Elton: Day 8

Party in Elton’s room! Thanks to Emma, several friends from DePaul University visited Elton at RUSH this afternoon and evening. Emma you’ll recall is a young lady from Zimbabwe whom we befriended the day before Elton arrived. I still have a suspicion that she’s as much angelic as she is human. Not only does she speak Elton’s native tongue, Shona, she is a phenomenal source of encouragement.

party Elton's room group shot

After the DePaul posse left, we were joined by two of Emma’s girlfriends from Zimbabwe (Emma is on the right). Now we had three different people who could speak Shona with Elton. It was wonderful! Not only are these girls smart and articulate, they are quite funny. We laughed a lot!

Zimbabwe Princesses

The big lesson for Elton today was pain management. He has a much higher threshold of pain than most of us (certainly more than your typical male) and therefore is disinclined to ask for medication. Eventually, though he needs it. The nurse explained to him that it’s better to request help sooner than later.

Elton may be discharged tomorrow, or it could be on Monday. It all depends on how he’s feeling. There’s a good chance that it will be the latter.

Thanks to all of you who have mailed Elton a letter, card, or a gift. He received a box of art supplies today and is already enjoying them.  It is remarkable to see how many people have reached out with genuine love and support.

About the author

Chris Castaldo (PhD, London School of Theology) is the lead pastor at New Covenant Church in Naperville, Illinois. He is the author of Talking with Catholics about the Gospel and coauthor of The Unfinished Reformation.


  1. Hello! Our family is keeping up with your journey and we wish you the best. My stepdaughters both have severe factor V deficiency and we know what you must be going through in your life to have made it this far. Well, the girls are 29 and 26 – one is an architect and the other works at Starbucks and life is good. Take care and keep smiling. We love you.
    Cheryl D’Ambrosio

  2. Thanks, Chris! What great photos, and what lovely girls! How nice to have someone who can speak Shona. That must mean the world to Elton. And I heard someone bought Elton an iPod and is downloading rap! This from a young man whose family earns about $27 a month in Zimababwe. Your family is wonderful to take him into your home and hearts. Laurie

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