Welcome to our CaringBridge site for Karina and her son, Elias. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
Dan & Karina's story begins in Boston, when Karina was visiting her sister who went to school with Dan. Karina, who spoke very little English, and Dan, who spoke very little Spanish, communicated fluently in the language of love. Their journey took them from Boston, to Chile, to Indiana and finally, Seattle, where Karina works at Seattle Children's Hospital.
Baby Elias was born on March 15th, 2013 at Northwest Hospital. He weighed 8 lbs and 8 oz and was 19.75 inches long and perfect in every way. His parents were thrilled (tired, yes) and his grandparents were absolutely elated. The grandparents (Dan's parents) decided to move from Indiana to be close to their first grandchild and even moved blocks away so they would be able to help with anything Dan, Karina & Elias needed. They visited every day and beamed with pride and admiration at their young grandchild.
On Monday, March 25th Karina, Elias and the doting grandparents set off on a walk. As they crossed the street near their home, a driver struck the foursome. The grandparents (Dan's parents) were killed instantly and Karina and Elias were rushed to the hospital.
At the time of arrival, both Karina and baby Elias were in critical condition. Karina has been moved to stable. She has a fractured pelvis, hip and some torn ligaments in her knee. She has been kept sedated and will plan to have surgery in the next day or two.
Elias was wrapped in his mommy's arms when the accident occurred and was revived at the site. He has suffered some damage to his brain which the doctors are concerned about but he has shown signs of improvement since yesterday.
We will try and keep everyone updated on a daily basis. We appreciate the outpour of love and support. Please keep Karina, baby Elias & Dan in your thoughts & prayers.
I want to let my friends and people that have supported us all over know how everyone here is doing. It's been awhile and lots of people have been asking so here goes...
My wife Karina has been at home for several months. She continues to build strength and regain daily living skills. She's walking, talking, and in general, doing many normal daily-life-kind-of things. She does not walk or talk like her previous self and her left side has some permanent damage. But she's made incredible progress and outdone the doctors' expectations in many ways. She's now getting outpatient therapy. They will help her continue on this marathon for the foreseeable future. It's slow but she is still moving forward. It's hard to put into words how proud of her I am. She has come so far. She doesn't give up. She is SO strong, the strongest human being I know. AMAZING! as many people have witnessed in one way or another.
Our son, Elias, is the most awesome child I've ever known. He is equal to his mother in strength. In his mind, none of this ever happened. He may not be able to see perfectly. In fact, he suffers from severe Cortical Vision Impairment (CVI), due to the trauma to his brain. However, it does not phase him. He may just be the happiest baby not only on the block, but in the whole city! He's one happy little dude. He loves music like his papi and loves to be social like his mami. He's already pounding away at his little piano that came all the way from his Great Aunt Ruthie in Indianapolis.
He's also developing fairly normally through much assistance from his therapists who visit him regularly. He's a bit behind in some categories, but none of that matters to us. Not only may he catch up some day in most of these categories, but also he's clearly moving forward like his mami. He's gaining weight (he's a great eater!) and he continues to learn new tricks.
With all this said, his recovery is far from over. He and his mami are on the same, long marathon. Elias has a surgery scheduled later this month. It's a pretty intense surgery to repair his dura (the membrane between his skull and brain) and patch together the bones of his skull. It's really not a surgery we're looking forward to. We're just looking forward to it being over. It's scary but we know that he'll be in the best hands at Seattle Children's Hospital. Breathe in / Breath out. That's what I do. Your prayers, mantras, chants, thoughts, whatever it might be, would all be much appreciated.
My sister Marilyn continues to live with us and helps out in so many ways as I've said before in the public sphere. We couldn't do this without her. Karina's family is all in Chile at this point, except our niece who arrives in the city this week. We're all very excited about that.
Me? I am just marching on and remaining as hopeful as possible for the future. I don't know what that future entails. I've seen some darkness --let me tell you-- and know the depths it can reach. But now I'll focus on present and the light instead. I'm not wasting time worrying too much or drinking too much or anything too much. As a good friend tried to teach me years ago, it's important to remember moderation. I think that goes for nearly everything. I believe things will continue to get better and that the worst is behind us. I truly hope so.
Please remember the damage that driving under the influence can cause and refrain from doing so. There are alternative choices out there!