July 2010


I received this update the other day from Luigi’s father-in-law … exciting! 🙂 I’m so glad Simone got to see his Daddy last week!! Makes my heart happy. 🙂  Thanks for the continued prayers. 

“Now to Him (the Lord) who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory! (Ephesians 3:20-21a)  It is so amazing to reflect on what God is doing in and through Luigi. During the first ten days or so, doctors were very cautious to not fuel our expectations about Luigi. We heard indirectly that the nursing staff in intensive care (who deal continuously with similar critical cases) didn’t think Luigi would be able to survive! It is so encouraging to see additional steps of daily progress and realize the miracle taking place before our eyes. Luigi’s mind is getting sharper each day. It’s so great to see his sense of humor returning, his frequent smiling face, his words of thanks to the doctors and nurses for their kind care. He’s even been able to give important advice to Matteo and Raimondo as they are trying to fill in gaps with ongoing work-related projects that were suspended when Luigi fell.
Luigi and Felicia’s two small sons Simone and Daniele are doing remarkably well considering the long absence of their father. Different ones are trying to help do special things with them to help pass the time and distract them. It was a real emotional time when I had permission to take Simone up to see his father last Sunday for the first time since the accident on June 22nd. He crawled in bed next to his daddy – all of us were in tears – daddy and son’s eyes were glued on each other! It was a wonderful reunion!

Next Tuesday (July 27) Luigi will have surgery on his back. That will be a very delicate surgery and needs much prayer. Any mistakes and/or infections could still be very critical. Please pray for Luigi’s brain swelling to keep going down and his coherency to be completely regained. He has started regaining some use in his left arm and hand (keep praying for this, too!).

After finding a delicious looking pasta recipe that included mascarpone cheese, parmesan, sage, butter, and walnuts … how could I resist? I was a goner. My cooking buddy, Jess, and I made plans to cook this scrumptous looking recipe for dinner Sunday night, along with homemade bread. So the process started in the afternoon with … coffee! And of course, we couldn’t have just any coffee … only Italian coffee would suffice. So with coffee in our cups, we set out to make a “Braided Loaf” which happens to be both delicious and easy! From start to finish, the bread takes about 4 hours, but most of it is just the time it takes to rise. So with step one down, we’re feeling pretty good. And as Jess learned, I like to talk to my yeast mixture … I think it helps it get all happy and gives it the will to rise. 🙂 She busted out her camera, and we documented the whole thing … so I hope you enjoy the pics …

Just waitin'

We took a break for awhile and tried to watch a movie that didn’t want to cooperate for us, even though we tried and tried … and tried again. After some time relaxing on the couch, we finished the bread and began preparations for dinner.

Ready for the Oven!

The beginning stages ...

The sage in the pasta inspired us to add sage to the chicken in white wine … which was an excellent addition.

Chicken with Sage and White Wine ... cooking to perfection

The bread turned out perfectly, as you can see …

If only there were such a thing as smell-o-vision

About to put the pasta on and add all the finishing touches

While dinner turned out quite yummy, the pasta wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was good. The full menu consisted of: Fettuccine with Mascarpone and Sage Walnut Butter, Chicken with Sage and White Wine, Salad with mini heirloom tomatoes and balsamic dressing, and home made, fresh out of the oven bread with rosemary butter. Oh and I almost forgot, for the crazies … orange juice. ; ) All in all, I think our meal was a success and it looked lovely. 🙂

Good job, Jess! : D

Hmmm ... a step up from the card table? ; )

Here is a portion of the update I received on Luigi over the weekend (from his father-in-law) …

As I entered into his room, Luigi greeted me with his own voice! It was such an emotional moment for him and for me! God has restored the incredible gift of communication to Luigi! During his coma, there was no communication. Then there was very limited communication as he regained consciousness. And now there is two-way communication which is music to Felicia’s ears as well as to all of us! It made me think how we need to keep praying for those around us who are in “spiritual coma” and have no communication with God and how only God can spiritually awake them and open their hearts and vocal cords to affirm belief in God, pray and sing praises to Him! There are still some limitations in Luigi’s communication abilities due to the trachea apparatus and the need for the swelling of the brain to continue to diminish (please keep praying for this), but all of us including the doctors were amazed at this quick development. One nurse confided to one of our friends that the entire nursing staff in the intensive care unit really didn’t think Luigi had a chance to pull through. God is so GRACIOUS!

Last night Kathy shared during prayer meeting the impact of seeing Luigi conscious for the first time after the accident (remember she has been taking care of the children for three weeks so Felicia can be with Luigi). The amazement of seeing him smile and focus his eyes, etc. was a most meaningful experience and brought to her mind Psalm 126 and how it seemed to the people of Israel returning from captivity to be a dream (v.1). Then their mouth was filled with laughter and singing. The surrounding nations said “The Lord has done great things for them” (v.2) Then the Israelites repeated “The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad! (v.3)
Would you add to your praying time some praising time, too, for the Lord has indeed done great things of for us and we are GLAD! All of you are so special to us. A number of you who are praying don’t even know us personally and yet you have entered into our lives through the love of others. Thank you for caring and continuing to pray with us. One more specific request is for Luigi’s use of the left arm. It is still pretty unresponsive and is of concern. We are so grateful that Luigi is acting more like himself before the fall. What a might God we serve!

Sorry it has been so long since I posted an update. Here is the latest on Luigi from his father-in-law:

July 13, 2010 – Report #9 – Today marks three weeks in intensive care but the good news is that the specialist felt that Luigi was ready for the next phase of treatment and was transferred to the neurosurgery ward this morning in preparation for the very delicate surgery needed to stabilize the area around the vertebrae that was severely damaged from the fall. He’s now able to move his head to indicate “yes” or “no” to questions. He can eat blended foods and ice cream! There is still swelling on his brain that is hindering his healing and recuperation (mentally and physically) so please keep praying for his continued progress!

A serious accident like what happened to Luigi sure causes a lot of reflecting. It certainly has demonstrated God’s absolute right to totally rewrite our calendar of plans and events. The Psalmist says “My times are in your hands” (Ps 31:15), “I will extol the LORD at all times (Ps 34:1); Trust in him at all times (Ps 62:8). Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Ro 11:33) Our duty is to trust Him (not question Him) a day at a time. We are trying to assist where needed. Even though we’ve cancelled our evangelistic grill-out on July 17, the Lord continues giving us opportunities to evangelize through this accident.

Thank you for continuing to pray with us. We are convinced Luigi is still with us because of our powerful God who has desired to spare his life in answer to your/our many prayers that have gone up to Him!

And here is the latest from Felicia’s facebook status 🙂

Monday: what gets a major reaction out of gigi? sports news!!! 😉 i’ve been on the internet getting all the latest news for him… all of a sudden he’s smilin’ and making faces… isn’t it crazy-sports stimulate him more than his wife!!! ha ha amazing how men are wired! I had a fun and special afternoon again with this incredi…ble man, whom most of you know as luigi!

Tuesday: luigi was transferred today to the neurosurgery ward… he needs a lot more assistance but I keep marvelling at all of his progress. today he definitely wanted to speak and laugh. Let us never forget to give thanks to our good Father and to commit to him every concern… thank you so much for the letters- they mean a lot to him!

 I have recently made a new friend, who has a love and passion for cooking … and we’ve become cooking buddies. Last week, Jessica and I made Risi e Bisi (Risotto with Peas and Pancetta – a personal favorite). We also had ciabatta bread and salad (with delightful goat cheese!). For dessert, we went the easy and delicious route of frozen yogurt (from Trader Joe’s – amazingly and surprisingly so good) with blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. Felt like summer! We planned the meal for our next cooking adventure (well, we thought it would be our next one): a French meal straight from Julia Child. French you might say? Yes, I am going to branch out and cook French food. Italians, please don’t take offense. Italian food will always be my first love, I promise! ; )

Well, all day yesterday … literally all day … I was looking forward to Pumpkin Bread Pudding. Jess and I made plans to go to cycle/spin class last night. We then decided that afterwards, we should make pumpkin bread pudding (had to make up for some bad bread pudding she had over the weekend). I was telling everyone at work about my excitement over making this dessert, and someone said I should add cooking to my blog. I told him I tried once, but my pics just didn’t turn out well. He said it didn’t matter and I should start adding cooking to my blog. Therefore … J, this post is dedicated to you!

I wasn’t prepared with a camera last night, so this pic was just a random shot with my phone … but I like it. 🙂 If for some reason you don’t have ginger, you can skip it. And if for some reason you think it’s an 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves instead of a pinch … totally fine! 🙂 Other notes: I do the lazy route, I go with all whole milk, and I have tried it with and without bourbon – I highly recommend with (what’s bread pudding without whiskey?). Without further adieu, here is one of my all time favorite recipes from Smitten Kitchen:

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, October 2007

I made a few of my own adaptations to this, using only milk and no cream (to me, it makes no difference to me in dishes like this, so I figure I’ll give my arteries a break), and doubling almost all of the spices. Oh, and I added bourbon, but you probably anticipated that.

1 1/2 cups whole milk (Or 1 cup heavy cream plus 1/2 cup whole milk)
3/4 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs plus 1 yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground cloves
2 tablespoons bourbon (optional)
5 cups cubed (1-inch) day-old baguette or crusty bread
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted* (can skip this step if using the second set of instructions)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Gourmet’s Instructions: Whisk together pumpkin, cream, milk, sugar, eggs, yolk, salt, spices and bourbon, if using, in a bowl.

Toss bread cubes with butter in another bowl, then add pumpkin mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish and bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

Alternate, Come On, Be Lazy With Me, instructions: While preheating oven to 350°F with rack in middle, melt butter in bottom of a 8-inch square baking dish. Once it is melted, take it out of the oven and toss bread cubes with butter, coating thoroughly. In a separate bowl, whisk together all the remaining ingredients. Pour them over buttered bread cubes in baking dish, stirring to make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Bake until custard is set, 25 to 30 minutes.

July 6, 2010 – Report #7 – We are grateful to have arrived at day fourteen! We find ourselves thinking about Eutychus in Acts 20 who fell out of a third story window and whose life was spared as well as about each one who was comforted by God’s grace in sparing his life!

Early this afternoon, the doctor was more optimistic about Luigi’s condition. He said the brain catheter had been removed this morning. It was a sobering moment to hear him say that Luigi would have some impairment from the damage done to the right side of his brain. He said that Luigi would need another couple days to rid his body from the anesthesia. We thought it would be quite a slow process coming out of the medically–induced coma.

Felicia remained with Luigi the entire time permitted (2-8 pm Italian time). It was during that time that he really started showing signs of comprehension. Felicia read Bible verses to him, sang meaningful songs and started explaining to him everything that had happened from his serious fall up till today. She asked him to squeeze her hand every time he understood what she said. At the beginning, the squeezes were weak but increasingly became stronger. When she told him lots of people were praying and that we were having daily evening prayer meetings for him, tears started coming down from his eyes. Felicia said it was an “awesome afternoon!” We are delighted with these first encouraging signs. He has been able to move his arms and legs a little bit but his left side is slower in response due to the damage done.

Will you still pray with us …

  • that God will continue to heal his brain for His glory and in accordance to His will?
  • for him to have inner peace as he ponders over all that Felicia told him? He cannot speak yet and he is still on the artificial respirator. Soon the doctors will be seeing how he can do breathing on his own.
  • that although his brain condition is stabilized (according to what the specialist said), infections or other complications could still be life-threatening. So please understand that your prayers for Luigi are still very important to us.
  • for the long road still ahead of him that will include back surgery (to stabilize an extremely fragmented vertebrae), then head surgery (to reinstate the skull bone that was removed due to pressure on the brain), time in a cast (?) and then rehab.

We are still very desirous for God to use this experience for His glory in the following ways:

  • God to speak to Luigi’s father’s about his very sinful spiritual condition
  • God to provide for Luigi and Felicia’s financial needs (he was the sole family provider)
  • God to speak to many unsaved friends about their need of salvation
  • God to speak to back-slidden Christians about repenting and returning to back to Him
  • God to speak to mediocre Christians about really being more consecrated to God (long-term and not just during an emotional moment)

Thank you so much for praying for our physical and emotional strength – we are praising God for meeting our needs. God has given us a good group of kids this week for DVBS. Your prayers and emails continue to be a huge blessing and encouragement. How special the Body of Christ is during an experience like this!!! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! May the

Lord richly bless you!
Frank (and Kathy) King

Received this email over the weekend:

July 2, 2010 – Report #6 – We are grateful to have arrived at day ten. The doctor reminded us yesterday that we are still in phase one of Luigi’s hospitalization – saving his life. This first phase in a medically-induced coma is approximately for 15 days with the priority to keep the pressure of brain swelling under control and reduced. A couple days ago, a tracheotomy was done a couple of days sooner than expected because his condition seemed to be ready. Currently the pressure in his brain has been stable and if it continues that way throughout the weekend, Monday, July 5th, another brain scan will be done. That will be compared to previous ones to verify how his brain is doing in the extensively bruised areas. If the specialists verify that the brain’s condition is ready, the brain catheter will be removed. He will be carefully monitored as sedation is slowly decreased to see how his brain can cope. We were told several days ago that testing for the extent of brain damage can’t be done until he is completely off sedation. If this all goes well next week, then we begin phase two to deal with 3 broken vertebrae (one is in pretty bad shape). So would you please continue to pray that Luigi’s life would be spared, for his healing and for each of the phases mentioned?
Felicia continues to be sustained by God’s incredible grace. She has been a blessing and godly example to so many people. Please continue to remember her in prayer, the witness to their unsaved friends and for the Christians to let the Lord speak to their hearts through these circumstances. Several small groups of unsaved friends have come to join believers at our daily evening prayer times.
Most of us directly involved are quite physically and emotionally tired. Please pray for us to have the strength we need daily to carry on (especially with our Children’s Summer Ministry going on next week).
You have no idea how encouraging your emails have been. The prayers of each person and group mean so much to us. We don’t have adequate time to answer your emails but we have read each one and have been so uplifted by them. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and/or pray. The prayer requests mentioned previously are still valid.
May the Lord bless each of you for your wonderful support during this time of trial!

Then this morning, I saw this on Felicia’s facebook … praise the Lord!!! 🙂

the doctors have decided to suspend the medically induced coma today. he is starting to wake, showing some good signs; but will be looking for further developments in the next couple of days. God is definitely sustaining him and after being with him all afternoon the different reactions he was having gave me the impression that he could hear what I was saying.

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