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My 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.


Kandace Tornquist posted a new journal entry.

Married!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 ... Read more

Ron Brinson signed Ericka's Guestbook.

 Ericka and Ty, Kandace and Perry!  I learned about this situation through Marcia a few months ago but did not see this site until this morning.  What a moving story ... Read more

Katy Andre signed Ericka's Guestbook.

Congratulations, you two! You look wonderful and I wish you all of the best in marriage and the many years to come! Read more

Marilyn Seelander signed Ericka's Guestbook.

Dear Ericka and Ty, What a wonderful picture to see you two hand in hand and looking so happy on your wedding day.I'm only sorry I was not able to join the celebration. I ... Read more

Beth Hoover signed Ericka's Guestbook.

What a wonderful picture to see!  You've come through a terrible experience together and it has obviously strengthened the love you have for each other.  All our best ... Read more

Debbie Schiller signed Ericka's Guestbook.

Ericka & Ty, Your wedding was the most beautiful and meaningful one that I have ever been blessed to attend. My friends and I attend Crestview Baptist Church where we ... Read more

Marcia Tugendhat signed Ericka's Guestbook.

Erika and Ty, Our heartfelt congratulations and best wishes. You have been a source of inspiration for us. You certainly understand the pledge of committing to each other ... Read more

Paige Brown signed Ericka's Guestbook.

Congratulations to Ericka and Ty! You two are an incredible example of what it means to love, honor, and cherish in sickness and in health. I wish you all the best life ... Read more

Melissa Leedom signed Ericka's Guestbook.

Congratulations! May you have a long and happy life together! Ericka's recovery is the answer to many prayers. Praise God for each new day! Read more

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