"You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses..." -Acts 1:8
On Thursday January 11, 2018, Pastor Tom May suffered a syncopal episode while teaching teenagers to ice skate during a public skating session. The loss of consciousness caused him to fall backward and hit his head on the ice resulting in TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY (TBI). He awoke within 30 seconds and without knowing the extent of his injuries, tried to get up to skate off the ice, but the teens and others present forced him to lie down, which probably saved his life, until an ambulance arrived.
At the hospital, a CT scan revealed three cranial fractures and multiple bleeds in eight different areas of his brain. The injury was complicated by the blood thinning medication he had been taking since 2016 for a cardiac condition (atrial fibrillation). While in the Intensive Care Unit, the Neurointensivist who reviewed the CT scan remarked that one of the bleeds was "a hairline away from being fatal".
For the first several hours at the hospital, Pastor Tom was in and out of consciousness and in a lot of pain while the nurses and doctors were busily determining his treatment plan. At that point he was WITHOUT any pain medicine.
With his wife, Jan, and his brother, Thad, by his side Pastor Tom asked for prayer saying "I need an encounter with The Supreme Being". We offered the prayer of faith, and at the conclusion he felt great relief.
The ensuing days were filled with the regular neuro checks, therapy and more tests. By Sunday, he was discharged to home with 24-hour care from Jan, family and friends. The neurologist’s recommendation was lots of rest and sleep to help his brain heal properly.
The nature of the injury had made it extremely difficult to do normal daily activities like walking, talking, eating or even sitting at a table because he had to support his head and neck with his hands. Last December, he had injured his neck while doing some floor exercises, and that injury was re-aggravated from the severe whiplash caused by the fall. Not being able to lay flat he spent most of the day and night in a recliner chair during his first week back home, which led to other painful problems with his spine.
Due to the TBI he is expected to need months to recover. Ironically, he had not played ice hockey for over six months, and this fall happened while on the ice. Fortunately, it didn’t happen while walking his dog, driving or engaging in another activity that could have potentially harmed others. God is certainly working all of these circumstances for good, according to Romans 8:28.
We are believing for him to be able to stay off prescription blood thinners and use aspirin instead. We are also praying that he will be able to discontinue the precautionary anti-seizure medication that was started in the hospital as well as to have his blood pressure return to normal on a consistent basis.
Progress: his back is doing better, appetite has improved, and there are days when he feels almost normal for a few hours at a time. That said, he is battling double-vision and still deals with persistent head pain.
Prayer: We are asking for his complete recovery and continual progress so that he can fulfill his heart and destiny to serve others, as God provides. We are praying the Lord’s resurrection power in Tom’s life: health, marriage, family, church and campus ministry at Northern Illinois University.
Thank you for your prayers for Pastor Tom.
If you have any questions about how he is doing, you can contact Thad May at (630) 514-5224 (call / text).
There are many financial expenses related to the hospital stay, therapy, and follow up visits with various medical specialists after this type of injury. If you are able to help provide a financial gift, the needs are substantial, and he would appreciate whatever the Lord leads you to do. Click the Donate button below to contribute.