please pray for joanne

ENCOURAGING UPDATE from Joanne’s sister, Kristen (7:00pm): Joanne is resting quietly… she has all her favorite music playing on iTunes… Kirk Franklin anyone?? Cards, pictures, and notes are around her. She is moving her right side again and is snuggled under Grandma’s quilt.

UPDATE (2:05pm): From Toben: Out of surgery. Lots of brain trauma including to her brain stem. Please pray that she wakes up. Typing through tears. God, increase my faith! Believing you for Joanne’s complete healing!

Latest update from Toben (12:45pm): Read his post here. Please keep praying, friends!

UPDATE from Joanne’s sister 11:00am: Friends, just got a call from the hospital…Joanne was not doing well in the night…they did a cat scan and she has considerable swelling on her brain and is going into surgery within the hour to have part of her skull removed to give her brain some room to allow for the swelling. Obviously I am numb. Please pray.

My heart stopped tonight when I found out that my sweet online-turned-real-life friend, Joanne, had suffered a stroke earlier today, and that doctors were working on a blood clot on her brain. I don’t know all the details–just that her 9-year-old daughter, Emma, found her lying on the basement floor, shaking violently beside the running treadmill. (I can hardly stand to think about that.)

Just after midnight, her husband Toben posted an update on her blog. There is a possibility of hemorrhaging and swelling (which are both very bad scenarios), and the next 72 hours are critical.

I got down on my face when I first heard, still in shock, and asked God to please heal my friend. And when I thought of sweet Audrey and Emma and how scared they must be, I just lost it. Oh, God, please heal Joanne. Heal her brain and her speech and restore everything she might have lost. Love on Toben and hold those precious little girls tonight. Give them a peace that far surpasses all human understanding. I can’t even imagine. My heart hurts so bad.

Joanne and I met online almost 4 years ago through a mutual friend, then we stayed in the Heims’ home (they lived in AZ at the time) in July 2009 on the last leg of our Zoo Trip. Our girls had the most wonderful time together.

Joanne has been such an encouragement and blessing to me over these past four years. Just last week she sent me a beautiful giraffe-print over-the-shoulder bag that she made me as a birthday/Christmas gift. She is such a kind, thoughtful, creative and talented person. I sent her Scrabble magnets as a thank-you that spelled L-O-V-E, her word for the year. I wonder if she got them.

This is Joanne and her girlies leading mine in a prayer (w/motions) before dinner.

I don’t have any more words right now, just feeling a huge weight of sadness for my friend and her family. Please join me in praying for Joanne. I know God can heal her. Please heal her, sweet Jesus.

(As we were leaving their house, we realized we hadn’t taken a picture of the two of us, so we took one on Gabe’s phone.)

31 thoughts on “please pray for joanne

  1. Fran

    Oh I love reading these stories of friendship. I have yet to write anything past 140 characters. Not even sure why? Thanks for loving and praying. I’m glad I found you. I can tell you are the real deal. I’m thankful for that.

    Hugs and blessings,

  2. sarah m

    thanks for keeping us updated. I’ve been praying for them all day!!! I have a special place in my heart for stroke patients.

  3. Rachelle

    praying for your friend, Joanne and her family and friends. This is so heartbreaking.

    “And those who know your name will put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you”. Psalm 9:10

  4. Suzi

    Oh Marla.
    So sad. I am in tears. I never met her but have read her blog over the years. Her girls are heavy on my heart. What a testimony she is. I wish I was half the woman she is. Praying still.
    Love you,

  5. Chris Yoder

    I have been praying continually, honey, and I’m also praying for you, because I know how dear she is to you! Love you, Marla!

  6. Teresa

    i could not leave the computer yesterday..I only met Joanne once at a Beth Moore event…but loved her instantly. but I d know stroke 101 after my husband suffered a major stroke on a trip, spent six weeks in the hospital and I had many of the same things saids to me that Joanne”s family has. Twice being told he might not live through the night. Today 15 WEEKSS later he is 98% back and out driving the our liittle grandsons to breakfast and school as I type this…..Have hope

  7. Elizabeth

    I’ve been praying for Joanne much of today. I don’t know her personally, but I have friends that are close friends with her and I’m praying for you all as well. It seems like lately so many of my friends are facing things like cancer and house fires and family member’s deaths. There is a lot of pain and suffering in the hearts of people I love. When I don’t know what to pray I am turning to Psalm 46 as Toben Heim suggested. Trying to be still and know that He is God, an ever-present help in trouble.

  8. joyce

    I saw this on the LPM blog earlier and have been praying too. I don’t know Joanne but it is hard not to feel shocked and saddened by these frightening circumstances.

    I think of how precious life is. And how unpredictable.
    Praying for all who are touched by this today…I have two daughters and thinking about her girls is especially hard.

    Take care.

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