Missionary Carrie Nichols suffers an apparent stroke while in the Caribbean

FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Former Newberg Church of the Nazarene pastor Ed Nichols and his wife, Carrie, have been doing missionary work on the Caribbean island of Dominica for about a year, but their connections to the community remain strong.

That became evident this week after Carrie appeared to suffer a stroke July 27 while taking a break from their work on St. Lucia.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Ministry -- Ed Nichols and his wife Carrie have been doing missionary work on the island of Dominica since he left his pastor position at Newberg Church of the Nazarene.Doctors determined Nichols had a large bleed on the right side of her brain and chose to fly her by jet to Lawnwood Regional Hospital in Fort Pierce, Fla., on Tuesday. She is in stable, but critical condition.

Doctors urged the Nichols’ four children — Josh, Abram, Angela and Kara — to come to Florida immediately, creating a huge financial burden for the family.

But thanks to contributions from friends, family, members of the Newberg Naz­arene community and others, all four siblings were able to fly to Florida Wednesday.

“Pretty much three out of the four kids wouldn’t have been able to make it here without the support from the community, other family members and close friends of the family,” Abram Nichols’ wife, Katie, said. “This trip wouldn’t have been possible for us to get out here to Ed and Carrie.”

The family has been providing updates via the website and Abram has also established a site, www.mytough, where people can make donations to offset the financial burden on Ed Nichols while in Florida.

Many in the community have posted prayers and well wishes via CaringBridge, which the Nichols say are very much appreciated.

“We feel very, very supported, lucky and just loved through the situation,” Katie Nichols said. “The support has helped us get through this.”

According to updates posted on CaringBridge, Carrie was conscious but unresponsive when the problem first arose.

Doctors in Florida determined that she needed a stint to drain fluids and relieve pressure on her brain, but surgery was unsuccessful due to the size of the clot, which is when the children were instructed to travel to be with their parents.

The family reported being able to see Carrie numerous times Thursday and that she was more responsive, moving both her hands and legs while they visited.

A CT scan was scheduled for Friday morning, but the prognosis does not appear good according to daughter Angie Friesen’s latest post on CaringBridge, which has received more than 3,000 visits since it was established.

“My mom needs a miracle to live,” Friesen stated on the website Sunday. “I know God can heal her. But the way he chooses to heal her may not be keeping her on earth with us.”

“It was definitely God’s work getting them home and back into the states so it was possible for us to get to them, so Ed was not going through this alone,” Katie Nichols said. “We all believe that God is the reason that it happened so smoothly, so quickly, because there were many miles away from us.”

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