4/24/23 We’ve been AMAZED!
Please continue to pray for Douglas and his family. Doug had surgery this week to reconstruct his intestines. The surgery went well and he is slowly gaining strength. His energy level is still very low and he will need time to recover. We are continueing to lift up Vanessa and their children as they walk through this slow recovery, but we are seeing God’s faithfulness!
Thank you all again for your amazing generosity through this challenging time in their lives!
In His Love!
Update on Douglas process
– I am drinking fluids regularly without aspiration for about a week or more now. I am no longer dehydrated.
-My voice is almost 100%. I do not need to do anything else for the throat as there is no permanent damage.
-I am very independent at this point in the process and my at home health is almost done because I don’t need them.
-I need strength to return to my body. I wake up and feel like I can take on the world but after doing a few things I am exhausted.
-My pain is getting better but I want to be pain free. Patience in the process of healing!
-Prayer for the reversal surgery in a few months to be easy and a quick recovery.
Thank You for your prayers and support. We are eternally grateful.
Douglas and the Sheppard Family.
1/16/23 Update: Douglas is home recovering with his family! This is such a miracle! He is healing and moving slowly but seeing improvement each day. Please continue to pray for his complete healing and restoration! A few days after he came home from the hospital, he had to go back for a blood clot in his calf. He has been put on blood thinners. He has lost over 50 pounds but is slowly getting stronger. His vocal cords were damaged by the various tubes down his throat, but we’ve been told it is not permanent. We are praising God for His amazing mercy and strength in the midst of utter despair and destruction! God has also miraculously provided for this family through your generosity! Thank you for being willing to give and pray for Douglas, Vanessa and their children.
This is going to be a long road of additional surgeries over the next couple of months. Please continue to share Doug and Vanessa’s story with your friends and family to continue our support for this lovely family. Below is their Christmas Day Miracle!
12/23/2022 Update: First, thank you for your prayers and amazing generosity! This family has been so blessed by your love and willingness to come alongside them! Below was posted by Vanessa Sheppard yesterday. Please continue to pray and share their story. They have a long road ahead, but we are seeing God’s love and faithfulness day by day!
12/22/2022 Vanessa Sheppard: Douglas got some good sleep last night and his fever and blood pressure were good but today both came back. Physical therapy came in and taught Douglas how to sit. They think that he is going to need to go to assisted living depending on when he is discharged. But they said that could change. He is going to have to learn to walk using a walker until he gets his strength and balance back. We did his wound care and that took 2 hours again of changing all the bandages and making sure there is a good seal on the wound vac and that is so painful for him. The good news is that his ileostomy is producing well so he got the drainage tube that goes down his nose out and he can have some clear liquids now! This will also help with his pain because he can take some oral pain meds that the surgeon thinks will work better and last longer.
Original Post 12/16/2022: My name is Roxanne Long. I first met the Sheppard family over 25 years ago when Doug’s parents, Wayne and Paula, became the pastors of our church in Houston. After attending seminary, Doug has worked in ministry in various roles. He is currently the pastor of a church plant in San Tan Valley, AZ. He and his wife, Vanessa, have 9 children, one being adopted from Africa. They are a loving, giving, strong family focused on serving God in their community and raising their family.
Vanessa is an amazing mother and partner in ministry with Doug. Doug supports his family through a pool building company while he is pastoring The River Church.
This incredible family has experienced a devastating blow to their lives. Doug was admitted to the hospital last week with stomach pains. He has been in excruciating pain and has lost over 20 pounds from not being able to eat. The doctors found a perforation in his intestine and yesterday he went through emergency surgery to remove part of his intestine. Doug’s body is filled with infection, and he is currently in ICU fighting for his life. We can only imagine the fear and anxiety such an event causes a young family.
This is only the beginning of this journey for Doug and Vanessa as they navigate the coming weeks and months with additional surgeries already being planned. We are coming along side this family to help them with living expenses and medical bills as they walk through this traumatic experience. Because he is self-employed, Doug has minimal disability insurance support.
We know God has a purpose in everything and works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him! We are first asking for prayer for God’s healing and mercy over this young family. We ask for God’s strength in the midst of their weakness, and for them to walk through each day with assurance of His peace and mighty power. Second, we are asking anyone who feels led to come along side this family to donate as much as possible to help alleviate at least the financial stress of these circumstances.
With no income, their savings will be gone quickly. As a large family, they live their lives very frugally. Our goal is to raise enough to cover at least 6 months of expenses and any medical costs outside of their medical insurance:
Food bill of $350 weekly $9,600
Miscellaneous – Insurance, Autos, etc. $6,000
Medical Bills – Amount is unknown at this time.
Thank you for your willingness to support this precious family and help them fight for their lives and purpose in Christ!