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Ian’s Story

Hi all,

This is Ian's Maja, Julie. 

Yesterday at 5:00 am, Shawnee and I received a call informing us that Ian was in the hospital w/ critical injuries.  When we arrived at Regions Hospital, we heard that Ian had been in a single car accident and had suffered many critical injuries.  The most critical injury was that Ian's liver was basically cut in half.  Ian was immediately rushed to surgery, where they tried to stop the bleeding in his liver.  They tried to patch his liver, but were unable to stop the  bleeding.  His stomach remains "cut" open and they have it packed w/ a saran wrap-type material. Ian has lost and recd a huge supply of this point well over 50 units of blood products.  Today, the liver is still bleeding, but has slowed down somewhat, which is promising.  Ian's other injuries include: a deep laceration on his head, extending from his forehead to the middle of his head; a broken arm; a deep laceration in his right leg; a fractured cervix in his neck; a collapsed lung and many cuts over his body. 

Ian had surgery on his leg yesterday, and the laceration was washed and stapled.  Ian has many staples in his head injury, but the brain scans appear negative (no indication of brain injury at this point).  Ian had a tube put in his chest yesterday to help w/ the collapsed lung and so far, that seems to be helping that issue.  The neuro-surgeon has determined that they will not operate on his neck injury but instead, will just keep the neck brace on.  Ian is scheduled to have surgery on his arm tomorrow morning, providing his vitals remain stable.  They will need to put metal plates and screws in his arm. 

The good news: Ian had a very high heart rate yesterday, but that has lowered; still high, but lower.  Ian's temperature remains slightly elevated, but at an OK level.  Yesterday, Ian was able to squeeze my hand and move his toes, but today he is so heavily sedated, he is non-responsive.  Ian's color is better today, and his face appears less swollen. 

The even better news: Ian, Shawnee and I have had so much support it is unbelievable.  At one point yesterday, we had well over 15 people at the hospital, even though most people cannot even visit him directly.  His good friends have been here constantly and even stood in line at 5:00 am this morning to buy Ian some Nike shoes he will love to have.  My friends and family have offered so much support, I cannot begin to explain how much it has meant to me.  I know that I (we) are not alone in our worry and concern over Ian.  That makes this impossible situation a little more managable for us.  I love all of you that have been here for us and I have told Ian of all the support he has had.  He cannot respond, but I believe he can hear me.  Ian has incredible friends and I am proud of him for having the good sense for choosing to have such great friends in his life.  Please continue to support him and I will continue to keep you posted.  Thank you everyone!!!  PS-Shawnee also has an awesome boyfriend and friends that have been here for us.  Thanks Ian's friends, Shawnee's friends, my friends, and all family.  I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!

Latest Journal Update


Hi all,

Well, this will be my final update.  Ian’s injuries have continued to heal amazingly well, so there is not much more I can say….about Ian, that is.  (Otherwise, I pretty much always have something to say)

Anyway, Ian’s stomach wound was rechecked this week. During that appointment, we actually met one of the doctors who operated on his liver the night Ian was brought into the hospital.  It was kind of emotional for me to meet him, as I’m not sure I had met any of the doctors who operated on his liver to save him that night.  Ian had so many doctors and surgeons, I was not always sure who did what, but I don’t believe that I ever met any of the surgeons who operated on him that first night; the doctors who basically saved his life.

The doctor/surgeon reiterated to us just how bad Ian’s injuries had been, especially his liver, but was impressed with how far Ian has come.  I thanked him for helping to save Ian and asked that he pass on our gratitude to the other surgeons who helped that first night.  That must be the awesome part about being a trauma surgeon; getting to speak with someone whose life you saved.  I feel a sense of accomplishment when I remember to put the cheese in my grilled cheese sandwich, so I can’t imagine the kudos you must give yourself when you save someone’s life.

We are hopeful that Ian will be able to get his neck brace off next week.  If he does, he will be able to drive again… soon as he gets that station wagon.  I’m sure he will be glad to drive himself around, as I do believe he is getting tired of driving with Road-Rage Maja. 

JUST KIDDING!!  I am as sweet and polite as one could possibly be on the road.  I wave and smile at people as I am driving by.  I even blow kisses on occasion.

Ian’s hand has progressed even since last week, so it looks promising that he will not need surgery on his ulnar nerve (knock on wood).  Ian’s knee has also healed well, and the scar on his head has healed well.  In fact, with time, and with his curly hair, that scar might be only slightly visible.  So, widdle by widdle, Eener’s health has returned. 

A morality tale: The other day I was walking around the lake with Mowgli (my Rhodesian Ridgeback) and Raina (my Doberman).  After Mowgli did his doggie business, I was scrambling to hold onto the two dogs while trying to free a bag from the poop-bag dispenser.  One of the bags got loose and blew away in the wind.  I’m generally not a litterbug, but at this point, I had my hands full, and was trying to hurry so I could get Mowgli away from two other Ridgebacks who were rapidly approaching.  (Umm….let’s just say, some Ridgebacks are not social butterflies with other dogs.  I know, because Mowgli is one of them)

Anyway, I then looked up and saw a kid that was walking towards me with the poop bag that had flown away.  I looked at where he was heading, and said, “waaaatch wheeeeeere yoooooou waaaaalk!!!!!  But of course, the poor good-deed-doer stepped right in Mowgli’s business.   I apologized profusely and I could tell the kid accepted my apologies, but I could also tell he was bummed about his poopy tennis shoes.  They were probably his prized possession that he scrimped and saved for….or that his grandmother probably gave him money for, while on her deathbed.

Now as one who is slightly cynical and sarcastic by nature, can you image the ironic moral of that story that was running through my mind??  "You try to help someone and you get s*** on………your shoes.Etc, etc…..

BUT NO, I didn’t think that at all because YOU ALL have changed my outlook on life.  Your support, help, and kind wishes through this journey have erased all the cynicism and sarcasm completely from my being.  Like Ian, I am HEALED.  Like that poopy shoe kid, you guys all stepped up when needed and offered your own version of that escaped poop bag to me/us. 

So, I just wanted to say that I/we really appreciate your support, comments, and the fact that you have cared enough about Ian to take the time to read my journal entries.  I will miss hearing from those of you that I don’t routinely hear from. 

If any of you ever need a few kind words, or words of support, just come to me because I have learned from the best (you all) and am full of it now…..full of kind words and support, I mean.  

Thanks again……!!