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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Job — Continuing to Overcome

By Jennifer McClure
April 10, 2011

It’s been roughly three years since Job McCully received his new set of lungs, two and a half years since his family was blessed with a new home, and about a year and a half since he walked away from his wheelchair.

Though his life has been fraught with medical adversity, Job’s history seems indicative of even more victories to be had in his future.

Diagnosed at age 4 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Job needed a bone marrow transplant if he was to survive. Though chemotherapy and radiation treatments prepared his body for this, they also greatly weakened his immune system. By age 5, he developed a rare lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans.

Medication helped manage the disease, but by age 8, Job’s lungs were only functioning at 40-50 percent. After contracting fungal pneumonia from mold in the family’s home, spending 11 months on a ventilator, being added to the lung transplant waiting list, and waiting for seven months in a St. Louis hospital — 360 miles away from his Bigelow, Ark., home — Job received a double lung transplant.

That was Dec. 11, 2007. Job was 9. When he returned to his hometown in March 2008, it had been more than a year since the McCully family had all been together at home — but they weren’t exactly able to go “home.”

A professional inspection confirmed that high amounts of mold present in the house made it unsafe for anyone, but especially Job, to live there. The family was given a place to stay rent free through the summer but were unsure what they would do after that. Thankfully, the summer ended with a surprise, extreme blessing.

The McCully family was selected for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and on Aug. 14, 2008, they were given the keys to their new, safe, energy-efficient, 3,300-square-foot home. 

When their story first appeared in the Pentecostal Evangel (Feb. 8, 2009) Job was confined to a wheelchair. His main objective for 2009, he said, was “to walk independently.”

That fall, he started his sixth-grade year free of a wheelchair. But his muscles were still regaining their strength, and years of steroid treatments had weakened his bones. Only a few weeks after he walked away from his wheelchair, a leg muscle gave out while he was walking. He fell and broke his right foot in three places. With his arms too weak for crutches, he was placed back in a wheelchair for a few months while he recovered.

Job, who is now on medication to improve his bone density, notes how difficult it was to be confined once again to a wheelchair, after having been freed from it.

Now, however, not only is Job able is walk again, but his parents, Rob and Tina McCully, believe he is nearly able to break into a run.

“One of these days here soon he’s going to take that leap and start running,” Rob McCully says. “He gets around really well, and we look forward to seeing him run around this house.”

In addition to being able to walk, Job no longer needs daily insulin shots. Two years ago six to eight insulin shots were needed every day to manage the diabetes he had developed as a side effect of treatments. Also, last December, he received a good report at his three-year lung transplant evaluation.

Despite his absence from the classroom for most of his elementary education, Job has kept up with his classmates and is now in seventh grade making straight A’s.

With Job’s improvements, life has also changed for his parents.

“It’s nice to have some semblance of normalcy the past couple of years,” says Rob, who is employed full time at Dassault Falcon Jet Corporation in Little Rock. He began working at Dassault when the family returned to Bigelow in 2008.

While Job was confined to a wheelchair, Tina was unable to return to full-time employment. But for the 2009-10 school year, she held a position as a teacher’s aide at Bigelow High School. Last August, she returned to her field of study — finance — in a full-time position at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock.

“I was praying for a job and looking and looking, desperately trying to listen for God’s direction in the matter,” Tina says. “Well, He gave me a newly created job that I didn’t even apply for.”

Thankful for their home, jobs and being able to return to living a fairly normal life as a family, Rob, Tina and their 16-year-old daughter, Nicole, are most thankful for Job’s restored health.

“I just have to praise the Lord for the great healing that Job has received; he’s improving all over,” Tina says. “It’s just a gift from God that he continues to get better and better and stronger. We never want to forget how God has blessed us with Job’s restored health.”

Though many medical battles have been overcome, a few remain in Job’s future — including to run again and to gain height. Job, who turns 13 in May, remains 3 feet, 10 inches tall — the same height he measured four years ago.

But when looking ahead to his future, Job finds encouragement in his past.

“Thinking of how far I’ve come along, it makes me feel good,” Job says. “I’m comforted that God is there, and He helps me in my worst times.”

In his interview two years ago Job declared God was amazing and good.

“It’s still the same,” he says. “He’s still amazing; He’s above words.”

JENNIFER McCLURE is technical editor of the Pentecostal Evangel.

Read Job’s story, "Job — The Kid Has Faith," from the Feb. 8, 2009 issue.

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