Read part 1 of this post here.

Ian had a long road ahead of him after waking up. He stayed in the hospital an additional two weeks. Then, he went to a rehab inpatient hospital for four weeks. The kids and I tried to visit as much as possible. Ian was a warrior. He never once complained. He worked hard to get strong and come home to us.

We prayed for the black fingers and feet. We prayed for God to make them pink again. We had others praying, too. After the month of rehab, Ian came home, with the black fingers and feet. They were just there. Around our kids at home. In public when we took Emma to her soccer games. When we went to church on Sundays. In my bed when I rolled over in the middle of the night. There was no way to get rid of them. We believed God would heal them. We believed God COULD heal them.

After the four weeks in rehab Ian did six weeks of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Five days a week, for two hours each day, he laid in a glass chamber hoping to restore the dead tissue and black skin we saw each day. For months, we lived with the black fingers and feet. Our loving hand surgeon told us one day, “Watch out. Those black fingers can just snap off, you know.” Needless to say, we were careful. Part of my job was to help Ian take care of the blacks. Each day, twice a day, the blacks had to be cleaned. And rewrapped in gauze. AND wrapped in plastic trash bags for his shower. We were so so so careful.

God taught us patience. He taught us we weren’t in control. He taught us to trust Him. He would take care of us.. no matter what.

Six months after he first got sick, Ian had his fingers and feet amputated. Not because God couldn’t heal them, but because it wasn’t God’s will to heal them. It was Ian who said to me one day, “Maybe God will heal me through the amputations.” And God did heal him.

The months that followed were full of pain medication, shrinkers, a wheelchair, transfer boards, potty seats, and lots of healing. For all five of us. Our new normal was finally beginning. After living in limbo not knowing what would happen, God graciously guided us to his new normal for us. Ian learned to do things without fingers. He learned to walk with prosthetic legs. He drove again. He traveled alone again, a test he had set for himself, and succeeded.

Today, two and a half years later, life is TOTALLY BACK TO NORMAL. We don’t even notice Ian’s disability. It is so normal to us. There is NOTHING Ian can’t do. Nothing. Everything he could do before he got sick, he can still do. (Maybe he does it a little differently, but so what?) We’ve been to the beach, skiing, and he’s even been up to the attic to get stuff down for me. He is even running on special legs called blades. The man is truly amazing. I’m in awe of him.





So, that’s it. In a nutshell, that is how our lives went from Ian having two legs and ten fingers to having two fake legs and no fingers. And life is still good. One night, early on, I said to Ian, “You know, it’s never gonna be like before.”

He replied, “I know. It’s gonna be BETTER than before.” And it is. 🙂

God is good, friends! I believe God wants me to encourage others in light of our experiences. I’d LOVE to hear from you! Please don’t hesitate to write. AND if you have a question, ask away! We love to answer questions and are not shy at all about what we’ve been through. 🙂 Oh, and subscribe to my blog on the right hand column so I can share more with you!

love, denisse


This is part of a series called 31 Days of Living the Good Life.

9 thoughts on “8. What happened to Ian anyway? Pt 2

  1. God is amazing. There is a Kutless song that has a line in it “that’s what faith can do” – Your story is amazing and inspiring – that song came to mind – you may be familiar with it – if not, it’s a good reminder of how our faith can sustain us no matter what. I went through double pneumonia in the winter of 2011, my blood was septic, my heart was going into afib and my kidney’s were beginning to shut down – it is only by the grace of God that I am here today and I am so thankful. Thanks for sharing your story – I know it will touch others.


  2. What an amazing testimony of the love and grace of God to your family. I have often been told that our greatest testimony comes out of our deepest trials, and upon reading this post, I can clearly see how God is moving amazingly in your lives. Thank you for sharing such a fragile part of your story.


  3. I am so thankful my work schedule that year allowed me to be at the hospital the day they asked you to sign papers to start dialysis. I think that will be one of those days I never forget…and you know my memory! Being there with you set me on a prayer journey for Ian and you and the kids that I never would have been on if I had not. While I also pray I will never have to face anything like this, I always pray that I will handle it like you and others who have done it so well.


  4. “Better than before.” Amazing! His ways are now our ways. That’s for sure. But they ARE always better. Thank you for sharing your story. May many come to see God’s goodness and faithfulness through it!


  5. I was so happy to see part 2 here tonight! What a story! I love that Ian said “It’s going to be better than before!” And it was! Can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us!


  6. What a powerful story. Inspiring to read and such an incredible reminder that God works in ways that are wildly (dangerously it seems to us) mysterious.


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