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Karina and Elias’s Story

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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.


Latest Journal Update

Been slow to update here but here's one for those still following

It's been exactly 1.5 years since the tragedy hit our family.

I remember it nearly every waking hour. I remember the specific events of that day, the time and sights in the hospital, the shock of it all. I remember how happy my parents were the previous day. I'd never seen them so happy. I miss them dearly. I've grown to love and appreciate them even more since they passed.

All that said, I think those following us on CaringBridge might want an update. I know I haven't been on here much, but for those of you who only hear about us this way, I think you might like to read an update. My life has been, one might say, a bit busy.

I remember and am aware of have far we have come.

My wife and son have recovered so much since that day. Karina is walking longer and longer distances now only with a cane, using many more words than she could for most of the past 1.5 years, and understanding nearly everything that is said to her. She is helping more and more with caring for our son. And we are hopeful she is past any major surgeries. We certainly hope she doesn't need any more surgeries but even if she does we will get through it.

Elias has been right up there with his mama in terms of his recovery. He is delayed in terms of motor and other neurodevelopment, has limited vision due to cortical vision impairment, and will always have a VP shunt (drain) to deal with hydrocephalus (too much fluid in the brain). Yet, he continues to stay healthy, get stronger and exceed the expectations of many of his doctors. He's even starting to say "mama" and "papa!" Elias is so young and strong that I am optimistic he will grow up to be a smart, healthy and happy boy.

We will never forget 3/25/13 and the many months of survival mode that followed. We will never be the same. A tragedy like this leaves a deep wound that even time can't fully heal. We have to just focus on being in the present to take care of ourselves and each other and believe that things should continue to get better. I know that our love for each other seems to carry us on even through the worst of times and over the hills that often seem to only grow steeper. Even if we don't make it over all the hills (and we probably won't), what really matters is that we try and that we are together through it all. I don't believe this is some deep kind of wisdom. I think it's just what we all know already. Don't give up. Stay together. It won't all magically be perfect, but that's not what matters. What matters is that you "always care for others and let others care for you." Yes Bob!

This is where we are today, 1.5 years later. We are here and remain together today. Thank you again to all of our family, friends and the larger community for helping us in so many different ways since that day. We will also never forget your countless actions of compassion toward us. It has carried us through. Thank you all.

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Comments

28 Comments

Beth Bordner
By Beth Bordner
Yes, we are still following.....and grateful for the update and news of continuing progress. Thank you Dan for taking the time to keep us informed. As do so many, I think of you all often and keep a heart-light on of hope, healing and love for your family. The strength and courage you have each displayed is so impressive and inspiring! Best wishes as you keep moving on the journey of recovery together. love, ~Beth
Sara Eizen
By Sara Eizen
So good to get an update from you - thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful note. I think of all of you almost every day as I live just blocks from you and drive on 75th daily and my heart still aches each time I pass where the accident happened. Sending love, healing energy and strength to all of you.
Betsy Paul
By Betsy Paul
Thank you so much for the update as I'm sure it's difficult having to write about the details of your lives. I've followed your story from Indianapolis after hearing about your story in the news. I pray that Christ will keep his arms wrapped around you for every need of your entire family. Bless you all . . . always.
Jan Rice
By
Dan & Karena, So good to hear from you altho I do keep up with info from Marilyn & Scott. It was so good to see pics of your family in Hawaii & I was so happy you guys were with Marilyn & Scott when they got married. I think so often of your parents and how thankful I am that they were so loving to Scott.Your family has always been so kind to include Matt (Scott's brother) and me. Please know that you, Karena, & Elias are in my prayers daily for protection and healing. Would love to see you 3--hopefully you can make it to Indiana for a visit. You are always welcome in my home. Love, Jan Rice
N Schleich Abbott
By Nicole Abbott
Thank you for the update. I think of your ordeal nearly every day and check in here often. Your beautiful family is held in my heart and in so many others in the community.
Ann Tucker-Gwinn
By Ann Tucker-Gwinn
Thank you for the update. As someone who lives in the neighborhood, I think of your family often. I think you will all stay in the neighborhood's hearts forever...your courage and strength as a family remains an inspiration.
Take care, Ann
Jeannette Kane
By Jeannette Kane
I am impressed by all of your strength, I have no doubt that your family will continue to improve, you are all amazing people.
Duree Nagle
By Duree Nagle
Thank you for the update, we keep you all in our prayers & never forget what Karina did for our son after his heart transplant & how much she holds a place in our hearts.
Rebecca Landes
By Rebecca Landes
Praise our Lord for all the blessings that have come your way.
Jenny Clayton
By Jenny Clayton, RN, BICU/ PICU
Thank you for the update Dan. I took care of Elias early on in his injury. I think of you all often and wonder how everyone is doing. It's so good to here of the progress. If you ever get to a point where you could step into Harborview again stop in on the 9th floor. We would love to see you all and see how far you've come. Keep up the strong work.