May 2, 1999

Hello Aunts and Uncles,

My brother is in serious condition. He had surgery yesterday to remove the infected tissue in his arm and since then he has been on a ventilator and many many medicines fed through an IV.

His vital signs seem stable at this point but the doctor explained that without all the support that he is getting he would have succumbed several days ago.

At this point it is a waiting and watching to see if his body can take over its own support. Especially his breathing... His lungs have been severely effected by the toxic byproducts of the infection.

I have put out the word to relatives and friends for their prayers. Please contact your children and let them know that their cousin is in a very dangerous spot.

I have let my father know of the seriousness of the situation and he seems to understand. Without seeing Leif in the intensive care unit and only going on someone's word it all seems like a dream. But it is very real. And very sad.

Leif's immune system has been weak for a while now - he caught colds and infections very easily. And he had a psoriasis on his hand that has bothered him for a while. These two things plus bumping his arm on Wednesday night set him up for this infection - a VERY virulent one. And very fast acting.

I have faith in the medical treatment he is receiving. Medicine can only do so much and they rely heavily on the body to truly bring about the healing. The ICU is basically a place to watch and monitor and hope that the body can restore itself.

I ask for your prayers for Leif's recovery and also for his peace and release in case it is his destiny to not survive this.

It is all so dreamlike... it has happened so quickly.

I am thinking of Leif's daughter, Amanda. And how she will not really understand what is happening to her daddy. Even with all the challenges that Leif has had with her, I often observed in Leif a true parental pride in Amanda. I will do my best to be there for that sweet little fragile girl. And I will ask my cousin Roger to do the same. These are thoughts that I had as I was sitting with Leif tonight. Somehow it is healing for me to simply sit and be with him even though he is totally sedated and in an entirely another place of consciousness.

So... I will keep you all informed of his status.