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.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

July 15, 2006

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior." 2 Samuel 2-3 NIV

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV

Whitney’s day began like many of her recent mornings. Up and at it about 8 am and going through her therapies. We joined her at noon for lunch in the dinning area. Then at 1 pm we joined with the rest of Whit’s therapy team for the evaluation.

I have to say from the start that the people here at HOPE are some of the finest. We thank God for Whitney’s care being entrusted to them. As we sat around the table each therapist gave their evaluation of Whit’s progress, followed by a recommendation of the entire team.

Whitney has made tremendous progress! That we are even thinking it is possible for her to get back into the swing of college in the fall is absolutely remarkable. Yet there are some vital areas that she needs more improvement in before heading home. So the recommendation is that she will be staying in GR for a while longer. While we were hoping for something different we continue to trust God in all of this. Physically she pushes hard and is stronger. Her mental wellness is so key here. Over the next period of time, we are praying that through therapy her endurance as well as speed in processing and speed in reflexes will improve more.

We will pray for her recovery still and trust the people at HOPE and God himself for the timing of it. We are thanking God for his moving in Whitney’s recovery. It truly has been astounding! We will keep trusting Him. Know we continue to cherish your prayers.

In Christ alone, Whitney’s family


Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are thrilled with you for the progress made and continue to pray for ongoing miracles to get Whitney back to Taylor in the fall! God is good.
from the Spier family

12:44 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

That is fantastic that Whitney may be able to get back to college soon. Praise God! You all are still in my thoughts and prayers daily. God Bless!

Sue Jackson

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want you to beleive that Whit is doing so well...and do not let this be a disappointment...the world has watched her doing so well..

Home is just around the corner and the Lord will lead her by His hand to get her there.

Much love and continued prayer from a mom in mt zion.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I started a Bible study in the book of James. Your family was first on my mind when I began. Your family knows better than most about trials...and still you trust in God. You are an inspiration to me as I study this book. May God bless your family.

Laura in NC

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will continue to pray. I'm sure you are disappointed that the results were not different but in light of the fact that she has made such remarkable progress, all of us must still praise the Lord. He knows what He is doing. I trust you are not too keenly disappointed. He continues to use all of you to accomplish His purposes.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ceraks, may you continue to feel God's guidance, strength, and comfort as Whitney continues to heal. Praises for all the goodness He has shown in your lives.

3:12 PM  
Blogger A friend you've never met. said...

Of course we all know this entire situation is in Gods hands and on Gods clock. I have watched this situation since it's beginning, and have been moved beyond words on a daily basis. When I saw Whitney's pic on the Today Show, I wasn't offended nor did I feel she was violated in any way.She looked alive, she looked like a fighter & a winner. I only wish that any news coverage would include how God is working in all your lives, as a mission statement, so that thru this situation, Jesus is presented to new people who might be led to the Lord thru Whitney's miraculous story. That's the real story here, the most important one, and I know you all understand that fact. May God comtinue to bless each of you in His own way, in His own time. It's on His clock.

Love in Christ. A friend you've never met.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Renee Pray said...

It does my heart good (as well as all of yours) to hear of Whitney's progress going so well. I know how badly you ALL would like to be home here in Gaylord, And we all want that too...I will continue to pray for all involved and soon you will be home. So glad Whitney has no more stomach shots, Yeah! I can't wait to see those beautiful dimples. Corrie is making a trip to GR I hope she can spend a little time with Whit(she so misses her) Love to all and God bless. Renee

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evening Cerak's. Every day I log on and look forward to Whitney's update. I have posted in the past... but not recently. Whitney's strength continues to be an inspiration. God is sooo good. You have no idea how much your story has layed on my heart and resulted in a closer walk with Jesus! Thank you. Love and prayers.

XO Chicago

PS. Congrats on moving past that needle stage!

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Ones,
Whitney keep up the good work. So glad the stomach needle is finished. Glad that you have such wonderful teachers and cheerleaders.
All my love to all of you. We're starting the countdown here. Trusting God along with you.
All my love,

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have followed this story from the beginning and am daily amazed by the continuing faith your family and the Van Ryns continue to exhibit. Ya'll have been an incredible witness for Christ to the entire world. You continue to be in my prayers. God Bless...

Amy in Florida

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Way to go Whitney!! We will continue to hope and pray that you WILL be back at Taylor this Fall!

Love, A Taylor Alum - Mom

6:24 PM  
Blogger Tasha said...

I'm not sure if you know about it, but there is a bridge about a mile from Taylor's campus. A group of Taylor students write various things on the bridge throughout the school year, usually an inside joke or saying. I just wanted you to know what has remained on the bridge during the last several months. It simply says, "James 1:2-4". How appropriate! It is a message to all Taylor students to stay strong through all of this. It is also a message to me to keep praying, because Whitney truely is a testament to the phrase 'perseverance'

Still Praying in Upland,
Tasha '07

James 1:2-4:
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, your progress is so exciting!! And the news that you could possibly come back to TU in the fall is incredible!! I'm the PA on 3rd Gerig and your 1st East girls are going to be our sister floor next year. I'm thrilled that you might be able to return so soon! But I know it's hard not being able to be in Gaylord right now. You guys and the VanRyns have reminded us all so faithfully that Christ needs to be our vision in everything so now take heart that our "home" is yet to come. This has been a huge truth I've held on to in these past few months and I've decided it's going to add to our floor theme in the upcoming year.

"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone." Ephesians 2:19-20

Hold on to that, Ceraks, when you miss Gaylord and all your family and friends. Praise God that he has made it so that heaven is where we truly belong. I look forward to the day. And Whit, we can't wait for you to come back to TU! but take the time you need to be with family and friends. We love ya'll dearly and continue to hold you in our prayers.

Much love,
Katie-Lee Barrow
TU '08

7:13 PM  
Anonymous a '05 TU Grad said...

As a recent TU graduate, I have followed this story from the beginning and have faithfully read your family blogs. As many have expressed, it has been a blessing to the whole world to hear your testimony of faith during this very difficult time. I will continue to pray for Whitney's recovery that she may return to Taylor, a place of intentional God-centered relationships. A place many people are blessed to call home for four years of their lives. Thanks again for your testimony and your willingness to be vulnerable and share your life with the world. God bless! :)

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Becky and Angie said...

We are so happy for you that Whitney may be able to go back to school in the fall. We continue to pray for your family and Whit's continued improvement as well as the others involved in the accident. Please let us know if we can do anything for you.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Jody said...

One of the messages I have shared over the past few years since experiencing ongoing therapy with Wyndham is that too many times we take our health and "normal" days in life for granted. I'm sure you are all torn as you wish you could be home and yet you all know where it is best for you to be. I know some of your challenges firsthand...and I understand the pain you must feel- it's not an easy task to wait- but I am happy that you are finding blessings and contentment while you face each new day. May God continue to give each of you the strength and patience and endurance and even more joy along the way. As usual, you can count on our thoughts and prayers for your family. Imagine how Whitney will feel during "finals week" her first semester back at college. You'll all look back on these days and think you had it easy! =) Especially now that the nightly shots are over. We're hoping that Wyndham will be able to give up her shots at some point in her life. A patch would be so much easier! Who knows where medicine will go next. Sweetly

8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe God saved Whitney for a reason. I am sure he has something very special in mind for her. Her life and recovery has already touched so many people, myself included. As has the faith of the whole Cerak family.

I am reminded of the words of
Ecclesiastes 3:11
"He hath made every thing beautiful in his time:"

In His time, in His time,
He makes all thing beautiful in His time.
Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

In Your time, in Your time,
You make all thing beautiful in Your time.
Lord, my life to You I bring,
May each song I have to sing,
Be to You a lovely thing, in Your time.

May God continue to bless Whitney and the whole family. God is good, all the time. In HIS time.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney, I am so proud of your hard work and I realize you are wanting to go home--yet your body still needs some 'work' to get where you need to be. Hang tough because soon you will be home and back to school.

My heart still thinks of the VanRyn's and their heartache--and the other four who went to be with the Lord that April evening.

Your story has the joy of still being here with your loved ones--theirs is the joy of being with our King for all eternity.

Know you are loved and prayed for from Mt Zion, Il

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure these past months must seem endless to you. But miraculously, Whitney has her whole life ahead of her, so I am glad that for now she is in the capable hands of experts who are an extension of God's hands to help her build the strength and skills to ultimately reach her long term goals throughout her life. The main thing is that she never gives up, and with the determination she has, along with her great supportive family, and what she has already overcome, I know she is a fighter and she won't give up. As much as you all long for home, just remember that the continued stay at Spectrum is better for her future because she is gaining strength and skills she will need during her whole lifetime, and the staff believes she will reach her full potential. Be thankful they didn't say "We've done all we can do for her here" (but in God's time, when Whitney has accomplished what they believe she can and WILL) they will say that, and Whitney will be better because of it! Hang in there, Whitney and Ceraks, one day at a time. God bless you all.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Happy Sunday to all the Ceraks!

I live in Indiana and spent time at Taylor Univ. as a kid (through our church group) if you haven't heard the story of the bleachers collapsing at a football game, ask around. I was there that day and rode the bleachers to the ground!

After hearing about the TU accident, I began following the story and praying for the recovery of your daughter (though I didn't know she was your daughter at the time). What an amazing testimony Whitney will have!

Whitney, even though you don't know us, there are lots of us out here praying for you & your family every day.

Keep up the awesome work! I can't wait to read your book - because I just know this story will make it to the pages of a book or maybe even the big screen and touch even more lives than you already have!

Great work! Keep it up!

Westfield, Indiana

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am disappointed for you that you will not be heading home as soon as hoped. Our times are in His hands & His timing is perfect. He has done so much in a short time (though I know the time does not seem short) I remember her lying motionless that first weekend after the accident, probes and tubes and bandages....to read what the Lord has done is an answer to the many prayers offered unknowingly on her behalf.
Even in our grief we rejoice for you all.
Keep working hard Whitney, do not get discouraged, we will not stop praying.

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all-in-all
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that Cross, as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is min
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand
Here in the power of Christ alone!

Standing with you also...In Christ alone!

1:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Oswald Chambers:
"Huge waves that would frighten an ordinary swimmer produce a tremendous thrill for the surfer who has ridden them. Let's apply that to our own circumstances. The things we try to avoid and fight against - tribulation, suffering, and persecution - are the very things that produce abundant joy in us. 'We are more that conquerors through Him''in all these things'; not in spite of them but in the midst of them. A saint doesn't know the joy of the Lord in spite of tribulation, but because of it."

I wish I could remember the book I copied that quote out of, but I didn't write it in my journal. May you sense the presence of the Lord as you ride the huge waves of your circumstances.

A friend who prays....

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

saw whitney's picture in people magazine she looks gorgeous

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We are praying for you daily.
Steve and Valerie

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thine ways acknowledge HIM and HE shall direct thy path.

What an honor it is to have a glimpse of your family.

Praying for Whitney's continued progress!!

7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whitney is truely and inspiration to all who hear her story. It is amazing that she has made it so far. Congradulations on coming so far and I will continue to pray for her and your family!! God Bless.

Britaini, AL

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you again for the report on Whitney-
God Is Good- and we trust that Whit will recover completely-in a short time- Our prayers are with you- and we thank God- that you have been so faithful- through this - keeping us all enriched in our own walk with God.

Whitney has proven herself to be a strong, courageous girl- with God's help- She will overcome !!!

9:44 PM  
Blogger Darcy Keith said...

Newell and Colleen,

I know it may difficult, but please take encouragement that she will be staying in GR for a little while longer. I think my parents felt the way you did when they received the news about my projected date of discharge from inpatient rehab. At the next weekly evaluation, the therapists moved my discharge date up by four weeks.

This was HUGE, as the doctors & therapists projected that I would only be in rehab for three months in the first place. My mother cried tears of joy when the therapists told her the news, as God has performed in miracle in improving my processing abilities. (My physical reflexes for driving again came about 3 weeks later in out-patient therapy). Then, just a few weeks later, I was joining my fellow classmates on the campus at Ball State, enrolled in classes for the next semester.

God has shown many miracles in Whitney, and He may have more in store. Whitney's hard work will be rewarded, and the mental piece will fall in line. It may take longer than she may want - I know that mine did :) - but as I look back, God had me where he wanted me all along. His timing is perfect, though I was impatient as times. That's one thing that I had to overcome - implusivity and gaining patience.

I'm here to offer help and support to your family and Whitney in this process since I've lived it first hand. You are in our prayers daily.

Your sister in Christ,
Darcy Keith, www.DarcyKeith.com

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With your faith and positive attitudes, Whitney will be home soon! I love hearing just how well she is doing and I will so miss it when she leaves rehabilitation, BUT will be so thankful that she has left. Thank you for taking the time to update the world on the progress of your beautiful daughter. Pam - Indiana :o)

6:10 AM  

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