Many of you know and love Gideon, a little boy that Olivia fostered while living and working in Uganda. He has made several trips to the US over the last few years and quickly wins over the hearts of all that he meets! If you know Gideon, you know that he has been through more pain in his short life than many of us could imagine. Even so, he continues to praise God in all circumstances, specifically remembering to “Be of good cheer!”

On November 13th, Gideon traveled to the US to be a part of George and Olivia’s wedding just a few weeks later. Shortly after arriving, he expressed that he was not feeling well. Thinking this was likely due to his Sickle Cell Disease, the Ricketts encouraged Gideon to get some rest. The next morning, he did not wake up. After rushing to the ER in Athens and enduring several tests, it was determined that Gideon was experiencing a large epidural hematoma, commonly known as a brain bleed. He was immediately taken for an emergency craniotomy and then life flighted to CHOA in Atlanta via helicopter. Upon arrival at CHOA, doctors found that Gideon’s brain was bleeding again and he was taken for a second craniotomy. Gideon spent the next 2 weeks fighting for his life on a ventilator. The prognosis was not good and we were unsure if Gideon would wake up. If he did wake up, we were not sure what his future would look like. 

Miraculously, Gideon woke up! After months of intense rehab, he has relearned how to walk, talk, and eat. In many ways, he is back to his old self and we thank God! However, Gideon’s vision did not recover along with the rest of his body. We recently learned that he will be blind for the rest of his life. This has been quite the adjustment.

We do not know why this happened. The doctors report that it was completely random and recognize that if this had happened in Uganda, Gideon would not be here with us today. They have also explained that if Gideon was to return to Uganda, he would likely not survive due to his medical needs. 

Because of this life-changing and tragic incident, George and Olivia have decided to pursue guardianship and make Gideon a part of their forever family. Their first few months of marriage have looked different from what they expected, but they are honored to now call Gideon their son. To help support their endeavors, we would like to raise money to assist with medical bills, legal fees, counseling, adaptive technology, and other daily living expenses for Gideon. Whether you have had the blessing of hearing Gideon’s jokes in person or are just now seeing his story for the first time, we would love to have you partner with us to support this sweet family.