Trauma, pain, suffering, blood, life barely holding on......
The following article is sad at best. 2 young men in a horrid car accident, critically wounded. I share the next day in our lives, mostly for therapy for myself to help me deal and remain stable emotionally, part to ask for prayers. Please, pray for these boys, and for their family.
- The Accident
- Arriving at the hospital
- Air transfer to Memorial Medical Center
- Another long road trip
- Back at Memorial Medical Center
- Updates, 1/22 - 1/24/2012
- Updates 1/25 -1/30
- Less updates
- Latest update 2/28/2012 - Chris is waking!
- 4/24/2012 - Chris due to come home June 6
- Final/last update for this page - 12/10/12
Thursday, January 19th, 2012, 10:30pm - I’d gone to bed about 10pm, and must have only barely fallen to sleep when I was aroused by my husband – “There’s someone knocking at the door, and a light keeps flashing!” I shook my head and tried to wake... then heard it, a knocking, firm and persistent. Then there was the flash of light from the hallway. Not knowing what was up, and knowing that my husband, being disabled, could not run to identify what was wrong, I raced down the hallway, anxious, knowing inside something was wrong. I didn’t even look out the window but flung the door open to see a police officer standing there with his flashlight.
“Are you family of Chris Curry?” he asked.... oh dear God, my heart pounded and I could barely swallow. I leaned in to him, placing my hand on his chest, looked up in his eyes, “Is he alive?” The words jumped from me.... I was begging this man not to tell me that my stepson was dead. He said there’d been an accident, but he was alive. I shut the door and told him quickly, follow me, Chris’s dad was in the back of the house, and I ran ahead of him to my husband, not even thinking to turn on a light for the police officer who followed quickly with his flashlight.
John had gotten to the bedroom door, and I ran to him telling him Chris was in an accident, it was the police at the door. Then the officer told us the accident was serious, on Highway 36, that Chris was in critical condition at Hannibal Regional Hospital but not to go there, as he was expected to be flown by helicopter any moment to the Quincy Hospital. We didn’t even think about the police any longer but began putting shoes and such on to leave. The policeman let himself out saying he’d lock the front door behind himself. I never even checked. My mind was racing. I went to wake my 12 year old, Joshua, to tell him we had to leave. I didn’t want him home alone not knowing we were gone. Told him not to go to school in the morning until he talked to me, then we left.
Arriving at the hospital
We were the first family to arrive at the ER trauma center in Quincy, Illinois, about a half hour travel from our home in Hannibal, Missouri. They had us wait for a few moments in the waiting room, then a nurse came and took us back to Chris. They don’t normally take family back into the trauma area during such extreme care, but I don’t think they expected Chris to live, and so while they worked furiously about him we stood nearby, talking quietly to him - trying to reassure him that family was here, we loved him, and that he needed to be strong and know that he was not alone.
It was so hard, his face was a pool of blood with tubes coming from the holes where his mouth and nose would be, the swelling was so severe you couldn’t make out an actual nose or features, but you could tell his chin was way to the side of where it should be. His eyes were giant swollen masses with blood dripping from the slits where they would open if not so swollen. His head was swollen massively, and misshapen. Blood dripped from both ears. There was constant suction of blood from the pool of blood on his face, the suction canister filling with blood. His body lay naked in front of us, several nurses and doctors working frantically trying to save him. Occasionally we could get close enough to his side to touch his hand gently, to reassure him we were here, but mostly we had to just stand away, a few feet, so we did not interfere with his medical care. It was such a hard sight to observe, but even so, I knew he was alive still, and as long as he was alive, there was chance of survival, no matter how slim.
His older brother arrived. Johnny came into the room, looked down at his brother, and was overwhelmed with horror and pain. Tears swelled in his eyes, such a look of horror on his face, then he bolted from the room, gasping for breath. For a few moments, it was just more than he could bear. I tried to be strong, for my husband, and for his son. My own stomach was racked with nausea, and I felt faint, but couldn’t allow myself to be overcome from shock. I had to be strong.
My husband stood there, watching as the doctors worked on his son for the next hour, trying to stabilize him They’d had to put him on a ventilator as he couldn’t breath on his own, and the suctioning of blood continued. They had blood dripping into his arteries from an IV as it flowed out from all over his head. My husband seemed calm, and strong, but I knew inside he was torn with pain. I stood beside him, holding his hand.
Other family came - Chris’s mom, his girlfriend..... we all stood quietly to the side watching as they worked to stabilize Chris. Finally a decision was made - he was too critical for them to save, and had to be sent to a Level 1 trauma center in Springfield, Illinois - another hour and half way - so as they prepared Chris for transport by helicopter we got directions for driving, and we all left... praying he would survive the helicopter trip, and that he would be there still when we arrived.
Air transfer to Memorial Medical Center
It was a long, quiet drive. John didn’t speak much. I tried to just focus and drive. It was hard to keep the tears back, but I had to as it would endanger us if I was crying and driving and tired - bad combination.... but we made it. Johnny had gotten there first and met us in the parking lot. Told us Chris was still unconscious, and there was concern of the possibility he was brain dead. I held tight to my husband’s hand as he stumbled for just a moment. This time we couldn’t be with Chris, we all had to wait - for more than an hour we waited. The room filled with silence, only broken by sobs, tears flowing. Waiting can be so torturous on the soul, not knowing... waiting... worrying....
Finally the doctor came, only the mother and father could see him, and only for a moment, then he’d have to be moved upstairs to ICU and it’d be another hour and half before anyone could visit again. Johnny began to cry, and my husband asked please, couldn’t his brother also visit. So the doctor allowed it, and the rest of us waited as they went back for a few moments. They returned, and Johnny couldn’t control his tears of grief. He wasn’t prepared for how bad Chris would appear. He hugged his wife, and we all followed the nurse to the next waiting room.
We spent the next hours trying to find reason, trying to figure what had happened? Piecing together what we knew. Johnny had come across the scene of the accident on the way to the hospital - it was grim. The car had been speeding - possibly 90 or 100 miles per hour, had turned over side to side multiple times, the boys hadn’t been wearing seat belts - If only they’d had seat belts on, this might only be a nightmare instead of a reality. But mostly, we spent the next few hours with silence, sobs, and tears.
It was nearly 6am before they finally came to tell us he was stabilized enough that we could visit, but only 2 at a time, and limited. He was still covered with blood, and his breaths were so fast and frantic, even in his unconsciousness. They’d given him a drug to induce coma to prevent any possibility of movement - even though he was unconscious, they were worried that any movement could cause further damage because of the amount and location of broken bones. He had multiple fractures - 2 in his right arm, 2 in his pelvis, the end of his spine, numerous ribs, his collar bone, his jaw, several more in his face and scalp.... lungs were damaged from the broken ribs, bleeding into his lungs, liver lacerations, spleen lacerations, bleeding continued from his ears, nose, eyes slits, mouth.... they told us they still didn’t know if he would survive, that his life just now existed minute by minute.... and we told Chris we loved him, we were here, be strong, let your body rest, let the doctors help you, rest inside yourself and heal...... and we prayed.
Another long road trip
Was nearing 7am, and John and I realized we were going to be here for days, and we’d not brought his medications - things he could not remain stable himself without. It was decided that he would stay here with his son, I would try to get half an hour rest, then head for the long trip back home to get his medications and return to him in time for him so he would maintain stability himself to be here for his son. I don’t know how I slept, but I did. I lay down, determined that I had to sleep, to get enough rest to be able to make the 4 hour trip alone.
7:30am - I awoke, didn’t know how long I’d slept, but knew I had slept, so got up and prepared to leave. John had sat the whole time, just watching over me, and saying prayers I’m sure. He was quiet, and I kissed him good bye - told him I would never leave him here if there was any other way - but I had to make sure he’d be ok, I had to go get his medications. He’d made a list while I slept, of what he thought was most important, and where each bottle was - he’s on over 23 pharmaceuticals, and manages his own medications. I took the list, kissed him once more, and headed out in the cold. John was worried as a winter storm was expected to begin before I would return. I told him I’d be safe.
I left..... in my stress was lost for a few moments, kept taking wrong turns, the area was so unfamiliar as I’d never been there before. After about 10 minutes I had to just stop, take a breath, and believe that I was not alone, the angels would guide me. Then I just started driving, and realized I was on the right road finally! Just had to relax and have faith and accept divine guidance. Then John called. It hadn’t even been 15 minutes, but already he felt alone. He wished I didn’t have to go. I told him I wished the same, but we both knew he would not be stable himself much past noon if I did not return before then with his medications. I promised him I would drive safely, and that I would return in time, and that he should not worry about me, just focus on his son. He’d call a few more times as I drove. It was the only comfort I could give him, but at least with cell phones, I could give him that comfort, to be there with him by phone when I couldn’t be by his side holding his hand. I prayed that his son wouldn’t die while I was gone. I worried if that happened, of if my husband had to make a critical life/death decision - I wasn’t there to hold his hand, to be there physically for him.
Once I was on the highway, I called my sister - to ask her to pray for me, that I’d stay awake and get back to the hospital safely. I knew with only half an hour sleep, so much trauma, and impending winter storm.. this was a dangerous trip I was taking, and I needed to have lots of divine protection and guidance. She told me to drive safely, and she would see that all prayers were taken care of. I knew her, she’d contact everyone she knew and have a prayer chain going across the nation - for me to get back to the hospital safely, and for my stepson to have the companionship of angels, and for strength for my husband and his family. I spent most of the drive calling my sons, trying to be sure that all arrangements were taken care of for my 12 year old, and for all the animals. I was the primary caregiver for more than 150 animals on the farm - and I realized it was a huge thing to not be there. Joshua was so very brave, he said he could take care of all the animals, he knew what they needed, and he’d helped me every day - and after all, he was 12 now! I thought, what a wonderful young son I have. Still I worried about him being lonely as this could be days. I talked with both his older brothers - they would be there for whatever we needed. And I talked with a friend - they would also help in whatever way needed. So it was decided, Joshua would stay on the farm on his own, and he would tend to the animals and the furnace. (Winter time here with low temps, so the furnace needed to be filled daily to keep the home warm, and the water pipes from freezing). It was hard decisions, but seemed to be what was to be. And his brother Rex would pick him up daily to come eat with his family so he’d have time with people. I told him not to worry with school that day as he had enough to worry with. He didn’t mind that, what kid would mind skipping school?... still it was so much to think on, so much to plan, to know that everything at home was ok so I could focus on John and his family. - and all this while making the 2 hour drive back home.
I got home, and quickly went from room to room to gather the medications. Some were on the table where he sits daily, some in the drawer under where he keeps his computer, some at the nightstand at his bedside... was glad for the list to be sure I didn’t forget any locations or medication. Then I grabbed the laptops, chargers, phone chargers... couldn’t think if there was something else? My mind raced even as I did.....so much to worry about, so much responsibility. And Joshua, so brave. I felt bed leaving him. I remembered leaving Rex on his own once at this age, and I remember the horrors that he went through, and I worried for my brave young son. Kissed him goodbye, and left.....
Again with the phone calls... did I have everything set? Was everything prepared at home best I could? Would my son be ok? Would the animals be ok? I had to leave them all behind, and would be 2 hours away, unable to just run home for an emergency there.
Then, as I was talking to Rex, I told him that while I was gone, he was to make any decisions he felt necessary for his brother, he was to be the father figure, and Joshua wasn’t to go anywhere with anyone without his approval. He told me he was going to make an executive decision. I said ok... He’d decided his brother isn’t going to stay on the farm alone - he is going to go in a few, fetch him, and bring him home to stay with his family until this is over, and they would simply go to the farm daily and see to the animals food and water, and fill the furnace. It was decided for me.
So I called Joshua - told him of the decision his brother made, and that he’d be over in a few, and that together they would care for the animals and farm as needed. He was perfectly ok with that, excited actually, and I was so relieved. So Joshua set about packing clothes.... then I called again.. “Don’t forget Patch! He’s used to coming in every night, he will suffer if left out in the cold on the farm.” Joshua assured me they’d take him. ..... then I called again... “Can you check the garage? I can’t remember if we locked the lock?” Joshua would check it and be sure it was secure...... then I called again ... “Don’t forget the Gecko! I’d forgotten to plan for the Gecko!”... yes mom, he says... I got it!..... then I called again... “Don’t forget to lock the doors when you leave”.... Joshua chuckles, “Mom, Rex is here, we’ve got it, we’re ok, quit worrying about us!” .... and I realized that maybe I was being irrational. Ok, I quit calling, and realized that my son was fine, and that the animals were fine, the farm was fine. Rex and his brother, Roy, would take care of everything at home. And my friends would come over and also check on the animals. Everything at home was ok, I needn’t worry. Then the relief of that burden left me in tears. I found myself driving through such a massive amount of tears that my nose began bleeding... goodness, as if there wasn’t enough going on. I was lucky to have some napkins from stopping at Burger King before - and went through every one of them. I thought how insane - I’d had enough of blood for one day, and here I was bleeding from my own nose like a stuck pig! I had to pull over for a few moments and get a grip of myself, and get the tears and bleeding in check, then I continued on, mostly in silence for the next hour and half drive except for the occasional call from my husband.
My mind whirled round and round in thought as I drove. I realized why I’d been so anxious about leaving Joshua home alone. When his brother, Rex, was only 12, I’d had to make a trip out of town, and left him home alone. While I was gone, the furnace had blown up catching on fire and blowing soot throughout the house. He’d been alone, and being new in town, he didn’t know anyone, there was no one to call, plus we didn’t have a phone yet - so he did what he could. He fought the fire himself, got it out, then as the house was deep in smoke, he opened all the windows, then went to the neighbors to wait out the smoke. Once he thought he could go back in safely, he went back and set about cleaning up the soot mess - which he was still doing the next day when I arrived. ..... then a few months later, we were preparing to move into another home (long story, but we’ve moved MANY times since Joshua’s birth) - this home we’d bought on tax auction for $500. You don’t get much of a home for that, but it was all we had. Rex had asked to stay the night to finish the electrical work so we could move in (we were homeless at the time - Rex, Roy, Joshua and myself) - I left him there with a kerosene furnace to keep warm, and went back to my mom’s trailer with his two siblings. Came to fetch him for church the next day and he met me with a smile, all the while his clothing was shredded and burnt. My goodness... came to find out, he’d been up on a ladder, wiring the light, a flashlight fixed on the floor shining up on his work area, and the heater over to the side to give him warmth. Then suddenly there was a huge snarling dog in the doorway and it attacked. In the fight with the dog the heater had been knocked over and caught on fire.... he wrestled the dog and threw it down the stairway, then put the fire out, then went to check and the dog was gone. But he smiled and said he was fine now!....... and one wonders why I worry at the thought of leaving a 12 year old home alone..... oh my...... the mind wonders and remembers lots of sad things when sitting alone in silence for so long......
Finally, only a couple lights to go and I’d be back at the hospital. I was so tired, my own breathing was labored trying to focus and make those last few blocks. Then I stopped at a red light, something rolled under my foot, and I leaned over to get it out of the way, not realizing I’d taken my foot off the brake. I sat back up just in time - the car was slowly rolling towards the semi truck in front of me turning.... and he was looking down at me like he thought I was crazy! Hit the brakes just in time and was thankful that I’d called my sister and brother to be praying for me.
Back at Memorial Medical Center
My body seemed so heavy as I walked into the hospital. Got up to ICU waiting room, but felt so tense. Had to go check on Chris, and finally eat something. Realized that part of my faintness at this time was probably due to undergoing so much stress with no food in my body. So I ate, then laid down to rest, finally.
Didn’t even sleep an hour - deep down was just so worried about Chris, and John. John had been up all night, as had all of his family - they’d waited in the waiting room, and taken turns 2 by 2, visiting for a few moments as allowed, and they prayed. Chris was still critical, but they’d finally gotten where they weren’t hanging blood for transfusions. He’d received 7 units of packed platelets, and 5 units of blood. They refer to his status as ‘hour by hour’ now, such a relief from the minute by minute report.... We held to any small hope, any small sign of positive outlook. We prayed.
I took some Valerian and Hops (herbs) to help me to relax as I knew I desperately needed rest, and my mind wouldn’t shut down. I lay down and fell into a deep sleep. It wouldn’t last long, I was awake again in less than an hour - but it was enough that I was able to keep going. Chris needed so much surgery, so much was wrong, but still they could not do anything as he hadn’t obtained a level of stability where they felt he would survive surgery. They continue the induced coma, and they watch over him closely. He was never without a medical staff at his side. It was comforting to know they were so closely monitoring him, and we felt everything that could be done, was being done, and we hoped, and we prayed, and we waited.
On one occasion while visiting Chris, I’d reached out over him, and began a Reiki treatment to try to ease his pain and facilitate healing. As I reached his heart, his heart rate suddenly dropped dramatically. My husband became frantic and told me not to do anything, to leave his care to the doctors. Not wanting to stress my husband, I go visit and just hold his hand and tell him I love him - but he accepts prayer, so I pray, and ask all I know to pray.
Meanwhile we had word from the family of the other young man. He’d been flown to a hospital trauma center in St. Louis, Missouri, and he was showing signs of consciousness. He had lots of torso trauma and injury, but no serious head injuries, and they were hopeful he would awaken in the coming hours. We also discovered that the accident may not have been an accident. There was evidence that they may have been chased at high speed, and been rear ended causing the accident - so now there was the additional worry that someone meant these young men harm! How terribly sad and disturbing. We held to the hope that Jordan would be able to awaken and speak soon to say what had happened. There was no drugs or alcohol in Chris' blood - and Chris was a good driver. We simply had no understanding how this could have happened?
The waiting continued - we passed the 24 hour mark and both young men were still alive, both critical still, and Chris not yet stable, but they were alive, and we breathed a sigh of relief that they’d made it through that first day. The stress was taking it’s toll on all of us. One by one, family members were overwhelmed by exhaustion, and fell to sleep in chairs, on the floor - the waiting room was filled with restless sleeping family members. I, too fell to sleep. Only John remained awake, worried, unable to shut off his mind to allow sleep to come. He couldn’t even bear to go see his son again just now. He’d told me before I fell to sleep, that he wasn’t going to go in to see him again till morning, that he was going to believe Chris would survive, and that he was going to hope he could go in the morning and see some sign of improvement. He told me also that he couldn’t bear to look at his son from the left side. It was so very painful to see, he could only stand on the right side of his son to tell him of his love. Still he alone has not cried, has not given in to the pain and trauma. He sits in the chair, quiet, staring ahead at nothing, lost in thought, lost in worry. I fell to sleep on the floor, asking God to give him peace.
I awoke about 11:30pm, my husband was lying on the floor at my side, finally he had fallen to sleep. I breathed a sigh of relief to see him rest finally. I went to check on Chris, and more relief, even Chris seemed to be sleeping quietly. I knew he was in a drug induced coma, and I knew the vent was breathing for him - but still, he seemed restful, and his vitals were closer to normal. His heartbeat was not so elevated. I got a strong sense that he was resting. I held his hand a moment, and told him I loved him, to rest..... to heal.... and I went to lay back down. The night would continue like that - bits of sleep, wake to check on Chris and reassure my mind that he was resting, then back to sleep.
Woke about 7am, all the others were gone but John and myself. He was still asleep. I checked on Chris, and he still rested quietly, then returned and sat for a few just brushing my hair, my mind blank. Then I realized John was awake, and went to sit with him. A doctor came in, stated that Chris had finally reached a level of stability that they could do a procedure to stabilize his pelvis. It was broken severely and they worried about internal bleeding from that point and possible further damage with any movement. Said he wasn’t strong enough for the surgery he would need there, but that they felt he was strong enough to do a temporary fix, putting in bolts connected to an external rod that would provide stability on the pelvis. They weren’t going to worry yet with the spine, it had fractures in the lower segments. We went for a visit with Chris before he was taken to surgery. My husband was relieved to see that the worst of the swelling had gone from his head and face, and he almost had a normal shape to it all. He was greatly relieved. Then we went back to wait as the others took turns to visit him before he was taken. Even though they felt he should survive, there was still extreme risk. 8:05am - they took him down.
10am - his room is still empty, I keep checking. I know they’ll tell us when he comes back, but can’t help myself, keep checking periodically, hoping. My husband’s mom has arrived with his brother. There was great worry how she would deal with seeing her grandson in his condition. Her own health was failing, with a life expectancy of only months (cancer). My husband was so upset thinking his mother would never again be able to talk to her grandson or share smiles and laughter with him. She would most likely have passed away long before there’s even a chance of him waking and being able to spend any sort of quality time with anyone. The family sat at a table and talked. I stayed back, sitting on the floor on pads, a few feet behind my husband. His mom doesn’t accept me in his life, and I figure with her dying, how she feels about me is not important. I wanted her to be relaxed as possible and have what quality time she could with her sons. So I sit here typing this paper, quietly reflecting on my thoughts, feelings and emotions from the past day. It helps to put things on paper/screen - to get it out. Expressing pain is a very therapeutic way of coping - for me at least.
11:02 - finally back from surgery - grandma went to visit first with uncle - we wait, and while we do the doctor comes to tell us that the surgery went well, everything went like he expected, and Chris remains stable. Such a relief.
The coming days will be long, filled with pain and suffering of many sorts, questions - will he be paralyzed? Will he be blinded in one or both eyes? Will he awaken? So many questions, so many worries - but we will continue, and take one minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time, and we will pray.
Updates, 1/22 - 1/24/2012
I'll update this page by adding new sections as there is something to update - for those praying, to know how things are going. Thank you all for your prayers and concern.
Chris is still stable for the most part - and if there are no further problems or complications, the next surgery is planned for Tuesday morning - a major surgery to begin the reconstruction of his face (working on his jaw) - the family has been looking for photos so the doctors will know what he should look like.
He has been running a fever since yesterday afternoon, and that could pose a problem - waiting for cultures to come back today to determine what might be causing the fever.
If he remains stable, John and I hope to go back home this evening - and I'll go to work tomorrow. Then Tuesday, John will have to return here alone, unless there is family that can come with him. It will be a long and hard day for him. I will have to take my son, Roy, to The VA hospital in Iowa City, Iowa for them to set up the first of many surgeries for him - to help stabilize his ability to walk and stand. He has an odd deterioration in the bones in his feet and will require many surgeries this year. He asks me...'Mom, how will I get through this?' - I tell him "One day at a time honey, one day at a time"
1/22/2012 1:35pm - problems identified
Finally we're given an informative report:
- severity of fractures in pelvis / hip / tail bone - extremely rare, very severe, pelvis broken in many pieces and opened like a book from the fractures - a very rare breakage - the pelvis is also only fixed temporary with bolts into the primary pieces hooked to a bar system outside his body to prevent any movement of the area - it will require major surgery to reconstruct his pelvis - the severity of this fracture was why they couldn’t risk him waking till it was stabilized
- severity of facial fractures, and facial damage also very rare - but if the impact he sustained in his face had been on the top or side of his head, he would have died - face will require major reconstructive surgery - swelling has gone down and he has obvious nose and other facial features visible. - lacerations on right eyelid - unknown damage on eyes - have not been checked yet as that wasn’t a priority, eyes continue to ooze blood at slow rate, as does nose bilaterally. No further obvious bleeding from ears
- he had a brain stem bleed - 7ml of blood - if it’d reached 10 ml - he’d have died - axonal brain injury - basically entire brain suffered damage from sheering - similar to ‘shaken baby syndrome’ but more severe - had brain bleeding - was part of the extreme swelling of the head - the head is close to normal in size and shape now - close, not there yet, but close - there is definite sign that he is NOT brain dead in that his vitals have stabilized, and they’ve been able to take him off the Blood pressure medicine - and while it elevated just a bit, it stabilized. - he also made a determined movement on command by squeezing the nurse’s hand twice!!!! Yes, I cried! I was right there, and all I could do was cry when I saw him squeeze. Took her lots of tries, but he finally did it. - - there is still extreme risk of catastrophic brain damage or even death if he gets another brain bleed, or spinal cord bleed - probably the biggest risk at this point - they’re watching the cranial pressure carefully
no longer in a drug induced coma - that was only till the pelvis was stabilized because of the severity of those breaks - but still in a coma
- whole body edema
- the liver and spleen are lacerated, but blood counts show that there doesn’t seem to be any more active internal bleeding. More blood product was hung yesterday and last night - but he’s stabilized since then - so as the days pass that becomes less of a concern as long as his blood count stays up
- his right forearm and right elbow are broken and will require surgery to fix - but for now are cast to stabilize temporary till he’s strong enough for that surgery later
- they don’t plan to do anything but monitor the break on his collar bone and tail bone as those two breaks should heal as they are - many breaks of the spiny parts of his spine, but no breaks through to the spinal cord itself - they aren’t planning any surgical repair of those, feeling they aren’t representing danger for now
no sign of infection from cultures, so elevated temp most likely related to severe trauma
doctors feel that from the neck down he is fairly stable physiologically, but that he is not stable yet neurologically - and not stable in his head physiologically - no reflex response from waist down yet
facial reconstructive surgery is still planned for Tuesday as long as he remains stable
he could be in a coma for weeks or unknown time period - depending on the extent of damage to the brain, which is unknown. Many unknowns
Thank you God, for letting him grasp a hand and show that he can hear and respond. Chris is alive inside the body, in a coma, but he hears us.
Chris remains the same today - no changes in his stability. Surgery is still planned - for tomorrow afternoon.
They're putting in a tracheotomy and a feeding g-tube today to prepare him for the facial reconstructive surgery tomorrow.
John and I came home for one day for a couple reasons - he wasn't resting at the hospital which was putting him at risk. We arrived home about 6:30pm yesterday evening and he was fast asleep withing 10 minutes. He woke for a couple hours this afternoon, talked with his mom a bit on the phone, then returned asleep till about half hour ago (6pm).
I also needed to go to work - so took care of my animals this morning, then did an 8 hour shift with my patient. It was a good day at work, and very relaxing for me. I wrote the article about my animals, and feel completely refreshed and ready to go back to the hospital again. I am fortunate that my patient requires stillness and quiet from the nurse except when care is needed - keeps him from being anxious which causes behaviour problems (and gets someone hurt) - so I have to sit very still and quiet while at work which allows me to write and think. Anyway, for those that worry about me, I'm ok.
We'll be heading back to the hospital tomorrow morning, and will be there for the surgery. I know God is with us - too many things are happening to doubt that for a moment. He has allowed miracles already, just by Chris surviving to this point. Somehow I don't think he's finished with this man.
oh yes, did discover a disturbing fact - whoever called in the accident when it happened, reported it on the wrong side of the road. Emergency personal searched for half an hour before a woman driving on the other side spotted the car and reported it. So the two men spent half an hour trapped there - but at least help did come, and today they both live. We are all grateful for that miracle. Thank you all for your continued prayers.
1/24/2012 2:30pm - major surgery, briefing
Just had briefing with trauma doctor, just prior to Chris being taken down for surgery.
First some improvement -
1 - The cranial bolt measuring his pressure was removed this morning as there is no more active bleeding in the brain or brain stem
2 - The whole body swelling is improved, still some swelling, but notably less
Now, the report from the doctor
-The cervical spine looks good
- MRI of brain shows injury on the brain in multiple areas - basically every area - no worse than it was, confirming total injury, but also confirming that there is no further active bleeding, and no worsening of injury
- injury classified as "Diffuse Axonal Injury", or sheering, the most serious type of brain injury - there is no telling how much will heal, or how long it will take - but he does have some of the very basic reflexes related to his eyes and gag, and has on one occassion squeezed the nurse hand upon command twice in a half hour period - that is the only time that occurred per report of nurse today
- Recovery will be long, and how much recovery will be unknown for some time
He's about to head to surgery for 3 things:
1 - Place feeding tube
2 - tracheotomy (breathing tube) - continues on ventilator, not breathing on his own
3 - facial reconstructive surgery
surgery will be long - at least 6-7 hours - hopefully will be able to post an update late tonight on his progress from surgery - if not, will post one about 8:30am tomorrow.
Thank you for your continued prayers, and thank God for keeping this our loved one alive so far, with evidence of improvement.
1/25/2012 12am - facial reconstruction
Surgery ended up being delayed until 4:30pm - meanwhile my husband and I were able to spend more time with him. My husband stood by his side, his right side this time - the side he had so much trouble looking at - and as he held his sons’ hand with his left hand, he took his right hand and held over his head sending him Reiki energy to try to help his brain to heal. This was a wonderful sight for me to see, so I stood at Chris’ feet, slowly, gently and carefully performed a Reflexology treatment on each foot. I hadn’t touched his feet prior due to the swelling and uncertainty whether any toes or foot bones were broken - now I could - so I worked lovingly, and after half an hour I obtained the first positive reflex response from his right foot - then was able to obtain the same results with his left foot - the energy was stirring. Of course a bit later, as he was being taken down for surgery, he was obviously in pain and upset and tensed his entire left side while curling his right toes. It was wonderful to see movement in all but the right arm - and it’s broken and cast and unable to move - so at least it looks like we can eliminate the possibility of paralysis - whether he’ll remember how to use his body, we’ll pray and see in time.
6:08 - OR called - beginning the second part of the surgery - the tracheotomy
8p - Another call, they’re beginning on mandibal surgery
11:15 - call from OR doctor - doctor on way to waiting room for report after close up - said surgery went fine - he’ll be here in a few to give us a report.
Per doctor - Able to stabilize the broken bones in face - reconstructed bone structure holding eyes, nose is in proper alignment with interior titanium plates and screws and an exterior cast, jaw is in place - also with titanium plates and screws, one tooth fractured that will likely need to be pulled at some point, but not today. Bits of titanium plates and screws all across his face for stabilization due to the severity and number of breaks. Did get one unit of blood during surgery as he went in with low blood counts, and will likely get more through the night. – Surgery to pelvis planned for today if all goes well. He’ll remain in the recovery room for surgery, and we won’t be able to see him again till after the pelvis surgery, which will also be a very long surgery, and they’re expecting to need more transfusions of blood before it’s done.
Meanwhile, Jordan is out of hospital!!!!!!! Thank you God! He wants to come see Chris tomorrow - family unsure if he’s really up to seeing Chris - Jordan can’t remember anything of the accident or what happened just prior to it. His only memory is ‘going fast’ - hopefully he’ll remember more as time goes by, but everyone is thankful that his injuries were not too severe, and he’s home healing with his family. Thank you all for prayers for Jordan.
Johnny (Chris’ older brother) had opportunity to study both the car, and the scene of the accident today - and while they might have been chased, and possibly rammed ? - he says it looks like they hit the median, then over corrected - but in inspecting the car and accident scene he noted that the anti-lock brakes didn’t work, and none of the air bags were deployed - both of which could have helped prevent such horrible injuries. - not stuff said by the police or official inspectors - just his big brother trying to figure out what happened to his little brother - trying to find answers. For reference, Johnny is very mechanically inclined - he worked on (and did restoration work) and raced cars with his father for a few years before his father's decline in health so while he's not an official inspector, he's also not an idiot making assumptions.
I'm currently back in Hannibal (arrived 2:15am) as I needed to work today. Monday / Wednesday and Friday are more intensive care days for my patient and there just isn't another nurse that he'll allow to care for him - so he needs me - and I'll be going back and forth to be with my husband and his son, and to take care of my patient, and my 12 year old at home. I'll be back in Springfield this evening with my husband as we wait for Chris to recover from this second major surgery. My husband is there now, probably hasn't slept a wink last night for worry.
Thank you again for all your continued prayers. The next few days will continue to be critical for Chris, but as each day passes, we are more hopeful for his future.
Updates 1/25 -1/30
1/25/2012 - A Miracle
2:15am - Chris was brought back to the Trauma ICU from surgery recovery - stable
Sometime after 7:30am, he was taken down for the pelvis surgery - it was long, but John is unsure how long as he kept passing in and out of consciousness himself - too many long days and nights for him. He states that Chris finally returned from recovery from surgery late this afternoon - but he can't remember what time. Said the doctor reported that all went as expected. More titanium plates and screws. They'll leave the external bar supports on for 2 weeks to ensure stability of the pelvis region while it heals.
*The Miracle *
A Wonderful, and unexpected improvement - He's breathing on his own! They still have the trach and ventilator hooked up to him, and the ventilator is running, but is only functioning enough to account for the tubing so that Chris is not stressed breathing through so much tubing - for the most part he is breathing on his own! They'll keep the vent on him for a few days to monitor his progress, then decide how to proceed with that.
He has only one more major surgery (not counting removal of the external pelvis bracing) - the two breaks in his arm. I gather they'll be doing that in 1 surgical time span - but they're going to wait a few days to give him time to heal as the last two procedures were huge.
His heart rate and respirations are slightly elevated, but not unexpected considering the procedures he went through in the past 2 days - plus breathing on his own.
Still swelling and bruising across his nose / eyes / forehead, but it improves daily.
Hands still swollen - feet improved, in podus boots now to prevent foot drop
Now we wait for a few days, one more surgery, then the long wait till he awakens. His coma continues.
Already we have seen miracle after miracle - in his survival, and in improvements way before expected. We are so grateful for all that are praying for Chris, and thankful to God for allowing healing. Please continue to pray, and may God bless you all!
1/26/2012 11:00am Doctor conference
I fell to sleep last night just after 10pm, just after the last posting - and slept until about 11am this morning when I was awakened hearing someone tell John the doctors were all in Chris' room - I hurried to the room with John, and we entered behind 9 doctors, 2 nurses, and another hospital staff. They all talked back and forth between themselves in conference style reviewing his case, then one doctor addressed the family (Chris' mom / dad / and me)
He remains on ventilator pressure support, breathing on his own, his respirations are more rapid than they would like, but they are hopeful that will settle out in time, and his breath will come more naturally - but he is breathing on his own. They are hopeful that in coming days they may be able to safely disconnect the ventilator and just have a humidifier on the trach itself.
The heart, while frequently being tachacardic (beating over 100 - too fast) is stable.
The surgeries on the face and pelvis were successful, and should heal well. There is still significant swelling and bruising related to injuries and surgery - but overall he will heal from those.
They haven't yet been able to address the breaks on his right arm or right elbow, but because of signs of infection, they had to open the temporary cast to check the wounds and injuries there to rule them out as a problem - and recast to check.
His white blood counts continue to rise - indicating infection - and he has fever off and on - also indication of infection - but so far all cultures have been negative on infection.
His phosperous levels have dropped, other blood levels rise and drop - and they monitor closely and address each as needed.
He has a peg tube taking a nutritional formula straight into his intestines, and he has tolerated it well the past 24+ hours since insertion. They will monitor his blood levels and change the formula as needed to provide for his personal needs.
They continue him on Fentanyl for pain - per IV, having raised the level since surgery as they felt he was in more pain as evidenced by his heart rate, respirations, and blood pressure.
As he is tolerating nutrition in his intestines, they plan to change his medications from IV, to his peg tube, as that will allow more constant absorption, less peaks and valleys in medication levels - better control.
They have special pressure controlled devices on his lower legs that provide a gentle massage to try to prevent clotting, and a filter in his veins to catch any clots that might develop to protect his lungs and heart. They also have the special boots on his feet to prevent foot drop.
The doctor ends telling us that he has to be honest, that there is no way to predict the future with the kind of brain damage Chris suffered - he could be like he is now forever, or he could gain more function - there is no way to know, no way to know if or when he will awaken from the coma.
Chris' dad asks that you please pray for his brain - pray that his son's brain will heal, that he will awaken, that we can help him to someday find full healing. He feels like that is the most critical thing at this point - as everything else should heal in time - he is fearful for the brain damage and how that will affect his son.
1/27/2012 - White blood count rising
The biggest concern just now (besides the brain/coma of course) is the fact that his white blood count is rising - which indicates not only infection, but that it is worsening. They have not yet identified where the infection is? They suspect the central line going into his heart, so removed that and took cultures. They tried to put an IV into his right arm, but he kept lifting his arm and twisting it, trying to get it away from them. Even in a coma the kid has fight! They had to take him downstairs to the surgical area to be able to insert the IV. His temp has come down some, from 39.1c (102.38f) to 38.6 (101.48f) - also indicative of infection.
Surgery on his Left arm is tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on his condition.
Swelling and discoloration in his face is continuing to improve.
Still no specific responses to reflexes, or commands - but does slightly turn head when people are talking, and obviously has ability to raise his hand, and has made a light fist on occassion - somewhere inside he's really trying to fight!
Thank you for your continued prayers - and please keep his brain trauma and the infection utmost in your prayers. Thank you all!
Surgery on is arm is no longer scheduled - they don't see any point in fixing it, as his prognosis isn't good.
1/29/2012 11am - harsh reality
Managed to catch the doctors for a firm discussion, there will be a family meeting for long term decisions some time this week - hopefully either Tuesday or Thursday.
Primary doctor - They did identify the beginning of pneumonia in his lungs from x-ray, and an infection around the trach site, and a yeast infection of some sort. Chris is responding to antibiotic therapy, and his white blood count is stabilizing.
The temperature is not stabilizing - fluctuating a lot, and mostly having fever in excess of 101 - they believe it is due to damage in the area of the brain that controls temp.
They attempted to take him off the fentanyl for a period of time to determine how he would respond - his pulse and blood pressure both raised dangerously and he had to be put back on the medication.
He has had periods of apnea (stopped breathing) where the vent kicked in to breath for him - but is currently back on pressure support breathing on his own. They do not know if the periods of apnea will continue - and for now will just keep the vent hooked up on emergency pressure support to take over if apnea occurs.
Chris remains tachacardic (heart rate over 100) - doctors attribute this problem to damage in the brain control centers.
large amount of edema continues over the whole right eye area - all the bone structure was damaged/broken there - so just healing slower than the rest from the reconstructive surgery. Rest of edema in face has resolved.
Has pressure ulcer on coccyx area - being monitored
They do plan to eventually address surgery on his arm - just they had some stabilization issues yesterday. They still hope to address that some time this week if he can remain stable enough for yet another major surgery. It's not life threatening to leave the arm in it's current state - which is why it will wait however long till he is able to safely undergo that surgery.
now, the harsh discussion with the neurologist:
She feels that with the level of severe axonal brain damage, he most likely will never wake up - and if he does, will most likely be paralyzed at the least. She does not expect much recovery neurologically beyond where he is now.
She states that he has only primative reflexes, and the only body movements are decerebrate posturing - which occurs due to extreme brain trouble. Decerebrate posture can occur on one side, on both sides, or in just the arms. It may alternate with decorticate posture. A person can also have decorticate posture on one side of the body and decerebrate posture on the other side. - these are the moments we notice with his arm and legs, and occasional head turn - not voluntary movements, but involuntary muscle movement from brain trauma in response to pain.
She states that we should face the reality that he will most likely remain in a coma, and if he does wake that he will most likely be paralyzed at the least.
We talked of home care after his body heals - in a couple months - a decision for much later she said, and one that comes with much responsibility.
so later this week - all the family will gather with all the doctors - and together, we will decide the future of this young man.
Please keep us all in your prayers. Thank you for all prayers for this our beloved son.
1/30/2012 Day of Decisions
Today they want to know where to send Chris. They plan the final operation for 7:30am tomorrow, then as he recovers from that they need to transfer him, but to where? We did not expect to have to make a decision like this so very soon.
His mother and father are both so concerned and don't know what to tell them? So I reach out to others - to those I work with, to those I work for.......... what to do? where shall he go? He is not well enough yet to be able to come home for care, but cannot stay at Memorial Medical Center much longer as there is not much more they can do for him in the line of emergency, so a in-between place must be found.
After many long hours, and many phone calls, I've determined the best transfer would be to Ranken Jordan - a specialized pediatric facility in Maryland Heights, Missouri. I'm told they take people from birth to the age of 21. So he will have just under a year to stabilize to the point that we can bring him home. Tomorrow we'll find out if he can be accepted there.
Perhaps he will remain in a coma his whole life, perhaps not. Only God knows for sure. We will work tomorrow to get paperwork processing to send Chris to Ranken Jordan as soon as Memorial Medical says he is ready.
And when he is ready for the next transfer, we hope that will be to bring him home.
Meanwhile, I hope to find a team of nurses, really good nurses, that can work with me to care for him when he comes home. It'll need to be a special team, as I don't plan to allow him to just lie in bed and be cared for. I hope to search out, and learn, and try every form of alternative healing we can - to try to find something that will help to wake, and to heal him. And in the meantime, we will talk to him, play music to him, and teach him - and we will pray for the day he opens his eyes to be with us again. And if they never open - he will be well cared for, and much loved in his sleep.
If you know of any good nurses - LPN or RN, in or around the Hannibal Missouri area, that would be interested in working with me to care for him - please have them contact me - firstname.lastname@example.org. I have spoken with the agency I work with, and they will be handling the case when he comes home, and they will allow me to choose the nurses if I can find them.
As always, thank you all for your continued prayers. May God be with us all.
1/31/2012 surgeries complete
The arm surgery took several hours - but went as expected. Chris is recovering as expected. No change in responses - temperature continues to be eratic. Continues to have elevated heart rate - but one interesting thing, he's beginning to crack open his left eye from time to time - but can't tell yet if it's really a purposeful thing or just something that's happening like the occasional lip smacking. Sure would like to hope he's peeking out.... .but no real evidence on that, just hope.
thanks for all prayers
I am grateful to all that have read through this file, and to all that have spent time and energy saying prayers on behalf of our son. He will continue to need your prayers as the months and years come. His prognosis is poor, but he has survived through the most traumatic times - now we wait as he heals. The doctors still don't believe he will ever awaken, but time will tell.
In the meantime, the family is under extreme stress - and I feel that out of respect to them, I will be limiting posts on this article - at least for now. I also have been told by numerous people that they have trouble accessing the article on wikinut - so as I needed to create a website for our farm - I will have this article there as well, and in the future, if it is appropriate, I will post any updates on that location - I will also try to post things in here as people still do review this page.
The major updates that might be posted will be if he changes location to a new facility, change in condition, comes home, or goes to be with God.
Again, than you all for your concern, and for your prayers. May God continue to bless you all throughout your lives.
2/9/2012 - Transfer to Ranken Jordan Hospital
I wasn't going to update in here, but the change was finally something good, so for all of you that have followed Chris's story so far, it is good to finally be able to share something good.
He's still in a coma, and his prognosis is still bad at best - but he's been transferred to a wonderful facility - Ranken Jordan Hospital, in Maryland Heights, Missouri. It is a huge facility, but only handles 34 patients at most - with the most amazing therapy departments. Even in a coma, Chris will get the best therapy. He'll be fitted for a special wheelchair tomorrow - and will go to play sessions, reading sessions, therapy sessions - as much as he's able to tolerate without over stimulation - he'll go to various sessions throughout the day, every day - and he'll never be alone. A nurse or therapist or technician will be with him every moment of ever day! (plus family as much as we can) - if there's any chance of Chris awakening - it is here. Again, thank you all for all prayers.
Latest update 2/28/2012 - Chris is waking!
Chris has been in the hospital again the past week. He was transferred from Ranken Jordan to Mercy ICU 2/12/2012 with fevers of 104 and elevated white blood cells. He fought hard against pneumonia the next few days but is recovered from that now, and was transferred back to Ranken Jordan 2/21/2012.
He is considered to still be in a coma, but there is a change. He now has definitive waking and sleeping times - but continues to be non-responsive even in the 'waking' times. His eyes will be open, blank stare, no blinking, pupils dart side to side frequently. And an occasional tear falls from one or both eyes. Heartbreaking when you see the tears. That's the only evidence that he is aware - that he cries. -- although when I was working on his hands, I told him I was going to make them soft and pretty like a girls - and he had a horrific frown - but much as I'd like to believe the frown was from my comment, it's more likely that it was just coincidence.
Chris is officially no longer in a coma!!!!! - per the neurologist!
Of course he's minimally responsive - but hey, we're happy for the little improvements, and being awake is a big one! We thought he was waking last week, but the nurse told us he was still comatose as he was not responsive at all even though his eyes were open and he was crying most of our visit. Today his eyes were open most of the time, no more tears, and several times he tried to do something he was told to do (make a fist, do a 'thumbs up', etc - simple commands) - he couldn't do the actions requested, but you could see that he actually tried, there was just enough specific movement that you KNEW he was trying - so he's awake in there, and hears, and has the cognitive ability to understand what is said and try to respond. He just can't yet figure how to do things with his body as he'd like to. Still just the blank stare through his eyes, and minimal blinking. They don't know if he can see, and won't even be able to evaluate that for a while - but he hears, and he's waking! And that grimace he made last week when I worked on his hands, he did again today! It's not coincidence! He seems to detests me working to make his hands soft! - oh my goodness, you should see the grimace! It's wonderful to know I can get a reaction! Each Tuesday I will do a full reflexology treatment on both his hands and feet, and today as his head injuries are finally closed and healed, I added a cranial massage and tapping to his treatments from me. The neurologist thought what I do with him is good, and approved me bringing epson salt and oils for soaking his feet, and my special oil to work on his muscles (his arms and ankles are locking up).
Doc says we have a beginning! Very long road ahead, and there's no telling how much he'll recover, or if this is all he will be - but he's fighting, and he's trying, and he has an amazing team at Ranken Jordan trying to help him to find his way.
It's been more than a month since the last update. I've waited, hoping for something positive to share. Chris begins weight bearing finally 4/18/2012. He'll be put in a tilt machine and efforts will be made to stand him erect with the help of the device. He remains minimally responsive, total care. He only cries on occasion now, usually something emotional, so it really is tears, and he does have some understanding inside. Beyond that, it's hard to know how much he is there. He seems to respond to questions with faint squeezing of his right hand. We've seen all his fingers and toes move at some point so there is no paralysis - only a disconnection of his body from his brain because of the total brain sheering. The people at Rankin Jordan are working hard to try to gain responsiveness and movement, but progress is very slow. There'll be a meeting this Friday to determine Chris' future. Thank you all for your prayers, and please do continue to pray.
4/24/2012 - Chris due to come home June 6
The meeting Friday set plans to try to get things ready to bring Chris home on June 6. It's a tentative date, and many things will affect the date of his home coming. The doctor explains that Chris' progress has been slow, and that he remains minimally responsive, and will likely be this way when he returns home. He'll need total care. His body itself has fully healed from the accident, but his brain is permanently damaged. He'll come home with a trach to help him breath safely, and a g-tube to allow for medications and feedings. He'll need lots of therapy and passive range of motion to prevent further atrophy of his body and brain, and to try to stimulate and help him improve. The only motion he's been able to produce somewhat consistently is a slight squeeze in response to questions. The doctor says a goal for him would be to some day help him find a way to communicate his needs.
In talking directly with the doctor Monday (4/24/12), the doctor explained that the most recent scan of his brain shows his brain matter has atrophied more since the accident from a combination of damage and lack of use - and that the ventricle section of his brain has enlarged - that's basically a void of nothing where active brain matter should be, just an area of cerebral spinal fluid growing larger and replacing space his brain should occupy. Just as your muscles will atrophy from lack of use, so can the brain, and that is what is happening to Chris. It still functions keeping him breathing, and keeping his heart beating - but we have to find a way to help it relearn to do more, or the atrophy may continue. Stimulation and therapy will be critical to prevent further atrophy and to help his brain build new connections to try to learn to use his body again.
Meanwhile, his mother has been appointed guardian by the courts, and plans to bring him home - to her home. We hope to also have our home ready as we know it will be overwhelming for her to be the sole primary caregiver for him. We hope to provide relief care for Chris as she needs and allows our assist. Chris will have nursing care, 24/7 for the first 2 weeks, then probably dropped back to either 8 or 16 hours a day - the amount of nursing care insurance will allow after the initial two weeks has not yet been determined, but it is not usually more than 16 hours a day at most. To bring such a patient home for care, the state and insurance require the family to provide a minimum of 8 hours a day care for their family member, sometimes they require more of the family. Being that I work as a nurse for such patients, I have seen first hand (from the nursing side), the stress and responsibility of such care on the family - and given Chris' physical/mental condition, it will be hard - but if we work as a team, and share the load, we should be able to bring him home, and help give him some amount of quality to his life.
That being said, we are in desperate need of a van with a lift for wheelchairs, to enable us to transport Chris safely. We're renovating our living room for a combined family room and a space for Chris - that way he'll always have interaction with family when he is in our home as my husband spends much of his time in that room due to his own disabilities. My son will help us to build a wheelchair ramp with the specifications provided by the facility he is in now. We've also secured the necessary parts to build Chris a hospital bed and lift for use in the house. We believe we can provide for most all of his needs with the exception of transportation. We're asking for help there - asking if there is anyone out there with a usable van that has a wheelchair lift. We don't have lots of money, so would need it to be either donated or sold to us cheap. We don't mind if it doesn't run as we have family that can help us to rebuild and restore it as necessary (as long as it is fixable). Please, if anyone has such a van, or knows of someone with a van - please contact us by phone or email. Also, please continue to remember Chris in your prayers. His recovery will take years, and will not be complete, but we hope to help him to recover as much as possible.
His body has finally healed, but his brain is severely damaged, and he’ll be handicapped for life. He is no longer in a coma, but is listed as “minimally responsive”. He’s only 20, and his future is bleak at best. We hope to obtain a van to enable us to help him have more experiences in life - to be able to take him places - not just doctors and hospitals, but also festivals, art shows, fairs, church, ball games..... any sort of place we think might help to stimulate his brain and prevent further brain matter atrophy. Plans are for him to come home (to his mother’s house) in June, and we hope to have our home ready as a backup for his care - and just now, none of us have the ability to transport him. We’d have to call OATS or ambulance or some other public transportation to get him to doctors and hospitals, and he’d not be able to go anywhere else. We hope we can obtain a van so that we wouldn’t have to count on state transportation, and that we could take him places besides just doctors and hospitals. That is why we hope to get a van, either by donation, or an old cheap one that we can restore and repair. We're grateful for all prayers, and for all the people that have kept Chris close in their hearts these past months.
Final/last update for this page - 12/10/12
Chris has been home since June 2012. He has recovered about all he will most likely. Therapy from the state has ceased as they can see no further recovery. He remains aware, able to blink in response to very simple questions (giving him adequate time to process the question) - and he also squeezes his right hand very faintly. They have managed to help him learn to swallow minimally - he can eat very small bits of soft food - not enough to maintain life, but enough to know he can chew and swallow a little. He cannot move himself beyond that - and requires total care, total support in all aspects of his life. His family holds out hope for Chris to return. The photo is of Chris in a visit to our house. His father put cards in his hands, and walked him through playing cards. Mostly John talked and moved cards about for Chris - but it was still good for both of them. It gave them time together, such as it is. Thank you all for your prayers. We also did gain a method of transportation for Chris should it be needed. God's will be done for this dear young man.
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