12 January 2010
I am writing to you this evening with an extremely urgent request for prayer.
Over the weekend one of our Holy Cross community members and dear friend of mine, Jamil Samara, was struck with Necrotizing Fasciitis. Those of you with medical backgrounds will understand the severity of what that means, and for the rest of us, Jamil has contracted what is referred to as a "flesh-eating bacteria." The bacteria entered into Jamil's right forearm and on Saturday around 2.45am he went to the Emergency Room only to be sent home with the diagnosis of a muscle strain. After increased pain and swelling Jamil went back to the ER and was then admitted and diagnosed with NF. On Sunday morning (1/10) he entered surgery where the skin covering his right arm was removed in order that the physicians could cut and remove the diseased tissue. The bacteria has since spread to his right side. In a second surgery on Sunday doctors began cutting out that tissue in an attempt to stop further spreading. The severity of this bacteria is absolutely unbelievable. Not only is Jamil at high risk of losing use of his right arm or potentially having it amputated, his very life is at risk depending on when and where this bacteria continues to spread.
Jamil is in critical condition in the ICU here in a local Boston hospital. He held stable through the night last night and has made it through a third surgery that was this evening. Jamil came out of the OR around 8pm EST tonight. That surgery went well and the doctors were able to report that there were no signs of the infection having spread more and that the area is showing good blood flow. (Glory to God!) He remains intubated and sedated and the doctors have said that will likely be the case for some time. Thankfully the bacteria has not moved closer toward his hand, nor toward his neck, face, or chest cavity where his vital organs would be at risk. Because of the nature of this bacteria, the doctors have been aggressive in their treatment. They are considering the possibility of moving Jamil to Mass General where he could enter a hyperbaric chamber, as they have shown positive results in combating this infection. However, Jamil is still in a very fragile state and the doctors' next step is still unclear.
Please, I beg of you, begin to intercede in prayer on Jamil's behalf. Pray that the doctors and nurses caring for Jamil will be granted wisdom and direction in their treatment efforts. Pray also that Jamil himself will continue fighting this disease with strength and that, by God's power and grace, he will be granted a full recovery, "release from pain and restoration to health and vigor."
I have attached a photo of Jamil to help remind you to pray for him. He is a wonderful person with a beautiful soul and may we count it OUR Blessing to intercede on his behalf! I pray our Lord, Jesus Christ, and His Mother, our Panagia, will be with Jamil and with all of you.
My love and sincere thanks,
PS.. If you are so inclined, please continue to share Jamil's story and our fervent request for prayer with others you may know.