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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Surgery Postponed...A Call for Action & Prayer

I realize some of you didn't get a chance to see my recent Thanksgiving video announcement or my little facebook updates...  Yes, my surgery is postponed without a new date- sometime soon in the new year we hope. I thought I should write a full update before you all hit the heavens hard with surgery prayers tomorrow :)  Please continue to pray...but I'll do my best here to explain what is going on so you can pray more intentionally.  This will make it easier than personally trying to contact and update all of my dear friends and family (I wish I had time to tell you all individually).  I also ask for your help in this challenging situation- I'll share with you below a few simple ways you can help...


I received some shocking news recently that my surgery date would be postponed.  It was actually postponed twice.  This was due to hospital/medical politics and games that are quite appalling.  Unfortunately, there is a power struggle currently going on, and a number of people in the neurosurgical world are trying to keep my surgeon from performing the life-saving fully endoscopic skull base brain surgery that he has been doing for over 20 years with incredible success.  Have you heard of crab mentality?  Put a few crabs in a bucket. They're able to get out without much effort, but they instinctively grab one another and keep each other down, preventing any one crab from bettering him or herself.  The crabs don't want to see the success or freedom of other crabs.  It is a mentality that has short-term vision, focus on the self, and lacks any constructive long-term perspective that could benefit the entire group.  It's similar to the scenario of monkeys keeping each other down in a room.   Whenever one tries to climb a ladder to reach a banana, he or she gets sprayed with icy water.  One by one the monkeys are replaced in the room with new monkeys, but even so, they stop one another and grab each other, keeping any monkey from climbing the ladder. They don't even know why they do it after time, but it's what the monkeys have always done, so they just assume they shouldn't let any monkey climb up. It might possibly be scary or bad up there, so keep them down!


Well, unfortunately, this is pretty much what is going on in the community of neurosurgeons and hospitals. Blackballing is the word.  Or call it bullying if you like.  Dr. Shahinian has stepped outside of the medical box and performed a surgery unlike any other for the past two decades, but time and again others have tried to pull him back down off the ladder of medical innovation, and into the bucket of uniformity.  The crabs and monkeys are clawing for him, and sadly, the patients are the ones suffering. Remember in history when the normal practice was to drain ill patients' blood with leeches?  Or when surgeons didn't wash their hands?  Those who tried to change these widespread habits were ostracized, persecuted, and attacked for their "crazy" ideas.


Without good reason, one hospital recently breeched contract with Dr. Hrayr Shahinian's surgical team and another hospital backed out on contract right before signing (patients who flew in for surgery that week had to fly home, still suffering from their brain tumors/cancer...)  This has left patients literally all over the world waiting, like me, for this surgery.  We really have no where else to go- there are no other surgeons experienced and equipped in this fully endoscopic procedure.  Dr. Shahinian's credentials are amazing.  He is a pioneer in the medical world and has saved thousands of people's lives who have had brain tumors in the same location as mine.  Former patients of his have befriended me over the last several months, sharing with me their incredible stories of hope and healing.  They have inspired me to keep trusting God, knowing that it was providential I found this amazing doctor.  As it stands at the moment, we have no hospital.  Dr. Shahinian's team is working day and night to secure a new operating space for his ever-increasing list of patients.  Right now, we need a miracle this Christmas.  I am praying for Dr. Shahinian and his staff, and the countless other patients who are in need of this surgery.


Here's how you can help!  THANK YOU!!!!

1. LIKE the SUPPORT SHAHINIAN Facebook Page
2. SIGN the Change.org PETITION
3. SHARE both the Facebook PagePetition with your friends
4. PRINT, SIGN & MAIL a copy of the CONSUMER DEMAND FOR INVESTIGATION
5. WRITE a personal letter & MAIL it with the Consumer Demand for Investigation
6. CONTACT all media outlets you know of so they can share this story and make a plea for help.  We need to increase awareness about Dr. Shahinian's life-saving fully-endoscopic skull base surgery and demand for an investigation of those who are trying to stop him.


Thank you for your prayers and help!  I have complete peace, knowing God will make a way!  A dear friend reminded me this week of the story in God's Word in Exodus when the Israelites were freed from their slavery in Egypt, but then found themselves at the Red Sea. Pharaoh's army was pressing in behind them and they had nowhere to go, with only moments left waiting for their miracle.  They couldn't go back, they couldn't move forward.  "But Moses told the people, 'Don't be afraid. Just stand sill and watch the LORD rescue you today...The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.'" (Exodus 14:13-14)  As I stand between a rock and hard place, between this seemingly Red Sea and Pharaoh's army, I choose to stand still and watch the LORD make a way.  Isaiah 30:15 challenges us, "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'Only in returning to Me and resting in Me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength...'"