Welcome To Fearless Fridays, where everyday people like you, share amazing stories of fearlessness…
A Fort McMurray Evacuee’s Story of Faith in the Fire – Fearless Fridays by Bob Jones
Kolby and Elise Bouck believe in miracles. In January 2015 they watched their preemie baby boy, Rydon, fight for his life with the aid of doctors and nurses in two hospitals and the prayers of family and friends each breath of the way.
Today, the Bouck’s are like thousands of families from Fort McMurray, forced from their homes by an unprecedented, raging fire nicknamed “the Beast.” Rydon may actually have saved his family’s lives. The Bouck’s were in the Edmonton area for a doctor’s follow-up appointment with Rydon when the fire jumped the Athabasca River and raced towards their neighborhood.
They watched in shock through their home security camera as the fire consumed the homes on their street.
Kolby’s place of employment, the Dodge Jeep dealership caught fire. The Centennial Trailer Park across from the dealership and owned by his father burned to the ground. His parents brand new home also became a victim of the fire.
The Bouck’s have seen pictures of their home and backyard which is still intact. They can see that the fire came through the forest and right up to their backyard fence and then…stopped. They are so grateful that their house was untouched by the fire. Once again they’ve seen God’s faithfulness in a fiery trial.The Boucks were thrust into the life of being “NICU parents” (Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit) Their attitude? “He’s here. He’s safe. Let’s trust God and ride out this journey.”
His middle name, Harold, was for his great-grandfather who passed away suddenly just after Elise learned she was pregnant. Rydon was the baby of hope who helped carry the family through grief. Now he needed help to get through his first weeks out of the womb.
Rydon has needed a ventilation machine to breathe. One morning all of the machine’s settings were completely maxed out. The nurse treating him appeared somewhat concerned to Elise. “I’ll have the medical team come speak to you as soon as they finish their rounds.”
An x-ray showed that his upper right lung was partially collapsed. His left lung wasn’t looking very good. He had chronic lung disease. His future suddenly didn’t look very good.As a last resort they tried him on a jet machine, which delivers 100’s of puffs of air per minute into the lungs. That machine too maxed out with little change in Rydon’s condition. Further x-rays showed he had developed “Necrotizing Enterocolitis” (NEC) – a bacterial infection that eats away at a preemie’s intestines.
In the most premature babies like Rydon, more than 50% die from NEC.
Doctors gave the family three options – all of which had a high likelihood of the same, unacceptable outcome. He vital signs were dangerously low. The physicians were concerned that Rydon’s organs were dying or dead.Elise’s mother looked over to her and said, “They didn’t give us option four. We’re choosing option four. Option four is to pray to our mighty God. He is an Almighty healer and he can carry Rydon through this.””We pleaded the blood of Jesus over him and prayed, “Lord heal him. Put new living tissue in him.”Within two hours of that prayer Rydon’s vitals began to come back. He was weaned off his medication and the jet machine. Shortly after he was well enough for transport to the Stollery Children’s Hospital for surgery.
When the surgeon saw him he said this couldn’t be the same baby he heard about the day before. “When I hear about babies that sick the outcome usually isn’t very good. Rydon is not a surgical patient.”Mother’s Day 2016 was supposed to be Rydon’s dedication in Fort McMurray at Family Christian Centre (FCC). The fire changed that. Undaunted, the Bouck family went ahead with the dedication. All of the Boucks had attended North Pointe Community Church (NPCC) when they lived in the area. They gathered with their FCC family and the NPCC family to dedicate Rydon to the God who sees us through the fire.
The Boucks are deeply indebted to the care he received from the Stollery and the Royal Alexandra hospital staff and the prayers of family, friends and other believers.
Kolby and Elise know that their journey is not over. There will be bumps in the road ahead. “We know that God has brought us through. We know that whatever happens He will pull Rydon through. Thanks again to everyone for your prayers and support. Words cannot describe how blessed we feel to have come so far.”
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Robert (Bob) W. Jones is a recovering perfectionist, who collects Coca-Cola memorabilia and drinks Iced Tea. His office walls are adorned with his sons’ framed football jerseys, and his library shelves, with soul food. He has served as a pastor for 36 years and has enjoyed the past 26 years in leadership at North Pointe Community Church in Edmonton, Alberta