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Isaac’s Story

Isaac suffered a severe head injury early in the morning on 5/11/14. He is currently in Critical condition and fighting for his life. He is young and strong, but the battle he has in front of him is enormous. We do not yet know the full extent of his injuries. He is very sick. Please pray for Isaac and all of those involved.
The Kolstad's

Latest Journal Update

Back to work!

letter from the Chairman, flowers Isaac got me for my new job, RN official!
letter from the Chairman, flowers Isaac got me for my new job, RN official!

We continue to invite exciting milestones into our lives! So this post I am going to take second to brag for myself and then I will switch back to the man of the hour.

This week I started back at work. Huge for me, huge for Isaac, and huge for our kids, it’s HUGE. This step means a lot for everyone. First it means that I am getting back to something normal for my life and I am continuing to follow my passion as a nurse and continuing to care for as many people as I possibly can in this life I have been given. I enjoy every moment of being and learning as a nurse so starting a new job is incredibly exciting. And to top off this great opportunity to continue my nursing career it is with the Mayo Clinic Health System! And I have been proud to say in every orientation class that I have chosen Mayo in Mankato because I want to be a part of the team that saved my husband from his injuries and gave us the opportunity to bring him back to us. The decision to go back to work also gives credit to Isaac’s accomplishments. I had to give up my old position in order to care for him. I could not work during the beginning of his recovery so I could be present in his progress and available to his vast amount of needs. I had to devote my time and energy to him and our family. But with his progress has come his regaining of his independence. He is starting to rely less on a constant presence of another person with him at all times and more on himself again. This is both scary but happy. I often wonder what he could possibly be up to when he is home by himself but so far the house remains standing and a few chores are completed when I get home. Yes the garbage has been taken to the curb on the wrong day and yes the clothes were ‘cleaned’ without any laundry soap, but hey we are getting there. This also means back to full time day care for the girls and for Malia the first time away from mom and dad all day. Yikes! So far our amazing day care provider reports all is well and the girls are adjusting. It is great to see them playing and interacting with other kids again. The adjustments they have been forced into during this whole process is incredible and I give my kiddos a lot of credit for what they have overcome as well. Such resilient little things.

Then on January 21st at 8am, I found myself with a rush of adrenaline and excitement as I entered the St. Paul Capital building to join some amazing Courage Kenny employees to speak at the Long Term and Aging Committee. It was here that I was able to use our story to encourage a committee of Minnesota House of Representatives to consider a much needed funding reform so Courage Kenny can continue to provide care to those in Minnesota who experience a trauma like our own. This was my story:

“Chair and committee, I’m Molly and my husband is Isaac, a recent patient at the TRP. Isaac was injured in an attack last May and suffered a TBI. He spent 3 months in the TRP at Courage Kenny rehab. While there he received intense PT, OT, and Speech therapy, as well as medical and psychological services. When Isaac arrived at the TRP he was in a wheelchair, unable to communicate, and was fed through a tube. There was little hope in his recovery but the TRP team committed and invested themselves in my husband’s care. Today, because of the rehab he received at courage, he is home with me and our little girls- walking under his own power and engaging in conversations over family dinners again. I am a nurse by background and can tell you from both my professional and personal experience that the TRP program is incredibly unique from traditional skilled nursing facilities. This is an Aging Meeting and many here today have touched on the elderly, my husband and I were 24. We had an unforeseen trauma in our life and needed a program like the TRP to get us through and overcome it. Things like complex TBI cases, like my husband’s, come second nature to this facility. The vast specialized services this TRP provides brought back Isaac, brought back my husband, and brought back the father to our little girls who are sitting in the back (point’s to girls). The TRP has been incredibly beneficial to Isaac’s recovery. I hope you will support this legislation so the program can continue to benefit others. Thank you!”

I received a hand written note later that week from Chairman Joe Schomaker “Molly-Thank you so much for sharing your family’s personal and inspiring story with Courage Kenny at the Aging and Long Term Care Committee. It was helpful and impactful for the members to hear and we’ll keep a focus on making sure we protect the program for others.” It was an incredibly exciting experience and hope it is just the start of how we can use our experience to better the lives of others in a positive way!

I have to share this video of Isaac with you. I think the video will show you a lot of how Isaac is doing these days. Look at him go! Is it not astonishing… takes my breath away. :)

Isaac has started up accupunture again and is encouraged with the results the acupuncture and the electrical stimulation are doing for his affected right arm and hand. The electrical stimulation does a great job with reminding Isaac’s brain that he has these muscles on the right side and it would be good if he start using them. After his first treatment he was trying to describe something to me as in a shape and without thinking twice he showed me a circle using both of his hands and it took little to no effort to get the shape and control his fine motor. It was like “whoa! Haven’t seen that in a while!”. Isaac has also started up with Craniosacral Therapy, it is a type of massage to promote healing and work with the spinal fluid flow. It is one of those things where you can’t explain it but it is doing something! Isaac feels incredibly relaxed following his treatments and is left feeling more alert in the following days. His irritability has reduced since starting the therapies so it has helped with relieving tension and stress. This is all helpful in his focus and his retention with his homework and other therapies. He really thinks it is helping with his poker skills too! Poker is something Isaac enjoyed before his accident. He spent lots of times having tournaments and friendly hands of poker with his circle of friends. Recently he has participated in local free poker and has made it to the final table two weeks in a row! Poker is a great therapy for memory and for anticipating the future outcomes- two things Isaac continues to work a lot on in Speech and Occupational Therapy.

Isaac is enjoying his new independence with staying home alone for a few hours. It gives him time to do things on his own and push himself to succeed in his everyday life. He does however get bored and his goal of returning back to work couldn’t come sooner! Isaac and I both find ourselves looking forward to work and the relationships working brings. We are blessed to be young and have passion for our professions so much so that we both are excited for work and excited to get to work in the morning! We will continue to let you know when anything new or exciting happens in our road to recovery. The marathon had a lot of hurdles in the beginning, now they are thankfully a little more spaced out- hence the spaced out updates. But it goes on and we go on with it! Stay positive, stay thankful and stay #22strong! We truly love you all. 

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Comments

38 Comments

Aleshia Sydness
By Aleshia Sydness
What amazing news for all of you!! So inspiring!! Keep it up Isaac, watching you run brought tears to my eyes!
john & carol giovinco
By john & carol giovinco
Good Morning Isaac, Molly, and Girls, We are thinking of you often especially the last couple of days and the word "justice" has such a different meaning to some people.....We will ALWAYS be here to support you and your family, Isaac. Keep "on task" with therapy, Isaac, you will show the world what the word "MIRACLE" really means!!!:) GOD BLESS all!
LOVE & PRAYERS~
Carol & John
xoxoxox's for the girls!!:)
AZ.
DeDe Meyer
By DeDe Meyer
Isaac, Molly, and all of you involved in this marathon - keep up the great work. My thoughts are with you today as you've been to court, and now this is the verdict. You're all winners to have conquered each day that has been given to you, and you'll continue to win the battles laid out in front of you. Your story has touched all of us, and that is what we will remember in the years to come - how brave and strong all of you are! I love your posts, the videos and the stories. We don't live the battle with you every day, but know that you're in our thoughts and prayers every day!
Mary Stein
By Mary Stein
So inspiring! Way to go, Isaac!!
Linda Sandberg
By Linda Sandberg
Totally awesome!!! Congrats to you both on your strength and determination!!
Beth Young Eagle
By Beth Young Eagle
Molly-your video makes me smile!! Your courage and hard work are a true inspiration. Isaac's progress is so exciting to read about. I work with high school kids, some of whom have TBI. Progress is slow, so patience is of the utmost importance! Stay strong!
Melissa Vaubel
By Melissa Vaubel
So happy all is getting better progress! So happy to be working with you at Mayo and love hearing the great progress in your lives! You are truly admiring and your family we love hearing your updates, good luck at your new job and hope all goes well!
Jodine Wien
By Jodine Wien
Such wonderful news for your entire family! I am truly amazed by the video and how great Isaac looks! Molly, congratulations on your return to work & to be working at the greatest facility in the world! You are all continually in my thoughts & prayers! God bless & #22Strong
Tiffany Reinitz, PharmD
By Tiffany Reinitz, PharmD
Absolutely amazing! What great progress - it brings tears to my eyes! Way to go on bringing up this important issue to our government. That takes a lot of courage but it's people like you that will create change (or prevent something good from being taken away!) Also props on the acupuncture and cranio-sacral - that's going to help SO MUCH!!!! THinking of you all and happy for your new job Molly!
Larry Bennett
By Larry and Maggie Bennett — last edited
Congratulations on your new job! Thanks for the update on Issac's and everyone's condition. We continue to pray for your family along with the all others at Holy Rosary Church.
God bless!