On Saturday, Jan. 10, 2004, Jessica Black became the bride of Jarrod Watts. I had the honor of performing their ceremony.
Other than Jarrod forgetting to bring the rings, it went without a problem. Since that day, they’ve had more than their share.
Five years after their wedding, God blessed them with a beautiful baby boy. They named him Charlie. A couple of years later, Charlie gained a little brother. His name is Beau. Those two are your fun loving, face making, typical rambunctious boys, with a few exceptions.
Early last year, Beau began having some health issues. In March, right before the COVID-19 lockdown, they discovered that he had an arachnoid cyst in his head. Doctors in Memphis performed a craniotomy and successfully removed the cyst. He was quickly back to his full-time job of being a boy.
By June, he and his older brother were back to running and chasing one another. Charlie, running full-speed ahead, smacked straight into a wall. His injuries didn’t appear to be life threatening, but since his family had already met their deductible with Beau’s surgery, they took Charlie to see a friend who is an orthopedic surgeon.
Sure enough, he had two broken toes. He did what they do for broken toes, and told them to come back in a couple of months to recheck them. Between those visits, Charlie went back to playing soccer and taking karate, but Jessica noticed he was favoring his arm.
When they went back for their follow up visit, she mentioned this to the nurse. When the doctor heard this, he said he heard a voice inside saying, “X-ray him.” When he did, he saw something on the film. He thought the spot might be a cyst, so he did further imaging and conferred with a colleague at St. Jude Hospital.
They sent them home, to Tupelo. Tupelo is about an hour-and-forty minutes from Memphis. They walked in the door and the phone rang. It was the doctor in Memphis, urging them to return as soon as possible.
Last October, the doctors at St. Jude diagnosed Charlie with an aggressive form of cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. In November, he began receiving chemotherapy drugs to shrink the tumor in order to get good margins. In February of this year, doctors removed 95% of the tumor. They removed parts of his rotator cuff, the ball of his shoulder and his humerus. His humerus was full of cancer.
Since surgeons were not able to remove all the tumor, Charlie had to have more chemotherapy. The powerful chemo he received is nicknamed The Red Devil. Charlie lost his hair and much of his weight, but he didn’t lose his willingness to fight, or even that broad smile of his. He has just completed his 13th round and has one more to go.
That they even found Charlie’s cancer in time was a miracle. He needs at least one miracle. Will you join me in praying for one?
Bill King is director of Tuskegee Lee Baptist Association (www.tuskegeelee.com). He is a minister, author, singer/songwriter, and performs humor as Bro. Billy Bob Bohannon (www.brobillybob.com). Contact him at email@example.com.