Malachi Diagnosis

Malachi was able to get his MRI today and received a positive diagnosis.

Malachi has Cerebral Palsy. The basics are:

The term cerebral palsy refers to any one of a number of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination but don’t worsen over time. Even though cerebral palsy affects muscle movement, it isn’t caused by problems in the muscles or nerves. It is caused by abnormalities in parts of the brain that control muscle movements. The majority of children with cerebral palsy are born with it. [ref]

While in certain cases there is no identifiable cause, typical causes include problems in intrauterine development, asphyxia (lack of oxygen due to breathing difficulty) before birth, hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) of the brain, and birth trauma during labor and delivery, and complications in the perinatal period or during childhood [ref]

With all the difficulty surrounding his birth and the ensuing stay in the NICU, it’s not surprising that he sustained some permanent neurological damage.

He shows both increased resistance in some muscles (hypertonia), especially on his right side, and low muscle tone in others (hypotonia) like his neck and trunk.

The good news is that he will not get any worse than he is now, and that with physical and occupational therapy, we are likely to see improvement, but we don’t know how much. The bad news is that there is no known cure for any type of cerebral palsy and he will likely have physical limitations throughout his life. We don’t know if or when he will be able to sit up or walk or any other developmental milestone. All we can do is give him therapy and see how he responds and develops.

Thankfully, although this is news to us, it’s nothing that our heavenly Father has not already seen and planned and we are confident that he will provide our every need, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We know that this will be used to conform both us and Malachi more to the image of his Son, and will open up avenues for ministry that we’ve never had before. Your continued prayers are much appreciated at this time.

29 thoughts on “Malachi Diagnosis

  1. Vanessia

    Thankful for a diagnosis and I will continue to pray for Malachi and your family! May God continue to be your rock and comfort. Hugs and love to little Malachi.

  2. Richard Wollard

    Praying for you guys as you seek God’s leading and for Malachi and all that God has moving forward.

  3. Leah

    Oh Mel! That is so awful. I’m so sorry. Praying friend praying.

  4. Aunt Carol

    How blessed that Malachi has a family who loves him and walks with our wonderful God. We will pray for all of you and will help in any way possible.

  5. This mama knows the shock of a diagnosis, and the Faithful Hands that comfort. Malachi has a bright future and I stand alongside you with faith and hope. <3

  6. Jodi Strava

    We will continue to lift Malachi to our Heavenly Father for healing as well as your family and the doctors for wisdom.

  7. Evan

    You summed up everything I would say in your own post already. Looking forward to meeting Malachi once your move back to the States is done. We love you all and we all will be praying. <3. If it would be if any help one of the gals in our bible study has CP and I know she'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

  8. Songbird4JC

    Sending hugs and lifting you in prayer. May your hope in the Lord grow even stronger. Thank you for your open expression and example of solid faith in the Solid Rock.

  9. Lauren zavisch

    Thankful for the answers God has given. Praying for you and John as you process through the information and get the resources you need for sweet Malachi! Cast your burdens onto The Lord because he cares for you!!1Peter 5:7 Praying for you all!! Xoxo

  10. We have a teen boy in our neighborhood who has/had CP as a baby and young child. I see him run, play, and interact totally normally. His mom and dad shared with us there struggles and LOTS of therapy in the early years, but WOW today you would never know. God is with you on the journey. Prayers coming for HOPE, healing, and strength for you all! the Cooks

  11. Natasha

    Praying with you Bjorgen Family. I’ve got my peeps praying too and you’re absolutely right, our heavenly Father is on the move and providing everything you need! Love y’all and know that there’s a corner of NE, Washington DC calling down heaven on your behalf!

  12. Donna Chapman

    Thanks for sharing. I know God will provide for you all; what you need when you need it!

  13. Blake

    Thankful for answers and for your incredible attitude and response…you are such an example to all of us. Love, hugs and prayers!

  14. Victor

    Thank you for sharing the diagnosis with a clear explanation. I praise God because He is the God of the impossible. I have faith that Malachi will one day run circles around you guys and also pray that your faith grows stronger day by day. Be strong and courageous! Tonight at our home, we will be leading a small group and your family will be in our prayers. We love you guys!

  15. Dear sweet Mel and Jon, we thank you for the time to so clearly explain the details of Malachi’s diagnosis…especially, as you’ve been trying to put all the pieces together yourself. Yes, we do serve the Great I AM, Healer, Redeemer, Prince of Peace, Son of God, Light of the World, Strong Rock, and He will be there for you and your sweet boy and family through it all. We will continue to pray for you; please let us know when and how we can be here for you in any other way. Also, please let us know when you are coming back to the states. We would love to visit you then. We believe in miracles! ” Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you.go.” Joshua 1:9
    Sending our love, the Harsta Family

  16. Valerie Wilson

    John, your pragmatic approach to Malachi’s diagnosis will serve him well. While this news is sad and you and Melissa are no doubt heartbroken for your son, trusting that God is present and in charge is a great source of peace and comfort. I must admit I shed tears for the things our grandson will not be able to enjoy physically, however, I do believe as you do that spiritual milestones will be met that may otherwise not have been possible. I pray that you maintain the strength to care for the needs of little Malachi and that his progress will surprise us all. Much love to you and your precious family. Val xoxo

  17. Jill Murphy

    “Our God is greater. Our God is stronger.” love this song!

    Remembering you all before the Father for healing, mercy, grace, and endurance. Through all this may you continue to grow in faith and shine like the trophies of grace that you already are!

  18. Caroline P.

    I’m glad that God made a way for you to find out Malachi’s diagnosis. I thank God for modern medicine and medical technology every day, and now especially in this case. As you said, little M’s diagnosis is not a surprise to God. He has been there for y’all every step of your journey and He is not stopping now! Thank you for sharing. Please continue to let us know how we can specifically pray for Malachi and his development. Love to you all.

  19. Louise Bond

    I continue to pray for Malachi and all you who love him.

  20. Pam Jensen

    A diagnosis is a double-edged sword. You are shocked and grieved at the revelation, yet you are relieved (in a way) to know it’s not “nothing.” I’m sure this was a difficult journey especially hearing the news without John by your side. I, too know people who live with CP. There will be challenges, but Malachi has a great mom and dad who will help him to face those challenges with faith. Most of all he has a Heavenly Father who will guide him to fulfill His plan for his life to His glory. I am praying that God will give you peace, strength, and wisdom for the next step and the road ahead. I love you both.

  21. Sue Dale

    What a great attitude…. God WILL use Malachi for His glory. It will open many avenues of ministry. Couldn’t ask for better parents and support group to raise him and give him the love he deserves. Blessings.

  22. Maureen Read

    Prayers for alll of you. Maureen

  23. Matt Martin

    We love you guys! Keep your eyes on the Lord

  24. Jodi Couch

    Prayers for ya’ll and sweet baby Malachi. While you are processing and learning of this condition and how you can help Malachi succeed, remember you have the foundation you need….Trust in God! We’ll all be continuing to pray for everyone, and never hesitate to call or write if you need anything!!

  25. Robin Nelson

    Praying for all of you and that the therapy for Malachi will be very successful. May the Lord continue to bless and comfort you.

  26. Nathan

    I wanted to share my story with you, as I have Cerebral Palsy. My hope it is that it will greatly encourage you as you go through the coming days.


  27. Lisa

    Melissa & John,

    I’m sure you will feel many emotions…But remember to feel brave because God is confident that you two are the perfect parents to raise his child, Malachi. Already you have blessed others by pointing them to God through this discovery.

    Love & Many Prayers
    The Colmus Fam

  28. Jami Strandberg

    Praying for you guys. I love your attitude at the end of your letter above. God is in control. He knows Malachi’s body and will work out His eternal purposes for the good through this situation. Keep looking up!!! Love and hugs…

  29. The Inions

    So sorry for the news, yet rejoicing that at least now you know what to focus on. We have two sons born with CP. Oh how sweet they are. Our older son, now eight, was told he would never sit up, walk, or run. Today, he runs so much I can’t keep up with him. He is not limited by his physical challenges. Our other son, who was born with mulitple disabilities in addition to CP is in a wheel chair. His smile lights up a room.
    What your baby needs more than anything else is YOU. There is no greater therapy than a parent who is involved moment by moment in her son’s life. Many times, therapy fails and at that moment a mother’s behind the scenes intution makes the difference.
    We will be praying.
    Feel free to contact us. We found this link from the missionary site you and I are both a member.

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