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Defense on Prosima’s Low Complication Rate

Dr kThanks to Courtroom View Network for access to Cavness v. Ethicon, underway in a Dallas courtroom. 

[This coverage is prepared by your editor, who has sat in the courtroom for five pelvic mesh trials (C.R. Bard, Ethicon) and has witnessed three additional trials (Boston Scientific , Ethicon) via CVN feeds.  Coverage is based on collective knowledge of the issues. Your reporter is not a lawyer. Additional comments are appreciated.]

Mesh News Desk, September 30, 2015 ~ The Defense began presenting its case late Tuesday afternoon, defending Ethicon, and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson, maker of the Prosima pelvic mesh used to treat pelvic floor prolapse.

Judge Ken Molberg, 95th Judicial District, TX

Judge Ken Molberg, 95th Judicial District, TX

The trial is now in its seventh day before Judge Ken Molberg in the 95th District Court of Dallas, Texas.

First on the stand for the defense was Dr. Teresa Kowalczyk, the physician who implanted Prosima in Ms. Cavness in April 2012.

She, along with Ethicon, are the subject of this product liability, medical malpractice trial.  The Plaintiffs hope to prove the Prosima was defective in its design and manufacture and in its instructions to the physician.  Without adequate information, the doctor cannot provide a true informed consent to the patient.  That quandary puts the doctor between a rock and a hard place – did she practice bad medicine or is she simply a pawn of reckless and aggressive marketing by the manufacturer?

Earlier in trial, under questioning by Plaintiffs’ attorneys, Dr. Kowalczyk told the jurors she would not have used the Prosima if she had knew what she has learned as a result of this litigation.

To rebut her damaging testimony, Defense played her deposition, recorded much before this trial when, presumably, she was still in the Prosima camp. She appeared to the jury via videotape.

Helen Kathryn Downs, Butler Snow, attny. for Ethicon

Helen Kathryn Downs, Butler Snow, attny. for Ethicon

Helen Kathryn Downs of Butler Snow for J&J/ Ethicon questioned her on tape.

Dr. Kowalczyk said Ms. Cavness was in intense pain when she first visited in April 2012 and she couldn’t point to any one point of pain.

“These are the same reactions you can have with a regular pelvic repair” said the doctor, referring to a non-mesh repair.”  Around three to 10 percent of patients will have complications, she said.

There is some shrinkage of the mesh, the doctor admitted, but most complications can be easily managed without large expense.

Did the jury think the doctor was credible enough to rely on her opinion?  Does the jury think Ethicon is credible and transparent with its physicians?  In the Plaintiffs’ case, Ethicon has been shown in this trial so far to omit many known risks of its product in the IFU (Instructions for Use) that doctors rely on deciding whether to use a product or how to inform their patients about risks.

Helen Downs asked, “Did you ever feel Paul Courts II (sales rep for Ethicon) gave you false information about the Prosima?  “I don’t think so,” said Dr. Kowalczyk.

Earlier in this trial, Dr. Kowalczyk told jurors she was unaware of Ethicon’s discussions that the mesh was too stiff to use in the vagina and that another mesh, the UltraPro, was being developed as an alternative.

Dr. Kowalczyk added, it was important for her to see what Ethicon said about Prosima before she used it. She was provided information about a clinical study on Prosima by a sales rep for the company which encouraged her to use the product.

WHAT DR. KOWALCZYK WASN’T TOLD

Prosima for sale on ebay, Sept 21, 2015

Prosima for sale on ebay, Sept 21, 2015

On cross examination, Bill Blankenship for the Plaintiff interviewed Dr. Kowalczyk.

The sales rep had told her Prosima was safer than other meshes on the market and it had fewer complications. Rep Paul Courts said it was a very good product and he was considering using it for his own wife, she said.

Bill Blankenship, Lawyer, Dallas

Bill Blankenship, Lawyer, Dallas

Blankenship: “You expect J&J to provide fair and balanced information on its products don’t you?

Dr. K: “Yes.

Blankenship: “You would expect them to tell you if it was not appropriate for a condition or there were risk; you would expect to be told?

Dr. K: “Yes.

Blankenship: “If you knew Ethicon had decided to pull Prosima from the market in February 2012 because they didn’t want to do pending FDA studies, would you tell your patient about that?

Dr. K: “Yes.

Blankenship: “If you knew they were to pull it, would you use device on Carol Cavness?

Dr. K: “No.

Blankenship: “If you knew the FDA had ordered Ethicon to further study the device or remove it from the market, would you tell Carol Cavness about it?  

Dr. K: “Yes and I would not have used it, she said.

Dr. Kowalczyk said the sales rep explained the mesh product was being pulled from the market because it was too expensive to test Prosima. Prosima, along with three other pelvic meshes, were quietly removed from the market in June 2012. In doing so, Ethicon was relieved of extensive and expensive post-market testing on how the meshes were performing in its recipients.

Blankenship: “If you knew the complications would be life-altering would you use it? No. “Would you tell her?  “Yes.

Blankenship: “If you knew it would result in chronic pain which is not rare, would you tell Carol about it?” “Yes. “Would you use it?”  “No.”

Blankenship: “If you had been told Prosima posterior mesh does not provide any added benefit compared to traditional surgery without mesh would you tell Carol?”  “Yes.” “Would you use it?” “No.”

Blankenship: “If you knew Ethicon’s own preceptor, Vince Lucente, MD would called it a “reckless product,” would you tell Carol? “Yes. “Would you use it? “No, I would not.”

Blankenship: “If you knew in 2010, the first year at you used, a clinical trial using the same mesh (Prolene PS) was stopped (Prolift study see it here) because of complications would you tell Carol?”   Yes.   “Would you use on Carol?  “No.”

 

PAUL COURTS –TERRITORY ACCOUNT LEADER FOR ETHICON

Paul Courts was the sales representative who first introduced Ethicon’s Prosima mesh to Dr. Kowalczyk in 2010. The Prosima mesh was considered to be an innovation among pelvic floor meshes. It was smaller and didn’t have six anchor arms that are impossible to remove. It would substitute for the extremely large and complication-prone Prolift.

Attorney for the Plaintiff, Kevin Edwards asked whether Ethicon informed its own sales rep it was planning to decommercialize Prosima.  Courts said he was contacted at some time after the implant of Ms. Cavness in April 2012.

Paul Courts II, Sales rep, Ethicon, from LinkedIn

Paul Courts II, Sales rep, Ethicon, from LinkedIn

Mr. Courts didn’t know what an FDA  522 order was (an order to study the product post-market) and he was unaware in early 2012 Ethicon’s strategic business team decided to pull the mesh from market by mid-2012.

Edwards asked the sales rep if he was present in the operating room when Ms. Cavness had her implant.  Courts hesitated, then said “No.”

Edwards: “Were there other occasions?”  “Were there a lot?”  “Yes.” said Courts, referring to being present in the OR when mesh was implanted.

About Dr. Kowalczyk he said, “She wouldn’t make any decision without being 100 percent…she would ask me as much as she needed to ask me. She will go out and research and find everything she can find. She’s not one of the people you’re going to come in with, with  half the information.” 

Paul Courts said Dr. Kowalczyk was an extremely good surgeon, resourceful and skilled. She wanted to do what was best for her patients.  She did her due diligence and would ask questions. She learned about implanting Ethicon through a company DVD and didn’t go to the cadaver training.  He estimated the doctor performed close to 50 Prosima implants between 2010 and 2012.

Courts was asked if there was anything in the IFU (Instructions for Use) about the permanency of this pelvic mesh and its potential for life-altering pain? Did Ethicon tell you about the cracking of Prolene?  Did they tell you about the public health notification?

Courts said he had seen it but didn’t remember where.  Did Ethicon give it to him?  “They didn’t prevent me from having access it,” he said.

A Defense attorney asked Mr. Courts if the company hid information or was not forthcoming with information about the Prosima.

No, he said.

Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, urogynecologist for Defense

Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, urogynecologist for Defense

DAY 8 DEFENSE – Dr Sepulveda

Kat Gallagher, Ethicon attorney

Kat Gallagher, Ethicon attorney

Dr. Jaime Sepulveda, is a female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgeon from South Florida. Originally from Puerto Rico, the doctor, in his mid-50’s, was brought to the courtroom as the second witness for the Defense in Cavness v. Ethicon. He spoke with a heavy accent that occasionally made it difficult to understand him as the camera is across the courtroom from the witness stand. 

As he spoke to Ethicon attorney Kat Gallagher, he seemed pleasant and sincere.

Dr. Sepulveda and 25 other doctors started the subspecialty of urogynecology, he said, as a matter of introduction.  He’s been practicing medicine for 26 years and in 1994, he opened the Miami Urogynecology Center.

Dr. Sepulveda first encountered Ethicon years ago to see sling procedures in a lab.

Rectocele, FDA

Rectocele, FDA

Knowing anatomy is first and foremost when doing surgical procedures and the opportunity to be trained in an Ethicon cadaver lab in France was an important part of his early education.  Eventually the doctor says he started teaching for Ethicon at the cadaver labs where he was compensated at about $100,000 a year.

Kat Gallagher got the obvious question out of the way. How many hours had he spent on the case? He’s spent 150 hours, compensated at a rate of $500 an hour, or roughly $75,000.

She said to him, “I want to go through Anatomy 101.  “I don’t think anyone who’s really qualified has done it.”

Getting out of the witness chair, Dr. Sepulveda stood before a chart with a light pointer to show the jury the image of a rectocele, a condition where the rectum drops below the body. Pain can come on suddenly when tissues are injured by stress that then weaken causing the rectocele.

An airplane mechanic, Ms. Cavness reported lifting an 80 lb. object at work just before she went to the ER with pain in her abdominal area in April 2012.

Pain, ultimately, was the reason for her Prosima surgery.

Was Prosima the right decision, he was asked? Yes, he agreed.

Surgery with Prosima is superior to a native tissue repair alone, Dr. Sepulveda told the jury.  You have a lower rate of recurrence when native tissue is reinforced with a polypropylene mesh implant, he said. That is in direct contradiction to the testimony by Dr. Michael Margolis for the Plaintiffs earlier this week. Dr. Margolis told jurors Ms Cavness’ native tissue repair, the one that remains behind today, is doing fine.

Dr. Margolis also mentioned the downside of mesh that is stiff, like the Prosima. It does not adapt internally, especially in an area where there is a lot of movement. Dr Sepulveda disagreed – the mesh doesn’t shrink and cause vaginal shortening. “We haven’t seen it. Haven’t seen it in Ms. Cavness,” he said.

What about mesh degradation, one of the most common complaints about pelvic mesh. Did he see any of these issues with Ms. Cavness he was asked. ” No.”

Marcus Cary, MD study on Prosima prototype

Marcus Cary, MD study on Prosima prototype

Kat Gallagher asked, “Are the IFU instructions adequate when using Prosima?”

Dr. Sepulveda agreed, “Yes they are adequate.”

He held the Prosima in his hand. As to the explant surgery of the mesh, done by Dr. Carley, Dr. Sepulveda said the specimen was in multiple pieces, as we’ve heard.

Did Dr. Carley think he got it all? Yes, said the doctor. The idea there is mesh imbedded somewhere, that’s not true, he said, because of the length of the inserter.

After her implant, Ms. Cavness continued to have problems with pain.

“There were no issues with the mesh,” Dr. Sepulveda volunteered. #

35 Comments

  1. K says:

    All I can really say after reading what the defense and sales rep said is karma is a bitch!!!! No amount of money in your career is worth what you have done to innocent women who are wives and mothers. I hope you can’t sleep another day in your lives!!!

  2. K says:

    Reading what the defense had to say and the sales rep made my blood boil! So pissed!

  3. Terri says:

    How can some of these Doctors and Attorneys sleep at night? While those of us injured that don’t deserve the hell these products unleashed on us and lay awake suffering. I have to believe there will be justice..& …Karma!!

  4. Bilal says:

    “Dr.Sepulueda shouldnt be a doctor…he lying,he paid by the Mesh people and thats so shameful…A doctor that likes to see people hurt by a product he knows isnt compatible…”thats evil,implant and monofilament proprylene material is poison to all humans…..they know it,if not,he should have his licence revoked,”what happen to his hippocratic oath…”Adam Slater…All mesh should be banned”…..Those people are the devil on earth!

  5. Tracy Alcaida says:

    I sure hope this Judge its Ehicon and JnJ where it hurts. Someone needs to give a damn about what they have done with this illfated mesh product. My Lord, what more needs to happen to people!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Harriet says:

    Dr. Sepulveda did my sister’s mesh implant about 10 years ago and it went perfectly: she has never had an issue with it since. He was not the nicest or most friendly doctor I’ve ever met but he was good, and that’s what matters. Maybe a lot of the problems with mesh come down to a bad doctor instead of a good doctor.

    While I’m sure that many of you women are truly suffering, and I am so sorry for that, I do believe that some women are faking their injuries for a payday. I personally know someone who is trying to scam J&J. Her lawyers tell her that the more surgeries she gets, the more money she will get. She is an extremely litigious person (she has sued several individuals and companies before), and has no problem getting more surgeries so that she has an excuse not to work. Suffering? She just took up horseback riding lessons.

    I try to keep in mind that many of you have real problems, but people like her do give you a bad name! Sorry for that.

    • Janis Urban says:

      That is so wrong but one bad apple in the barrel should not be a cause to conclude that many are faking the adverse effects of mesh. There are to many women world wide that have been harmed by these Implants. No one in their right mind could possibly know how to fake the debilitating 24/7 pain most us can’t stand walk lay down sit for any length of time, FBR, the infections, Autoimmune Disorders that go from infection to disease. Our Whole Bodies have been destroyed by Mesh. It is a living HELL and it does not stop once the implant has (I don’t believe it can be removed completely) have been removed. The complications are many. A Blind Procedure that uses a thick metal skewer and 2 incisions in the vaginal wall and push through the tissues and muscles around nerves to implant the device and think there will not be damage to the complex pelvic system of a women’s body is insane. This system can never be restored once it is damaged. Most of us our fighting for our lives our Autoimmune system is in overdrive. Our organs are becoming diseased. Plain and simple we are sick and we a dying and the Medical Community has Abandoned the mesh injured for the mesh implants have caused so much damage it’s a big can of worms the domino effect, one thing after another. Try Living this way for one day and tell someone they are faking it?

      • Jane Akre says:

        Yes that person is ill informed if they think for one minute there are many like the person she knows. Then again, she may be faking her comment… could it be from industry? who knows.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Here is an example (“Harriet) of an individual who is a stranger to us who suddenly appears out of nowhere with questionable, unfounded and highly inappropriate comments and suggestions. If “she” does not think we have observed the interesting timing of her advice “she” is quite mistaken. Tell us a little more about yourself Harriet and why you suddenly seem to appear on our radar now.

      This doctor. Jamie Luis Sepulveda-Toro went to Medical School in Puerto RIco, BTW. I am currently attempting to obtain more data on his record there and his standing in his graduating class along with any other information that may have a bearing on this individual who has set up shop in the area of rich pickings that is south Florida. Interviews with Florida patients who have been unhappy with his performance are forthcoming.

      JnJ seeks out often mediocre doctors who have a highly developed interest in money and power and will be good soldiers for their well oiled corporate machine. An important thought to keep in mind and strictly the opinion of this victim, of course.

      Bejah

      So Alex, have you sent in your monthly check to support the continuing genocide of the Palestine people? Maybe you could implant them!

    • kitty says:

      I picture your sister to be a slim lady whose been in pretty good shape most of her life. quite frankly we need more information on what kind of mesh she hadn’t planted how many but her time is coming I’m sure of that

    • E says:

      Harriet, If you think my wife is faking it, i would invite you to spend 48 hours with her.

    • Anonymous Anonymous says:

      Harriett!!!!!

      Really come on if you have been following the devastation that Mesh has caused you would or should know that some of these Drs who have used Mesh in the past are some of the most pronounced Drs in the world using Mesh products.But then they saw the devastating effects of Mesh and don’t use it in there practice putting it in no more but only removing or I should say trying to remove the Mesh as it is near to impossible to remove all of it.Let me tell you if you had or have a friend who has had a Mesh product put in and had revision surgeries to remove the mesh just to get a Pay Day she is as mental as you are.I’m sorry but seeing how much pain my wife has gone through having this Mesh inside of her and having several revision surgeries to remove it and seeing how much pain she has endured and how much pain she lives in day by day and how it’s changed her life for the worse and her love ones life’s please don’t come on this site and say such idiotic things get your facts straight.

  7. toni says:

    They are hoping the jury buys thier lies hoping the jury picks,up on the fact that the only ones lieing are thier paid consultants. even the doc.wont lie. But they are twisting it as much as possible

  8. anon says:

    SHE LEARNED TO IMPLANT MESH USING A DVD ? A D V D?

  9. karen says:

    I don’t believe nothing that the attorney’s for Johnson and Johnson are saying . This corporation has 99 out of 100 million dollar lawsuits in the world then any other pharmaceutical companies. Why keep putting your foot in horse manure if your so clean .

  10. Melanie says:

    Harriet,

    I find it interesting that you would comment on this site, since your sister has no issue with her Mesh. Many of the women on this site do have mesh problems. It’s not about a good or bad doctor, It’s the product itself. Please don’t insult the rest of us with the scam stuff. Have a great day!

  11. M says:

    I unfortunately was implanted in’97 before the flags came out – couldn’t pursue a case & live with the results of 18+ procedures & a pain pulse generator, I hope all involved rot with all who have been injured.

  12. anon says:

    Harriett,

    Now is not the time to troll over here with all that mess. I know you are “probably” an intern sheep who became separated from her flock, and most likely being paid for your services to post, but now is not the time. The false accusations in your posts are too numerous to list, and your fraudulent accusations against women faking injury. illness, and death strikes me so deeply, that if it was possible, and if I had the time, I would file motions to have your IP exposed.

    The reason being, is it possible you came to a forum during a serious mesh trial and you post these accusations in hopes that a jury member, or future jury member, will see your comment which may persuade their opinion? Your post is written as absolute and not a “IMO”.

    No one believes you from either side, Run along now while the adults continue their conversations.

  13. Linda says:

    Come on Harriet, if you are not personally impacted by mesh, either yourself or a loved one that you have lost due to her chronic pain and illness… YOU WOULD NOT EVEN BE AWARE OF THIS SITE. Your day will come. Interesting you would write about “faking” The truth is infection can’t be faked. Bacterial growth can’t be faked. X rays that show you are unable to have a bowel movement can’t be faked. Mesh traveling into your vagina can’t be faked, There is not a woman with mesh that would go through the devastation of a removal if they were not hoping for a better prognosis. We are women that had lives, jobs, kids and grand kids, We had gardens,hobbies and many were athletes. No amount of money can replace that. The damage is done! We want it off the market. We want to protect women that are continuing to be prey for these companies. We want people like you to understand this product is a hazard to our society. Someday you will experience a loss. Perhaps it will compare to the loss these women and their families go through and you will remember what you wrote on this site and recognize your foolishness! I feel empathy for you, not sorry for you, empathy that you want to hurt others with your words. I am sorry that your heart is so hardened. My body is a mess but I thank god my heart is still open, loving and desires to show care and concern. I truly hope you learn appropriate social skills because it is really inappropriate to make comments as you did to these women and families. Even if you are part of the corporation, go ahead defend yourself but there is no need to attack others. The truth will and is coming out. Peace and wishes for wisdom

  14. anon says:

    In my minimum knowledge of legal filings on mesh victims, as I am not an expert, and I will not post what a true injured mesh victim must experience with her legal team in filing a case, however, I will advise it is a never ending slew of research and paperwork for the legal team to contend with, and nonstop collecting of information until the case settles or goes to court for each and every individual case.

    If a woman is not experiencing difficulties, what is there to report? It is complicated and it takes the most dedicated law team to handle these type of cases, and they must be very experienced, well educated and must have extreme knowledgeable in tier after tier of specific laws and outcomes on numerous vs. cases in order to proceed.

    Product Liability is the hardest case to try in court. The plaintiff’s law team has so much against them before they even get started, which is not fair, but is the norm.

    However, I will say this from my own experience and knowledge of what I have learned about the deadly consequences of Pharmaceutical Trans Vaginal Mesh Devices. It would be next to impossible to fake serious mesh complications. And, as an officer of the court, no reasonable attorney is going to risk filling a fraudulent case, or a case that is questionable on honesty, or a case that is border line in either a federal, state or supreme court or any other court, and certainly would never chance lies to the Judge, or all involved for any mesh client.

    The financial burden for most legal teams working with mesh cases is thousands of dollars for each case.

    A case might be filed on good faith, but once the facts are out, and if the facts are not there, and the evidence is not there, it should be withdrawn or dismissed. This may include clients who are not injured or hurting at the time of making the initial call to the attorney, or for the filing of the case with the court by those who simply try to use the court as insurance for the future. It is not allowed.

    True, some people do file cases for profit who are not actually injured, and those cases will be purged. Not only by the defendants, but the plaintiffs too.

    Many have already been dismissed, according to the W. Virginia Court Calendar. Mesh cases are severe, and perhaps if you copied the symptoms of complications off of the internet to pass as your own, unless you are experiencing these symptoms, you could not fool anyone who has become an expert in the field of mesh.

    Especially the doctors and attorneys and their associates and staff. Each case and all evidence is examined piece by piece.

    Women infected with bad mesh have nothing to hide. The case will flow. An impostor will struggle. This is nothing like ambulance chasers. This is the real thing, real pain and real suffering and real loss of life.

    While there may be women in the world who have been implanted with mesh (please step forward) who suffer no ill side effects, it would be nearly impossible for them to fool the doctors and legal experts (their personal physician is by far the only medical expert who reviews her case or looks at her file). The case will pass through many hands to be accepted as a final mesh client candidate to be tried in a court of law. The legal team would have to act accordingly based on state, federal and court laws on the mesh victims behalf, would be a fool to commit perjury, and rack up possibly felony acts in such a situation, on odds that are terrible, in “hopes” of a possible win or settlement from the defendant.

    And the defendants would use this against them, and may accuse that every TV mesh case they have filed is fraudulent. I would have to state that no attorney would be willing to chance something of that nature when he has thousands of true and real mesh victims who need his/her help.

    And some women are able to do more than others who have had mesh surgery. But, as time goes on, as time stops for nothing or no one, and the serious complications begin, the reality sets in. And those same women would not be able to file again.

    Since it has been established in court with this trial by the defendants, how the mesh is relevant and perfectly safe for female bodies, then could the defendants please produce the patients who have experienced positive results, continually, from mesh surgery (must provide one patient from each year mesh was placed on the open market, through 2015) to the court, or have mesh patients testify who have suffered no life threatening issues, no pain and suffering, and no complications at all since receiving the mesh surgery, or perhaps women who only experienced minor infractions from the implementation of mesh could come forward and testify. It would not be too difficult to ask the doctors who have successful mesh patients to suggest names of their patients who are doing so so well, who would just love to come testify. .

    We all will be “patient”-ly waiting.

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Anon, Thank you for this post. I think there should be some kind of punishment for those who pose as victims for financial gain. I would like to see them exposed and I wonder how many there are and if they make a career out of this sort of activity?

      Bejah

  15. guest says:

    I unfortunately was implanted in’97 before the flags came out – couldn’t pursue a case & live with the results of 18+ procedures & a pain pulse generator, I hope all involved rot with all who have been injured.

    a pain pulse generator? if you have had that since 97″, it may be time for it to come out M.

  16. Karla says:

    She learned to implant Mesh from a DVD?? SERIOUSLY ? I thought the cadaver clinic was a joke…this is unbelievable !!!

  17. tammy says:

    Omg i have had my fb hached for some of these devil looking to see if im fakeinn where an when does it stop these devil greed people need to stop putting this in bodys i will never be the same an my pian an suffering was brought on by them an all of the lies about my case settleing has not happen going on 6 years im homeless now living in hell who care cause they sure dont they dont care what this did to my life .

  18. Bejah Blue says:

    I would like to add one of my little stories because I read so much of our rage, frustration and sense of helplessness in the effort to see justice done, to stop the polypropelene mesh manufacturers in their tracks, to stop them from continuing implants and the “new and improved” strategy and other tricks and tactics. My comments will be brief as I ran out of pain medication yesterday and I am not doing very well but I have been thinking about sharing this very personal story for awhile thinking some of you may find some comfort in it.

    When I was a child, like thousands of other innocent children, I was physically, sexually and psyhologically abused by my own male parent for years. I have no memory of when it started but I remember that I stopped it when I was about 12. I prayed and prayed to GOD to take him away. One day he had a stroke, and then another and another and had many, becoming increasingly debilitated with each one and yet conscious. The last one finally killed him. I believe this was GOD’s way of addressing the damage he had done to an innocent child. So when we wonder why GOD allows the defendants in these cases to continue, why GOD does not strike them down in some Biblical blow that echoes through to the edges of the Universe, remember that GOD works in HIS ways and asks that we have faith. GOD has been with me ever since my childhood in ways I can not articulate. And even though I still fear death I have been given the gift of knowing Heaven is real and one day I came into the FATHER’s presence, I was about 18 at the time.

    GOD addresses evil in HIS way and in HIS time. They can ravage our bodies and break our hearts and take murderous aim at our spirits but they can not harm our souls which are eternal and belong to GOD.

    I was in too much pain to go to church today but tomorrow I can go and refill my prescriptions and will see a different Urogynecologist, who I have been assured by my pain management doctor will NOT be afraid to examine me or take care of me to the extent that is possible.

    Since I do not seem to have much strength today, I would like to mention here that I am working on the draft of a letter to Mr. Trump that I have been asked to work on. I have not forgotten but I may need another 2-3 days to have something presentable to send to Jane and if I have permission to do so, also ask Jane to share with Still Standing before sharing it with the rest of you.

    I pray you all have a week that allows you some peace and comfort in this terrible journey we are all on and pray that you remember that it will eventually lead us to our true home.

    Bejah

    • kitty says:

      So sorry for your pain Bejah.

      • Bejah Blue says:

        Thanks Kitty,,,sometimes now I feel relieved that the journey is almost over and I expect many of us do. You get to a point where you come to terms with it and a strange peace comes over you.

        Bejah

    • addison says:

      Thank you for the reminder, Bejah. When reading your comments, the song “Unanswered Prayers” came to mind. Many of our prayers seem to go unanswered, which is hard to understand. Admittedly, I have, at times, been upset with God and have questioned why terrible things happen to good people. My grandparents and others — along with teachings throughout the Bible — remind me that God understands these feelings, and no matter how difficult, it’s important to remember free will and His love. Sometimes, it takes a lot longer to sort through feelings and let go of anger and overwhelming sadness.

      • addison says:

        You likely know this song, Bejah, but in case you or others haven’t heard it, I’d like to post the “Unanswered Prayers” (Garth Brooks) chorus:

        “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers

        Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs

        That just because He doesn’t answer

        doesn’t mean He don’t care

        Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”

        • Bejah Blue says:

          I did not know the song Addison, but thank you for posting the lyrics. I expect we all feel great frustration, even feel abandoned, “FATHER why have you forsaken me”, and then we need to remember to have faith, no matter what. Faith will sustain us on this terrible journey as nothing else can.

          Bejah

      • Bejah Blue says:

        It does indeed! I have tried to ask Jane to give you my contact info. but my mind must be going because I could not remember your name! Hello Jane, can you please share my contact data with Addison when you have a minute, if you have a minute in the next week or month or whatever…thanks.

        Bejah

  19. addison says:

    John F. Walvoord, a prominent evangelical scholar and interpreter of biblical prophecy, once wrote:

    “…Praying in the will of God means the prayer must be in harmony with what God has revealed to be His plan for the world. Our petitions must be in harmony with God’s holy and righteous character. What we desire from God must be to the best interest of ourselves and others, even though we may not always know what is ultimately best…

    • addison says:

      My apologies for being unable to complete above/earlier.

      Continued: “If we pray in the will of God, we can be sure that God will answer… There is no limit to what we can ask, if it is according to His will… Many times in the experience of those who pray faithfully, God does not say, “No” but “Wait.” There is a proper timing for answered prayer. Sometimes God needs to wait until we are ready for the answer, or perhaps others need to be made ready. Sometimes a delay is necessary to fit into God’s overall plan.”

    • Bejah Blue says:

      Amen. Thank you for sharing these words with us Addison. Even if we are not people of faith as we understand it, we all know in our hearts that we are children of the Universe and that is enough. Take comfort, drink in the words that soothe your spirit like cool water.

      Bejah

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