Pray For Heath – Updates

For those who may have not heard, our beloved Youth Pastor Heath Stoner had a massive hemorrhagic stroke on Sunday afternoon, 4/23/2023, which resulted in lots of excess blood in the brain.

He remains sedated, intubated, on a ventilator and feeding tube, and has been through two procedures to alleviate pressure from excess blood on the brain.

We ask that everyone pray for a miracle. We also pray that the blood they have removed would not return, and that the affected brain area would begin to heal.

The family will be living at the hospital for a while, so meals are not needed at this time.

If you wish to help this precious family financially, there are several, non-tax-deductible options:

  • Financial gifts may be brought in or mailed to the church at Community Christian Fellowship (CCF), 15704 State Hwy 110 N, Lindale, TX 75771. (We are keeping an envelope of gift cash/checks and Pastor will hand-deliver to Alisa.)
  • You may go to any Texas Bank and Trust location and make a deposit into the Heath Stoner BENEFIT account.
  • Mail any checks to Texas Bank and Trust, PO Box 8, Lindale, TX 75771, Payee: FBO Heath Stoner.
  • One other online deposit banking options for Heath & Alisa is being processed. Should be available soon. Please come back!
  • To help pay for an emergency flight for their son Zach who was in North Africa, you can pay through the Venmo app, using the account handle: @robnunziato (Any excess received will go to the family.)


4/27/2023 – 6:30PM

We’re very thankful for the capable and God-honoring medical staff called to be present to serve Heath at this time.. They have done a great job trying to pinpoint exactly where Heath is in his journey, from the human perspective, and to offer the best of their understanding that medical knowledge is ready to offer..

God is now perfectly poised to receive the glory that only He deserves, for the work ahead that only He can do. Man has effectively been eliminated from the competition for taking the credit of any future hope or healing in Heath’s life.

The trauma that he’s experienced was in his dominant (left) side of his brain, which houses key areas like comprehension, talking, walking, and swallowing to name a few.

The path seen from their medical perspective is long and arduous, with numerous and very real threats and perils along the way.

However in the same breath, the doctor said that his 25 years of critical care experience has humbled him and that all the things they do to make things better is only 10% of it– the rest is in God’s hands. He was very generous in his use of the phrases “I don’t know,” and “only time will tell.”

God is the only one who has a say in Heath’s future. Everyone agrees that God could not have crafted a better challenge; perfectly tailored to Heath’s voracious appetite to take on a challenge, crush goals, surpass expectations and eventually end up with a crown so big that it makes a loud, resounding clanking sound when he throws it down at the feet of the lamb.

4/26/2023 – 4PM

We will take encouragement where we can get it. Today, as Heath’s mom, Marilyn, stood at Heath’s bed and held his hand, she felt what she said were “kind of strong” squeezes. Whether they were voluntary or involuntary muscle responses cannot be known, but we are taking it to be a blessing.

Kidney specialist said they saw no additional negative changes in the kidney function. The absence of bad news is good.

We have been able to use some generous snack provisions for our new Dr/Nurse bribery ministry. A nice basket stuffed with a variety of chocolates and sweets are now in Heath’s room. They are labelled for Drs, nurses and staff to help themselves. Friends well experienced in hospitals say they have seen that it encourages them to visit often. 🙂 And, they also brought a slew of additional snacks for our newly birthed waiting room welcome wagon ministry that Kevin Cool started. It’s opened people up, brought little smiles to their worried faces and has allowed several to accept offers of prayer.


These families would not have these blessings and needed ministry in Jesus’s name if Heath weren’t here.

4/26/2023 – 10:20 AM

The report this morning was good.

The surgeon said that he was pleased with the CAT scan that he was looking at from today. It verified that the procedures that they have done were needed and accomplished what they wanted it to accomplish. The air pockets in the brain that resulted from the draining of fluids look to be subsiding. That is a positive sign and important for the brain swelling reduction.

They have also removed the physical drain from his brain because it also has served its purpose.

When they temporarily remove the sedation, it causes what they called an irritation response. Body realizes there is a foreign object in the throat, etc., and it elevates his blood pressure and other levels. To alleviate that irritation, they plan to relocate the breathing tube to a tracheotomy connection.

When asked what we should pray for, the doctor said that there are areas of the brain that are damaged; pray that the brain would begin reforming new connections to compensate for any injured areas/functions, particularly mobility and cognitive areas.

Also for today, Sierra has her biggest group speech for her class, and will have finals in the next two weeks. Savannah may also have a senior thesis to present in the next week or so before school ends. Also, be praying in the weeks ahead that Heath would begin breathing on his own.

Finally, the first words in Alisa’s journal, that she started when they first got here was…”Our story is not over.


4/25, 10 AM – They temporarily removed him from sedation to test or observe for any function or reaction. Checking kidney function today.

4/25: Zach arrived from an outreach in Egypt. Arrived today through Dubai.

4/25, 3 PM – from Alisa: Heath needs continued prayer for healing of injury in his brain as well as protection over kidneys and all vital organs–specifically for now that he would maintain a good blood pressure range and low cranial pressure–Those things have risen when taken off sedation so keeping him sedated for most part.

Thank you all! Through your prayers I’m able to stay in the moment and hopeful and we are well. And I know God is working in his body in ways that we can’t see… yet. Love you all and thank you for everything.


At around 11am 4/23, surgeons performed surgery to remove the hemorrhaged blood from around Heath’s brain. The surgeons reported that the procedure was successful. That is, they were did what was needed and it went well. They did a post op CT scan which will help them evaluate the next steps.

4/24 – Parents arrived. Drove from Michigan.

L-to-R: Rob Nunziato, Bill Stoner (Heath’s Dad), Kevin Cool (Heath’s great friend), Marilyn Stoner (Heath’s Mom).


At around 2:00 pm 4/23 Heath Stoner suffered a major hemorrhagic stroke. He was taken to Christus hospital in Tyler. Doctors were able to control the hemorrhaging. He is in serious but stable condition. The doctors expect damage but don’t know the extent. PLEASE PRAY for God’s miraculous power in his physical body and wisdom and skill for the doctors.


Thank You For Your Ongoing Prayers!

Pray For Heath