Peace and love to all of you.
This entry will undoubtedly sound a bit different. Unfortunately, that is because it is being written by Randy's son, Aaron. I won't draw this out: Randy is very sick and currently in the intensive care unit at the local hospital. I'll explain more in a little bit, but I do need to provide a little context first.
First of all, let me just say that we are beyond overwhelmed at the amount of support, love, and prayer that we have received already. We could probably feed an entire battalion based on the number of meals that have been offered to us. That so many people are surrounding us and my dad with love is a joy in a time where precious little of that is to be found.
However, I used the word 'overwhelmed' intentionally. As grateful as we are that so many people care, it has become unfeasible to answer every text and every phone call, to say nothing of giving each and every concerned person the time and information desired. Please understand that we aren't complaining about it! We are blessed by you all, but I'm sure you can appreciate that our focus is and needs to be on each other and my father first and foremost.
We don't want to leave anyone out of the loop, though, and we know how scary and helpless it feels simply not knowing what is going on. Believe me, we have as much information as we are able right now, and we still feel that same fear and helplessness. In an effort to alleviate your fears as well as simply take some of the pressure off of us in needing to respond to your loving communications, Cheri/Mom, Adam, and I have decided that it's best for us and for you to have one central location where we can provide information. I'll share some details - not all, some will remain private - and I'm sure my dad will be unhappy with me when he is awake and talking, but we will share what we feel is appropriate.
All of that is to say that this entry will be a bit longer as I fill in what I'm able to in order to hopefully assuage some concerns. I'll provide a little timeline and some basic information, with more coming in later entries.
On February 28th, my brother and I went out to buy food for the week while Dad stayed at home and put up his entry about the crab au gratin experiment. When we got home, he was sitting in the living room and informed us that he had been having a panic attack for about a half-hour, complete with difficulty breathing. We talked to him for about fifteen minutes until Adam and I decided that we needed to take him to Urgent Care. I drove him over there and got him in immediately. While there, they made the decision to take him to the ER, at which point I left to go pick up Mom, who had come home from work.
When we got to the ER, a doctor sat us down and informed us that they had put him on a ventilator and sedated him because of the difficulty breathing. They were also extremely concerned about his potassium levels and were going to run a procedure to get that down. Since that point, he's been in the ICU, still under sedation, as they try to figure out exactly what happened and how it all worked together.
So, at the end of it all, what exactly happened? Truth be told, we don't really know. At present, we believe that pneumonia contributed in some way, that he had a cardiac event at some point - whether a flash pulmonary edema or heart attack, we don't know, that the cycling of toxins in his kidneys isn't and hasn't been ideal, and that there was some kind of malfunction in blood flow in his body. In short, a lot of really mean dominos fell at once.
Here's the good news: he's still alive. Not only alive, but getting better, slowly but surely. If you know my dad personally, you will understand when I say that a man like him is too stubborn to let even a complicated thing like health stop him from moving forward. As well, while he's still under sedation and vented, let me be clear here in saying that whatever happened is NOT COVID-related. They tested him and he was negative, so small blessings.
What we do know is that we have not gotten any late-night phone calls, that he has exceptional care with incredible doctors, nurses, and specialists working literally around the clock to get him better, and that he and all of us are surrounded by love and support and, most importantly, God's hands on all of us.
For those of you that are regulars here, please continue to follow along and leave prayers and the like. I'll update when I can. For those of you that are loved ones seeking information, please feel free to leave a comment here rather than a text or a phone call to my mom and I'll check in with you on here multiple times a day. It's not that we don't want to hear from you - it's that we don't want anyone to be lost in the chaos of everything going on. We love each and every one of you and would hate to make you feel as if you are out of the loop simply because we didn't have the time or energy to text or call you back. We hope you understand.
I'll leave you, as my father has done and will do in the future, with a Bible verse. This is from Luke 14:27 and it reads:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Thank you and we love you all.
Aaron, Adam, and Cheri on behalf of Randy
After 43 years of ministry, Randy Cross lived his "fourth life" and shared about retirement, living boldly and intentionally in our world. To be sure, there was some North Dakota thrown in.