Lukeyoder's Blog

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New Life…Abundant

July 6, 2012….

3 years…. 3 years…. 3years….

I wonder…  How can time go by so quickly and yet SO much can change… How can it feel like it was a long time ago and still hurt like it was yesterday… Do the vivid images and flashbacks eventually fade and if so, when will that happen… How have my children been affected in the long term… Will it always catch me off guard and will there always be an ache in my heart for the pain my son went through and what should have been the end of his life

These are some of my thoughts on a regular basis… 3 years later.

Here is what I know…

God knows all of these answers.  God understands and feels my pain.  God is not baffled by Luke’s accident. He knit Luke together and he ordained all of Luke’s days. (Psalm 139) God has worked it for good. (Romans 8:28)  Believe me that is a tough pill to swallow and I’m still choking it down, because my son had to suffer.   God does not promise this life will be easy instead he tells us in John 16:33, “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”   I just LOVE that verse!

I have seen firsthand the Incredible, Mighty, and All-Powerful hand of God.  There are no other explanations, nothing medical or scientific suggesting that Luke should be alive today.  I recently read a book and this one statement made my breath catch, “When a person has no brain activity, they are dead.”  That’s the exact picture that was painted for Ben and I in the ER that terrible day…all they could say was how very sorry they were.  Well, God said “Not yet!”  He heard our cry and showed us his love.

He has plans for my boy and Luke wants to know what they are! 🙂  He has a love for people, especially younger children and often the “underdog” so to speak.  Luke’s heart is kind and tuned in to the heart of God…I pray he remains there. I believe that God has given Luke a true peace about everything that has happened to him.  He just takes it all in stride without complaining or asking “why me?”.  He always has a smile for his docs never fusses about all the poking and sticking that is the regular routine for his life now.  I’ll say it for the rest of my life, “Luke is my hero!”  This Sunday, July 8th Luke and Andrew will be baptized!  I am so happy that the beginning of July will also be remembered for this special event in their lives and for their new life in Christ!!!

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but moving forward in spite of fear!”

“..Perfect love drives out fear..” 1 John 4:18     

So, right now I have 3 wonderful boys sleeping in the next room.  Luke, Andrew, and Carson are having a sleep over tonight.  We didn’t plan it because of the date, God just likes to give us those little nuggets of joy! Ben and I watched them run and play in the pouring rain.  They yelled and laughed and acted plain crazy out there…JOY!  They put on jeans and boots and took flashlights out in the backyard look for frogs and caught 6.  They were SO excited….JOY!  They sat around and laughed while eating cereal and then we all watched Wipeout, which they loved…JOY!  We made them do paper, rock, scissors to pick the showering order…which they didn’t love. 😉  When Ben tucked them in (well after 10pm), they had a special time of reflecting on that day, God’s goodness, and how much each of them has grown in the last 3 years.   It was these 3 boys who were playing together when that nightmare happened 3 years ago…and it was the same 3 boys who spent tonight playing, laughing, and enjoying life together… 3 years later!!!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!  

Love to you all,





July 6, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Updated Pictures of Luke!

First day of school, August 2011

July 2011 at the Rays game for the boys’ birthdays


Thanks for checking in! Luke is a happy, healthy 10 year-old. He is having a great year in the 4th grade and recently brought home a report card with straight A’s! Andrew and Maleah are following in his footsteps with awesome grades as well! Luke just finished playing in a fall baseball league. He played with mostly 11 and 12 yr-olds and he did great. He enjoys baseball, golf, and basketball which will begin soon.

We continue to give praise everyday…God’s hand is MIGHTY and STRONG!
These are  pictures from this summer and the first day of school.  Luke is changing and growing so fast, it’s been awesome to watch!
Love to everyone!!                                                

Siesta Key


November 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Where do I start?  Time has just flown by and I realized how long it’s been since I’ve made a post!  I think back in July was the last one.  We had just celebrated Luke’s 9th birthday and Andrew’s 7th birthday…so much fun!    


So let me attempt to recap what has been happening in the last 6-7 months. Whew, ok here we go….

School started in August and Luke entered the 3rd grade at Blue Ridge Christian School.  They sure hit the ground running and before long he was bringing home poems and scripture upon scripture to memorize.  Throw in book reports, quizzes, tests and and a huge animal science project plus soccer and we are in full swing!!  I think I felt more stressed about the workload than Luke did!  He’s been soaking it all in, staying organized for the most part 🙂  , and making excellent grades.  We are constantly amazed at his ability to memorize…they say children are like sponges!  This was the first year he asked to play soccer and we thought it would be a great way for him to get some exercise.  He struggled in the beginning with a few headaches, which usually happened when he was really hot and tired, but soon those went away.  He does not complain of headaches anymore…praise God!  As the season progressed he became more aggressive and confident, he was definitely learning something new as neither Ben or I are soccer people. 

Since his accident, the endocrine team at UVA has been monitoring Luke’s hormones, thyroid, cortisol, etc.  This is a very long process as it take the body months to produce new hormones and to see results from testing.  So, after a lot of blood work and labs it was determined in September that Luke was not producing growth hormone.  The Pituitary gland, which produces growth hormone, was one area of his brain that was damaged in the accident. Basically, he didn’t grow the entire year following his accident.

  In October, after a long process of qualifying and then obtaining the HGH (human growth hormone), Luke began taking a daily dose.  Every night before he goes to bed, Luke gets an injection of HGH given by Ben or myself.  He takes it like a champ!   He will need to continue to take HGH everyday for the rest of his life.  At first, Ben and I were very skeptical and didn’t want to believe that he needed it.  But as the doctor explained the signs and side effects of growth hormone deficiency, we slowly began to see these in Luke.  Beside the fact that Andrew was catching up to him, he went from being very lean to having extra “chub”, especially in his face and stomach.  He had no muscle mass, no matter how much he ran and rode bike he just looked out of shape.  He was tired, emotional, and even his skin that used to be tan and olive looked very ashy.  All of these things have turned around since he’s been taking growth hormones. (If you compare his birthday pictures to now you should be able to see a difference.)      He looks like Luke again, and his energy level is back where a 9-year-old’s should be!   Since starting the shots in October Luke has grown over 2 inches!  We just saw his doctor last week and she is very pleased.   They will continue to do blood work and check ups every 3-4months to keep everything balanced, and she is still checking his thyroid as well.

In November, a few days after Thanksgiving Luke went for his second eye procedure.  Again, the goal was to line his eyes up and get them to work together in order to take away his double vision.  The doctor opted to do an “adjustable stitch” on Luke’s right eye.  (last time he adjusted the left)  So, they go to the OR and the doctor puts in a stitch and attaches it to the muscles behind Luke’s eyeball.  About 5 hours after the surgery when Luke is fully awake, we take him back to the doctor’s office where he will adjust Luke’s eye.  Now, he explained this to us before the surgery, however I was not prepared to see this being done!  He took off the dressing covering Luke’s eye and there were 4 strings that looked like fishing line hanging out from behind his eye.  The doctor told Luke not to pull on them, and amazingly he didn’t!  After doing some vision tests, the doctor had Luke sit in the exam chair so he could adjust the stitch in his eye. Doc sat right in front of Luke (nose to nose almost), and he told Luke to hold very still and with a scissors and another sharp-looking tool he began to pull, tie, and snip the strings…adjusting Luke’s eyeball as we watch!  Luke sat there like a statue, no blinking, just frozen…good thing, if he would have moved he would gotten a scissor poked in his eye.  I was so nervous and at one point just had to look down and pray.  His doctor was impressed and said he has not ever been able to work so well on a patient…and he never does this procedure on kids. 

Luke still has double vision today.  Since November, it has improved and he says now it looks like things are “merging” together.  His eyes are working together much better and we definitely noticed a big change.  At his last check up the doctor was very pleased.  Over time, there could be more improvement…I am continuing to pray for the double vision to go away! 

So winter brings Christmas and basketball…two of our favorite things!  We celebrated Christmas with the Yoder family in Virginia.  Lots of cousins, fun, and food!  After Christmas we went to Florida to see my family, and we always enjoy being down there.  Ben and I had the priveledge  to coach the 3rd-5th grade basketball team at BRCS.  We wanted to be involved since it was Luke’s first time playing since everything happened.  Last year he was only able to do warm-ups and could’t participate in the games.  We had a blast!  What a blessing to coach respectful kids…with wonderful parents! 🙂 As the season went on, Luke once again became more aggressive and confident.  We love to see some fire and spunk back in him!  Our last game was on Saturday and now baseball begins, I’m looking forward to time at the ball field and watching my boys!

Thanks for checking in on Luke…we continue to be blessed by you!!!


March 8, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments


Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday dear Luke, happy birthday to you!”

Luke is 9! Wow, where has the time gone?!  I can still see him so clearly as my spunky, fiesty little toddler!  I joke with my kids all the time that they are not allowed to get any bigger…and they always laugh and say, “But mom, we have to!”  How true, I know they have to grow but if I could freeze time I would.  They are at such a precious, fun age.  I love being around my children and to sum it up we have a blast together!  They are respectful, happy, and loving children~precious gifts from God.  I know fully that they are not “my own” they belong to The Father and only by His grace and love do I get to be their mother here on this earth, for this time.  I can say now that I did not understand this completely one year ago…I would have said that I knew, but in my heart I had not “let go” of being in control of their lives. 

 God’s hand is MIGHTY and STRONG.  He is also MERCIFUL and LOVING….He is ALL we need.  Tonight I was reading in my journal that I have kept over the past year and continue to write in presently.  As I read over the entry of Luke’s birthday one year ago, I cannot help but cry and be in awe of God and how far Luke has come.

July 27.2009

Today in physical therapy Luke practiced sitting up and being able to keep his balance while doing so.  He stood with support in front of a mirror and was able to see himself head to toe  for the first time.  His legs soon began to hurt and he motioned he wanted to sit down.  When she brought out the ball Luke was anxious to try to stand to kick it, but she wanted him to sit and kick.  He kicked hard and fast with both legs!  Luke did bounce and chest passes also catching them with good coordination.  I teased him this morning and told him he is not supposed to get any older-he just grinned. 

Today is the first day he “cried”.  They had to take some blood first thing this morning,poor guy on his birthday.  No tears came out, but he did the face and everything else…except the noise and tears.  I don’t understand this, and it’s painful to watch.  He has not talked yet and the only sounds we’ve heard is a cough or hiccup..both sound very hoarse.  He communicates very well through hand motions and he mouths words.  Hand motions are very precise and expressive-he’s doing great that way.  He is quick to smile at jokes, people, and conversation.  He is making his own choices about preferred activity, food, comfort-all using hand signals.  I’m so glad he is understanding everything and communcating so well…I can’t help but want to hear his voice though-so much!  I can see that he is trying hard and it will come.  Family is coming tonight to help Luke celebrate, it will be bittersweet.  He absolutely LOVES seeing everyone – especially Andrew and Maleah.  He is still very tired much of the time and falls asleep a lot so I hope he is able to enjoy some quality time with them.  We are off to the hospital to have Luke’s halo adjusted, I’m praying for a smooth transport…wish they would just come to KCRC it would be SO much easier and better for Luke.  I am tired and have many up’s and down’s…it’s hard for me to get a grip on my emotions these days. But my boy is laying here smiling at me and that’s what gets me through.

Later that night as I was getting Luke  ready for bed, he looked at me and with such sweetness, he smiled and whispered “Mom”.  God heard my small cry and the prayers of our family for this to be the day he got a word out, even if it was a whisper, it was clear and it was to me!

I was not going to post all of this tonight, just thought I would do a short entry-yeah right!  But I couldn’t help it after I read back…how could I ever forget that God truly touched my son and gave him life.   Life here on earth and Life Eternal! 

Luke told me a few weeks ago, “Mom I feel like God must love me a whole lot.  He chose me to suffer to bring people to Him.  He did the same with Jesus. He loved Jesus and chose him to suffer to bring people to God.”

July 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Thanks everyone for faithfully checking in on our blog.  Your prayers and  your encouraging comments are a huge boost to us.  It reminds me how many of you have lifted Luke and our family to God…I’m still overwhelmed!

So we went to the eye doctor at UVA on Wednesday and for now he is not going to do another surgery on Luke.  The good news is that Luke can see well out of both eyes, however they are not totally in-line and aren’t working together completely.    His eyes have changed some and the doctor wants to be cautious not to over correct.  We will go back again in 3 months and he will do some more extensive testing.   Luke is still seeing double, but he does very well compensating.  It doesn’t seem to slow him down much, but we still believe that it does affect his confidence in an active situation. (i.e. basketball) We are going to continue to pray for restoration, God has brought Luke so far, we know He is able!

Luke and Carson were asked to ride in a fire truck for the Bridgewater parade last weekend!  They were so excited and had a blast!  I rode along, and right as we got in line to start the parade, our truck had to answer a call.  We were told to buckle up and away we went!  It was quite exciting, (and a little scary to be honest) both boys had eyes the size of quarters!  It was an honor and privilege to ride and to meet these brave people who answered the call last July. 

July 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Great is Thy Faithfulness


Great is Thy faithfulness, oh God my Father…..

One year ago our lives were turned upside-down…So many questions and so much pain.

I look back on the past year and I still have questions, flashbacks, and pain.  God has healed and time has healed, but it doesn’t make what happened any easier.  I also have joy, love, and am extremely thankful!  God is and has been faithful to our family this past year.  He always is, His love never fails us…but it is in those dark and desperate times that we hold on much tighter to Him. 

We deal with Luke’s accident each day, in one way or another.  We head to UVA about twice a month for appointments, x-rays, tests, lab work,etc .  But we also deal with it on an emotional level…I have been dreading July 6th for a long time.  We were in North Dakota over July 4th weekend and I was glad that we weren’t home.    I want to give a brief overview of our year and where Luke is today.

This accident has allowed our family to minister to others in a powerful way.  Ben has shared our testimony publically several times and I just recently did for the first time.  We have been able to use this blog to reach so many and to receive your prayers and support.  Luke has testified to the greatness of God every single day since his accident.  He gives God praise unashamedly and has dealt with everything with such grace and strength.  The other kids at his school have been affected, as they all witnessed the power of God in Luke. 

Luke made excellent grades this year in 2nd grade.  Although he did school at home with me for the first month, he never missed any work.  He also had to miss many days due to doctor appointments and eye surgery….he kept up with everyone else.  His memory is incredible and he loves to memorize scripture.  It is truly being hidden in his heart!  

Luke has been released by all doctors and therapists to play sports and do whatever he wants to do.  In other words, he’s free to be a boy!   Two weeks ago, Luke had x-rays done on his neck to recheck his c-spine injury and how it was healing.  I received a phone call days later…”I am very pleased with what I see in Luke’s x-rays. It looks perfect and I can’t tell that he’s ever had an injury.”  He no longer needs to see Luke for check ups. 

Luke goes to the eye doctor on July 21st to recheck his vision and probably schedule another surgery before school starts in August.  I will update as we know more.  Also, in September Luke will go through about 3-4 hours of testing to see if he needs to be put on growth hormones.  They are concerned about his growth progression and feel that because of the brain injury, his pituitary gland (that controls body hormones) was affected and causing this.   Please pray for this test, if he needs the HGH it will be a daily injection for the rest of his life.  These are the two areas of concern for Luke right now.

He is still getting back his energy and physically getting stronger.  He gets up early almost every morning and exercises with either Ben or myself.  He is playful and throughly enjoys his family and friends.  God has shown himself faithful to us and we pray that nothing will get in the way of HIS will for Luke’s life!


July 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Post surgery

It has been almost 2 weeks since Luke’s eye surgery…I was waiting to post anything until we knew more about the results.  There has been  some improvement in his double vision but not much.  His left eye has come down some but it is  not totally lined up with his right, so he is still seeing double.  We saw the eye doctor on Tuesday for a post-op check and he wants to see Luke back on July 21st.  At that time they will redo the tests to see if there are any changes and then plan the next surgery from there. The doctor thinks any changes will be small, but he wants to give Luke’s left eye time to “stabilize” and heal completely before another procedure.  He would like to have it done before school begins in the fall. 

Luke has been a trooper once again!  He missed 2 days of school for his surgery and was back at it by Wednesday.  I gave him the option to stay home an extra day to rest, but he did NOT want to miss any more school work.  He has missed quite a bit of school with all of his doctor appointments, because we always have to go to Charlottesville and they are never quick visits.  But each time Andrew brings home the work he’s missed for the day, Luke will sit right down and complete it all in one shot.  He has done an amazing job at keeping up to speed with his class, it would have been easy for him to be discouraged and fall behind.  His perseverance has been awesome to witness!

A few happy things to mention: This month Blue Ridge Christian School (where our boys attend), had it’s big fundraiser.  We call it Race for Education.  All of the students get sponsors (friends & family) and then we hold a day where all the students and teachers run/walk around the field. Each class has one hour to do as many laps as they can.  It was a great day, the kids had fun and everyone did their best!   I helped that day and was able to watch my boys run…they did awesome!  Andrew ran the most laps in his class (21) and Luke ran 19 laps….they both ran over 3 miles.  I, along with many others that day, stood amazed again at the goodness of God.  The previous year (in 1st grade), Luke held the record for the most laps in the entire school…39 laps! So he was a little worried about this year, knowing his body was not in the physical shape it was a year ago.  We reassured him that no one was thinking about that, we are all just praising God that he IS out there RUNNING!!!

Also, Luke finally got his wish for a puppy!  Maya is a yellow lab pup we got about a month ago.  She was only 8wks when we brought her home.  She is becoming a member of our family, and although ALL puppy and A LOT of work we all love her. 

I promised to post new pictures and I think tonight or tomorrow may be when I finally get around to it!  I apologize, we know you all have been faithful in prayer and checking in on Luke & our family and it means so much!!

May 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Thanks for checking in on Luke’s blog…We so appreciate the love and prayers for Luke and our family! 

Since the last post, Luke has visited KCRC for a final evaluation.  He passed with “flying colors” and he has been given a final relase from the doctor there.  Meaning, he is free to play sports and be a kid again!  It is a little confusing because he already had clearance from his neurologists at the hospital.  But as they explained it to us, the therapists and doctors at KCRC are going to be the final word because they are the most cautious when it comes to brain injuries.  Everyone there loves to see Luke…some don’t recognize him at first without his huge halo on! They will  say hi to Ben and I first and then realize that Luke is right there too, I love the looks on their faces!  The appointment was supposed to be a day of different therapy sessions ~ occupational, physical, speech, and education~ however at the beginning of each session Luke would make it very clear that he didn’t need any of these.  Not in his words but actions and him telling about his daily life and school.  He is an almost 9-year-old boy, no one could ever guess what he’s been through!! 

This week we have been to UVA twice.  On Tuesday I took him for a  follow up with the plastic surgeon concerning 2 halo pin sights and a long laceration on his head that were not healing.  About a month ago, we took him in and they gave us a different topical medication to put on it  Within a week they were all closing and today they are completely healed up!!!  This may be the thing Luke is most excited about for a few reasons: he can grow his hair and he doesn’t have to lay there for an hour and a half every few nights while I clean and pick at his head, then apply Silver Nitrate (which stings a lot!).  It was painful and very tiring, but he did it each time without complaining. 

Yesterday, we spent the day at the UVA eye clinic.  Luke underwent about 4hours of questions and testing on his eyes.  The final diagnosis is that he will have surgery on May 10th (a week from this Monday).  The procedure will be done on his left eye.  They will “strip” away a muscle behind his eye to allow the left eye to come down and align better with the right.  If this works the first time, it will eliminate Luke’s double vision which he pretty much has all the time.  The only reasone we know this is because we ask him, he never complains about it …he has  learned to compensate and says he can tell which is the “real” one. What a boy!!!  The surgery should take about 45 min and Luke is first case so we’ll be there very early on the 10th. He will be able to go back to school within a day or depeding on how he is feeling.

I know you all will continue to be faithful in prayer for Luke.  Last night, Maretta (my sister- in law) called to tell me that our story was going to be on Ch3 11:00 news again…sort of an update and they talked with the rescue responders to Luke’s accident.  I wish we would have known they wanted an update! Luke has been wanting to meet those that helped him that day and he was promised a firetruck ride, so hopefully we can set something up very soon!  Pictures to follow if that happens.  If you didn’t catch the news it’s on their website (I think)

Also, a few weeks ago Air Care 5 held a day seminar for local rescue and fire departments…to educate and review some cases from the past year.   They invited us to attend the last portion of it where they named Luke’s case their “Call of the Year”.  That is when everyone did their job and everything worked out perfectly to save a life.  Luke was called up front so everyone could see him and they gave the kids some really cool Air Care 5 pins and Luke received a framed poster of all the flight nurses and pilots.  He was promised a chopper ride, but the crew got a call and had to leave early.  We will reschedule!!! They have become friends to our family and we love everyone at Air Care 5!

I will post surgery update and recent pics soon!  Love you all!!

April 30, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Been awhile…

Wow I haven’t updated since January?!  Time is just going way too fast.  Just a quick overview of Luke lately…

He has been doing awesome in school and neither his teacher or Ben and I have seen any learning issues.  He is just as sharp as he ever was, a smart boy!  His memory is quick and sharp as well.  He especially excels in Math and Bible~two subjects he loves!  He has memorized numerous scriptures-most have 6-8verses.  They do a new passage every 3 weeks or so.  BRCS is really helping to put God’s word into the heart of my boys…what a great place, we are so thankful for every person there!!

  Ben and I decided about a month ago to really pray for his energy and stamina.  We wanted Luke to have a desire to be active and play again.  God steps in once again, and we have noticed a significant increase in his energy level.  He is playful and active.  Pretty much everyday Luke does 1/2 mile our treadmill and each time tries to break his previous time record. (yes, he gets rewarded at the end of the week)  He is playing basketball on Saturdays and does golf with Andrew at First Tee during the week.  We are so proud of him and I can tell he is feeling more confident in himself once again.

Luke continues to amaze us with his spiritual maturity and tender heart.  He wants nothing more than to know he is pleasing God and his parents.  He does both very well!  He is joyful and funny, he”s always ready to give his mama a hug or smile…I can’t get enough!  “Mom, how can I help you?” I have been hearing this question a lot lately.

His upcoming appointments are in April: and an eye appointment and a day at KCRC for them to evaluate him.  And in June he goes for x-rays on his c-spine (just to make sure nothing has changed).  I’ll update after we find things out.  Thanks for checking in! 

 God is so good and we are blessed beyond measure!

February 26, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 8 Comments

Change of plans

Just a quick update. Two weeks ago we got word from KCRC (Kluge rehab) that although Luke has been cleared for PE and recess they are not permitting him to play organized sports for 1 year from the date of the injury. Luke was all signed up and pumped for basketball season with his team at school, so this was a disappointment for all of us. He is able to participate in the drills but has to sit out games. He handled the news better than expected. Of course we want what is best for him, it’s just hard to continue to change this up on him after being told “yes you can!” . He is exercising and doing golf so he is staying active. Last weekend him and Andrew biked 3 miles next to me while I ran. He used to call himself my trainer and loved to come with me. This was the first time he rode alongside of me since he was hurt. It was great and he knew he had accomplished something big!! Way to go Luke and Andrew!!

January 24, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | 5 Comments