J-Vie's Procedure on
“I thank God for bringing CURE to Davao City. I think He brought it here just for us! After tomorrow, our lives will change!” - J-Vie’s mom Elvie.
J-Vie is the only child of Joel and Elvie. His name is a combination of theirs, which ma… Read more
“I thank God for bringing CURE to Davao City. I think He brought it here just for us! After tomorrow, our lives will change!” - J-Vie’s mom Elvie.
J-Vie is the only child of Joel and Elvie. His name is a combination of theirs, which makes it very cool and unique. J-Vie has an unusual bone disorder, wherein his femur and lower legs are severely bent, making him very short for his age, and he also has twists in his lower legs due to the deformities in the bones. That’s the layman’s version! Lots going on, but J-Vie is up for the challenge. Elvie also has a similar condition, and she enthusiastically declares “I’m next!” when speaking about J-Vie’s surgery and healing.
J-Vie really enjoys drawing and sketching, especially cartoons and comics. He dreams of becoming a robotics engineer and we joked about him building a real Iron Man someday! A family member gave him a robot when he was a kid, and instead of playing with it, he took it apart to see how it worked. Joel is a computer technician, so the technology genes definitely run deep. But, if J-Vie could travel to any time period, he wouldn’t want to go to the future, he’d rather return to the days of the dinosaurs. He would love to find some dinosaur bones and bring them back. This kid’s interests are awesomely diverse!
J-Vie is set to enter the 8th grade. But, his surgery and the extensive recovery time will delay his starting this coming school year. He will finish school later when he is able. This whole process is requiring not only a great deal of commitment, but a great deal of sacrifice. It’s hard to give up a year of school, but the rewards will be worth it!
J-Vie’s biggest struggle is the pain he experiences when he first wakes up every morning and his limited mobility. He can only stand or walk short distances before becoming tired and sore. He’s not one to complain, but he’s looking forward to living life pain free and with fewer limitations. Please pray for J-Vie as he begins a long journey of healing, that begins with a very complicated surgery.
Dr. Jun had a captive audience as he talked about J-Vie today. Most notably listening was Aleja, who had a similar surgery to J-Vie. He’s about a year ahead of her, so she was hoping to glean some knowledge for her future! Everything is still fine, we just need to keep a close eye as he continues to grow to make sure his legs don’t begin to twist again. Please keep praying for his ongoing journey!
Joy was written all over Joel’s face as he tells us the good news about his son, “Doc says he can now start jumping if he wants!” And with hi-fives and long handshakes, we celebrated with him! “I am back to school and now learning to play the piano,” says J-vie. It looks like he’s bounced back to his normal routine!
As much as we love having J-Vie around, we are hoping that this will be our last time seeing him while we do ward rounds. He visits us often though, and we get to hang with Elvie weekly as she volunteers with us. Overall, our champ is doing great and we wrapped up this trip with an interesting conversation about centipedes, tattoos, and food! Thanks for praying!
And that's a wrap! J-Vie's final surgery was done this morning! Two sets of plates were taken out and he is officially plate-free! One last time in the recovery room and J-Vie heads out soon! We are so proud of this champ!
J-Vie’s back! “One more surgery!” he told us this morning, this time to remove the final plates in his upper legs. He spent most of the day wandering the hospital, checking in on staff members who have become like family, and we finally caught up with him and mom Elvie in his room. He’s ready to be done in the operating room, and his last trip will happen tomorrow!
"Do you have a girlfriend already?" asked Dr. Badjun to J-vie. His legs look so good and he's growing well that Dr. Badjun thinks he must have a girlfriend by now! And that's before he added, "But do not get married yet! It's too early!" Since he's still in high school, that's not one of J-vie's concerns, he's just happy to know that his wounds have healed well and are ready for the next step- taking out the plates! It's been a long journey but he's almost there!
J-Vie is going home today, but no worries, we’ll see him again soon. We asked if he remembered anything about surgery, and he told us he thought he heard laughter. We divulged that the laughter was brought on by the goofy faces he was making while under heavy anesthesia, so he re-enacted some of them for us today, or at least what he thought he might have looked like!
J-Vie is two rods lighter in his legs today! The decision was made to keep his plate in a little longer to maintain some extra stability. The lighter work load didn't make J-Vie any less nervous though, until the operating room nurses told him "Don't look nervous, all the girls are watching!" which broke the tension. He's become like a little brother to most of the staff, and yes, that includes good natured teasing at times. Now his nerves can relax, since he's all done!
J-Vie is back! He'll have a small procedure tomorrow to remove one of the plates and both rods in his legs. Even though he's been through it all before, he was admittedly nervous today. But, he took the opportunity to distract himself in the playroom, gaming the afternoon away! Please pray that all goes smooth tomorrow, and he can get back to being a normal teenager!
It’s been a long haul of healing and improvement for J-vie and it’s time to get the rods out of his legs! Dr. Tim assured that it’s not going to be as bad as the past few surgeries. They even had a serious talk about real life examples from Dr. Tim’s past surgeries too! J-vie is convinced and he’s ready to go through the procedure. We’ll see him back in December!
J-vie made a "better safe than sorry" decision as he came in to clinic today. We weren't expecting him to see so soon, but he felt a slight pain in his leg and wanted to make sure that everything was OK. After checking his X-ray, it looks like everything is still in tact and there's nothing that he should worry about. We're glad that he came by to visit though and we heard all about his adjustment in school and the new friends that he's made so far! Plus, he got a surprise present from Switchfoot's band member Chad and felt very special to receive a pair of drumsticks that he owned personally!
We see J-Vie hanging out at the hospital on a fairly regular basis, but today was more than a social call, he had a follow up with Dr. Tim. Since today is Dr. Tim’s last day in the Philippines for a few months, he wanted to get one more check squeezed in. Everything is still healing well, and J-Vie will be back in December to have the rods removed from his legs, so he'll have plenty of time to recover before Night to Shine! But, we know we’ll see him hanging in the playroom long before then!
J-Vie was back for his three month follow up, and although his right knee is causing him a little pain, he’s perfect otherwise! The pain is nothing major, just part of the ongoing healing process, and should improve over time. He has completely ditched the walker and cane, and is walking totally independently. And, he’s already looking forward to next year’s Night to Shine, where we’re sure he’ll show off even more dance moves!
“Smiling keeps you young!” Elvie told us this morning. Using that logic, J-Vie will be a teenager forever! He was all smiles today, and while he’s been coming in weekly for physiotherapy, today was just a follow up day for him. After taking an updated X-ray and checking his strength, everyone was amazed at how quickly his bones are growing back together. He’s walking with just a cane now, and he’s about ready to give that up. And that’s definitely something to smile about!
It’s hard to believe it’s only been a few weeks since J-Vie had his casts removed. He is progressing quickly, in part due to all the work he’s putting in a home, according to Elvie. He’s taking small steps, but still gets tired easily. The whole family knows it’s a long process, but they always show up with a smile, especially when they’re photobombing pictures, like our resident expert, J-Vie’s dad Joel!
The day we’ve been waiting for came! Elvie told us that J-Vie has been standing on his casts, so we asked if he was sure he wanted them off, since he was doing so well with them on. He decided it was worth the risk! So, everyone watched in anticipation as Dr. Tim removed the green casts, it was like Christmas morning! It was just as fun watching Joel and Elvie’s reactions, they were so blown away at the change. After a final x-ray, Elvie asked, “Is it awesome?!” Yep, awesome indeed! Now J-Vie gets to start working on taking steps, he stood a few times in the physical therapy room, and gave it everything he had, until collapsing in the chair from exhaustion. He knows it’ll be tough, but he’s ready to get to work. Stay tuned for those first cast-free steps, coming soon!
You know J-vie is in the hospital when you can hear Elvie's laugh. She’s just so bubbly and never misses to check in with the hospital staff, giving away goodies as her appreciation for our service to J-vie. He is definitely becoming a pro at walking! He’s taking more steps with the help of a walker and takes breaks when needed. We will see him again next week for his follow-up and we’re hoping that his casts will be taken off then!
J-Vie is back with his mom and dad for his physical therapy appointment! This was his second time in therapy so he knows what to expect. He stood up but didn't take a step, unlike the first time. He wasn't disappointed though, he understood that it is a new thing for him. Hence, he's a bit scared to take a step. On the bright side, he is standing at home, so that's going to help build him up more courage to keep going in his therapy! Thank you for praying for J-vie! We will keep you posted on his progress!
J-Vie was back today for his cast change, he was really hoping he wouldn’t need a new set, but after an x-ray, the decision was made to put him in casts for one more month. The removal was a bit rough, the gauze pads under his cast were sticking to his skin, and it was actually some of the worst pain he’s experienced, believe it or not! We are amazed at how straight his legs are though. He was upgraded to cool green fiberglass casts this time, which will allow him to start walking with crutches. We’ll see him next month for hopefully his final cast removal!
We were surprised but happy to see J-Vie at clinic today! His casts were rubbing on his toes, so Dr. Tim cut them back a bit and added some padding. We were teasing him that he just came back to hang in the playroom! But once his casts were fixed, he spent a while in there hanging with the guys playing games and doing some crafts, so maybe there was some truth there! We told him he’s welcome anytime, he’s fun to have around!
After a couple of whirlwind weeks, J-Vie now gets some time at home to just relax and recover. He was discharged this weekend, and we won’t see him until the end of July. No doubt sitting around for 6 weeks will be a challenge for him, but he assures us that he’s definitely up for it. He, Joel, and Elvie all understand that this road is long, but this trio makes a great team! Please keep praying for this awesome family!
So if everything goes to plan, J-Vie and the parents will go home tomorrow morning. He’s still hurting today, but his pain levels are still dropping. He and Joel spent some time gaming in the playroom today, it was nice for him to get out of bed for a bit. He plans to visit his school in a few weeks, and show off his new legs to his friends! He’ll be back in about 6 weeks to get this set of casts off, and downgrade to a smaller version, then even smaller ones later. Stay tuned to watch J-Vie’s incredible shrinking casts!
Last night and this morning are the first times through this whole journey that J-Vie has been feeling “real” pain. Elvie told us that last night he rated his pain level at about 8 out of 10, which is pretty significant. Then a while ago when we asked again, he said about 6. We’re happy to see it going down, but we still need prayers for it to drop even further! Even with the pain, he’s tough as nails and won’t complain, even though we’ve said it’s OK to grumble a bit. Sometimes it helps! Elvie keeps reminding him that the pain is temporary, but his straight legs will be forever! And that’s exciting!
J-Vie had both Joel and Elvie accompany him to the operating room this morning, he has a ton of support from both his parents, so awesome! The right leg was almost a mirror image of his left leg procedure from a few weeks ago. As promised, we took a few pictures of J-Vie’s left leg while the cast was off…wow…what a difference already! He told us this afternoon that the pain was even less this time, praise God! Thanks for your continued prayers!
J-Vie is back and ready to tackle Surgery #2! He will have his other leg straightened, and then he can focus on healing. He tells us he’s “a little nervous, but much more excited” about tomorrow. Elvie is super excited, and asked if she could get pictures of his straight leg when his cast is temporarily removed during surgery. It’s like waiting to open Christmas presents! Please pray tomorrow for J-Vie’s second surgery!
As of this morning, it was unsure whether J-Vie would go home today or tomorrow. Well, the good news is, we just found out he gets to go home this afternoon! J-Vie gave us his best “I’m excited to go home” look, and in his typical style, he’s happy, yet cool and casual. The whole family is looking forward to sleeping in their own beds tonight after a long week. J-Vie will be back in 2 weeks for a follow up, and for preparations for the other leg. We’re happy they’ll be returning soon, they’ve been a lot of fun to have around!
J-Vie is still holding steady when it comes to pain, we are truly amazed at how well he’s doing. His next surgery is scheduled for 2 weeks from now, so he will go home to rest for a bit, and then he’ll be back. He spent this afternoon sketching with another local artist, our Executive Director’s son Drew! The two hung out, and Drew did some doodling on J-Vie’s cast, then other staff members added their artsy touches. So, he’ll have a reminder of us while he’s at home! Thanks for praying for J-Vie, he will be going home soon.
We wish we could quote every awesome and inspiring thing that Elvie says, but no one can write that fast! Every time we visit, she goes on and on about how thankful she and Joel are, how J-Vie’s surgery is a dream come true, how much she loves the Lord, and how much she loves her son. While it’s our “job” to encourage and comfort these families, she’s the one doing a lot of the encouraging! This morning, J-Vie was reading his CUREkids profile on our Children’s Mentor’s iPad. He approved of our messages! He is doing remarkably well, considering how much work was done on his leg less than 24 hours ago. He had trouble sleeping last night, because other patients in the ward were in pain, but hopefully he can rest today. Thank you for your prayers, they are definitely being heard and answered!
J-Vie’s surgery was long and complicated, as expected, but it went very well. Only his left leg was done today, we will do his right leg in about 3 weeks. Dr. Tim sorted through an arsenal of hardware beforehand to pick out the perfect pieces to get J-Vie’s leg straight. His femur was cut in a couple of places, then plates and screws will hold it in place. Then, the lower leg was cut in several places, and the pieces of bone were strung onto a long metal rod. The best way we can describe it is “beads on a string.” Sounds weird, but it was truly remarkable to witness. When J-Vie woke up, he was in really good spirits, talking and joking. We know a lot of that is still his medicine, and when it wears off he’ll be hurting. Still, Elvie told us this afternoon, "I'm so happy, I could fly!"
We have learned quickly that while Elvie is small, we will have to be on our toes to keep up with her! Despite her physical limitations, she goes a mile a minute, and seems to have endless energy. She told us that she’s so excited for J-Vie’s surgery tomorrow, she won’t be able to sleep tonight. She and Joel were with J-Vie this afternoon, they are a super fun family! J-Vie is very blessed to have such upbeat, positive parents by his side. Tomorrow’s the big day, we will need lots of prayers, please join us!
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