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Ericka’s Story

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We've created it to keep friends and family updated about our loved one. 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.

As many of you know, or have heard, Ericka unexpectedly experienced a massive brain trauma Wednesday night (April 15).  Miraculously, she was in Seton Hospital, which meant that she was able to immediately get the attention she needed.  She had been set for discharge after treatment for kidney problems, but became extremely nauseated, and ended up back on IV, and the rest of the day and evening evolved unexpectedly.

At 1:45 a.m. (Thursday morning), she had brain surgery.  The cat scan had revealed a large hematoma on the left side of her brain.  The doctor was cautious in his prognosis, so we knew that we had a long wait before we would have any indication if she would survive the surgery much less what type of residual deficits, if any.

I am beginning this log 57 hours after surgery.  Over the past hours, we have kept a vigil surrounded by family and friends, which has made all the difference for waiting for news or ICU visiting hours.

To date, we have had several bits of good news:
> her post-operative scan shows that the doctor did an outstanding job removing the clot
> no evidence of continued bleeding
> good reflexes
> good pupil dilation
> strong motor skills on the left side
> no evidence of congenital vascular issues (MRI, MRA results)
> good vital signs

The doctor cautioned that the hematoma was located in a portion of the brain that controls speech, understanding, and motor skills, and we will not know for many days to what degree any of these are affected (if at all).  Therefore, any signs of good functionality in these areas are real highlights of our day.  We will not know anything about speech until she is off the ventilator.  So far, she has squeezed our hand on command (showing understanding and purposive behavior) and this morning, she tried to pull out her ventilator with her right hand (!) -- until now, she has shown no use of her right arm or leg so we are very pleased with this signal.

She will remain sedated and ventilated for a couple more days, at least.   We still have a cautious period ahead, and certainly no prediction of what lies ahead, but we are cautiously optimistic.

As you can understand, Ty made the decision to postpone the wedding date, but not the marriage.  They will re-set the date and venue when Ericka is awake and they have a sense of how long she will be in the hospital.

For now, we plan to update this log 2-3 times a day, and look forward to sharing increasing good news.

Latest Journal Update



Their faces tell it all.  A celebration.  Joy. 

At the rehearsal dinner, Ty's comments defined how far we all have come:  "Last May, we put on the green 'Ericka's Army' wrist band as a show of support, to help her on her way back.  Tonight, Ericka and I ask that you take off the wrist bands.  She's back.  Ericka's Army is dismissed, honorably discharged."

The service and reception truly celebrated a journey and the start of new adventures in their lives.  Jack's comments at the rehearsal dinner and Perry's at the reception focused on the miracle of Ericka's recovery, of Ty's steadfastness, and the incredible support gifted upon them throughout the year.

Each of you made a difference in ways you may not ever know -- each of you own a big part of the celebration.  Thank you!