1. Lord I need you now

2. How are you? I'm blessed

3. A Dream Team sent from heaven

4. Can we pray for you?

5. I'll trust you lord

6. No time to leave things unsaid

7. The day before surgery

8. The Big Day

9. Watching the clock

10. You're here for me

11. Anoint my head with oil

12. Discharge Day

13. Epilogue

14. Giving thanks






And all who touched him were healed.
(Mark 6:56)










With God, all things are possible.
(Matthew 19:26)







I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.
(Jeremiah 30:17)







"We serve a living God and my personal experience with Him through this trial has made me a witness of His Glory."

My follow-up doctor’s visits all went extremely well. Dr. Brown removed the staples on May 15 and noted I had made great progress in my recuperation. He cleared me to return to work on half days starting June 1 and expected me to be 95 percent back to normal by then. My supervisors at Applied Materials agreed to let me telecommute during that time and assigned me projects that I could do from home. I was still on anti-seizure and blood pressure medicine. I still had swelling on my right temple but it was gradually going down as the days went on.

My May 23rd appointment with the rehabilitation therapist went so well that they told me there was nothing they could do for me. They put me through all of their hardest tests for mental ability, awareness and memory and I passed every one.

Instead of having my follow-up eye exam at the Parkland ophthalmology clinic, I asked to do it with Dr. Bubela, the optometrist who had spotted the signs of problems with my optic nerve. When I called to make the appointment, his staff members recognized my name right away. “Oh. Mr. Prater. We’re so glad to hear from you,” a receptionist said. When I went in, I shook Dr. Bubela’s hand and hugged him in eternal gratitude.

During the exam, he once again dilated my pupils. There was still some residual swelling around the optic nerve and the peripheral vision in my right was still not what it should be, but I was improving. Thanks be to God.

I had numbness from my upper right lip to the tip of my nose for several weeks after the surgery. At times, I had itching sensations on the side of my nose, but when I scratched I couldn’t feel anything and the itching persisted without relief. But that too began to subside by the second week in June.

I knew that I would need to be closely monitored for the next several years for signs of tumor regrowth. I would probably have to have periodic MRIs to scan for abnormal cell growth.

I sent a long thank you note on May 21 to my Verizon friends and colleagues expressing my sincere thanks for their support, prayers and thoughtfulness. Here is some of what I said:

First of all, I want to give all of the praises and glory unto God.  We serve a living God and my personal experience with Him through this trial has made me a witness of His Glory.


I can not find the words to express the gratitude that I feel for the tremendous outpouring of flowers, prayers and support that I received during this crisis.  It is said that at the end of one’s life, you can measure your success or wealth by the number of positive influences and friends.  Based on this and your response, I know that if I had not survived this, I would have gone to heaven as a very wealthy man.  My mom was here with me during my hospital stay and was simply amazed by your response and literal world-wide support.


For those of you who have not heard the story, this was a case where God almighty himself intervened and helped me make decisions that ultimately saved my life. These were decisions that I would not have made on my own. If you would like to know more (and everyone of faith should), I am working with my sister (a former journalist for the Miami Herald who was here during my hospital stay) to chronicle my experiences and publish a blog. We expect to have this completed in the coming weeks.


If you would like to call, please call me at home. Or if you have Verizon Wireless service, you can all me on my cell (free Verizon to Verizon calls -- my minutes this month are WAY OUT OF CONTROL).


Lynita, Pastor Billie Grate and Gerald at church 7 weeks after surgery.



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© 2007 Gerald L. Prater

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