Whitney Cerak

We, the Cerak family, are elated beyond description at Whitney’s return home. It is so much more than we ever imagined three months ago.We would like to restate our plans of not speaking to the media. There is still much on the road to Whitney’s full recovery. We want to thank the media for the respect they have shown of our privacy in this time. And ask that the same courtesy given us would be extended to our family and friends.

Friday, June 16, 2006

June 16, 2006

"You will seek me and find me when you seek me with ALL of your heart." Jeremiah 29:13
This is my favorite verse. I love it because I used to seek God when it was convient, when I needed something, when it made me look good or to please my parents. When I was in college I gave God ALL of my heart and the fun began. The games were over and God has been there for me in the good times and the hard times.

Today was a quiet day for Whitney. She had a great nights sleep and woke up looking forward to getting her stomach tube out. It was painful but she is so happy to have it out. Because of the pain medication, she was tired but still did her 3 sessions of therapy in the morning and afternoon. Her therapists were all glad to have her back and her OT's even had a special project for her that we will tell you more about another day. Sandra pampered her by cutting her toenails and painting them. What a sister.

Whitney had a few special visitors but also needed alot of rest. We read cards then she wanted to call her grandma to wish her Happy Birthday. She ended her day watching "Dodgeball" with Carly and Newell,it was good to hear the laughter.

The most exciting news of the day was that we were approved to have a short leave on Sunday. We have wonderful friends that are going to grill a steak special for Whitney. It is going to be the best Fathers Day ever.

With love,
Whitneys mom

55 Comments:

Anonymous Autumn said...

I'm so happy for you, that you have Sunday to spend together. :-) Indeed it will be the best Father's Day ever. Just imagine.... next father's day when you look back and reflect on what God's brought you through. He IS good.... all the time. Still praying faithfully!!!!

9:13 PM  
Blogger Our Family said...

Thank you so much for your continuing posts. It is a blessing to hear how our prayers are being answered daily. I'm glad to hear that Whitney came through her surgery well and I continue to pray for her full recovery. Bless you all and have a great day on Sunday.
Amy

9:42 PM  
Anonymous Madeleine said...

That's my favorite verse as well. I find it always helps me through good and bad. :) I'm so happy that Whitney gets to spend Father's Day out! So exciting! I've never even met any of you, I'm just from a small town in Illinois, but this whole situation has really inspired me and helped me re-realize how far faith can really get you. :) God Bless!

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney Way to go.Prayers are there for you.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

I'm so happy to read all the progress Whitney is making. My sister was killed in a car accident when she was 19, so I understand the grief your family went through when you thought you had lost her. What a blessing to have another chance with her! It makes me very happy to read how you are glorifying God through all of this.

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Father's Day! I hope you have a WONDERFUL outing on Sunday. Keep up the great work Whitney!
XXOOXX
In His Name,
AKD in SC

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a special priviledge we have to support you and your family in prayer during this time of recovery. What a blessing it is to be part of God's family. Thank you for sharing from your heart and for using this post to share Christ with others.

With continued prayers for Whitney's full recovery.

A Taylor Mom (Class of 2010)

9:56 PM  
Anonymous Marci (Sloat) Reschke said...

I'm so glad you all get to spend some special time at home on Father's Day!!!! Thanks for continuing to share your hearts on the blog. It's so special to read. Love you guys.

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sandra touched feet!! what!! i love you guys!!

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Beth said...

Dear Whit's Dad,
Hi Mr.Cerak! I am so honored to get to write to you. My name is Beth and I am from Barberton, Ohio. We do not know each other at all, but I have been really interested in how your daughter is doing and the incredible journey that Whitney and your entire family is enduring.
I just lost my sweet Daddy on May 1, 2006 and I miss him terribly. So, in honor of my Dad, I want to wish you a very Happy Father's Day! I can't imagine how special Sunday will be for you, as I would give anything to spend one more Father's Day with my Dad. For the past 33 years I was "Daddy's little girl" and I am now lost without my Dad. I'm sure you can relate to how I feel.
I want you to know that I have been thinking and praying a lot for Whitney and for your whole family. I dont even know you, but I feel so much joy for you. I know that I will not see my Dad until I join him in Heaven one day, but if I got a call, that he was alive and here on earth- I can't imagine what I would do. I would be jumping so high and Thanking the Good Lord, as I know you are doing. How Blessed you must feel!!!!!!!You seem to be an amazing Dad and you are so Blessed! How amazing!!!!!Thank you for sharing your life and Whitney's life with us all.
May peace be with you always.
Sincerely, Beth Reinart

10:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Father's Day Newell!!!What a wonderful gift to be able to spend it with Whitney!!

11:18 PM  
Anonymous Carrie said...

Just wanted you to know that we are out here reading every day and thinking of your family. There are more of us than you think!! We may not comment on each post, or even at all, but we are witnessing the power of your love. Thank you.

12:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

May God continue to bless Whitney and your family, as you all recover from such an amazing turn of events.
Our family from Marion Indiana, has had several talks with our children, and prayed together over all that has happened, and we will continue.

Thank you for sharing your daugthers recovery, it is so wonderful to know that God is in control of everything.

May your family grow more faithful in his word, and through your work now as witnesses of his wonderful power, grace and love.
The Williams Family

12:09 AM  
Blogger Ricky said...

Thanks alot for the continuing updates. They have been a source of strength. Newell may this be the best Fathers Day ever. Love In Christ,
Ricky C.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Ricky said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:37 AM  
Blogger t festian said...

It was an absolute pleasure to read of the progress your daughter is making! At 49, my eye's are sill filled with tears as the joy in my heart for your family goes out to you! Our God is great and the trials and tribulations we are challenged with we can know we are not alone. May god continue to bless your family and may you continue to see how the Lord carries your daughter to what ever end in her recovery.
God..is so wonderful...I...can't explain, but I can sing glory.....

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It truly is a wonderful blessing for you this Father's day as is every day. We will surely miss seeing you at the e-free tent this weekend quenching the thirst of many a B.Ball player on those concrete courts. It is great that you get to be with friends to enjoy your family outing tomorrow. You are in our prayers.
Love, The Bliss'

4:20 AM  
Anonymous Luisa said...

Dear Colleen & Family,

I'm so happy for all of you that Whitney is improving so well. Enjoy Sunday.... I'm sure it will be wonderful !!!

Luisa and family, LI, NY

5:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Newell... Happy Father's Day and wishes for a blessed weekend. Thank you for your posts and heart felt scripture. Lifting up prayers for Whitney's continued recovery and for your family's unwavering strength and faith.
From Caledonia...Marcia

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

*********************************************************************************************************
Dear Family of God,
As I reflect on the past and then now I think what a GLORIOUS GOD we have.
Whitney, I am do thrilled that your surgery went so well. And I understand that soon you can walk on that leg again.
Newell, HAVE A happy,Happy, HAPPY FATHER's day with ALL of your family and friends. I will bet that no one will be able to take the smile off of all your faces tomorrow on your first adventure out.
Sandra, you need to try and get some of those nail arts that you can just stick on the nails then you lacqer over then with a top coat. Maybe some funny ones too. I just think that Whit would get a kick out of them.
Pretty soon I am gonna have to post my messages to you as a blogger; What ever that means.
Just an up lifter from a Gaylord E-Free'er.
Blessings and prayers,
Beth K.

6:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I am in a chuckle.
This blog site states that I posted this at 6:12 AM. I DON'T THINK SO!
I need my beauty sleep too you know. :-)
BK

6:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mrs. Cerak,
My family and I are thinking and wishing the best for you and your family!I look forward to seeing you back at school next year - Gym is my favorite class! I'll be praying for all of you this summer.
Riane Narayana

6:33 AM  
Blogger Renee Pray said...

So glad to hear Whitney's surgery went well and she was able to have her stomach tube removed. I'm sure that is a relief. I'm so happy for your family that you will have a very special Father's Day together. Again you are all in my thoughts and prayers daily. Please take care and give Whitney my love...she is special to both us and Corrie. Colleen they will grow old together--Thamk-you Lord.
Love Renee Pray

7:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love reading about Whitney. Though I have never met her, her story is so inspirational, as is your strength and faith in the Lord. Please do continue to update. This will also be a great tool for Whit when she's able to get on the computer and read about this experience, if she chooses to. God bless!

Love from IL

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Karin in Massachusetts said...

Wow, what an encouragemnet reading your blog has been. I was struck in particular by today's. The part where you wrote "this is going to be the best Father's Day ever." I had been reading the story of the prodigal son. Luke 15:24 says,"For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.' And they began to celebrate." This is such a sweet picture of the Father's heart for us when we as sinners come to him. Yet I sense that God has given your family a deeper understanding of this passage because of what you have walked through. May you rejoice in God's goodness to you not only in the miracle in Whitney's life but in the fact that though you were dead, Now you are alive in Christ Jesus. God Bless!!

7:45 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

I have never posted a comment on here before but felt that I needed to now. I believe God has truely blessed you and that it's a miracle for sure. Whitney is beautiful and apparently very determined. You are truely blessed and I thank God that she was given a second chance to share her beauty and strength with the world. I am also very happy to read that she will get to spend Father's Day with her daddy somewhere other then the hospital. Tell her to take it easy and enjoy. Hope it's wonderful...The Cremeans family

8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HAPPY FATHERS DAY NEWELLEFER!!!
Love you all!

Wheelhouse

AKA Alysha

P.S. I have no idea why you call me that ethier...wheelhouse...haha love you Newell

9:12 AM  
Anonymous dickandjane said...

HAPPY FATHERS DAY NEWELL!!!!!! Your indescribable joy makes all of us who love you all so filled with joy. Whit....we are so proud of you and your perserverance.....keep up the good work.... Thanks Colleen. We continue to pray for all of you.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colleen, you have always had a pure, dear heart! :) Surely better with time, but I remember the goodness in you from those teen years in MP! I loved you then, I love you now!

What a journey this has been for you and your family. I think about all that you've been through and have yet ahead and am glad/inspired by your strength and courage not only to move forward with grace but to be a shining light.

I hope you get to celebrate Father's Day along with a belated Mother's Day! What a day, by any name, it will be to have your Whitney home again!

Oh, happy day!!!!

Hugs and love to you all,
Harriet and family

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Maria said...

How exciting to be able to spend Father's Day away from the hospital. I agree with what Autumn wrote, just think about next Father's Day...you will all be looking back at how far God has brought Whitney and your entire family over the year. I continue to pray for you all daily.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

Awesome! A field trip for steak. Whitney, that's like a dream come true for me. I'm so happy that Whitney got the feeding tube out. That would definitely have been one of my first priorities.
Ceraks, I'm so happy for you guys right now. I feel like in this vast world of words, I keep saying the same ones over and over, and yet it is because they are the most true. I rejoice with you! I love you. I'm praying for you!

10:45 AM  
Blogger Loren Allen Family said...

We continue to pray for all involved in the accident and are so very happy to hear that all the prayers are working so well. About 19 mo ago our 18 yr old son was involved in a serious auto accident and was flown by the same helicoptor to the same hospital and he spent days in the same icu as did Whitney. We were told of many prayer groups and prayer circles and i am sure they were all heard by God as he was soon on his road to a long but almost complete recovery. The best of times are still to come for Whitney and we will continue our praying for her and all your family as we know it helps. Your friends in prayer- the Alen family in Indiana

11:02 AM  
Blogger Loren Allen Family said...

We continue to pray for all the familys involved and for Whitney. A yr and a half ago our 18 yr old son was involved is a serious accident and was flown by the same helecoptor to the same hospital and was in the same icu. We were told of prayer groups and circles that were praying and I am sure that was what helped him to a long but almost complete recovery. We will keep it up and know in our hearts it is working for Whitney . God bless your complete family and the Vanryns as well. Your friends in prayer from Indiana

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Emily from Ohio said...

Wow, 3 therapy sessions and tired from pain meds. You have amazing determination! Have an awesome Father's Day!Whitney enjoy your steak, it my favorite!

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so glad you will be together on Fathers Day. Thank you for your continuing posts. I pray for your family as well as our friends the Van Ryn's. This will be a difficult year for all. Whit, enjoy that steak! I bet you are happy that you will be seeing your dog too!

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Colleen, Newell, and FAMILY!!! We have been praying for you guys every day and SO appreciate your blog! We are proud to call you our friends! You have touched so many lives with your testimony. We will continue to pray for Whitney's full recovery!! We love you all! -Cal, RaeAnn, and family

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

I have been praying for Whitney and all of you ever since I heard about her on the news. Yesterday and today, I specifically prayed that God would heal her enough to allow you time away from the hospital as a family. Thank you so much for your posts - God truly is using you as his witness and it is so inspirational to read these posts everyday. Have an awesome Father's Day - God bless you all!!!

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm am rejoicing for you so much! I lost my sister in a car accident. I know you must be overcome with emotions for yourself and Laurens family! Bless you both!

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there

I am from London, England and like millions of others here, have been reading and listening to your amazingly heart moving story for the past 3 weeks now. I have just been reading it in 'Closer' magazine and saw the website address in the article. This is the first ever time I have wanted to post an comment in my life. I would just like to let all family's/friends involved that everyone in the UK are thinking so much about you and wish you all the good luck in the world in recovering from this tragic incident. Our thought's are with Whitney, Laura and all their family and friends and we are all praying that you recover in your own way from this.

All our love, thoughts and prayers are with you all forever.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear about Whitneys progress. I read the blog everyday and really enjoy reading that she is doing better. I can't even imagine how happy you must be to be able to spend Father's Day with your little girl. I hope you have a great day! Whitney keep up the good work. You have become a hero...We pray for you every day!
-The Lange Family, St. Charles, IL

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Jessica P. in IL said...

I continue to pray for all of you. And if the families of Laura, Laurel, Bradley, Elizabeth, and Monica are reading these updates as well, please know you all continue to be in the prayers of many throughout the world as well. In Christ, Jessica

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Neweelefeler?? Well the words out know in the community that your real name is not Newell as we suspected. :)

And Alysia's name is Wheelhouse? That is gonna be a real funny one for you too. :)

Happy Fathers Day Newellefeller!!!!!

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Jeanette Hoeksema said...

Whitney,

Keep up the good work, and enjoy your steak tomorrow! We will continue to pray for you!

You are absolutely beautiful!

Love,
the Hoeksemas

6:41 PM  
Anonymous someone in la said...

i'm very, very curious how laura's family is doing. to "lose" their daughter "suddenly" after almost five weeks of caring for someone who they really thought was their daughter must've been utterly devastating. that moment must've been sickening for them. i'd be interested how they're doing, as well as how you all dealt with realizing that your child was actually ALIVE, virtually risen from the dead. we'd all probably love to know how this all truly transpired. i pray for the van ryn's "loss."

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Newel, Colleen, Carly,
Thank you for your steadfastness in sharing the Gospel on a daily basis. What a testimony of Gods Grace in your lives. I wonder how many Angels are rejoicing in Heaven as peole read Whitneys Blog and come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior!! What an amazing place God has put you all in.
Our continued prayers are with each one of you. Much Love the Dowlings

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Fathers Day Mr Cerak, I will venture to say that this fathers day will be even more special than your first many years ago. may God continue to touch Whitney and continue her healing. and your family's healing from this exhausting journey. Please know that you are in our prayers along with the other families that lost loved ones or had loved ones injured in that terrible accident.

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had to post and tell you how incredible you all are to me. Your unwavering faith is absolutely awesome. I am a Christian, but I know that I do not, as much as I wish that I did, have the kind of faith that you all display. I try, but I seem to falter at sometimes the smallest things, and here you are ... what an inspiration!! It seems so strange that at a time when your family and the VanRyn's should be given comfort, here you are doing the comforting to so very many people all over the world. I know this was a little long, but I just felt the need to post :) I pray for Gods Great Blessings to continue to pour over Whitney and your entire family. Thank you so very much for ministering to me through this blog. Victoria

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ceraks--
i haven't posted here before, but have visited and prayed often. i was a friend of brad's from wisconsin and followed his dear friend "laura"'s progress from the beginning. i was just struck as i was reading your message and thinking about mr. cerak's fathers day tomorrow... i couldn't help but think of how you, mrs. cerak, spent your mother's day this year. no doubt it will not ever be a day you will forget. i enjoyed just rejoicing for you tonight in my prayers and being so grateful, for your family, in the midst of it all, that you can celebrate and enjoy this father's day in a way you never thought possible only weeks ago. sometimes, and i am sure you feel this, it is so easy to get bogged down with the sadness of the accident and the pain of the mix up for the van ryns, that it is hard to experience the true joy that is your situation. i will be praying that you can, at least at times, just be free of all of the weight of the situation and delight in whitney's progress and in god's gift to you, without constantly having to reflect on what everyone else might be feeling. that includes letting yourselves have down days, be frustrated, etc. i bet you feel "ungrateful" when those emotions ever creep in, but i pray that you, and whitney for that matter, will be able to feel the emotions you are feeling, both joy and frustration and sorry, and not have to hold back. praise god for saving whitney and bringing her through to offer hope to so many who are burdened by the sadness of loss. you guys are great. thank you for having this blog, even though you know that it is now so public. god bless you all. happy father's day tomorrow newell. i know, because you are such a strong family, that you will no doubt be praying for the dad's that have lost their kids, but please celebrate before the king who has spared whitney!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have a Happiest Father's Day Newell!!!
You, Colleen and your girls are in my thought and prayers often. I just want to send a big hug to all of you. Thank you for being the 'salt' that this world needs right now.

In His Love,
Tom Nguyen

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Alex S. Holdershaw said...

im glad to hear that whit is doing awesome:)!

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your family is living every grieving family's dream: that their loved one is 'really just in a hospital somewhere' (usually with amnesia *grin*) Please show your gratitude by LIVING your joy - you don't need to temper it with sorrow for the Van Ryn's...there are millions of us out here praying and grieving for them. God wants to see the results of the miracle that he's granted you and it is awesome, isn't it?

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Beverly Bore Okerstrom said...

I spoke to your Dad Colleen and told him the God's Grace was all around his family. You see your mother and Lois, Phil are my cousins. I am from the Bore side of the family and you are from the Johnson side of the family. I did not put the two sides together until Lois called and told me the Muriel's grandaughter was Whitney.
I would like to talk to you over the phone. My Email is kokerstrom1@msn.com
Love in the bond of Christ in two ways, in His blood, and our blood.
Beverly Bore Okerstrom

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Beverly Bore Okerstrom said...

I spoke to your Dad Colleen and told him the God's Grace was all around his family. You see your mother and Lois, Phil are my cousins. I am from the Bore side of the family and you are from the Johnson side of the family. I did not put the two sides together until Lois called and told me the Muriel's grandaughter was Whitney.
I would like to talk to you over the phone. My Email is kokerstrom1@msn.com
Love in the bond of Christ in two ways, in His blood, and our blood.
Beverly Bore Okerstrom

10:32 AM  
Blogger beverlymokerstrom said...

I called your Dad lasr week and greeted him with God's Grace has been all round his family. I did not know until your aunt Lois called and told me that Muriel's grandaughter was Whitney. You see Colleen, your mother, Lois and Phil are my cousins. Mu Dad and Enois were cousins and their mothers were sisters. I am from the Bore side of the family and you are from thr Johnson side of the family.
My email: kokerstrom1@msn.com. I would like to talk to on the phone.
Love in the bonds of His blood and in our Family's blood.
Beverly Bore Okerstrom

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is absolutley amazing how God is blessing your family through all of this. Thank you so much for sharing with us every day. Whitney is a very strong girl, and I will continue to pray for her strength and continuing recovery. I am truly inspired by your daughter.
In Christ,
Veronica Dobson

11:11 AM  

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