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Katie’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about Katie. Get started by reading the introduction to our website, My Story.

Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.

On Wednesday, January 19, Katie was taking pictures of the sky ( her passion!) with unusual cloud formations our on our front steps, when she lost her balance and fell down the steps.  She was having a seizure when I found her.  She was taken by ambulance to VCU Hospital in Richmond, Virginia, the best trauma center in the area, where they determined that she had a left cranial bleed, contusions on the front of her brain, a skull fracture behind her right ear and a contusion on the back of her scalp.  She went right into surgery to remove the blood clot in her brain.  By God's grace she didn't receive any other bodily injuries and is able to move all extremities.

The first day after surgery, Katie responded perfectly to all the neurological tests and told each of us (Joe and me) that she loved us. I asked her if she remembered falling down the steps and she said she did.

On the second day after Katie's surgery, she stopped responding, and they put her into an induced coma by reducing her body temperature, put her in a paralytic state and heavily sedated her.  Her brain started to swell and they had to do a ventriloscopy, which is where they insert a pump between the ventricles in her brain which did two things: measured the innercranial pressure and relieve the pressure by draining the spinal fluid off of her brain into a container.

Katie remained in the coma state for 22 days. As soon as they could, they did an MRI on her head and found that she had had several strokes.

Kate remained in MCV until July 13, when she was moved to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital in Petersburg, Virginia. We were so thrilled that she was able to go there and were amazed at what they were able to accomplish in therapy.

On February 16, Katie was admitted to MCV Hospital again to received a Baclofen Pump (implant). Following surgery, we welcomed Katie home after 399 days, on Feburary 22, 2012. We are thrilled to have her home with us and she is doing very well. We continue to try our very best to take it one day at a time. God is in control.

Latest Journal Update

Sunday, January 11

Dear Katie,

Guess what?? You had your first shower in three years on Sunday! After waiting since September, your shower chair was finally delivered on Friday. It's really nice as shower chairs go! It tilts back so we can wash your hair, and the hydraulics that make it tilt are really cool! Of course, it is on wheels, so we can move it around as needed. The heat lamp just outside of the shower was really nice and it did its job very well by keeping you warm. The best thing is the fact that you enjoyed it. We put the hand held shower wand in your hand and you actually moved it a little by yourself. Wow! The whole process took 40 minutes, including washing your hair and getting you dressed. Once we got you into bed, you were so relaxed and you slept well. We are just thrilled to be able to do this for you and are very happy that you enjoyed it.

Your regular caregiver on Monday through Friday has moved on to do her clinicals for nursing school. Friday was her last day. Tomorrow, another caregiver will start and her name is April, just like the month in which you were born. It's always difficult to start all over again, but we have been praying for her and expect that she will do a good job.

You now have a year's membership at Sheltering Arms. Dad has taken you at least two times a week. While you are there, you sit at the bike and work your legs on the pedals, and then you sit at another apparatus where you turn the handles holding on with your hands, just like the bike pedaling. Dad works hard with you while you are there in order to break up the spasticity in your legs and arms. When you had your Botox injections on Friday, Dr. Kunz didn't even put any in your left upper arm because you can straighten it out fully! That is incredible! Thank you God! Thank you for such a good Dad!

I'm really tired so it's off to bed.

We love you, Katie!
Mom and Dad

6 people hearted this



Sue Hurley
With the arrival of her new caregiver, April, Katie will truly realize "Katie's April Shower" dream! How wonderful that God blesses us with his hand in full control of our lives. We may not always understand his way, but we know he will be our guide for the journey and our light for the path.
1 person hearted this
Donna Rau
By Donna & Katie in Pittsburgh
I bet you slept well! Clean, cozy, warm and well-loved.
1 person hearted this
Cindy Martin
By Cindy
What a wonderful thing to enjoy the soothing comfort a warm shower gives. You are very blessed! Love, Cindy
1 person hearted this
Ann Long
By Ann Long

It's great that your shower chair came and that it's easy to use. I plan to see you on Thurs. if it's not icy. This book is getting to the mystery now.

Love, Ann
1 person hearted this
Patty Spragg
By Patty Spragg
We are sooooo happy that your shower chair finally came in for you Katie! Enjoy it!
Patty & Don
1 person hearted this