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Jimmy’s Story

In August 2011, Jimmy was in a traumatic car accident while in a news car at work.  He suffered a devastating spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis from the shoulders down. 

We have learned this journey will be long and involved though we've made some important strides.  

We created this website to keep friends and family updated about Jimmy's recovery process. Visit often to read the latest journal entries, visit the photo gallery, and write us a note in our guestbook.

Thanks to those who have taken the time to write incredibly heartfelt messages. Jimmy has seen (or heard) all of them.

Latest Journal Update

The Latest With Jimmy

I guess I haven't written here much because there wasn't much, medically, happening with Jimmy all at once. But right now, he kinda of has a lot going on so feels like a good time for an update.

1) Swallowing

Jimmy is having a hard time swallowing. Food, mostly. For whatever reason, he's "pouching" food in the back of his throat. As I understand it, everyone has pouches. His is just larger and holding a lot of food. He had a swallow study done a few weeks ago. It revealed the pouching. Food is going there and he's having to swallow so much to get stuff to go down. Even some liquids. The study showed him having to swallow like four or five times to get one sip of drink down. It's much easier, however, for him get liquids down, as opposed to food, so he's primarily on a liquid diet consisting of protein/weight gainer shakes, meal replacement shakes, fruit smoothies, ice cream and sometimes soup. He has/is losing weight so it's kind of a struggle to get those calories consumed. After the swallow study at Shepherd, he was referred to a GI doc. That doctor we met with this past week. He said that if it's a problem with his swallowing mechanism as he suspects (ie: swallowing muscles, etc.), that he would have to refer us to a Ear Nose Throat Doc, as he only deals with the esophagus and below. But he's going to rule out the GI part of it for us I think, and look into Jimmy's anemia. I guess the sliver of good news is that he doesn't seem to be aspirating which is very dangerous, and was a concern.

2) Anemia.

Jimmy is very anemic. After some recent blood work, his endocrinologist suggested a blood infusion which would probably make him feel better for the short term but wouldn't tell us what's causing the anemia. So Jimmy's GI doctor is going to check out Jimmy's intestinal tract to see if he's losing blood and if so, what needs to be done to fix it. Jimmy has been battling fatigue for a long, long time. We've tried so many things, meds, etc. We now have hope that he could possible feel better on that end.  He's managed to get a few spinach smoothies down and takes iron daily, but it seems like there's a much bigger problem.

3) Skin Wounds

Jimmy has three skin wounds were dealing with. We've been visiting with his wound doctor a lot lately to try and get them under control. I'm sure him losing weight is not helping - and maybe hurting, or even helped cause all this. If he's boney, there's more of a chance for his bones to push through his skin to the surface when he's laying on that particular area for any length of time. Why is he laying on that area at all, you may ask? When he's laying in bed, he can be turned three ways. On his left, his right, and his back. He has a wound on each of those three sides. It's a battle to not put direct pressure on those wounds. And dealing with 5, 6, 7 or so different caretakers who all pad differently - it's work keeping everyone on the same page.

So all of this equals a very tired, very weak, very drained Jimmy. It's a vicious cycle. He can't eat much. He needs good energy and nutrition to help him heal. His body is weak from trying to heal. He's fatigued from anemia. He can't gain weight due to swallowing difficulties. Being thinner could be contributing to pressure wounds.

We've seen a lot of doctors lately and our team is working hard to get him healthy again. It's frustrating seeing him sleep all the time, but I know his body is dealing with a hella lot and until we solve one or all of these issues - then he's not going to feel great any time soon.

I remember when a UTI or a clogged catheter were our big concerns.

With that said, Jimmy turns 45 tomorrow. Although he can't eat cake, Reese's PB eggs or go for a big dinner out (something we could always do) -- he'll be spending the day with some friends who have traveled from Boston to spend his birthday with him. We've had several family visitors lately that has helped to lift his spirits. It soothes his soul and provide healing powers of it's own.

Positive thoughts, prayers, texts and calls welcome for your boy. Even if he doesn't answer or text back - know he got it and that it will help.

Thanks all!

PS) If Caring Bridge is the only way you keep up with Jimmy, then you may not know (although I can't imagine!) we had a baby girl in late October! I write a lot about Spencer Rosalyn on my personal blog, here.  She is Jimmy's ray of light.

2 people hearted this


10 Comentarios

Cheryl Loftis
By Cheri Loftis
Y'all are still such a testament to true love and dedication. I am so sorry Jimmy is still having it seems problem after problem but with you by his side, have managed to climb every mountain together. When I first started writing to you guys right after Jimmy's accident, I remember telling you a baby would be a huge blessing and might make these trials a little lighter! Was I right or was I right? I baby makes all the difference in life no matter what is going on. Better than a puppy! =)
Still keeping you all in my prayers. Tell Jimmy Happy Birthday....this may be late! <3
Ginni Terhune
By Ginni Terhune
We are sorry to hear Jimmy is having to deal with so many health problems at once. We will continue to pray for all of you.
Amy Wood
By amy wood
You are the best. Love you both so much. Praying for every need you have. Miss you. Lots of hugs and love.
tisha brittain
By Tisha Brittain Fisher
It is so good to hear an update. I am so sorry Jimmy is having such a hard time. I will be praying for these issues to resolve soon!! I was eating at Judge's last week and thought of Jimmy. What an awesome guy. He has an unforgettable smile. Congratulations on your little girl…..I had no idea. Much love!!
Jacki Bruning
By Jacki Bruning
Jamie I'm so sorry things are hard for you and Jimmie right now. We have had to travel those same hard road with Jon David. Also I want you to know how much your kindness meant to us when we were at Shepherds. Congratulations on your new baby (new to me). Praying that easier days are coming soon!
Jacki Bruning
Emily Moss
By Emily Moss, Greenville, SC
I think about you often after sharing power at Edisto a few years back. Thrilled about the baby and praying that some of these problems will be relieved quickly. Your family is always in my prayers. I will never forget Jimmy's smile!
1 person hearted this
Linda Kneisler
By Linda Kneisler
Praying for Jimmy.I have been keeping up with him for a couple of years now.I am Victoria's(Boland) mother-in-law.And Happy Birthday to him.May he have a blessed day and enjoy his friends that are visiting.God Bless your family.
1 person hearted this
Kathy Carvajal
By Kathy Carvajal
Hello! I have been praying for Jimmy for years and will continue to do so. I knew him for the short period of time I lived and worked in South Carolina. Continued strength to your entire family.
1 person hearted this
Pat Dixon
By Pat Dixon
We will be praying for these specifics. When I cared for my mother, we learned nutrition had a lot to do with wound healing, particularly with protein. Working with all that goes into that can be a real battle, but knowing what needs to be done is the beginning of improvement. Please know we care and are praying.
mary reda
Prayers for jimmy to feel better. Love mama and papa reda