It’s the Joneses' ability to find light even in the darkest of places that has touched the hearts of many Facebook followers. “We’ve been really surprised to see how people responded to this story. They will write us and say, 'I never prayed before' or 'I didn’t believe in God, but now I do,'” said Chris Jones, scrolling through the long list of Facebook remarks that have come from almost every continent.
A man in Washington state told them on Facebook that he had struggled with prayer for years and now he is praying for Mitchell and the effects are spilling over onto him. “This practice of praying for your son, I find myself talking to God about other things that have really improved my life,” he wrote.
Besides sending prayers and words of encouragement, Facebook followers have taken action and last week delivered surprising news.
“One of the people following reached out to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy. The CEO got on the phone with half of America’s surgeons that are qualified to do what we need to do and just called us on Friday and said, 'We can’t see this happen. We want to help.'”
If all goes according to plan, a surgical team in Columbus, Ohio, will insert a Left Ventricular Assist Device into Mitchell’s heart on Monday. It’s not a cure, but it will give him more time.
“We had agonized over (whether we) have we done all that we could. It would wake me up in the middle of the night," Chris Jones explained. "'Have I missed something?' And so this thing surfaces, and either way it is going to provide a way for him to live longer or satisfy that soulful question: Have we done all we could? So either outcome is a blessing.”
Chris said he never could have imagined the new path the Facebook page would create for his family.
“Mitchell shouldn’t be alive at this moment," he said, "and it is the combination of prayers and faith and now thousands of people that have altered the course of Mitchell’s life, whether that has given us a few more days or, with this new LVAD, possibly years.”
Beneath a picture of Mitchell, his mom and brother against a setting sun is the caption: “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful."
The Jones family is grateful they have already been blessed with faith and a perspective that allows them to treasure those moments now and enjoy every minute they have left with their precious son.
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