor Robert needed to receive seven units of blood—more than half of his blood requirements. 

This afternoon, April 11, he had an additional CT scan that revealed there were no more signs of internal bleeding. His blood pressure is now stable and his vitals are looking positive. However, he has been diagnosed with pneumonia and is still in some pain.

As Pastor Robert continues to recover, Pastor Jimmy Evans, Gateway’s lead apostolic senior pastor and founding elder, will be filling the pulpit and leading the staff. Pastor Jimmy is the former senior leader of Trinity Fellowship Church in Amarillo, Texas—the church that planted Gateway in 2000. 

Pastor Robert, Debbie, and the family have been overwhelmed by the incredible outpouring of prayer, love, and support they’ve received. They are extremely grateful for all the prayers and intercession on their behalf. 

Please continue to pray for Pastor Robert’s pain to be alleviated and that he recovers completely and quickly with no more setbacks. 

 

We will be posting more updates over the next few days, so be sure to check back.