Father, I bring before you Ali, Phil, Zoe and especially Ethan. Father, we know how YOU love him already -we ask for healing here on earth, for a Mother's heart. We ask for clear guidance each tiny step of the way, one step at a time. Let Ali & Phil feel Your strong, caring arms around them. Give them peace beyond our earthly understanding. We thank you Father for the doctors and nurses who will care for them, give them insight and knowledge that can only come from YOU. Thank You for the gift of Family and Friends to listen and care. Thank You for this little Family, struggling as they are. Lead and guide in YOUR strength and faithfulness. We ask this of our LOVING FATHER. Amen
#1 Aunt Sue & Uncle Dan on 2014-03-28 15:18
Ali, I "stumbled" upon you through Five Minute Friday and you touched my heart with your story. (I have a grown daughter who's nickname is Ali. Your name is pretty special to me.) I am blessed to read your words, and I am praying for you and your family as you cling to our God who is MIGHTY. Your work is eternally life-changing. God sees you, loves you and is your strength and song. I will continue to pray for you and your family, and I'll be back to visit you here again soon.
#2 Julie (Homepage) on 2014-03-28 15:18
Today, I have been walking around the ship singing these words to myself, to Cora and to Jack: "My God is so big and so strong and so mighty. There's nothing my God cannot do." Because yesterday, Adalynn showed me her song book from preschool and that song was in there.
Now, having read your post, I am struck at the depths of those words. It's not just a song that little kids sing. It is true. Our God is so big. So strong. So MIGHTY. There's nothing our God cannot do... including looking after you and Zoe and Phil and Ethan, arranging things to work out at CHOP, preparing the way for finances, and bringing together a support network that spans the globe. Ethan has not even taken his first breath yet, and yet his voice is proclaiming God's love around the world. That is strength.
#3 Chelle on 2014-03-28 15:50
oh Ali, my heart aches for all of you as you go through this process. However, it is awesome to see your immense community encouraging you and praying for you step by step. I am sure you have much stronger connections than me in the CHOP community, but I just want you to know I am still at CHOP working in the ER. If you need anything please let me know. If you need a friend to have a cup of tea with or a place to spend the night. I live down the street from CHOP. Praying for all of you! Xx
#4 Melissa on 2014-03-28 15:55
You're lovely. I forgot that you work at CHOP! Honestly, if the appointments end up being early on the 23rd, it might work out better for me to come down the night before so I don't have to worry about traffic. Fancy a catch up / sleepover? :-)
#4.1 Ali C. on 2014-03-31 22:02
Ali and Phil,
I served as a short term volunteer with you in 2010 in a dining room steward. I so much admired you both and have followed Ali's blog both before and since my return. I am praying for your family every day!! While I don't know if this has been mentioned or suggested yet, have you considered starting a "Go Fund Me" site for those of us who would like to help out financially? We all know there will be many unexpected expenses to come, and it would be a privilege to help out in any way. No doubt, many people around the world feel the same way. I believe God would provide tremendously!!! Perhaps a close relative could set up the site. You can even do it yourselves. Much love to you!!
Cathy Lessel (San Antonio, TX)
#5 Cathy Lessel on 2014-03-28 16:56
Right now our accounts are still open with Mercy Ships, so the support button here on the blog works for those who want to help out. If we have to leave and those accounts are closed, I'll definitely look into the gofundme thing. I'm not really sure that it is, but a couple people have mentioned it to me. Thanks for the tip. As hard as it is to ask for help, we know we're going to need it in this whole situation.
#5.1 Ali C. on 2014-03-31 22:01
Ali, Thanks for your honesty and the specific prayer requests. I was on the ANA with your hubby (I think) in Ghana and oddly enough my good friend had a beautiful baby girl with heterotaxy in November. (You know that four in a million?) I will join the people from around the world offering up prayers for Ethan and your family and will rejoice in the work of God's mighty hand. Blessings.
#6 Rachel B on 2014-03-28 17:25
Honestly, it's so crazy that now two people have commented who have friends with heterotaxy kiddos! How's your friend's little girl doing? Do you know if she has heart issues or did she get the version without major heart involvement?
#6.1 Ali C. on 2014-03-31 21:59
Ali, i continue to lift your family up in prayers. We have a friend who's son also has heterotaxy. They didn't know until he got very sick due to his intestines getting his blood supply cut off when they twisted. He is a living miracle today and absolutely thriving. Praying Ethan will also defy earthly wisdom. His little life is already being used in big ways.
#7 danielle on 2014-03-28 17:25
So crazy that you actually know someone else with heterotaxy! Despite my nursing training I'd actually never heard of it before the 19th. Do you know if he has any heart issues as well or just the intestines?
#7.1 Ali C. on 2014-03-31 21:57
I recently met you Phil and Zoe as I was a 1 month volunteer, in the PACU. I have followed your story from the 60 minutes show, and now to know what you are facing, I will pray and pray and pray for you and your family.
#8 Andrea on 2014-03-28 18:28
Hi Ali, I have been praying for you and your family. My friends Nanita and Ray Zarek are on the African Mercy. I have followed you for awhile now and saw you on 60 minutes. I too am a Reg Nurse and work on a Mental Health Crisis Team here in Brockville, Ontario, Canada.

Wishing your family much strength, hope and good news in your future! God bless you and trust that he will lead the way to better days ahead.

(((HUGS))) to all of you! :-)
#9 Maria Bindert on 2014-03-28 20:21
Praying, praying and praying some more here in Los Angeles.
#10 Steph on 2014-03-28 20:24
Praying and praying and praying. Oh Ali. I don't have words tonight .... Thank you for sharing details. It truly helps to better picture what you all are facing.
#11 Ellie (Homepage) on 2014-03-28 20:33
I don't know you, but I've been following you for several years. I just sent up a prayer for Ethan, you and Phil, and all the many doctors and nurses who will be so much a part of your journey. And I will continue to keep you all in my prayers. God bless!
#12 Katherine on 2014-03-28 20:34
My husband Tim keeps up with your blog, but I have to confess when Google reader went, I lost track. For some reason today I looked you back up. Know from Canada I am praying for your family. Praying for Ethan, for healing, for a insurance, for decisions to be good and right, for the future doctors that will be doing his care. For answers. For you and your husband. For peace, patience and trust. I will be checking in again more often.
#13 Aileen on 2014-03-28 20:47
Praying as I listen to, "His eye is on the sparrow." I certainly want things to work out for the best medical care as you have been led; but if you were ever led to Sick Kids here in Ontario we'd be so privileged to have you all.
Wondering if we're able to make a donation through Mercy Ships Canada that would get to you?
#14 Deborah Peel on 2014-03-28 21:28
As of right now, our accounts with Mercy Ships are still open and active, so you should be able to make a donation through the MS Canada office if you'd like.

Sick Kids is the other top contender for care, but right now it's feeling more and more like things are pointing towards Philly. It's crazy to be making such huge decisions!
#14.1 Ali C. on 2014-03-31 21:54
Ali, I have been praying for you and your precious Ethan. I'm asking God to do mighty things now and the days ahead. As a pediatric nurse I just wanted to share my experience with CHOP. I worked as an in home nurse and one of my little pt's was born there. I had the opportunity to travel there with my little pt several times for follow-ups and studies, and I cannot even begin to express my admiration and respect for everyone I met there. I also had the privilege to attend a reunion for those born at CHOP and the love shown to all the families who were there was amazing and humbling. I pray that God will open doors and pave paths for you and your sweet boy to experience the care you both need in the days ahead. On a side note, CHOP's slogan is "Hope lives here". Hugs and hopes for God sized miracles.
#15 Kim Dupra on 2014-03-28 21:55
I am praying for all of you and Baby Ethan especially. God is Mighty, and big enough for it all - the doubts and questions and sadness and joy and healing that Ethan needs.
#16 Aubrey (Homepage) on 2014-03-29 00:02
I've been reading your blog for years, but wanted you to know that I'm praying for your family!
#17 RN in New Mexico on 2014-03-29 00:17
I am in Philly (but not working). And we are moving out of the city April 12th. But our house is still empty of our tenants moving in May on April 23rd if you need a place inside city limits to crash. But it will be very empty (which probably isn't helpful!) . . . It's maybe 10-15 minute ride (bus or car) to CHOP - about 20 blocks and a pretty straight route. (It'd probably take two minutes if the lights and traffic would coordinate. =)
#18 danielle on 2014-03-29 05:47
Thank you so much for the offer; depending on how early the appointments end up being I might need a place to crash, so I'll let you know. I have some other friends in the area who have furniture, though, so they might have a leg up on your scenario (as awesome as it is). :-)
#18.1 Ali C. on 2014-03-31 21:50
Father, in the mighty name of Your Son Jesus, I lift Ethan, Ali, Phil and Zoe before you. Have mercy Father and hear their prayers and the prayers of many throughout the world. You are the only loving and True God. You are the Healer and Comforter and so much more. Give Phil and Ali wisdom as they seek medical help for their precious son Ethan. Provide for them financially and physically. - Amen
#19 Don on 2014-03-29 09:09
Love you four and are praying for all of you. I so badly wish I had words that could make this better or even help, but I don't. I'm sorry. We love you all very much!
#20 Elliot and Julle on 2014-03-29 10:21
Ali, Phil, Zoe and Ethan,
Praying that the hand of The Lord covers and directs you to where He would have you go. I pray His will be made clear to you so there will not be any doubt. I pray that all your needs be met financially, spiritually, physically and emotionally. I pray for healing of Ethan's little but strong heart that it will be changed and made whole at the next sonograph and also that his intestines and everything else will be in its proper place. God is able and He is faithful. Keep holding to His mighty hand, Ali! Bless you for keeping us updated.
#21 Patricia on 2014-03-29 13:24
Ali yes our God is mighty and he hears us and answers our prayers . Thank you very much for including your specific prayer requests and yes I will continue to pray for your needs. Stay strong Ali you can get through this and The Lord will direct you in a path. Thanks for being so very honest and speaking from your heart ! My heart aches for you :-( I will continue to pray for the strength you need to get through this as well as dealing with a very cute, happy active toddler and Phil who is so very far away and I am sure he is feeling the pain as well. God bless you and I am so happy that you are living at home and you have Mom and Dad and of course Diana to help you and be there for you! Love and prayers, Nancy
#22 Nancy McClelland on 2014-03-29 14:18
Ali, I'm at a loss for words, but praying for you guys.
#23 Lydia Corriveau on 2014-03-29 16:44
Ali, I've met you at the AFM in Salone in 2011 and have been reading your blog since then. I'm one of the Dutch readers.
I've always enjoyed reading your blog and admired your capability to give words to your feelings and thoughts.
Since I've read about Ethan and your struggles I've been praying for you, the HoJ, Zoe and him.
I pray for you all that God's strength will carry you through this turmoil and help you all through each single day.
And thanks for the prayerlist. I'll use it.
#24 Christina on 2014-03-30 13:16

I have been reading your blog recently. My heart is with you. I hope you often feel the enormous support of an entire globe of people who are praying for you.

I wanted to let you know that I live in a suburb of Philadelphia, in a beautiful country farmhouse. And you are more than welcome to stay there for however long you need to if you decide on CHOP in Philadelphia as your hospital.

(p.s. I’m the writer on the Communications Team who you and Zoe once visited recently in the office where Zoe jammed out to music on headphones, just a reminder of who I am!)

Let me know. My email is
I am returning home this week, so contact me through that email if you need to get in touch.

All my prayers and love,

#25 Grace (Homepage) on 2014-03-30 14:08
Oh Grace, you lovely woman you. Thank you so much. I got your e-mail in my Mercy Ships' email, and I'll for sure be in touch if Philly ends up being the place. One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle that just doesn't seem to be fitting is the question of where we'll stay and how that will all look if we're down there for longish periods of time, so if you're serious and there's room we really might be giving you a call!

Zoe says hi. Hope your travels home went smoothly! The ship will be missing you.
#25.1 Ali C. on 2014-03-31 21:48
Adding myself to your Philly team. I have friends who are both nurses and parents of patients at ChoP and I live just outside the city. Whatever you need.

#26 Julie (Homepage) on 2014-03-30 23:27
Thank you so much. The connections just keep cropping up, and we are so grateful for everyone that has reached out. It seems more and more like things are pointing to Philly with each new voice that chimes in. :-)
#26.1 Ali C. on 2014-03-31 21:44
Dear Ali,

I wanted to encourage you by letting you know that I'm one of your blog readers, from Australia, but based in the UK, and another person praying for you and your family.

Isn't it wonderful to think that no matter what hour of the day it is, because you have readers all over the globe, someone is probably lifting you up in prayer in that hour? Even while you sleep.

I pray that God gives you all strength and courage and hope in the difficult time, and that you continue to cling to Jesus and his love for you all.

#27 Bonnie Rozorio on 2014-03-31 11:22
I know you would get the very best care at CHOP. The children of many of my friends have been treated there. We will pray to that end. We are just 45 minutes from the hospital and would help you in any way possible.
#28 Nancy B. Kennedy (Homepage) on 2014-04-01 11:35
Just another voice storming heaven with prayers for your family. Lovely how some answers are coming so quickly...people are so good and kind. I believe that Ethan is already a miracle. Thank you for allowing us to share your joy and pain.
#29 Cyndi on 2014-04-02 22:22
Add Comment
Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
Standard emoticons like :-) and ;-) are converted to images.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.

To prevent automated Bots from commentspamming, please enter the string you see in the image below in the appropriate input box. Your comment will only be submitted if the strings match. Please ensure that your browser supports and accepts cookies, or your comment cannot be verified correctly.

Submitted comments will be subject to moderation before being displayed.