LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) — The daughter of a Southern Seminary vice president is on a ventilator at a Louisville hospital and waiting for an experimental treatment of plasma from a coronavirus survivor.
Hannah Jones, the eldest daughter of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary vice president and professor Timothy Paul Jones, drove herself to the emergency room on April 1 with symptoms including a high fever and difficulty breathing. By the following day, she was transferred to the intensive care unit and placed on a ventilator.
“Hannah’s birthday is this Easter Sunday,” said Timothy Paul Jones. “This will be the first time we haven’t spent her birthday with her since her first birthday in our family when she turned eight.”
Jones and his wife, Rayann, adopted Hannah and her three siblings as older children whose previous adoptions were terminated for one reason or another. Hannah was born in Romania and spent time in the U.S. foster care system before finding her forever home with the Joneses.
“For families with children who have dealt with abandonment and loss, the anxieties of facing circumstances like this can bring back a lot of those feelings,” Jones said. “Over the past week, nurses have made it possible for us to FaceTime with Hannah, which has been so helpful for us and for our other three children. Hannah can’t speak to us since she’s intubated and on a ventilator, but she made a heart shape with her hands and pointed at us to say she loves us.”
On Wednesday, Jones tweeted that doctors are hoping a treatment based on the plasma of coronavirus survivors may have promising results. Since being placed on a ventilator, Hannah has had good days and not-so-good days, but her lungs are still struggling to heal and breathing on her own is not possible.
“Hannah’s night last night wasn’t great,” tweeted Jones on Wednesday. “She seemed to become anxious or emotional in the evening, and they had to increase her oxygen again. They’ve tried reducing it again today. Right now, we’re waiting to hear when they will receive the plasma for the experimental treatment.”
Jones finds himself whispering in prayer dozens of times every hour for God to heal his daughter — a compassionate young woman who normally would be spending her time helping special needs children in Louisville instead of lying in a hospital bed.
“There are moments when I am deeply afraid of what might happen next. But there is more trust than fear, and trust is greater than fear. Our trust that God can heal Hannah doesn’t guarantee that she will be healed. The object of our faith is not healing; the object of our faith is the Healer, who may have some plan other than healing,” Jones said. “God may not do what we pray for—but, even then, we serve him, because our faith is not in the healing but in the Healer.”
As Jones chronicles Hannah’s treatment via Twitter, he said tens of thousands of people all over the world have responded with prayer and concern, including SBTS President Albert Mohler and the rest of the Southern Seminary community, as well as members at Sojourn Church Midtown where Jones serves as one of the pastors.
“This would look and feel very different without our church family. They have cared for us so well in so many ways,” he said.
But not everyone has that kind of support, said Jones, and he encouraged churches to look for ways to minister to families dealing with not only the coronavirus, but the economic ramifications of protecting people from the disease.
“Churches can help their members through encouragements and by having meals delivered to the homes of those that are quarantining themselves. Also, if you have nurses or physicians in your church, pray for their safety, encourage them in every way you can, and provide them with meals and other resources they may need. They are risking their health each moment for the sake of ours and our loved ones. If you’re in a church with many resources, consider how you can help churches in lower-income communities with fewer resources,” Jones said.
Tweets by Jones:
April 3: Our oldest daughter Hannah has been in the hospital since Tuesday with pneumonia, with suspicion of coronavirus. It will be several days before they know about whether it is coronavirus. However, they have now had to put her on a ventilator to prevent cardiac arrest. Please pray.
April 3: ... due to the risks of coronavirus, we are not allowed to visit Hannah, and she may not be able to respond once she’s sedated and put on the ventilator—so we’re going through this completely separated from her right now.
April 4: Hannah is responsive today but still not able to breathe adequately on her own. Later today or early tomorrow, they will try reducing oxygen from the ventilator to see what she is able to do on her own.
April 4: Hannah was awake for a little while today, and the nurse had her call us on FaceTime so we could see her for a few minutes.
April 5: Hannah had more peaks in inspiratory pressure last night than is ideal, so they turned her on her stomach, hoping that may help. She texted us this morning that she really needed some coffee, which is probably a good sign that she’s responsive and in good spirits.
April 5: The medical staff is trying to bring the oxygen Hannah requires from the ventilator down to 40% from 80%, to see if she can breathe more independently, but they aren’t sure whether she’ll be able to handle that. Her temperature remains at 102+ as her body tries to fight this off.
April 6: As part of trying to help Hannah’s lungs to heal, the physician is going to need to put in a central line today through her neck and sedate her further. This is where we are really wishing we could be there with her and for her.
April 6: I spoke with a nurse; they decided to wait on the central line today and to try sedating Hannah instead. The concern is to be able to lower pressure from the ventilator so she may eventually begin breathing on her own again. Thus far, this seems to have helped, which is positive.
April 7: Hannah did not have a great night last night. Her blood pressure became a concern, and they went ahead with putting in a central line through her neck. She seems stable now, and they continue to try to lessen ventilator oxygen and pressure so she can begin breathing on her own.
April 7: Hannah has been stable at 60% oxygen; they need to get that lower to wean her off the ventilator. Tomorrow, it looks as if she may be receiving experimental treatment in which blood plasma from a coronavirus survivor is injected, hoping that will assist her in fighting the virus.
April 8: Hannah’s night last night wasn’t great; she seemed to become anxious or emotional in the evening, and they had to increase her oxygen again. They’ve tried reducing it again today. Right now, we’re waiting to hear when they will receive the plasma for the experimental treatment.