My wife, and best friend, Heather Starmans, needs an urgent surgery… and a miracle. Heather has trusted and treated her life changing diseases with Jesus leading as her physician, and He has led her to heal and flourish with only herbs, plants (God’s pharmacy) and so much prayer for her pain, immobility and even reversing a life changing “incurable” disease – according to the doctors. This journey, which began in her neck, started 15 plus years ago, and at that time, doctors told her that she would be in a wheelchair by the time she was 35. This led her to a vastly different lifestyle than she was used to with Him helping her, filling her with the spirit of self discipline, and discernment over what she puts in and on her body.
An MRI just a few weeks ago showed she needed help - immediately - to no avail in Canada.
We are in a country that has wiped their hands of responsibility for the dangerous fusion they did on her cervical spine (neck) leaving her spinal cord crushed. In 15 years, God has healed VARIOUS autoimmune diseases and ailments in Heather’s body. Luckily, He blew doctors away just in time as this disease was attacking her SI joint and spine. Sadly however, it took her neck. Man’s devices have lasted us 15 years, but you cannot live a quality life with a crushed spinal cord. The fact that she is still walking and working her lower body while she waits for a miracle is the epitome of who Jesus say’s she is now, partnered with Him in all things, an overcomer.
Heather’s fusion 15 years ago took her mobility, leaving her losing disc after disc, as the pressure needs somewhere to go. The surgeon did not want to perform the surgery, nor had he ever done the surgery on someone of her age, nor do you see these dangerous fusions performed so high and at the top of the spinal cord anymore. I vowed in sickness and health and that vow was put to the test after our second child when Heather was rushed down to St Mike’s Neuro Hospital for emergency surgery to place cow’s bone in her God given spine and try to remove the pressure off the crushed cord. Her legs were buckling back then and arms giving out trying to hold our 10-month-old baby. Since we have been blessed with another child, Heather has struggled, but by the strength of God she was able to mother and nurse again unlike with our middle child; she does not remember the first five years of his life due to the dangerous surgery. I lifted her out of bed, I still blow dry her hair as a 40-year-old couple and perform so many duties, simple things as a wife she wants to help with but cannot.
Just before the elders came to pray for wisdom and healing for her, she felt a soft whisper to her spirit: do not remove more of the natural spine I gave you in your mother’s womb, replace it. Heather had no confirmation that this kind of surgery even existed, but she knew - and relearned - thanks to Jesus’ word, love, and mountains of grace, that she was “fearfully and wonderfully made”. Anything else was the enemy as she believes her Jesus is NOT the author of sickness and disease. Calvary tells her He died for her and by His stripes she is healed.
A quick search confirmed that this surgery does in fact exist, and it honours the way God designed the spine with spongy discs and MOBILITY. A German surgeon took one look at her MRI’s, her crushed cord, the surgery that caused immobility and more damage to the rest of her discs and offered to REPLACE, and recreate discs similar to God’s intricate and very brilliant system of the spine; discs and the spinal cord that relay sensory, motor and autonomic messages between the brain and rest of the body. Reading testimonies as she researched this replacement surgery and correction that the surgeon proposed, brought tears and PEACE to her finally. Not peace of man, but God’s. It is an absolute position of faith as it looks impossible for our family financially to get this surgery. Nothing is guaranteed to give her quality of life back, but the dangerous part will be addressed fully, meaning, her spinal cord will be alleviated of the crushing. Exodus 15:6 says “Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power. Your right-hand Lord shattered the enemy”
Here is where we admit our weakness and humble ourselves, put aside all pride and ask for your support:
The surgeon is quoting $67,000 to start, just for the surgery, as he may have to stabilize and correct much more after living like this for 15 years - by the grace and protection of God – and he will only know once he gets into the operating room. This does not include flights or the stay after being released from the ICU, as she will need to stay nearby to be reassessed and given the ok to fly back home to our family.
It is risky and complex. It is out of our understanding of HOW we can say YES financially but God’s word says, ‘lean not on your own understanding” and asks us to trust Him which is what we are doing by sharing this need publicly with our family, friends, church family and whomever God decides to share it with via technology.
Heather will be countries away having a profoundly serious surgery and will need weeks to recuperate to be well enough to take an 8-hour flight back to Canada. We are not able to go with her, so she will be away from her support system, our three children, and me. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you where you go”
She spent most of her life after surgery needing round the clock help with her last two babes just to perform mothering duties most do not blink at like holding, rocking, and nursing a babe. Heather wants to return stronger, as a mother, her full-time ministry and wife firstly. “If I can lean over and hold my arms out when my daughter wants help on her bike, I want to help.”
Your prayers for strength, wisdom for the surgeon when he tries to restore and rebuild her spine, protection over her cord and any financial support is so very needed right now. She is a walking miracle right now, but one small fall could be extremely dangerous to her current state in Canada with a sector who doesn’t want to take responsibility or touch her spine anymore.
My wife, and best friend, Heather and I are sharing our family’s extreme valleys and hills in hope that God will use who He will and work through this platform supernaturally. Our family needs a supernatural vehicle to get where we need to be quickly, as Canadians rejected by Canadian neurosurgeons. Man’s rejection is God’s redirection and protection; we are standing now in the unknown.
Thank you for taking the time to share our family’s needs. Because of Jesus we can take what we doubt possible and believe in advance and in faith ‘for with God all things are possible’
Bill Starmans, husband of Heather Starmans