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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

Katie's Home!

 We are happy to report that Katie came home today. Although they did not find any cause for pain, we are glad to have her home and to get things back to some normalcy. She has not had any spasms today nor has she cried or screamed in pain. We are so thankful.

We are so pleased with Dr Kunz and his attention to Katie. He will be watching her closely even telling us that we can have him paged over the weekend if necessary. 

Our plan is to get as much rest as possible this weekend. Thank you for blessing us with emails, text messages, Facebook messages, cards, and phone calls, and for all the prayers and words of support and kindnesses that have been shown to us. We have seen God working through so many people. That is what gets us through each day.

Cathy and Joe

"Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ." Phil 4:6-7

6 people hearted this



Ann Long
By Ann Long
All the Ralcewicz Family,

Wonderful news to hear is home and comfortable. Y'all must be so relieved. Dr. Kunz sounds like a great person to have on your side.

Love to everyone, Ann
Anne Abbott
By Anne Abbott
Great news! There's no place like home!
Linda Serreno
By Linda Hoffmann
I know she's happy to be home will continue prayers 💗
Laura Ipock
By Laura Ipock
fabulous news.
Betty Gillis
By Betty Gillis
Grateful in all things. Keeping you in thoughts and prayers. Rest well.
Laura Wert
By Laura Wert
I am so glad she is home. I hope all of you get some much needed rest.