My son was diagnosed with a brain tumor about two weeks before the Feast. Our family was all prepared to jump into the Fall Festivals, this time in Lancaster.
The very sudden presentation of a major health trial to our family was something that sent us reeling. God's immediate intervention saved our son's life, and two surgeries later we found ourselves placing our original plans aside.
Two days before the Feast, our family was driving toward the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, with the understanding that further medical attention would be engaged within the next 24 hours. Halfway to the clinic we received a call that it was not a dire emergency, and the preliminary appointment was set for the following week.
We shouted for joy because on the way to Rochester we were also headed for the Feast site in Wisconsin Dells.
Arriving in the Dells four hours before the opening service and being able to locate a nice suite at a familiar motel raised our family's spirits beyond measure. For the previous two weeks, prayers from all over the country had gone to God's throne, and friends known and unknown had petitioned our loving Father for His direct intervention. We arrived at the opening service completely overwhelmed with the love and attention from numerous brethren quite familiar with this incredible situation.
Though my son was quite challenged to engage in the Festival activities as he had done in previous years, many people attending this familiar site devoted themselves to serving our family.
The most memorable were many teens who knew my son or were recently informed of his plight. With every event we were able to attend, young people in God's Church went out of their way to care for him and give their time and gifts and cards in one of the most heartwarming displays our family had ever witnessed.
My son's face would simply beam with happiness as he received the love that these very considerate future leaders of God's Church presented to him. The warmth and outgoing concern that we witnessed moment by moment during the five days we were able to be at the Dells made this "the best Feast ever."
Our family had to leave early in order to make the appointments at the Mayo Clinic, but the period of time worshipping God with young and old alike made this a most remarkable experience. My family left with a "spiritual high" that had never been realized before, though all of our Feasts have been very rewarding.
We never dreamed that during the greatest trial we had ever encountered, we would also be strongly comforted by some very special young people who let their lights shine to God's glory. UN
Update from Britton's pastor, Herb Teitgen: The tumor that was growing around Britton's pituitary gland was completely removed with surgery performed at Mayo Clinic on Oct. 10. The surgeon commented that this level of success for this kind of situation was "one in one million!" The big concerns and items to pray about are for his pituitary and hormonal production to return to normal.
Additional details: The tumor and the surgery to remove it impacted his vision and also his short-term memory. Also his pituitary is not functioning normally. Several artificial hormones need to be administered to him for now.
He had a setback before being discharged when he developed meningitis-like symptoms. He was anointed and then treated with strong antibiotics and thankfully recovered quite quickly. The Redlines finally returned home on Oct. 21.
Britton has undergone physical, occupational and speech therapy to improve his vision, cognitive abilities, muscle strength, balance, etc. Britton's vision has improved significantly and steadily continues to move toward normal. He is reading well now also. He needed a lot of rest at first but is becoming stronger and has increasingly greater stamina.
Britton's neurosurgeon approved Britton returning to band next semester at high school. He is in the 10th grade and plays trombone in the concert band. He plans to return to choir class and to Spanish as well.