Tamara Brower, Roswell, GA

Total eligible bills
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Total bills shared

In late 2014 our family was searching for a healthcare cost solution. I prayed about it for nearly a week. I didn’t know anyone who was a member of a health cost sharing ministry, so I knew it was God when I had the thought to do an internet search on Christian health cost sharing groups. It was a beautiful feeling to realize God had answered my prayer and led us to join CHM.

My oldest son, Nathan, had pectus excavatum, a condition in which the cartilage in the body grows quickly and then hardens. Nathan’s sternum (breastbone) sank into his chest and pressed against his heart.

Complications arose as he grew older and became more physically active. His ribs couldn’t stretch whenever he took a deep breath or when his heart beat rapidly. He experienced pain and many times he almost passed out; his heart was being pushed to the side of his chest and his lungs couldn’t fill with enough air.

A doctor said the condition would likely grow worse with age and said we needed to decide if this would be Nathan’s quality of life.

Doctors explained that corrective surgery is an extremely painful procedure with a long healing period of up to 12 months. In this procedure surgeons cut away from the sternum all of the cartilage attached to the ribs, peel the cartilage and remove the core, then stitch the cartilage back to the sternum, essentially remodeling the chest cavity.

After many prayers, Nathan underwent the surgery at age 19. God was with us and we entrusted Nathan’s care to His hands. We believe that God led us to the right doctors and hospital, a knowledge which gave us the peace we needed to move forward.

Because Nathan’s condition was pre-existing, I wasn’t sure what to do. I called CHM and was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a representative rather than hearing a computerized voice or being sent to voicemail.

The staff member was compassionate and helped me understand that Nathan would be listed in the monthly newsletter’s Prayer Page so that other members could see his name and contribute to share his medical bills. Sending his paperwork and medical bills was much easier than I anticipated.

Since then, CHM members shared nearly $69,000 through Prayer Page giving and Nathan’s bills have all been paid!

As difficult as it was to see my son in so much pain, we also experienced some surprising blessings during that time. We received many wonderful cards and notes of encouragement from members across the country. I was humbled to think that people took time out of their busy schedules to send notes and to pray for us.

The kindness of CHM members helped me realize that I wasn’t alone and that God sometimes shows His love in unexpected ways. I have recommended this wonderful ministry to several families who have since joined CHM.

Today Nathan is doing well; he can breathe better and his heart no longer troubles him during physical exertion. He still experiences a rapid heart rate from time to time, but it’s nothing compared to his previous troubles.

Walking with my son on this journey, I learned one of life’s hardest lessons: I am not in control! I discovered that struggles are amplified when I try to put myself in the driver’s seat instead of trusting God to handle the situation. As soon as I committed my son’s well-being to the Lord, events and details began falling into place.

I want to encourage other members going through a tough health challenge to get on your knees in prayer and be completely open to what God has planned for you, not what you think should happen. The world is a fallen place where bad things sometimes happen and it’s easy to wonder where God is when life gets difficult. But if we stop and look closely, we realize He has been there all along.

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