Ky and Bill Prevette

June 2, 2010 Health Update – Bill’s Hospitalization and recovery

For some of you this will be an update and for others new information, either way, thanks for your prayers and concerns the last several weeks.

 Our son Daniel has written a number of scripts and he has taught me about the elements that contribute to successful stories and films. One of those elements is a major event in the life of a character called a ‘inciting incident’ – ‘a doorway through which the protagonist cannot return’. I now know what people mean when they talk about a near death or traumatic experience where things in life are reduced to ‘what really mattters’.

Ky and I went to Barcelona, Spain on May 11th for the All Europe Retreat; this was a gathering of all the AG missionaries in Europe for some work and R&R. We had planned to spend an extra couple of days with some friends in Barcelona after the Conference and return to UK on May 19th.  We enjoyed 2 days of this but in the early morning hours of May 19th, I began to experience massive chest and abdominal pain. Thinking I was having a heart attack, Ky called for help and took me to the nearest Emergency Room. Within an hour it was determined I was not having a heart attack but ‘Acute Pancreatitis’. If you are like me and don’t know what this means, see:

I knew I had a pancreas but never knew it could start ‘digesting itself’ or hurt this much.  I was immediately admitted to the hospital and told I would be put on an absolute fast from all foods or liquids for the next 4-5 days. This allows the pancreas to ‘calm down’.  Coupled with the incredible pain was the confusion that everything around me was happening in Catalan and Spanish; soon I full of IV tubes and feeling ‘ completely out of control of my situation’. The pain did not really let up for 72 hours and then things slowly started to get better. I had a CT scan on Monday May 24th; this revealed no masses, no lesions or cysts, but fluid and inflammation throughout my abdomen. I was gradually introduced to food and activity and by the end of the week the doctors agreed to release me on the condition that I get a follow-up CT scan and blood analysis when I returned to the UK.

 On the last night I was in the hospital, I wrote a reflection on my experience after a friend sent my a hymn by Charles Wesley, Jesus Lover of My Soul, which contains these words:

Wilt thou not regard my call?    
  Wilt thou not accept my prayer?    
Lo! I sink, I faint, I fall!    Lo! on thee I cast my care!

Reach me out thy gracious hand
 While I of thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,  Dying, and behold I live!

If you are interested in reading this reflection, you will find it posted under ‘Newsletters’ on our website —

 I felt at the time that I needed to record some of the lessons learned in this crisis, as we have a tendency to forget the how God can use pain to teach us of Himself.


We returned to Oxford the night of Friday May 28th, tired but very grateful to be home where we understood the language and our local surroundings. The following day, our shipment from the USA arrived and 13 friends showed up to unload it and help us start getting settled into our new home in Oxford. We had been living out of suitcases since February 22nd. I will be seeing doctors here in Oxford this week for another CT and consultation about ongoing treatment.

Thanks be to God, I am now beginning a new chapter of my life. Moving to the UK and joining OCMS was already a big part of that. I will need to lose at least 30-40 pounds and be very vigilant about my diet. I will need to adopt a new lifestyle – where ‘reflection, soul and body care’ are not just useful words but integral to the way I live.

Charles Wesley was right – living is not to be taken for granted. We rest in Him!

Many thanks for your friendship and prayers.

Bill and Ky

Oxford UK