Welcome to The Nicol Family Blog.

This site is designed to keep our friends and family up to date with the ongoing events that take place in the lives of the Nics (The Nicols) James Ch 1 27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble.............

Having our own Dress up Party!!!!!

As you can see, we decided that if we cannot get to the Harvest Festival at the church, then we would have our own!!!

I could not believe my eyes when I came back to the hospital today!!!! Berhanu looked so much better and just about back to himself!!!! He was smiling and interacting with Jim and I, it was such a blessing.

At present he is still sitting in the little wagon waiting to go back into bed for the night. He is tired, as this has been the first day that he has been awake all day long!!!!

We are hoping that he will get to go home soon!!! Even as early as Mon/Tues, that would be so good to have him back in the house again and to get him back to full strength.

Bethany has been patiently waiting for him coming home, as she is not allowed in the hospital because of the "piggy flu", so I am sure that if he gets home at the beginning of the week, she will be pleased.

Everyday has been such a blessing with Berhanu, we are so thankful to God for being given this privilege to take care of such an angel. Just remember that God can put people into our lives that are actually angels, which means we can be entertaining angels, so we should always be kind, considerate and loving, the way that God would love!!!

Tomorrow is a new day, and I pray God's mighty hand on Berhanu.

Nightie Night!!!!
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Walking the DOG CHLA

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Just out for a walk Sat Morn

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Go to you tube Type in Jamesnicol7 for recent Vids

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Bran Walks

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Bran in the toy shop

Since the operation -he is leaning to the left when he sits when he stands and seems to be listing to the side where his hump was.
I have other videos that are too long for the uploader I will figure out how to get them on.

Sat Morn another rough night....Bran was good but Oscar who we are sharing a room with kept us up most of the night.........

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Fri Night-CH Cafe + Garden +Incredibles

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Brans Nurse From Ethiopia

Bran has had his surgery he is out of ICU its now Friday Morning.
Caroline was with him until yesterday now I have the Thursday Night -Friday night Shift.
We have had a bad night .He is being weaned off Morphine.
He has been up every second hour crying .They have given him some Morphine Shots to keep him Going.

He has withdrawn into himself and is very shy..........This is the way he reacts when he is in pain or does not want to eat.......No temper tantrums or crying ......just the silent introverted man.

This Video Clip Lets you hear Amharic being spoken...Its just like Scottish ......nobody can understand a word you are saying.

CHLA employ 3000 people........what were the chances of getting a nurse from Ethiopia. Senja
came from Ethiopia when she was 16 -her family had a business ,it was taken from them and they became threatened in Ethiopia.

She is a lovely person who has really helped us big time.

Only God can control those odds 3000 -1 chance of getting a nurse who speaks Amharic.

The more I get to know Brano ..............The more I think that he has experienced things that have made him have a withdrawn -reclusive side to his character.
I think that time with us would bring him out of a life of Greys and dull colors into a vibrant normal loving family where Hughes and affection are every day life.

When your told your loved every day, your are a beautiful child, your doing well......when you swim in a sea of confidence ................you start to believe in yourself...

Simply............. Bran needs the basic commodity of love............God allow us the gift of giving him that Love.

I am now in Ronald MacDonald's house to get cleaned up and prepare for the night shift.
MacDonald's are so generous- really, really kind to allow many of the families to stay here for free............

God bless the big Mac !

I will post a couple of other vids later of the Bran walking his dog called Wilber........?

The kid is on the mend......!


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Bran is Smiles better

Today has been Berhanu best day.
He is out of ICU and is back on the ward. We have had some visitors from Ocean come and see him. He is still feeling rough but much better than last week.
He was only face down in the theatre for 4 hrs as opposed to 8 last week.

Caroline has been here since Tuesday night. I am now taking over at the CH Hilton in LA.
Carrie saw the X rays today and his spine is must better....We will post the X rays when we get them the difference is remarkable.

He is now off Morphine and is getting another type of medication for pain.
His little tummy is now switching on.
He is worn out and has very little energy.....he appears to be withdrawn, I think the two operations have made him very wary of people with a medical look.

The main thing is, he is on the mend..........Surly God answers prayers.
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Branos Doc in Ethiopia Rick Hodes

The doctor multitasks while visiting ten-year-old Fetia, who had surgery last year—arranged by Hodes and performed by visiting American surgeons—for a cleft palate and other facial deformities. The girl, once largely confined to her home, is now comfortable in public. To honor Hodes as their guest, the family holds a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.

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The Israel Connetion

We have no choice we must help this man
God Blesses those who bless the Jews!

DR Rick Hodes

A specialist in cancer, heart disease, and spinal conditions, Hodes first went to Ethiopia as a relief worker during the 1984 famine. He returned there on a Fulbright fellowship and in 1990 was hired by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian group, as medical director for the country, overseeing the health of Ethiopian Jews who planned to immigrate to Israel. He discovered Mother Teresa's Mission while searching for a teenager he'd been treating for heart disease. When the boy disappeared from the hospital because he couldn't pay, Hodes tracked him down at the mission. Hodes became a volunteer and was soon spending as much time there as at his salaried job.

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The Doc who sent Brano

Research Rick Hodes his story is amazing ........what can we do to help him............?

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Video of Ric Hodes in Ethiopia

Dr. Rick Hodes Helping Kids in Ethiopia



Dr. Rick Hodes Helps the Children of Ethiopia
Dr. Rick Hodes has devoted his life to helping Ethiopia's
most desperate kids-including the five he adopted.
His philosophy is simple: "Don't Say No

In Ethiopia, there is one doctor for every 40,000 people and never enough medicine. In a nation with a per capita income of $220, modern treatment is reserved largely for the rich. But at Mother Teresa's Mission, Rick Hodes, MD, devotes himself to healing the poor.

"I like helping people nobody else is interested in," says Hodes, 55, the senior attending physician at the mission, in Addis Ababa. A native of Long Island who trained at Johns Hopkins University, he sees 20 adults and children a day at no cost to them. Many travel hundreds of miles from remote villages, sometimes in the backs of trucks, to his one-room clinic, where he stops at nothing to get them what they need.Watch Dr. Rick Hodes in action

If his patients require sophisticated medication, he hunts it down. He arranges free surgeries abroad. He moves kids who need special care into his own modest home (three bedrooms inside, three in an outbuilding) or another that he rents nearby. "Whenever half a mattress is free," he says, "I take in someone new." Some are abandoned kids who live on the streets; others come from families who can't feed them. In addition to providing medical treatment, he oversees the children's education, lining up donors to pay for both.

Most striking of all, Hodes, who is single, has adopted five Ethiopian children, the maximum allowed. He started in 2001 to put two orphans—Semegn, now 19, and Dejene, 15—on his insurance plan so they could have surgery in Texas. "It was kind of a scary decision, so I thought about it for a few days," Hodes recalls. "The answer that came to me was, God is offering you an opportunity to help these boys. Don't say no."

A specialist in cancer, heart disease, and spinal conditions, Hodes first went to Ethiopia as a relief worker during the 1984 famine. He returned there on a Fulbright fellowship and in 1990 was hired by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian group, as medical director for the country, overseeing the health of Ethiopian Jews who planned to immigrate to Israel. He discovered Mother Teresa's Mission while searching for a teenager he'd been treating for heart disease. When the boy disappeared from the hospital because he couldn't pay, Hodes tracked him down at the mission. Hodes became a volunteer and was soon spending as much time there as at his salaried job.

Until two years ago, he financed his mission work out of his paycheck or by begging aid wherever he could find it. Now the JDC helps with fund-raising, but Hodes still digs into his own pocket when a patient needs bus fare or a meal. He buys shoe polish for boys who support themselves by shining shoes. He pays the rent for a widow whose daughter is undergoing multiple spine surgeries.

"Rick could have done very well for himself practicing in the United States, but he chose to do something so much harder," says Irving Fish, MD, director of pediatric neurology at New York University Medical School, who visited the mission recently. "He's totally selfless. I've really never met anyone like him."

Hodes does without comforts most Americans take for granted, like hot water and reliable electricity. He has all but given up on finding a partner with whom to share his life and work. But to him, these aren't sacrifices. To quote his favorite passage from the Talmud, an ancient book of Jewish law: "Saving one life is like saving an entire world."

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Readers Digest on Doc Rick Hodes

Watch this Video of Rick Hodes in operation and be humbled he ahs given his life to the Children of Ethiopia...

Thsi is the Doctor who sent Brano to us.........this is truly remarkable.

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Tuesday Night

Time is 9.40pm and I am in the RMH and feeling really happy and settled tonight. Berhanu is sleeping as I left PICU.
He is aware of things going on around him tonight, which is so different from last weeks surgery!!!
He is also very settled and not in pain, which is excellent!!!
As Jim said in one of his last posts, being at CHLA in the last couple weeks, makes you realize how fortunate we are in our lives when we have our health and strength.
Thanks to you all for your prayers today, I believe that the surgery and the outcome was due to, two important factors.
1. The wonderful team of surgeons that we have had through out the two procedures and
2. Our God and master that gave these wonderful surgeons their gifts to heal broken children.
Keep all your comments coming, it has been a blessing knowing that there are so many wonderful, caring people in our lives.
Jim and I will never be the same after this!!!
Away to watch the end of dancing with stars (sad I know) prayerfully I will be watching it again in the house next week with my precious B.
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From The Ground in Ethiopia.....

This email comes from the Doctor on the ground in Ethiopia that sent Brano.

Read the last line especially- nobody has asked about him and he has now been gone from home for 5 weeks.
This is real stuff from the front line.

From Doc Rick Rodes in Ethiopia to jim

Hi Jim,

Please give me your mailing address, I will burn you a CD and mail it to you.

In short, I am based at a Catholic facility xxxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxx xxx
though the nuns don't like to have that name in print) and I work in 3
areas: heart disease (congenital and rheumatic), spine disease (TB of
the spine and severe scoliosis), and I treat kids for cancer. People
come from all over the country to be treated by me.

In the past few years, I have sent 50 spine patients overseas for
surgery, 24 heart patients, and treated over 20 cancer patients.
Besides my normal, very busy clinic which is completely free.

My mom lives in Laguna Niguel, and I have a brother in Laguna Beach.

Internet here is very slow.

Getting containers cleared from customs here is almost impossible.

I am employed by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, www.jdc.org
a 95 year old NGO based in NYC which passes 100% of donations on to
us. It is very well run and highly respected, no problem with the tax
part. And though I am a Jew (based in a Catholic mission), the
patients are all religions and ethnicities. My program was recently
examined very closely by a team from the Ministry of Health here, who
gave us a fantastic evaluation.

I see my role here as helping people that nobody else is interested
in. You can see some pics on the Reader's Digest website, just type
Hodes into the search engine.

Contributions can be made by check (AJJDC, 711 3rd Ave, 10th floor,
NY, NY 10017, att: Will Recant - checks should be marked "for
Ethiopian project"), or via the JDC website.

The website you cite is blocked here, i will be happy to see it next
time I'm in the USA.

My life is financially poor, otherwise rich, quite chaotic and
stressful, but ultimately very happy.

Berhanu has an uncle in the village but he has not called me. Nobody
has asked for any pics. Social worker? It' only me!

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Operation Complete Bran In ICU

Bran hues Operation has been a complete success.
Dr Skags came out to tell us that the operation went well and that his spine is remarkably straight. The lump on his back is now almost gone and even in intensive care he is on his back and is looking flat and really really good.

At time of typing we are in ICU and are surrounded by another three children who are in critical care .monitors ,and staff every where. All of need to have masks on because of swine flue ect.

The Level of care is incredible,Bran is under constant supervision and has two nurses helping back to recovery.

It has been a long night ........I stayed last night ,Caroline will stay tonight I will fight my way back home through the LA traffic around 10am.

I will miss the mens study tonight.........I really enjoy it and the small groups.



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Angels at work- Op begins 7.30am

..................And so the Angels begin their work......................

Its 5.30 am and it time for Branahue to have his last part of surgery.
The Hospital is a buzz with constant activity and action.Bran. is aware of whats happening -the nurse on our floor who speaks Ahmeric has explained all that is to be done.

He is aware he is heading for another bout of sever pain as the surgeons move the spine into its final location and secure the final titanium steelwork to straighten his spine.The process involves cutting some ribs out and removing some segments from the ribs to form a new rib cage.

At time of typing I am in the Cafe in the basement of the building awaiting a call from the doctors .

I am amazed at the quantity of children who are in surgery,The pre op area was like a space station preparing all of the children with tubes monitors and sensors......so many Doctors and nurses working on Children simultaneously.

Dr Skaggs came and asked me if I had any questions - I said yes can I have a bit of the temporary steelwork in Brans back after the final operation- he said it may be a bio Hazard but he would get it cleared and then would give me a titanium rod that has been in his back for the last week...

I believe these men are doing the work of God.For some they are God - but for me they simply are the hands of the master surgeon.
Why does God not just speak the healing words and repair the children the way Jesus is documented in Jewish and Roman History.

I just don;t know -but I do know we have a responsibility to do all we can for humanity ....The ways,the timing of God will one day be clear..........amidst all this pain and agony .it's hard.

Branhue Heptu ...........the meekest man I have ever met........so helpless yet receiving so much help.

Dear God , please heal this child may he stand Strong stand tall and enjoy the wealth of a healthy life. God I am your child so blessed .please share the blessing with Bran .make him whole.
Amen and amen.

Your pal

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Angel Surgeon - Major surgery in the morn

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Piano Player CHLA Sun 11pm

The day has come and is almost gone,The reception of CHLA is colorful ,it is vibrant and so well laid out.There is a constant stream of sick children for outpatients and visitors all who must pass security and be vetted for Swine flue virus.

I stopped for a moment and just filmed a lovely poignant moment as a Young man played on the piano............amidst a sea of Human suffering his music was so peaceful and so refreshing.

It is so so hard to be in a place where the tears of the children bleed out through the walls.One night in CHLA is like being on the front line of human suffering and illness.Choppers land on the roof they deposit the critically ill children from LA.Car accidents and trauma cases.The hospital is so busy.

As one child leaves- a space another arrives-In the last week Brano has shared a room with 4 different children.

My sadness is overwhelming at times...........The question comes to mind how can God allow such suffering-how can there be justice in a 4 month old child born with tumour.How can a Father be comforted when his two children are both suffering severe spinal injury when a drunk driver hits them from behind and their lives are on the line.where is God.?

I believe just as I have tears -God cries also......Jesus wept at the loss of his Friend.
My how we have wandered away from the original design for man in the Garden.
How we have changed the lifestyle God had planned......how soon God will come back and wipe away the tears and end the suffering of the innocent and the pure in heart....

Where is God - He can be found in the hearts and the conscience of every man woman boy and girl......Where is he in the suffering child's situation......listening answering prayers and considering when all this Hell on earth for suffering children will end.

I don't have all the answers -I have many questions...............surly God will wipe all these tears away........

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Oh Boy is this Ice Cream Good!!!!!!,

Bernie having an ice cream moment, and loving every bite!!!!

Sunday 25th at 2.35pm
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Sunday Morning lie in

Here is the photograph that I tried to attach with the Sunday Morning Lie in. This is Bernie as of Sunday 9.57am
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Sunday Morning Lie in!!!!!!

Sunday Morning an Bernie is having a much deserved Sunday lie in, (wish I could say the same).

The doctors seem to think that the nodule in his lung is possibly for old TB, so they are waiting to speak to Dr Skaggs before they give him the skin test, as they are not sure if it would effect Tuesday's surgery, so they are holding off till they speak to him.

Bernie was sitting on his bed yesterday and stood for a couple of minutes. Jim said he was none too chuffed!!!!!

Today the physical therapist will take him to the toilet, as he has been asking to go do his business in the toilet. (so that is good)

As yet he has only eaten 3 ice creams since Tuesday, and the docs have stopped them, so as I type I am waiting on instruction as what they want me to do, and what they want to eat, if anything!!

So far not a lot to report this morning, but I am sure as the day progresses that will change!!!
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Saturday Morning

It has been 4 days since since his operation, and wee Bernie is in pain!!! The doctors were going to give him another pain medication on top of the morpehin, but have decided against it as it thins the blood and they do not want that due to him going back into theatre on Tuesday and the risk of bleeding!!!!

Jim slept at the hospital last night again, he seems to get comfort when one of us is here at all times, so it has been quite tiring, but the Lord will give us the strength, both physically and emotionally.

This morning the doctors came in and said that his CT scan showed a nodule on his lung!!!! They want to do a skin test for TB today, so pray that, that will come back negative and that it will not be anything more sinister!!!!

Thanks for all your prayers, we really do feel them!!!! Keep them coming.

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The Prayers of the pure in heart

......Hope said.....

.........Hi Jim,

I’m at work so I can’t view all the You Tube videos, but what I could see blows me away! What this precious little one has to endure! God love him and spare him from the pain! What a miraculous thing, I am in awe of the doctors and technology. Wasn’t Wed. nite amazing?? God brought so many people to the study, He knew you would have us pray as a community, and pricked the spirit of every one of us to be there that night, and the room was packed!
God is so good, and so amazing!!
We have been watching the blog since Wed. nite, please know the Nichol family and little Brano is in our constant prayers.

Love, The Tarrant Family


Dear Hope,
On Wednesday night we worshiped -we gave God his place with the word- the as we prayed for Nate and Janine Heitzig- Leny and Melinda Engle it was just so good and so pure.
To break into groups of 2 or more and then just ask God for his help was real and natural.

I pray Nate and Janine have another child time is on their side.
I pray Lenya will write many more devotionals and motivate many woman towards a Godly life.
I pray Melinda Engle will raise her son and daughters with much color and much Vibrancy in her life.
I seen -prayers answered as Branos little foot started to move-as the surgeons still there at 10 pm checked for signals at the tip of the toes.
Where else can we go but to the lord.

Simply your pal


Psalm 121:1 A PSALM of Hope

. I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help? 2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The Lord is your keeper; The Lord is your shade at your right hand. 6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore.

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Surgery Video

Warning Graphic surgery procedures
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The operation in 3D- The technology is incredible


I am in CHLA on Friday morning Bran has had a good night ....he is on the edge of pain but he is getting 5 star treatment..........
Bran Is out of ICU he is a little delirious but doing well
He is moving his toes and is past stage one.
Check out the video and you will be blown away at what they are actually doing
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You Tube operation

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Watch Branos LA Doc in action

This is the Doctor and the exact procedure that Bran is going though.

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CH LA ICU The day Poverty and Mercy Clashed

CH LA ICU The day Poverty and Mercy Clashed

Rev 21:4

……God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain………..

My! How this child has affected us, as a family has been immense.

The petty little problems of life are so small compared to the plight of millions of children across the world, in deep need!

I was cut to the heart on Wednesday night as I arrived at ICU –CHLA around 10pm.I was taken into an area where Angels were in operation as Nurses and Doctors gave intense treatment to some really sick children.

The love, the devotion and the care I witnessed in CHLA was incredible. Surrounded by a sea of monitors, sensors screens and wires it was like being in a space station where every breath and every move made is checked rechecked and monitored by NASA.

Amidst the technology …there lays a little child grasping for life and panting for air, eyes swollen and whimpering on the edge of a fine balance of Morphine and pain.

Brano (we will settle on Brano- I wanted to call him Bono but somebody else has that name)

He lies on his side just able to open his eyes and clasp Caroline's finger, he whimpers as I speak and say a few words in Amharic.

He has not said much since he came- he has a lot to say now, to hear a child in Amharic in pain and be unable to understand is ……it’s just hard.

The love I feel for this child - is immense, he has only been in my life for around two weeks and yet he has changed my life forever.

Brano Heptu is poverty in high definition-no parents, a 7 year old sister 8 Km away form school being raised by an uncle, the average life span age in Addis is 40-45…. life is so hard. The child has nothing. The only possession he had when he came was a bag of mending kid's clothes, and a little black cross.

This is a divine moment where a people from CA can bless one who has so little with so much, In essence two cultures have met, and poverty and mercy have clashed at a junction brokered by mending kids.

This is the least we can do, to love a helpless child who really needs help.

Where is God in all this suffering?

My how we have wandered away from the original design for the Garden of Eden. I understand how people can Question the existence of God when they see such pain and suffering in innocent Children.

I also understand that this was not Gods design or his plan for mankind. I believe this suffering will end and one day God will wipe away every tear of every innocent child, a day comes when there will be no more suffering.

Understanding why it’s allowed to continue at all is hard; the limits of the human intellect blur at Gods timetable his plans his ways.

My friends this is not the time to debate it’s the time to do.

Our lives our church has been impacted we will never be the same, one of my life’s missions is now to get resource and foster families for Mending kids………mending kids is not words it the real deal its action…!

I type with a heavy heart. I have just dropped Beth off at school; our house is empty without Carrie she just fills up our lives with everything.

I went home last night and the dogs were loading up the Car to leave and move out. Chris and I are walking them but they miss the buzz around the house.

I need to finish and get back to work.

Two things I need to say.

The People of Ocean Hills Church are superb.

I have seen people write checks to mending kids-I have seen the Karen's and the Patti’s travel with Caroline-the toys and the presents, the clothes the kindness The Ethiopian interpreters that have came to the surface…………the Ocean of compassion has engulfed Brano……….he is drowning in stuffed animals and gifts

Ocean hills-what a community of people to be sick in quilts, food cards, not words real people, babysitters. …Real people who really care…

Our pals Gus and Kelly. As I entered ICU there were four beds, Brano with Caroline and in the corner to my left our friend Kelly holding a baby called Mia, Major facial issues, her mother from India exasperated very young and finding it hard to cope –she left went back to Ron Macdon,……Kelly left holding the baby.

Such love such friendship such dedication, just the automatic reaction to hold and to cleave those who are sick…

Gus and Kelly you are symbolic of the heart of Ocean.

We’ll get by with a little help form our friends.

Your pal


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Long Day!!!

Yesterday was a long day!!!

Bernie and I woke about 4.30 and arrived at the hospital at 5.15am!!!!!

The wee man just does as he is told and there's never any question. He was examined to make sure that he was healthy and then up the stairs to wait for the surgery.

7.00am and Bernie got the sedation to make him sleepy, oh boy!!!!!, did it ever, he fell fast asleep!!!

Around 7.20am the staff noticed that our paperwork was not in order as they needed more signatures. Mending Kids managed to do their special magic and got it the paperwork in order.

9am and they wheeled him into surgery!!!! He was now in the hands of Dr Skaggs and God.

Not too sure if Dr Skaggs knows our God, if he does not, I am sure that he most have felt a presence in the room that was stong and mighty, and if he does, he would have known exactly who it was, and that our friends and family were fervently praying and on their knees.

The surgery was long, and there was a little hiccup at the end where Dr Skaggs had already came out and told me that the operation had went well and that plastics were now in place getting ready to put him together again.

The team noticed that they had lost signals from his lower limbs!!!! so Dr Skaggs went back in and released the tension from his spine by 1.5cm and it did the job.

By 6pm Bernie was in ICU and now recovering.

He is a poor wee soul, pray for God's peace in his wee spirit and that he would calm him and take away any pain that he may be in, may God through his holy spirit pour in all the love that is coming from many people.

There are so many hurting families in the hospital through sickness, I pray that if they do not know Christ as their personal Saviour they will find him, as I do not know how they manage to through these trials without the strength of God.

Take time today and look around you and see what you have, house, car, mother, father, children, bed, clothes, food, water, the list goes on and on!!!!!! thank God for all these wonderful things that he has given to us, as in a heartbeat they can also be taken away. Parents give your children a hug, kids tell your parents that you love them. I am more than positve that wee Bernie would love to get a hug from his mamma, and tell her that he loved her!!!!!!

This experience with wee Bernie so far has been many different feelings within my heart, but I know one thing, no matter what happens from here, I am a changed person.

Will try and post today once I have been to the hospital.

Thanks. X

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The BIG day has arrived!!!!

Well today Berhanu and I drove up to LA and met with Karen for his pre-op appointment. Everything went well.

We also met up with the film crew again and they got some good footage of Bernie riding his bike round the garden, it was so cute!!!! and also scary at the same time. Unknown to him by this time tomorrow he will be through the first stage of back surgery.

After we were finished with the crew we went to the zoo, where we spent the rest of the day.

Right now I am in Ronald McDonald House just beside the hospital as Bernie has to be at the hospital for 5.30am!!!!! He is fast asleep after speaking to Bethany for half an hour on the cell phone (don't ask me!!!! I do not know how someone who cannot speak a word of English can speak to someone who cannot speak a word of Amharic for half an hour!!!!!).

Please pray for wee Bernie that God keeps his wee body strong through this long operation, and that our GREAT physician leads Dr Skaggs hands. We thank the Lord for Dr Skaggs and his team. Pray for each person that enters that operating theatre tomorrow, that they will feel something different, and that something being the power of prayer.

Thanks once again, will keep you posted through out the day tomorrow.

I am hoping to attach a photograph of Bernie with his pumpkin that we carved tonight before he went to bed.
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And so the story unfolds......?

Hi Jim,

thanks for your kind words. At the moment, I'm in the amsterdam

airport, heading to Ethiopia.

Yeah, I really like Berhanu as well.

Here's what my volunteer, Chloe, wrote about Berhanu:

While most 8 year olds spend their day in a 2nd grade classroom,

Berhanu Haptu spends his day helping his elderly grandmother with her

daily chores and caring for his 7 year old sister. When asks what he

wants to e when he grows up, Berhanu ponders, , looking towards the

sky, before slowly answering "stoo-dint." The closest school is 6

kilometers, away, and with Berhanu's poor health, the daily roundtrip

commute of 12 kms makes school impossible for Berhanu.

Both of Berhanu's parents died before he was old enough to remember,

and his 24 year old uncle has assumed the multiple roles of mother,

father, and legal guardian. His uncle, Sisai, is a 10th grade high

school student as well as a farmer and primary caregiver for his

nephew, niece, and mother. The family earns their living by leasing

their small plot of land and reaping a quarter of the farmer's yearly

harvest. Sisay is not able to quantify their yearly income monetarily,

but can only tell me that a good harvest will yield them 6 quintile

(600 kgs) of dura, a type of wheat.

Berhanu is soft and gentle and sidles up to me as his uncle speaks,

eager to examine my fingers, separating them one by one. Berhanu's own

hand remains hidden under the worn cuff of his sweatshirt, a deformed

claw with 3 fingers. It is, as he believes, that by hiding it he has

convinced himself that it is not there. I roll up his sleeve to play

with his hand the same way he plays with mine, but he is quick to

catch me before I complete the first roll of fabric. He looks up with

a sheepish smile. It is interesting to me that Berhanu is so much more

self-conscious about his congenital deformities of his hand than the

exaggerated sickle curve of his spine, but perhaps, in his 8 year old

way, he is choosing his battles. I want to tell him that both battles

can be fought, But I am afraid the ruin the silence of our exchange.

Berhanu's dream is to 1 day be a student. Mine is that he may one day

let me play with his hand the same way he plays with mine.

I am about to send 10 patients to Ghana for spine surgery. If you know

anyone interested in help to fund this (about $12K a kid), let me


My mom lives in Laguna Niguel, and I'm happy to meet you folks next

time I'm on the west coast, and talk about future projects.

Best wishes and thanks,


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To The man who has mended many kids........In Ethiopia

Dear Doctor Rodes,
How are you?
How are things in Addis in Ethiopia.
Can I simply say thanks....!

My wife Caroline and I have fostered Brahnau Haptu.
He is a delightful child who is about to undergo surgery for Scoliosis at CHLA...........via the mending Kids program.
His back ,His arm and his hearing problem along with a very slight Heart murmur make him the meekest wee man that ever lived.

We are so blessed to be able to support him at this point in time.
It is our intention to Love him and show him as much kindness and affection during these trying times in his life.

I feel I simply want to say a sincere Thanks - on behalf on mankind for what you are doing. Although we have never met, your reputations goes before you.......truly you are a genuinely kind and compassionate individual.
In CHLA you are simply a hero...!

Your life is a life of great significance...........
I stand in awe of your contribution to the fight against pain and suffering.

Is it true you have adopted children....?

If you can give us any more information on Branhues history that would be great.
(At time of typing it is 10pm in San Juan Capistarno-Branhue has just came into my office area had a little look around and went back to where my wife is in the kitchen- he has his cute little Pajamas on...!)

Please write back and tell us how we can assist you............I work at www.oceanhillschurch.com
We would like to send a container from our church in California....to you for free.
The question is what do you really need what could we put in the container..........I was involved a number of years ago sending a container to Sierra Leone.
We put a tractor and plowing implement inside..........we then packed the container with clothes and medical supplies, that could be used in Sierra Leone.
I have a Vision of a container being packed in CA loaded at long beach and sent to you..........

Brahanhue is two things.....he is a precious soul in need of help-he is also a walking commercial for mending kids..........we want the world to know and to help good people like you who are on the front line..........

Simply how can we help –can we do anything for you.........?

Jim Nicol
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