Thank You For Praying for Mark

Thank You!

Thank you to many of you who have prayed for my brother Mark.  My husband is allowing me to take over his blog for a time so that I can communicate with family and friends how Mark is doing and how God is answering prayer.  We are certain that once again God has spared Mark’s life and has a perfect plan for him, through which God will receive much glory.  We love Mark and want to share with you what God is doing in his life and in our lives.  Mark has read all that I have written and has given me permission to share this with you.  Thank you in advance for your continued prayer and encouragement. 

911 Last Friday

As many of you know, Mark was taken to the hospital on Friday, August 28, around 5:30 p.m.  Since his accident a couple years ago, it is not unusual for him to sleep during the day or watch TV in his room, etc.   But by afternoon, Mom began to worry about him and finally when she checked on him more thoroughly, she found him unconscious.  Two teams came to help get Mark to the hospital.  His kidneys were failing, his muscles were deteriorating, his heart was not functioning properly, he had a high fever and some significant issues with his leg.  The doctors were very concerned for Mark’s life. 

Mark’s Initial Accident

Let me back up and review some events leading up to this week.    Two years ago this past June, Mark was working at a construction site in Tennessee.  It was his first time back to work after a year-long recovery from carpel tunnel surgery on his wrist.  Mark noticed right away that the job site did not have the proper safety barriers for the workers.  The house being built was on the side of a mountain and Mark was working off the deck that had no railing or barrier.  In that evening of a very long and hot day, we think Mark was probably suffering a little dehydration and heat stroke.  He passed out and fell 40 feet down the side of the mountain.  He was airlifted out and taken to the local trauma hospital.  The doctors said it was a miracle that he survived.  Mark sustained multiple broken bones and internal injuries.  He was brought up to Michigan about a week later and has undergone many months of therapy, surgery, and rehab.  He has been on workers’ comp and awaiting a long, drawn-out settlement due to the company’s negligence.  This was especially important in that it would provide medical care for his ongoing injuries and treatments.

The Past Two Years

These many months have been filled with discouragement, trials, temptations, pain, medications, and struggles for Mark.   God has given our parents, Barb and Ken Haan, a great deal of grace as they have tried to help him in many ways these past two long years—ways in which only God will ever know.  Our God is faithful and He has never forsaken us.  In addition to the ongoing recovery, there have also been new symptoms and developments in recent months, such as the grand mal seizure he had on his 27th birthday this spring.  Recently Mark was able to complete a program at a wonderful Christian place called Hebron Colony in NC, which by God’s grace helped him overcome some addictions that he has been fighting in past months.  This was a tremendous time of spiritual growth for Mark.  His renewed faith in God and testimony became very evident to all those around him.  When some of the family went to visit, they were amazed at the wonderful transformation—a sincere joy, a love for the Word, and a life committed to God.  He was hoping to go to Africa soon to help Rob with some building projects.  The Lord placed this desire on Mark’s heart at Hebron Colony.  Our parents—especially Dad—has been working very diligently to see through the frustrating workers comp and settlement issues so that in many ways, Mark can move on with his life as God leads.

Back to Friday Night

Mark came back to Michigan on last Tuesday night, 8/25, after doing a little traveling after his time at Hebron.  I actually hadn’t even seen him yet until the call came that Friday evening.  Thursday night he was with Paul at his new condo.  Paul dropped him off around 10 and Mark headed off to bed.  It is just not possible to know exactly what occurred between that time and the following afternoon, but when Paul and I arrived right about the time of the ambulance, Mark was nearly lifeless.  At the hospital they were working on stabilizing him.  Because of his position while unconscious, his left lower leg did not receive the proper blood flow and the tissue was dying.  After stabilizing Mark and running a myriad of tests, they did surgery on his leg around 1 a.m., in hopes that opening it up would relieve some pressure and increase blood flow in order to save the leg.


Mark is conscious, but heavily sedated.  It is a very touch and go day with regard to his kidney function, tissue deterioration, etc.  He is on a ventilator.  He is also still running a high fever and the infection is not related to his leg.  His leg is still hugely swollen without much color.  Cleaning the open wounds is excruciating.  The doctors are very concerned about his heart and breathing—so rapid, that they are not sure how long his heart can hold out.  Test results are still coming in.


Mark is stabilizing, but still not out of the woods.  I visited him after church.  He still has a fever and his heart rate and blood pressure is high.  He is off the ventilator.  By the end of the day, his kidneys appear to be functioning a little.  His leg and foot still looks bad.  He has developed a large mass on the side of his face/head/neck.  It appears like fluid.  He has lost almost all of his hearing. There has also been a large lump on his head that is draining.  The nurse doesn’t remember that being there when he was first brought in.  A CT scan is ordered.  His eyes are still closed, but he seems to be resting peacefully some of the time now.  Other times he is just not able to comprehend what is going on.

Monday and Tuesday

Waking up and realizing what is going on is overwhelming, frustrating, and discouraging.  The leg pain is almost intolerable.  Mark is really showing some signs of improvement, but at the same time new symptoms seem to develop.  The CT scan has revealed some damage, similar to a person’s brain who has had a stroke.  And just like someone who has had a stroke, it takes a long time to know what complications are temporary and which are permanent.  The swelling has gone down a lot on his face and neck.  He is beginning to eat and drink.  It seems like his hearing may be improving, too.


Medication has helped Mark’s blood pressure come down.  Still a bit of a fever, which is not good with regards to his leg healing.  When I went to see Mark today I was very encouraged with his progress.  I brought him some “artwork” from the kids, which he liked.  He was still in pain from having his leg cleaned again, but he smiled and gave me a big hug and was very glad I was there.  He is still trying to piece everything together, though, because he didn’t remember that Paul and Mom had been with him almost all day the day before.


When I got to the hospital after lunch, I was amazed to see Mark sitting in a chair.  He was moved to a normal room which was very nice.  He looked really good.  He didn’t feel all that great, because the pain meds weren’t working and he hadn’t slept all night that night.  He called Mom early in the morning.  He has been having some visitors the past couple of days, which he has really enjoyed.  It is still an effort for him to process things sometimes.

I went back this evening with the kids.  Mark was really glad to see them.  They watched football with him.  We talked about the first day of school.  We had a good laugh right before we left at 8 when Mark decided he might like a Little Caesar’s pizza.  Mom was explaining to him how Dad was going to get it and call her when he arrived downstairs, she would go get it and bring it back up quickly since visiting hours were over, etc. etc.  Mark sat there as if he was really concentrating and processing what she was saying.  As soon as she was done, he looked so serious when he blurted out—with parmesean cheese crust! 🙂


3 Responses to “Thank You For Praying for Mark”

  1. September 6, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Feel free to leave comments here and we will be glad to share them with Mark.

  2. 2 Ann Rees
    September 6, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this update on Mark and his condition. Having watched him grow up at ICBC for many years (except for the years the family or he lived away), he (like so many of our young people) holds a very special place in my heart. Also, having children of my own who have gone through severe health trials, I think of him A LOT, and I’m praying that the Lord will give him complete healing and peace of mind as he continues this journey. Thanks again for this post.

  3. 3 pat raburn
    September 6, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Our family continues to lift Mark to our Heavenly Father who loves him and cares for him. We know God is faithful and His promises are true. Thanks for sharing his progress with us. We love all your family. To God be the glory-great things He hath done.

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